Best Affiliate Programs For Beginners In 2021

Many people want a passive stream of revenue, but getting started isn’t always easy.

Understanding which are the best affiliate programs for beginners will help you to start on the right track.

If you’re new to affiliate marketing, there are certain programs that won’t be a good fit for you. It takes time to learn affiliate marketing, but you will find success much more quickly if you choose to work with the programs that are right for you.

What Makes Affiliate Programs Beginner-Friendly?

When it comes to affiliate programs, there are several things that make them suitable for beginners.

Here’s what you’ll want to look for in a beginner-friendly affiliate program:

  • Minimal or no vetting process
  • Easy to use platform
  • Products that are simple to promote
  • Products with low to medium competition
  • Reliable and regular payouts from the network
  • Wide selection of products
  • No or low registration fees
  • Few requirements for entry
  • Decent commission levels
  • Good reporting features

If you’re looking for an affiliate program for beginners, you’ll want to look for features that will make things as easy as possible for you. For example, having a large selection of products to choose from can help you to choose a niche and also scale your income.

Having access to metrics is also important as this will help you to see clearly which campaigns are working for you, and which ones you should walk away from.

Once you hone in on the winners, you can then put more effort into scaling those up.

6 Of The Best Affiliate Programs For Beginners

When you’re just starting out, you’ll find that affiliate programs with minimal vetting will make things much easier for you to get started.

Unfortunately, some affiliate programs want to see that you already have an audience, a website, and sometimes even a certain amount of traffic that you are already generating.

If you’re beginner then forget about those programs for now until you have the necessary requirements.

The good news is that there are also loads of programs that have very few or no requirements at all in order for you to get accepted and get started.


ClickBank affiliate program

ClickBank has been around for more than 17 years and is an excellent choice for those new to affiliate marketing.

While not all of the products you will find on this platform are great, they certainly do have an impressive range. Furthermore, many of the products available here aren’t available on any other network. It’s also easy for both vendors and marketers to join, which can be very beneficial.

There are many entrepreneurs and bloggers that sign up for ClickBank. Lifestyle and digital products are commonly found on the platform. These niches provide a lot of scope for advertisement through websites and blogs, which is one thing that makes them so attractive.

People also appreciate that ClickBank pays quickly. ClickBank offers commissions as high as 75%, and on top of that, they pay out weekly, holding only 2 weeks commissions in arrears in case of refunds. Best of all, the minimum threshold for payment is only $10, so if you’re a newbie you can start to get a few bucks in your pocket quicker than with most other programs.

The commission rates on ClickBank are some of the best in the industry. It’s an excellent place for novices to learn the ropes and for accomplished marketers to increase their earnings. ClickBank was the place where I started, and 8 years on I still use the platform today.

However, it’s not all roses as there are some issues with the platform. If you’re inactive for a long period and your account is not generating sales then you could be subject to fees mounting up, so make sure you check how long this period is before joining.

Fortunately, it’s simple to get started, but if you’re not successful on this platform then it could wind up costing you.


  • Low threshold for payment
  • Excellent commissions
  • Possible to join without paperwork
  • Impressive product selection


  • Charges for lack of activity, sales, and earning
  • Some products are low-quality or unpopular


The Shareasale affiliate network

This thriving platform has more than 1,000 merchants. The range of products is excellent and includes digital goods and services as well as physical products. Commission rates vary based on the niche of the products being sold.

With an incredibly low payment threshold of $1, this platform is excellent for those that want to access their earnings quickly. Still, it should be noted that ShareASale is lacking the PayPal payout option.

Personally, I prefer using the direct bank transfer option anyway since PayPal has high fees. However, if you prefer to use PayPal to receive your payments then this may be an issue for you.

Some of the brands that have partnerships with ShareASale are very well-known, and some of them also offer very good commissions.

It’s important to know that each product vendor will set their own commission level. Promoting Reebok goods, for example, could earn you a 7% commission, which choosing to promote Puffy mattress can bring you a cool 20% per sale. Qatar Airways also has a ShareASale affiliate program so there really is a lot of scope here.

A great benefit that ShareASale offers is that they make it easy to search for affiliate programs that might be a good fit for your needs.

If you want to apply, the only thing necessary is a working website. There’s minimal stress, and the process should be simple for those that are new to affiliate marketing.

However, you should keep in mind that after you’ve joined, you won’t just be able to choose any product you want to promote. It’s necessary to complete individual applications for vendors through the Shareasale platform.

