The 8 Best Affiliate Programs in 2023

Best of the best

October 25, 2023

Countless publishers earn recurring income – seemingly on autopilot – by partnering up with other companies and joining their affiliate programs.

To avoid contributing to the “autopilot income” myth: making a significant, stable income with affiliate marketing isn’t quick & easy. But, to make it just a little bit faster and a little bit easier – here are the best affiliate programs worth joining:

It’s also a super-effective way to sell goods – 88% of consumers have been inspired to buy a product because of an influencer. But if you want to make good money (and avoid scams), you must choose the right affiliate program.

In this post, you’ll discover our 8 best affiliate program recommendations for every type of marketer.

What Is an Affiliate Program?

An affiliate program is a commission program that pays external affiliates (promoters of the products) commissions to drive traffic to a website or to promote products.

The process starts with an affiliate agreement that contains:

  • The duration of the agreement
  • The payment terms and commissions
  • The types of promotion and advertising that the affiliate can use

In most cases, affiliates are paid according to the number of people they send to the merchant’s site – or the number of purchases made through their unique link.

What Makes a Great Affiliate Program?

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing an affiliate program. It all depends on what you want to promote and how advanced you are.

We highly recommend that the affiliate program you choose offers:

  • Products that provide value to customers
  • Decent commission rates
  • Good reputation
  • Ease of use

We made sure that each affiliate program on our list complies with all of these, so that you’ll get only the top-quality affiliate programs that promote products that can really change customers’ lives, as well as boosting your profits.

What Are Cookies, & What Is a Cookie Lifespan?

Cookies help merchants know who to allocate commission to for a sale.

A cookie is a small text file that contains an affiliate + influencer ID code, and that embeds itself in a visitor’s browser, and can be read across all pages on the retailer’s site.

Cookie duration is how long a cookie is coded to last in a customer’s browser from the initial click. Some stores only offer a 1-day duration, but some last up to 30 days. 

The longer the duration, the better the chance of getting a commission on a sale.

The 8 Best Affiliate Marketing Programs: Tried and Tested

Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make a passive income.

But if you’re looking to make the most out of it, it’s vital that you choose the right affiliate program from the start. So let’s take a look at our top 8 recommended affiliate programs.

#1:  Amazon Associates – The Largest Affiliate Program

Overview:

Amazon Associates was the world’s first online affiliate program – and It’s the biggest one in the market by far.

It’s also extremely easy to set up and use, making it a great choice for beginners.

Highlights

Amazon Associates packs a huge arsenal of useful features. Here are some of our favorite things about Amazon’s affiliate program.

  • Easy linking. You’ll get access to the SiteStrip tool, which is a banner at the top of every product page that will give you linking options for that product, including text and image links.
  • Resource center. Amazon offers a large resource center with tutorials and tips to help you succeed as an Amazon Associate. It’s very easy to follow.
  • Banners. Create banners to advertise product categories or promote a special event or sale, such as Mother’s Day.

It’s worth mentioning that although the Amazon Affiliate cookie only lasts for 24 hours after a website visitor clicks on the affiliate link, (lower than many other schemes), the real power comes from the fact that the cookie is not specific to any one product.

This means that if a visitor clicks on your affiliate link and then goes on to buy 10 other products at some point in the next 24 hours, you’ll get a commission on every one of those 10 products – even if they didn’t buy the one you were promoting!

Who Is It For:

Amazon is not only an extremely easy affiliate scheme to get started with, and therefore ideal for beginners, it also offers the single widest selection of products and services and is therefore also ideal for any affiliate marketer looking to either broaden their products range or dig deeper within a niche market.

Commission rates vary, from 1% all the way up to 10%, with Amazon Bounty rates taking this up to 20%.

Because Amazon is such a well-known and trusted brand, click-through rates for affiliates tend to be higher than elsewhere, especially as customers know they won’t have to register, or enter any card details, if they already have an Amazon account. As an affiliate, benefitting from customers’ trust in a brand is a huge advantage.

Want to Make the Most Out Of This Affiliate Program?

Amazon Associates is a great affiliate program, but the actual affiliate ads are limited.

AAWP is our WP plugin designed specifically to help Amazon affiliates make the most out of their affiliate journey – and maximize commissions.

We offer a lot of handy tools and features, such as:

All of these combined will help you promote affiliate products profitably and increase the CTR and your affiliate income.

Get AAWP today and maximize your commissions from Amazon Associates.

Bottom Line:

Amazon Associates is highly-intuitive, offers a wide variety of products, and you can get started in just a few minutes.

