Affilimate

Best digital affiliate products and services for bloggers in 2020

By Monica Lent   ·   April 20, 2020

These days, getting physical products in the hands of consumers is an increasing logistical challenge. Some major ecommerce stores have shifted to prioritizing shipping essential goods, while massive stay-at-home policies drive people to order more and more online.

Luckily, digital products don't have the same challenges as physical products: they're delivered immediately, never run out of stock, and scale hand-in-hand with demand.

In this post you will learn:

  1. Why promoting digital affiliate products can be so profitable
  2. Popular categories of digital products
  3. Profitable affiliate programs in each category and where to join them

Why is promoting digital affiliate products so profitable?

Higher commission rates. One of the main reasons promoting digital products is so profitable is because prices are largely based on value rather than production costs. That means those higher margins often get passed on to the affiliate, resulting in typical commissions ranging from 20-40%.

Recurring commissions. Beyond that, some digital products also offer recurring commissions. Meaning, that as long as the person you referred to the digital product remains an active subscriber, you get a monthly cut of that profit. Some programs offer recurring commissions on the first year of subscription, whereas others offer it indefinitely.

Profitable and popular digital products with affiliate programs

As always, picking the right affiliate products to promote depends on two things:

  1. You
  2. Your audience.

Products you use and love will convert better than those you haven't. This is not a revolutionary idea.

But what you might find is that products you already use or have always wanted to try have a great affiliate program that's highly relevant for your audience.

That's what I call a win-win.

Keep reading for some of the most profitable digital affiliate products and services, how to join their affiliate programs, their commission structures, and cookie durations.


Legend Here are a couple of helpful keys for understanding this list.

  • or
    Recurring
    — Recurring commissions
  • (Where to join) Affiliate networks you can use to join the program (such as CJ, Awin, Impact Radius, etc.) or affiliate software the program is running (such as Tune, Ambassador, PostAffiliatePro, etc.)

Digital affiliate product categories So you can easily jump to a section you think might be relevant for your audience.

Do take note that commissions may vary if the company uses multiple affiliate networks.

Small business tools

Shopify

  • Network: Direct
  • Commission: 200% based on monthly subscription price
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

Shopify is the easiest way to get started selling physical or digital products online, and it offers a 200% commission based on the monthly subscription fee, split over two months.

Fiverr

  • Network: Awin
  • Commission: $20-150 USD per new buyer, based on these subcategories
  • Cookie duration: 365 days

Fiverr is an easy way to outsource tasks to freelancers all over the world. If the buyer you refer is buying PRO services, you can get a $150 commission. Otherwise, a lot of the other categories are $20-60. In the $60 category, you'll see services like making explainer videos, website builders, CMSes, ecommerce, WordPress development, and game development.

Freshbooks

  • Network: Shareasale
  • Commission: $5 USD per lead, $55 USD per paid conversion
  • Cookie duration: 120 days

Freshbooks is user-friendly accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses. It's a really user-friendly tool, though will work best for US-based businesses as it is accounting software and reporting requirements will vary by country.

Sage

  • Network: Impact Radius
  • Commission: $5 USD / free trial, $10 / business cloud subscription, 7% other
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

Similar to Freshbooks, Sage is an accounting tool for small and medium-sized businesses. They also offer $5 USD per trial signup, and $10 USD on sales of their business cloud subscription or 7% on anything else purchased with 30-days of being referred by you.

Blogging tools

One of the ironic parts of blogging is that blogging about blogging is often more profitable than blogging itself.

A big part of that is that the tools you need to run a blog are largely digital, and as a result, do have higher commissions and as business-to-business (B2B) products tend to cost more than consumer goods and run on a subscription.

For that reason, it certainly doesn't hurt to have a bit of content about how you run your blog and the tools you use, even if it's not your main focus and doesn't belong on your homepage.

Here are some of the most profitable affiliate programs in the space of blogging (apart from web hosting).

Affilimate  
Recurring

  • Network: Direct
  • Commission: 20% recurring
  • Incentives: 30% discount for any referral
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

Of course, I can't not mention that here at Affilimate we have a great affiliate program too! As an affiliate analytics tool, Affilimate has a high conversion rate and clear connection to improving blogging income. The 30-day cookie gives you a 20% recurring commission and gives your referral a 30% discount to incentivize them to sign up.

ConvertKit  
Recurring

  • Affiliate software: LinkMink
  • Commission: 30% recurring
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

ConvertKit is a popular email marketing tool especially for content creators. Their program offers a 30% recurring commission, and if you refer people with large email lists you can earn a solid amount of money.

ActiveCampaign  
Recurring

  • Network: Direct
  • Commission: 30% recurring
  • Cookie duration:

ActiveCampaign is another email marketing tool. Unlike ConvertKit, you need to be a customer of ActiveCampaign in order to be an affiliate of their tool.

LeadPages  
Recurring

  • Network: Impact Radius
  • Commission: 30% recurring
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

LeadPages allows you to build landing pages with a drag-and-drop editor. There are a bunch of features relevant for online business owners, like pop-up forms, WordPress integration, conversion analytics, lead magnet email delivery, and tons of other features. Once you refer a customer, you also get better commissions if they decide to upgrade to a higher plan down the line.

SEMrush.com  
Recurring

  • Network: Direct
  • Commission: 40% recurring
  • Cookie duration: 10 years (yes, really, except for end users from China according to their TOS)

SEMrush is a popular (and pricey) SEO tool that lets you research keywords, perform competitor analysis, track how you're ranking for keywords, and a ton of other features.

