Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners – Top 7 in 2020

If you are interested in boosting your monthly income then the world of affiliate marketing should be a serious consideration as it truly can provide you with your first steps to financial freedom. When it comes to choosing the right program to help you with your affiliate marketing, it can be incredibly confusing as there is a lot out there though – so which are the best affiliate programs for beginners?

So no matter whether you are thinking about joining an affiliate marketing program or have even already taken those first tentative steps in your affiliate career, here are the best options for newcomers in 2020…

What is an Affiliate Marketing Program?

Before looking at the various programs available on the market, it is important to understand what affiliate marketing actually is and how an affiliate marketing program works. In the simplest form, affiliate marketing is the link between a product and its potential customers.

Before purchasing a new product, you would have undoubtedly searched the internet for reviews or articles on that item first. These are typically written by an affiliate marketer and by clicking through from a link in that article to purchase the product, the website owner will then receive a small commission.

An affiliate marketing program is a tool that helps to connect you with the product and the customer. These programs come in all different formats and offer various ways of commission such as Cost per Lead (CPL), Cost per Click (CPC) and Cost per Sale (CPS). These are the various ways in which you will get paid.

  • CPL provides you a commission based on every lead you secure (such as an email or phone number)
  • CPC provides you a commission based on every click through you generate
  • CPS provides you a commission based on every product sold through your affiliate link.

Whilst each of these does provide you with money, it is important to understand the pros and cons of each one as well as knowing exactly what is required in order to earn a commission from the platform. Equally, when it comes to choosing the right program you need to understand the difference between third party networks and those directed by the brands.

Using third party affiliate networks will let you choose from thousands of potential brands; allowing you to choose the market and products that interest you most. Working with a brand directly can sometimes offer more commission but can limit the products you offer.

When it comes to working out which of these best affiliate programs for beginners are most suited to you, you will need to take all of these factors into account.

What are the best affiliate programs for beginners in 2020?

Top Affiliate Programs For Beginners


#1. Amazon Associates Affiliate Program


The Amazon Affiliate Program is one of the most popular out there and was actually the first online affiliate marketing program in the world, launching in 1996. With arguably one of the widest choices of products and niches to choose from, it is a great choice for beginners to experiment with various options and build their style.

One of the most attractive aspects of the Amazon Affiliate Marketing Program, however, is that it pays commission on any sale that is made through your link. So if a potential customer clicks through your article for an electronic device but ends up purchasing a jacket, you will still get paid up to 10% commission on that item.

The Amazon Affiliate Marketing Program is also completely free to join, which can make it a very profitable platform for beginners.

#2. Commission Junction


Commission Junction is another one of the biggest affiliate marketing programs out there and another great platform with which to launch your affiliate marketing career.  One of the most established choices available, it pays out an incredible $2 billion a year to its members so it can definitely help you on your path to financial freedom.

Just like the Amazon platform, it is completely free to join and you will be able to work with household names such as Go Pro, which will help to make it easier to close your sales. They also have a very helpful customer service team who are on hand to help you improve your sales.

That said, being so popular and offering high commission rates means it can be difficult to join the Commission Junction platform as they have a high requirement threshold to meet.

#3. AWeber Affiliate Program


AWeber is an email marketing tool that runs its own affiliate platform too. In terms of best affiliate programs for beginners go, it offers one of the highest commission rates at 30% as well as offering an additional 30% on recurring sales – meaning every time a referral of yours renews their plan, you’ll receive the commission again. There’s no cap on the limit, so if they renew a monthly subscription for a year, you’ll receive twelve payments!

There are some negatives though, with one common complaint being some outdated templates the platform offers. In this modern-day of high tech and mobile technology, having a website that is not smartphone compatible is a big turn off for potential customers.

#4. Clickbank Affiliate Network


With nearly 20 years in the affiliate marketing industry, Clickbank is definitely one of the best affiliate programs for beginners. Whilst users will be able to enjoy using some of the biggest brands available, the platform is actually renowned for working with smaller businesses too; meaning affiliate marketers will be able to enjoy a wide choice of niches to work from.

Clickbank also offers a great commission rate on many of the products as well, making it a highly attractive prospect for beginners. However, with such well-known products, competition for the high-value products is higher; making sales harder to come by.

#5. eBay Affiliate Program


As one of the biggest company’s on the internet, eBay is a household name and the online market place also has a very popular and easy to use affiliate program. By giving its members all of the tools required to successfully promote products from the site, it is one of the best affiliate programs for beginners thanks to the fast and hassle-free options it provides.

Although you will be working with sellers in some aspects, primarily you will be engaging directly with eBay. That said, the program is not exclusive and there are no problems with you working with other affiliate programs at the same time – meaning you can maximize your potential earnings.

It is definitely a great option for beginners, however, sometimes auctions can last longer than your affiliate link is valid for, which means you will not receive the payment. Whilst this is rare it is something to watch out for. Equally, eBay does have a reputation of selling second hand and used goods which could put customers off.

#6. Rakuten Affiliate Program


Having been voted one of the best affiliate marketing networks for the last seven years, the Rakuten program is certainly among my list of best affiliate programs for beginners. Each year, the platform is helping marketers to make over 100 million orders; meaning there is a huge amount of commission being paid out.

With such high sales and commission rates, Rakuten is certainly a tempting offer however its reputation has led to a lot of potential affiliate marketers wanting to join the platform; meaning they have had to become incredibly selective on welcoming new people. They are also known to suspend and even ban accounts that do not meet their high standards.



Another popular platform for both beginners and experienced, is able to earn both newcomers and pros alike a huge amount of commission. With a wide range of categories and products to choose from, users are able to opt for a niche that is most suited to them.

Whilst it is a great way to earn a commission, affiliates are grouped together meaning that commissions are shared between your group so if you are looking to maximize your profit and branch out on your own, this might not be the best platform for you.

So which is best to choose?

When it comes to choosing the best affiliate marketing program, there are a lot of factors that you need to examine before making your choice. Primarily, you need to be passionate about the products that you will be selling – by being passionate and understanding the product, you will know what potential customers will be looking for and will be able to sell the story far easier.

When it comes to choosing the right platform, you should also look at how your commission will be paid; whether it is CPL, CPC or CPS as these will determine how and when you earn your money.

Whilst affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme, with hard work and dedication it really is a viable way that can help you to earn money.

Choosing the right platform can help speed up the process and turn your business into a success – allowing you to become financially independent and leave the dreaded 9-5.

How I Make my Money Online

These are some of the best affiliate programs on the market, but I personally found that the Wealthy Affiliate platform was the most successful for me. Completely free to join, it does then offer a paid subscription that gives you access to tools that the rest of these do not; in particular a set schedule of lessons that will teach you how to expand and maximize your business.

From lessons on finance to how to effectively promote yourself via social media, by completing these I was able to fast track my success; leaving the rat race behind and enjoying true financial freedom!

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