20 best affiliate programs for online creators in 2021

Discover how 20 great affiliate programs function for online creators.

With the modern economy thriving off recommendations from family and friends, affiliate marketing is perfect if you want to get paid for recommending products you know and love.

Whether you’re looking to monetize your content or build a profitable online business, affiliate marketing is a great avenue to explore.

As an affiliate marketer, you can join thousands of digital marketing enthusiasts who earn an income every day recommending products and services. And the great thing about it is that you don’t have to change up what you do to get into affiliate marketing because you’ll get paid simply for talking about and sharing the products that you already know and love.

What are affiliate programs?

If you read reviews online, then chances are that you’ve already come across an affiliate program. You might have even purchased something through one and not realized it.

Don’t worry, though — it’s not a scam or a con. It’s just a new way for creators to make money by sharing products they love, and it doesn’t cost your followers anything extra.

An affiliate program is an agreement between a content creator and a business in which the creator gets paid a commission for each person who refers traffic and/or sales to that business. Usually, affiliate programs will give each affiliate a unique URL to send traffic through, which will allow the business to track incoming traffic, determine whether that traffic results in a sale, and assign commission payments.

The way this works is that when a user clicks your affiliate link, they’re assigned a tracking cookie that’s associated with your link, which on average lasts around 60 days. This means that after someone’s clicked on your affiliate link, you can earn commission up to the end of the cookie’s life, regardless of if they go back through your affiliate link to make their sale.

Things to consider when signing up for affiliate programs

Not every affiliate program is created equally, and some affiliate marketing programs are far more lucrative than others. Saying that, programs that pay out well for some people might not work at all for other affiliate partners. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when you’re weighing your options:

  • Does this relate to what you already make or do? If your audience follows you because you’re a sports blogger, then it might not make much sense to promote a podcast hosting platform. You might get some sign-ups, sure, but it won’t be as successful as if you promoted sports equipment and fitness subscriptions.
  • Do you already use it? If you’ve already got experience with something like Webflow, then it makes sense to sign up for the Webflow affiliate program. After all, you can promote things honestly and let your enthusiasm shine if it’s something you already love.
  • How will you promote it? Bonus points if you already have a blog, YouTube channel, podcast, social media following, or even a Patreon. If you don’t, you need to think about starting one.

You also need to think about what each program offers you. Here are some key things to look out for:

  • Cookie life/duration: This is how long tracking cookies last, with longer durations being better.
  • Minimum payment: How much commission do you need to accrue before the program pays out? Check the minimum payment against the commission that’s being offered because you don’t want to be stuck with money in a pot that you can’t withdraw for months.
  • Payout options: Most affiliate programs will pay out through PayPal, but others offer payouts through platforms like Payoneer or Stripe. Some may offer paper checks or direct deposits. Check that the program uses a method that works for you and if the payout method changes the minimum payment.
  • Commission structure: Affiliate programs tend to either pay one-time or recurring payments. One-time payments are typically used for product sales, trial activations or leads, and are either a percentage of the sale or a flat fee. Recurring payments are usually used by SaaS companies and offer a percentage of a qualifying customer’s subscription.
  • Brand support: The best affiliate marketing programs offer additional support through account managers, brand assets, promotional material, and news about upcoming sales or updates. Some even offer courses or learning materials to help you grow.
  • Income opportunities: Some affiliate programs work on a tiered system, where the more users you refer, the more affiliate commissions you can earn per referral. Others may offer limited-time “bounties” or bonuses for referring new customers to certain sales, products, or services.

The 20 best affiliate programs for digital creators

Here are 20 great affiliate programs you can sign up for today.

1. Webflow

Screenshot of Webflow affiliate program homepage

Commission: 50% on all subscription payments for 12 months

Minimum Payment: No minimum

Cookie Life: 90 days

At Webflow, we love it when our community recommends us to their friends and family. Our affiliates earn 50% of every subscription payment from new customers that find us through your affiliate program. Payments are paid out every month for up to 12 months, or when the subscription is canceled — whichever comes first. So, even if only two people sign up through your link, that’s your own Webflow subscription paid for!

Plus, there’s no limit to how many customers you can refer. If you’ve got friends, family, or followers you know will love Webflow, this affiliate program can be a great source of passive income for you.

We’re not leaving you to do all of this alone, though. In your affiliate portal, you’ll find a ton of tools to help you advertise Webflow. There’s a link builder, which lets you convert any of our webpage links to one of your affiliate links, as well as a list of brand assets and a style and voice guide to help you out.

