Affiliate marketing has been around since the early 90s, but the potential for earning passive income has never been as high as today. In fact, according to Inc.com magazine, the U.S. spend on affiliate marketing is expected to rise to $6.8 billion by 2020.
If you’re late to the affiliate marketing party, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.
You don’t have to research everywhere and get overwhelmed by the hundreds of affiliate programs old and new. This list of high paying affiliate programs is perfect for both newcomers and experienced marketers.
Top 5 Affiliate Networks
An affiliate network is a website that houses numerous merchants (and their affiliate programs) in one place.
These networks handle payment for both the merchants and marketers (publishers like you and me).
It can be confusing to pick which affiliate program to focus your time and efforts in, but using a ton of them (that don’t all yield positive results) simultaneously can be a time-waster. Fortunately, affiliate networks make your search for the perfect program easier since they’re all in one place.
The following affiliate networks all pass the following criteria:
- High-paying merchants – Affiliate commissions vary between networks and merchants. Amazon, for example, pays a maximum 10%, while the average of most programs go from 10 to 30%. This list includes those with commissions 30% and higher.
- History of good customer service – At the end of the day, affiliate networks accept payment from merchants and only send payment to marketers once the network’s payment threshold has been met. You’d like a program with live chat, email or phone support that you can access quickly.
- Free – While some affiliate programs require you to join for a fee, these affiliate networks should be free to join. If a network is asking for a sign-up, set-up or membership fee, skip it and move on to the next network.
If you’ve been an affiliate marketer for a long time, you probably know this network as Commission Junction.
They’re one of the gold standards, which is why popular companies are housed here.
Merchants like GoPro and OverStock partner with publishers like Time Magazine, CNN and more.
It’s free to join, but more strict with approving new marketers.
This network has been in the industry for 20 years and boast of a wide-ranging group of merchants from home to fashion, digital products to food, and more.
Merchant recommendation is an awesome feature.
For over 20 years in the affiliate marketing space, this network has over 200 loyal customers thanks to on-time payments and one of the highest commissions (up to 75%) of all affiliate networks.
They didn’t always have the best reputation in the business, but they have turned things around quite spectacularly.
Used to be known as LinkShare (which was launched in 1996).
Home to over 1,000 merchants with brands like Sephora, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Ray-Ban.
Impressive tools for deep linking.
Voted by mThink as the Best Affiliate Network for seven years.
This network has a database of over 22,000 software produce, which is perfect if you’re promoting digital goods or services.
Aside from these 5 that I recommend, you can also check out other networks with lower commissions include Amazon Associates (probably the most popular one), JVZoo, LinkConnector, Tradedoubler, Affiliate Window, eBay Partner Network, GiddyUp, FlexOffers, and Avantlink.
High Paying Affiliate Programs (One-time Payment)
If you’re going to focus your income-generating efforts on affiliate marketing, you might as well target the best-paying programs out there.
Of course, you can’t squeeze all of them into your niche, but pick and choose wisely from the list below (and you might just get a jumpstart of your passive income journey).
The following 50 affiliate programs all pay one-off commissions to its affiliates.
This list features a mix of popular programs (that you can easily promote and enjoy continuous sales stress-free) and highest paying affiliate programs:
- 3D Cart – It’s a popular ecommerce solution with over 4,000 affiliate partners to date. 3DCart is easy to promote (since it’s one of the top-selling ecommerce tools around) and affiliates get to earn 300% commission for every 3dcart’s eCommerce solution sold.
- Acuity Scheduling – Promote this online appointment scheduling software and get to earn 50% commissions (that’s $30) for every referral that signs up. Paid via PayPal too!
- AliDropship – It comes as no surprise that this ecommerce/dropshipping plugin can pay as much as up to 50% commissions to its affiliates. Automation of online stores really are in-demand.
- Avast – This antivirus, VPN and privacy provider has been around for ages! Anyone can join the affiliate program and get a chance to earn 25% commission on all sales.
- BullGuard – This is like an anti-virus, but for mobile devices. Its affiliate program is generous – it pays 50% commission on every referral sale.
