What is an Affiliate Program?
Simply put, an affiliate program is an agreement in which a business pays another business or influencer (“the affiliate”) a commission for sending traffic and/or sales their way.
This can be achieved through web content, social media, or a product integration. The affiliate gets a unique link (an “affiliate link”) from which clicks can be tracked — typically using cookies.
You will often come across the terms “cookie length” or “cookie life”, which simply define how long the cookie will be tracking the user’s online activity.
For example, if a cookie has a 30-day life, your referral needs to make a purchase within 30-days of clicking your affiliate link in order for you to get paid — otherwise the lead will no longer be trackable.
A B2B audience can be particularly valuable, since they are the same customers who are willing to drop hundreds of dollars for a product or service that will help them make money.
Top Paying Affiliate Programs
The Bluehost affiliate program is super popular in the web hosting space. With their plans starting at $2.95/month and one-time payouts starting at $65+, the cost barrier is low, and the commissions are high.
Because of this, they are one of the convenient ways for affiliate bloggers looking to make money online. After you sign up for their program, you will get credit for referrals up to 45 days after the first click. Payments occur between the 16th and the end of each month, and you’ll need at least $100 to release your payment.
By promoting Bluehost, you’ll enjoy high conversion rates and have access to text links and banners to help them quickly. Their affiliate managers provide excellent customer service, and they are my #1 overall pick and come with my highest recommendation.
Hostinger is another popular web hosting platform that can offer affiliates up to $150 per sale on a tiered pricing structure.
Their affiliate partner program offers a base payout of around $60, with the opportunity to make up to $150. And since their small business and WordPress plans have a 90% discount and start at $0.99/month, they boast excellent conversion rates.
Like many other web hosts, they provide banners and promotional tools to help new affiliates get started. Finally, there are no payment caps, and you can send unlimited referrals.
The Cloudways web hosting affiliate program offers high payouts, long recurring commissions, and three flexible payout models for their affiliates.
For one-time payouts, you can either earn up to $125 per sale based on your performance tier. Additionally, you can use their hybrid model and get $30 per sale plus a 7% monthly lifetime commission for the life of the customer.
Cloudways provides its own real-time tracking for its affiliates, with a performance dashboard that shows clicks, conversions, and other detailed information.
They also have excellent account managers (whom I know personally) and helpful resources including onboarding emails, guides, monthly newsletters, benchmark articles, and blog articles.
By promoting HostGator, you can earn up to $100 per sign up and get flexible commission structures and your co-branded landing pages and offers.
For example, I have my HostGator landing page where readers can get 60% off HostGator plans.
Plus they have tiered commissions structures – the more affiliates you refer, the more you earn commissions. You can either choose a performance-based or a hybrid commission model that offers recurring payments too.
By joining their program, you get a dedicated affiliate account manager and access to marketing tools like banners, text links, excellent article content, and email templates. They’re a great web host when starting an affiliate site as well.
If your users are looking for a web host that is both user-friendly (and environmentally-friendly), you should check out GreenGeeks. Did you know your website has a carbon footprint? GreenGeeks is trying to change that by replacing 3x the amount of energy consumed from the grid in the form of renewable energy credits.
By joining their affiliate program, you can earn up to $125 per sale based on performance and traffic levels. GreenGeeks has paid their affiliates over $3.5 million over time and offer dedicated account managers and helpful reporting tools to set you up for success. Lastly, there are no minimum sales thresholds to release your payments.
6. WP Engine.
WP Engine has one of the highest affiliate payouts, starting at $200. They are a powerful web hosting platform and one of the premier web hosts for bloggers that write about WordPress plugins and themes.
Their program features incentives and pricing tiers. If you get five sales, you receive an extra $100. For ten purchases, you get $250. They also offer a two-tier program – you can earn $50 for any sub-affiliates you refer to their platform.
WP Engine has an industry-leading 180-day cookie duration, which gives credit for sales up to 6 months after visitors click your affiliate link. However, the only downside is that their product is more expensive than other web hosting options, so your users may convert at a slightly lower rate.
I know many people that have managed the WP Engine program and ensure they are committed to the success of their affiliates.Get started with WP Engine
7. Liquid Web.
Liquid Web runs its own affiliate program and pays its affiliates 150% of sales, which can be anywhere from $150 – $7,000 per sale. Most conversions will occur for their managed WordPress hosting, but if you generate a sale for their dedicated or cloud hosting, you start earning the big bucks.
They have excellent account managers based on my experience and offer a two-tier setup. This allows you to get a small credit for sales generated by other affiliates via your two-tier link .
Read also: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners