5 Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners

Affiliate marketing for beginners is some times hard but it doesn’t need to be. Start evaluating affiliate marketing programs. It’s difficult if you don’t yet know what you’re looking for. Different programs meet different needs, and you may not be able to accurately identify your needs without first trying a variety of things and giving yourself time to learn and grow. Use these overviews to help determine the best environment for you.

1. ClickBank

best affiliate marketing programs for beginners

Among all the choices in affiliate marketing programs for beginners, ClickBank offers some unique features that make it an excellent first-stop candidate. For one, you can sign up without having a pre-established website, and on top of that, it offers a good amount of educational and service support to help you develop an effective website and build your audience.

ClickBank differs from other affiliate programs in that it takes on the role of distributor for its products rather than just being a middleman between you and third parties. This means that you’re dealing directly with the supplier and not having to rely on the coordination of multiple agencies to provide service to the customers you refer and compensate you accordingly.

ClickBank specializes in downloadable information products, which is an area of high sales potential since a lot of website traffic comes from people seeking information. Another advantage of dealing with digital goods is that vendors are often happy to pay considerably higher commissions for your advertising efforts since they have no further labor or overhead to affect profitability. Additionally, if you have a good amount of original material that you can polish up into a sales package yourself, you can also offer it for sale through their program.

2. Amazon Associates

affiliate program

Another top contender in affiliate marketing programs for beginners is Amazon Associates. Serving its own warehouse service, it is also its own distributor rather than being a strictly advertising platform. Just the Amazon name itself is a boon because with it you aren’t having to put extra work into your advertising to convince your audience to trust an unknown vendor. Plus, Amazon has a massive catalog of products so that you can easily tailor finely tuned promotions for your site without much likelihood of duplicating what other affiliates have done.

Amazon offers an impressive and easy-to-use toolbox for ad creation, which includes several types of customizable widgets and even the ability to generate your own mini-store. This makes it a great choice for those who want to create more professional-looking and interactive advertisements without having to design and program them on their own.

Another great benefit is a very active support forum where affiliates can talk to and learn from each other. Amazon’s commission rates are lower than most, but many users claim that higher sales volume and greater reliability more than make up for the difference. You can follow these 5 steps to use Amazon Associates to make money online and have it easier if you are just starting out on the internet marketing world.

3. Commission Junction

commision junction affiliate marketing program

Commission Junction is one of the longest-running affiliate marketing companies, and as such, it has attracted some very big brand names for promoters to apply to. While it certainly deserves to be on any list of top affiliate marketing programs for beginners, it has high expectations for affiliates to start producing results within six months of signing up, so the best time to apply is after establishing your site and gaining some experience with other programs first.

In contrast to previously mentioned programs, Commission Junction only provides an advertising platform and doesn’t involve itself with product distribution or customer service. This means that you might have to deal directly with the companies you are promoting at times to resolve issues rather than being able to rely on Commission Junction alone to handle everything for you. It also means that you’ll have to learn and adapt to large corporate shopping practices that you may not have encountered with smaller-scale transactions, such as high refund rates from customers who order multiple sizes to keep the one that fits best and then return the rest, as well as higher likelihood of being targeted for credit card fraud.

While it can be frustrating at times, think of it as a tradeoff for the opportunity to deal with major household-name corporations that you wouldn’t be able to approach on your own. Essentially, the bigger the fish, the more work that is needed to make a good catch. If you’re prepared for this from the start, then you will likely do well.

4. LinkShare

linkshare marketing program

LinkShare has a similar middleman-style model to Commission Junction, but attracts smaller companies that can be easier for affiliates to work with. Many of these companies have product offerings designed for particular lifestyles or hobbyists rather than a broad, general audience, which can help you find more highly targeted promotions to appeal to your site audience.

Of all the top affiliate marketing programs for beginners, LinkShare has the simplest interface to learn and use, as well as a QuickTour option to guide you through it. This is probably the best program for starting out and gaining experience with this third-party advertising style.

