Every day, thousands of publishers benefit from a recurring cash inflow by partnering up with other companies via affiliate programs.

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize your blog, especially when you don't sell products or services. Joining an affiliate program can get you exclusive access to new content and special deals for your audience -- all while earning you more money.

To further understand affiliate programs, let's consider an example -- Wirecutter.com, a New York Times company, is a website that lists product recommendations for shoppers. Wirecutter largely earns commission based on affiliate relationships with retailers.

Wirecutter's affiliate program might make you doubt the legitimacy of Wirecutter's recommendations -- but, in fact, it's quite the opposite. Wirecutter only makes commission when a reader purchases a product from an affiliate retailer and doesn't return the product. Wirecutter, then, has no incentive to promote inferior products -- if they did, they'd make less money and turn away readers.

There are many different types of affiliate programs, ranging from online courses to website builders to marketing and business affiliates. Here, we're going to explore the 30 affiliate programs with the highest earning potential to ensure you're able to make money off the content you provide.

But first -- what exactly is an affiliate program?

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What is an Affiliate Program?

Simply put, an affiliate program is an agreement in which a business pays another business or influencer ("the affiliate") a commission for sending traffic and/or sales their way.

This can be achieved through web content, social media, or a product integration. The affiliate gets a unique link (an "affiliate link") from which clicks can be tracked -- typically using cookies.

You will often come across the terms "cookie length" or "cookie life", which simply define how long the cookie will be tracking the user's online activity.

For example, if a cookie has a 30-day life, your referral needs to make a purchase within 30-days of clicking your affiliate link in order for you to get paid -- otherwise the lead will no longer be trackable.

A B2B audience can be particularly valuable, since they are the same customers who are willing to drop hundreds of dollars for a product or service that will help them make money. How could you not capitalize on that?

Next, let's explore the 30 affiliate programs that pay the highest commission.

Best Marketing and Business Affiliate Programs

1. HubSpot

Commission: Flat rate -- up to $1,000 per product purchased

Cookie life: 90 days

HubSpot's mission is to help millions of organizations grow better. Comprised of Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, and a powerful free CRM, HubSpot's award-winning growth platform gives thousands of companies the tools they need to manage the customer experience -- all the way from awareness to advocacy.

As a HubSpot affiliate, the commission you'll receive will depend on the product tier of each product your referral has purchased:

  • Starter: $250
  • Professional/CMS: $500
  • Enterprise: $1,000

Keep in mind that you can earn up to $1,000 for each product purchased. It is not uncommon for customers to buy more than one product at a time. So, in reality, you could very well earn up to $3,000 if your referral were to purchase the Enterprise Growth Suite.

When you join HubSpot's affiliate program, you gain access to a large creative inventory, including demo videos, banners, and copy examples, all designed to help you earn the most commission possible. Plus, you can cultivate a one-on-one relationship with the HubSpot affiliate team, who are all dedicated to helping you succeed.

If you have a large business audience or want to monetize your content, then our affiliate program is likely well-suited for you.

2. AWeber

Commission: 30% recurring

Cookie life: One year

AWeber has been the autoresponder of choice for over one million businesses and entrepreneurs since 1998. It's a great tool for newsletter and email drip campaigns.

Affiliates of AWeber can earn substantial income through two different channels:

  1. Their in-house program offers a lifetime 30% commission. Plans typically range from around $20 to $150/month, so the payout can add up.
  2. Alternatively, you can earn up to $300 per account through CJ Affiliate. However, the cookie life with this option is only 45 days, rather than one year.

3. ConvertKit

Commission: 30% recurring

Cookie window: 30 days

A new up-and-comer in the email marketing field, ConvertKit helps its customers grow their customer-base via landing pages, forms, and email drip campaigns.

ConvertKit's affiliate program is primarily addressed to existing ConvertKit users who feel their audience could benefit from email marketing products. The program offers a lifelong 30% commission for every referred paying customer or webinar subscriber.

With plans ranging anywhere from $29 per month all the way to $2,000+, the income potential is a very attractive offer, and it costs you absolutely nothing to join the program. The program does not, however, offer any special deals or discounts for any product the affiliate might promote.

4. LeadPages

Commission: 30% recurring

Cookie life: 30 days

LeadPages is an online tool that lets you create easy-to-customize landing pages to collect contact information and boost your conversion rates.

Their affiliate program is only open to LeadPages customers. Each paying customer referred brings in a lifetime commission of 30%. Membership prices range from $25 to $200 per month.

