Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners

Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners

Today I would like to go over a few Affiliate Marketing programs for those just starting. Believe me when I say that it can genuinely be intimidating at first, but with a bit of practice, you will be on your way in no time!

First, have you ever thought about trying your hand at Affiliate Marketing, but you have no idea how or where to start? Do you have your website? Would you like to monetize your passion?

I am sure you have heard it all before, but there are large amounts of money to be made online these days. For instance, according to recent findings, it is estimated that by 2020, over 6.8 billion dollars will be made by affiliate marketers. That is billion, with a capital B!

What is Affiliate Marketing?

affiliate marketing banner join promote earn money

Affiliate Marketing is a marketing arrangement between online merchants and external websites, in which a commission is paid to you for traffic or sales that are generated via referrals. As you can see, basically you are promoting other people’s stuff.

Well, in a nutshell, affiliate marketing is when you, as an individual entity, review products or services of a business that is on the internet. Within this review, you will place an affiliate link or banner to your post.

If anyone clicks on the link or banner, they are taken to the businesses’ webpage. So, if someone ends up buying the product, you will receive a small percentage of the profit.

In other words-

  1. Find a product and write a review or show an ad or link on your website, blog or social media network
  2. Add a link to the products page which takes the customer to the official businesses’ website
  3. Share your review or add on social media forums
  4. Once the customer clicks on the link and completes a sale, it will be recorded, and you will receive a small commission
  5. Repeat steps 1-4

How Do They Know if You Made the Sale?

cookie rates vary banner how affiliate links work

Once you become a member of an affiliate marketing program, you will be assigned your unique affiliate link, so there will be no confusion on who sold the product.

Each affiliate link has a cookie.

What is a cookie, you ask?

A cookie is a small file of information that is sent to the customers’ browsers via the affiliate link, which then tracks what information they are seeking.

Cookie rates (how long the file stays in the browser) vary with each program.

Let’s take a look!

Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Those Just Starting Out

        1. Amazon Associates
        2. Etsy Affiliates
        3. eBay Partner Network
        4. Target Affiliates
        5. Walmart Affiliates

Have you Heard of Amazon Affiliates?

amazon logo

I am sure that you have heard of Amazon, yes? Did you know that in 2018, Amazon had over 3 billion products listed on its site?  So the question is, can you find anything to promote? I bet you could. Have a look for yourself by clicking on the link below.

It is quite easy to become an Amazon Affiliate, but it must be noted that you have six months to make sales. If you are not able to make a few sales, or the program will drop you. The good thing is that you can apply again at a later date.

button join affiliate program amazon associates




  • Custom links- links to a specific product
    • text-only, image only, text, and image
  • Widget banners-both promotional and announcement banners
  • Site Stripe (Toolbar)-
    • allows you to directly link pages from without having to go to the Amazon Associates main page
    • create short links
    • helps to build links to any page to share on social media platforms
  • Native Shopping Ads- a highly relevant group of product recommendation ads to add within your post or to place at the bottom

Commission Rates– Within the Amazon Affiliate Progam, the commission rates vary according to the categories of the items.

Amazon Commission Rates Affiliate Marketing Programs for beginners

Cookie Length

Anything purchase within 24 hours will be credited to your account.

If the customer were to go onto other pages and make a purchase, you would get credit for all of the purchases made. Once the customer completes the sale, the cookie is wiped clean.

But, if any customer adds something to their cart, you have 89 more days for them to complete their purchase for you to receive a credit to your account. Again, if they purchase anything else within this period, you will receive credit for all of those purchases.


  • Product Advertising API- create your online web store with Amazon products
    • guided toward developers to take advantage of Amazons’ e-commerce data and functionality
    • access to data related to customer reviews, items for sale, product promotions, new and used listings
    • once a customer is ready to purchase something from your web store, your application will send an HTML form to Product Advertising API, and Amazon will complete the purchase by getting the necessary billing and mailing information
      • Amazon completes the transaction by shipping the products
      • you receive a small commission

Etsy Affiliate Information

etsy logo affiliate marketing for
Etsy logo. Courtesy of Etsy.

So what is Etsy? Etsy is a platform where people from all over the world connect to by and sell one-of-a-kind handmade products and vintage goods.

There are several qualifications that you must meet to join the Affiliate Program; such as, having a unique URL website, an adequate amount of content, declaring if you have an Etsy store, as well as having a site that DOES NOT only promote Etsy products (see the link below for additional information)

Also, websites that offer cashback and vouchers are not allowed, as well as price comparison sites, sites using ‘pop-up’ ads, and advertising networks.

button join affiliate program Etsy




  • promotional banners for different categories and themes in different sizes
  • tracked links for all Esty products and pages
  • curated pages to inspire
  • Affiliate Newsletter and Etsy Blog
  • Esty’s search tool

Commission Rates-

Commissions, which are determined by categories, run on the low end of 4% to 8%. Also, commissions are not paid out on gift card purchases or when a check or money order is used as a payment option.

