Your chosen niche will ultimately determine what is the best affiliate marketing program for beginners and for you. But knowing what to look for and the differences will be a major factor in whether it is the right affiliate program for you. Relevance and Quality will be some things that you are looking for when deciding.
Before we delve into the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners, let’s just cover what exactly is affiliate marketing and also how it differs from referral marketing.
What Exactly is Affiliate Marketing?
The simplest way I can describe affiliate marketing is that it is where you (an affiliate) receive a commission for introducing a buyer to a product or service. Affiliate marketing is quite a broad statement as it can also include receiving a commission for referring someone to signing up to a program, for example a training platform.
Let’s use an example for the product side. You have a niche focusing on bean coffee machines. You have done the hard work and built up your audience and you have signed up to a retailer (Amazon, for example) selling the coffee machines that you are writing reviews and articles about.
Your audience decide they want to purchase said coffee machine after reading your review and follow your link to the retailer. If they decide to purchase that coffee machine, you receive a percentage commission on the sale. That is exactly how affiliate marketing works.
Referral Marketing works the same way, let me us Swagbucks as an example.
Swagbucks is a website where you can earn a little money from completing surveys, watching online videos. That sort of thing. If you were to refer someone to join up with Swagbucks, you get a reward. In this instance it is SB points, that when you reach a certain amount you can cash out for giftcards, etc.
In essence, they are both affiliate marketing – but the rewards are typically where you see the difference.
Referral Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing
Some will describe both as affiliate marketing, and they would be right. But I do like to differentiate the two, as understanding both of them in the right way will end up earning you more conversions.
If you solely worked on just products and services in your niche, you are missing out on a big chunk of potential sales. If you are in the making money online niche, you might not consider referring someone to survey sites as worth your time – but everyone is different, and these survey sites would not be around if people were not signing up. Whilst most of us are looking for ways to replace the job. Some are quite content with relieving boredom and earning a few extra pounds completing a survey.
Another one, I never consider really was a website like Udemy.com. You can actually become an affiliate with promote training lessons.
Whatever your niche, it is worthwhile checking out what courses they have to offer and see whether it fits with your chosen niche.
Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners
Before I share with you some beginner friendly affiliate marketing programs, I want to just take a moment to mention relevance and quality. Remember that anyone who visits your website is looking for help and guidance, and they will be put off by low quality products or stuff that isn’t even relevant to what they were looking for.
The reason I say this is, I have seen a number of affiliate marketers choosing to promote something because it has a high commission rate. But they aren’t making any conversions. I would rather have a relevant product earning 4% commission on my website and it get conversions, than a product with a 70% commission rate that doesn’t get any sales and has nothing to do with my audience.
That is why we choose a niche, and not start too broad. We need to become an authority in that niche and keep it fully on topic to earn the trust of anyone reading our blog. Otherwise it is game over.
That is why I am going to suggest when first starting out you start with affiliate programs that fit in with your brand, will be relevant to your audience and have products or services you yourself would use. You cannot promote something just because of the commission rate, you need to promote something that you believe in.
Affiliate Programs or Networks to Try
When you start researching into affiliate programs you will soon see that there 2 places to try. One is an affiliate network, this is where they have teamed up with a number of sellers to offer their affiliate program. Instead of signing up with 10 different affiliate programs, you just have one log-in to worry about. Share a Sale or Awin would be an example of this.
An affiliate program is one that is offered by an individual seller, Amazon for example.
If you are targeting a niche with a product base, then you really shouldn’t overlook Amazon or eBay. The Amazon Associates or eBay Partner affiliate programs are free to join and have an endless number of products or services that you can search through.
It also becomes an awesome way of researching your niche. I bet there will be more products on offer than you might think and will give you more ideas on what to write about and promote.
eBay is quite easy to work with and it is no longer just about second-hand merchandise. Gem’s wedding stationary business is mainly geared through eBay, so it will definitely be one to look at.
Amazon – it depends on where you are and where you are promoting products. Amazon.com, the worldwide website needs two qualifying sales within 6 months to stay an active affiliate. You can re-register straight away, but it is a bit of a faff. Personally, I would wait until you are starting to see traffic to your website. Once you start getting people regularly hitting your website, then I would sign up.
The other way you can see what affiliate programs are out there is using Google.
Just type your niche + affiliate programs. So, back to the bean coffee machine niche idea, here is what came up when I searched that + affiliate programs.
Signing up with smaller companies, sometimes yields better results and higher commissions. They are also not always as picky. There are affiliate programs out there that will not accept you until you are hitting a certain level of traffic, so it is always worthwhile researching and reading as much about the affiliate programs as you can.
Don’t be afraid to send an email and ask questions, if the answer isn’t forthcoming.
If you are targeting the ‘make money online’ niche, then the first thing I would say is it is a crowded market and will take a lot of hard work and effort to master it.
But for starters, Click Bank is a good affiliate network to begin with. But, as for the quality statement, I personally use it to look out for low-quality products to warn people about. You will always find products that promise the earth, seem quite scammy and you know why? It is normally because they are.
We need to warn people about the bad products, just as much as the good products.
