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36 Best Affiliate Programs for Making Money With Your Site

Affiliate program concept on laptop and smartphone screen over wooden table. All screen content is designed by me. Flat lay

If you are an aspiring affiliate marketer, then you might have realized that choosing a niche and affiliate program is no easy task. That’s why we have put together our picks for the best affiliate programs in 2020 and given you our best insight into why we find these so attractive.

If you have read our blog post 21 Niche Site Ideas You Need to Know, you may notice that a lot of these programs may seem familiar. 

We took some of the most profitable niches we used in that article and found the best programs we could from them. These, along with other exciting new niches, make up our list.

Before we get into our list, let’s talk about how to tell the difference between affiliate programs and affiliate networks.

Affiliate Program or Affiliate Network?

Affiliate program with dollar icon illustration. Affiliation. Network.

These terms are often used interchangeably, so it can be hard to tell what affiliate marketing blogs are referring to a lot of the time.

To put it simply, an affiliate program provides a product (or service) to affiliate marketers for them to sell in exchange for a commission on each sale. Most companies create their own affiliate program to help their products get a wider reach in the marketplace. 

An affiliate network is a provider or platform that also creates a program, but will create other programs for other companies too. The network is now the middleman in the transaction and can make things easier for both parties.

Affiliate networks are a method of outsourcing. They exist to provide tools that allow both the company and the marketer to work together easier.

Benefits of Affiliate Networks

You may be thinking: well, aren’t all affiliate networks better than programs because that’s all they do? The simple answer is, it’s complicated.

We will be mentioning several major affiliate networks like CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, and ClickBank

These networks often have great benefits like branded ads, content guides, and marketer support options. These are all provided for one reason: to make it easier for you to sell.

Features like this make major affiliate networks worth it. Another benefit is that once you sign up for the network, you have easier access to many affiliate programs in different niches.

This cuts down on the time you spend on signup and applications, leaving you more time to create content for your site or blog.

But plenty of independent affiliate programs provide these benefits as well, so we can’t sweep these under the rug.

We don’t discriminate on programs or networks for this list, so keep an open mind and recognize the benefits of each when they appear.

Why We Like These Programs

We have chosen these programs based on several key factors.

First of all, we want to ensure that they can actually earn you money. There are many different commission structures on display here, and we will break down what makes these fair and profitable in the long term.

We have also listed each program’s cookie, which shows how long you have after a referral clicks on your link you have to collect off of any purchase they make.

We also chose programs with products and services that are of a high quality. Good affiliate marketing depends on legitimacy, and we would never recommend something we don’t use.

Finally, we want to inspire you to look for opportunities that are directly outside of your niche. Many of these programs work for any affiliate marketer, so don’t always settle for the obvious choice.

31 Best Niches

General Affiliate Programs

What does it mean to be a general affiliate program?

General affiliate programs are sites that sell a wide range of products and cover several niches along the way.

1. Amazon

Also called “Amazon Associates,” this program is free to start using and features commission rates that vary depending on the item sold.

Rates can be as low as 1% for video games, or higher than 8% for furniture, pet products, and luxury beauty products. There are over 3 billion different items for sale, and their affiliate programs also apply to online products like Amazon Prime Video.

But many of these commission rates are low for their industry. You will also be competing with many other affiliate marketers who are using this popular program as well.

We recommend using the Amazon Associates program as a way to learn about the process of starting out with an affiliate program. It likely will not be a large source of income.

Commission – 1-10% per sale

Cookie – 24 hours

2. Etsy

Etsy has become the go-to marketplace for crafty and creative goods. There are many different kinds of products offered by Etsy, and sales typically peak around the holiday shopping season.

Etsy’s commission rate is between 4-8% on sales. They offer a 30-day cookie for these sales. 

One of Etsy’s most interesting features is their Convert-A-Link Tool. This allows you to place Javascript on your site that converts old, unused links to Etsy affiliate links. This saves you the hassle of changing these links yourself and creates more opportunities for revenue.

Commission – 4-8%

Cookie – 30 days

3. Hammacher Schlemmer

This American catalogue service has been running for over 150 years. They currently stock over 1300 products, with an emphasis on home living and electronics. 

