Today you’ll see the best affiliate programs for WordPress bloggers.
It’s better to focus on a few quality affiliate programs that convert well, as opposed to chasing the highest commissions.
You need epic content and a quality product to support the recommendations you make to your audience.
Remember to always do what’s best for your audience! Google will love that too.
I’ll be concentrating on:
- WordPress Hosting
- WordPress Themes
- Page Builders
- WordPress Speed Optimization
- Conversions / User Engagement
- WordPress Plugins / Miscellaneous
Let’s get stuck in!
Table Of Contents
- Siteground Hosting*
- WP Engine*
- StudioPress themes – Genesis framework*
- Elegant themes*
- Themeforest (Envato)
- WP Rocket
- Elementor Page Builder*
- Thrive Leads*
- Thrive Comments*
- Thirsty Affiliates*
- Social Warfare*
- Design Palette Pro*
- WP Forms*
Affiliate Programs For WordPress Hosting
Hosting is a necessity, not a luxury.
It’s like a recession proof product!
Any WordPress blogger that’s worth his salt will tell you that affiliate programs for the most essential products have always been the biggest drivers of income.
And WordPress hosting is where the whole blogosphere starts!
So if you want to grow your passive income, you need to fish where the fish are biting!
Siteground - WordPress Hosting
Siteground is one of my favorite affiliate programs.
They’re the only hosting provider I’m aware of that offer their affiliates a free one month trial on any of their shared or semi dedicated Wordpress hosting plans.
So there’s absolutely no reason not to give them a try, is there?
Their initial commission is not as high as Bluehosts’ ($65), but once you achieve over 5 sales with Siteground, their commission starts to exceed that of Bluehost.
Siteground offers a 60 day tracking cookie, awarded on the last click.
So if a user visited Siteground by following a link from a previous website and subsequently visits Siteground from one of your links, you will receive the commission.
This is a little different to other affiliate programs.
Here’s the commission breakdown.
The standard commission rate is $50 per sale, irrespective of the plan selected. However, they provide incentives on bulk sales. From 6 to 10 sales, they pay $75 per deal and $100 per deal from 11 to 20 sales. Thereafter, Siteground will give you a custom commission.
They’ve also done extensive testing so you can use the test results on your site to show they’re the best.
They’ll design a banner for you if you want something unique and even provide personal advice as to how to best market Siteground to your readers.
Here you can see that they’re really committed to helping affiliates with website ideas.
They’ll help you attract more clicks with relevant banners as well as help you increase conversions with relevant landing pages.
Sign up for the Siteground affiliate program and get a free one month trial account.
My Siteground hosting review explains exactly why I like Siteground.
$3.95 to $11.95 for the first year depending on the plan selected.
WP Engine - WordPress Hosting
WP Engine was founded on WordPress and is one of the very best WordPress hosting providers.
Some shy away from WP Engine because they’re not cheap. But cheap and quality have never been synonymous.
The technology they employ is phenomenal and their hosting speed leaves a lot to be desired.
If you’re after great page speed and top quality hosting then WP Engine is the logical choice. It’s truly managed, leaving you to concentrate on what’s important – business!
You will need to sign up with the Shareasale Network to join the WP Engine affiliate program. In any case, you will need to join for access to a number of affiliate programs mentioned in this post.
Their commission rate per sale is the greater of $200 and 100% of the first payment.
Together with a 180 day tracking cookie, this is one of the highest paying affiliate programs.
The above image shows the bonus incentive they offer over and above the regular commissions. Below is how it works.
When the number of sales reaches:
- 5 – you get an extra $100
- 10 – you get an extra $250
- 25 – you get an extra $625
- 40 – you get an extra $1000
- 60 – you get an extra $1500
Additionally, they have a 2 tier affiliate program. You get a $50 “override” for each customer a sub affiliate refers.
Besides this, here’s another great deal to promote to your users.
WP Engine recently acquired Studiopress.