However, the affiliate listings are less than ideal, but with the benefit of AAWP allowing full control over the visual appearance of the listings, it’s possible to create affiliate adverts that stand out more than most.

#2: CJ Affiliate – Best for Data-Oriented Individuals

Overview:

CJ Affiliate is a well-established, reputable affiliate network with 3000 merchants. 

It’s connected with big brands, offers a variety of link-creation tools, and is very easy to use (so a great choice for beginners).

Highlights:

  • Real-time reporting. CJ can provide in-time analysis, showing you exactly how your affiliate listings are performing.
  • User-friendly platform. You’ll get an extremely intuitive interface with detailed documentation to help you if any problems arise.
  • Royal treatment for star publishers. As a Content Certified publisher, you can enjoy pre-approved access to advertisers for premium rates while maintaining editorial control over your blog’s content.

The real-time reporting and royal treatment are unique features exclusive to CJ Affiliate – you won’t find them on any other platform.

Who Is It For:

CJ Affiliate is ideal for both beginners and advanced affiliates.

It offers commission rates that start at around 5% – 10% for most products, but it may vary by both the company and the products you promote. Also, the standard cookie duration is 45 days, but you can stretch it out to 120 days.

If you’re a data-oriented and analytical type, this is a great choice of platform.

Bottom Line:

CJ Affiliate is trusted by world-class brands, and offers a bunch of unique features that can really help to drive more revenue. It’s super-easy to use and offers commission rates of around 5% – 10% per sale.

It’s the best platform for data-oriented professionals.

#3: ShareASale – The Best for Timely Payments

Overview:

ShareASale allows you to partner up with many reputable SMBs in nearly 40 different product categories.

It’s beginner-friendly, offers all basic features, and has great commission rates. 

Highlights:

  • Robust payment processing. ShareASale is very transparent and always pays on time, and offers competitive commission rates.
  • Ease of use. Navigating through ShareASale feels like a breeze – you have everything in one place, and creating links takes literally just a few seconds.
  • Thousands of merchants. It offers a wide variety of advertisers and allows you to use filters such as 7-day EPC and lead commission to analyze brands’ earning potential.

Who Is It For:

It’s a great affiliate program for beginners because of its ease of use

If you are a blogger, content creator, or social media marketer who wants to make some extra money recommending their favorite products, you’ll love their platform. 

Also, they offer great commission rates, paying you as much as $30-$150 per commission – and the cookies last for 30 days.

Bottom Line:

ShareASale is a reputable affiliate program that features more advertisers than almost any other program out there.

It’s ease of use and high commission rates make it a great choice for beginners.

#4: ClickBank – The Highest Commission Rates

Overview:

ClickBank is an affiliate program that mainly focuses on digital products (e-books or courses), though it also offers physical products as well.

Highlights:

  • Low barriers to entry. No need for any tedious approval process or difficult setup. All you need to do is to create an account and start promoting.
  • Highly convenient. It tracks sales, monitors refunds and chargebacks, and sends you your commissions on auto-pilot – a complete hands-off.
  • High commissions. Vendors will pay you anywhere from 50% to even 75% a sale. They pay affiliates twice a month via direct deposit, check, or wire transfer.

Who Is It For:

It’s pretty easy for first-time affiliate marketers to get started. 

You don’t need to be approved for the vast majority of affiliate products on ClickBank – you can start selling straight away, unlike with most other affiliate networks. Also, the cookie window is longer than with most affiliate programs – 60 days.

Bottom Line:

ClickBank is very convenient and offers high commission rates.

But this convenience and high commissions also comes with a great deal of competition – so make sure you are on top of your game to make a decent profit.

#5: eBay Partner Network – Best Amazon Associate Alternative

Overview:

eBay marketplace offers 1.6 billion product listings – and you can promote all of them. eBay Partner Network is one of the biggest players in the affiliate world.

Highlights:

  • Lots of marketing tools. Easily create affiliate links with their Chrome extension, and deliver customizable, dynamic banners with remarketing functionalities for the highest conversions.
  • Reporting and analytics. They have a clear dashboard with all important metrics, such as traffic type, sales, and impressions – all in one place.
  • Low payout threshold. You can get paid via PayPal or direct bank payment after making as little as $10.

Who Is It For:

eBay affiliates can make some good money over the long term. They offer a 5% commission rate, which is pretty standard. We would recommend their program for experienced affiliates who are looking for a  long-term game.

Also, the cookie duration is 24 hours, which is very low compared to other platforms.

Bottom Line:

eBay Partner Network is great if you’re looking for a huge variety of products, a low payout threshold, and standard commission rates. 

The only downside is that many of eBay’s products are transient due to the nature of auction listings.