5. ShareASale

shareasale internet marketing affiliate program

ShareASale is also a middleman-style affiliate site, but it was designed from the start to correct some of the difficulties earlier-established sites encountered. It has a reputation for being one of the friendliest places to work with that is more people-oriented than number-oriented, and it even hosts its own internal social network for merchants and affiliates to connect with each other onsite, which makes it a good environment to find positive support. However, its interface is a bit awkward and confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing, which is why it’s not recommended as the first place to go.

A large number of promotional opportunities at ShareASale focus on very specialized products and services that pair well with niche website content for audiences that will appreciate being introduced to new suppliers of uncommon goods. This can help define the character of your site and set it apart from competitors. You can simply read a review about Shareasale and decide about picking this program ornot.

All in all, you probably won’t want to confine yourself to just one particular program or another, but knowing what each has to offer enables you to choose the most beneficial starting point to grow your marketing capabilities and, over time, pick and choose attractive elements of different opportunities to combine into a unique and effective personal advertising system that maximizes the strengths and minimizes the weaknesses of individual programs.

What other programs do you think should be included on this list? Comment below.


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About Borja
Hi, I'm an entrepreneur. I created this blog to share my ideas and knowledge with you. If I'm not racing bikes, I'm here pounding the keyboard and drinking coffee.

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  • Hi I’m Vi. I want to make money with affiliate marketing but I don’t know how to do and where to start. I have no money to invest in website cause I’m a student. But I really want to do this so please if you can give me some advices. That will help a lot. I appriciate this. Thanks

    • Hi Vi, thanks for your comment. It’s hard to do affiliate marketing if you don’t have at least $20 to create a website (That’s all it costs), you need a place where you can create content and send people to. However, one thing you can do is start with a newsletter, if you use Mailchimp (an email marketing tool) you can start a newsletter for free for your first 1000 subscribers and build a community that way, connect with people and promote products all through that newsletter and once you start making some money you can create your website.

      I hope that helps

  • i am trying to navigate Sharesale at the moment, and it has to have one of the worse User Experiences I have ever seen. this is confusing beyond anything that has confused me online.

    It IS incredibly feature rich, but the interface is a nightmare. :-/

    • Amber, I appreciate you sharing that. It’s true they could re-think their user interface as many other websites could do as well, but once you figure it out it works pretty well.

  • Thanks for the informative article. I have send an email to you using your contact us form. Appreciate your feedback.

      • First I want to know what is affiliate marketing. Because I try to learn about this marketing from more blog. But I am not able to understand. Please help me to know about affiliate marketing. Thank you.

        • Rafee, the idea is that you recommend someone else’s product and you receive a commission from it. So if you have a website that talks about pasta recipes, you can recommend a Pasta Recipe Book by placing some links in your website and you will get a commission for any sale that gets generated from a person that clicked on one of those links.

          But you have to make sure that you are recommending things that your readers will like and benefit from, you always have to think of your reader first.

    • Bella, don’t worry, I knew nothing about it when I first got started. I invite you to subscribe and download the guide on getting started with Affiliate Marketing.

  • I have a little experience with affiliate marketing and I know you got to have your own website. I have used clickbank and Commission Junction but never heard of those others. thanks for the article I will give them a try.

  • This one can be also considered as a good paying program. I didn’t use it but many made a lot of money.
    > dutyfreeaffiliates

  • Hi, I am just starting out looking into these type of programs and I have to say that this is one of the best sites I have found for the kind of information you are providing. Keep up the great work.

  • I am just starting out and was looking for good affiliate programs/products that pay by check.Also I was wondering if you had any experience with empower network and does it pay by check?

    • Hi Daniel thanks for sharing, all major networks have the option to pay by check, ClickBank and Commission Junction for example. I haven’t been involved with empower network, but it isn’t like clickbank or other affiliate networks, It’s more like a multilevel marketing thing where you get paid for referring others to the network itself, besides selling their products of course, I guess it would work if you are Interested in that kind of stuff.