5 Best Affiliate Programs For Beginners That Are Free

If you’re starting with affiliate marketing, you might wonder what the best affiliate programs for beginners are. More importantly, which one’s are FREE? To help you, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite affiliate programs, including the ones I currently use! I’ll also share some tips on how to get started with each free program.

One of my favorite mottos is KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), which is how I write my posts. Cut out the “fluff” and get into the “meat and potatoes,” so here is the lowdown on each program.


What Makes It So Great

Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world. It’s one of the BIGGEST search engines like Google, but for shopping, that’s changing the landscape of BOTH retail and technology.

This e-commerce giant has come a long way since it was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, and it now sells everything from books and electronics to groceries and apparel.

Amazon offers various services, including cloud computing, streaming video, and fresh food delivery. Amazon is now more than an online retailer – it’s a technology powerhouse constantly innovating and expanding into new areas! It’s fascinating to see where this company will go next.

And that leads me to why being an affiliate for Amazon is so great.

When your affiliate link directs someone to Amazon, they will most likely be familiar with the platform, making it easier for them to buy.

The commission varies, but you can expect to make anywhere from 1 to 20%, with Amazon games and luxury beauty at the top of their list. Click here for the current “Fixed Commission Income Rates” report for affiliates.

Amazon has a “24-hour affiliate cookie,” meaning when someone clicks your link, they have 24 hours to purchase for you to earn a commission.

BUT here’s the kicker: You can earn a commission on almost anything anyone purchases!

For instance, if your affiliate link directs your reader to buy a book from you, but instead, they decide to buy a cell phone case, you get that commission. I’ve had people click on my Amazon links and purchase patio furniture, luxury clothing items, and so on!

How To Join Free

All you have to do is create an account and follow the instructions to sign up for it. It’s really that simple.

Some Things To Consider…

Amazon’s commissions are lower.

There are plenty of higher-paying programs out there, but traffic is KEY. The more clicks you get, the more you can earn with Amazon. Another option is to promote the higher-paying commission products if it makes sense for your blog.

You have 180 days to make three qualified sales.

In other words, Amazon gives you a six-month grace period to make three sales. You will be removed from the program as an affiliate if you don’t. Personal orders do not qualify.

For instance, I started a new blog with zero traffic in April 2020. I published around 2 to 3 articles per week and received my first sale on Amazon in August 2020. It took me four months to get there. If you create and publish high-quality content weekly, I believe you should have no problem meeting this goal. Targeting long-tail key phrases is essential, too, especially for new bloggers starting out!


What Makes It So Great

Clickbank is an e-commerce powerhouse for digital content creators and affiliate marketers to make money. GOOD money. Their commissions are generous, and there are millions of products to promote, so you’re sure to find something that suits your niche!

With that said, let’s explore each of these perks further.

Clickbank is known for its high-paying commissions.

Of course, the rates vary depending on the product, but can range from 5% to 75%! When you promote a product on your website or blog, and someone clicks on your link and buys, you earn a commission.

There is a 60-day window for you to make money after someone clicks your link.

This is known as “cookie duration.”

Cookie Duration is the amount of time a cookie will give credit to an affiliate for purchases made from a specific customer. On ClickBank, this window is 60 days – but across the affiliate marketing industry, it can be anything the seller chooses: 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, 1 year…This is a key point of negotiation when discussing affiliate terms with a seller. The longer the duration, the more likely you are to get credit for a purchase as an affiliate.

It’s open for anyone to join.

The great thing about the ClickBank affiliate program is that it’s FREE and open to anyone. You don’t need a certain amount of traffic to get accepted into the program, either.

How To Join Free

Go to the ClickBank affiliate homepage and fill in the prompts to “Sign Up.”


Something To Consider…

When you join Clickbank, there are many item categories to choose from. Indeed, you should be able to find something in your niche that’s worth promoting.

It’s essential to consider a product’s “Gravity Score” before promoting it.

The gravity score is a metric used by Clickbank to measure the popularity of a product. A product’s gravity score is determined by the number of affiliates who have generated sales for that product within a given period of time.

Usually, the higher the score, the more in-demand and popular the product is, and vice versa. Clickbank updates this daily. Lower gravity scores are worth looking into if you feel the product is good and makes sense to promote.

Commission Junction (CJ)

What Makes It So Great

Commission Junction is one of the oldest and most well-known affiliate networks.

They have a good reputation in the industry for fair commission rates and reliable payments.

CJ considers bloggers “publishers,” so when you head to their website, you will see a tab that says “publishers.”


CJ is it if you want to work with some of the most trusted name brands!

They partner with over 3,800 global brands, including Blue Apron, Overstock, J.Crew, Priceline, and Barnes and Noble.

One-of-a-kind real-time reporting.

CJ keeps you updated minute by minute, another reason this affiliate network is a super dog. How stoked would you be to know you made a sale right now? You never have to refresh the page because your activity is monitored in real-time.

How To Join Free

Click the link below to fill in the requirements; you’re off and running.


Some Things To Consider…

Commissions show up under different “payment statuses” before you get paid. Your sale goes through a “review period” first, where the advertiser can choose to extend your commission. Meaning you don’t get paid right away. Bummer, I know!