Cookie Length

Estys’ cookie lengths last for 30 days, meaning that the affiliate will receive a commission on all sales attributed to their account during this period if their link was the last one clicked by the customer.


You may only share on social media feeds that operate in line with URL websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You may not share it on Pinterest or Tumblr. Affiliates are responsible for knowing which platforms are allowed.


    1. Wedding
    2. DIY (do-it-yourself)
    3. Handmade
    4. Clothing
    5. Jewelry
    6. Home
    7. Arts
    8. Crafts
    9. Vintage
    10. Decor

Want to Be an eBay Affiliate Marketer?

ebay logo affiliate marketing programs for

Well, how about eBay? Do they have a lucrative Affiliate Program? Why, yes, they do!

There are over 1.2 billion products listed on eBay! That is a tremendous amount of items to choose from, indeed!   eBay is one of the world’s largest online brands, which has 13 eBay sites spanning a variety of languages and locations. You are bound to find something to promote, yes?

One thing that makes eBay affiliates’ program stand out is how high the commission can be- 40-80% based on categories (more info down below.)

button join affiliate program eBay




  • promotional banners
  • buttons
  • text links
  • API tools
  • high volume product feed which opens up your audience to similar and relevant products
  • dedicated support via eBay communication channels

Commission Rates-

eBay commission table affiliate marketing for beginners

No commissions on gift cards, charity items, or exclusive promotional deals.

Cookie Length-

The cookie length at eBay is for 24 hours.  If the customer bids on an auction item, the cookies’ life is extended to 10 days.


  • there are several ways to make a sale at eBay
    • ‘by it now.’
    • auctions
    • daily deals
  • earn a 200% referral bonus for any new or reactivated buyers
  • seasonal and category bonuses and promotions
  • no restrictions of you working with other Affiliate Programs
  • eBay promotional posts are allowed on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr

A Closer Look at the Target Affiliate Marketing Program

target logo affiliate marketing programs for

Target, with over one million products for sale online, is one of the easiest affiliate marketing programs for beginners to be accepted into.

The only criteria that they are looking for are that you are concentrating on selling in the United States market and have a ‘family-friendly’ website.

Another great feature is that you can sign-up multiple sites within one account. All you have to do is specify which websites you would like to promote on.

button join affiliate programs Target



  • text links
  • widget banners
  • other creatives
  • permission to use the Target Logo
  • weekly newsletters with updates on promotions, contests, and other sales opportunities

Commission Rates

Target Affiliate Commissions affiliate programs for beginners

Cookie Length

The cookie length for a Target Affiliate link is for only seven days. Target does offer something different compared to other traditional affiliate programs, though.

You see, you get paid each time a customer places an order within seven days of clicking on your affiliate link. In essence, this means that your cookie will stay in the customers’ browser even after completing the first sale.

If this said customer goes back to the Target website for any other product within the initial seven days of clicking on your link, you will receive a commission on all of the products purchased.


I thought it would be fair to mention that several categories do not pay out any commission.

  • grocery
  • household commodities and essentials
  • baby care- food, diapers, wipes
  • pets
  • electronics
  • sporting goods
  • movies
  • videos and consoles
  • pharmacy
  • optical
  • gift cards
  • music
  • books
  • mobile contracts

Target Affiliates also have the opportunity to receive a referral fee if-

  • customer applies online for a Target REDcard and is accepted
  • the customer creates a new Wedding Registry, Baby Registry or a College Registry

Have You Ever Heard of Walmart?

walmart logo affiliate marketing programs for

Walmart is one of the largest online market websites and has over 35 million products to choose from! Being the leader in brick and mortar stores, Walmart is now looking for new ways to top its online sales as well. One thing that makes the Walmart Affiliate unique is that you do not need to join the affiliate program to access banners and links.

I recommend joining though because Walmart sends out a weekly newsletter which provides its affiliates professionally designed banners, information on specific products as well as a set of useful links to put on your website.

button join affiliate program Walmart




  • multiple size banners and buttons
  • a ‘Buy Now’ button- Walmart SDK
    • allowing the customer to automatically add a Walmart product from your website, directly to the cart at, thus decreasing the steps of the sale and increasing your conversion rate
  • text links to department categories
  • rich-media links
  • a large variety of widgets
    • a widget that allows customers to search Walmart without leaving your website
    • Best Sellers
    • Preorder
    • Special Buys
    • Clearance
    • Roll Backs
  • product links and banners
  • Seasonal Campaigns

Commission Rates-

Walmart Affiliate Commission Table Affiliate Marketing for

Cookie Length-

The cookie length for Walmart’s affiliates is for three days. What this means is if the customer who clicked on your link ends up buying anything on in the next three days, you will receive a commission.