- Amazon Associates
- eBay Partners
- CJ by Conversant
These are the top affiliate networks out there and I would recommend you check them out.
Want to Find Success with Affiliate Marketing?
Starting out in Affiliate Marketing requires a lot of time and focus. But you also need to ensure your efforts are going into the right actions to ensure long term success.
There is more to signing up to an affiliate program, promoting a few products and then hoping that it ends up earning you a ton of money.
I have found there are a few things that you need to remain focused during those difficult first few months when you are not seeing any reward (yet!).
The Right Education for Affiliate Marketing Success
There is so much to learn when it comes to affiliate marketing and not all of it is actually to do with affiliate marketing. You are starting an online business, so there are elements that you will need to master on top of learning affiliate marketing.
- Website Design
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Getting Traffic to Your Website
- Creating Content that Converts
If you stick with my suggestion you will get a comprehensive guide to achieving success with your online business within affiliate marketing
Expert Help & Support On Hand Anytime
Starting an online business can seem really lonely, and if you are ever stuck you tend to only have a google search to help… That doesn’t always help, and I prefer a two-way conversation with some real experts in online business. If I am ever stuck (we all get stuck at some point) I just reach out to my fellow members on Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate offers outstanding training, expert help and support and some awesome tools to help make sure your online affiliate marketing business gets started the right way and scale it to the point where you are really seeing success with it.
Getting the right training, right support and using awesome tools to achieve it correctly, Wealthy Affiliate is the right start for a new affiliate marketer.
When I first stumbled onto the concept of affiliate marketing, the whole landscape seemed alien to me. Starting a website, writing articles, even applying for affiliate programs or finding them. Without Wealthy Affiliate’s training and support, I would not be where I am today.
So if you are still looking at making your affiliate marketing business a reality, but still not 100% sure what you are doing with it. I would highly recommend Wealthy Affiliate. With a free starter membership, you can fully experience the platform, the training, the support and even get 2 free websites included. No need to enter any credit card details and no catch. If you find that it is not what you are looking for, then just log out and good luck to you on your affiliate marketing business.
Here is my full Wealthy Affiliate review, so you can see exactly what it is all about. If you would like to try a free starter membership with Wealthy Affiliate to make up your own mind, then you can join for free here.
Affiliate Marketing is a fantastic way of starting a home-based business and can be a lot of fun when it is in a niche that you are already interested in. But I have found that help and support is really something that you cannot do without. Gem & I love helping new people succeed, but with the training, websites, tools and support that Wealthy Affiliate offer and some guidance from us included then you will soon find that you do not need to search for answers using google that can end up wasting you a lot of time. Get an instant answer from people who know within minutes at Wealthy Affiliate.
Getting the right affiliate marketing program for your niche will definitely depend on what your niche is and the opportunities that lie within that niche. Hopefully you now know how to search for and find affiliate programs in your niche and also how relevance and the quality of your chosen products and services will matter loads.
If you have any questions or would like to share any hints and tips on how to find the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners, then please leave them in the comments below. I will definitely come back to your as soon as I can and good luck in your search.
18 thoughts on “What is the Best Affiliate Marketing Program for Beginners?”
Hi John – thanks for sharing this informative article. I have to say, it really does convince me that I have made the right decision by joining Wealthy Affiliate. Prior to this, I knew nothing about affiliate marketing so it is definitely suitable for beginners. Having said that, there is a lot to learn and it takes hard work. I am using Amazon at the moment but have been accepted by Awin as well, so I am looking into that at the moment, and will be reading your article on the subject shortly. All the best, Diane
thanks for checking out our guide. Wealthy Affiliate has helped many new affiliate marketers achieve their goals and it is down to their pay-it-forward mentality that we all help each other whenever we need it.
Awin and Amazon are solid partners and as you grow your business, you will find that you will end up with many partners.
All the best with your online business
John & Gem
I have just posted five posts on my website and my website is starting to get ranked on Google, I haven’t seen much traffic yet, so I am going to keep posting, and when I reach an okay amount of traffic, I will contact both Amazon and eBay Affiliate programs out of the ones you mentioned because they’re the only once I’m familiar with. I never really knew it was easy to sign up with them. Thank you for your recommendation
thanks for checking out our guide. Do not discount other affiliate programs, just because you haven’t heard of them. When we started out, I hadn’t heard of any of them. But you would be cutting off your opportunities if you did.
Amazon and eBay are sound bases – but if you google programs in your niche, you might find other products and services to promote and actually improve your chances of conversions. Keep going and you will find your success. We do need to take risks at times, in this case check out other affiliate networks and programs
All the best
John & Gem
I have definitely seen my fair share of websites with affiliate banners and content not related to their website. In fact, I visited a fitness related website that was taking about making money online through affiliate marketing. Needless to say, I left the website because I didn’t find the information I was looking for.
thanks for checking out our guide. Relevance is really important, but some are just chasing sales. Helping people is a key element to making this successful. But, if we take that fitness website, they could have still recommended making money online – if they did it the right way.