#6: Rakuten Advertising – The Best for Building Relationships with Merchants

Overview:

Rakuten Advertising is a popular affiliate network that includes a lot of big merchants, such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Papa John’s.

Highlights:

  • Support and advice from digital marketing experts. They will provide you with insights and useful tips to become a top affiliate marketer with the program.
  • Industry-leading functionalities. They allow users to place ads at strategic positions automatically, leverage AI, and give you full customization.
  • Tailored advertising campaigns. The platform uses data to create a more relevant message and improve targeting with super-precise ads calibration. 

Who Is it For:

They are a good option for people who are new to the world of affiliate marketing. They have affordable pricing and lots of big names you can promote. The average commission rate starts at 5% for most products, but does vary by merchant. 

For the Rakuten network, there is no set period for cookie duration.

Bottom Line:

Rakuten advertising takes the affiliate game to the next level with its newest technology and tailored ad campaigns.

The only downfalls are the slightly outdated interface and a smaller selection of products.

#7: PartnerStack – The Best B2B Affiliate Program

Overview:

PartnerStack is the go-to affiliate network for B2B technology partnerships.

They’ll give you access to some of the world’s most reputable and top-paying B2B affiliate marketing programs, such as Notion, Monday.com, and Webflow. 

Highlights:

  • High and long commissions. Since it’s a B2B affiliate program, you’ll get paid a recurring revenue of 20 – 50% of a sale for the entire lifetime of the customer.
  • Low payout threshold. You’ll be paid out altogether once a month via Paypal or Stripe as soon as you hit the network’s $5 payout threshold.
  • Top-tier companies. You’ll be able to work with the best B2B companies, all offering exceptional commissions.

Who Is It For:

PartnerStack is for anyone looking to work with top-tier B2B companies that provide high commission and conversion rates. If you are an e-commerce retailer trying to drive traffic and sales, it isn’t for you.

Also, the cookies last for 90 days.

Bottom Line:

PartnerStack is the best choice if you’re in search of a B2B affiliate program. 

It’s definitely for advanced users with specific skill sets around the even more specific vertical of SaaS software developers.

#8: Awin – The Longest Cookie Lifetime

Overview:

Awin is a huge affiliate program that gives you access to over 13,000 different merchants. Some of the most known merchants include Etsy, AliExpress, and HP.

Unfortunately, you’ll need to individually apply to each merchant within the network, which can be pretty tedious.

Highlights:

  • Accelerated payments. You don’t have to wait around for commissions, as you get paid super-quickly (twice a month) – which is great if you’re looking for quick money.
  • Intuitive WP plugin. You’ll get an intuitive WP plugin to help you import products you promote into your website, making the whole process a piece of cake.
  • Unbelievable cookie lifespan. While most affiliate programs give you a 30-day cookie lifespan, Awin offers a 999-day lifespan, increasing the chances of potential leads making a purchase. 

Who Is It For:

Awin is a great choice for beginners since it has a low $20 payout threshold and a very intuitive interface – with a WP plugin to help you set it up with your site.

The commission rates greatly depend on the merchant you sign up with.

Bottom Line:

Fast money, low payout threshold, and tons of merchants to choose from. If you’re looking for an affiliate program that is super-easy to use with your WP site, Awin is for you.

Note: There is a $5 sign-up fee (if approved, you can get a refund).

Choose The Best Affiliate Program, and Rock Your Commissions

The right affiliate program will help you make a lot of money quickly. 

There is no best option to choose – it all depends on your skills and preference. Personally, our winner is Amazon Associates. This is because it features a huge database of products you can promote, and it’s super easy to get started. The only thing we don’t like about it is that their affiliate ads are limited.

And that’s precisely why we created AAWP.

AAWP is our WP plugin designed specifically to help Amazon affiliates make the most out of their affiliate journey – and maximize commissions. We offer a lot of handy tools and features that will help you customize your affiliate ads for the best results.

You can create Bestsellers, New Releases, Product boxes, and so much more.

These features will allow you to not only get the attention of potential customers but also separate you from other affiliate marketers.

Get AAWP today and maximize your commissions from Amazon Associates.

Earn More Money with Amazon Affiliate Marketing 🤑

Ebook: Opt-In Form (Blog)

Free E-Book: 10 tricks on how to turn Amazon into a gold mine as an affiliate! 💰

Would you like to know how to finally integrate Amazon products profitably on your website? Don't wait any longer and get our free e-book.

Start now with AAWP!

AAWP is the #1 WordPress plugin for Amazon affiliates who are serious about earning more. Get started today!

Get Started Today!
WordPress Cookie Notice by Real Cookie Banner