Are you wondering how to begin affiliate marketing? You’re not alone—affiliate marketing is an increasingly popular way to make money online. However, finding the right fit can be challenging, especially when looking for a free affiliate program. With so many options to choose from, you need to find a program that will fit your experience, budget, and long-term goals.
Luckily, I’ve researched the best free affiliate marketing programs, so you don’t have to. In this guide, I’ll take you through the best free options for affiliate programs and software to help you track your progress.So, what are you waiting for? Read on to learn more about the best platforms for affiliate marketing.
What Are Affiliate Programs?
Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing in which a business rewards third-party advertisers (affiliates) for conversions and sales brought by their marketing efforts. Some programs pay per click (PPC affiliate programs), while others pay based on sales. Often, affiliates and businesses are connected via affiliate marketing programs.
There are four key players in affiliate marketing: the merchant (also known as the “retailer” or “brand”), the publisher (also known as the “affiliate”), the affiliate program (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from), and, of course, the customer. The chart above demonstrates how all these parties work together.
Affiliate programs are an effective way for businesses to reach new customers. They can be a helpful tool for website owners or social media influencers looking to monetize their online presence. There are even options to do affiliate marketing without a website.
There are many affiliate programs, each with different terms, conditions, and payouts—so how do you know which one is right for you? The answer lies in understanding your business needs and finding a program that fits those requirements. Ideally, you should look for programs offering high commissions and low payout thresholds. If you’re experienced, you can start looking at high affiliate marketing programs, while if you’re new to the game, affiliate programs for beginners are preferable.
However, I understand that conducting research can be stressful. That’s why I’ve created a list of free affiliate programs so that you can find the perfect fit.
Best Free Affiliate Programs To Join
The best affiliate marketing programs for free are those that offer generous commissions and have products or services that are in high demand. To help you get started, I’ve compiled a list of the top free affiliate programs currently available. Read on for some of my top picks.
As digital marketing continues to grow and evolve, so do affiliate marketers' opportunities. Semrush is among the highest-paying affiliate programs, offering generous commissions and a wide range of tools to help affiliates succeed.
Semrush offers $200 in commission for every subscription sale, plus $10 for new trials, making it one of the most lucrative affiliate programs. In addition, the platform provides a suite of powerful tools to help affiliates drive traffic and conversions, including keyword research, competition analysis, and link-building tools.
Whether you’re just starting in affiliate marketing or looking for a high-paying program to boost your earnings, Semrush is worth considering. With its high commissions and wide range of helpful tools, Semrush can help you take your affiliate marketing business to the next level.
As an online platform that connects freelancers with clients, Fiverr offers many opportunities for potential earnings. For those looking to make some extra money on the side or even build a full-time business, the Fiverr affiliate program is one of the best in the game.The Fiverr affiliate program is free to join, and lets affiliates earn commission on any first-time buyer they refer to Fiverr. Their commission plan boasts $15-150 CPA (click per action), depending on the category. The categories they have range from eCommerce development to social media marketing, so you’ll be sure to find an advertising option that fits your specific niche.
Amazon Associates is a top free affiliate program and one of the easiest to get started with if you’re new to affiliate marketing. Best of all, the program is free to join.
All you have to do is sign up for an account and start promoting products from Amazon on your website, blog, or social media profile. When someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you’ll earn up to a 10% commission, depending on the type of product you are promoting. While this commission rate may be lower than other affiliate programs, Amazon is a very well known marketplace. This means that making sales (i.e. getting high conversion rates) might be easier than other platforms.
Commission Junction (CJ)
As an affiliate, you can reap many benefits by signing up for the Commission Junction affiliate program, which is trusted by some of the biggest brands, like Blue Apron and Turbotax. If you decide to use Commission Junction, they offer a detailed onboarding tutorial, the opportunity to work with recognizable brands, and real-time reporting analytics so you can track your progress as you go.
CJ boasts some of the highest commission rates but is better suited for affiliates with some experience, as there is more of a learning curve than with affiliate programs like Amazon. Either way, it’s free to sign up for, so you can give it a shot if you think you have what it takes to succeed.
ClickBank is a leading free affiliate marketplace that allows you to earn a ton of money in commissions. They have a fantastic reputation regarding reliable payments and a dedicated support team to help you get started, including their educational platform, Spark.
Clickbank ranks products based on their conversion ratings, so it won’t be challenging to decide what you should promote as an affiliate from the 4,000 products in the marketplace. According to their website, you can earn up to as high as a 90% commission depending on what you sell, making it one of the best-paying affiliate programs.
Awin is one of the most popular affiliate marketing platforms, currently connecting over 21,000 merchants with 241,000 publishers. As an affiliate, you can take advantage of the system’s robust database to find a reputable company to work with at a commission rate that works for you. Awin also offers many tools for publishers, like browser extensions and easy link integrations.
Another significant benefit of using Awin is that you don’t need a website to be a publisher—you can also use Awin on your social media channels. Keep in mind that Awin is free to join, but they will need a $5 refundable deposit to verify your identity.
As an affiliate marketer, there are many benefits to using Impact as your platform. You’ll be able to advertise for popular global brands from Adidas to Airbnb, all under one login, allowing you to stay organized and reach out to some of the biggest companies from one place.
What’s more, Impact offers flexible payment processing options so that you can get paid in the way that suits you best. You’ll also be able to negotiate your commission rates directly with the businesses you work with, giving you more power as an affiliate marketer. Another significant benefit of using Impact is its detailed tracking and reporting tools. These resources allow you to see how well your campaigns are performing and make necessary adjustments on the fly.
Rakuten Affiliate is a free affiliate marketing program that offers a wide range of benefits for publishers looking to expand their reach globally. The platform provides a personal touch on every level of the marketing journey, from special matchmaking tools to set you up with the right companies to a consumer graph tool that helps you create more relevant advertisements for your target audience.
This affiliate program can be a bit more competitive to be accepted into. However, once you do, you’ll be able to connect with fantastic brands and start negotiating your commission to get the most bang for your buck.
Free Affiliate Program Software
Affiliate software helps automate the process of recruiting, tracking, and paying affiliates. It is designed to make setting up and managing an affiliate program easy for merchants and affiliates. There are many different types of affiliate marketing tools, each with its own set of features and benefits that can help improve your efficiency as an affiliate marketer. Below are some of my suggestions for free solutions (including programs with free trials):
Free Affiliate Marketing Programs - FAQ
There are many free online affiliate programs. However, some programs are harder to get accepted to, especially if they offer higher commissions and partnerships with more prominent brands. On the other hand, as a merchant, you’ll usually have to pay a fee to join affiliate programs.
Semrush is the highest-paying affiliate program, offering generous commissions and a wide range of tools to help affiliates succeed. With Semrush, affiliates can earn a $200 commission per sale generated, making it one of the most lucrative affiliate programs.
Final Thoughts: Best Free Affiliate Marketing Programs
Selecting the best affiliate marketing program can be extremely challenging because of all the various options. However, you should always choose a free program when given the chance since there is no guarantee that you will be able to make a profit as an affiliate. Using one of the programs mentioned in this article is a good launching point. Alternatively, if you want a program that will teach you the ropes, you can also look into the article I wrote on a 15 day challenge affiliate marketing.
When choosing an affiliate program, it’s crucial to look at the program’s commission structure and the brands they work with. Some platforms that offer higher commissions may be more challenging to get accepted into, so don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to work with the most reputable companies.
Regardless of your experience, affiliate marketing can be a fantastic way to boost your income or monetize your website, so it’s well worth getting started with a free affiliate program today.