- BuyDomains – Partner with one of the oldest domain name companies around and help businesses land premium domains for their online presence. By referring people to BuyDomains, you can earn $175 commission on every domain purchase.
- Capital Exploits – A wealthy resource of modern investment advice and insider trading secrets from people that really know what they’re doing. It is one of the most unique high ticket affiliate programs around. Plus you have the chance of earning 50% commissions on products priced between $1575 and $3499.
- Cloudways – This cloud hosting company gives businesses a way to monitor and manage applications over cloud infrastructure. As an affiliate for Cloudways, you can earn up to $125 per sale, or up to $6,000 a month with its flexible commission structures.
- Constant Contact – Email marketing program that pays affiliates for every referred: get $5 for each member who signs up for a free trial, and $105 for every new paying customer.
- Coursera – Online courses listed here come from some of the best universities in the world, so users can learn any degree they wish online. Promote Coursera and get to earn baseline commissions between 20% to 45% on any eligible purchases your referral makes within a 30-day cookie duration.
- Deluxe – Boasting of an all-in-one solution businesses, from email-able checks to payroll, marketing services, web design, and a whole lot more. The affiliate program pays up to 30% commissions for B2B products and up to 50% commissions for B2b services.
- E-file – Help people prepare and “e-file” their tax documents without leaving their homes. E-file does it for them for half the cost, so it’s easy to encourage people to buy this service. Commission rates starts at 40% and increase for top earners.
- Elegant Themes – Creator of some of the most beautiful WordPress themes like Divi and plug-ins like Bloom, Elegant Themes is here to stay on top of the game. It pays its 300k affiliates over $3 million annually, so there’s no reason not to join in the fun. As affiliate, not only can you earn 50% commission from each sale, you also have bonus payout for renewals.
- Entrust Datacard – Offers full range of ID and security solutions for businesses. Gives 40% commission to affiliates joining their Partner Plus program.
- eReleases – This company crafts professional press releases. As an affiliate, you get to earn 50% (that’s $134.50) of every $269 new customer order.
- Etoro – Etoro is the world’s leading social investment network, where users can invest, trade stocks, currencies and commodities. It has reportedly paid out $87 million in commissions to its affiliates since its inception.
- Fiverr – Drive traffic to Fiverr or encourage freelancers to list their services on the site, and get to earn dynamic CPA up to $150.
- Ginger – This desktop software helps users write mistake-free every time. It corrects punctuation, style and sentence structure as you go. Its affiliate program is under ShareAsale and pays 50% shares per premium account upgrade.
- Grammarly – Ideal for bloggers and writers, this browser tool helps by automatically checking your writing before you press send. The affiliate program gives affiliates a chance to earn $0.20 for referrals who joined with a free account, and $20 for every referral who subscribed with a premium plan.
- Grasshopper – This beloved virtual phone system provider has over 300k happy customers. It also provides voicemail transcription and auto-attendant services. Affiliates are paid $100 for every new customer order.
- HubSpot – Known as one of the most powerful CRM, marketing and email tool with courses and training in-house, HubSpot is an easy sell to any marketer. The quality of products by HubSpot speaks for itself. Plus, affiliate commissions can reach up to $1,000.
- iMyFone – Creating privacy protection, data transfer, data recovery, storage management, and other kinds of software for iOS. Pays up to 60% commission or higher (if you’re able to make more sales).
- iTunes – Apple users are a loyal bunch, so expect iTunes to be in-demand for as long as the service is live. For affiliates, this means you can promote TV shows, apps, songs, audiobooks, movies, and other entertainment and earn 7% of the amount of iTunes products bought. The commission may seem small, but Apple is generous with its cookies (all purchases of your referral within 24 hours counts as your commission), which mean this can easily add up if you have a good strategy.
- James Allen – Home to customized engagement and wedding rings, diamonds and other jewelry. Promote James Allen if you’re looking for high ticket affiliate programs, since you can get up to 5% cut on referred sales. Note that the average sale of James Allen is $6,500, so 5% makes a whopping $275 per sale.
- Kicksta – This Instagram marketing agency helps users grow their Instagram following and improve social proof and branding. Earn 50% monthly sign-up commissions and some extra if you made record sales.
