If you’re in the WordPress industry and want to make money through affiliate marketing, I have the perfect list for you.
I rely on these WordPress affiliate programs to make a living and earn roughly $3,500/month endorsing hosts, themes, WordPress developers on freelancer.com, and even SEO services.
So instead of managing tons of client projects (like I used to), I’ve basically found an affiliate program for everything and just make commissions. I have a LOT more free time and my affiliate income is honestly more consistent than any income I was making through consulting.
I filtered out the crappy affiliates that don’t make you money, but did include a few (like ThemeForest) to tell you WHY I don’t recommend them as a reliable source of income.
You can sign up for many of these through shareasale.com which is used to find, track, and payout commissions from TONS of merchants. But that is just one place. Browse the list and I assure you will find a new affiliate program you will be excited to make more passive income from. And don’t forget to leave me a comment if you have questions – or new programs to add!
Table Of Contents
- WordPress Hosting
- WordPress Themes
- Genesis Themes
- WordPress Development
- WordPress Plugins
- Email Marketing
- Stock Images
- Other Affiliates
SiteGround – life changer for me… I made $8,000 in January 2017 and am expecting to make at least $80k this year just through SiteGround. It’s $50 – $125 per sale depending on the tier you reach each month, $150 per sale if you start making 31+ sales/month and SiteGround contacts you. I endorse SiteGround because it’s easy to sell… they were the #1 rated WordPress host in this Facebook poll. You can read my SiteGround hosting review to see why I love them. 11 sales/month will make you $13k/year. 21 sales/month and some of you can quit your job making 31.5k/year. Excellent speed, support, and they will migrate you for free.
Even though other hosting affiliates like WP Engine offer flat $200 commissions, SiteGround is respected in the WordPress community so you will have higher conversions and lower cancellations (plus you’re building loyalty with readers by referring them to the best host). Read my Siteground affiliate review if you want the full details and tips on promoting them.
WP Engine – $200 per sale plus $50 for every sub-affiliate sale (if you refer an affiliate and they make a sale, you get $50 off each sale). If that isn’t enough, it’s also a tier affiliate program with volume bonuses. Huge commissions with 180 cookie tracking but does have a 20% reversal rate. This makes the average commission around $175 which is extremely profitable.
Bluehost – $65 per sale from one the most popular WordPress hosts, however Bluehost has many bad reviews and they’re not rated high in the Facebook Poll. Most people read several reviews before finalizing a host, so I would advise you to become an affiliate for SiteGround or WP Engine who have much better ratings (plus you get higher commissions).
Godaddy – 40% commissions and even though they used to suck, they have made significant improvements in the last few years. My site loaded in less than 1 second on their cheapest shared hosting plan and their support team is based in the US (Arizona). Still, I would go with SiteGround or WP Engine. Read my SiteGround vs. Godaddy review to see the difference.
InMotion – $50 per sale which is small compared to other hosting affiliate programs, plus they aren’t ranked very high in the Facebook Poll so there’s really no reason to go with them.
HostGator – $50 – $125 per sale (same tier program as SiteGround) but HostGator is TERRIBLE and the reviews show it so conversions are lower. You can generate custom coupon codes which is good if you’re creating videos and makes it easier for people to type the code rather than click a link (Youtube prohibits affiliate links), which can generate even more commissions. However I’ve talked to a few other HostGator affiliates who said they made nothing because people do their research and learn they are definitely not the best choice.
Elegant Themes – 50% commissions selling beautiful WordPress themes that convert extremely well. Includes extra commissions if people renew their subscription. Sell their lifetime theme pack and get $150. Trusted by 350,000+ WordPress users and includes their popular Divi theme. Elegant Themes has been around forever and has a solid reputation in the WordPress community. I made $453 in the last 2 months promoting their WordPress themes.
MyThemeShop – 70% commissions and the fastest loading themes on the market. $48 commissions for a single theme, or $244 for a membership.
ThemeForest – horrible affiliate program. You only get 30% of each new person’s first cash deposit. If they’re already an Envato/ThemeForest customer, you get jack shit. This affiliate program is horrible and I only included it here as a warning to stay away. Unless you’re promoting a reliable theme like Avada, stay away especially since all ThemeForest themes are created by independent developers who may or may not be reliable. You don’t know the code quality, whether they will come out with updates, etc. That’s why I use StudioPress for all my WordPress sites (and so do top WordPress people like Yoast and Matt Cutts from Google).
