The Most Successful Affiliate Marketing Programs

by | Dec 15, 2021 | Affiliate Marketing, Making money work

In this article, we will discuss some of the most successful affiliate marketing programs.

Are you looking to start your own business, be your own boss, or create a steady flow of substantial income? Affiliate marketing is the perfect way to do it, but with so many affiliate marketing programs, it’s difficult to choose the one that’s best for you.

Although the concepts of affiliate marketing are often the same, each major program has varying commission rates and procedures. Products and services offered by the different programs or brands will have their own target audiences, and so on.

To help you get started, I’m going to give you three expert affiliate marketing tips, as well as list the 10 top affiliate marketing programs according to Business 2 Community.

3 Tips to Starting a Successful Affiliate Marketing Business

  1. One of the most common questions new affiliate markets have asked me is, “where do I start?” That’s because starting your own affiliate marketing business is like painting on a blank canvas. The possibilities are endless and so are the options. But here’s the first tip, just pick one and get started. There is no single program that is going to instantly turn you into a millionaire, nor is there a wrong program, per se. Affiliate marketing is all about working hard to learn about your brand, locate the right target audience, and then find the best way to drive them to your affiliate online store or website. So, the first tip here is to not get too caught up in trying to choose the right or the “best” affiliate marketing program. That’s not to say don’t do any research, but my point is that getting started is better than delaying for months or never getting started at all because there are just too many options. If you start with a program that you later find you don’t like, or can’t seem to get going, it’s perfectly alright to drop it and start with a new program. Working in affiliate marketing, you will gain experience and learn ways to drive traffic, that will apply to any program you choose.
  2. If you are choosing a program and having a hard time picking one out, I have often told people to choose a brand, product, or service they believe in. It is possible to sell products you’ve never used or that you don’t like, but I highly advise against it. As an affiliate marketer, you are often a representative of the product or services you promote. Having a personal interest in them, having tried, and enjoying them yourselves will make your marketing approach a lot more genuine and passionate. In its simplicity, that’s how affiliate marketing started. People who used and loved products started to promote and sell them in return for commissions. And many beginner affiliate marketers start by promoting to co-workers, friends, neighbors, and even family. Choosing a product that you know, and love will help you be more successful. It’s even possible to list your personal hobbies and things you are good at and enjoy and search to see if affiliate marketing programs exist for them. Chances are they do.
  3. The last piece of advice I will give you is that affiliate marketing is hard work. You may have heard of affiliate marketers making millions of dollars in residual income. That may be the case for a few. Affiliate marketing definitely offers many benefits, including being able to own your own business, be your own boss, work remote, and yes, affiliate marketing does have the potential to earn you a well-over-average paycheck. But it’s not automatic and it’s not instantaneous. You will not become rich instantly, no matter what you hear or read about. Like any business, it’s hard work. It takes learning, testing, and constant work to find the right mix of product + audience + method. That’s not to discourage you, because as I said at the start of this article, affiliate marketing is absolutely one of the best ways to start your own successful business, and hundreds of thousands if not millions of people are earning a living through affiliate marketing. But one of the most common reasons people quit is because “it didn’t work.” That’s usually a way of saying they walked into it expecting to make tons of money right from the start and three months in they didn’t. I often advise people to start doing affiliate marketing as a side-gig, to learn how it works, experiment, and get the hang of it. And once it’s rolling and making money you can consider making it your full-time job. If you have lost your job or quit your job and want to start an affiliate marketing business, be sure to have some reserves to be able to pay your bills for at least 3-6 months while you get started. Doing it full-time will help you ramp up faster, but it will still take hard work.

The Top 10 Successful Affiliate Marketing Programs to Choose From

  • Awin
  • Amazon Associate
  • ClickBank
  • CJ Affiliate
  • eBay Partner Network
  • Lemonads
  • Rakuten Advertising
  • Skimlinks
  • ShareASale
  • Aliexpress

The following information has been sourced from:

1. Awin

Awin is on our list of the most profitable affiliate programs for good reasons, on the one hand, it has some 14,600 brands, including Bankia, Yoigo, or El Corte Inglés; and on the other, it is extremely simple to use. This platform is open to anyone who has a website, blog, social network, or any other digital channel where they can advertise the products. Sure, you are expected to have real traffic or followers to share your links with.

To register as an affiliate, Awin has two special conditions, provide information about your promotional spaces (website, social network pages/channel, etc.) and make a small initial payment that will be fully refunded when your first commission payment is made.

One of the advantages of this network is the simplicity of the generation of links, in fact, you can convert any image or link of the brand, into your affiliate link and share it wherever you want. Another clear advantage is that your earnings are safe because Awin pays you even if the brand has not paid Awin for any reason.

2. Amazon Associate

On Amazon, there are millions of products of all kinds and 200 million registered Prime users around the world, which undoubtedly makes its affiliate program one of the most attractive today.

Create an account with the Amazon affiliate program by visiting here (this application URL is only for the Amazon Associates Program in the US. You will need to apply separately for each international Amazon Associates Program).

You need to have a website or an app, fill out a form, and wait for your account to be verified and activated. Immediately after being accepted, you can start looking for the products you want to recommend and generate affiliate links that you can publish on your website and even on your social network pages.

As an affiliate, you will have custom link tools at your fingertips to better promote the products. If you are a WordPress user, you can use their plugins that will allow you to get more out of your membership. How much can you earn with Amazon? This will depend on the category of the product you recommend, but in the USA and Europe, the highest commission rate is 12% for select categories. Although it is not a very high commission, the great advantage of this program is that Amazon is the preferred place for many to buy physical and digital products.

