The best affiliate programs 2016

Affiliate marketing is an escalating way ofThe best affiliate programs 2016 making money, of being an independent entrepreneur. It became the main source of income for bloggers. 

Nowadays more and more people look outside the 9-5 cycle for income and turn to the internet for making a living.

This is advantageous, giving internet marketers and bloggers more freedom, more time to be with those that matter instead of working the 40-40 scheme – 40 hours a week for 40 years. 

Without further due, an important part of our websites are the affiliate programs we are using, those being a major part of the income websites produce.


What is an affiliate program?The best affiliate programs 2016

An affiliate program consists of two parties, you, the affiliate, and the company that you’re affiliated with. They have a product, and they’ve designed a program that rewards you for promoting their product. Being affiliated with them means you agree to promote their product, potentially making them sales, in exchange for a commission of the sale.


Essentially, you promote product X for company Y, when customer Z clicks your link and buys product X, company Y pays you a certain percent of the sale. You can think of it as selling the stuff others own or produce for a cut of the sale. Let’s say the product you promote costs 100$, and your commission is 10$. When Z buys the item, you get 10$. 

Getting money for helping people buy what they already want to buy, sounds good? It’s entirely possible.


Joining an Affiliate program

Affiliate programs are free to join for website owners, it only takes an application. Then your website will usually be reviewed and you’ll be noticed whether you have been accepted or rejected, based on if they consider you can send them some sales.

With the multitude of online customers today, a huge number of companies are looking for more advertising, reaching farther to the population. That’s why affiliate programs even existed in the first place and that’s because they need you. They pay you for advertising their products. It’s a win-win situation. They sell products, they earn money, they share it with you.


The best affiliate programs 2016



The best affiliate programs of 2016

I think each and every one of us would prefer an affiliate program with higher commissions, trusted by people, such as Amazon, who doesn’t know about Amazon? To help you make an informed decision, here is my list, with a brief description of each. 


1. Rakuten/Linkshare<img class="alignright wp-image-1084" src="" alt="Rakuten affiliate program" width="156" height="156" srcset=" 400w,×150.png 150w, https://theaffiliatestep×300.png 300w,×230.png 230w,×350.png 350w” sizes=”(max-width: 156px) 100vw, 156px” />

Voted as the #1 Affiliate Marketing Network for four years in a row, Rakuten Affiliate Network, now renamed as Linkshare, offers the necessary tools to launch a profitable affiliate business. Joining the program is completely FREE and the platform is very easy to use, having an easily navigable dashboard.


But the biggest advantage of Rakuten are the rotating banners, offering affiliates the chance to display multiple ad units without using more space on your website. That may not seem like much, but this way, your website will be less cluttered and more pleasant to the eye. That will enhance the customer experience quite a lot.


The other face of the Rakuten coin is the unscheduled payment, meaning you could receive your payment on the 1st of the month or on the 30th, with no insurance. Also, there is no PayPal option, and that could be a serious turn-off for some, given that PayPal is the most used and trusted online payment processor.



2. Clickbank

Another big affiliate marketing network is Clickbank, which only focuses on digital products and ebooks. So, depending on your website’s niche, you could affiliate yourself with Clickbank or not, as not every niche involves digital products 
The advantages of CB would be the high commissions, up to 75% of the sale made, highest in the industry, plus the fact that they allow for weekly payments. Being sure your payments will be on time sure is a good thing.
The disadvantages of Clickbank are that they only deal with digital products, so people that promote anything that isn’t digital can’t make use of CB’s affiliate program, plus that most products are either outdated or not worth it, it is hard to find something worth promoting, even with the high commissions. Also, their email support is slow to respond.


3.CJ AffiliateCJ affiliate


CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction) is one of the biggest affiliate platforms online. Anyone who is in the internet marketing business for a while has probably heard of them.


Most retailers have their offers advertised here, which makes CJ very useful for bloggers wanting to join a big affiliate program. Once you’re approved to promote a particular offer, you have to place the code within your website and done, you’re promoting it. There are multiple sizes and banners you can use on your website.

Also, a fact about CJ is that they don’t promote physical products as far as I know, just digital products and programs. Another thing to keep in mind.


On the other side, the support might take a while to get back to you, having so many requests, given the number of people affiliated or advertising here.


4.Amazon associates


Amazon’s affiliate program offers commissions up to 15% of the sale amount. Depending on the type of products you’re advertising for them, it could prove like a good way to make a sizeable amount of money. Another perk of Amazon’s program is the wide reach of the network. I mean, everybody knows and trusts Amazon.