They’ve always given their clients the first 2 months WordPress hosting for free. Now they’re offering an additional 20% discount on their WordPress hosting plans which translates to 4 months of free hosting.
And on top of that, they’re offering 35 Studiopress themes absolutely free of charge!
Studiopress themes come with lifetime everything. A lifetime license, lifetime support, no annual recurring charges and use them on as many domains as you wish.
Sherbet! How much better can it get?
I’d really appreciate you using one of my links if you do any business with WP Engine. I only provide the best advice to my readers and I rely on it to make a living. Thank you so much in advance.
NOTE: I have included the results of 7 Facebook Polls at the end of the hosting section. I believe that the reason WP Engine didn’t perform brilliantly in the polls is because they are the most expensive of all those compared. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for! WP Engine is in a class of its own.
If you’re interested in joining the WP Engine affiliate program, CLICK HERE. (I’d really appreciate you using this link. I rely on it to make a living and it costs you nothing. Thanks so much in advance).
If you’re thinking of hosting a site with WP Engine and want the 4 month free hosting and 35 Studiopress themes, CLICK HERE. Again, I’d really appreciate your support.
If you want the Studiopress All Theme Pro Plus Package (over 64 themes) with a 25% discount (exclusive to WPOnlinemastery), CLICK HERE. And again. Sorry!
$35 to $290 per month – plan dependent.
Bluehost is great for startup or entry level blogs where one wants to keep initial costs to a minimum.
Their technology is great and there’s plenty of room for expansion if you grow out of shared hosting.
Whilst some claim they’re not as good as Siteground, I’ve used them before and I can say with certainty that they’re a damn good WordPress hosting provider. It’s a case of different products being aimed at different market segments, that’s all.
One of the great things with Bluehost is that you get a free domain when you sign up with them for a hosting package.
The process from sign-up to through to installing WordPress and a theme is just so easy. That’s why it’s great for beginners.
It’s also one of the better affiliate programs in the marketplace.
- Bluehost pays affiliate commissions of $65 per deal
- Cookie duration is 60 days
If you’re researching affiliate marketing at this stage and intend to start a blog but need to keep costs down in the initial stages, you may find it helpful to follow my step by step tutorial to create a blog for free and host with Bluehost. I’d really appreciate your support. Thanks in advance.
$3.95 to $5.95 per month for the first year – but you can fix this for 3 years during purchase. + Free domain
Hostgator pays $50 to $125 depending on the volume of signups.
- $50 for up to 5 signups
- $75 per signup from 6 to 10 per month
- $100 from 11 -20 signups
- $125 thereafter
You can read my Siteground WordPress Hosting review to see the Facebook polls.
They had 34 votes against Siteground’s 300 votes and appeared only twice out of 7 polls I used as a sample.
The good thing about Hostgator’s affiliate programs is being able to create coupon codes allowing people to type instead of clicking a link – if you like to promote on video or podcast, that’s ideal.
$2.75 to $5.95 per month – plan dependent.
In Motion Hosting
I was with InMotion before I switched to Siteground. At the time, they were one of the best.
But in Facebook polls, their performance looks a little bleak!
Their affiliate program also works on a tiered scale, as follows:
- 1 to 10 sales per month – $50 per sale
- 11 to 20 sales – $80 per sale
- 21 to 30 sales – $120 per sale
- 31+ sales – custom
Tracking cookie is valid for 90 days.
$7.26 per month.
Summarized Results Of WordPress Hosting Facebook Polls
If you’re looking for WordPress theme affiliate programs, you’ll find the best ones right here.
Themes are the next best recession proof necessity for WordPress bloggers so it makes sense to join these affiliate programs.
I’ve seen a good number of bloggers who skimp on themes and try to get away with free ones.
It’s a poor business decision.
Free themes are more costly in the long run.
Invariably, bloggers come to realize their mistakes after putting in endless hours of work.
And changing themes later on can be very time consuming and frustrating, leading to unexpected opportunity cost losses.