They offer an 8% commission on their products, which are typically higher priced than Amazon or Etsy’s offerings. The program provides you with password-protected online reports and content to help you sell.

Programs in the “General” space often get a bad rap for being so competitive and offering lower than average commission rates. It’s important to capitalize on programs like Hammacher’s because they sell at a premium.

A century and a half of brand recognition doesn’t hurt either, especially if you are in lifestyle or electronics niches. 

Commission – 8%

Cookie – 30 days

Hosting

technology equipment with optical fibre cables connected to rack servers in room. Shallow DOF

4. SiteGround

We recommend SiteGround as a hosting service for any beginner affiliate marketer. The other great thing about the service is that they have a fantastic affiliate program.

SiteGround’s commissions start out at $50 per sale and quickly increase once you are able to make an additional 5-10 sales per month. There are even custom rates for particularly successful affiliates. 

These commission rates are some of the highest in the industry. Plus, the service is hot right now among many people looking to create a site, including your fellow affiliate marketers.

Commission – $50-125 per sale

Cookie – 60 days

5. WPX Hosting

WPX hosting is also a Brand Builders favorite. What sets it apart from SiteGround, is that it is our go-to for larger websites. 

WPX Hosting is for WordPress websites and blogs and is a cost effective solution for bloggers and affiliate marketers.

It features industry-leading features like free unlimited site migrations and month-to-month hosting plans. It is much easier to sell a service with this many perks than any of its competitors.

Commissions range from $70-100 per sale, and the program is free to join. There is no limit to the earnings that you can make for this program.

Commission – $70-100 per sale

Cookie – 60 days

6. Flywheel

Flywheel has a reputation as another great WordPress-specific hosting platform. Users often comment about how it helps build beautiful websites, not just provide functional hosting services. 

And, with a 300% commission rate, how could you say no? That’s right, Flywheel offers 3X the monthly payment plan that your referral purchases.

You can earn up to $500 per referral, and you will have access to co-branded landing pages, social creative, and banners. 

Here’s the caveat: there are no long term commissions for referrals. You only earn a commission on the original purchase made by the customer. 

Creating long term income from Flywheel hosting is more difficult due to this. But it’s still worth exploring due to its industry-high commission rates.

Commission – 300%

Cookie – 90 days

Web Services

7. Express VPN

VPN services are in demand as personal security on the internet continues to be a major concern for companies and individuals alike. Express VPN has been in the game for a long time, and they carry a lot of clout in the industry. 

Their affiliate program is no different. Commissions top out at $36 per referral, and they feature a 90-day cookie.

Express VPN offers high-speed servers for secure browsing and pre-configured VPN routers. It’s a world leader for a reason, and this extends to the support they offer customers and affiliates.

Commission – Up to $36 per sign-in

Cookie – 90 days

8. Pure VPN

You may ask why we bring up another VPN service after calling Express VPN the “best in the industry.” Shouldn’t that be good enough advice to sign up and start promoting the service?

With the VPN niche (and all others), it is important to consider every option, and realize that the industry leader may not be 100% suited for you. Pure VPN has great client support and innovative features like DDoS-protected server addresses. 

But what really sets Pure VPN apart is its commission structure. It is known as one of the most profitable affiliate programs in the VPN niche.

Commissions range from 35% to 100%. Yes, 100% commission. That isn’t a typo.

The program pays out 100% on the first invoice of a 1 month plan. This is PureVPN’s way of overcoming “first purchase stress,” which can be the hardest part of getting started with a program like this.

Commissions normalize after you have driven your first sales, but even then they are still high compared to the rest of the industry. If you want to benefit from a unique commission structure, Pure VPN could be for you.

Commission – 35-100%

Cookie – 90 days

9. Wix

This popular website-building tool offers $100 per Premium referral without limits. They also provide banners and creatives for you to use while promoting their service.

There is a $300 minimum monthly sales target that you need to ensure you hit consistently to remain a member of the program. If you can make this number, this is an excellent referral program for affiliate marketers in all niches.

We recommend staying on the lookout for programs like this once you have solid monthly traffic and a proven track record of driving sales. Although these commissions may not be as high as other programs, you can still drive passive income that comes in every month, without limits. 

