Best Affiliate Marketing Platforms in 2021 – Top 10
Last Updated on November 21, 2021 by James Wilson
Affiliate marketing is hugely popular, especially for those looking to kickstart their online business revenue. The world of affiliate marketing has grown massively within the blogging industry, making it a key source of income for many.
Bloggers often struggle to make money during the first few months and sometimes years of their ventures. Passive income streams are available in many shapes and sizes which is why I wanted to investigate.
Whilst some people do make big money through their online business and blogging, I don’t suggest quitting your job until you become more established. Learning how to monetise your blog is essential in taking your first steps towards working for yourself.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be too complicated. You essentially partner your website with an affiliate marketing program or platform. They then connect you to someone that can sell your product or service. For example, you write an article or review about a new mobile app. The affiliate marketer would connect you to someone that owns or sells said app, and if purchased, a small cut off the profits comes to you. Other examples include clicking on marketing links or signing up to useful services like BlueHost’s web hosting.
Where to get started
Depending on your blog or market, certain affiliate marketing programs or platforms may be more suited to you. I’m going to cover a wide variety of the best affiliate marketing platforms of 2019 to make your life easier! Regardless of what type of blogger you are, there should be something for you in this list.
LiveChat.com offers an affiliate marketing program with leading customer service software. If you work or have contacts in the customer service market, this program will be right up your street. You’ll get a 20% recurring commission for the customers you refer with a 120-day cookie time-frame.
One of the bonuses of LiveChat.com’s partner program is that you can earn money, regardless of who you are. You can add promo banners and affiliate links as a business or website owner, or run email campaigns as a marketer. If you’re a blogger or content writer you could even write your own review.
Sign up to Live Chat Partner Program here.
- 20% recurring commission
- 120-day cookie expiration
- Customer service software that suits multiple industries
- Must have an active and verified PayPal account to withdraw commission
2. Amazon Associates
Amazon is one of the most well known brands in the world. For this reason, people place a lot of trust in them and will happily purchase from their online store again and again. From sweet hampers to drones, homeware to digital goods, Amazon has it all. Regardless of your niche, you’re likely to find it on Amazon which is what makes it the perfect affiliate marketing platform.
Sign up to Amazon Associates here.
- Up to 10% commission on a qualifying product purchase
- All purchases will count towards your commission (even if it wasn’t the product that was clicked on from)
- Huge selection of products likely to appeal to most people and niches
- Affiliate cookie expires after 24 hours
- Payout options are limited to cheque, bank transfer or Amazon gift cards
3. eBay Partners
You may be wondering why such a large marketplace like eBay wants you to help them sell products. Well, companies like this are big and well known for a reason. They make money; a lot of it, and will continue to do so with your help. Using eBay’s Partner Network tools, you can help promote listings and get paid for doing so.
Sign up to eBay Partners here.
- eBay sells an insanely large range of products. Because products are listed by everyone and anyone, there’s not many products that aren’t for sale (legally)
- There aren’t any complex rules around their affiliate platform. Simply share your listing link and if someone purchases from it, you’ve made some money
- You’ll earn double commission for the first 3 months of signing up
- Sales get split 3 ways between you, the seller and eBay
- You don’t get any commission if the auction takes longer than 10 days to end
4. Shopify Affiliate Program
Shopify is amongst the leading eCommerce platforms worldwide. The hugely popular software is used by bloggers and online retailers to sell products through an online store. Plenty of companies use Shopify so finding one that sells products or services related to your niche shouldn’t be too difficult.
Sign up to Shopify Affiliate Program here.
- There’s lots of money to be made. You’ll get the first two months of your referrals subscription fee
- Shopify presents lots of opportunities and is the best eCommerce platform, making it trusted and worth referring to
- Your audience is limited to people who want to use Shopify to sell things online
5. Rakuten Marketing Affiliates
You may well of heard of Rakuten before. They are a leading online store that sells a wide range of goods including electronics, pet supplies, clothes, and Lego. If you can think of something to buy, Rakuten probably stocks and sells it. Rakuten will happily pay you for referring people to purchase anything from them.
Sign up to Rakuten Marketing Affiliates here.
- Rakuten is very well known, therefore promotes trust in its consumers. Getting people to purchase from them shouldn’t be difficult at all
- They offer a wide range of products from pet food to drones
- If you want to promote a variety of brands on Rakuten, you’ll have to sign up to them all individually
6. Leadpages Partner Program
Leadpages is a marketing tool that offers unique and powerful features. The tool allows pretty much anyone to create professional landing pages for any website. Regardless of expertise, skill or knowledge, it’s really easy to use Leadpages to your full advantage. If you have a digital audience that could do with creating or enhancing their landing pages, this is a great opportunity.
Sign up to Leadpages Partner Program here.
- Because of its popularity and unique tool it offers, Leadpages kind of sells itself so you don’t have to. Anyone with a website can make use of their tool
- Their tool is genuinely really powerful so it makes promoting it really easy
- 30% commission on each sale regardless of referral spend
- Because it’s only useful for those with websites, it means it’s only available to a niche market
7. StudioPress Affiliate Website
If your audience base has a large digital prescence, you may want to consider StudioPress’s Affiliate Website. Like Leadpages, it is a niche, but one that’s worth pursuing if you can. StudioPress creates professional, responsive, and darn right beautiful and customisable WordPress themes. Anyone looking for a WordPress theme or template will be astounded at what StudioPress can offer.
