The best affiliate marketing programs for beginners

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The best affiliate marketing programs for beginners will depend greatly on the aim of your business, your niche and your experience.

You’ll need to decide whether you want to sell physical or digital products, what kind of commission you want and how much work you’re willing to put in setting things up.

But with that said, there are certainly some top choices for starting out and a number of affiliate marketing platforms that are especially popular among beginners. In this post, we’ll look at some of the best options and from there, you can decide which one is best suited to your specific needs.



Commission Junction Affiliate Program

Commission Junction is one of the oldest affiliate marketing sites in town, having started out way back in 1998. This in itself gives the site a certain prestige and has helped it to become one of the best known names in the industry.

Of course that doesn’t necessarily make it the best. CJ has a huge number of affiliate products and has a lot of features that put it ahead of the competition – but it is also somewhat old fashioned in certain ways and doesn’t have the very best UI or set-up process. If you can get around this though, then you’ll find a great selection of (largely digital) affiliate products to sell and often with commission up to 75%. And to be fair, it is getting a lot better now with free live support.

One caveat to keep in mind when signing up as a beginner, is that it has high standards for affiliates. In order to get the green light to start promoting products, you will need to demonstrate that you have a good website in place and ideally a fair amount of traffic.



Like Commission Junction, Clickbank is a super-old, super-big affiliate network that will offer a huge number of digital products and the relative assurance that comes from using a larger and more well-known company. Also like Commission Junction though, it’s also somewhat older and less user-friendly.

It has come a long way and now looks a lot flashier and more modern than it once did but it’s still not going to be as quick, easy or enjoyable to set up as some others on this list, like JVZoo. That said, it once again offers more products that the more recent and somewhat smaller affiliate programs, so this ultimately comes down to your preference.



JVZoo is another of the better known affiliate marketing platforms and works in a very similar way – listing largely digital products along with the commission and the sales and then letting you pick which ones you want to promote.

Once again, complete beginners might find they stumble when trying to find new products if they don’t have a website or any traffic already coming in. You’ll need to contact the product creators directly and they’ll need to give you the go ahead to get started.

But on the whole, JVZoo is arguably a slightly more modern and appealing choice for a complete beginner. The UI and set-up is easier, the fees charged by JVZoo on sales are smaller and the whole thing feels a little easier to get started with. With slightly fewer products and sellers than the other two though, you’re going to have to do some digging to make sure that it will do what you need it to.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to sell a digital product online, then you’ll do just fine with any of these three affiliate programs. And compared to others like the abysmal BlueSnap, they have all the features and terms to help support a new online business.



Amazon Associates is a lot different from JVZoo or Commission Junction in just about way! For starters, you are now going to be selling physical products rather than digital ones. This makes a big difference right from the start and broadens your appeal and potential demographic. Now you can sell anything from kitchenware, to children’s toys, to electronics!

What’s more, is that you are selling these products through Amazon. That means people are more likely to buy, as they’re shopping through a brand they recognize and a payment gateway they trust. They probably have their details already stored, meaning that you can overcome barriers to sale and encourage more purchases.

The other big difference is that you have no need to contact the sellers directly, or to show evidence of your website. All you need to do is to grab the affiliate link for your desired product and you’re good to go! Amazon provides a lot of great tools to help things along too – like adverts and even rotating product displays. This all makes it one of the best affiliate programs for beginners by far.

The downside is that Amazon will usually offer a much smaller cut: typically around 4-8%. If you’re used to getting 75% from the others on this list, then that will seem like a big reduction. The question is whether you can get the volume to make up for that!



Finally, ShareASale is another option for selling physical affiliate products. The great thing about this is that you can find some great promotions, often offering more commission and sometimes as high as 25% or 30%.

The downside is that there aren’t as many products as you’ll find on Amazon, you don’t get the same fancy ad units and the company isn’t as well known. This means that you might find it slightly more difficult to sell. ShareASale also lacks another great feature of Amazon – Amazon gives you commission on any products bought after someone clicks your link. That means that if they follow your URL, get distracted and buy a new computer… you get the commission! ShareASale doesn’t have this option, so it’s worth balancing the extra commission.

Overall, there’s no one site that is the very best affiliate program for beginners but by checking out these five and comparing what they have to offer, you’re sure to find a good deal to suit you.