Have you ever wondered what are the best affiliate programs for beginners? If so, know that you’ve come to the right place: I’ve done the research and came up with a list of 4 fabulous options for you.
There is a gigantic abyss between the “working for somebody” (be it a company or an individual entrepreneur) and the “working for yourself” paradigm when you are your own boss and manager.
The first one usually comes with guaranteed benefits like health insurance and a stable salary. They may not be the highest out there, and most likely won’t make you a millionaire—but hey, at least you’re sure of the stability of your position in life.
Working for yourself, however, is so much harder: becoming an entrepreneur is a risk. Yes, you free yourself from anyone else’s whims and opinions, you don’t have to get up early every single day, you don’t have to get through the 9-to-5 unending routine, but… You can never be sure about what your tomorrow will look like.
You could achieve financial freedom, or you could waste all of your investments on an elaborate scam that would not bring you any good. You could become a successful entrepreneur, or you could give up halfway and be forced to return to your daytime job, exhausted and frustrated with yourself.
Once you realize how serious the described problem is, you can’t help but wonder what is the right path to take, especially if you’re new to the whole thing of making money online and opening a business of your own. The web is flooded with hundreds, maybe even thousands of options you can follow, but which of them are legit? Is there a way to minimize your risks?
Moreover, which money-making options among the legit ones are the absolute best and most suitable for beginners?
This overview of The Intuitive Reviewer is dedicated to just that. I’ve been in your shoes, I know your problem, and now I want to tell you how I managed to solve it.
The Solution: Affiliate Marketing
Before we get specific, let’s take a brief moment to emphasize the why. Why Affiliate Marketing, to begin with? Isn’t the internet full of other possibilities and ways to earn your fair share of bucks?
Oh yes, it is. However, not all of them are equally profitable and/or easy for a beginner to join the game. I’ve summarized my experience with the major ways of making money online into this graph:
The Big 8: Eight Major Ways to Make Money Online
It would take a whole series of posts to explain why each of these options received its respective verdict from me, but for now, let’s just focus on affiliate marketing. To the best of my knowledge and experience, this is the optimal way to earn money online if you are a beginner. And here’s why.
5 Reasons Why Affiliate Marketing is the Best Option for Beginners:
Low requirements. The two only things you need to start an affiliate marketing business is a hobby or passion and a trusted affiliate marketing program (we’ll dig into this matter in a couple of minutes)
Low investments. The initial investments to “join the game” of affiliate marketing are almost microscopic, related to the initial website setup and maybe some basic educational courses
Enormous potential revenue. In relation to the initial investment, the potential profits can be enormous (we’re talking about 100x, 1000x and higher). The graph states “low profit” indicating the potential revenue right after you start your journey, but affiliate marketing is one of THE MOST SCALABLE niches in this graph. The longer you are in the game, the more you WILL earn. And there’s no limit to how much you can grow.
Flexibility and universality. Certain niches (like coaching, courses, or creating software) are certainly not for everyone. You can’t be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs if you don’t have what it takes. But with affiliate marketing it’s a whole different story: you can build a successful business around ANY passion you have. Dogs, cats, coffee, running, make-up, magic tricks, tabletop games, and what not. If you can imagine it, you can market it. Simple as that.
The potential for leveling up. As soon as you feel like you are ready to make the next step, you will be able to do it. For example, selling your own physical product will be super easy if you already have a solid affiliate community behind your back. Or you can make an online course teaching how can one build his own affiliate platform. All other niches are much stricter in terms of what you can and what you can’t do.
The Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners
Now that you know the problem, the question, and a brief overview of the solution, it’s time to get specific and spotlight the most suitable affiliate programs for beginners. I’ll try to keep it as simple and short as possible, giving a short review of each option plus a list of pros & cons that are crucial for the newbie entrepreneur. Let’s roll!
- Amazon Associates
Commission: 4% to 8.5% depending on the product from each sale
The first and foremost reason why the Amazon affiliate program is the number one on this list is the website’s popularity. Let’s be frank, we’ve all heard about it, and most of us have purchased something on it at least once, haven’t we? The Amazon platform features over 300 million sellers from all around the world, with billions of products available in virtually any niche you can imagine, so it goes without a shade of doubt that ANY beginner will SURELY find something to promote (and earn from).
