Thinking about becoming an affiliate marketer? Here’s a list of the best affiliate programs you could join today.
You’ve heard there’s a way for you to earn some money online via affiliate marketing, but you’re not sure how it works? You’ve come to the right place; this article will deal with the best affiliate programs, as well as provide you with a detailed guide on how to get started.
Consider this an introduction to affiliate businesses, one that will help you become a successful affiliate marketer in no time.
Affiliate Marketing 101: How to Get Started
The first and most important thing is to understand what affiliate marketing is and how it works entirely; once you get that down, you can move on to the actual steps that will allow you to start making money online.
Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing that allows you, the affiliate, to earn money every time a customer visits a site you referred them to and buys a product online based on the recommendations you gave them.
That’s the source of your income; you guide the customers to the merchant’s website where they can make a purchase, and in turn, the merchant pays you a commission.
Luckily for you, this is one of the easiest ways to make money online; here are the four crucial steps to becoming an affiliate marketer:
|• Choose a Niche – It’s best to stick to what you know; there’s no need to be an expert in a particular field to be an affiliate. However, it would be a good idea to start out by selling products (or services) you’re familiar with or eager to learn about; this is called “choosing a niche.” You’ll get a chance to learn more about some of the most profitable niches in affiliate marketing later on in the article.|
|• Start a Website – Once you’ve decided on a niche, it’s time for you to create a website or a blog; most companies will ask you to give them the URL of your website so that they could make sure the content won’t hurt their reputation in any way. With platforms such as WordPress available, starting a site will be easy.|
|• Research Affiliate Products and Services – The next step is a detailed market research – you need to find the products that fit in your niche and an adequate affiliate program that offers those products or services. Be careful not to choose one based only on profit potential; there are far more important things to consider - reputation and quality, and how they treat customers, as well as affiliates.|
|• Promote the Affiliate Products – Your profit will depend solely on how efficient you are at promoting the chosen products and services – you need to get people to buy stuff through the affiliate links included in your content. Be careful not to sound too salesy, though. Another great way to promote affiliate products is to add banners in your sidebar; they should be relevant to your niche.|
Most Profitable Niches to Get Involved In
It’s perfectly normal to wonder which niches are considered to be the most profitable ones; after all, you’re here to start a business. While this is somewhat a tricky question, there are some niches that simply never go out of style. On top of that, you’ll learn about the popular affiliate programs relevant to each of these niches.
These so-called evergreen markets are the ones that will always provide a stable income for the affiliate marketers, and the biggest one out there is the Health and Wellness niche.
#Health and Wellness
People take care of themselves by taking care of their health and wellbeing; on top of that, they tend to focus on their appearance, which directly relates to fitness and weight loss. Choosing this niche is a no-brainer – it’s evident that this is a market that won’t die out. Out of the three evergreen markets mentioned above, this one is probably the best to capitalize on.
Some of the most popular Health and Wellness sub-niches are:
- Dieting and weight loss
- How to quit smoking
- Cellulite removal
- Diabetic recipes
Remember: people love discovering new ways to feel and look good, and most of them won’t put a price on that; the potential for profit is almost limitless here.
Reasons To Get Involved In Health Niches
Health requires maintenance – it’s as simple as that; people who are determined to take care of their wellbeing are going to spend large amounts of money on different products and services, just to make sure they’re informed about the latest tips to leading a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some great affiliate programs to consider:
The idea behind Bodybuilding.com is to help their customers reach their desired health and fitness levels by providing motivation, valuable information, and supplementation. They are the world’s most visited fitness-related website and the top seller when it comes to sports-nutrition supplements.
If your audience consists mostly of people interested in leading a healthy lifestyle, then you should seriously consider becoming a part of their affiliate program.
2. Vitamine Shoppe
If overall health is what you’re passionate about, then joining the Vitamine Shoppe affiliate program might be the best solution – you can earn money by sharing your passion with your readers and followers.
They offer more than 25,000 products and over 400 brands - all you need to do is pick the ones to include in your content and refer people to their site; Vitamine Shoppe pays out a 9 percent commission for each sale “to most affiliates.”
3. Devotion Nutrition
Devotion Nutrition is another popular name in the health and fitness industry – and another easy way for you to make money as an affiliate marketer in this niche.
They offer you a commission rate of up to 10 percent for each sale made through your site; their 30-day cookie duration policy is also a significant advantage. If the same customer you referred returns and makes a purchase, even by visiting the site directly, you still get your commission.
