If you have a blog and you’re not earning money through affiliate marketing, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

If you just want to know the best affiliate marketing programs for bloggers in 2018, scroll down to the “General Marketplaces" section.

What Is an Affiliate Program?

An affiliate program is an agreement between two parties. Party one is the owner of the product or service and party two is the affiliate marketer responsible for promoting the product or service to his/her audience.

The merchant uses the marketer's website to promote his/her content and pays the marketer a commission for “actions" performed.

The action that brings a commission can be a variety of things ranging from merely filling out a form to purchasing the merchant’s site. The merchant provides the marketer with a unique link or promo code so when someone uses that code, you get a cut of the sale.

So, this applies to you like so. If you promote relevant products or services on your blog and someone clicks on that ad, you may be eligible for a commission. Affiliate Marketing is how a lot of bloggers make money.
Photo from Smart Passive Income

How to Identify a Good Affiliate Marketing Program

A program that makes sense to you may not work for someone else. The quality of an affiliate program is entirely dependent on your niche, your level of expertise, your audience, your volume of traffic, and other factors.

Use Common Sense

Choose a program that has products related to what you write. If you have a Food Blog, you naturally won't promote “dog grooming services" on your blog.

Choose Your Passion

When picking an affiliate program, it helps to choose something interesting to you. Hopefully, you decided on a niche when you started your blog.

Pay Attention

The most important thing you can do when identifying a good affiliate marketing program is to pay attention to your audience. For example, if you have a Food Blog but you know most of your readers are under 21 - you wouldn’t want to be promoting recipes or anything relating to alcohol.

Watch and follow trends too. Spotting trends is a great way to capitalize in the short term on something that is popular now but won’t be in a few months.

Digital vs. Physical

The big debate in the affiliate marketing realm - what sells better, digital or physical products?

We believe that it depends entirely on the product itself. There are a lot of sketchy digital products out there that make big claims and typically under-deliver. Additionally, some physical products provide consistently long shipping times and lousy customer service.

Before committing to promoting any product on your blog, make sure you do a lot of research on the product and the merchant. Advertising a lousy product on your site will reflect on you and your trustability as a blogger.

Trust the Big Names

When it comes to affiliate marketing programs and products, we always go with the most trusted sites. These large sites are called affiliate networks, and they have thousands of products to promote in any niche.

These large sites will usually have real-time tracking, payment processing, and contact information for merchants.

Affiliate Networks often display the success rate of other marketers with a specific product. Success rates show you who is making money and what they are promoting. It pays, in the beginning, to go with the trusted names. We will cover the specifics of what networks to choose shortly.

Why You Should Do Affiliate Marketing as a Blogger?

The money of course - There are bloggers out there making $50k -$100k a MONTH just from affiliate marketing on their site. We’re not saying you will ever make that kind of money, but it is entirely possible. Just ask Pat from Smart Passive Income

Photo from Smart Passive Income

Affiliate Marketing is also very passive. All you do is post links on your blog and forget about it. If the ads are relevant and well received by your audience, you WILL make money.

For example, let's say you did a product review on your Food Blog. You did a complete study of the best home espresso machine, and within that review, you included your unique affiliate links. You earn a commission from every person who clicks that link and buys a machine.

If you have a large audience and you did a quality review people will buy from you. Reviews are how so many bloggers are making a killing through affiliate marketing.

What Are the Different Types of Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers?

Banner Ads - This is a widespread form of affiliate marketing that I know you have seen before. It is an image either static or animated that displays on a webpage. When you click on the icon, it takes you to the advertiser's website. Some Banner Ads offer a commission to you “per click," others require a sale.

For great information on how to maximize your earnings through banner ads, check out The Bannersnack Blog.

Email/Newsletter Advertising - Another standard way of generating income from affiliate marketing. With this method, you use your email subscriber list to send traffic to your affiliate product.

You can include links in the email to send them directly to the offer, or you can link to your website - the less clicks the consumer needs, the better. Just make sure to read the specific restrictions the merchant has. You can't promote all offers through email marketing.