You need to join the right WordPress theme affiliate programs – consider it your duty to inform your users properly!
Studiopress Themes - Genesis Framework
The Studiopress themes are built on the Genesis Framework.
When your users buy a Studiopress theme, the Genesis framework comes with it and is included in the theme price.
Any further themes they buy will be at a discounted price.
Unlike most themes, the Studiopress themes come with a lifetime license.
Therefore, there are no recurring annual fees. They come with lifetime support and updates and can be used on as many domains as you wish.
Studiopress reckons that their customers often make the best affiliates.
In case you didn’t realize it, I use the Genesis framework by Studiopress for all my projects :).
If you don’t yet have a website, please see the Studiopress themes over here. Studiopress is my #1 theme recommendation.
You will need to sign up with the Shareasale Network to join the Studiopress affiliate program. In any case, you will need to join for access to a number of affiliate programs mentioned in this post.
Affiliate commissions are paid at the rate of 35% on every Genesis framework or theme sale you make.
Cookie duration is 60 days.
- $99 to $129 (including the Genesis framework)
- $499 for Pro Plus All Theme Package (60+ themes) but get a 25% discount if you purchase using this link.
UPDATE 7 NOVEMBER 2018:
In keeping with my commitment to provide my users with the best possible advice, I would like to make you aware of the following:
My found out quite by accident on 5 November 2018 that my affiliate account had been cancelled.
No notification was sent to me.
I immediately sent Elegant themes an email asking if my account was cancelled and their reply confirmed this with the reason being,”Your account was closed due to bidding on our trademarked keywords in Google. You can review our affiliate terms here: https://www.elegantthemes.com/
In view of the fact that I have never used Google (or any other) paid advertising, this is simply impossible.
After responding to the allegation, I have had no reply.
The decision to enter into an affiliate marketing agreement with Elegeant themes is entirely at your own risk.
And they’re keeping on the cutting edge of technology.
Here are the features of their affiliate program:
- 55% commission per sale
- 60 Day cookie duration
- Monthly Payouts with no minimum limit
- Two Tier Lifetime 10% Commission
I get regular emails and newsletters from Bhanu, which are really well written – I wonder who puts those together?
They’ve also just developed an SEO plugin (FREE) called Rank Math which looks like something worth exploring. Hop on over to their website and click on Plugins to have a look.
I would really appreciate you using my link to join this affiliate program. I rely on it to make a living. Thanks so much in advance.
$9 per month (paid annually) for all 102 themes and 19 premium plugins
This is one of those affiliate programs I mentioned earlier, that you’ll have to join through the Shareasale network.
I have to be honest, I’m an affiliate but I have never used one of their themes so I can’t pass any comment on the product.
Nevertheless, I’ve included this for you anyway.
- 55% commissions on all sales
- Cookie validity 365 days (Wow!)
- Min $100 in commissions to get paid.
- $102 annually for 30 themes for use on up to 2 domains or
- $344 once off
Themeforest (Envato Market)
I have purchased and used 4 themes through Themeforest in the past.
My real estate theme was not bad, but the support I got was less than favorable.
I virtually had to go down on my knees and beg the developer to fix an image carousel that wasn’t auto scrolling as it was supposed to. This took over 3 weeks.
The fix involved toggling a setting in the theme – 2 minutes of work – and I’d paid for support!!
Two of the business directories I’d purchased were below standard. For one of them I was like a guinea pig for the developer who published a hardly functional theme.
I still have a web design site using a theme from Themeforest that’s sooo slowwww. But I haven’t the time to do anything about it right now.
Many developers on Themeforest seem to run part time outfits and you have no guarantee of good support.
Furthermore, some themes aren’t coded very well – and you don’t have to be a developer to figure that one out!
It’s not the fault of Envato / Themeforest, but it seems indicative of the type of developers they attract.
What’s more is that support and updates are given for 6 months – unless you buy a longer period at the outset. So you’re in for regular recurring contributions.