Commission – $100 per Premium Sale

Cookie Life – 30 days

Travel Affiliate Programs

Cheerful young businessman sitting on a motorbike outdoors, working on laptop computer

10. Expedia

You can’t make a list of the best affiliate programs in travel without mentioning the giants.

Expedia is synonymous with deal hunting for travelling. They also have a strong affiliate program that is surprisingly profitable, considering how popular it is.

The program is part of the CJ Affiliate network. You will be provided dynamic widgets for your blog, which opens a world of bookable properties, airlines, hotels and more.

As an affiliate, you receive weekly updates for deals and seasonal offers. It is best to sprinkle these into your content as a tantalizing reward for your visitors to consume your content.

Success in the Expedia Affiliate Program comes from finding the right deals to promote and giving your visitors a sense of wanderlust. Remember, (almost) everyone wants to travel, and they want to save money doing it.

Commission – 2-6%

Cookie – 7 days

11.  TripAdvisor

This site is another massive player in the travel space. What sets it apart from Expedia is its offerings for tours and tickets to activities that people enjoy exploring when on vacation.

TripAdvisor is also part of the CJ Affiliate program, so if you have already signed up for Expedia’s program, you can sign up for this just as easily.

Commission is set up so that you earn 50% off the revenue generated from a user clicking on links that send them to a TripAdvisor partner site. This means that you don’t have to wait for a purchase to earn money.

Amounts earned per click out are small ($0.15-$0.75), but with decent traffic from your site, this can add up over time.

Commission – 50%

Cookie – N/A

12. World Nomads

World Nomads is an Australian-based company founded by a traveler who wanted a safe and fair option for travel insurance. Today, World Nomads has clients all over the world and is one of the few affiliate programs in this industry. 

As a member of the program, you can promote a variety of insurance services and earn 10% in commissions on sales made through your links. 

This program isn’t just listed because it is a surefire way to earn high revenues. Rather, the company is so well-recommended by companies like Lonely Planet and Contiki, that it is building a strong reputation.

Affiliate programs like these make great safe bets, and should not be avoided if you are in the travel blogging niche.

Commission – 10%

Cookie – 60 days

Finance Affiliate Programs

business, office, school and education concept - woman with tablet pc and chart papers

13. Invoice Ninja

Invoice Ninja is an invoicing service for freelancers and small business owners. This slick platform features a great affiliate program with a recurring referral commission.

You will make 50% on all referrals made by a link for four years. Plus, with low entry rates for Invoice Ninja’s programs (like a $10 monthly pro plan), you can bring a lot of volume.

Invoice Ninja’s program is great for freelance photographers, writers for hire, or any kind of business owner. The great thing about a finance affiliate program like this is that it isn’t just for affiliate marketers in the finance niche.

Commission – 50% on referrals for four years

Cookie – N/A (account creation from referral URL tracked)

14. PocketSmith

The personal finance industry has seen growth from tech companies that help people track their spending. PocketSmith is a great example of this.

Their affiliate program features up to 30% recurring commission rates. 

The Making Sense of Cents blog is an example for how to make money by blogging about personal finance. What makes a program like PocketSmith successful is simple: most people have debt and want to save more money.

PocketSmith helps people with these issues, and the large potential customer base means that you can earn money from a larger volume. 

Commission – Up to 30%

Cookie – 30 days

15. Capitalist Exploits

Capitalist Exploits is a tool for investors that provides trade recommendations. Members sign up for a subscription to receive these recommendations.

Their affiliate program offers a 50% commission that does not include any limitations whatsoever. Products are priced at a minimum of $1,575, so there is a lot of money to be made using this program.

Capitalist Exploits is a great example of a program that allows you to leverage the expertise and success of your site’s visitors. If you have a blog that specializes in investing, with a high income audience, this is a great program to look into.

Keep in mind that with a higher price point comes a more difficult approval process. You will need to prove your ability to drive leads and sales to this company.

Commission – 50%

Cookie – 365 days

Photography Affiliate Programs

16. Focus Camera

This New York retail-turned-ecommerce site has a never ending stock of cameras and accessories. This is a candy store for first timers and professionals alike.

Although a 3% commission rate may seem low when compared to others in this article, it is to be expected for the photography niche. However, the site is very popular and has many different product classes you can promote to your visitors. 