  • support from, if you have any questions
  • access to Affiliate Member Center to generate banners, text links to customize your website
  • By Now Button is a unique feature which leads to high conversion rates
  • occasionally hold sales and contests throughout the year to increase commissions

Which Affiliate Marketing Program Would You Be Interested In Joining?

storms gone surf up stock photo ocean surfing
Riding the Waves of Success!

So there you have it, five Affiliate Programs for beginners. Which one do you think you would like to start trying? I have to say that eBay has piqued my interest, seeing that they offer such high commissions.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my material! One question, though, I assume that you have a website already if you are researching affiliate marketing programs for beginners.

If, by some chance, you have yet to build a website, might I suggest you take a look at one of my previous posts?

Here, I have given you step-by-step instructions on how to create a free website, over at SiteRubix.

Have a look and tell me what you think.

One more thing, if you are looking for one of the best online website platforms in the business, have a look at my #1 recommendation located up on my website’s top menu.

Here you can host your website, as well as learn all there is not know about affiliate marketing through tutorials, exceptional lesson plans, and community support!

Thank you again for stopping by, and please feel free to leave any comments or questions that you may have down below!

wealthy affiliate banner

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Hi! Your post has been so helpful. Affiliate marketing seems like a great way to make a living. How could I imagine I could be able to earn commissions from sales done at Walmart or Target? I’ll join all these affiliate programs you have mentioned here. I’m excited. Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Henry! 

      It is exciting when you are first starting and finding all of the affiliate marketing programs. I believe if you set your mind to something and never give up, you will succeed.

      I agree with regards to promoting Walmart and Target products. It seems like these two companies also see the potential in adding affiliate programs to their portfolios. The way that consumers have been buying things online is unprecedented, and it looks like it is only going up!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and good luck to you!

  2. I always thought the cookie length of amazon associate program was 30days. I had no idea that it was actually just 24hours. That is kinda short compared to some others. The only reason I like amazon affiliate program is due to its popularity and the trust people have on them. 

    Apart from that I am not a big fan of their commission rate, cookie length and all their rules that needs to followed. 

    1. Hi Jay! 

      I agree that 24 hours is indeed a short cookie life. 

      So far, I have been concentrating on other little known programs.  If you are interested please check back in a couple of weeks, as I plan to have a pretty decent list of affiliate programs which have the best potential of converting to sales.

      Good luck to you!

  3. Wow great advice for beginner affiliate marketers! Starting out can be overwhelming so it’s nice to have a resource like this. I haven’t tried or heard much about eBay Partner Network, Target Affiliate or Walmart Affiliates so I definitely will be checking these out. With eBay the 200% referral bonus looks pretty solid. The cookie lengths with Target and Walmart could be a little longer but are still worth checking out. You referenced a great product here in Wealthy Affiliate and those who haven’t heard should see what it’s all about!

    1. Hi Pentrental! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I had a lot of funny going through all of these big retailer affiliate programs. 

      The eBay referral is pretty sweet isn’t? I also appreciate Target’s cookie length of seven days. So far, I have not found a cookie that will stay in the browser even after a sales is made! There could be a lot of potential in that.

      It is nice to hear from another Wealthy Affiliate member! Good luck to you and make sure to check back!

  4. Hi, I just came over from your page on Affiliate Marketing Tips for Beginners.  You mentioned this post, so I wanted to check it out.  

    I had not thought about joining  Etsy or Ebay’s affiliate programs.   However, since I like art and vintage items, they both would fit parts of my niche (that I am trying refine a it. )  I like Etsy’s 30 day cookie that you mentioned.   Thanks for this list of programs.  

    1. Hi Sondra! I too am interested in eventually promoting eBay and Etsy products soon. Can you even believe how many products there are to choose in eBay? 

      As for Etsy, how cool is a 30-day cookie!

      I appreciate that you took the time to reach out. Please check back soon, as I will be listing all of the Affiliate programs that I can find, including the most unique.

      Good luck with your endeavors!

  5. First of all, great website. The article was a pleasure to read; I love when an item comes around that educates me on the subjects I want to learn. Really the more I read, the more I looked forward to what’s coming next. I am in the process of adding an affiliate, and it’s tough gauging when it is time to apply. Again great article I will be back to see what else I can learn.

    1. Hi John! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Regarding when it is an excellent time to apply to affiliate programs, each one is different. 

      I have found that CJ Affiliates and ShareASale are great places to check out when you are first starting. It is pretty easy to get into those programs as well as ClickBank. It seems that they let anyone join, regardless of how much traffic you get to your website.

      Good luck to you!

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