Our current affiliates advertise Webflow through their online courses, podcasts, newsletters, and even vlogs, so we’re here to support you regardless of how you want to set up your affiliate marketing business. So, if you love what we do at Webflow and want to earn some extra income recommending us to your friends, we’d love to welcome you into our affiliate community.

Related reads: How Jan Losert became a top Webflow affiliate in 3 months

2. ConvertKit

Screenshot of ConvertKit affiliate program homepage

Commission: 30% recurring

Minimum Payment: No minimum

Cookie Life: 30 days

ConvertKit is already designed to help creators like you make money online, as they offer software tools that help you to build landing pages, lead pages, and email marketing campaigns. Whether you use ConvertKit already or not, it’s a great choice of affiliate programs if you regularly chat with other content creators or people who need website builders.

ConvertKit offers its affiliates a 30% commission over the lifetime of each subscription through the affiliate link, which is pretty impressive when you consider that the highest-level subscriptions can easily cost thousands of dollars each month. This is one of the most impressive compensation programs we’ve seen in an affiliate program.

Plus, ConvertKit affiliates get access to exclusive webinars and a training course, as well as graphics and video assets for advertising and a dashboard to track your affiliate account.

All in all, if you’re an online creator with a blog, vlog, podcast, or online courses, you can build some serious passive income by becoming a ConvertKit affiliate. At 30% commission, you’re looking at a touch over $8 per month minimum per new customer, which can easily add up the more people that sign up through you.

3. Transistor

Screenshot of Transitor affiliate program homepage

Commission: 25% recurring

Minimum Payment: $100

Cookie Life: 30 days

Transistor is a popular podcast platform that helps online content creators host, distribute, and track their podcasts. Whether you have one podcast or 10, Transistor makes it easy to list your podcasts on a variety of podcast directories and search engines, which is brilliant for podcast creators looking to grow their listener base.

Transistor’s affiliate program is a great option if you have a decent following of content creators, and particularly if you know those creators are podcasters themselves. As an affiliate, you’ll earn a 25% commission on each customer that signs up through your link while they remain a customer of Transistor.

You’ll also get a bunch of brand assets you can use for promoting Transistor, as well as an affiliate dashboard to track how many clicks, leads, and conversions you’ve made as an affiliate. Plus, Transistor will send you an email when you get a new commission, so you can spend more time creating and less time checking your dashboard.

4. Semrush

Screenshot of Semrush affiliate program website

Commission: $200 per new subscription, $10 per trial activation, plus occasional bonus commission opportunities

Minimum Payment: $50 for PayPal, $1,000 for wire transfer

Cookie Life: 10 years

Semrush is the most popular tool out there for search engine optimization (SEO) and competitor analysis for digital marketers, so it’s a great affiliate marketing option for creators who publish online magazines or blogs. They’ve recently changed their affiliate program and now use ShareASale and a different compensation model, but the high commissions for subscription sign-ups and trial activations still make this a good affiliate program to join.

The biggest reason why Semrush stands out, though, is that they offer a massive 10-year cookie life and a first-click attribution model. So, providing that your affiliate link is the first one a customer clicked, it doesn’t matter if they go through another affiliate link to purchase a subscription — you’ll be the one collecting the commission.

They offer third-party affiliate workflow support if you’re a freelance creator and want to refer your clients to Semrush, as well as additional limited-time incentives to help you earn even more revenue. Plus, you can offer your audience exclusive trial periods that increase as you move up the Semrush partner ranks.

5. ShipBob

Screenshot of ShipBob affiliate program website

Commission: $25 for each fulfillment quote

Minimum Payment: $100

Cookie Life: 90 days

One of the most popular ways to monetize your online content, particularly if you make a physical product, is through ecommerce. ShipBob is an ecommerce fulfillment service that takes care of the shipping and handling of creators’ products so creators can focus on building their business instead of worrying about handling shipping.

While ShipBob doesn’t offer the lucrative recurring monthly payments we talked about earlier, its affiliate program is still worth it if your audience owns ecommerce businesses. Unlike a lot of other affiliate programs, ShipBob will pay out $25 for each fulfillment quote they receive through your link — so, effectively, you get paid for leads, not for sales.

Plus, ShipBob offers all affiliates ongoing training and education, invitations to exclusive events and features, and a direct line of communication with an affiliate manager to answer any questions your audience may have about the service.

6. Podia

Screenshot of Podia affiliate program website

Commission: 30% recurring

Minimum Payment: $50

Cookie Life: 15 days

Podia is a great all-rounder software toolkit that allows creators to offer memberships, digital downloads, online courses, and webinars, making it perfect for creators and business owners who want to monetize their content. Because Podia is such a versatile platform, joining their affiliate program is a good way to start earning extra income.