Remember that their short cookie duration means you should be picky about what kind of traffic you refer. We recommend focusing on your all-time favorite products and new releases to ensure you are sending qualified traffic.

Commission – 3% per sale

Cookie – 3 days

17. Olympus

Olympus is usually included as one of the “Big Three” camera brands with worldwide recognition. We recommend their affiliate program over Canon or Nikon because of their higher price points.

Commission rates are typically under 5% in the photography niche. So, you can earn more income by recommending their intermediate to expert-level cameras. There are plenty of options for niche products and high-tech accessories with this brand.

Olympus also provides banners and tracking tools, making it easier for you to sell the best cameras on the market. 

Commission – 3% per sale

Cookie – 15 days

18. Adobe

Adobe is the gold standard for photo editing and enhancement tools, and this is something that likely won’t be changing for a while. 

The great thing about Adobe is that a new photographer has plenty of choices for starter cameras and gear. But there is a good chance they will be looking to Photoshop and Lightroom as their preferred software.

If you are a photography blogger, you can link directly to Adobe products from video tutorials or posts about new Lightroom features. We recommend doing this to create urgency in purchasing for the user, and so that you can take advantage of Adobe’s 30-day cookie.

Commission – Up to 85% of first month’s subscription with Creative Cloud

Cookie – 30 days

Fashion and Beauty Affiliate Programs


19. Yves Rocher

This brand is a staple of the makeup industry. Even better, they have adapted well to market trends like offering products with natural ingredients. 

They have also managed to keep their products affordable in an industry where margins are high.

Their 15% commission rate is above industry average for the cosmetics niche. This program is run through CJ Affiliate, so you can count on high quality product materials (and even a free gift for each purchase).

Commission – 15% per sale

Cookie – 30 days

20. Stella & Dot

Stella & Dot is an ecommerce store that focuses on promoting women-owned fashion and beauty products. The brand relies on social networks to reach its fans with new product offerings.

Products can reach massive popularity through celebrities and influencers.

We recommend this program for two reasons. First, it’s a unique site with a dedicated fan base and average order values of $100+. Second, it is set up through ShareASale Network, with over 3,900 joinable programs, many of them in the fashion niche.

When you sign up for this affiliate program, be sure to search for other brands that you would like to promote that fall under their umbrella.

Take advantage of the ease of signing up for many programs under the same network to explore new opportunities and maximize your sales. 

Commission – 12% per sale for new customers

Cookie – 30 days

21. Scentbird

The fashion and beauty niches are famously competitive and require creative thinking to make money. We recommend finding programs like Scentbird, which offer services that are creating change in the industry.

Scentbird is a subscription service that gives its members access to 30-day supplies of designer fragrances. This allows customers to try out several fragrances before deciding which one to purchase. 

This service is great to feature in womens and mens fashion and lifestyle blogs. 

Commission is $14 per any subscription sales. Scentbird also provides banner ads, coupon codes and blog content for its affiliates to use. 

Commission – $14 per subscription sale

Cookie – 45 days

Pet Affiliate Programs

partial view of man hands near funny hamster washing on grey wooden background

22. Petco Supplies

Petco is a popular source for pet supplies in the United States that has 1,500 physical stores along with a growing ecommerce department. Most pet lovers will be familiar with the store and will be eager to take advantage of the great deals and variety.

This program sees low commission rates, which are typical for such a big brand. For a pet content creator, it is a must-have to take advantage of the large volume of online sales. 

Much the same way an investment portfolio needs low-risk, low-reward money makers, Petco is a no-brainer. One word of caution: the program pays 0% on their “Pupbox” subscription service, so avoid promoting this. 

Commission – Up to 4%

Cookie – 7 days

23. Whistle

Whistle takes two concepts and turns them into an innovative product for dogs. 

First, pet owners are afraid of nothing more than the idea of losing their furry friends. Second, wouldn’t it be cool if your dog’s GPS tracker did everything that an Apple Watch does?

Whistle’s location tracker also monitors your dog’s health and sleeping patterns. It even displays warning signs to watch out for, including concerning behaviors like excessive licking or scratching.

This affiliate program features a 20% commission. People are willing to spend serious money on their pets, so you don’t have to worry as much about low-cost substitutes when promoting Whistle. 

Another bonus: this program sells through the reputable ShareASale network.

Commission – 20%

Cookie – 30 days

24. Brain Training for Dogs

Brain Training for Dogs is a great example of an affiliate program that doesn’t need to be a large, multinational corporation or a flashy tech startup powered by venture capital.

A professional dog trainer developed this training course to teach dogs new good habits. Commission pays 75% or around $30 of every sale made.

This program is run through ClickBank, so you get the advantages of a large affiliate network. You also get to promote a smaller brand that has fans worldwide.

Commission – 75%

Cookie – 60 days

Marketing and Business Affiliate Programs

25. Fiverr

Fiverr is a freelance marketplace with an affiliate program that should not be ignored. This marketplace continues to grow as new types of gigs come into prevalence and the demand for new skills in the workforce increases.

Affiliate marketers can earn up to $50 for each Fiverr CPA (acquisition). There are also other commission structures for referring to Fiverr Pro, or to Learn from Fiverr (online courses).

There are over 250 unique categories on Fiverr, and some of these must relate to your niche. Show your followers how to find talent to boost their site’s content. Or showcase courses in high-commission categories like Whiteboard & Animated Explainer videos.

This program is set apart by its variety in commission structure. We recommend exploring their options and creative asset offerings too!

Commission – $15-50 for Fiverr CPA

Cookie – 30 days

26. HubSpot

HubSpot is an online digital marketing resource trusted by thought leaders and experts in the industry. Their services include “hubs” for marketing, sales, and service, and a powerful free CRM software tool of the same name.

If you are in the marketing and business niche (or any niche for that matter), there is a good chance that your visitors can use HubSpot to their benefit.

Commissions for Starter memberships sold start at $250, and go all the way up to $1,000 for any Enterprise packages. Their 90-day cookie is considered more generous than the average for the industry. 

As with most large marketing affiliate programs, there is a large selection of creative content at your disposal. In HubSpot’s case, you get 15,000 pieces of content in 6 languages, including demo videos, content examples, and banners.

Commission – Up to $1,000 per product purchased

Cookie – 90 days

27. SEMRush

SEMRush is a major force in SEO research software that sells toolkits to individuals and enterprises. It’s also a great tool for niche research – many affiliate marketers use SEMRush to determine search volume for keywords.

This program’s 40% recurring commission covers the lifetime of a subscription, which is about $160 per month. Their 10-year cookie is one of the longest in the game (and certainly the longest on this list).

This is because the program recognizes your referrals who cancel and then signs up again in the future. We recommend any program with great features that are favorable for long-term income.

Commission – 40% recurring

Cookie – 10 years

Online Course Affiliate Programs

Man shows online courses on blurred background.

28. Coursera

Coursera is a platform featuring massive open online courses (MOOCs) from major universities. With over 1,000 courses available for registration, there are few disciplines that you cannot learn about on Coursera. 

The Coursera affiliate program pays between 20% and 40% on purchases made by users within 30 days of clicking a qualified link. They offer a monthly newsletter for affiliates with updated advertising creative and banners.

This program runs on the LinkShare network and is a no-brainer for anyone hoping to help their followers educate themselves. 

Commission – Up to 45%

Cookie – 30 days

29. SimpliLearn

There is plenty of competition in the MOOC courses space, and SimpliLearn has carved out a great reputation for itself.

They specialize in the fields of computer science and digital marketing. These skills are hot commodities in job markets worldwide.

The affiliate program is offered through either Impact Radius or CJ Affiliates and offers 10% on courses that range from $300 to $2,900 to register. You are even allowed to complete a free trial of certain Simplilearn courses so you see their training methods yourself.

We recommend Simplilearn because it has higher commissions  compared to other course providers. Their exclusive offers and creatives are also known to be high quality. 

Commission – 10%

Cookie – 30 days

30. MasterClass

An online class provider like MasterClass has an advantage that others can’t keep up with. Their high production values and celebrity teachers convert viewers to signups very effectively.

This program through the ShareASale network promises 25% of every $90 MasterClass sold. There is also a bonus program available for high achievers. 

Although this rate has lower earning potential than other programs on this list, the program should still be considered. They continue to release new courses, and chances are at least some of these relate to your niche. 

Commission – 25%

Cookie – 30 days

Productivity Affiliate Programs

Young woman selling products online and packaging goods for shipping.

31. Grammarly

Grammarly is a popular tool for editing anything you write online. Whether you are typing away in Google Docs or email, Grammarly helps avoid mistakes and adjusts style for different audiences.

This affiliate program is through CJ Affiliates and ShareASale. It offers $20 per premium plan purchase, and $0.20 per free registration. 

This seems like a low commission rate, but remember that everyone can and should use this tool. Their free version is still very useful for day-to-day tasks, and discounts are often shared within the affiliate network.

Not many programs offer commission for a free registration, and there is even a $25 bonus for your first Grammarly activation. 

Commission – $20 per premium plan purchase

Cookie – 90 days

32. Panda Planner

Panda Planner combines the organizational benefits of a notebook with resources to balance your to-do list. The company has received praise for its innovative methods, and continues to develop its product mix.

This affiliate program offers 12% on sales of notebooks that start at $25. It’s important to remember that you aren’t just referring to a notebook, but also to an online community and lifestyle that grows itself quite well. 

This program is yet another from the CJ Affiliates network, so expect good creative and support.

Commission – 12%

Cookie – 45 days

33. Freedom App

The world has a confusing relationship with social media. Facebook and Instagram have a chokehold on our attention span, and we are inundated with ads whenever we explore a new interest online. 

This is leading people to take time away from social media altogether. Enter Freedom App, which allows you to block social networks on your phone for set periods of time. 

This program pays 10% on a $25 yearly membership. We realize that this is a pretty low average commission for this list.

However, we still promote Freedom App because of its versatility, and the fact that it is something literally everyone needs. People are increasingly time poor, and the low price point of the product can spur impulsive purchasing.

Commission – 10%

Cookie – 30 days

Music Affiliate Programs
Cozy winter background, cup of hot coffee with marshmallow and headphone music, warm knitted sweater, work space laptop, vintage tone. Lifestyle and music concept

34. Musician’s Friend

This site is known as the world’s largest music gear company and has over 85,00 unique products for sale online. They are also well-loved for their generous 45-day return policy.

The program has a 4% per sale commission rate and gives you access to sales offers. 

This can be considered as the Amazon of the music niche. The commission is low, so you will need to capitalize on their variety offered if you want to make money off of this site.

However, if you are in any part of the music niche, you should be taking advantage of the opportunity.

Commission – 4%

Cookie – 14 days

35. Sam Ash

Much like Musician’s Friend, Sam Ash is a massive musical instrument retailer. They feature over 50,000 products and have a significant used music gear section.

They also have a larger commission than Musician’s Friend. At 7-10% per item, Sam Ash pays a high cut on items that are priced in the hundreds and thousands of dollars.

They use the LinkShare affiliate network, so you can access great creative and live support as well.

Commission – 7%-10%

Cookie – 30 days

36. AudiMute

AudiMute is a great idea for a business. Every musician has a need for a place to practice their hobby where others can’t always hear, and this is easier said than done.

AudiMute’s founder started the company to provide expertly designed acoustic products, and now the company has fans worldwide.

They offer an online “Room Analysis” service which determines the best possible product for the practice or performance space in mind.

And the best part? They have an average order value of $900.

At first glance, this commission rate may seem small. However, consider that all musicians need a functional practice space.

This combination of high order value and large possible sales volumes means that this program is one of the highest possible earners on this list. Additionally, you will receive all the benefits of being part of the ShareASale network.

Commission – 2.50%

Cookie – 60 days

Where to Go From Here

Now we have finished this list of the best affiliate marketing programs in 2020. As you might already guess, this isn’t the metaphorical end of the earth for programs that we think can help your site earn money. Just use these as a starting point!

We hope that this has helped you along your affiliate marketing journey. This should inspire you to join several high-performing programs for your website.

We also realize that this is a lot of information to process. There is no shortage of advice for affiliate marketers on the internet, and while we hope to add to this, we also hope to provide clarity.

Interested in cutting through all the noise? Check out our free coaching calls to find feedback for niche selection, monetization strategies, and more.

Remember to check in with the Brand Builders blog for our latest tools and strategies for succeeding in affiliate marketing!

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