Especially if you are in niches people are interested in and you have a good amount of traffic, you can review products that just launch and get first ranking on Google easily. Imagine the 2 hours it takes to do a thorough review could earn you money time and time again over many years, it seems like a good deal to me.

Also, when somebody goes to Amazon from your link, anything they buy in the next 24 hours earns you a commission, so even if you promote chairs and they buy a phone, you get your money.

amazon associates


On the other side, Amazon offers small commissions starting off, around 4%. The commissions increase the more sales you bring in. 20 sales -> 6% commission and so on. So the more you sell, the more you get. For long time affiliates and those wanting to become full-time affiliates, Amazon could be just fit.


5.Share A Sale

One of the most popular CPA affiliate programs ( CPA stands for Cost per Action), Share A Sale is a place where thousands of merchants gather for you to affiliate with. Any niche you might be involved in, you’ll surely find a program that fits your website. 

Also, the platform is renowned for being very easy to use, even if you’re not so keen with computers. Another thing we should talk about is reporting. Although some may find reports to be irrelevant, they actually can be a factor of success. By having exact reports that come to you in real time, you can determine what works and what doesn’t for your website, thus being able to tweak things in order to run the optimal way.


Some could find ShareASale’s payment threshold a bit high compared to other affiliate programs. While the competition has lower thresholds, this particular program has set it’s payment at a minimum of $50. When starting out as an affiliate, you don’t have so many sales, so it could be a little difficult. But when having a decent amount of sales, this shall not be a limitation anymore. If you’re thinking of going full-time affiliate, it shouldn’t be a problem.



Yes, Ebay does have an affiliate program going for some time. Being one of the biggest networks, it can prove to be very advantageous for its affiliates. The biggest advantages of Ebay are its wide, I mean really wide range of products you can promote, as well as the consistent payments, on the 22nd of each month. Also, the payment threshold is as low as 25$.


On the other hand, Ebay’s commission rates are not flat, this could be both an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on the promoted products. It is also difficult to get accepted into Ebay’s affiliate program if your website is somewhat new, without decent quality traffic.



Wealthy Affiliate affiliate program


Remember when I said Clickbank has the highest commissions in the industry?

Well, Wealthy Affiliate, the program I want to talk about a little, brings it close, offering 25% commissions for free members and a whopping 50% commission for its premium members.

The difference is that WA is no online shop or marketplace, it is a training center, teaching people how to build their own websites and turn those into profitable businesses.

The one thing WA sells is premium membership, which opens access to all the training, free hosting, live chat and support and many other things. Their affiliate program offers 50% commissions when a member brings a referral that upgrades to premium to their program. It also means it could make sales faster, as you’re not promoting physical products, but training and useful information anyone could use.

As this is not the thread for this, if you want to keep reading on Wealthy Affiliate, read my review.


If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

Cheers, Alex

Founder of The Affiliate Step







6 Responses to “The best affiliate programs 2016

  • Amazon Assocaites used to be my favorite choices for many, many years…until they banned me about 6 months back LOL. I don’t really think most newbie bloggers realize how particular they are about people reviewing their products on their blogs etc.
    Anyway, I’ve been at this for over 7 years now and Clickbank is by far the best and most lucrative affiliate option…as long as you do your research and pick the decent products (not the scams that are sometimes housed there!)

    • I totally agree with researching the products beforehand because Clickbank promotes many products that aren’t worth the money. I’m glad you have had success with them

  • Hi I’m fairly new to affiliate marketing but I have come across most of the programs you mention.

    The only problem I find is that many of these organisations expect sales within a fairly short period of time otherwise they kick you out of their program. So if there is any lesson that I have learnt it is to set up your website and get regular traffic first and then look to start selling products.

    • Well that’s fair if you think about it, because your goal is to make them sales, so it’s only fair to be able to do so, hence establish the website first then put affiliate links.

  • This is a good review, there are lots of affiliate programs out there and understanding the differences between them, easily, is of great value. Thanks for the information and I look forward to reading more of your posts. Of interest, on your site do you still work with individual affiliate programs as well or just affiliate networks?

    • For the moment, as my website is quite new, without a lot of content, I am only using the WA affiliate program and some of the affiliate programs of hosting companies, that would be all for the moment. As I develop my website I plan on finding more programs that suit the content I produce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *