Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners

Are you new to affiliate marketing and eager to learn how to do it, but not sure what the best route is?

Well, I have good news for you because we’re going to examine the Top 5 affiliate marketing programs for beginners.

By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly which program is best for you and where you should start your affiliate marketing journey.

So with that said, let’s start with the obvious question:

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is when you promote someone else’s product or service and you get paid a commission when you make a sale.

I wrote a full blog post — affiliate marketing for dummies — that explains it further.

They’re lots of different products, services, and companies in all industries that will allow you to become an affiliate for them (ex. travel, sports, quilting, pet training, internet marketing, etc.)

For example, on my resources page, I list a bunch of tools that I use to run my business. Whenever someone clicks on those links and buys, I earn a commission.

But enough about me, let me show you a few different affiliate marketing programs to find products.

Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Programs For Beginners

#1 Clickbank


Clickbank is the most popular affiliate marketing program for beginners. It is also the biggest marketplace for digital goods.

I prefer digital goods because they have higher profit margins (versus physical goods which have shipping and handling costs + inventory costs).

You can literally find digital products in almost any industry.

Here are some examples: arts & entertainment, betting systems, business and investing, E-Business and E-Marketing, education, home & garden, health and fitness, languages, self-help, sports, spirituality, travel and so on and so forth.

You can pick whatever product you want to promote and you get a customized link that tracks back to you when a sale is made (called a “HopLink”).

One negative (in my opinion) about Clickbank is they only payout via paychecks, whereas some other options pay straight to your PayPal account, which is faster and cheaper.

Pretty simple, right?

#2 Commission Junction


Commission Junction (CJ) is very similar to Clickbank, except they have physical goods and cost per action options (CPA), too.

CPA is when an advertiser pays you based on a specific action that must be taken, such as filling out a contact request, newsletter sign up, registration, or even making a sale.

CJ also has big-name Fortune 500 brands as advertisers, such as Best Buy and The North Face.

Just like Clickbank, they have lots of industries to choose from and it’s free to join.

CJ is a little more strict when accepting you as an affiliate (publisher) because you first need to be approved by the advertiser you want to promote for.

In regards to payouts, CJ pays you via checks or direct deposit (only for U.S. & U.K). No PayPal option.

#3 JVZoo


JVZoo is much like Clickbank.

It’s all digital goods and they have products from all industries.

The differences are that sellers have to approve you before you can promote their products.

You also keep more of what you earn whereas with Clickbank, they take a larger portion of your earnings.

Here’s an informative discussion on a forum about Clickbank vs JVZoo.

Lastly, JVZoo does payout via PayPal.

#4 Amazon Associates


Amazon is the biggest online store on the planet.

When you signup for their affiliate program, you can promote any product you want (books, headphones, jewelry, tablets, guitars, etc.)

You will be given a unique link, that when someone clicks on and buys, you will earn a commission.

For example, maybe you just bought a new pair of Dr. Beat headphones, and you wrote a blog post about how awesome they are.

If you stick your affiliate link in that blog post, you will earn a commission when someone clicks and buys.

But what if they don’t buy the headphones? Instead, they get distracted and buy something else?

You still earn a commission for that (which is pretty cool).

The big negative with Amazon though is the commissions are low, so the money you make really depends on the price of the product you’re trying to sell.

That’s why I always recommend high ticket affiliate programs.

#5 Affilorama


Affilorama offers written and video lessons, tools, tips, and support that allow complete beginners to build up a successful affiliate marketing business from scratch.

Their free training covers:
– Introduction to Affiliate Marketing
– Market Research for Affiliate Marketers
– Content Creation
– Site Building
– Search Engine Optimization
– Par Per Click

…and much more.

I myself spend a lot of time posting on the Affilorama forums. I think this is a great place for beginners to learn.

It’s free to join their affiliate program, and you will earn 50% commissions on each membership you refer that buys any of their products.

Which Affiliate Marketing Program Is Best For You?

That’s something you’re going to have to play around with.

I’ve given you a quick overview of my favorite affiliate marketing programs for beginners, but the best way to find out is to signup for each one and see which one you like best.

I would also check out the Warrior Forum, which is the largest and most active forum for affiliate marketers.

You can learn a lot there by asking questions and reading threads.

So go and get your hands dirty and start making mistakes. That’s the best way to learn. That’s how I learned.

If you found this blog post informative, let me know by liking and sharing it and dropping a comment below.

Bye for now,
Tim Alwell

  • Tim
  • May 29, 2015

Hey I'm Tim - this blog is about sharing the digital strategies I've used to create a 5-figure income online, so maybe you can do it too (if that's what you want) :) I also have an Australian Shepherd named after Slim Shady & I'm a huge fan of hockey. Shoot Me a Message on Facebook. I'll always reply back

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