LeadPages will sometimes run special offers, such as a $5,000 bonus for affiliates who drive 10+ sales by a given date. All affiliates get access to banners, sidebar images, and social media-friendly links. You also have the option to share a unique link to a free content page (like a blog post or video) rather than a product page.

5. GetResponse

Commission: 33% recurring

Cookie length: 120 days

Along with email marketing, GetResponse offers landing pages, opt-in forms, webinar hosting, a CRM tool, and plenty of other marketing automation tools.

Just like AWeber, GetResponse has two affiliate programs you can choose from (or, you can join both!):

  1. Their self-hosted program offers a 33% recurring commission. With plans ranging anywhere from $15 to $1,200/month, the payout can be pretty substantial.
  2. You can also earn $135 for every sale referred through CJ Affiliate. However, the cookie life is only 30 days, rather than 120 offered in the in-house program.

6. SEMRush

Commission: 40% recurring

Cookie life: 10 years

BeRush is the affiliate program for SEMRush, a SaaS company that specializes in SEO and competitive analysis tools for digital marketers. Their affiliate program offers a 40% recurring commission over the lifetime of a referral's subscription, which translates to up to $160 per month per referral. Plus, they offer a very generous 10-year cookie life.

Plus, since BeRush functions under a first cookie attribution model, if a referral were to cancel their subscription and sign up again in the future (within 10 years), you still get commission on that second subscription.

Exclusive SEMRush promotional material is available in five different languages and applicants are automatically pre-approved, so the sign-up process is only a few minutes, enabling you to get started right away.

Best Online Course Affiliate Programs

7. Kajabi

Commission: 30% recurring

Cookie life: 30 days

Kajabi is an all-in-one platform that lets users create online courses, launch marketing campaigns, build landing pages, and design the perfect website.

The Kajabi Partner Program is currently only open to Kajabi users. As an affiliate, you'll receive a 30% lifetime commission for any new member you bring to Kajabi that stays active past their trial period. What's more, you will be treated to special rewards as you progress. Each level unlocks exciting bonuses only available to Kajabi Partners.

8. Coursera

Commission: 20-45%

Cookie life: 30 days

Coursera offers over 1,000 courses and specializations ranging anywhere from Digital Marketing to Applied Data Science and Personal Development. Each course consists of pre-recorded videos, puzzles, and assignments.

Coursera's affiliate program runs on the Linkshare network and offers a commission ranging from 20% to 45% with bonuses for strong performance. Courses and Specializations are generally priced between $29 and $99. As a Coursera affiliate, you get access to professionally-designed banners and a monthly affiliate newsletter with curated content recommendations.

9. Teachable

Commission: 30% recurring

Cookie life: 90 days

Teachable helps you create and sell beautiful online courses. With over 18 million students and 186 thousand active courses, Teachable is one of the most reputable e-learning platforms. Plus, it's heavily endorsed by Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income.

Ranging from Facebook ads to cake decorating tips, Teachable is suited for a variety of niche subjects. Teachable's affiliate program pays a recurring 30% commission on the referral's monthly subscription fee. Plans can go anywhere from $29 to $499 per month, meaning you'll be able to earn up to $150 a month per sale.

Best Website Builder Affiliate Programs

10. BigCommerce

Commission: 200% or $1,500 per enterprise customer

Cookie life: 90 days

Founded in 2009, BigCommerce is an online store builder that powers thousands of e-commerce stores in over 150 countries. It serves a wide variety of industries, including fashion, automotive, manufacturing, food, and health.

When you refer visitors to BigCommerce, you earn 200% of the customer's first monthly payment (that's up to $500 per referral!), or $1,500 per enterprise customer.

11. Shopify

Commission: 200%

Cookie life: 30 days

With over 500,000 Shopify stores worldwide, Shopify has truly proven itself as a market leader in the drop shipping industry. Shopify has everything you need to start your online store, including website builders, shopping carts, web hosting and store management tools, analytics features, payment processing, and much more.

If your audience is all about e-commerce and needs help setting up an online store, Shopify's affiliate program just might be for you. Affiliates earn a whooping 200% commission on the cost of a monthly subscription (that's up to $2,400!). Additionally, when a referral signs up for a Shopify Plus account, you get paid a flat $2,000 bounty payment.

On top of the money, as a Shopify affiliate, you get priority support for your own Shopify store, as well as free Shopify content to promote to your audience.