- MediTravels – As a company offering medical tourism packages, you can earn a flat fee of $100 for every referral who books a treatment at any of the locations featured on the site. The website is outdated, but this company has been around for over 10 years.
- Mojo Marketplace – Mojo Marketplace is home hundreds of themes, plugins, and services ranging from online marketing to web content. Commissions start at 30%, but can increase up to 70% for multiple referrals.
- MyThemeShop – MyThemeShop has over 100 WordPress themes and 30+ plugins on the site. If you bring in new customer for the company, you can earn 55% commission per sale.
- Paragon Software – Launched in 1994, Paragon Software has been providing hard drive and storage management, backup services and recovery solutions for a long time. Its affiliate program is just as reliable – partners get to earn up to 50% commission of software sold.
- Plus500 – This is the largest CFD trading platform in Europe (and Europe-based traders are the only ones allowed). The commission given to its affiliates vary depending on country of origin and number of referrals monthly, but you can expect about $200 to $800 commissions for every referred trader who deposits any amount of money into his/her respective Plus500 account. You also get to earn up to 30% commissions of the monthly gross revenue earned by your referrals on the platform.
- Ring Central – A leader in cloud telecommunication and collaboration solutions, RingCentral is also a top affiliate merchant at Commission Junction. It pays $100 per line on RingCentral Office sales and additional incentives for extra sales.
- Rose Hosting – This web hosting company has been around forever. In fact, they’re the first to offer commercial Linux virtual servers back in 2001. Today, they’re still reliable and credible. As affiliates, you can take home 50% commission on the first month’s payment from your referrals and 10% monthly commission on every subsequent payment from your referrals.
- SaleHoo – Ideal for ecommerce stores and dropshippers, this supplier directory and online community takes the cake as the best research tool. Affiliates get to earn 50% commissions for products, services and membership fees.
- Sandals Resorts – Luxury travel throughout the Caribbean. This high ticket affiliate program can definitely earn you a chunk of money (4% for referring sales on any of their travel products which cost thousands of dollars per person per night).
- Selz – Selz is an ecommerce and site builder that gives a visually-pleasing twist to regular sites and social profiles. This company pays affiliates a whopping 200% commission each time you refer someone to Selz.
- Shopify – It’s a modern drag-and-drop builder for online stores with all the themes, plugins and add-ons you’ll need for a fully functional ecommerce site. Earn an average $58 for regular plans and up to $2,000 for each Plus referral.
- StudioPress – Maker of the super-popular Genesis framework and other WordPress gadgets, StudioPress gives affiliates 35% commissions on every sale from its line of products. You do have to join ShareASale to join StudioPress affiliate program.
- STD Check – Promote STD Check’s 4,500 labs around the US, so adults or minors can take advantage of private testing of possible STDs. You also get to earn 40% revenue share (around $102.50) for every order completed.
- SugarSync – Simplifies a user’s digital life by organizing, backing up, syncing and storing all data and files across his/her devices. Affiliates here are paid up to 200% commission (that’s $150) for the most expensive Business plan.
- The Six Figure Mentors – This training program helps with leadership, online entrepreneurship and digital marketing in one comprehensive site. As an affiliate, you can earn $20 once you join, $200 for every “Essential” sales and a recurring $20/month for referrals that paid membership plans.
- Template Monster – This site has over 50,000 WordPress templates. As an affiliate for this company, you can earn from 30% to 50% commissions depending on the total sales you land for each month. You also get to enjoy 5% from the lifetime earnings of people you refer to become affiliates.
- TubeBuddy – The most powerful channel management tool with SEO, marketing, keyword/tag research, competitor analysis, and more. It offers 50% recurring commissions as long as the referrals remain active on TubeBuddy.
- Treehouse – A massive resource for students who learn visually, Treehouse is home to thousands of videos that teach business, coding, web design and more. As an affiliate, you can earn up to 50% commissions every time you successfully referred students to join Treehouse.
- Udemy – This massive website of online courses is pretty popular. Its affiliate program is available at LinkShare and has no published commission amounts. Affiliates have reported to earn 40 to 50% commission with exclusive discounts.
- Villiers – This luxury travel, private jet company is at the top of its game. It flies rich people around the world and pays its affiliates handsomely (about 30% of the booked flight’s amount). If you have a travel blog, this should be at the top of your high ticket affiliate programs.
- VIP Cars – This is the only car rental service affiliate program you should put your effort on, since VIP Cars works with all the leading brands (Hertz, Avis, etc.). Affiliates receive 50% to 70% of referred sales.
- Volusion – An ecommerce solution with hosting, themes, shopping cart and everything in between included in the package. Affiliates can earn up to 200% one-time commission payment of your client’s monthly hosting plan.
- WebinarJam – Aimed at providing specialty hosting for livestreaming, casting and webinar broadcasting, this company pays its affiliates 40% per sale on their flagship webinar products (which are priced somewhere from $297 to $497).
- WP Engine – The most popular WordPress hosting company on earth with over 60k customers across 100 countries. It pays affiliates $200 per new customer referred. This program runs at the ShareASale network.
- Yahoo! Small Business – I don’t really have to introduce Yahoo! anymore, but if you’re not aware of its ‘Small Business’ division, it sells e-commerce platforms, domains, web hosting and a site builder. As an affiliate, you get to partner with a world-class brand and earn commissions of up to $1,005.
Affiliate Programs with Recurring Income
Affiliate programs with recurring income are great because once you’ve referred a client to pay for the merchant’s product or service, you’ll get paid your first commission a month later.
Usually the first commission is highest, but you enjoy continuous commissions (sometimes at a lower percentage) every month after as long as the client you referred to remained a customer of this particular merchant.
- HideMyAss – This is a trusted VPN with a long history. It gives 40% to 100% commissions on new orders and 30% to 35% recurring commissions, depending on length of subscriptions.
- TorGuard – Plans offered here are cheaper, which means you commissions may add up more quickly even if the rates are lower. Affiliates earn 30% for new and recurring subscription. Plus, unlike other VPNs, TorGuard has 60-day cookie.
- NordVPN – New subscriptions can get you up to 40% commission, while renewals give you 30% commissions. It’s easy to promote, since NordVPN regularly has discounts and promos.
- OVPN – Has a reputation for solid security and reasonably-priced plans. Affiliates get to take home 30% to 50% commissions for new and old referrals. This program operates within CJ Affiliate by Conversant, so you have to join this network first.
- ActiveCampaign – New affiliates start at 20% commissions and work their way up to 30%. Only accepts existing customers as affiliates. Known for its marketing automation features.
- AWeber – One of the oldest companies on this list, so you’re sure they’ll pay 30% recurring commissions for referrals you sent their way (and stayed). Not very marketable because of slow updates vs. its competition. Anyone can join.
- ActiveTrail – While there are different monthly plans available for this comprehensive email marketing system, commission rates for affiliates remain simple at 15% per sale and recurring monthly.
- Benchmark – This email marketing software pays 25% recurring commissions.
- ClickFunnels – The most popular on this list of email marketing tools and the best one for affiliates (thanks to the 40% recurring commissions it offers).
- ConvertKit – User-friendly interface. Offers 30% recurring commissions.
- Drip – Has advanced marketing automation, but more expensive than ActiveCampaign. Has free (for below 100 subscribers) and paid plans. You can earn 30% recurring commissions.
- GetResponse – It’s an all-in-one email service and marketing automation solution with 30-day trial. It gives a bit higher recurring commissions at 33%.
- MailerLite – Made for bloggers on a budget, this email marketing tool is ideal if you have less than 1,000 subscribers. Affiliates get to earn 30% recurring referrals.
- Ontraport – Another full-featured marketing automation platform, it focus on closing sales and lead generation. Expensive, but offers 90-day money-back guarantee. Affiliates can earn 25% recurring commissions promoting this one.
Web Hosting & Storage
- Kinsta – With a credible reputation for good service and customer support, Kinsta’s plans are easy to promote. As affiliate, you are paid somewhere between $50 and $500 for the initial fee, then 10% recurring commissions.