3. ClickBank

ClickBank is the number one affiliate platform when it comes to digital products. In it, you will find courses, e-books, memberships, software, and all kinds of info-products created by brands or independent professionals.

Registration on this platform is automatic and after providing a few details you will have access to the marketplace where there are thousands of products available among other data such as the commission rate, product popularity, and the landing page that your audience will see if they click on your affiliate link.

In the case of ClickBank, it is the creator of each product who establishes the commission that will be paid to the affiliate, but this is usually around 50 to 75%. Without a doubt, a very profitable affiliate program.

4. CJ Affiliate

Commission Junction or CJ Affiliate has more than 20 years of experience in the affiliation business, which is why it has established itself as one of the best platforms to the point that it is now the largest affiliate network in the world.
As an affiliate, you can earn by sale, click, registrations, or any other type of conversion established by the merchant. You can earn by promoting recognized brands on your websites, social networks, emails, mobile applications, offline marketing, and other channels.

When you register on the platform, your account is approved immediately, but in order to promote a particular product, you have to send a request that will be reviewed and approved if you meet the brand’s conditions.

To advertise the product on your website, you will have access to textual links, banners, and even widgets that allow you to promote more effectively and motivate your followers to action.

In addition, from the affiliate panel, you will see your statistics, earnings, and opportunities for improvement at all times.

The commission is set by the advertiser and can be very attractive at times, for example, if you recommend Panda Security antivirus you will earn 50% for each sale and renewal. If you search well, you may find unmissable offers that are perfect for your audience.

5. eBay Partner Network

With the reputation they have built since 1995, it’s hard not to see eBay as one of the largest and most trusted marketplaces out there.

They have over 1.1 billion top brand listings for various niches. Plus, their marketing kits make it easy to promote and share.
How difficult is it to start? You can register on this page with a Google or Facebook account to speed up the process. Remember to have your PayPal information handy.

How fast can you start earning? eBay’s partner network gives you between 50% and 70% of their revenue, depending on product categories. Plus, you only need to reach a balance of $ 10 to receive a payment.

6. Lemonads

Lemonads is a performance marketing platform which means that advertisers pay only when a specific action is exercised, such as click, register, application download, etc. You can promote more than 10,000 plus businesses as an affiliate.
When you sign up and join their platform, you will receive exclusive access to CPA offers from many well-known and trusted brands. You can use their affiliate tools that will help you in optimizing your campaigns in real-time.

Their support is excellent. As per the network’s claim, 85% of the publishers see an increase in their revenue in the first three months using lemonade.

7. Rakuten Advertising

This is another affiliate that you can trust blindly. Rakuten is a leading online retailing company based in Japan. They have a global network of affiliates that can help advertisers win new customers and bring repeat purchases.

How difficult is it to start? Go to their page and sign up. You will need to fill in details about your company, contact, the main website, and certain tax information. You can also set your minimum payment, as long as it is higher than $50. There are a wide variety of commission rates.

The downside to this network is that you have to join the programs of each specific advertiser.

8. Skimlinks

Skimlinks has more than 48,000 advertisers, including Microsoft, Sephora, H&M, Bloomingdale’s, Wal-Mart, and New Balance among others. This is a really great network especially if we have a fashion and beauty profile on Instagram and we want to earn some money.

Once we are registered, we can include a piece of JavaScript code on our website, and all existing links will become affiliate links automatically. Something that can be great for us, especially if we have a blog with a lot of content and outgoing links.

If we talk about commission rates, we must know that Skimlinks keeps 25% of our profits. Another negative point is that advertisers have to approve the commissions, which means that they usually take a little longer to pay.

9. ShareASale

If you fancy another affiliate program with a wide collection of products, ShareASale Affiliates is your answer!

ShareASale is similar to a marketplace: it serves both merchants and promoters alike. With over 3,900 merchants, on-time payments, and responsive support, it’s no wonder ShareASale ranks among the list of the most trusted affiliate programs.

How difficult is it to start? To enroll, you must follow five simple steps. Start by registering your username and password, then fill in your website information, enter your email, contact details, and choose a payment method: Direct bank deposit or check. Then wait one business day for your application to be validated.

How fast can you start earning? ShareASale has a lower minimum payment threshold than the programs mentioned above – just $50. Keep in mind that different payment methods also influence how quickly you will receive your earnings.

International transactions take 4-6 weeks before your check is mailed, 1-3 business weeks via FedEx, and only 3-6 business days if you choose direct deposit.

10. Aliexpress

When it comes to online stores, Aliexpress is another favorite of users around the world. It is precisely the variety of categories and the cheap prices of the products that make the Aliexpress affiliate program one of the most profitable today.

In order to promote their products, you must have an original website with quality content because when you fill out the application, your website will be reviewed and if it does not meet some minimum requirements, you will not be accepted. If your request is approved, you will have to decide which of their products you want to recommend on your website and do so using text links or banners. You will also have access to an intuitive control panel where you can manage your account, statistics, and earnings. Here also, the seller decides the commission that will be paid to the affiliate for each sale, and the commission is paid only after the buyer has confirmed the receipt of the product.


Starting an affiliate marketing company can be overwhelming because there are so many options. Do not let the above list, or other lists you may find online, overwhelm you. Ask yourself what you would like to do, and follow the three tips I give at the beginning of this article.

The main factors to keep in consideration are commission rates, product quality, and relevance to your niche.

Remember, just like any way to earn money, it may not be immediately successful. But with persistence and dedication, you will achieve it.

Also, check out our Complete Guide To Starting an Affiliate Marketing Business

Penny Millions
Editor, Sleepy Money
(570) 903-8960