Popularity of the platform
Diversity of products available
Does not have any educational programs or courses: you will have to learn how to set up your website on your own
Does not have a community where you can find support or encouragement. Basically, you will just receive the tools needed to become an affiliate marketer, but no resources on how to do that successfully.
- eBay Partner Network
Commission: 50% to 70% of eBay’s revenue
One more giant in the affiliate marketing game, eBay is the second most popular platform to buy and sell online—worldwide. Millions of merchants, billions of products, money flowing in and out 24/7/365: eBay has all of Amazon’s basic benefits, with a couple of additional fabulous feats to consider (check out the pros list).
During your first 3 months of membership, you will earn DOUBLE the commissions. This is the perfect way to kick-start your affiliate business if you already have a platform with some audience and traffic.
Earn BONUS commissions for customers who haven’t purchased anything on eBay during the last year (12 months).
Just like with the Amazon Associates program, eBay does not have any specialized training program. You will have to learn the essentials of the business somewhere else before taking advantage from eBay’s fabulous commissions.
Commission: up to 50& to 75% from each sale
ClickBank is one of the oldest players in the affiliate marketing game, founded back in 1998. Offering its members some really stellar commissions from a wide range of physical and digital products, the company, however, failed to outrun Amazon’s and eBay’s popularity among online entrepreneurs. The reasons for that are quite significant, so make sure to consider the Cons list below.
ClickBank offers some of the HIGHEST commission rates in the affiliate marketing EVER. The tasty % are often enough to lure a lot of inexperienced entrepreneurs into the system, and many of them grow to regret this decision later.
There are many products and services in the ClickBank arsenal that either ARE scams (look out for health-related surveys for money, for example) or LOOK like scams (weight loss products are among the most popular products in this category). Newbies should carefully examine each and every product they would like to link to in order to not ruin their reputation.
If you fail to sale anything during 90 consecutive days, ClickBank will charge you $1 per each “saleless” day (after the 90th). After the 180th day, you’ll be charged $5 per day and a whopping $50 per day after a year of failure to make any referral sales. Sounds really harsh, I know. Keep in mind, though, that these charges are done from your affiliate earnings, not from some sort of bank account. So, basically, you won’t get yourself into a big financial problem but will be always at risk of losing all you’ve managed to earn if your business starts rolling downhill.
In order to receive your first payment, you will have to make at least five sales with two different payment methods. In other words, even if you make hundreds of sales with ONE payment method, you won’t earn a cent. Of course, such a scenario is very unlikely but still real.
Just like with all the previously mentioned programs, ClickBank does not have any form of training that beginners could benefit from.
- Wealthy Affiliate
Wealthy Affiliate is relatively new to the affiliate marketing niche, founded in 2005 by two enthusiasts, Kyle and Carson. Over the years, they managed to create and consolidate a thriving community of over 800 thousand online entrepreneurs who help and support each other on a regular basis. How is that possible? Thanks to the unique approach focused on education and training. As the saying goes, if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
That’s exactly what WA is all about: not about giving you the money directly, but showing you how to build a solid affiliate marketing business designed around your hobbies and passions.
Contains a world-class training teaching in details everything you need to know on how to start your own online business from scratch.
Brings together a huge community of similar minds, always ready to help each other with any matter that may arise throughout the way.
Offers a wide range of technical tools, including website builders and keyword research services.
Requires a lot of time and efforts to go through the training program. Of course, this is optional, but highly recommended—so don’t expect an overnight success without any involvement from your part.
In a nutshell, this is it. Of course, there are hundreds of other affiliate programs out there, and some of them could be better in your specific case than others. For example, if you are a fashion freak, you might want to consider looking into Net-a-Porter; travel bloggers could benefit GREATLY from Travel Payouts; watches & jewelry enthusiasts could try out the Ashford affiliate program.
I’ve picked the abovementioned programs because of their universality, credibility, and overall performance, but keep in mind that there are so many others available.
Moreover, you are not exactly forced to pick only one affiliate program. For example, imagine that a certain product you want to promote is featured on eBay, although you usually work with the Amazon Associates platform. Bad luck? None at all! Just sign up, become a member of the eBay Partner Network, and you’re good to go.
All in all, there is only one essential factor to your success, no matter which affiliate program you choose to work with: perseverance. The will to succeed no matter what, the determination to work on your future regardless of how hard it feels to be.
“A river cuts through rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” – Jim Watkins
Keep this in mind, etch these words into your heart and soul, and you’ll see the huge impact they will have on your life.