Top 10 Affiliate Programs Worth Checking Out

Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing in which an affiliate earns a commission, or percentage of a sale, from a merchant they’re working under. When a website visitor clicks on a link or banner and makes a purchase, the affiliate makes money. Choosing which affiliate programs and networks to join is a fundamental aspect of internet marketing. Since there are hundreds of programs to choose from, which aspects are key? Here are the top 10 affiliate programs that I use.

Top 10 Affiliate Programs Worth Checking Out - Pad And Paper

What To Look For In An Affiliate Program

With so many affiliate programs and networks to choose from, it can be confusing to narrow down your choices. Two things to look for before joining a program is the commission rate and cookie duration. The higher the commission rate – or percentage you make from a sale – the more you earn.

Keep in mind, the average cost of the items you’ll be promoting figure into this equation. A 10% commission on items that are in the $2,000.00 range is a lot different than that same percentage on items in the $20.00 range. The duration of the cookie is another deciding factor in your decision-making process. A cookie, also referred to as a web or browser cookie, is a piece of website date that’s stored on a web browser.

This data works in your favor because if someone clicks on one of your affiliate links, but doesn’t purchase the item right away, but eventually gets around to buying it, you still earn a commission. Longer-cookie durations are best in terms of your profit margin. Cookies can range anywhere from 24 hours up to 180 days or longer so be cognizant of this fact when applying to and joining affiliate programs.

You’ll also want to make sure the programs you choose are relevant to your niche. Recommending camera gear on a health-related website is going to be confusing to your readers, and won’t lead to sales and commissions. Be judicious when choosing what programs you want to promote.

Choose only brands that you love and feel good about recommending. Being authentic is always best, even if the commissions are not the highest. In the end, stick with companies and programs you’d want someone to recommend to you.

#commissions earned

How To Join An Affiliate Program

A great way to find affiliate programs is by joining an affiliate network in which a variety of merchants are housed in one location. I find working with networks to be very user-friendly and convenient. The ones I use are ShareASale, Impact, Flexoffers, and CJ Publishers, but there are other networks, as well, including ClickBank, VigLink, JV Zoo, Rakuten, Peerfly, AWIN, and Warrior Plus.

By joining an affiliate network, you only have to log into one website to access all your merchant information. Another way to find programs relevant to your niche is to type in “your niche” in your browser, followed by “affiliate programs.”  Your niche doesn’t need the quotation marks. You’ll be amazed at how many options come up when you do this.

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It’s best to stick with a handful of affiliate programs, especially when you’re in the beginning stages of building your business as it can be overwhelming to try to promote too many companies.

You’ll be asked to provide some basic information, along with your website URL, when applying to a program. Some merchants will approve you immediately, but most will need time to evaluate your website to see if it’s a good fit for their products or services.

Approved Or Rejected

Once approved, you’ll receive an email with your login information and how to to access your links and banners. These links and banners will be placed within your content, which is the essence of affiliate marketing. Of course, there are other avenues in which you can monetize your blog as well, such as ads, PPC advertising, YouTube, and guest posting.

If you get rejected from an affiliate merchant – which you will – don’t worry or feel bad about it. You can always reapply at a later date when you have more traffic. Besides, there is hardly a shortage of affiliate programs you can join.

It’s best practice to place an affiliate disclosure somewhere in your content. Here’s what my disclosure looks like: “Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.

Top 10 Affiliate Programs

1. WP Engine

WP Engine is known for developing and hosting reliable and secure WordPress websites, while offering the latest technology, including Google’s Next Generation Hardware. Last year they partnered with StudioPress themes, a line of SEO-friendly themes built on the Genesis Framework.

You can make some impressive affiliate commissions by partnering with WP Engine. In fact, it’s one of the highest-paying programs out there. Earn up to $200.00 per sale, with a cookie duration of 180 days. If you made five sales per month, you’d add an additional $1,000.00 to your wallet. Generous commissions, along with a long-cookie duration, make WP Engine an incredible company to partner with.  Sign up with WP Engine through ShareASale.

2. Bluehost

Bluehost is a web hosting service that provides free SSL certificates, one-click WordPress installations, a free domain name for one year, and 24/7 support, starting at just $3.95 a month.  Their affiliate program is one of the more rewarding ones on the internet today.

Each referral generates a $65.00 commission, with a cookie-duration of 45 days. The program is free to join, and only takes a few minutes to sign up. Take your earnings to a whole new level with Bluehost.  Check it out here.