- LiquidWeb – This is a fantastic web hosting service with more expensive packages than usual. They offer 100% commission for the first month, but 5% recurring commissions for every month after. The cool thing about this hosting provider is that many customers stay with the company, so every sale you get has a higher change of long-term commitment.
- pCloud – This cloud storage service gives 100% of the initial sale to affiliates and 20% of the monthly subscription for the duration of your referral’s stay with pCloud.
- LongTail Pro – This keyword research tool is aimed at niche site creators. It is quite expensive for the average customer, but affiliates get to earn 30% for both new and recurring sales.
- SEMRush – As a leader in the industry, you can bet anyone working on SEO has heard of this all-in-one marketing tool. The affiliate program is open to everyone, even non-customers, and offers up to 40% commissions with a 10-year cookie.
- NinjaOutreach – The commission for affiliates is only 20%, but it leads the industry for influencer marketing and outreach, which means it’s easier to promote than its competition.
- ClickMagick – Tracks links from your websites and organizes report in a single dashboard. Affiliates can earn up to 100% commission on the first payment and 35% recurring commissions.
- SocialOomph – For those serious with social media marketing, this tool is very useful in managing social media platforms in one place. As an affiliate, you can be paid 40% of commissions within a 30-day cookie duration.
- Udimi – This is a marketplace where you can buy single ads for traffic. Affiliates get 20 to 50% recurring for all customers referred. On top of this, you can also get recurring 15% commission of your referral’s ad purchases.
- Overflow Cafe – A SEO service for small to medium-sized businesses in need of some push with traffic and search engine rankings. Affiliates are paid $15/month (that’s more than 50%) commission of the $29/month subscription fee.
- Ucraft – This website builder is designed for eCommerce. It accommodates a plethora of builders with thanks to plans ranging from $8 to $76 monthly. Affiliates earn a whopping 50% for new and recurring orders, plus it’s got lifetime cookie that doubles your changes of converting referrals.
- SamCart – One of the most popular shopping carts available, featuring tons of add-ons as well. It pays 40% recurring commissions to affiliate partners.
- PayKickStart – Very similar to SamCart’s features, but pays lower (30%) commissions to affiliates.
- Podia – This all-in-one platform lets you build, host and sell digital products, similar to Shopify but without transaction fees and no limit on products, etc. Affiliates can earn up to 30% commissions for referrals
- Wholesale2b – For dropshipping websites, this all-in-one solution makes product sourcing, order fulfillment, returns, and product listing easy. Affiliates get 30% commission for every new active member referred, plus recurring monthly commissions after.
- Thrive Themes – Very popular theme brand in the WordPress space. Offers 2-year cookie with 35% commissions for new purchases and 25% commissions for recurring subscriptions to affiliates.
- CSSIgniter – As an all-in-one WordPress builder that includes themes, landing pages and plugins, the CSSIgniter gives affiliates a recurring annual 25% commission of the $69/year plan.
- SEOPressor– This premium SEO plugin for WordPress takes care of spam comments like a champ. It also gives affiliates 50% monthly recurring commissions.
- MemberPress – This membership plugin for WordPress is powerful and beginner-friendly. Affiliates earn via a two-tier model: 25% recurring monthly commissions for every referral, and 5% on any sales their referrals make.
- PremiumCoding – Calls itself a “WordPress hub” for the wealth of information it provides. Affiliate partners have a chance of earning 35% of the sales, which can increase to up to 50% as you refer more paying customers.
- InstaPage – This drag-and-drop landing page builder is geared towards beginners. It pays affiliate partners 50% commissions for the initial fee and 30% on recurring subscriptions. Plus, it has a 12-day cookie duration.
- LeadPages – Designed for non-techy ecommerce owners, who wants to create opt-in pop-ups and landing pages quickly. Affiliates can earn 30% commissions of initial fees and recurring subscription fees.
- SendLane – This tool offers more than a landing page builder. It’s an email service, marketing automation, and event tracking tool that takes care of its affiliates with 30% recurring commissions whether they referred someone for the $25/month plan or to the most expensive $599/month package.
