The world of affiliate marketing can be vast and intimating which can make hard finding the best affiliate marketing programs. There are thousands of different affiliate marketing programs online. Some should be avoided while others should be your first stop as a beginner. Let’s take a look at the best affiliate marketing programs that you should be focusing on as a beginner.
Different Types of Programs
There are two main distinctions between most affiliate marketing programs. Some affiliate marketing programs are retailers who physically own the product or service that is being promoted by affiliates. They directly interface with the affiliates that are promotion their products. Other affiliate programs promote products and services on behalf of the owner. These programs act as an intermediary between the product owners and the affiliates. These are typically known as affiliate networks, and Cost Per Action networks or ‘CPA’ networks. There are advantages and disadvantages for both of these types of affiliate programs.
Advantages of Working With Direct Affiliate Programs
One of the biggest advantages you will have by working with direct affiliate programs is that most of the marketing is already done for you. The brand typically already has trust and customers. Most people are already familiar with the brand therefore don’t have to be introduced to the brand by any of your marketing efforts. These networks often have creatives or assets ready for you to use. Banners, articles and links are at your disposal and can be copied and pasted easily. You will also get a higher payout since there is not an intermediary company taking a cut.
Disadvantages of Working With Direct Affiliate Programs.
One disadvantage of working with direct affiliate programs is that you are typically limited to what you can promote. Other than Amazon or Ebay, you are stuck promoting a single service or product. When working direct you may also have no affiliate manager. Many times companies who have their own affiliate programs do not actually know how to manage affiliates. They often have monthly payment terms, and no support.
Advantages of Working With CPA Networks
CPA Networks or affiliate networks in general offer faster payment solutions and affiliate management. CPA Networks also allow you to promote products with less restrictions than most retail affiliate marketing programs. You will typically have an account manager that can help setup your campaigns. This doesn’t usually happen with retail or direct affiliate programs.
Disadvantages of Working With CPA Networks
One huge disadvantage is trust. CPA Networks are in a very high risk business and it’s difficult to mitigate risk. One example is that most product owners will pay CPA Networks for their sales once a month. CPA Networks will often offer weekly payments to their affiliates. In some cases, super affiliate get paid twice a week. Some affiliate gets paid daily! This means many networks are floating cash to their affiliates in hopes to be paid on time by the product owners. (SUPER HIGH RISK BUSINESS MODEL)
If the product owner doesn’t pay their bills, the CPA Network gets left holding the bag. There are scenarios where this occurs and if there are more people owed money than the network has left they usually shut down and affiliates could be left holding the bag if they weren’t paid out yet by the network.
Many CPA networks shut down or close their doors and cannot pay all their affiliates. This means you don’t get paid! This is not super common but it does happen from time to time. Retail affiliate programs are typically much more stable since their business relies on their product, not their network commissions.
Now that we have defined the major difference between most affiliate programs, let’s take a look at some of the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners.
Best Affiliate Marketing Programs – Amazon
Amazon easily has one of the best affiliate marking programs you could possible promote especially if you are in an obscure niche. Amazon is a retail affiliate program. With over 12 million products that you could potentially promote, this is the most diverse affiliate marketing program in existence. Another massive advantage is that Amazon accounts for roughly 40% of all online sales! That means almost half of the shopping done online is done on Amazon.
Amazon also offers 2 day delivery on most products with their Amazon Prime program. The only disadvantage for being an Amazon Affiliate is that you can only earn up to 10% commission on the products you promote. This is low compared to what other programs pay especially CPA affiliate offers. But if you are in a niche that you cannot find a lot of products for, then I highly recommend joining Amazon Associates if you want to join one of the best affiliate marketing programs available.
Best Affiliate Marketing Programs – Ebay
Ebay is another program considered one of the best affiliate marketing programs online. Ebay is also a retail affiliate program. They also have a vast selection of potential products that you could promote. Some of these products are very specific to certain niches and unique. This allows for some very original affiliate campaigns.
One of the best aspects of the Ebay Partner Network is that they offer between 50-70% commission for the products you promote. That is a massive amount of commission for any retail affiliate marketing program. There are many high ticket items available for purchase on Ebay.
Best Affiliate Marketing Programs – Clickbank
ClickBank has been around for over 20 years and has solidified itself as one of the most trusted affiliate networks and best affiliate marketing programs. ClickBank is an affiliate Network with over 5000 different products that you can promote as an affiliate. ClickBank specializes in digital products with very aggressive video sales letters that lead to very high converting campaigns when combined with the right traffic source and targeting. Clickbank is perfect for beginners who are looking to join their first network. I highly recommend working with ClickBank as it’s one of the best affiliate marketing programs available to affiliates. For the most part, Clickbank does not have direct affiliate managers though.
Best Affiliate Marketing Programs – ShareaSale
ShareaSale is another affiliate marketing program that has been in the game for close to 20 years. They are a more brand orientated affiliate marketing program that is suitable for all affiliates, no matter their experience. A massive benefit ShareaSale has over it’s competitors is that it has real time tracking capabilities unlike Amazon and Ebay. It’s certainly worth a try as it ranks among the best affiliate marking programs around.
Best Affiliate Marketing Programs – CJ Affiliate
This affiliate marketing program is a CPA network. They have several different types of offers that pay per lead, per sale, and sometimes installs.
With some of the worlds largest brands in it’s inventory and over 126 million in paid affiliate commissions last year, it’s easy to see how CJ Affiliate holds it’s place among the best affiliate marketing programs.
They only approve affiliates who have proven traffic sources and marketing methods to protect the integrity of their big brand partners. Don’t get too upset if you don’t get approved the first time you apply. Make it a goal as you continue down your affiliate marketing career!
Best Affiliate Marketing Training Community
The focus of this article was the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners but I think there is something else we need to discuss. The best affiliate marketing programs are filled with affiliates who have put in the hard work and achieved success with their affiliate campaigns. This success rarely comes without some form of affiliate marketing training community.
We can’t discuss training communities with out talking about Powerhouse Affiliate which has established itself as a leader in affiliate marketing training. Powerhouse Affiliate has a very large and extensive training library that teaches you everything you need to know to become a successful affiliate.
If you are interested in learning more about affiliate marketing, I highly recommend you also read the following articles:
Top 8 Free Affiliate Marketing Programs For Beginners & Easy Methods To Promote Them
5 Newbie Friendly Facebook Marketing Strategies
4 Easy Ways To Survive in CPA Affiliate Marketing
7 Critical Elements for Affiliate Marketing Niche Websites