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3. Thinkific

Thinkific is a tremendous platform for creating and selling online courses. If your audience creates content, are looking for ways to share their knowledge and expertise, or are business owners who want to produce online courses, the Thinkific affiliate program is for you.

Earn 20% recurring commissions on monthly paid plans, and 20% commissions on all new annual paid plans. You’ll also receive additional bonuses, ranging from $25 to $150.00, depending on the plans purchased.

Recurring commissions are a great way to earn passive income and require no effort on your part. It’s possible to make up to $675.00 per referral a year. On top of these amazing commissions, the cookie-duration is a generous 90 days. Sign up for Thinkific’s affiliate program on ShareASale. 

4. Elegant Themes

A high percentage of websites are built on the WordPress platform. Since Elegant themes offers some of the best themes and plugins for WordPress, there’s a significant potential for outstanding commissions.

To underscore this fact, you’ll earn 50% commissions when a referral signs up for a yearly plan. And guess what? When they sign up the following year, you’ll earn a recurring commission. The minimum payout is $58.00 It’s a great deal!

Elegant Theme’s affiliate program offers the highest commissions – nearly double – of any other WordPress theme company. This alone is reason to join, but then there’s the recurring commissions, on yearly renewals, that packs an additional punch. Join Elegant Themes affiliate program here.

5. Tailwind

I’m a big fan of Tailwind for growing my social media following. I use it to automate my pins and posts on Pinterest and Instagram. It’s a fantastic tool to use personally and also to promote as an affiliate. You can use their free trial to give it a spin before buying.

You’ll receive a 15% commission for every person that signs up for a Tailwind monthly plan via your link. The cookie tracking is 90 days, which is exceptional. As an affiliate, you’ll be given numerous opportunities to write articles that will earn you $25.00 for creating content that promotes Tailwind. Sign up here.

6. ThemeIsle

ThemeIsle offers gorgeous, responsive WordPress themes that are user-friendly and customizable. The company’s mission is to offer an easy way for business owners to launch and grow a presence on the internet. They do this by offering high-quality products and education, along with reliable support.

Earn a 55% commission on each sale, with a 60-day cookie. The company is the developer of one of my all-time favorite plugins, WPProduct Review.  I use it for every review I write, and it makes my articles look more professional. ThemeIsle’s affiliate program is offered through ShareASale. Access the program here.

7. WPForms

WPForms is an incredible drag-and-drop WordPress Form Builder that is both simple to use, yet powerful. They have a library of pre-built templates, and all forms are mobile-responsive and spam-protected. Create contact forms, surveys, donation forms, Mailchimp signup forms, and payment forms. You’ll never need another form-builder with WPForms.

Earn at least 20% on every sale you generate through your affiliate link. A basic license runs $39.50, and up to $299.50 for an Elite license, which means you can make anywhere from $7.00 to $59.90 for each person that purchases.  The folks at WPForms are affiliate-friendly, and do their best to make sure their partners are making money. Sign up to be an affiliate through ShareASale.
 Top 10 Affiliate Programs - Thrive Market Banner

8. Thrive Market

Thrive Market is retailer of organic groceries and natural household products. The company promotes healthy living that’s affordable. It’s a great affiliate program if you’re in the health, beauty, or coaching niche.

The way it works is you purchase a yearly membership for $59.95 to have access to the best prices at 25-50% below retail price. Commissions are based on three different membership tiers. You earn $40.00 when someone purchases an annual membership, $15.00 for a three-month membership, and $5.00 for a one-month membership.

The cookie duration is 14 days. I’m both a member and affiliate of Thrive Market, and can happily add my seal of approval to the quality of their products. Additionally, you’ll help sponsor a family, veteran, or teacher in need. Sign up for Thrive Market’s affiliate program through CJ Publishers.

9. Promolife

This is another awesome program for those in the health, healthy living, exercise, and beauty niches. Promolife offers a default commission rate of 10% on many products, including ozone generators, ozone equipment, oxygen regulators, full-spectrum lighting, and four-stage, whole-house fluoride systems. 5-7% commissions are offered on all other products.

To give you an idea of the price points, ozone generators cost around $1500.00, with ozone saunas and infrared saunas ranging from $2,000.00 up to $6,500.00, so commissions in the 5-10% range are significant. Promolife’s affiliate program offers a 30-day cookie. I own a Promolife ozone generator and accessories, and am also an affiliate, and can attest to the integrity of the company. Visit their website here.