Decide to partner up with eVitamins, and you’ll have a variety of products to offer to your audience – vitamins, supplements, whole foods, herbs, and more. Most products will pay you a 12-percent commission, but some of them come with the rate as high as 20 percent.
If you’re running a blog or website focused on weight loss and diet pills, you might want to check out the Thinco’s affiliate program. Help people become the best versions of themselves, and you’ll feel better yourself.
Pet owners are willing to spend lots of money just to make sure their pet stays healthy and happy. We’re not talking about food here - there are different toys, beds, healthy treats; even cat leashes and dog strollers seem to be a thing now.
Yes, people like to spend money on themselves; however, they will spare no expense when it comes to their pets. If you’re a pet owner, you probably know that your pet sometimes eats better than you do. That’s normal – every loving pet owner will do everything they can to make sure their pet lives a long and happy life – and that’s precisely why this niche is as profitable as it is.
Reasons to Get Involved in Pet Niches
The fact that over a half of the U.S. population owns a pet, be it a dog, a cat, or something more exotic as a pet snake, only goes to show how large this niche is. People tend to think of their pets as family members, so it’s no surprise that they’re willing to buy things for them – either to keep them healthy or to pamper them.
Here are some of the best affiliate programs in the pet industry:
Petco is one of the largest retailers in the U.S. when it comes to pet care, and their selection of pet-related products is one of the widest out there. The best thing is they have an affiliate program you could join, but before you do that, you have to become a member of Commission Junction. Once you do, you can apply for the Petco’s affiliate program.
PetSmart is a nationally recognized brand, which means that including links to their website in your content and promoting their products (there are over 10,000 to choose from) can be a turning point for your blog or website. You’ll start earning money in no time.
To be a PetSmart affiliate, first you need to become a Rakuten Affiliate Network publisher; only then you can join the PetSmart program.
Pet360 offers a wide selection of pet care products, but their focus remains on cats, dogs, birds, and other small animals. They hold only the best pet-related brands, which is something worth mentioning to your readers if you become an affiliate.
4. Budget Pet Care
Budget Pet Care offers a wide range of pet-related products, not only for small pets like dogs, cats, and birds but for those who own horses, as well. So, if you’re running a blog that’s focused on taking care of horses, their affiliate program might be the one for you.
They give their affiliates a commission rate of up to 13 percent and, as a bonus, there’s a 60-day tracking program; that’s what makes their affiliate program stand out in this niche.
5. Pet Mountain
An average pet owner will be able to find everything they need regarding pet care on the Pet Mountain’s website, whether they own a cat, a dog, or a reptile, so if you become their affiliate, there’ll be a lot of products to recommend on your blog.
The deal is you get a 5-percent commission and, on top of that, a 10-day tracking cookie for those returning customers.
People are getting more and more interested in the idea of just going away, escaping from the routine of their daily life, and that’s what’s giving the travel industry the needed boost.
If you already have a blog or site dedicated to this topic, now’s the right time to monetize it by becoming an affiliate marketer.
There are those that think there’s no way you could succeed in this niche – there are too many travel-related blogs out there as it is, so how’s your going to make a difference? As long as you provide exciting, high-quality, information-filled content, people will keep coming back.
Reasons to Get Involved in Traveling Niches
Nomadic millennials, as many call them, are to thank for the success of this particular niche. They want to travel and see the world, but most importantly, they do it in a way that puts travel agents to the side, as they tend to get their info from websites and blogs that offer some quality travel content.
Booking.com is one of the biggest names in the travel industry; it’s safe to say that everyone visited their site at least once when they were planning a trip. There’s no surprise there; they offer more than a million places to stay around the world.
If you decide to become an affiliate, you’ll get a commission from each confirmed booking that came through your affiliate link; the rate can vary from 25 to 40 percent, depending on the number of confirmed reservations you referred per month.
TripAdvisor is another significant name in the industry; the main difference is that they have a variety of services that you can recommend as an affiliate – not only hotels all over the world, but tours, tickets to museums and the like, and much more.
But, before you can become a part of their affiliate program, you need to join Commission Junction first.
With nearly a million places to stay around the world included in their offer, Agoda gives you plenty to work with regarding recommendations.
If you choose to become their affiliate, you can expect a commission rate as high as 60 percent. However, since they have a tier-based commission structure, you’ll have to refer over a thousand confirmed booking to get to that point; the lowest tier will get you 35 percent, though.