- GavickPro – 20-35% commissions (in Euros) and $20 just for signing up
- Template Monster – 20% commissions but pretty bad themes
- Creative Market – 10% commissions for 1 full year (marketplace similar to Envato)
StudioPress – StudioPress builds WordPress themes in the Genesis Framework and is my main affiliate for themes with over $8,000 in commissions. Read my StudioPress review if you haven’t heard of them but they are so legit. I average $28 per sale with less than 5% cancellation and high conversions since StudioPress is endorsed by tons of top WordPress people like Yoast and Matt Cutts. They are truly SEO-friendly WordPress themes that have top-notch coding, lightweight so they load fast, come with tons of Genesis plugins, and awesome documentation. Sell their Pro Plus all-theme package and get a $175 commission.
Zigzagpress – 50% commissions (costs $49 for a single theme which means $24.50). Zigzagpress is relatively new Genesis theme store but I like them because they come with built-in portfolios and pre-styled shortcodes while StudioPress themes do not. This makes it easier to customize themes especially to include a portfolio, but StudioPress is still better plus you earn the commission off the Genesis Framework so it’s more profitable as an affiliate.
Restored 316 Designs – 20% commissions and 60 day referral period on responsive feminine Genesis themes many of which are WooCommerce-ready. Also a recommended Genesis developer listed on the StudioPress website. Restored 316 Designs has some of the highest conversion rates out of all Genesis theme stores and is my 2nd most profitable theme store.
Hello You Designs – 30% commissions on designer quality Genesis themes many of which are WooCommerce ready. Relatively new theme store but their designs are awesome – if you haven’t checked them out, definitely do it. They haven’t been around enough to become “popular” but I’ve been promoting them on only a couple blog articles and make around $100/month. I’ve also gotten great feedback from my readers and they absolutely love them.
The Pixelista – 35% commissions on a selection of 6 Genesis child themes from a StudioPress recommended Genesis developer. Great themes but I would only promote them after you start with StudioPress and other more popular Genesis affiliate marketing programs.
Freelancer – if you get people asking about WordPress development and speed optimization, you can refer them to my developer in Bangladesh and make around 13% commissions from the project for the first 100 days. This has saved me a TON of time while still earning money off these inquiries. I have been working with Pronaya for over 5 years who is $25/hour. He’s built over 20 WordPress sites and optimized multiple sites to load 400% faster for clients. You can hire him by signing up for a Freelancer account then searching for user bdkamol.
I literally started doing this last month and made $243 in the last 30 days…
It doesn’t have to be limited to design or development, you can do this with any freelancer…
The only downfall is you can only use an affiliate link on the Freelancer homepage. So instead of linking to someone’s profile directly, you will need to tell people to sign up through the homepage (using your affiliate link) then search the freelancer’s username. But if you show their portfolio on your website like I do (these WordPress speed projects), people will do it.
CodeCanyon – 30% of each new person’s first cash deposit (same commission as ThemeForest). Marketplace for tons of WordPress plugins: sliders, HTML5 audio players, events, membership… you name, it, CodeCanyon has it, but the program is not very profitable.
Gravity Forms – 20% commissions from the most well-known advanced contact form. Build a pizza, ask questions based off people’s previous answer, and collect specific information so you don’t have to ask people the same old questions (view the demo to see tons of examples).
WP Rich Snippets – 33% commissions from the best rich snippet plugin for WordPress. This plugin adds reviews stars, recipe information, and other data types to your snippets to make them stand out in search results. You kind of have to read my WP Rich Snippets review to see why this plugin is so good (or if you want to see what the markup looks like) but it has a LOT more options than free plugins like All In One Schema.org like the option to fully customize the content markup, add user reviews, call to action buttons, comparison tables, and add-ons. And if you’re doing affiliate marketing yourself and writing reviews, you probably want this plugin.
Soliloquy – 20% per sale from one of the best lightweight slider plugins which won’t slow down your site like Revolution Slider and other robust slider plugins. It’s minimal, but it looks nice and is super easy to use. If you run the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) Plugin and see your slider plugin is causing slow load times, check out Soliloquy – or tell your clients too :)
Thirsty Affiliates – affiliate link management plugin that cloaks, tracks, and manages affiliate links. Premium add-ons let you get stats, autolink, even add Analytics event tracking. You make 30% which is relatively small compared to other WordPress affiliate marketing programs.