Hell, you can buy the best Studiopress themes for the same price and get all the benefits! They’re used and recommended by the likes of Matt Mullenweg (co-founder of WordPress), Matt Cutts (Google) and Yoost De Valk (Yoast)
My advice to you is simply to be careful.
Think about what you suggest to your users!
Commission is paid at the rate of 30% of a user’s first purchase. So if a user purchases a second product, you get zippo!
I can’t tell you how long the tracking cookie is valid for. I tried to login to the affiliate area and it seems they’ve re-launched their affiliate program and cancelled my membership. Not even the courtesy of an email to advise me!
WordPress Speed Optimization
WP Rocket is a premium caching solution designed to optimize page speed and deliver your website to users in the most efficient manner possible.
Some of the cool features include:
- Page caching
- Cache preloading or warming
- Image lazy loading (yuk!)
- Remove querystrings
- Disable Emojis
- Combine Google fonts
- Includes database cleaner
- Integrates with Cloudflare
- Google analytics integration
This affiliate program is available through the Shareasale network, who manage some of the best affiliate programs in the WordPress niche.
- Affiliate commissions paid at 20%.
- Cookie duration 30 days.
I have only ever used Elementor, Thrive Architect and Visual Composer page builders, so I can’t pass comment on any others. Nor am I an affiliate for any others as I only recommend products I use, or have used in the past.
Quite frankly, I found Visual Composer to be full of bugs. The front end builder wouldn’t work on one of my themes and to be honest, Elementor puts it to shame.
You can read my page speed related article about how to speed up WordPress loading time with Elementor.
I have used Thrive Architect insofar as the work I have put together for the Thrive Leads product, but I haven’t used it as extensively as Elementor. Nevertheless, thousands of people swear by Thrive Architect.
Elementor Page Builder
With over 1 million downloads, Elementor has taken the market by storm to quickly become, probably, the best WordPress page builder.
Elementor works with any WordPress theme and you don’t need any coding skills to put the most beautifully designed pages together.
Personally, I use it to put my posts together and whilst I can quite easily design my posts in the WordPress editor (especially with a Studiopress theme), I get so many other features its silly.
I’m able to Elementor for a variety of things and avoid a whole lot of other plugins – which keeps my page speed in check – for example social sharing buttons, forms, tables and a whole lot of other things. And it saves me having to code!
Elementor also includes pre built templates and blocks. You can build an entire theme with Elementor, including headers, footers and sidebars.
Change padding, margins, add or subtract columns, include buttons and far too many to mention all of them here. It’s all included in this article about how to speed up wordpress loading time with Elementor.
The basic Elementor page builder is free, which includes most of the stuff your users may need for basic design, but I need the Pro plugin because it includes much of the functionality I specifically use it for.
And believe me, it’s worth every cent!
The affiliate program is simple:
- Commissions on sales of the Pro Package (currently $49 and which I couldn’t do without) are paid at the rate of 50%.
- Cookie duration is 30 days.
Pro plugin Cost: $49 annually
Conversion And User Engagement Affiliate Programs
Personally, I’ve found Thrive Leads to be one of the best opt-in and conversion tools to grow a subscriber base.
Thrive Leads integrates with at least 30 email marketing providers so building email lists has never been easier.
The design aspects are tied in with their very own Thrive Architect product which happens to be a very formidable page builder in its own right and is also very focused on conversion optimization.
Here’s a list of the type of conversion products that are included in Thrive Leads:
- Thrive Box Lightbox – this is basically a modal pop-up (unblockable) that’s displayed on top of your content. Here’s a working example – P.S. It would also be good if you sign up for my exclusive, subscriber only content for WordPress bloggers when this form pops up!
- Screen filler – A pop-up that fills the entire screen.
- Scroll mat – This is a screen filler that comes in from the top of the page. It doesn’t cover the content, it simply pushes it down.
- Sticky ribbon – A ribbon that “sticks” to the top of the page (header area) until closed.