Every time you refer a customer through your affiliate link, you’ll earn 30% of their subscription for the entire time they stay with Podia, making it easy to rack up a consistent income if you regularly network with other creators. While there is a $50 minimum payout, the amount you earn will roll over to the next month, so you’ll never lose out on any income.

As a Podia affiliate, you’ll get ongoing support and guidance for promoting your affiliate program link. Plus, if you want to run a webinar to promote your links, Podia even says they’ll consider webinar collaborations to promote your work and your affiliate link to their audience.

7. Teachable

Screenshot of Teachable affiliate program website

Commission: 30% recurring and up to 50% on initial subscription payments at bonus tiers

Minimum Payment: No minimum

Cookie Life: 90 days

Online courses are a fantastic way to monetize your expertise and your content, which is why becoming a Teachable partner is a good option for building your affiliate income. They offer a generous 30% of all subscription payments for the lifetime of the subscription, and if you meet a certain commission threshold, you can even earn up to 50% on each new customer’s first subscription payment.

Teachable claims that their partners earn an average of $450 per month promoting the platform, so it can be a good source of revenue for online creators. As part of Teachable's partner program, you’ll get access to a ton of tracking information to help you optimize your affiliate program promotions, as well as link creators and marketing support. Teachable will also send you monthly platform updates so you can keep your audience informed about any changes, too.

8. Namecheap

Screenshot of Namecheap affiliate program website

Commission: 20-50% one-off payments, plus $2 for VPN free trials when you sustain a 20% renewal rate

Minimum Payment: $10 for PayPal, $50 for direct deposit, $100 for paper check

Cookie Life: 30 days

If you’ve got a website, then you’ll need domain names, web hosting, SSL certificates, and ongoing support. Other creators will need the same too, which is why it’s worth signing up for Namecheap’s affiliate program.

While the commission payouts aren’t recurring, being a Namecheap affiliate is a good idea to bring in some extra affiliate income, but it’s not the most reliable way to get paid with affiliate marketing. With cookies lasting only 30 days, there’s a good chance that it might not be as lucrative as some other affiliate programs we’ve mentioned in this blog post.

Don’t get us wrong, because Namecheap is ... well, cheap, even a flat 35% on their hosting packages can add up if multiple people sign up through you. However, with an extremely variable pricing structure, and the fact that you’ll have to consistently encourage people to sign up through your link to make a consistent income, Namecheap is best used alongside other affiliate programs.

9. Bluehost

Screenshot of Bluehost affiliate program website

Commission: $65-$130 per sale

Minimum Payment: $100 for the first payment, no minimum thereafter

Cookie Life: 90 days

Bluehost is one of the biggest hosting companies on the market. Unless you’ve never looked at online reviews, chances are you already know how popular the Bluehost affiliate program is.

That’s because, unlike Namecheap’s affiliate program, you get a flat $65 for each hosting sale that’s made through your affiliate link, and that can increase up to $130 as you move up the tiers. They’ve got a great affiliate support team to help you out with any questions you might have, and they’ll keep you updated with any special offers or promotions you can offer your followers.

Plus, while Bluehost only offers payouts through PayPal, they’ll cover all PayPal fees so you’re not losing out on any commissions.

The only downside of Bluehost’s affiliate program is that they don’t offer any marketing or brand assets to help you with promoting your affiliate links, so if you’re new to affiliate marketing, it’s worth getting some ideas in mind before you get started.

10. Amazon Associates

Screenshot of Amazon Associates affiliate program website

Commission: Up to 10%, plus flat commission rates through bonus and bounty events

Minimum Payment: $10 for direct deposit or gift card, $100 for checks with a $15 check processing fee

Cookie Life: 24 hours

The Amazon Associates program is a good affiliate marketing program to join for first-time affiliate marketers if you’re looking to make a little extra income on the side of your other programs. However, we can’t say we recommend it as a sole form of affiliate marketing income simply because the commissions are so low and they only offer one-time commissions.

However, it’s still not a bad program to be a part of. Most people already shop through Amazon, so getting your followers to buy things through your affiliate link isn’t too hard. No matter what you create, Amazon has a massively wide range of products, so promoting things relevant to your niche isn’t too tricky. Plus, the great thing about this program is that if a follower goes through your affiliate link and buys something that you didn’t promote, or if items are already in their cart, you can still earn commission on what they buy.

If you’ve got a larger social media presence, you can sign up for the Amazon Influencer Program and be part of both programs at the same time. But, given that Amazon affiliate cookies have a life of only 24 hours, we wouldn’t recommend using Amazon Associates as your primary focus.

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11. Shopify

Screenshot of Shopify affiliate program website

Commission: 200% one-off payment of each subscriber’s monthly plan price, plus bounties

Minimum Payment: $25

Cookie Life: 30 days

Shopify’s affiliate program is brilliant for online creators that run an ecommerce business because, alongside all of the benefits you get from being part of this program, you get priority support for your Shopify store. So, even if you only sign up one or two people as an affiliate, the additional ecommerce platform support for your own business is well worth it.

That’s not the only benefit, though. When someone signs up for a Shopify plan through your link, you get 200% of the monthly plan price that they’ve signed up for as long as they stay for two months. Plus, Shopify also offers all affiliates access to key product information and courses to help improve your conversion rate. If you create courses, you can even apply for a Shopify-approved course badge, which can help you grow your course income, too.

12. EverWebinar

Screenshot of EverWebinar affiliate program website


Commission: 40% of every sale and subscription payment up to 12 months

Minimum Payment: $100

Cookie Life: 30 days

EverWebinar helps people make recorded webinars that look and feel like you’re talking to your audience live. Creating your own webinars on EverWebinar is a good way to make extra income talking about what you know best, and their affiliate program helps you earn money showing other creators how to do the same.

EverWebinar offers a generous 40% of every sale and subscription, which is lucrative when you consider it costs $499 a year to use. Plus, you get access to email templates and banner images, which makes it even easier to share your affiliate link with your audience.

Unlike some other programs, EverWebinar allows you to deploy your affiliate links through paid advertising — as compared to advertising a landing page with your affiliate links on it — providing that you don’t bid on the same keywords that they use.

13. ClickBank

Screenshot of ClickBank affiliate program website


Commission: Up to 90%

Minimum Payment: $100

Cookie Life: 60 days

ClickBank is an affiliate marketplace that’s designed to help online creators earn an income online. With thousands of different products and courses available through ClickBank, you’ll easily be able to find products to promote that fit your niche and expertise.

While commissions vary depending on the product and the original retailer, you can earn up to 90% commission on each product sold. Plus, some products are sold on a subscription basis, so you can earn recurring commissions for as long as the subscription lasts.

As a ClickBank affiliate, you’ll get access to a wide variety of banner images and promotional materials for the products you choose to promote, plus lessons on affiliate marketing and access to analytics that show which products are performing well.

While ClickBank might not be lucrative enough to be your main source of affiliate income, it’s a good affiliate marketing program to sign up for regardless.

14. CJ Affiliate

Screenshot of CJ Affiliate program website


Commission: Vendor dependent

Minimum Payment: $50

Cookie Life: Vendor dependent

CJ Affiliate, previously known as Commission Junction, isn’t just one affiliate program. It's an affiliate network that lets you access affiliate marketing programs from almost 3,000 brands. With programs from household names like Office Depot, Barnes & Noble, and IHG, CJ Affiliate is a great choice for almost every online content creator.

However, you should note that because CJ Affiliate is a network rather than a provider, once you’ve been accepted into CJ Affiliate, you’ll also have to apply to work with the brands you want. Almost every brand in CJ Affiliate’s network has different requirements from publishers, and each will offer different levels of compensation. So, if you don’t have a huge audience, you might not be able to work with some of the higher-converting names.

However, CJ Affiliate does offer its affiliates multiple learning opportunities to help you make the most of their network, and (when they can) they regularly attend events around the world that help you network with brands and other online creators.

15. PartnerStack

Screenshot of PartnerStack affiliate program website


Commission: Vendor dependent

Minimum Payment: $25

Cookie Life: 90 days

If you build B2B software, or you have creators that want to market their software to a B2B market, then you should consider signing up for PartnerStack’s affiliate program. This program is designed both for affiliates and resellers, so even if you work for clients who build software, you can make an extra income by referring them to PartnerStack.

The other way you can build an affiliate income through PartnerStack is by joining its affiliate network. This is similar to CJ Affiliate in that you have to apply to work with vendors, but PartnerStack works exclusively with software providers. So, even if you don’t make software or know anyone who does, you might be able to find software that you use on PartnerStack and make an income from promoting it.

16. NordVPN

Screenshot of NordVPN affiliate program website

Commission: 100% for a new one-month subscription, 40% for new six-month, one-year, and two-year sign-ups, 30% for renewals

Minimum Payment: $100

Cookie Life: 30 days

VPNs are becoming increasingly popular with online creators, and unless you haven’t used YouTube any time within the past few years, you already know NordVPN regularly supports creators by sponsoring videos on this platform.