Joining the program is absolutely free. The main drawbacks may be that the target for this program is quite niche, since you'll need an audience that sells products online and doesn't already have a solid e-commerce platform.

12. 3dcart

Commission: 300%

Cookie life: 45 days

3dcart is an e-commerce platform with a high focus on SEO. It provides you with all the tools you need to build, promote, and grow your online store. Users can use 3dcart to start an online business, add a shopping cart to an existing site, or replace their current shopping cart platform.

Affiliates earn a 300% commission on each referred customer -- which is up to $687 per referral. Their affiliate program runs on both the Commission Junction and ShareASale networks, and both offer the same commission and cookie life, so it's up to you to decide which platform you like best.

13. Volusion

Commission: 200%

Cookie life: 45 days

Volusion is an e-commerce solution that enables small businesses to create, manage, and expand their online stores. They provide customers with exports to help them every step of the way, including help with domain purchase, web design, cart integration, SEO, and security.

Affiliates get paid a 200% commission on the referred customer's first monthly payment, which can range anywhere from $29 to $299 (or, go even higher with their Prime custom tier). As an affiliate, you get access to marketing material to assist in your promotional efforts.

Best Web Hosting Affiliate Programs

14. WP Engine

Commission: $200+ per signup

Cookie window: 180 days

There are millions of websites on the internet, and 30% of them are built on WordPress. WP Engine provides super-fast web hosting for thousands of WordPress websites around the world.

WP Engine's affiliate program runs on the ShareASale network. By promoting WP Engine plans, you can earn $200 per signup or 100% of the customer's first monthly payment -- whichever one is higher. You gain access to exclusive affiliate discounts you can offer to your audience.

You can also promote StudioPress themes and earn 35% of the sales generated. These purchases get 60 days of cookie tracking.

It's important to note -- WP Engine's affiliate program is two-tiered, which means that you'll get paid not only for referring customers, but also for referring affiliates. You get $50 for each of their referrals.

While it may not be easy to find an audience looking to build a new WordPress website, when you do find those users, the profits can be huge.

15. Kinsta

Commission: Up to $500 per referral + 10% recurring

Cookie life: 60 days

Kinsta was founded in 2013 by veteran WordPress developers "with a desire to create the best WordPress hosting platform in the world." They strive to offer WordPress hosting that is fast, secure, and reliable.

Kinsta's affiliate program pays an initial commission, followed by a recurring 10% monthly payment. Affiliates can earn up to $500 initially, depending on the type of plan the referral has purchased:

  • Starter: $50
  • Pro: $100
  • Business: $150
  • Enterprise: $500

While 10% may not seem like much, your referrals are likely to have a high lifetime value, thanks to Kinsta's high customer retention rate of 95%.

16. Flywheel

Commission: 300%, up to $500 per referral

Cookie life: 90 days

As another dedicated WordPress hosting solution, Flywheel aims to take away all the hassle that comes with web hosting so users can focus on doing what they do best -- creating and designing websites.

Flywheel affiliates can earn up to $500 per referral. You get access to tons of creative assets, from banners to co-branded landing pages pages to stylish social images. The Flywheel team will even work with you to create custom images that can take your commissions to the next level.

It's worth noting that there is no minimum threshold limit to receive a payment.

Best Retail Affiliate Programs

Disclaimer: You'll notice that commissions for retail stores are much smaller than what is offered by B2B because the purchase price is much smaller. But this also means that it's easier to get your audience to buy those items (low price = low commitment), which could translate into high conversion rates and higher returns.

17. Amazon Associates

Commission: 1-10% (depending on the product category)

Cookie life: 24 hours

Amazon is one of the most popular online shopping platforms, so if you're looking to buy something, chances are you'll find it on Amazon.

Amazon Associates pays commissions between 1% and 10%, depending on the category the product purchased falls under. The most valuable items to promote are clothes and luxury beauty products, both of which can earn you a 10% cut on the price.

One of the main advantages of doing affiliate marketing with Amazon is that people already know the company and love to shop there, so it's not a hard sell. The company has very high conversion rates, especially around the holidays. And because the product selection is so vast, it fits most kinds of businesses.

If you write about animals, for instance, you can promote cat treats or dog toys. If your audience is interested in cars, you can recommend jumper cables -- you get the idea.

Additionally, if someone ends up on Amazon through your link and buys something other than what your content links to, you still get commission on the user's entire cart.