Sign up to StudioPress Affiliate Website here.
- StudioPress sells itself, making the task a lot easier for you. Encouraging WordPress users to look at StudioPress won’t be difficult as most fall in love with it instantly
- The payouts on StudioPress’s affiliate program are quite nice. You’ll get a tasty 35% from each theme sale plus $75 on any site sale which can amount to quite a lot
- StudioPress is a niche product, so unless your audience are WordPress users, you may not be able to take advantage of the rewards
8. BlueHost Affiliate Program
BlueHost’s reputation is unrivaled; it’s number 2 in my best web hosting reviews. BlueHost’s web hosting (especially for WordPress) is incredibly affordable and flexible. They offer stable web hosting with unlimited bandwidth and storage for the price of a sandwich. Their WordPress installation is quick and easy, but if you do run into any trouble, their support is second to none.
Sign up to BlueHost Affiliate Program here.
- BlueHost’s affiliate program has a really simple process. All you need to do is sign up and share your referral link. There are no complications to it and you can create your own campaigns with different banners should you wish
- BlueHost is actually recommended by WordPress, so you can’t compete on quality and trust
- Again, another niche product. Unless your website visitors want web hosting, it’s not going to be much use
- You’ll need to make a minimum of $100 in the first 12 months for a payout. However, they’re offering $65 for each referral so this shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve
9. ConvertKit Affiliate Program
If you’re looking for one of the market leaders in the email marketing industry, ConvertKit is definitely one of them. I guess you could say it’s a niche in some ways, but if your audience has a website or blog of their own, they’re sure to make use of ConverKit’s tools. They focus on being entirely customisable, offering a unique product to every user.
Sign up to ConvertKit Affiliate Program here.
- If your visitors require email marketing, ConverKit is an amazing tool that they can use. It won’t be hard selling ConvertKit to anyone that needs it because they do rock the socks off their competition
- ConvertKit’s affiliate program doesn’t have a cut-off point, so you can earn revenue from them forever
- It’s a niche product, but maybe not as niche as some of the other ones I’ve mentioned
- They offer customers a 30-day money-back refund policy so all referrals need to pass the 30-day period before being validated
HubSpot helps companies grow on a daily basis. Their award-winning platform provides a wealth of tools to businesses looking to kick start or enhance their sales and marketing techniques and lots more. They are an extremely well known platform and offer a generous affiliate marketing program. You can earn up to $1000 for each product that is purchased ($250 starter, $500 professional/CMS, and $1000 enterprise)
Sign up to HubSpot Affiliate Marketing here.
- Affiliate payout is very generous and can earn you up to $1000 per product purchased
- Attracts a wide range of customers who are looking to start up a business or who already have a business. Not as niche as some other affiliate marketing programs
- There is a cookie life on all referral links of 90 days (though in all honesty, 3 months is a long time)
- Pricing is expensive for those wanting to purchase, so although the payout is generous, you have to find people willing to spend a fair amount each month on their products
11. Google AdSense
Although not strictly an affiliate marketing program or platform, Google AdSense does provide the means to earn money. You can monetise your blog quite easily and quickly with Google AdSense. This tool allows you to insert adverts into your blog and earn money for every click your users make on each ad. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme but it does provide the means for you to advertise on your blog.
Sign up to Google AdSense here.
- You won’t need a specific market or niche to make money with Google AdSense. They do the hard work for you and find the ads to display on your blog
- Google is known by almost everyone worldwide (and anyone using the internet) so they’re a safe bet
- You have the ability to disable adverts on your blog that aren’t suitable or appropriate for your audience
- Unless you have a lot of users visiting your blog, you won’t make that much money to start with
12. MaxBounty Affiliate Network
You may not have heard of MaxBounty, but their affiliate network is certainly up and coming. They work with some pretty well-known brands including Norton, T-Mobile, and McAfee (which is always reassuring). Their aim is to connect affiliate marketers with advertisers who pay well. So far they seem to know what they’re doing and people are flocking to their site to see what the fuss is about.
Sign up to MaxBounty Affiliate Network here.
- If you can earn a minimum of $1000 per month through MaxBounty for the first 3 months, they’ll give you a bonus of $1000
- MaxBounty pay their affiliates weekly so there’s no waiting around like some other affiliate programs
- You can choose multiple payout options with MaxBounty including digital payment methods
- They aren’t as well established as other affiliate marketing programs which may put some people off
13. ShareASale Affiliates
ShareASale is a well established company with over 17 years in the business. They offer a marketplace which has a ton of merchants selling pretty much anything and everything. You won’t have trouble trying to promote any of their products or finding relevance to your audience as there’s something for everyone.
Sign up to ShareASale Affiliates here.
- ShareASale has both digital and traditional payout options. It’s quite rare to find affiliate marketing platforms that offer digital payouts so when you find one, it’s worth holding onto
- There’s plenty of choice in terms of merchants and products so you’ll be able to find something to fit your niche
- It can be quite complicated to set up the referral process with ShareASale. A small amount of technical know-how would be useful