4. Lonely Planet
Here’s something a bit different; instead of hotels and tickets, Lonely Planet offers high-quality guidebooks both in digital and print form, all written by experts who visit every destination they talk about.
If this is something you want to focus on, they have an affiliate program you can join – you can earn a 15-percent commission from every book sold via your affiliate link.
5. Sandals Resorts
When it comes to Caribbean resort travel, Sandals is a well-known name in the industry – and they have an affiliate program you could join. Of course, you have to make sure that your followers are interested in a sub-niche this specific.
They offer a 4-percent commission to their affiliates; before you move on thinking it’s too low, consider the fact that these are luxurious resorts, so 4 percent might not be as little as you believe.
The trick with this niche is to pick out your sub-niche carefully. While it’s true that pretty much everyone has a hobby, you have to keep in mind that not all of those hobbies require the same amount of money to be invested.
All you have to do to make the Hobby niche profitable is to find activities that are expensive as it is – they will naturally attract mid to high-income customers, able to spend a lot on their favorite hobbies.
There are endless sub-niches to explore here; some of the most popular ones are:
- Bow Hunting
- Gun Collecting
- Arts and crafts
If something makes someone happy, they will not hesitate to spend money on it; that’s where your affiliate marketing business comes to play.
1. Ted’s WoodworkinG
There are several reasons to choose Ted’s Woodworking affiliate program, one of them being huge commissions; if you’re looking to earn as much money as possible, their program is designed to help you – they offer a 75-percent (yes, you read that right) commission rate on all referred sales.
2. Survival Life
Survival Life highly values their affiliate marketers as members of their organization – they offer them high commissions, low refund rates, on-time payment, and support from the Affiliate Management Team.
All in all, they’ll take care of you and make sure you get everything you need to maximize your profit, so why not give it a try?
3. Gun Digest
The Gun Digest is a name with a 70-year long tradition; their affiliate program has proven to be the perfect fit for anyone willing to join. It doesn’t matter if you’re just looking to make some extra money as a blogger focused on firearms or a part of a large company that wants to include Gun Digest products in their lineup – you’ll be more than welcome to their affiliate program.
If you’re running a blog (or site) that focuses on crafting, you should pay attention to MisterArt and their affiliate program. MisterArt claims to have everything you need regarding arts and crafts supplies, so you’ll have a lot to recommend to your audience.
As an affiliate, you’ll get a commission that ranges between 6 and 10 percent, and a 30-day referral period.
Here’s another affiliate program that falls into the crafting niche; this one is offered by CreateForLess, an arts and crafts supplies retailer that holds more than 70,000 brand names.
They pay a 10-percent commission to their affiliates for each referred sale – even if the sale occurs at a later date (within a 45-day period).
Video games have become a pastime of choice for people of all ages and genders, as well as social statuses – it’s not something that’s meant only for children anymore. Everyone loves this type of quickly available, instant entertainment.
The best way to make this your source of income is to write reliable video game and gaming equipment reviews; customers will rely on you to help them pick out a game from a vast selection available on the market.
As you might know, gaming offers a broad spectrum, which means there are many sub-niches to choose from:
- Top mobile games
- Game walkthroughs and strategy guides
- Top free Steam games
- Gaming forums
Players will always come back looking for new releases and constant updates of their favorite games, which means you’ll do just fine as an affiliate as long as you keep posting content with the latest info from the world of gaming.
Another thing to consider is the fact that gaming is not only a fun way to pass the time; it has become a legitimate sport – an e-sport, to be exact. There are people out there willing to spend insane amounts of money only to get the best gaming equipment and titles to ensure their success in the gaming world.
Some of the best gaming-related affiliate programs are:
While RazerZone isn’t focused on selling actual video games, they made it to the list of gaming-related affiliate programs because of their products – keyboards, computer mice, and every other type of equipment meant to enhance your gaming experience further.
Their affiliate program with a relatively high commission rate makes it one of the most attractive offers in the Gaming niche; when it comes to hardware, that is.
2. Killer Guides
Since game strategy guides are a significant sub-niche, it’s no wonder that there are affiliate programs made especially for this market; one of the best out there is the one offered by Killer Guides. With the commission rate as high as 40 percent, they make it easy for their affiliates to make a decent amount of money.
All you gaming bloggers out there, pay attention to GameFly – their affiliate program is a great way to monetize your blog or website. Seriously, don’t pass on this fantastic opportunity.