Ultimately, the only downside is some categories have particularly low commissions, such as video games and electronics.

For businesses with large audiences, Amazon recently launched their new Amazon Influencer Program as an extension to the Associates program for social media influencers. You get similar benefits to the online Associates program, as well as your own page on Amazon with a unique URL to showcase the products you recommend to your followers.

Currently, you must have a YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account to qualify. Amazon looks at the number of followers and other engagement metrics of your social media accounts to determine whether you're eligible for the program.

18. eBay Partner Network

Commission: 50-70% of auction fees (depending on the product category)

Cookie life: 24 hours for "buy it now" items, 10 days for auction items

With over one billion listings from a wide range of product categories, eBay's affiliate program shares a lot of the same advantages as Amazon's -- well-known, high conversion rates, and a diverse selection of products.

The eBay Partner Network pays a commission of 50% to 70% of auction fees -- not the sale price. For each item sold, eBay gets a cut by charging the seller an auction fee. You then earn a percentage of the revenue eBay earns from that purchase, based on the product category.

High-ticket items to promote are those falling under Parts & Accessories, or Fashion. You can have a look at the complete rate card here.

19. Target

Commission: 1-8% (depending on the product category and sales volume)

Cookie life: 7 days

While it doesn't offer as specialized a selection as Amazon or eBay, Target remains a highly recognizable brand with a variety of different products.

Target's affiliate program operates on a volume-based commission structure, meaning that your commission increases as the number of items purchased increases. Sadly, a product category that does not benefit from this model is the Health and Beauty products -- the commission on this category caps at 1%, regardless of volume.

It's also critical to note -- most people tend to prefer buying Target products in-person, rather than online, so this could have an impact on your returns.

Best Beauty and Cosmetic Affiliate Programs

20. Murad

Commission: 11%

Cookie life: 7 days

Howard Murad, M.D. has devoted his life to the science of skincare, and is one of the country's top skincare authorities. After treating individuals with various skin concerns, he began developing targeted formulas to treat skin conditions. Today, Murad is one of the leading companies in skincare products, and is popular for its treatments for acne, anti-aging, cellulite, age spot treatments, and more.

Murad's affiliate program pays 11% in commissions. With an average order size of $90, affiliates can expect to earn close to $10 per referral. You are provided with dynamic banners and text links to promote Murad products. The company has on-going promotions, including free shipping and free products, to help you drive more sales.

21. Yves Rocher

Commission: 15%

Cookie life: 30 days

Yves Rocher offers a wide selection of botanical beauty products, including skin & body care, makeup, and fragrances. Additionally, they offer superior customer experience -- for instance, they offer a free gift with any purchase.

Yves Rocher's affiliate program offers a generous 15% commission rate on all sales (which is a relatively high rate in the retail B2C space). Like most programs, affiliates get access to promotional banners and other creative assets to use on their sites and social media accounts.

22. Scentbird

Commission: $14

Cookie life: 45 days

Born out of frustration with expensive perfume bottles collecting dust on a dresser or cabinet, Scentbird offers a delivery subscription service that gives you access to a 30-day supply of over 450 top designer fragrances. The subscription service lets you "date" fragrances before committing to "marrying" them.

Affiliates earn $14 for every subscription sales generated through their link and gives access to links and banners, fresh blog content, seasonal ads, and coupon codes to help them perform to the best of their abilities.

23. BH Cosmetics

Commission: 8%

Cookie life: 60 days

Born and raised in LA, BH Cosmetics is one of the leading companies in the beauty industry. They are passionate about creating new and innovative beauty trends and dedicated to bringing customers the best in cruelty-free cosmetics. They also run promotions and sales regularly to help convert those leads.

BH Cosmetics affiliates receive an 8% commission on purchases made within 60 days of the user's visit. The site has an average order value of $38 and an on-site conversion rate of 6.46%.

As an affiliate, you'll get exclusive access to coupons and banners you can use on your website, blog, or emails. You’ll also receive monthly affiliate newsletters. Plus, their dedicated in-house affiliate team runs monthly incentives and affiliate contests to encourage you to perform at your best.

Best Travel Affiliate Programs

24. Boatbookings

Commission: 20% + 10% for returning customers

Cookie life: 30 days

If you think your website visitors might be interested in chartering yachts, you might want to join Boatbookings' affiliate program. Boatbookings specializes in luxury yacht chartering, boat rental, and sailing & motor yacht vacations.