Product Reviews - Social proof is what earns commissions. People are always looking for reviews on things before they decide to make a purchase. You can be the go-to person for honest and trustworthy reviews on niche products.

To separate yourself from the competition, incorporate videos into your blog when doing product reviews!

Remember: You must disclose your affiliate relationship somewhere on your site - some like to create an entire page for it, while others just put it in the footer. Here is an example of what an affiliate disclosure is.

Photo from Amazon Affiliate

Now that you understand the basics let’s jump into the Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Bloggers in 2018.

General Affiliate Programs


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Shareasale is one of the most extensive affiliate networks out there. The platform houses about 4,000 merchants in hundreds of different niches. You are guaranteed to find something on this site.

This network is very exclusive because over one thousand of their affiliate offers are unique to the site.

Shareasale has offers that payout per-sale, per-lead, and per-click.

The site also publishes a fair amount of data on the success of their offers including:

  • Average earnings per click
  • Reversal Rates
  • Average Sale Amount
  • Average Commission

Pros of Shareasale:
  • Massive Network of over 4,000 merchants.
  • Wide Variety of offers in micro-niches.
  • Consistent Payment on the 20th of every month.

Cons of Shareasale:
  • Clunky Reporting Dashboard that is difficult to learn and hard to navigate.


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ClickBank is the most popular marketplace for digital products. The site represents over six million products and two-hundred million customers.

There is a lot of skepticism surrounding digital affiliate products because they are known to be of little value. But, Clickbank is known for weeding out the scams and sticking to quality offers. This network is one of the best affiliate marketing programs for bloggers in 2018.

ClickBank offers a variety of data including:

  • Average earnings per click
  • Average Sale Amount
  • Average Commission
  • Gravity Rating (displays how popular the product is with affiliates)

ClickBank also offers courses on how to get started with affiliate marketing.

Commissions come per-sale and range anywhere from 50-75% with recurring benefits.

Pros of ClickBank:
  • Enormous Network of offers
  • Training for beginner affiliates
  • Immediate acceptance of most proposals
  • Trustworthy and Well-known for creating successful affiliates
  • High Commissions of 50-75%

Cons of ClickBank:
  • Digital Products are the only offering

CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction)

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As one of the oldest and most reputable networks around. CJ Affiliate prides itself in offering commissions from big names like NFL.com and Expedia. There are thousands of advertisers on this network for both digital and physical products.

The advertisers have created a ton of customizable options for banners which gives you more control over how you display ads on your blog.

Many of the offers on CJ require that you get approved by the merchant, this can make it difficult for beginners to get involved in any good offers.

Commissions come per-sale, per-lead, and per-click ranging from 2-75% depending on the desired action.

This network also provides an array of data to help you choose an offer:

  • Average earnings per click
  • Average Sale Amount
  • Average Commission
  • Popularity

Pros of CJ Affiliate:
Vast Network of merchants with a variety of advertising options makes CJ good for bloggers.
Big popular names make this network reliable and trustworthy.
Good Variety of offers and desired actions.

Cons of CJ Affiliate:
Steep Learning Curve: We believe this network has an old dashboard and members area that makes it difficult for beginners. Many of the offers on this site also require that you have experience building money on CJ before they accept you.

Amazon Affiliate

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Amazon has an incredibly popular affiliate program with a lot of bloggers making serious money. This network is great for beginners and experienced webmasters because you can advertise anything you want, and all you need is a website to start.

The best thing about Amazon is, there’s a 24-hour cookie that applies to the entire site. So, if someone comes to your blog and clicks a link about cat toys - then goes to Amazon and buys a flat screen TV, you get the commission for the TV.(wouldn’t that be nice?)

Commissions are on digital and physical products, they pay-per-sale and range from 1-10%.

Pros of Amazon Affiliate:
  • Easy to get started and great for beginners
  • Promote anything you want on Amazon
  • 24 Hour cookie on the entire site
  • Easy to use Sellers Dashboard

Cons of Amazon Affiliate:
  • Low commissions compared to other networks

Rakuten (Linkshare)

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Rakuten is a smaller network but still houses some big names like Macy’s and Sephora. There is also a few great features of Rakuten that earn it a spot on this list.