What you want to see is your commission show up as “locked” because that means you will get paid. Here are the four stages of Commission Junction’s payment cycle so you know what to expect.


Just make a sale? It will pop up here.

In this stage, advertisers can correct or extend your commission for various reasons; to check if transactions are compliant and if there are enough funds for a payout.


The advertiser needs more time to review your sale that just went down.


Locked = Payday!

Once your commission appears “locked,” the advertiser can no longer change your commission. Meaning they can’t extend it out.


Commissions are sent out in the second and third weeks of the month (around the 13th and 22nd). This means your payday is coming!

Your closed commission balance must meet the minimum payment amount set in your account to receive payment. For instance, if you set your minimum payout amount to be $50, your payout must equal $50 or more.


What Makes It So Great

E-commerce is where it’s at, so if you want to promote digital products, this is the place. It usually has a higher profit margin too.

Digistore24 connects digital products with affiliates who can promote them to a global audience. This network offers many features and benefits, making it an attractive option for product creators and affiliates.

Commissions are generous.

I’ve seen that commissions range anywhere from 10% upwards of 85%! I would say the average commission you receive is around 50%.

There are a variety of digital products to promote.

There are 28 product categories in almost any niche you can think of. Products range from fitness and health to food and drinks, business and trading, and LOTS.

Receive recurring income from subscription products.

Recurring sales are one of the BEST affiliate incomes there is. When you can offer a great product with a monthly subscription and sell it, you also receive a recurring commission. It’s a win-win.

Under “Affiliate Marketplace” is the library of digital products. When you click on a product, there is information below it showing the affiliate sales information. “Billing Types lets you know if the product you sell is a single payment or recurring subscription.


How To Join Free

To join Digistore24, go to “Register Now.” Create your free account and then complete the sign-up process. After that, you’ll be able to browse the affiliate marketplace and start promoting products asap!


Some Things To Consider…

Digistore24 doesn’t offer as many products as Clickbank.

As I mentioned before, there are many categories to promote through Digistore24, so you should be able to find something that suits your niche. However, the only downfall is the number of overall products to promote is less than what Clickbank offers.

This is a Europe-based affiliate network.

Digistore24 is one of the largest affiliate networks in Europe.

I’m mentioning this because if you are an affiliate in the US, you will need to convert some international digital products into US dollars, which shouldn’t be an issue. However, there are some products the advertiser chooses to pay you in their currency, and you must convert those earnings into US dollars. This creates an extra step for you which can be tedious.

Share A Sale

What Makes It So Great

Share A Sale has been around the block since 2000, connecting merchants (sellers) and advertisers (YOU, the “affiliate marketer”).

This beautiful collaboration allows affiliates to generate large commissions while choosing from a wide range of over 4,000 products! So for your niche, narrowing down what to offer on your site should be easy.

Access a “user-friendly” dashboard.

With thousands of merchants to choose from, you can hone in on the ones that are most relevant to your biz. You can do this in a few ways to search for merchants or products:

  • “Keyword Search” to find a specific product or company.
  • “Featured Categories” to find some of the most popular products currently selling.
  • “Trending Categories” to find trending products and merchants.

Commissions are fair.

ShareASale doesn’t pay the highest commissions or the lowest. I’ve seen commissions range anywhere from 5% upwards to 75%. You can expect to make around $10 to $30 per sale. Then, some merchants I’ve seen give payouts as high as $120 or more.

Increase your sales through deals ShareASale offers.

Who doesn’t like a good deal? If you look under “Merchants” on your user dashboard, you will see two deal options:

  • Coupons and deals
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals

Increase your conversions by offering your audience discounts on products within your niche. They will surely love you for it! Plus, doing this gives your blog credibility by allowing you to promote their best possible deals.


How To Join Free

To join ShareASale is super easy. Click “Affiliate Sign Up” on their homepage and fill in the required information. Then you’re off to the money races!

Something To Consider…

There are not a lot of big-name brands, like Target or Walmart, on ShareASale. Instead, what you’ll find are mostly smaller merchants, but there are some larger ones, too, like Etsy and Reebok, along with some big-name blogs like Mommy On Purpose and Entrepreneur Business Blog.

► Download the Free PDF “5 Best Affiliate Programs For Beginners” ◄


To Wrap It Up

If affiliate marketing is a new venture, these free programs are a great way to get your feet wet without spending money.

I would encourage you to sign up for all of them to try out and see which ones work best for you.

Until the next post, I wish you much blogging success!

With Gratitude,


What do you think are the best affiliate programs for beginners? I’m curious! Let me know in the comments below. Your input means a lot and helps other bloggers who read this post!


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About The Author

Linds is the proud mom of two little miracles, Mono Mono twin girls, and one AMAZING older brother! She is the founder and content creator of Mono Mono Twins, Intensive Therapy for Kids, and Co-Founder of The LENN Foundation, a 510c3 that helps children across the United States with cerebral palsy receive grants for intensive therapies to thrive.


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. I only recommend deals or items I love because you might like them too! With my affiliate relationships, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting Mono Mono Twins!

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