On the charter value of a boat, Boatbookings receives commission on the net charter value (not including APA or any additional items ordered). On this commission, affiliates will earn 20% as a base rate, with a possibility for escalating rates if referring multiple clients. When customers return to Boatbookings, affiliates receive an additional 10% commission on that second purchase.

25. TripAdvisor

Commission: 50%

Cookie life: Session

Crowned the "world's largest travel site", TripAdvisor provides travelers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do, and where to eat. The site helps you compare prices from 200+ hotel booking sites so you can find the lowest price on the hotel that's right for you.

Powered by Commission Junction, TripAdvisor's affiliate program pays a 50% commission off the revenue generated from a user clicking on links and/or ads that send them to a TripAdvisor partner site. Which means, unlike most other affiliate programs in this list, you don't have to wait for your referral to make a purchase to earn your commission. As soon as someone comes from your website and clicks on one of the ads or links on the TripAdvisor website, you get paid.

On average, affiliates will earn between $0.15-$0.75 per click-out. While it may not seem like a lot, since your revenue is only dependent on clicks (and not purchase), this can add up quite nicely.

26. Cheapflights

Commission: Flat rate -- up to $0.45 per click-out

Cookie life: Session

Cheapflights is a travel comparison site that helps users find the cheapest plane tickets.

Cheapflights is another company that rewards its affiliates not for bringing paying customers, but for sending traffic to their partners.

Affiliates are paid a flat fee when a user clicks through -- $0.45 per click-out for desktop and tablet, and $0.25 for mobile.

As an affiliate, you get access to various creative assets, ranging from banners to search boxes and travel widgets, that allow your visitors to conduct a search on your site and display flights results on Cheapflights' page. This is their most popular travel affiliate tool and generates the highest revenue per visit.

27. Momondo

Commission: Flat rate -- up to $0.65 per click-out

Cookie life: Session

Momondo is a global travel search site that compares cheap flights, hotels, and car rental deals.

Each time someone clicks on a flight on Momondo's website from your site's link, you will earn $0.65 for desktop and tablet users, and $0.45 for mobile users.

28. Sandals Resorts

Commission: 4%

Cookie life: 60 days

Sandals is one of the most well-recognized names in Caribbean resort travel. The 15 Sandals Resorts offer luxurious vacations for couples and families traveling to Jamaica, The Bahamas, Barbados, and more.

The Sandals affiliate program pays you a commission for referring users to book either a stay in one of the Sandals Resorts, or booking an activity. While 4% might seem like a small percentage, these luxury resorts have daily rates that range from $150 to over $2,000 per person -- which means, if a couple were to book a romantic week in a Sandals Resort at $500 per person per night, you would earn a commission of $280!

This program is only worthwhile, however, if your site and audience has a true interest in luxury travel to the Caribbean.

Best Personal Finance and Investment Affiliate Programs

29. Capitalist Exploits

Commission: 50%

Cookie life: 365 days

Capitalist Exploits provides trade recommendations for investors and anyone looking to outperform the market by sharing only the best low-risk/high-reward opportunities to subscribers.

If your target audience consists of investors, high net-worth individuals, people interested in investment, financial advisors, or wealth managers, then this program might be for you.

Capitalist Exploits pays a 50% commission on any referred sale with absolutely no limits. Their products range from $1,575 to $3,499. This means each referral brings you a minimum of $787.50. Affiliates also receive exclusive access to paid membership trials for your audience.

30. Kabbage

Commission: $250 per qualified lead

Cookie life: Unknown

Kabbage connects small businesses to capital. Small business owners can apply for up to $250,000 in funding.

Affiliates receive $250 for every referred customer who qualifies for the loan, and get an additional $50 when the referral gets approved. Each small business you refer will also receive one $50 gift card once they're approved by Kabbage. There is no limit to the number of referrals you can make, or the amount you can receive.

Ultimately, when deciding which program to choose, there are many key elements to keep in mind, including how established your online following is, and how much you want to earn.

And, most importantly -- who is your audience, and what are they interested in?

Think about what your website visitors or your social media followers need and could benefit from, and choose an affiliate marketing program that will let you promote products in support of that.

You might also want to consider affiliate networks like LinkShare or CJ Affiliate that offer many different programs to choose from. There are no limits to the number of affiliate programs you can join.

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Originally published May 1, 2019 3:58:16 PM, updated July 12 2019

Topics:

Referral Marketing