You can rotate banner ads on your blog which helps increase conversions because readers won’t always be viewing the same offers.

Rakuten is good for beginners as well because they don’t require any extensive coding or design know-how to get ads from the network to your blog.

The best feature about Rakuten is their “deep linking." This strategy allows you to send your traffic to a specific merchant page, chosen by you.

For example, for many other networks, if someone clicks on a banner ad for cat toys - it will take them to the cat toy main page. With “deep linking" on Rakuten, you can send them to whatever page you want. Deep linking gives you a competitive advantage.

Commissions are on physical and digital products per-sale and range from 5-15%

Pros of Rakuten
  • Great features on their dashboard make Rakuten easy to use
  • “Deep Linking" gives you an advantage over your competition
  • Customizable and Rotating banner ads help increase conversion rates

Cons of Rakuten:
  • High fees to sell and per sale, around $33 a month and 99 cents for every transaction (depending on niche)
  • A smaller network of approximately 1,000 programs
  • Inconsistent pay structure: They only pay you when they collect payment from the merchant

Health-Related Affiliate Programs

Market Health

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This network has some of the highest paying commissions for physical products. Market Health sells within the health, beauty, weight loss, and skin care niche.

The reason we like Market Health so much, is because you work directly with the network. There are no merchants on this site, so the result of that is super high payouts. MarketHealth is one of the best affiliate marketing programs for bloggers in 2018.

Commissions are per-sale on physical products and range from 25-75%

Pros of MarketHealth:
  • Huge commissions due to no middleman
  • A robust array of products to appeal to just about anybody
  • Simple and easy to use dashboard
  • Anyone can apply and get accepted immediately

Cons of MarketHealth:
  • Not all products work as described, research something before you try and promote it


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It’s free to join the SellHealth affiliate program, though you do have to apply and be accepted before you can start promoting their products. Once you’re approved, you’ll have access to some tools, graphics, banners and more that you can use to promote SellHealth products.

The dashboard for this site looks clean and operates well, but the overall complexity of advertising options can be intimidating. This network might be better for someone with a little experience with affiliate marketing.

Commissions are per-sale on physical products and range from 25-40%

Pros of SellHealth:
  • Customizable options for banners and graphics
  • Good commissions on all products

Cons of SellHealth:
  • One of the most complex networks makes it not as good for beginners

Cryptocurrency Affiliate Programs

CEX.IO Affiliate

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CEX.IO was the first ever cloud-mining provider and has the most popular exchange for marginal trading. With high payouts and lifetime recurring commissions on referrals, the potential for earnings on CEX.IO is staggering.

This program has a ton of promotional tools including promo codes, referral links, and banners and they payout thirty days after your referral signs up. The site also claims to have a very serious grasp on security to protect your investments.

Pros of CEX.IO:
  • Earning potential is high with this program
  • Secure payment and trustworthy brand
  • Recurring commissions
  • Free to sign up and get started

Cons of CEX.IO:
  • High fees as with any cryptocurrency exchange

Changelly Affiliate

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Changelly is another popular exchange where you trade in your dollars for a variety of crypto. The thing that is most appealing about this exchange is that they search to find the best exchange rate for you, so you don’t have to settle for the sites flat rate.

The affiliate program is pretty cool as well, offering affiliates a 50% revenue share for the life of the customer you refer to them. They pay you 50% of the commission they earn on deals made by the user.

Pros of Changelly:
  • Good quality exchange makes it easier to promote
  • Recurring commissions
  • Free to sign up and get started
  • Get paid the next day

Cons of Changelly:
  • Minor issues with security

Coinbase Affiliate

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Coinbase is one of the more popular bitcoin processing sites online. Coinbase offers $10 for a referral that buys or sells at least $100 or more within 180 days of registration.

What makes this referral program so popular is that your referral will also receive $10. You can both expect the payment within four business days after the buy/sell. Even if your referral does not sign up the day they visit the site, they have ninety days from that to come back and join.

Pros of Coinbase:
  • Referral process ensures success
  • Easy and straightforward to get started

Cons of Coinbase:
  • Payment is inconsistent and delayed
  • The site goes down a little too frequently for us

LocalBitcoins Affiliate

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Similar to the other exchanges, LocalBitcoins is a trading site that allows people from all over the world to trade and exchange. This marketplace offers 20% commissions, and the money goes directly into your bitcoin wallet which makes the process fast and simple.

The only bad thing is that the commissions are only recurring for three months, after that you will not receive any more sales from your affiliates.

Pros of LocalBitcoins:
  • High commission rates
  • Easy and straightforward to get started

Cons of LocalBitcoins:
  • Does not have a lifetime recurring commission structure like the competition

Business/Entrepreneurship Programs

The Six Figure Mentors

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The entrepreneurship niche is enormous, and everyone knows that. You can promote just about anything in here from $40,000 courses to $10 E-books, in this niche you want to stick to the high payout offers.

The Six Figure Mentors is an online training platform that teaches people how to build profitable businesses online. The training focuses heavily on mindset. They show people how to understand that making money online is difficult and we need to reprogram our brains to see failure and struggle differently.

With that being said, the training is top of the line; you get lifetime residuals on all sales, a personal coach to help you through the training, and (wait for it) up to $8,000 commissions for a single purchase.

Pros of Six Figure Mentors:
  • Serious earning potential with high-ticket offers and backend recurring commissions
  • High-quality training in a hot niche
  • 30-day free trial

Cons of Six Figure Mentors:
  • Requires a bit of knowledge but if you are in this niche you probably know what you’re doing
  • Not for beginners


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SEMrush is a necessity for ranking and SEO. Digital marketers all over the world have been paying close attention to Google's algorithm and trying hard to unravel it. A tool like SEMrush is a great way to rank up and generate more high-quality traffic to your site. While you are doing that, why not promote it?

SEMrush has a wide variety of tools to help track keywords, gauge ranking difficulty, and even spy on competitor’s keywords to see how they are ranking.

Pros of SEMrush:
  • Uses a “first cookie" model, meaning you will receive the commission from a person who comes to you first no matter what.
  • High ticket offers make you upwards of $160 a month in residuals.

Cons of SEMrush:
  • No upsells
  • Not a lot of promotional material, this offer would need to be promoted through email or direct link on your blog

Dating Affiliate Programs


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This network is pretty different than the others on this list. Recognized as one of the most prominent CPA (cost-per-action) networks out there, they have a massive slew of statistics including live traffic monitoring, success statistics, gravity ratings, average commissions, and more.

CrakRevenue has thousands of products and services within the dating realm. Reviews claim they have excellent customer service and a proper pay consistency. The success rate of affiliates makes CrakRevenue one of the best affiliate marketing programs for bloggers in 2018. If you are in the dating niche, you should be on this site.
Pros of CrakRevenue:
  • Pay-per-lead and pay-per-sale offers increase earning potential
  • A vast array of offers in multiple niches
  • Very popular and trusted by affiliates
Cons of CrakRevenue:
  • Some sketchy products/services, so just do your research before promoting anything


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CPAmatica is a premium CPA network that yields some of the best offers and payouts in the adult/dating niche. Upon signing up, you also get a dedicated account manager to help you make money. CPA is so great for blogging because you can make money from people just clicking on the ad.

CPAmatica has its custom tracking software which runs smooth and efficiently.

The best thing about this network is that you receive weekly payments via PayPal, WebMoney, and wire transfer.

If you are in the adult/dating niche, you should check out CPAmatica.

Pros of CPAmatica:
  • High payouts for this type of market
  • CPA is a great way to start earning on your blog
  • A wide variety of offers
  • Weekly payments
Cons of CPAmatica:
  • Some sketchy products/services, so just do your research before promoting anything


There is probably not a “one size fits all" when it comes to affiliate marketing programs, your choice will be entirely dependent on your niche, your audience, and your overall style.

In the end affiliate marketing is the most popular way of monetizing your blog so it’s important to take it seriously and make the most out of your traffic. If you follow the steps above and choose a reputable network, you will be making money in no time!