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5 Best Affiliate Programs For Beginners That Are Free

If you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing, you might be wondering what the best affiliate programs for beginners are out there. More importantly, which one’s are FREE. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite affiliate programs including the ones I currently use! I’ll also share some tips on how to get started with each free program.

One of my favorite mottos is KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) which is how I like to write my posts. Cut out the “fluff” and get into the “meat and potatoes”, so here is the lowdown on each program.

Amazon


What Makes It So Great

Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world. It’s one of the biggest search engines like Google, but for shopping that’s changing the landscape of BOTH retail and technology.

This e-commerce giant has come a long way since it was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, and it now sells everything from books and electronics to groceries and apparel.

Amazon also offers a range of services, including cloud computing, streaming video, and even delivery of fresh food. In fact, Amazon is now so much more than an online retailer – it’s a technology powerhouse that is constantly innovating and expanding into new areas! It’s fascinating to see where this company will go next.

And that leads me to why being an affiliate for Amazon is so great.

When your affiliate link directs someone to Amazon, they will most likely be familiar with the platform, making it easier for them to buy.

The amount of commission varies, but you can expect to make anywhere from 1 to 20%, with Amazon games and luxury beauty being at the top of their list. Click here for the current “Fixed Commission Income Rates” report for affiliates.

Amazon has a “24-hour affiliate cookie” meaning when someone clicks your link, they have 24 hours to make a purchase for you to earn a commission.

BUT here’s the kicker…you can earn a commission on ANYTHING that anyone purchases.

For instance, if your affiliate link directs your reader to buy a book from you but instead they decide to buy a cell phone case, you get that commission. I’ve had people click on my Amazon links and purchase patio furniture, luxury clothing items, and the list goes on!

How To Join Free

All you have to do is create an account and follow the instructions to sign up for it. It’s really that simple.

Some Things To Consider…

Amazon’s commissions are lower.

There are plenty of higher-paying programs out there BUT traffic is key. The more clicks you get the more you can earn with Amazon. Another option is to promote the higher-paying commission products if it makes sense for your blog.

You have 180 days to make 3 qualified sales.

In other words, Amazon gives you a 6 month grace period to make 3 sales. If you don’t, you will be removed from the program as an affiliate. Personal orders do not qualify.

For instance, I started a brand new blog with zero traffic in April 2020. I was publishing around 2 to 3 articles per week and received my first sale on Amazon in August 2020. It took me 4 months to get there. I’m a firm believer that if you are creating and publishing high-quality content on a weekly basis (with at least 10 articles per month), you should have no problem meeting this goal.

Clickbank


What Makes It So Great

Clickbank is an e-commerce powerhouse for both digital content creators and affiliate marketers to make money. GOOD money in fact. Their commissions are generous and there are tons of products to promote, so you’re sure to find something that suits your niche.

With that said, let’s explore each of these perks further.

Clickbank is known for its high-paying commissions.

Of course, the rates vary depending on the product, but can range from 5% to 75%! When you promote a product on your website or blog, and someone clicks on your link and buys, you earn a commission.

There is a 60-day window for you to make money after someone clicks your link.

This is known as a “cookie duration”.

Cookie Duration is the amount of time a cookie will give credit to an affiliate for purchases made from a specific customer. On ClickBank, this window is 60 days – but across the affiliate marketing industry, it can be anything the seller chooses: 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, 1 year…This is a key point of negotiation when discussing affiliate terms with a seller. The longer the duration, the more likely you are to get credit for a purchase as an affiliate.

It’s open for anyone to join.

The great thing about the ClickBank affiliate program is it’s FREE and open to anyone to join. You don’t need a certain amount of traffic to get accepted into the program either.

How To Join Free

Go to the ClickBank affiliate homepage and simply fill in the prompts to “Sign Up”.

how-to-join-the-clickbank-affiliate-program

Something To Consider…

When you join Clickbank there is a plethora of item categories to choose from. Surely, you should be able to find something in your niche that’s worth promoting.

It’s important to consider a product’s “Gravity Score” before you decide to promote it.

The gravity score is a metric used by Clickbank to measure the popularity of a product. A product’s gravity score is determined by the number of affiliates who have generated sales for that product within a given period of time.

Usually, the higher the score, the more in-demand and popular the product is, and vice versa. Clickbank updates this on a daily basis. Lower gravity scores are worth looking into if you feel the product is good and makes sense to promote.

Commission Junction (CJ)


What Makes It So Great

Commission junction is one of the oldest and most well-known affiliate networks.

They have a good reputation in the industry for fair commission rates and reliable payments.

CJ considers bloggers “publishers” so when you head over to their website, you will see a tab that says “publishers”.

comission-junction-affiliate-program-publisher

If you want to work with some of the most trusted name brands, CJ is it!

They partner with over 3,800 global brands including Blue Apron, Overstock, J.Crew, Priceline, and Barnes and Noble.

One-of-a-kind real-time reporting.

CJ keeps you up to date minute by minute which is another reason this affiliate network is a super dog. How stoked would you be to know you made a sale right now? You never have to refresh the page because your activity is monitored in real-time.

How To Join Free

Click the link below to fill in the requirements and you’re off and running.

how-to-become-a-commission-junction-affiliate-publisher

Some Things To Consider…

Commissions show up under different “payment statuses” before you get paid. Basically, your sale goes through a “review period” first where the advertiser can choose to extend your commission. Meaning you don’t get paid right away. Bummer I know!

What you want to see is your commission show up as “locked” because that means you will get paid. With that said, here are the 4 stages of Commission Junction’s payment cycle so you know what to expect.

New

Just made a sale? It will pop up here.