- Inline forms – Inserts an opt-in form anywhere you choose, e.g. at the bottom of your posts.
- 2 Step opt-in forms – This allows a user to first click on a button (e.g. Yes Please button) and then opt in to an email list.
- Slide-in – Slides in at a corner of the screen – usually bottom right. This is far more user friendly than a screen overlay but equally as effective.
- Opt-in widget – adds a form to your sidebar.
- Content lock – Comes up over your content at a specified place and prevents the user from viewing any further content until they subscribe – Ouch! I get highly pissed off when this happens to me. I would never do it to my readers! I am also quite certain Google would down-rank your page for doing this – you’ve been warned!
- Yes / No forms – offer your readers a yes or no alternative to subscribe to your email lists. Nice and user friendly too.
- Multiple choice forms – same as yes /no.
I’ve tried Optinmonster which is a good product, but Thrive Leads offers the best value for money with the same functionality.
Thrive Themes don’t charge an annual recurring fee for updates. The product includes lifetime updates, so the software is always kept up to date. And … the plugin comes in at a single price point making it a great choice.
All this makes Thrive one of the better affiliate programs to have under the belt.
Thrive will reward you for ANY product purchased from your affiliate link.
Thrive leads product cost:
$67 for single license, $97 for 5 licenses.
- Affiliate commissions are paid at a rate of 35%.
- Cookie duration is 2 years.
I’ll concede that the native WordPress commenting system is probably the speediest of all. Unfortunately, it’s in need of a major makeover.
It’s drab, boring and not very engaging for users. And as you may be aware, user interaction on your site is a big plus for WordPress SEO.
The Jetpack commenting system, that replaces the look and feel of the native WordPress commenting system, is quite nice.
Nevertheless, I’ve found Jetpack to be a huge resource hog.
And I’m not alone here – it’s also listed on the WordPress Speed Up Facebook group as a high CPU plugin. See my articles where I’ve mentioned this and listed all the high CPU plugins to avoid:
- Under the resource intensive plugins section of this article.
- And this entire article is angled at replacing Jetpack for best WordPress speed optimization.
Disqus is sooo slowwww.
WP Discuz is not only slow but the developer is also very aggressive.
De-comments doesn’t work properly.
I could ramble on indefinitely!
I literally spent at a month researching and looking for a WordPress commenting system that’s:
- Is visually appealing
- Promotes user engagement
- Is fast
- Allows social login
In my opinion, Thrive Comments is the only one that fulfils these requirements.
They’ve also used the native WordPress comments system and built on it from there.
It allows for lazy loading of gravatars so it doesn’t affect page speed. Gravatars are loaded only when the comments come into the viewport.
You can up-vote and down-vote (beware of trolls), change sort order, save your details for the next time so you will be remembered, direct users to a landing page or web page after commenting – as I said Thrive is very conversion orientated and this is built into the commenting system too.
Thrive leads product cost:
$67 for single license, $97 for 5 licenses.
- Affiliate commissions are paid at a rate of 35%.
- Cookie duration is 2 years
My main motivation for promoting an affiliate link cloaking plugin is to prevent commission theft.
Second to that, it “prettifies” the permalink. Normal affiliate links often contain what I call gobbledygook or gibberish. A link like this is both ugly and meaningless:
Thirsty Affiliates is a link cloaking plugin.
It makes life real easy to manage all of your affiliate links in one place. Let’s look at an example.
Let’s assume one of your affiliate programs overhauls their entire outfit. In the process, they change all their affiliate links.
Now you may have these affiliate links spread across a multitude of posts. You probably wouldn’t even remember where a quarter of them exist.
And if you do, you would have to manually change them in each and every post.
Plugins like Velvet Blues that is used to changed multiple links won’t work to change these affiliate links. I don’t think Elementor’s URL changer will work for this either.
You could try a search and replace plugin that will make these changes directly within your database.
Good luck to you if you try this! Make sure you take a backup of your database and save it where you can find it easily because you WILL need it.
Seriously, I’ll give you the same advice you get from WWE – “Please don’t try this at home, school or your blog”. You’ve been warned!
The thing with Thirsty affiliates is that you can keep your prettified links exactly as they are. All you need to do is change the destination URL for that merchant within the plugin. One change – in one place!
The plugin also includes a built in link fixer. This proactively and automatically finds and fixes outdated affiliate links in your posts and pages.
Other cool features include:
- Global options and ability to override on individual basis.
- Open in new tab (global or per page).
- Automatically assign nofollow rel tags (globally or per page).
The free version works great, but I use the pro version because it’s worth every cent to be able to search your posts for keyword and have the plugin assign links automatically. What it costs in $ will be made up numerous times over in sales.
Please read my article on affiliate link cloaking for more detailed information about affiliate link cloaking.
Thirsty Affiliates is one of the very best affiliate programs for link management and cloaking.
Hey, if you’re doing affiliate marketing, you simply can’t afford to be without this.
Pro version cost:
$49 for a single license, $79 for 5 licenses.
- Commission is 30%
- 15 Day cookie
You’ve heard the saying, “People are like sheep”, right?
What one person does, another will follow, yes?
What’s really meant by this is that people are guided by social proof or social acceptance.
From real estate to blogging, social proof is something that exists in all spheres of our lives, whether we’re conscious of it or not.
And social media share counts are a great way to create social acceptance and promote even further clicks.
Social Warfare is a lightweight, ultra fast, social sharing plugin that builds heavily on this everyday phenomenon.
Here are some of the cool features include:
- Works straight out of the box.
- Lightning fast.
- Fully responsive.
- Display popular posts according to number of shares.
- Add Click to Tweet within posts.
- Frame Buster prevents other creating calls to action over yours’.
- Never lose your share counts if you change URL or switch to SSL (HTTPS).
- Hide share counts until a minimum number is reached.
- Shortcodes make it easy to put buttons anywhere in your content.
- Track social share performance with analytics integration.
- Personalize to match your brand.
- Various display options (floating buttons etc.)
The free plan is very basic. If you want to take advantage of the best features, you’ll need the Pro Plan.
The product sells itself making it one of the top affiliate programs to join.
Cost of Pro Plan:
$29 for a single license.
Affiliate commissions paid at 30%.
Design Palette Pro
It’s brilliant for those who can’t or don’t want to edit css to change certain default design aspects like font sizes, colors and the like.
You can change virtually anything using this plugin including header, menu items (navigation), sidebars, content and footers.
It works with about 40 themes and more get added periodically.
$49 for a single license
You need to apply for the affiliate program through the Shareasale network, of which they are a member.
- Affiliate commissions are paid at 20%.
- Cookie duration is 30 days.
WP Forms is an intuitive, fully featured, form builder that produces visually appealing, professional forms in a matter of minutes.
It’s drag and drop so its’s ultra simple to use and it includes all the features you could possibly ask for including a built in a honeypot feature to combat spam.
From simple contact forms through to WordPress registration forms, there’s nothing it can’t do.
You can build simple contact forms with the lite version, which is free, but for anything more than the real simple stuff, you need the Pro version.
You need to apply for the affiliate program through the Shareasale network.
$49 yearly for a single license
- Affiliate commissions are 20%.
- Cookie duration is 45 days.
Google analytics is pretty intimidating, even for seasoned users.
Monsterinsights connects to Google analytics and simplifies the reports which are alway available from you WordPress dashboard.
You also need to apply for this affiliate program through the Shareasale network.
In fact the products for these last two affiliate programs are part of the same outfit.
$49 yearly for a single license
- Affiliate commissions are 20%.
- Cookie duration is 45 days.
As you will see, I haven’t included volumes of programs just for the sake of it.
I have concentrated only on the most reputable affiliate programs that I use and have experience with and I therefore have no hesitation in recommending each and every one mentioned here.
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