There is a lot of money to be made online and the good news is that there are several programs that can teach a beginner on their first day how to successfully make money online. Affiliate marketing is one of the more popular methods for beginners to earn money online. If you’re not sure what Affiliate Marketing is, check out What is Affiliate Marketing.
If you are just starting out, or if you are looking to take your experience to another level, much of your success will depend on joining the right program.
You may be asking why you need to join an affiliate marketing program. You can find a lot of information by browsing the web, so why do I need to join a program?
The problem with trying to go it alone is that it will take longer and there’s no guarantee that the information you find is worth anything. Anyone can post information on the internet, and you will find different people who contradict each other. Different people also have different motives for posting information online. Some are sincere and will give you honest advice. Others will try every trick in the book to separate you from your money.
Here are a few reasons why joining an affiliate marketing program will increase your chances of making money online:
- Step-by-Step training
- Forums for asking specific questions
- Feedback from successful internet marketers
- Less likelihood of getting scammed once you are in
- If you find a good program, you won’t need to buy additional products
- All the information is in a central location
Beware of Scams
There are some legitimate programs with great teaching methods and proven results. However, there are many more scams and rip-offs that make big promises but only serve to take your money in unethical ways. Research any program before you join and don’t be quick to give your credit card information.
I put together a post called 8 Signs of Internet Scams that I recommend that you use to evaluate any program before you join. I also recommend that you bookmark that page so you can find it easily in the future to compare with any programs that you find.
I have joined each of these program and tested it against my 8 signs. I cannot speak for every program on the web, but I can assure you that these programs are legitimate.
The Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners
1. Wealthy Affiliate
Wealthy Affiliate is by far the best affiliate marketing program for beginners (and seasoned internet marketers) that I have found. You truly won’t find another program like it. The community is more active than any other you will find. The training is broad enough to cover any topic you can think of, but also specific and detailed.
Here are some of the ways that Wealthy Affiliate can teach you:
- 5 training modules consisting of 10 lessons in each module
- 7 phase Affiliate Bootcamp with 10 lessons in each phase
- Live webinars every Friday (free for premium members)
- Years of webinar archives
- Live chat for immediate support
- Thousands of specialized training submitted by members
- An entire community to ask for support
- Coaching from experienced internet marketers
Cost: There are two plans with Wealthy Affiliate, one is free and the other costs money.
- FREE Starter Membership (self-explanatory)
- Premium: $19 for the first month, $47 for each month after the first, $359 yearly
Upsells: Once you sign up for the Free Starter Membership, there is an upsell for the premium membership but that is it. If you upgrade to premium then you have access to 100% of everything in the program.
- Active community
- Step-by-Step training modules
- Very newbie friendly
- 24/7 live support
- One-on-one interaction with successful internet marketers
- Weekly live webinars
- Years worth of webinar archives
- The best support of any other affiliate program
- The training is constantly updated and improved upon
- Wealthy Affiliate can be a bit overwhelming at first because there is a ton of resources.
- The community setting is set up similar to some social media sites. If you are easily distracted with facebook then you can get distracted here.
I usually recommend Wealthy Affiliate for two kinds of people: 1) brand new internet marketers and 2) intermediate internet marketers who want to take their earnings to another level. The other programs I evaluated have their strong points, however Wealthy Affiliate is without a doubt the best program out there. Their Free membership has more training and resources than many paid memberships.
I have told many people about Wealthy Affiliate who have been ready to sign up, however I still recommend that you try the FREE Starter Membership before you join Premium. While this program is the best, it still may not be right for everyone. Before you pay any money, test it out first to see if it is the program you are looking for.
If you like the FREE membership then you will love the Premium.
For more details on the program read my full Wealthy Affiliate Review.
My Rating: 10/10
2. Chris Farrell Membership
The Chris Farrell Membership is a well known and respected internet marketing program. The training is primarily video based and is designed for people with no experience. The training is simple and step-by-step, the community is fairly active, and the support system is pretty good.
Ways the Chris Farrell Membership will teach you:
- 31 different 10 Minutes to Success videos
- I Love Traffic training videos (these are pretty good)
- Money Making Labs (one every month starting in August 2014)
- Specific Skill training covering several different topics
Cost: $4.95 the first week, $37 monthly, $297 yearly, there are upsales and other product promotions.
Upsells: Once you try the 7-day membership for $4.95 you are automatically signed up for the reoccurring monthly plan unless you cancel. For this reason there really aren’t any upsells past the regular membership. Many other reviews of this program mention upsells but I didn’t see any. This makes me believe that there were upsells in the past or I just haven’t found them yet.
