Which affiliate programs pay the most and how to join them

Which affiliate programs pay the most

When starting in affiliate marketing, it is only natural to look for the affiliate programs that pay the most. Even if you are a seasoned affiliate marketer, the constant search for better and better affiliate income opportunities should never cease.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to choose useful and relevant products for your audience. If you are just beginning in affiliate marketing, take a look at what affiliate programs are and how they work. 

Always ensure your content is aligned with the products you’re promoting, and do not sacrifice authenticity for the sake of recommending a specific product. This is the number one rule for making solid money on affiliates in the long term. Authenticity and quality content will keep traffic flowing to your website, which is the most important thing.

Nevertheless, once you get your content strategy in place, and the website, Youtube channel, or other media you have are running smoothly, bringing constant traffic in, you need to look for the best affiliate revenue sources out there.

Which affiliate programs pay the most
What affiliate programs are and how they work.

The main affiliate program’s pay methods

There are several types of affiliate program pay methods, and we will discuss every one of them in the following.

Affiliate program providers usually set a purchase time limit set through cookies. If a referral does not purchase within that time limit, the publisher won’t get his commission. The payment won’t be made directly to the publisher’s bank account to avoid any return payments in case the customer returns the product itself.

The affiliate commission payment structures are never linear. They can vary based on performance. Businesses can choose to increase the pay rates and commissions for specific pre-set goals.

The payment is usually made via PayPal, debit cards, gift cards, checks, credits, or direct deposit.  If the sums are too low and you don’t want to deal with them every month, you can try different mass payment options.

So, what happens before the money reaches your accounts for a successful sale? It depends on the type of affiliate program pay type you’re working with.


With this affiliate program’s pay type, you don’t need to make any sales. You are paid for every new user you bring to the company’s page via affiliate links. You won’t make much money on this type of affiliate program. Moreover, do not think you can trick the system and have a bot click multiple times on the links, for the company can refuse to pay the writer if they believe you are trying to trick them.


Pay-Per-Action affiliate programs are the most popular, and they usually bring you a considerable sum of money on each sale or lead you to make via affiliate links. There is also the pay-per-call type of affiliate program where you would have to convince your readers to make an appointment for a specific service.

For the pay-per-lead programs, your readers need to click the affiliate link and sign in or leave their contact details on the company’s page so the company can contact them and try to make a sale. This is usually applicable to products or services that require a longer sales cycle.

Pay-per-impression or pay-per-view

affiliate programs anyone can join
Some businesses might offer both pay-per-click and pay-per-action

You get paid for people clicking on your website banner ads. It is not the most exciting way of making revenue with your blog, as it can also slow down your blog/website and also make it look too salesy, like you’re trying too much to make money.

Two-tier affiliate programs

Some businesses might offer both pay-per-click and pay-per-action commissions for sales and leads. Such a business is Amazon. Moreover, you can get paid for referring the program to another publisher, receiving a percentage of their commission, much like a multi-level marketing scheme.

Now, if you’re wondering which affiliate programs are the best, there is no clear answer to that. It depends on your niche, your content, and your objectives. Usually, pay-per-action affiliate programs work best and pay the most, whether for making a sale or getting a lead.

So, what do you think? Can we talk about profitable affiliate programs? Take a look here!

Which affiliate programs pay per click?

If it seems attractive enough to get a passive income just by having people click a specific link, let’s look at some affiliate programs that pay per click. Again, they’re not the best solution. If you want to do serious affiliate marketing, you should aim at making sales through affiliate links.

Anyways, the best affiliate programs that pay per click are:

  1. AdSense

Some might argue that you cannot call Adsense affiliate marketing. They have a point. Anyways, there was a time when AdSense was the only kid on the block.

Which affiliate programs pay per click
AdSense is tricky, though, it will take you a lot of time and energy

According to Wikipedia, in Q1 2014, Google made $3.4 billion through Google AdSense, representing 22% of its total revenue.

AdSense is tricky, though. It will take you a lot of time and energy to even get approved for it. Then there’s the problem of income. In the good old days, you could make $1 to $10 per click. Now you barely make $0.10

  1. Media.net

Another familiar PPC affiliate is Media.net. You can use it together with AdSense and get up to $10 per thousand users.  However, you need to have 5,000 monthly visitors to sign up.

  1. Mediavine

This is a serious PPC affiliate program, especially if you generate a significant amount of traffic per month.

By “significant”, we mean at least 50,000 unique visitors per month. This is the minimum requirement to get approved on Mediavine.

So, if you have a website with about 50,000 visitors, you can make about $1,500 per month as their PPC affiliate. That’s good money.

  1. AdThrive

AdThrive is not one of those affiliate programs anyone can join. It is a PPC affiliate program that pays well but has heavy requirements. You cannot enter the program if you don’t have at least 100,000 unique visitors per month.

You can get between $12 and $30 per 1,000 visitors in terms of payment, which places them in the few 10% serious PPC affiliate programs.