Bank accounts

Transferwise

  • Network: Parterize
  • Commission: £10 per new personal user. Higher rates for new business users.
  • Cookie duration: 60 days

Tranferwise is one of the cheapest ways to send money between bank accounts in different countries. Their rate for business accounts isn't disclosed, but it's usually 2-20x if it follows the patterns of other bank accounts.

Revolut and Revolut for Business

  • Network: Impact Radius
  • Commission: Revolut (£2-10), Revolut Business (£20-500)
  • Cookie duration: Unknown

Revolut is one of the most popular neo-banks in Europe and lets you open an account entirely online. Their business account especially can net you a very good commission.

Personal finance tools

Personal Capital

  • Affiliate software: Tune
  • Commission: $50-100 per qualified signup (anyone who links $100k+ in assets to their platform)
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

Personal Capital is an online financial advisor and personal wealth management company, which charges fees based on the volume of assets under management. Users don't need to tranfer their money to PC, but rather link their existing accounts to the platform.

Acorns

  • Network: Impact Radius
  • Commission: $5 per funded account
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

Acorns allows you to invest your spare change from everyday purchases in an automated way for a couple bucks a month. Their target audience are Americans from 24-35 years old who are tech-savvy.

Credit Sesame

  • Affiliate software: Tune
  • Commission: Unknown
  • Cookie duration: Unknown

While the commissions and cookie durations aren't public for this program, I've included it as it's one of the most popular affiliate programs linked on personal finance websites. Credit Sesame gives you access to your credit score for free, and most likely pays per signup like their competitor Credit Karma.

Online entertainment

These days we're all spending more time online (in fact, desktop usage is UP for the first time in years!) since everyone is at home. Here are a couple of popular options for online entertainment.

Audible

  • Network: Amazon
  • Commission: $5 / free trial, $10 / membership, $0.50 / audiobook sale
  • Cookie duration: Presumably the same 24h as Amazon

Note: Audible UK and Audible France are both listed on FlexOffers.

AudiobooksNow.com

  • Network: Pepperjam, Shareasale
  • Commission: 10%
  • Cookie duration: 15 days

iTunes

  • Network: Direct
  • Commission: 7% (Movies, TV, Books), 2.5% (Music), or 100% (one-time commission for an Apple Music subscription)
  • Cookie duration: 24 hours

Online education

MasterClass

  • Network: Sharesale
  • Commission: 25%
  • Incentives: Bonuses at certain sales milestones
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

MasterClass provides online courses that are basically made by celebrities teaching what they're famous for, whether it's Gordon Ramsey cooking or Steve Martin doing comedy. Each class is $90 USD or a one-year pass for every class for $180 USD. They rank well in Shareasale's PowerRank rankings for their high average commissions.

Coursera

  • Network: Rakuten Marketing (Linkshare)
  • Commission: 20-45%
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

Coursera is one of the biggest platforms for online learning, and they offer a 20-45% commission for referrals. When you log into Rakuten, you can see a list of exactly which courses qualify for the 45% commission.

Teachable  
Recurring

  • Affiliate software: Ambassador
  • Commission: 30% recurring
  • Cookie duration: 90 days

Teachable is one of the most popular ways to create an online course. If you refer a creator to them, you receive a 30% recurring commission for however long that creator is an active member. Similarly, creators on Teachable may have affiliate programs for their courses, but those programs may not offer the same recurring payout structure.

Udemy

  • Network: Awin, FlexOffers
  • Commission: 15% baseline (Awin) or 16% (FlexOffers) until June 2020
  • Cookie duration: 30 days (Awin) or 7 days (FlexOffers)

Like Coursera, Udemy offers online courses in a ton of different areas. Just be sure to compare the current terms because Udemy is a member of both Awin and FlexOffers and has different rates and listed cookie durations in each network.

Insurance

PetFirst

  • Networks: Pepperjam, FlexOffers
  • Commission: 8%
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

Health insurance for pets! If you're running a blog about pets and don't link to insurance yet, this is a handy link to include in your sidebar or in the footer of your posts.

World Nomads (Travel Insurance)

  • Network: Direct
  • Commission: 10%
  • Cookie duration: 60 days

While World Nomads has currently suspended sales to people outside the United States, it's worth looking into their program for the future.

Safety Wing (Travel Medical Insurance)

Safety Wing is the new kid on the travel insurance block, and (until recently) was experiencing 20%+ growth month-over-month since their launch a year and a half ago. Rather than being primarily travel insurance, they focus on travel medical insurance for digital nomads and providing global health insurance for remote teams.

Commissions aren't listed publicly and the application is a bit manual (via email) but worth looking into if it's a fit for your audience.

VPNs

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are a useful digital service for masking the origin of the user as they browse the internet.

You can use it to access the Netflix of another country, log in to your bank account in your home country, or otherwise securely browse the internet.

They're usually pretty cheap (under $10/mo), but it can vary greatly based on how long your subscription ends up being. The big discounts for multi-year subscription lead to bigger basket sizes and solid earnings per click (EPCs) on average.

Here are some of the most popular affiliate programs for VPNs:

NordVPN

  • Networks: CJ, Impact Radius, and Direct (via Tune)
  • Commission: 100% of a monthly subscription, 40% of other types of subscriptions
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

Cyberghost VPN

  • Network: CJ
  • Commission: 30-100% depending on duration of subscription purchased
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

Zenmate

  • Network: CJ
  • Commission: 30-45% depending on duration of subscription purchased
  • Cookie duration: 30 days

Which digital affiliate product do you think is a fit for your audience?

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Monica Lent

Hi there! I'm a Monica, one of the co-founders of Affilimate. I blog, I code, and above all else I drink coffee.

@monicalent

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