While payments aren’t recurring, NordVPN’s affiliate program still offers a decent source of income. For every customer that signs up through your affiliate program link, you’ll continually receive a commission on their renewals for as long as they remain a customer.

NordVPN offers ongoing support for all affiliates with brand assets, promotional material, and an account manager to answer any questions you or your followers have. So, while it might not offer enough commission to be a primary source of income, NordVPN is still a good affiliate program to join, particularly if you or your audience are concerned about their online privacy.


17. ExpressVPN

Screenshot of ExpressVPN affiliate program website

Commission: $13-$36, with potential increases depending on traffic

Minimum Payment: $50

Cookie Life: 90 days

ExpressVPN is a decent affiliate marketing program, but because it only offers one-time commission payments, don’t expect it to be a main source of income.

To be accepted as an ExpressVPN affiliate, you need to have a live website “with VPN-related content.” This is fairly vague, so it might be difficult to get accepted unless you work in software or with websites or write about online privacy. In comparison, NordVPN doesn’t require this from potential affiliates.

ExpressVPN offers a good amount of support for its affiliates. You’ll get access to content ideas, marketing materials, exclusive landing pages, and help with SEO. Plus, you’ll get ongoing support from dedicated affiliate account managers who can answer all of your questions if you’re ever struggling.

18. Impact

Screenshot Impact affiliate program website

Commission: Vendor dependent

Minimum Payment: $25 for ACH, $50 for checks, $100 for international bank transfers

Cookie Life: Vendor dependent

Impact is another affiliate marketplace and was built by the same people that founded CJ Affiliate. It offers big household name brands, like Adidas, Levi’s, and Airbnb, and is a decent option if you’ve got a large enough audience to attract big brands.

Impact currently offers more than 9 million products in its marketplace, making it one of the biggest affiliate networks out there. Plus, it offers a clean, slick dashboard that helps you to track your affiliate campaigns across different platforms and brands. You can also filter brands by whether they commission on sales, leads, or acquisitions, making it easier to find the right brands for you.

19. Moosend

Screenshot of Moosend affiliate program website

Commission: 30% recurring

Minimum Payment: $25

Cookie Life: 90 days

Moosend is an email marketing platform that helps online creators craft eye-catching and impactful email marketing campaigns, and their affiliate program offers a decent recurring revenue stream. For each new customer that signs up through your affiliate program link, you get 30% of their subscription plan while they remain a customer. If they upgrade their subscription at any time, you’ll get more commission too.

Plus, Moosend works on a first-click attribution basis, so as long as your link is the first one a user followed within 90 days, you’ll still get the commission when they sign up, even if they complete the process through another link.

You’ll also get access to a dashboard to help you track how your campaigns are doing, and you’ll get ongoing support from the Moosend team in the form of SEO support, promotional materials, marketing tools, and other ready-made visuals to help you promote your links.

20. Envato

Screenshot of Envato affiliate program website

Commission: $20-$120 per subscriber, or 30% of a new customer’s first purchase

Minimum Payment: $50

Cookie Life: 90 days

Envato is a network of marketplaces offering everything that WordPress users and bloggers might ever need. With multiple online stores offering digital products like stock photos and videos, tutorials, WordPress themes, audio, and even a marketplace to hire freelancers, it’s not a bad affiliate program to be a part of as an online content creator. The WP engine is extremely popular with many online creators, so there’s usually a good amount of interest in these products.

Envato has three different affiliate programs, with no restriction on how many you can sign up for.

As an affiliate for Envato, you earn 30% of a new customer’s first purchase. Affiliates for Placeit by Envato get $50 for new annual subscriptions, $20 for new monthly subscriptions, and 50% on one-time transactions. The Envato Elements affiliate program offers up to $60 for new monthly subscriptions or up to $120 for new annual subscriptions.

It’s worth noting that with the Envato affiliate program, the products on sale aren’t expensive in the first place, so unless you’ve got a lot of traffic from WordPress users or bloggers, this program isn’t going to make you rich. However, it’s still not a bad tool to have if you’re going down the affiliate marketing route.

Top affiliate marketing programs for online creators

When it comes to choosing whether to join an affiliate program, you have a lot of things to consider. With how affiliate program commissions work, it’s worth joining multiple programs and seeing how well they perform for you. There are thousands of programs out there, and we haven’t had the chance to go into some other popular ones like the eBay Partner Network, AWIN, or Rakuten.

Whether you want to pursue affiliate marketing to make some serious money or to monetize your content and grow a passive income stream, these 20 affiliate marketing programs are a great place to get started.

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