  1. Skimlinks

This is one of the oldest kids on the block. However, their way of work is a bit different. They give you a script to install on your website. This script will recommend products to link to your content.

You get a 75/25 split on all the money you earn through commissions. You don’t need to do any tracking. Yes, they might look a tad strange at first. They also run a referral program. However, you’ll have to wait for at least three months to get your payment. This might be an impediment.

What companies have good affiliate programs

Apart from Amazon, plenty of other  Almost all companies offer affiliate programs

  1. Shopify

Shopify has been the new craze for some time now. It is a widely-used e-commerce platform. They have an in-house affiliate program that offers commission, 100% on the first and second payments even. Their cookie duration is 30 days.

Shopify is one of the many free affiliate programs that you can sign up for right now.

  1. Kinsta

It is a user-friendly platform for WordPress hosting and other advanced features for growing your business. Their affiliate program is based on a fixed commission and a 60-day cookie life.

Kinsta is also one of the best recurring affiliate programs, offering an additional 10% recurring lifetime commission. They have up to 10 affiliate plans. You can make $50 fixed per purchase for the starter pack + 10% regular monthly for a lifetime.

You can make as much as $500 fixed + 10% recurring monthly for a lifetime for the most expensive package.

They are definitely worth it.

  1. SEMRush

Another one of the free affiliate programs out there, SEMRush is much like the Holy Grail for marketing professionals and advertisers.

Their cookie duration is…hold on…10 years. You can register for their affiliate program for free and start setting up affiliate links for their commissions are one of the highest out there. You can make as much as $159 every month for as much as the user is active on their platform.

  1. Hubspot

Hubspot is a digital platform that offers a series of inbound marketing tools and overall marketing content for specialists. Their affiliate program offers commissions of as much as $1,000 per sale. There are no limits to the amount you can earn per day.

Their cookie duration is 90 days, and their lowest fixed commission starts from $250. That is something.

  1. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is quite a big name in the e-commerce world scene. The platform offers all the services necessary to set up an e-commerce ecosystem, from hosting to payment and product catalogs.

Which companies have affiliate programs
The platform offers all the services necessary

Their affiliate programs offer a fixed and fixed percentage commission amount. Their cookie duration is 90 days. You can make as much as $1,500 fixed on a sale.

Best affiliate programs for beginners

  1. Food blogger pro

This is a platform based on membership for bloggers and content creators from the food niche. They market videos on how to start and grow a food blog that will make you money in the long run.

They also have an affiliate program for food bloggers or content creators from the marketing niche who want to promote their services. Their cookie duration is 180 days, and they offer only one plan that can be purchased for a month or a year.

It is pretty easy and straightforward, and you can make as much as 20% fixed commission on a program that costs $29 per month. It’s a good start and one of the best affiliate programs for beginners out there.

  1. Commission junction (aka CJ)

It is one of the best affiliate programs that pay a straightforward commission and is easy to use.

CJ offers you access to a pool of big brands such as Disney, Shops, Samsung, Verizon, UnderArmour, Trip Advisor, and Zappos. Their support is on point, and their affiliate link creation tool is very intuitive.

They offer easy-to-understand metrics, so you can learn how to navigate the vagaries of affiliate marketing from the start. You’re able to see how much you can expect to make per sale before putting your time and energy into it.

Moreover, it is one of those free affiliate programs you can join anytime.

  1. Etsy affiliate program

Etsy is that platform where you can buy cute, fluffy miniature sculptures and all sorts of vintage handmade goods.

It has grown tremendously in the last few years. One of the most extensive affiliate networks at the moment, Awin manages its affiliate program. They charge a refundable $5 to join.

As for commissions, you can get 4% for standard referrals and 2% per sale for user-generated content from social media platforms. Don’t worry, they also have fancy vintage tea sets worth more than $1,000.


Etsy is one of the best affiliate programs for bloggers. It offers you immense possibilities to talk about handmade interior designs or simply local artists selling their products on Etsy.

Affiliate programs vs dropshipping

Now that we’ve looked at some of the affiliate programs that pay good commissions, let’s discuss affiliate programs vs dropshipping. We’ve seen this question asked numerous times. Which one is more profitable? How are they different?

Technically, in both dropshipping and affiliate marketing, you sell a product; only that in dropshipping, you also set your product price and are responsible for marketing it. You are more involved. In affiliate marketing, you just link the products on your website content and get paid a percentage of that product’s price.

Dropshipping is more for people who want to start in e-commerce. Affiliate marketing is for content creators and publishers looking to monetize their blogs. This is, we think, the main difference here. Both work, but with different strategies.

Conclusion: Which affiliate programs pay the most?

There is no such thing as the best affiliate program to make money. Each program has its pros and cons. You must start with the list of affiliate programs for beginners above, and through trial and error, you will see which best fits your niche and content.

There is no surefire formula to success in affiliate marketing. It’s all about work and perseverance. Start small and see how you can efficiently maximize your profits.

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