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Top Affiliate Programs: How to Choose the Best Affiliate Programs That Pay

Updated on January 20, 2012
Earn passive income online from affiliate programs that pay well.
Earn passive income online from affiliate programs that pay well.

Earn Passive Income From Affiliate Programs

Promoting quality affiliate products and services under the right affiliate programs can really pay off. It is, however, not always an easy way to make money online, especially for beginners. Although top affiliate programs provide nice payouts, you won't make any money right off the bat.

Earning passive income from affiliate programs is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes a lot of time and hard work to get good results. The affiliate marketing niche is very saturated and the chances of making money are tough if you don't know how to choose the right programs and products.

Find affiliate programs that pay the best commissions and have the best conversion rates.
Find affiliate programs that pay the best commissions and have the best conversion rates.

Affiliate Programs That Pay High Commissions

The affiliate commission rate is an important consideration when choosing products for your marketing campaign, but don't forget about conversion rates. Affiliate products with the highest commissions are not always the best choice. A 50% or 75% commission is worthless if the product you're promoting is garbage and no one's buying it.

Sometimes programs with lower commission rates are better. If the product has a lower commission, but converts consistently, it would bring in more steady sales without any problems. An example is Amazon. The Amazon Associates commissions start at only 4%, which might sound lousy, but Amazon products convert very well. The company also moves you into a higher commission rate if you sell enough.

Cost Per Action Affiliate Programs That Pay

Cost per action (CPA) affiliate programs can be very profitable because your referrals don't have to buy anything in order for you to earn a commission. With CPA affiliate programs you get paid when the visitor enters their name and email address into a form. The easiest ones are zip code submits. Some forms are lengthy and convert poorly, but some forms are short and convert really well.

Cost per action transactions pay as much as $3 or more , but most simple form-based CPA offers pay around $.50 to $1. If you are able to send a lot of traffic through your CPA affiliate links, you can make a lot of money every month because you're not relying on a sale to make money.

The most common way to make money from CPA offers is by joining CPA networks. This way you can quickly compare hundreds of CPA offers all in one place instead of searching for them separately. The best CPA network for newbies is Commission Junction. Another good one is Market Leverage. Both have easy approval. Some networks, like Never Blue, are more selective about their applicants. Some CPA networks are also shady and screw affiliates out of money, so you have to be careful who you're signing up with.

Affiliate Programs That Pay On Multiple Levels

Tons of affiliate programs pay on more than one level and that's how you can really snowball your passive income, because you would earn money from the first referral and then also from their referrals as well. Earnings can go 3-5 or more levels deep.

Some of these affiliate programs are often associated with multi level marketing programs (MLM). Membership based sites, such as dating sites, often use affiliate programs. However, a referral program is only worth as much as the earning potential of the site itself. An affiliate program, with or without multiple levels, is worthless if the people you're referring aren't making any money from the site because the site sucks. However, if you're using CPA offers, you would earn simply for signups up front. This way your earnings aren't dependent on other peoples earnings from the site. CPA is one of the easiest ways to make money from affiliate programs online. I use them the most.

Top Affiliate Programs with Valuable Products

Brand and trust play a huge role in conversion. Most people are very cautious about buying any product or service online, so promoting good affiliate products people already know about will be a lot easier.

Amazon products are easier to sell because everyone knows and trusts Amazon. The problem is that Amazon's affiliate program is no longer available in every part of the United States due to the dumb affiliate (Nexus) tax laws. However, there's also Best Buy and other big name stores with affiliate programs that convert well.

Marketing Tools and Tracking

Tracking is important. It will be helpful to know where your referral traffic is coming from so you can take steps to increase that traffic even more. Good affiliate programs that pay well will allow you to attach a tracking ID to each of your affiliate links so you can track them.

I like sites that provide graphs or detailed reports in the control panel of your account so you can monitor referral activity. Most sites will provide you with banner links and contextual links for use in your own blog or for articles that you submit to revenue sharing sites.


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    • MelloYelloMan profile image

      MelloYelloMan 5 years ago

      Wow man.. again this is a great hub! I'm going to follow you simply because you inspire me. Thanks for the information bro. :)

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 4 years ago

      Fabulous Hub, great info, thank you for sharing!

    • Sushma Webber profile image

      Sushma Webber 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Useful information, thanks. The key idea is that it is not a fast money making venture and requires a lot of hard work to succeed.

    • Matt G. profile image

      Matt G. 4 years ago

      Thank you.

    • Matt G. profile image

      Matt G. 4 years ago

      Thank you.

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