Because of this, building an affiliate business can take a little time. However, the really good vendors have pro-active affiliate managers who are eager to get to know you, support you, and work with you long-term, which is one of the things I like the best about Shareasale.

Another benefit that ShareASale offers are its merchant metrics.

With these metrics, you have access to valuable data on merchant sales and EPC (earnings per click). Thanks to this data, you can work to see an improvement in your conversions.


  • Many of the brands here are platform exclusive
  • Joining is free and there are very few requirements
  • Educational tools are available
  • Detailed metrics
  • Excellent variety of products and services


  • No support for PayPal
  • Dashboard is dated


Commission Junction network

This platform, which is sometimes referred to as CJ Affiliate, has been around since 2002. CJ primarily works with larger brands that are known on a global scale

It’s likely that you’re familiar with many companies that partner with the network, such as Samsung, Verizon, GoPro, UnderArmor, and Sonos.

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly affiliate marketing platform that will allow you to work with well-known brands, Commission Junction is an excellent option. It’s free to register and easy to sign up.

The platform provides plenty of metrics, which can be useful to newcomers. It’s a platform used by experienced marketers and beginners. When you have more experience, you can take advantage of metrics and build stronger marketing campaigns.

When you’re just starting out, you may find that metrics can help you with site optimization and learning affiliate marketing basics.

This platform can be highly educational.

However, it should be noted that the network is a better fit for beginners that have at least three months of experience under their belts.

Having experience isn’t a requirement, but it will help you get more out of the platform, especially early on. There’s a lot to learn about affiliate marketing. Even if you have a few months of experience, you’re still a beginner.


  • There are many tools for link creation
  • Payments are monthly
  • Many well-known brands to choose from


  • Fees for lack of activity and sales
  • Not so easy to use platform
  • The payment threshold is $50

eBay Partner Network

eBay Partner Network

Virtually everyone is familiar with eBay.

While this company began as a way for people to get rid of items they no longer need, it’s transformed into a major platform used by people and brands across the globe.

Used goods are still sold on eBay, but the platform now offers much more than that. In fact, out of eBay’s 1.4 billion listings, 80% are for new items.

Lots of newcomers to affiliate marketing start out by working with Amazon. However, it’s rare for people to look into eBay’s affiliate marketing program.

Since the program is managed by eBay, you won’t have to go through a middleman. You’ll be able to work directly with eBay.

This will allow you to establish a relationship with the company’s team, which can benefit you on a long-term basis.

There are drawbacks to the EPN (eBay Partner Network), but it’s still an excellent option for new affiliate marketers, especially when used in tandem with Amazon’s Associate’s Program.


  • It’s newcomer-friendly
  • Excellent brand recognition
  • Incredible product selection
  • Great value for visitors
  • Commission rates as high as 70% per sale
  • PayPal payments are an option


  • Cookies only last 24 hours
  • Many replica items are sold on the platform

Etsy Affiliate Program

The ETSY affiliate website

Etsy’s affiliate program is unusual in a number of ways.

Artists, crafters, and vintage re-sellers produce the products sold on Etsy. However, there are some manufacturers from overseas that have tried to capitalize on the platform’s popularity.

The affiliate network works with individual traders rather than brands.

Etsy has no major competitors within their niche. In a matter of just a few years, they’ve gone from nothing to become a company that is publicly traded.

One of the most intriguing things about Etsy is how many people use the platform to buy and sell goods. Many of the items sold on Etsy are completely unique.

You can earn money by sharing products you find on Etsy or even writing reviews. When someone makes a purchase after clicking your link, you’ll earn a commission of 4%.

Etsy commission payments aren’t likely to be enough to cover your retirement. However, it can be a steady source of affiliate earnings.


  • Simple interface that’s easy to navigate
  • Impressive range of products, with new items being added regularly
  • It’s the best program for craft, artisan, and vintage gifts
  • Independent creators are supported by promoting Etsy
  • Because of the diversity of the product selection, visitors may stay on the site for hours or more


  • The most popular vendors typically move on to other platforms
  • Recent changes to algorithms have caused issues for some of Etsy’s traders


The Impact Radius network

Impact has been around for just over a decade, which makes it one of the younger affiliate networks. Still, it should be noted that its founders had experience with LeadPoint and Commission Junction.

Even though Impact is younger than many other affiliate marketing networks, it has an excellent reputation.

