10 best affiliate programmes for generating income online

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 21 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are lots of ways in which you can generate an income by working online. Affiliate marketing enables you to earn commission promoting the products and services of businesses by creating interesting content. Selecting affiliate programmes with popular products and services, good rates of commission and high-quality marketing collateral can help you succeed at this type of digital marketing. In this article, we profile 10 of the best affiliate programmes you can join.

How can you use the best affiliate programmes to generate income?

Affiliate marketers earn from the best affiliate programmes by creating informative and engaging blogs, emails and social media posts that promote the products and services of the companies they work with. If interested, their online audience clicks on affiliate links placed within the content that takes them to the website of the promoted company. The companies track referred sales using affiliate cookies so that they can accurately attribute the commission the affiliate marketer earns.

Related: Understanding the types of digital marketing collateral

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of digital or online marketing where a marketer receives a commission for referring web traffic or sales to a company's website. In recent years this arrangement has grown in popularity as an effective way of developing an income stream, with the most successful affiliate marketers earning six or seven-figure incomes through online publishing and lucrative commercial arrangements. Affiliate marketing now accounts for over 16% of all digital media revenue with most of the world's leading retailers and brands being keen to work with affiliate marketers.

Related: Digital marketing skills: definition and examples

Here are 10 of the best affiliate programmes to join right now

If you're interested in joining an affiliate programme, here is a list of 10 of the best affiliate programmes that are available online. Prominent brands provide these programmes and offer competitive rates of commission that can help you scale your income. Here are the details:

1. Rakuten Advertising Affiliate Programme

The Rakuten affiliate programme, also known as Rakuten Marketing is a Japanese affiliate marketing network that operates internationally and offers opportunities to earn by marketing products from a wide range of companies. Rakuten affiliates benefit from industry-leading dashboards and powerful audience behavioural insights to support their campaigns. Here are the key features of the Rakuten Advertising affiliate programme:

  • promote products from participating brands

  • commission offers range between three and seven percent, depending on the products promoted

  • affiliates earn commission on a pay-per-sale or pay-per-action basis

  • Rakuten offers an affiliate cookie period of up to 90 days

  • the minimum payment threshold is $50

  • Rakuten processes payments on a NET-60 basis with payments via direct deposit or PayPal

2. Shopify

Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform, with over a million businesses using it to sell products and services online. If you produce content that would appeal to people who want to run an e-commerce business, you can earn one of the affiliate marketing industry's most generous rates of commission by promoting Shopify to your audience. Here are the key aspects of the Shopify affiliate programme:

  • promote Shopify's various e-commerce packages

  • earn a commission of up to 200 per cent on every referred sale

  • affiliates earn commission on a pay-per-sale basis

  • the Shopify affiliate cookie period is 30 days

  • Shopify has no minimum payment threshold

  • they pay out earned commission via PayPal on a monthly basis

3. The eBay Partner Network

eBay has one of the world's largest affiliate programmes with billions of products that you can earn commission from promoting to your online audience. By referring traffic to eBay you can benefit from their high-converting pages and 'Buy now' button that helps you grow your commissions and scale your affiliate marketing enterprise. These are the features of the eBay Partner Network, eBay's affiliate programme:

  • choose from popular and high turnover products from a wide range of sellers

  • affiliates earn commission on a pay-per-sale basis

  • the eBay affiliate cookie period is 24 hours

  • the rate of commission is between one and five percent of a sale

  • some referred sales transactions earn a seller incentive credit

  • the eBay Partner Network has a minimum payment threshold of $10

  • eBay processes affiliate payments every 30 days by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or PayPal

4. Wix

Wix is a popular drag-n-drop website builder that anyone can use to create and host their own website. They run a lucrative affiliate programme known for its high rates of commission, excellent support and high-impact marketing collateral to help you generate sales. Here is the key features of the Wix Affiliate Program:

  • earn $100 for every person you refer that signs up for a Wix Premium Plan

  • the commission is flat-rate but uncapped

  • Wix's affiliate cookies have a 30-day duration

  • the minimum payment threshold is $300 for direct deposit payouts or $100 if Wix pays the commission by check

  • Wix pays out on balances that exceed the payment threshold every 30 days

5. TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is a leading travel website that is routinely used by many people for planning every aspect of their excursion. Affiliate marketers can earn 50 percent of TripAdvisor's commission on every booking they refer to TripAdvisor and its partners. Here are the essentials of the Trip Advisor Affiliate Program:

  • affiliates can sign up for the TripAdvisor affiliate programme via the Awin affiliate network

  • TripAdvisor provides a 14-day cookie period

  • affiliate marketers earn on a pay-per-click or pay-per-sale basis

  • the Trip Advisor affiliate programme has a minimum payment threshold of $20 with commission paid out every fortnight

6. Awin Affiliate Network

The Awin Affiliate Network is home to popular high-street brands like Marks and Spencer, Boots and Dorothy Perkins. You can sign up to Awin and promote products from any of the companies that it works with and Awin provides you with affiliate links and tracking of your commission. Here are the key features of the Awin affiliate platform:

  • the commission rate and cookie period offered depend on the companies you work with on the Awin platform

  • affiliate marketers can earn commission on a pay-per-click and pay-per-sale basis

  • the minimum payment threshold is $20 that you can raise

  • Awin makes fortnightly payments by direct deposit or Payoneer

7. Bluehost

The Bluehost Affiliate Program offers competitive rates of commission that recur every time a referred customer renews their contract. It's a brilliant match for bloggers and influencers who create technology and digital marketing-related content and the programme is well-supported with exemplary marketing collateral. Here are the features of Bluehost's affiliate programme:

  • Bluehost's affiliate marketing cookies have a 90-day cookie duration

  • earn tiered commission on referred sales, starting at $65 and increasing to a maximum of $130 per sale

  • affiliate marketers earn commission on a pay-per-sale basis

  • Bluehost has a minimum payment threshold of $100 and pays out by direct deposit

  • Bluehost processes payments between 45 and 60 days after you earn them

8. Food Blogger Pro

The Food Blogger Pro Affiliate Program is an affiliate programme for a subscription course created by leading food bloggers. It's an ideal programme of learning for anyone who wants to earn money by becoming a food blogger and you can earn recurring commission by referring your web visitors to sign-up. Here are the key features of the Food Blogger Pro Affiliate Programme:

  • Food Blogger Pro offer a recurring commission of between 20 and 40 percent of the course sale price, for as long as a referred customer remains subscribed

  • earn commission on a pay-per-sale basis by referring web traffic to the course.

  • affiliates benefit from a generous cookie length of 180-days

Related: How to become a freelance writer in the UK (plus salary)

9. AWeber

Affiliate marketers who blog about business and marketing can earn recurring commissions by promoting email service provider Aweber. The Aweber Advocate Affiliate Program offers a generous cut of their price plans for email marketing. Here are the features of this affiliate programme:

  • affiliates earn a 30% recurring commission on every sale they refer

  • AWeber pay commission on a recurring basis for the customer lifetime

  • the cookie period is 365 days

10. Zappos

The Zappos Associates Program gives you the chance to promote clothing, shoes and accessories from the popular store and earn competitive rates of commission. This program is a great fit for creatives, bloggers and influencers who want to build a long-term relationships and work with a large company in innovative ways. The basic features of the Zappos Associates Program are:

  • Zappos pays a commission rate of between 7 and 15% on every sale that you refer

  • the affiliate cookie duration for Zappos is 14 days

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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