They base their service on subscription, which is where you come in as an affiliate. Not only does GameFly offer a commission for every game sold (though rates might vary depending on whether the game is used or not), they also pay you for every person you get to sign up.
If you and your audience prefer strategy and MMORPG, then the R2Games has the right affiliate program for you; of course, they offer a few casual game genres, too.
If you decide to become an affiliate, they’ll give you a 35-percent commission on each sale made through your affiliate link.
5. Origin PC
If you want to focus on PC gaming, it’s crucial to become an affiliate of one of the leading PC gaming manufacturers, for example, Origin PC.
However, there are two things to keep in mind before you apply to their affiliate program – it will take some time for your application to be processed (anywhere between 24 and 72 business days) and their commission rates are decided on a case-to-case basis.
That is one of the most popular niches out there; every second ad on TV is related to it - we’ve all heard about Amazon, eBay, and Myntra. These companies make their profit from online shopping and, luckily for you, they all offer excellent affiliate marketing programs.
Become a user, join their affiliate program, and start promoting their products on your blog or website – it’s as simple as that.
Reasons To Get Involved In Online Shopping Niche
Online shopping is unquestionably way more convenient than visiting a store and going through several aisles to find the product you need. That’s the main benefit of online stores – everything is just a click away.
With the hectic lifestyle that everyone seems to lead these days, it’s normal for people not to want to spend time on things like shopping; they’ll preferably do it online, which is precisely why this niche is one of the most profitable ones.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular online shopping-related affiliate programs:
Amazon Associates is probably one of the best known general affiliate programs out there; if your starting out as an affiliate marketer in the Online Shopping niche, then you should probably give Amazon a try.
Even if the commission rates aren’t as high as they used to be, once you get the customers on the actual site, they’ll probably end up buying something. That’s where your profit lies; not in the high commission rates, but in the proven fact that people enjoy shopping on Amazon.
The eBay Partner Network (or EPN) is another excellent affiliate program when it comes to online shopping. It offers a lot of the advantages that Amazon does; the main difference is that eBay is an auction-based market and not an actual online store.
That means that commissions behave differently; instead of paying you a percent from the final price, you’ll get a commission on auction fees.
The thing you need to know about Myntra is that they do have an affiliate program (as any growing e-commerce website should). However, they don’t handle it themselves - they use a third-party service provider.
Making money on Myntra is, nonetheless, as easy as spending it on their fashionable clothes and accessories; become an affiliate and see for yourself.
While Target might not have a selection of products as broad as Amazon, they still have a lot to offer, especially regarding general home and outdoor goods, as well as apparel.
If you become an affiliate, you can expect a commission rate of up to 8 percent (it depends on volume and category) and a 7-day cookie duration.
Even though you shouldn’t go as far as to think that Jet will replace Amazon entirely, they are, in fact, a business that’s a lot like Amazon; to cut it shortly – they sell everything. Because of that, they could be considered as an alternative to Amazon when it comes to affiliate marketing programs.
However, keep in mind their commission rates are somewhat low.
BONUS: CJ Affiliate: A Global Affiliate Marketplace
As you saw earlier, there were a few mentions of something called “Commission Junction.”
So, what exactly is CJ and how’s it relevant to our topic?
First off, we need to address the name of this affiliate network; while it was formerly known as Commission Junction, you can now find it under a different name – CJ Affiliate by Conversant. Commission Junction, Greystripe, Dotomi, ValueClick Media, and Mediaplex are now united and are all operating as Conversant. But don’t worry; the CJ we all know and love is still up and running.
To put it shortly, CJ remains one of the hugely popular, leading affiliate marketing networks, that’s been around for years.
It’s relatively easy to use, and it’s reliable when it comes to payments. However, those are not the only reasons people turn to CJ; the fact that it attracts a lot of well-known advertisers is essential for you as an affiliate. Your audiences will react better to names they’re familiar with, which means they’ll be more likely to make a purchase by following your referral link.
While there’s no way to say for sure which niche is the best and most lucrative one for affiliate marketing, there are some that will bring you a high and steady income.
As mentioned before, those are the three evergreen markets – Health and Wellness, and Wealth and Money. However, the list doesn’t end here – there are another three niches proven to be notably profitable; those are the Hobby, Gaming, and Online shopping niche.
Take some time to make this choice and never decide on a niche based solely on how profitable it seems to be, it’s always better to pick something that you’re passionate about – you’ll have a lot more fun that way.