Whitespark – if you offer local SEO to clients (or want to) especially for those wanting to rank higher in Google Maps, you need to know about Whitespark’s citation building service. Citations are similar to directories and are about 25% of how you rank in Maps (called the local stack / snack pack). Whitespark will build these for you for $4-5 each and unlike Yext, you permanently own your citations as Whitespark will send you a follow-up report with your new citation URLs and 1 universal login. Just fill out their intake with your business info, photos, etc. They will do the rest. Whitespark has 4.9/5 stars on Google with over 120+ reviews.
You can either sign up Whitespark’s affiliate program and make 10% off each sale, or you can upsell their services to your clients (you offer $10 per citation but outsource it for $4-5) which is an EASY way to make money especially since Whitespark’s intake isn’t branded. I did this and made $300 off many orders. It just depends if you want to tell people about Whitespark.
SEMrush – 40% recurring commission for SEMrush subscription sales. This is one of the top rated SEO tools on the market and provides you with an incredible amount of data about your keywords, backlinks, anchor text, referring domains, and much more. Try it out for yourself.
Other SEO affiliate programs fall under different categories, like the WP Rich Snippets Plugin, Udemy educational videos, and even hosting and MaxCDN (since speed is a ranking factor). But for local SEO, Whitespark is no doubt the best way to outsource it while making money.
Constant Contact – earn $5 for every customer who signs up for a free trial and $105 for each new customer who becomes a paying customer. A very generous affiliate program.
AWeber – recurring 30% commissions. As long as they’re using their account, you’re making money. Does not include limitations like MailChimp does, and pays cash instead of credits.
MailChimp – earn $30 in MailChimp services for each person you refer plus 3 new inbox inspectors. However that person MUST be a friend or colleague and both of you must also have paid accounts. Otherwise free accounts must include the MailChimp badge in emails.
ShutterStock – 20% commissions for a large selection of photos. When asking clients which stock photos they want to use on their website, send them an affiliate link if they’re buying.
iStock & Getty Images – 20% commissions for new customers, 10% for returning. You will need to email them to sign up as an affiliate but you will also find a large selection here.
Udemy – up to 50% commissions on courses like WordPress design, development, theme and plugin development, SEO, security, and others. Yes, most of us go for free Youtube videos or do a Google search, but Udemy has courses for a ton of topics you likely won’t find anywhere else.
WP 101 – earn 20% commissions from the most reputable source of WordPress tutorials.
MaxCDN – if you blog about website speed or do it for clients, I’m on track to make $1,000 this month (it’s only November 16th right now) by referring people to MaxCDN’s content delivery network. I contribute most of this to my W3 Total Cache tutorial which gets over 100 visits/day and includes instructions on setting up Cloudflare + MaxCDN. I plan on doing this for WP Super Cache and other caching plugins. I spent a LOT of time on that article but it has basically made me $3,000 this year. FYI a CDN improves load times by hosting your website on multiple servers around the world, delivering content from the nearest server to your visitor.
Kraken (Image Optimization) – losslessly compresses images to improve page load times (free plugins are nowhere near as good). For each referral you generate, Kraken will permanently increase your monthly quota by 100 MB. You will see a referral option once you’re signed up.
OptiMonster (Forms) – you know those annoying pop-ups as you’re exiting a website? I don’t like them either, but supposedly they work. Earn 20% for each sale you generate.
Amazon – if you send traffic to Amazon and someone ends up purchasing an entirely different product, you STILL get a commission from that sale. If you create Youtube tutorials you can refer people to the Blue Yeti microphone, or that dumb t-shirt you always wear during your videos. Think about physical products instead of digital goods. Earn up to 10% commissions the single largest eCommerce retailer in the world. Honestly, you’d be an idiot not to sign up.
Bonus Affiliate Marketing Tips
Add Rich Snippets To Review Posts – if you’re writing reviews or recipes and aren’t using rich snippets, you need to add these ASAP to your blog posts so you can increase click-through rates and SEO traffic. Either use the WP Rich Snippets or All In One Schema.org Plugin, but I suggest WP Rich Snippets since it looks better and has way more options and add-ons.
Refer People To Freelancers – I can’t tell you how much time I’ve saved referring people to my developer (bdkamol) on freelancer.com. I no longer manage WordPress speed optimization projects and I quit WordPress design all together since Pronaya handles that for my clients. Even though I don’t make as much money I would managing projects, I make a nice commission while dedicating my time making money through something I enjoy – writing kickass tutorials.
Know of any other good WordPress affiliate marketing programs? Let me know in the comments section (no self-promotions please). Or if you’re new to affiliate marketing and have a particular question, I am more than happy to answer it for you – just drop me a line!