- Easy to follow step-by-step instructions
- Cheap trial membership ($4.95 for 7 days).
- The staff is fairly quick with their response time with a private ticket system.
- The community is semi-active
- Easy to cancel if you have the original receipt
- Points system to watch videos.
- Free hosting are only for annual subscribers (if you don’t join the yearly membership, then you will need to spend at least another $10 per month on web hosting)
- Too much focus on list building. While this is essential, the other methods can’t be ignored.
- Total reliance on video based training. If you have a slow connection or if you prefer to read then you will not like this program.
- No internal search engine
- Almost no Search Engine Optimization training
- No true sense of community
- You will outgrow the program in a few months
- The training doesn’t look like it is updated very often
Overall the Chris Farrell Membership is pretty good. The videos are easy to follow if you are okay with this being the only type of instruction that you receive. The community is semi-active compared with others, but there are other members that you can interact with.
My main issue with the Chris Farrell Membership is the points system in the Money Making Lab. To me this is a horrible way to treat paying members. In August 2014, the program started producing specialized training every month. In order to watch the training you need to spend 50 points. For each month that you are a member you earn 50 points. So essentially you get to watch one video a month!!! (yes that was sarcasm). To watch all the videos you will need to be a member for 9 months since there will be 9 total videos.
Chris Farrell gives several reasons why he uses the points system but they are all unacceptable to me. If I am paying for a membership then I expect 100% access.
Click here to read my full Chris Farrell Membership Review.
My Rating: 7/10
3. Online Profits
Online profits is a program that was put together several years ago but hasn’t been updated for a long time. A lot of the training is outdated, however there are some good points about the program that deserve mentioning.
The lessons are broken down into 24 Modules with a different contributor for each module.
Here is a breakdown of the modules:
Module 1: Introduction and Business Principles
Module 2: Domain Names
Module3: Setting Up Your Website
Module 4: Markets and Niches
Module 5: Business Models
Module 6: WordPress
Module 7: Web Design for Enterpreneurs
Module 8: Blogging
Module 9: Keyword Research and Mini Websites
Module 10: Online Forums and Communities
Module 11: Online Stores
Module 12: Web Content and Linkbaiting
Module 13: Basic SEO
Module 14: Advanced SEO
Module 15: Linkbuilding
Module 16: Traffic Generation
Module 17: Web Metrics
Module 18: Social Media
Module 19: Selling Advertising
Module 20: Email Marketing
Module 21: Affiliate Marketing
Module 22: Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Module 23: Landing Pages
Module 24: Selling Your Products
Cost: $29 one-time fee.
- A lot of information from experts in the field
- Reasonable one-time price
- Huge collection of ebooks (some with Master Resell Rights rights)
- Very easy and simple to navigate
- No upsells
- Much of the training is out-dated
- No active community
- No free or reduced price for a trial membership
- Primarily text or audio based with only a few instructional videos
- Not beginner friendly
- The forums go months between posts
- I don’t see any intention by the owners to keep the training up to date
It looks like there was a lot of enthusiasm for this program several years ago, however it never really took off. I decided to try it out after I saw that a lot of the contributors were well known and respected internet marketers. I was disappointed to find out that this was basically a dead program. Fortunately, this was a one-time purchase so I now have unlimited access without ever needing to renew.
There is a huge collection of ebooks that you will have access too. Some of the ebooks include Master Resell Rights, which allows you to resell them as is. This seems cool at first but in reality to make money online you need to establish trust with your audience. You really can’t do this if you’re just trying to resell them information that you go for free from someone else.
I don’t fully regret joining online profits because there is a lot of information centrally located. I go back sometimes just to learn a thing or two. However, if you are a beginner then I don’t recommend this program. Much of the information is outdated and will hurt you more than help you. The last post that I saw in the forum was from several months ago, which tells you that you won’t get any support.
Finally, and most importantly, the instructions aren’t step-by-step or easy to follow. If you join this program you will need additional support from someone else.
Click here to read my full Online Profits Review.
My Rating: 5/10
Conclusion: The Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners
I put together this list of the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners to make it easier for you to find the right program. I have joined each these programs at some point and have been able to observe the good and the bad. As I said earlier, there are scams out there and I can vouch that each of these programs is legitimate. None of them is perfect so you really need to pick the one that you think is best for you and try it out.
Should I try all the FREE memberships first?
I don’t recommend joining more than one program at once. Most of these programs are designed to teach you step-by-step. They teach their own techniques so jumping from program to program will be overwhelming and can hurt your chances of success.
If you are serious about making money online and want to start today, check out my #1 Recommended Program.
If you have any questions about any of these programs, leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you.