7 of the Best Affiliate Programs for Making Real Money

Out of all the ways you can make money creating content, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to do it. You don’t have to build, market, or sell a product or service. You just have to insert affiliate links or ads in your content, which usually doesn’t cost any money, and then wait for people to click on them and buy something, earning you a commission.

Once you partner with an eCommerce platform or business that has an affiliate program, you can pick out relevant products to promote on your website. Your partners will then send you custom links to their product pages that can track customers referred by your website.

But what are the affiliate programs that can actually supplement your income or even become your main source of income? To help you partner with the best affiliate programs out there, we’ve put together a list of the affiliate programs that’ll help you make some real money.

1. Amazon Associates

One of the most popular affiliate marketing programs around is Amazon Associates. It’s free to join once they accept you into the program, you can choose from over one million of Amazon’s eCommerce products to advertise on your website, mobile app, or Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch profile, and you can earn up to 10% in commission if someone clicks on your affiliate link and buys an Amazon product.

To get started with Amazon Associates today, check out our blog post on how to become an Amazon Associate.

2. Google AdSense

Google AdSense is a program that lets you open up small portions of your website for advertisers to display their ads on. Just like Google Ads, advertisers bid on your ad space in the Google Ads auction. They bid on certain keywords, and if your content has the same or similar keywords, Google will sell their ad space to the highest bidder and pay you 68% of the advertising revenue that the ad campaign generates.

However, AdSense doesn’t optimize the ads that they display on your website for a maximum return on investment like Google Ads does for its advertisers when they want to optimize their ad campaigns. So, essentially, the amount of money you can earn with AdSense hinges on how well advertisers can craft their ads.

You do have control over the types of ads that display on your website, though. You can choose from text ads, display ads, rich media ads, and more. You can also customize your ad’s style or create your own, which gives you the ability to change the size, color, textual, background, and border details of the ads that display on your website. Additionally, you can only place three content ads, three link ads, and two search boxes on each of your web pages.

3. eBay Partner Network

WIth over 1.1 billion listings from a multitude of product categories that you can advertise on your website, Facebook page, or Twitter profile, the eBay Partner Network supplies you with plenty of items you can refer and earn commission on.

Once eBay approves you, they’ll give you access to simple link generators that let you add a few items to your site. If you want to advertise a higher quantity of products, they’ll let you implement product feeds right on your website.

Depending on the product category you refer, you can earn between 50-70% of eBay’s revenue when you direct someone to the eCommerce platform and they buy the product within 24 hours after the auction ends. If you refer a sale to a shopper who hasn’t bought a product on eBay within the past 12 months, eBay will reward you with additional referral revenue.

4. Rakuten Marketing Affiliates

Rakuten is the largest eCommerce website in Japan, earning almost $9 billion in revenue last year. Their affiliate program, Rakuten Marketing Affiliates, has been crowned as the number one affiliate network for eight years in a row, enabling more than 110 million annual orders in 202 countries and 25 currencies.

When Rakuten accepts you into their affiliate program, you can choose to advertise products from over 1,000 merchants, customize the product feeds on your website, automatically convert product links into commissionable tracking links, display personalized offers to your audience using Rakuten’s proprietary API, and earn a commission on sales you influence during the beginning or end of the customer journey.

5. Shopify’s Affiliate Program

Shopify is one of the most lucrative affiliate programs around. With no monthly charges or minimum sales requirements and an average commission of $58 for every user you refer who signs up for a paid plan and $2,000 for every user you refer who signs up for their enterprise product, Shopify Plus, you can really maximize the bang for your buck.

After Shopify accepts you into their affiliate program, they’ll assign you a dedicated affiliate manager, give you access to partner education, provide you with their own blogs, webinars, and video tutorials that can expedite your referral process, and offer you exclusive discounts and business tools.

6. SEMrush’s Affiliate Program

Since SEMrush sells subscription-based software, their affiliate program, BeRush, lets you earn a 40% recurring commission for every new customer you refer. Not only is a 40% commission rate a hefty sum, but SEMrush will pay you every month that your referred customer stays subscribed to one of their software packages. So if you refer a customer who becomes a loyal user of SEMrush, you could earn a commission off them for years.

After joining BeRush, you also get access to top-notch customer support and promotional materials in English, Spanish, French, German, and Russian that can help you accelerate your referral marketing process. 

7. HubSpot’s Affiliate Program

If you have a large audience of small-to-midsize businesses, HubSpot’s affiliate program could be a perfect fit for you. By embedding affiliate links in your content and driving purchases of one of our products within 90 days of landing on our site through your website’s affiliate link, you can earn $250 for referring a starter/basic customer, $500 for referring a professional or CMS customer, and $1,000 for referring an enterprise customer.

HubSpot’s Affiliate Program doesn’t have a minimum sales quota or commission limit, gives you access to demo videos, banners, and copy examples to help you earn as much commission as possible, and dedicates their Affiliate Team to help you run your program.

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