There are plenty of categories, products, and services to choose concerning affiliate marketing. For example, Commission Junction and FlexOffers list around thirty each including automotive, clothing, home and garden, insurance, and much more. Naturally, most affiliates select programs that relate to the themes and topics they cover on their sites.
At chadtennant.com, I write and make videos about online business, internet marketing, personal finance, and WordPress. Also, I dabble in self-publishing and e-learning. During 2014 and 2015, I promoted popular affiliate programs related to these topics. For instance, email marketing, website hosting, and social media services. Furthermore, I experimented with random programs.
I’m now aware of the many providers and how much competition surrounds email marketing and hosting services. With so much selection and competition, it’s hard to attract enough interest, clicks, and conversions to make promoting these services worthwhile. Moreover, email marketing and hosting companies have become commoditized—widely available and interchangeable—which lessens their value propositions. This makes it harder to influence the purchasing decisions. For example, there aren’t many differences between AWeber and GetReponse or DreamHost and Bluehost except pricing and minor details. I don’t think social media services is where the action is either. For example, I’ve been promoting Hootsuite—an excellent all-in-one social media service—for years, but haven’t got much traction. The hopes of social media businesses have mostly been dashed by the failures of Google Plus, Twitter, and Snapchat. Alternatively, Facebook remains the only bright spot.
As for promoting random affiliate programs—that did or didn’t relate to my blog—it was during my experimental phase, and I was willing to try anything to see if I could make money (not a great strategy).
High Paying Affiliate Programs
Education and E-Learning Affiliate Programs
Human beings have been developing their skills since the beginning of time. Professional and personal development are things millions of people focus on daily. Also, learning is universal, so citizens in America want to learn just as much as individuals in Germany and Japan.
Online learning and courses continue to be a hot affiliate category. E-learning affiliate programs are incredibly diverse given the many topics and subjects available to the market. For instance, I can promote business and marketing courses whereas a fitness blogger can promote health, fitness, lifestyle, and yoga classes.
I’m currently profiting from CreativeLive, Coursera, Treehouse, and edX. See my post for more e-learning affiliate programs.
Investing and Financial Affiliate Programs
Investors have been extremely sensitive and cautious about investing ever since the global financial crisis of 2008. Also, do-it-yourself investing is more feasible today than it was decades ago due to the Internet. Combine these two facts, and millions of investors yearn for smarter ways to invest.
Many financial affiliate programs achieve high earnings-per-click (EPC) results. For instance, credit card companies and stock brokerages. I’ve been focusing on the still somewhat niche robo-advisor sector. A robo-advisor (robo-adviser) is an online wealth management service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management with or without access to a financial advisor (depends on the robo-advisor). Intelligent investors are moving billions from traditional advisors to robo and DIY-friendly investing platforms. I’m currently generating commissions from Wealthfront and Betterment.
Global remittance, sending money, and foreign exchange makes up a trillion dollar industry. Many individuals use companies such as Western Union, MoneyGram, and PayPal, but these companies don’t offer the best quotes and lowest fees. (See my post, “Cheapest Way to Send Money.”) I use, promote, and attract affiliate commissions from TransferWise. Also, I recommend Remitly for remittance activities.
WordPress Affiliate Programs
I don’t waste my time actively promoting hosting services for WordPress anymore. That market is saturated and engulfed by hundreds of providers. Additionally, I stay away from promoting themes because users can access thousands of fantastic free themes. Where I am making money is with a couple of premium WordPress plugin providers—Thrive Themes and Elegant Themes.
Thrive Themes is the best premium solution on the market. They offer a suite of plugins including opt-in forms, landing pages, and countdown timers for scarcity marketing. They have no competition given all the plugins and themes they offer so attracting sales is easy. Thrive Affiliates can earn between 25% to 50% per sale.
Elegant Themes recently enhanced the marketability of their site. Their Divi theme and plugins are very popular with WordPress users. Secondly, their opt-in forms plugin—Bloom—is a close rival to Thrive Leads—Thrive Themes.
Bonus Insight: Lead Affiliate Programs
Most affiliate programs require you to convert a sale to generate a commission. However, lead programs require you to get someone to sign up to earn. Since it’s easier to get people to sign up compared with getting them to buy something, lead program payouts may not be as appetizing. For example, Grammarly offers twenty cents per lead while Pluralsight offers twelve dollars.
I like lead programs a lot because they help me to earn an extra $150 to $200 a month for not doing much work or convincing. Moreover, lead programs usually offer a sales commission structure on top of their lead base. Therefore, commissions can be made two ways. Sweet!