10. Wealthy Affiliate

Wealthy Affiliate has one of the most lucrative referral affiliate programs out there that can provide you with a consistent source of revenue for years to come. The more people you refer, the more money you earn. You gain access to their affiliate bootcamp training when you join the platform.

The training is comprehensive and will teach you all you need to know to become a high-converting affiliate. The best part about Wealthy Affiliate’s affiliate program is an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas if you refer 300 people who sign up for a premium membership. As a member and affiliate, I haven’t made it to Vegas yet, but I’m working on it.

From what I’ve heard, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The owners of Wealthy Affiliate are very generous, and it shows by how they reward their hard-working affiliates. Commissions range from $25.00 to over a $100.00 in monthly commissions for each person who signs up. And a really fantastic feature right within Wealthy Affiliate’s dashboard is the ability to access hundreds of affiliate programs.

The most incredible benefit is that you’ll learn how to build a thriving online business, while learning a wide range of marketable skills. On top of all this, you’ll enjoy 24/7 support from a like-minded community. READ MY REVIEW or click on the banner below to learn more. Oh, and did I mention that the cookie-duration lasts for – WAIT FOR IT – a lifetime. It doesn’t get better than that.

Top 10 Affiliate Programs - Online Business Banner

Key Points

All 10 of the affiliate programs I’ve outlined above offer impressive commissions, a long-duration cookie tracking, and all are free to join. Don’t hesitate to check them out if they’re relevant to your niche.

Are you new to affiliate marketing? Let me know in the comments:)


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8 thoughts on “Top 10 Affiliate Programs Worth Checking Out”

  1. This is a good list. WA, Thinkific and BlueHost are awesome! All the other ones are good, but I think those three rank above a lot of other affiliate programs out there. BlueHost beats many hosting providers, while Thinkific is better than Udemy (in my opinion) and WA offers great training for new affiliate marketers.

    • Hi Nate,

      Yep, Thinkific, WA and Bluehost are all awesome. WP Engine is right up there as well. Wealthy Affiliate trumps them all, though, in terms of training and learning new skills. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment:)

  2. Hi,

    This is a very good post. I have been looking for more affiliate programs that are related to my niche. I like Thrive Market and Promolife and the products they promote. I will look into it and see if it is a good fit for my niche. I didn’t know that you could also be an affiliate for WP forms. I guess that nearly all companies offer affiliate links, don’t they?

    Wealthy Affiliate does indeed offer a great affiliate program. I didn’t realize that the cookie duration lasts for a lifetime, seriously? That is very helpful! The trip to Las Vegas is an awesome motivator. I would love to go to Vegas! I hope you get there and achieve your goals. 

    • Hi Christine,

      Thank you. I’m always on the hunt for great affiliate programs as well. Thrive Market and Promolife are both awesome programs. Please do learn more about them. WPForms is also amazing. There are soooo many programs to choose from it can get a little overwhelming. 

      Of course, Wealthy Affiliate’s got one of the best affiliate programs out there, with a lifetime cookie, and the all-inclusive paid trip to Vegas is a really great motivator. Thanks for your comment:)

  3. Thanks for this article and the Youtube video. I saw one of your recommendation and that is Wealthy Affiliate. I have learned a lot from their training and host my sites on there Siterubix platform.  It is a good platform, another is Bluehost, a lot of my friends are raking thousands of dollars from this site. 

    • You’re welcome. I appreciate your comment. Wealthy Affiliate’s certification training is the best, right along with their affiliate program. Bluehost is another great affiliate program with high-paying commissions. 

  4. You have put together a ‘game-changing’ list, that’s for sure. You’ve also created a shift in my thinking. I had never really paid too much attention to cookie duration before reading you comparisons. They can really make a huge difference and something I will be looking at from here on in.

    I think I have been quite narrow in my thinking, that has now been broadened. It’s more than just promoting or reviewing a product, and hoping that someone buys one, these are programs that have longevity.

    I have also picked up a really useful tip/tool. One of the areas that I struggle with is writing reviews. Having a relatively young site, I would like to start off on the right foot. I might be able to get a head start with WPProduct Review, which looks to be the perfect plugin solution for me.

    • Thank you. I appreciate that. Yes, cookie-duration is a significant factor in how much you can potentially make from an affiliate program, and something worth paying attention to. 

      WPProduct Review is a handy plugin that will make your reviews look more professional. It also provides a way for your readers to have a summary of the information in your post in one location. Check it out. You’ll enjoy using it!


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