People visiting that website are interested in fitness. If you write the right article, you could suggest someone could take their interest of health and fitness and turn it into an income with affiliate marketing. You have got to pitch it right and write it well, but any website using affiliate marketing could promote it, if they do it right.
Some do not and it just puts people off.
John & Gem
Thanks for this post. I am new to affiliate marketing and I now have a few more affiliate programmes that I can look in to thanks to your post. I have heard of one or 2 and am a member of Awin but I look forward to looking into the others as I want to keep my options open and to learn more as delve deeper into this amazing online affiliate world.
Would you suggest going with more than one programme? Or should I wait until I get my daily visitors up first?
thanks for checking out our guide. As you build up your business you will end up having a number of affiliate programs that you join. My first piece of advice would be to read up on the affiliate program, is there a qualifying sales number. If there is, you might wait to sign up. If there isn’t sign up.
I would also suggest you set up a spreadsheet detailing all of your affiliate programs, so you can keep track.
But if you are writing a really relevant article/post and reviewing a product to recommend – sign up and add the link. In my experience, it does seem to be the bigger ones that have a qualifying sale needed. If you are finding smaller ones, read the t’s and c’s and go for it.
hope that helps
John & Gem
Oh I always thought that referral and affiliate are the same thing, boy was I new at this lol Personally I prefer Awin, share a sale, over Amazon. I get it Amazon is very versatile and popular and everyone is making a purchase over the platform but they have so many conditions where I encountered about a month. Amazon warned me that there is no activity in my account and will deactivate it. As a beginner like I am, It is very frustrating. Now I got over it and just keep trying, I did make some conversion thank god. I still prefer Awin over Amazon any day. Good read.
thanks for checking out our guide. Amazon is a good start for many, but it doesn’t mean it is right for everyone. Awin is a good affiliate network to join, the largest in the world and many merchants and retailers have joined up with them. Their commission rates are good. But you cannot beat the fact that many people buy off Amazon – but many people are researching for what to buy.
The conditions are there due to the number of people who join up – but when I think about the reason why people do not get the sales they need to stay in the program… it is because they sign up too soon.
You have got to remember that to make sales you need traffic. A brand new website using free SEO techniques will not attract the levels of traffic needed straight away… so why sign up with an affiliate program only to fail?
Once you start getting traffic, that is really when it is a good deal. I would also try local Amazon. I use Amazon UK and do not make the sales, but do not get kicked out. AMazon.com gets that many people sign up and yet i guarantee most of them sign up too soon.
Whichever program you choose, is going to be personal preference. All I can do is wish you luck and hope you achieve your goals.
John & Gem
Amazing affiliate marketing program descriptions and suggestions. I am fortunate enough to have found your suggested Wealthy Affiliate platform that helped me go from a complete beginner to have multiple websites earning online income. I currently use Clickbank, CJ, Amazon, and Ebay. What is your view on ShareASale? I have heard of them but I haven’t investigated as yet. Look forward to your response and your new posts.
thanks for checking out our guide. I am glad that Wealthy Affiliate has been able to help you achieve a great success.
Share a Sale – I am just putting together a full review on them, but I think they are definitely a good network to join, if they are relevant to your niche. They have a large catalogue of merchants to choose from and some big brands have signed up with them. They have been around about 17 years and know their stuff.
It is also easy to join up. My only thing would be is check their list of products and services available. It might only be worth joining if you find something relevant to your niche.
It all stems back to relevance – you could sign up with all of them, but if you don’t choose anything to promote then you might not make any sales with them and then they drop you.
You have chosen two of my favorite programs to talk about. That being Wealthy Affiliate and Clickbank. Without a doubt Wealthy Affiliate is the number one program to learn about affiliate marketing and to learn how to make money with it. As for Clickbank it has taken a bad rap in the last little while for having products that aren’t so good. While there are some products on there that are garbage most are great products for marketers to promote. Also the commissions are the best in the industry.
Thank you for taking the time to write such a great article
thanks for checking out our guide. Wealthy Affiliate is a great platform, that is constantly evolving to be the best in the industry and it shows with the way the owners really care about their members.
You do have a very valid point, Click bank gets a bit of a beating. But that is down to the fact that anyone promote their product or services on there. Other places have vetting systems in place.
It doesn’t mean we should avoid it, but we should definitely do our research before promoting or buying anything from it.
what is the best affiliate marketing program for beginners is a hit . I really love this informative article it gives us be generous and opportunity to learn what is going on in the affiliate marketing world. Being able to know the difference in affiliate marketing or referral marketing is really an exciting point you made. I know there are a lot of people who were used this article as a blueprint to their success. Thank you again for this very informative article.
thanks for checking out our post. Whilst they are the same thing, they are little differences that someone just starting out needs to know. I am glad you found it useful.
John & Gem
Excellent information. Any doubts anyone can have for an initial affiliate business can find it here on the site, I like the details of each answer. All explanations are simple and intended for beginners. In each answer there are words of support and motivation, very nice!
I particularly like the transparency of the site, it is not too complicated, and in the foreground it will be exactly what someone might want to know.
MMA Store-Warrior Spirit
thanks for checking out our post. Appreciate the kind words. We want to make sure anyone can understand our answers.
John & Gem