There are more than 1,000 merchants that offer products through Impact. This program is an excellent option for newcomers that have yet to select a niche.

There are countless options available, from technology to tourism.

It can take a while to sign up for the platform. There is a detailed verification process that could involve phone conversations.

Not everyone is approved for the platform, which might be what you’re looking for. Joining isn’t exactly difficult, but the process can be time-consuming.

Because of this, the network is considered to be dependable and has a stellar reputation. Merchants are more likely to remain with the platform because the quality of the affiliate marketers is high.

Major brands often leave affiliate platforms. This is less likely to occur with Impact because of its high status.

It has a $25 minimum payment threshold, which can be motivating for marketers. This is a threshold that most beginners can achieve without issue.

There are two different payment methods available: direct transfer and PayPal. If you opt to use PayPal, you may be responsible for a fee of 2%.

Impact is one of the most consistent affiliate marketing networks around. It’s highly reliable and has steadily increased in popularity.


  • Products meet high standards of quality
  • Payment threshold in the midrange
  • Founders are experience
  • Migration assistance is available


  • Joining can take time
  • Few niches are catered to

Other Noteworthy Affiliate Programs For Beginners

If you don’t like the idea of signing up for a network then here are some other noteworthy affiliate programs that you can join.

GrooveFunnels Affiliate Program

If you’re working in the internet marketing niche then GrooveFunnels is a great choice of product to promote.

GrooveFunnels is an all-in-one business tool that gives you access to powerful software that enables you to build websites, landing pages, funnels, host webinars, host your videos, send out emails, and much more.

As an affiliate, you can earn between 20-40% monthly recurring commissions on your tier-1 sign up’s, and between 5-10% commission on level 2 sign up’s.

If you’re interested to know more then see my article here for a detailed explanation of the GrooveFunnels affiliate program. Alternatively, you can sign up as a Groove affiliate here.

ClickFunnels Affiliate Program

ClickFunnels is currently the leading landing page and funnels building platform on the market.

The company has been going since 2014 and has a cult-like following thanks to its influential leader, Russell Brunson.

Although it’s become quite competitive in the last few years, ClickFunnels is still a good program to promote for beginners. This is because, besides their main SaaS offering, they also have a number of other products that you can promote as well.

In my experience, ClickFunnels products convert very well, and you can often earn considerable commissions on the back end offers.

As an affiliate, you can earn between 20-40% commission depending on your activity as an affiliate.

To know more about this program see my article here on the ClickFunnels affiliate program. Alternatively, you can sign up for the CF program here.

There’s a lot of ways you can promote this software product, which is also why it can be a good option for newbies. It is, of course, recommended to use the software yourself if you want to promote it. That way you know what you’re talking about when you’re trying to offer it to others.

If you want to know more about actually using the software as an affiliate then you can see my article here on ClickFunnels affiliate marketing for beginners.

SEO Affiliate Domination

If you want to promote an affiliate marketing course then I have had success promoting SEO Affiliate Domination by Greg Jeffries.

I bought SEOAD myself back in 2018 and I’ve had a lot of success with the methods taught in the course. Because of this, I also decided to promote the course myself.

Greg is considering reopening the course very soon, with talk of commission levels being as high as $1,000 per sale.

You can find out more about SEO Affiliate Domination here.

Alternatively, you can also see my article here on the best affiliate SEO courses for beginners.

Affiliate Programs For Beginners – Final Thoughts

As a beginner, you need to think carefully about which affiliate program you’d like to use. It’s often better to start out with a single platform. It’s possible to move on to different platforms as your business expands.

Taking those factors into consideration, my recommendation is for beginners to start out with ClickBank or Shareasale.

While these networks may not have the same high-quality products that other networks offer, they provide beginners with all the tools they need to succeed.

Joining is free, and the payment threshold is extremely low. The selection of products is excellent, particularly when compared against other platforms.

It’s easy to register and the interface is easy to use, which also makes this a strong choice for novices.

Many platforms have flat commissions and fees, but the system used on ClickBank and Shareasale, it’s is based on percentages. This can lead to higher revenue for you.

If you choose quality products to promote on these networks then you can earn a great deal.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that some of the links contained in this article are affiliate links. If you click on one of my links and then make a purchase, I may receive compensation for the referral, at no extra cost to you. Any commissions I do earn through this blog enable me to continue to provide you with all this awesome, free content. Thank you.

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