In this stage, advertisers can choose to correct or extend your commission for various reasons; to check if transactions are compliant and if there are enough funds for a payout.

Extended

The advertiser needs more time to review your sale that just went down.

Locked

Locked = Payday!

Once your commission shows up as “locked” the advertiser can no longer make changes to your commission. Meaning they can’t extend it out.

Closed

Commissions are sent out in the second and third weeks of the month (around the 13th and 22nd). This means your payday is coming!

To receive payment, your closed commission balance must meet the minimum payment amount set in your account. For instance, if you set your minimum payout amount to be $50, then your payout has to equal $50 or more.

Digistore24


What Makes It So Great

E-commerce is where it’s at so if you’re looking to promote digital products, this is the place. It usually has a higher profit margin too.

Digistore24 connects digital products with affiliates who can promote them to a global audience. This network offers a wide range of features and benefits, making it an attractive option for both product creators and affiliates.

Commissions are generous.

From what I’ve seen, commissions range anywhere from 10% upwards of 85%! I would say the average commission you receive is around 50%.

There are a variety of digital products to promote.

There are 28 product categories in almost any niche you can think of. Products range from fitness and health to food and drinks to business and trading and LOTS more.

Receive recurring income from subscription products.

Recurring sales are one of the BEST affiliate incomes there is. When you are able to offer a great product with a monthly subscription and sell it, you also receive a recurring commission. It’s a win-win.

Under “Affiliate Marketplace” is the library of digital products. When you click on a product there is information below it showing the affiliate sales information. “Billing Types lets you know if the product you sell is a single payment or recurring subscription.

digistore24-affiliate-program

How To Join Free

To join Digistore24, go to “Register Now”. Create your free account and then complete the sign-up process. After that, you’ll be able to browse the affiliate marketplace and start promoting products asap!

affiliate-program-digistore24

Some Things To Consider…

Digistore24 doesn’t offer as many products as Clickbank.

As I mentioned before, there are a ton of categories to promote through Digistore24 so you should be able to find something that suits your niche. However, the only downfall is the number of overall products to promote is less than what Clickbank offers.

This is a Europe-based affiliate network.

Digistore24 is one of the largest affiliate networks in Europe.

The reason I’m mentioning this is if you are an affiliate in the US, you will need to convert some international digital products into US dollars which shouldn’t be an issue. However, there are some products where the advertiser chooses to pay you in their currency and you have to convert those earnings into US dollars. This creates an extra step for you which can be tedious.

Share A Sale


What Makes It So Great

Share A Sale has been around the block since 2000 connecting merchants (sellers) and advertisers (YOU the “affiliate marketer”).

This beautiful collaboration allows affiliates to generate large commissions while choosing from a wide range of over 4,000 products! So for your niche, narrowing down what to offer on your site should be easy.

Access a “user-friendly” dashboard.

With thousands of merchants to choose from, you can hone in on the ones that are most relevant to your biz. You can do this in a few ways to search for merchants or products:

  • “Keyword Search” to find a specific product or company.
  • “Featured Categories” to find some of the most popular products that are currently selling.
  • “Trending Categories” to find trending products and merchants.
 share-a-sale-affiliate-products

Commissions are fair.

ShareASale doesn’t pay the highest commissions or the lowest. I’ve seen commissions range anywhere from 5% upwards to 75%. On average, you can expect to make around $10 to $30 per sale. Then, there are some merchants I’ve seen give payouts as high as $120 or more.

Increase your sales through deals ShareASale offers.

Who doesn’t like a good deal? If you look under “Merchants” on your user dashboard you will see two deal options:

  • Coupons and deals
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals

Increase your conversions by offering your audience discounts on products within your niche. They will surely love you for it! Plus, doing this gives your blog credibility as it allows you to promote the best possible deals for them.

shareasale-black-friday-cyber-monday

How To Join Free

To join ShareASale is super easy. Just click “Affiliate Sign Up” on their homepage and fill in the required information. Then you’re off to the money races!

Something To Consider…

There are not a lot of big-name brands like Target or Walmart, on ShareASale. Instead, what you’ll find are mostly smaller merchants but there are some larger ones too like Etsy and Reebok along with some big-name blogs like Mommy On Purpose and Entrepreneur Business Blog.

To Wrap It Up


If affiliate marketing is a new venture for you, these free programs are a great way to get your feet wet without spending any money.

I would encourage you to sign up for all of them to try out and see which ones work best for you. More importantly, if you have any questions or need some help getting started, let me know in the comments below.

Until the next post, wishing you much blogging success!

xo

Lindsey

Thank You


Thank you for being here today!

What do you think are the best affiliate programs for beginners? Let me know in the comments below. We could all use a little help along the way.

Did you enjoy this? If so, you’d make my day by sharing it. 🙂

Best-Affiliate-Programs-For-Beginners

About The Author


Lindsey is a mom of two little miracles, MoMo twin girls, Lily Mae and Lua, plus one amazing older bro, Cody.

“Consider me a ‘blog super nerd’ at heart.  I love helping busy parents learn how to blog because it has personally been life-changing for me and my family.  Plus, sharing my experience to help otheron their twinhood journey is so rewarding!”

She is the founder of Twin Mom Blog Nerd, Content Creator/Co-Founder of the blog Intensive Therapy for Kids, and Co-Founder of The LENN Foundation 501(c)(3) charity that helps children with cerebral palsy (like her sweet nephew, Lenny) receive grants for intensive therapies to thrive. ♥

lindsey

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. I only recommend deals or items I love because I think you might like them too! With my affiliate relationships, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting Twin Mom Blog Nerd! 🙂

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