- PicMonkey – Photo editor for people in a hurry, this design tool would serve any social media user’s purpose. Its affiliate program is over at ShareAsale and offers 50% commissions for the first fee and 25% recurring commissions.
- Stencil – This isn’t even close to Photoshop, but it’s the easiest image creation tool perfect for social media use. It’s inexpensive, so it’s very easy to promote. Affiliates can get 30% commissions for initial and recurring fees.
- Snappa – Similar to Stencil, but with pre-made templates and preset sizes. Has free and paid plans. As an affiliate, you can earn 30% recurring commissions with a 30-day cookie duration.
- WishPond – Just like other landing page builders here, but it’s most known for the social media contest feature. Get up to 30% recurring commissions as affiliates.
- LiveChat – This tool creates a live-chat pop-up within a user’s website and offers a customer support solution for small to big businesses. Its affiliate program only pays 20% commission for every referral made, but this is a recurring payment as long as the people you referred remains a LiveChat customer.
- Answerbase – A knowledge base add-on for websites, Answerbase is a highly customizable software with advanced analytics capability. The affiliate program pays well (50% initially and 15% recurring commissions).
- MMA Conditioning Association – If you are passionate about MMA and talk about it on your blog, this mixed martial arts certification program can be a good addition to your income stream. As an affiliate, you can earn one-off 30% commission on regular sales or recurring 30% monthly on membership plans.
- Teachable – It’s not as famous as Udemy, but it’s not trying to be. Teachable not only lets people sell their courses online, users can also create visually-appealing and marketable courses in-house. Its affiliate program has a 90-day cookie duration and 30% commissions for new and old referrals.
- TrainPetDog.com – The website is a comprehensive guide on how to train pet dogs. It sells a membership called “Elite Dog Owner’s Club” (affiliates get 25% of the $37/month membership fees) and ebooks that costs $19.95, which earns affiliates 80% of every sale. The website itself is outdated, but the 10-year cookie duration is probably the most appealing aspect of this affiliate program.
Food & Other Tangible Products
- Organifi’s Green Juice – Organifi has various superfood products, which can get affiliates 20% commission for each sale. If you join its affiliate program via Clickbank and promote Organifi’s Green Juice, you can get 30% lifetime commissions for as long as your referral continues his/her subscription to the health and wellness juice.
Memberships and Dating Websites
- Freelance Writers Den – This niche membership site offers a wealth of resource and training for freelance writers. Affiliates earn up to 50% commissions for the first-month subscription and 25% for every month after.
- Adult Friend Finder – Offers multiple affiliate programs (country-based, cost-per-lead, etc.), but the most ideal is the percentage program where you can earn up to 75% commissions for the first month subscription and 55% for recurring orders.
The Best Resource for Affiliate Marketers
If your heart is set at mastering affiliate marketing and earning passive income through these programs, you have to be equipped with the basics. I recommend you join Wealthy Affiliate, where there are tons and tons of resources to fit beginners and advanced marketers.
Wealthy Affiliate has ebooks, courses, videos, webinars, audiobooks – you name it, they got it. Plus, content is added daily with WA owners Kyle and Carson making sure you’re up-to-date with affiliate marketing techniques and tools.
There’s also a WA community (where I actively participate in) for those late-night questions you need to be answered.
If you’re not ready to commit, you can join Wealthy Affiliate for free and dip your fingers with the first set of courses.
I’m confident you’ll see what I’m talking about once you’re in. I’ve been a proud member and affiliate partner of WA for years.
And why not? WA is good to its affiliates; it pays a commission of about $175 per annual sign-ups or recurring $23.50 monthly over the lifetime of every Premium member you refer.
The Bottom Line
The best affiliate programs to make money on shouldn’t just be the one that pays well.
They should also include merchants that would fit your niche.
This is particularly important if you’re a blogger, since you’d want as many products to promote across your blog, social media profiles, and other online presence.
Ultimately, the affiliate programs you choose will depend on your online money-making strategies, but I hope these recommendations can help you sort out winning programs that have the potential to take your online revenues to the next level.
And if you’re just starting out and looking for niche ideas, I got you covered with this affiliate marketing niche guide.