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Passive income is the dream of every affiliate marketer, and the easiest way to achieve the dream is to join a bunch of recurring affiliate programs, make some referrals from each, and then keep on riding that wave in perpetuity.
Let’s turn that lofty dream into reality, and let’s begin by reading the guide below.
Table of Contents
What Are Affiliate Programs With Recurring Commissions?
A recurring affiliate program is one that pays you for the initial signup and purchase your referral makes, + everything else they buy in the future.
Recurring commission affiliate programs can be time limited, for example Thinkific affiliate program (one year); or unlimited where as long as the customer keeps paying, you get paid.
Recurring Commission Affiliate Programs Pros and Cons
Yes, there are cons too, though positively overwhelmed by massive pros of this type of affiliate partnership.
#1- Passive Income
As mentioned in the intro, having recurring, stable and predictable revenue coming in on a monthly or annual basis is the foundation of true passive income.
That’s the one where a successful blogger can easily take a month off and go to the Bahamas to rest, refuel their batteries and just enjoy life.
#2- Stability and Predictability
Recurring affiliate income is stable income. As long as your referrals don’t churn too much, you can predict how much money you’ll earn every month.
#3- Revenue Stacking
Because you get paid for the lifetime of the customer you referred, if you keep sending your merchant new customers, every month your income will swell and swell.
Combine it with the fact that most of the time you get paid for everything your referral purchases after they signed up under your link;
and you clearly see the sheer potential of affiliate programs with recurring commissions.
But it’s not all roses you know, and there are some significant chinks in this particular shiny armor…
#1- Takes a While to Get Going
Affiliate marketing success is never instant or accidental.
Instead, before it happens there are months, often years of planning, doing, pivoting, advancing, going back and forth, figuring out things, tweaking incessantly until you finally nail that formula which gives you “the easy life” and “money on autopilot”.
Yes, it’s easy then, but you paid the price in advance with your blood, sweat and tears.
How many doubts will you have to overcome to reach your goal?
Infinite number of them!
The price you pay for sustainability and predictability is getting, on average, significantly lower commissions.
Namely, programs that pay you one time commissions for referrals are paying much more than those that offer recurring affiliate income opportunity.
For example, Cloudways offer $125 on their Slab model, while you only get $30 + 7% recurring commission on their hybrid model.
So, if your goal was to earn as much money as you can in the shortest amount of time possible, you’d actually want to avoid recurring commission affiliate programs.
#3- Affiliate Program Could Get Canceled
The same as with one-time-commission affiliate programs, your money maker recurring commission partner program could get canceled out of the blue, leaving you hanging, pulling the rug under your feet and obliterating your income.
For example, last year SiteGround decided to cancel their affiliate program for around 90% percent of the world (only the developed Western World was exempt from it).
Had you been a successful SiteGround affiliate, you would have witnessed your steady recurring income dwindle to nothing in one fell swoop.
#4- Commission Decrease as Customers Cancel
You get recurring payments only if your referral keeps on paying.
So when choosing an affiliate program with recurring commissions, make sure you do your research and that it’s one that both customers and affiliates are raving about.
For example, SEMrush affiliate program is one such gem.
7 Ways to Promote Affiliate Programs With Recurring Commissions
Before I spill the beans on the best promotional strategies, I need to make one thing clear,
In content marketing, and especially when recommending stuff as an affiliate, you need to talk about things you’re deeply knowledgeable about.
Don’t promote stuff you’ve never used, just because the merchant offers a big payout. Even with ample research, it likely won’t work for you.
Your audience will see right through you, and your best written review will pale in comparison to someone else’s who actually used the product they’re pushing.
Instead, use the service or product in question, not necessary all the time, but take it for a spin for a week, and then write about your experience using it.
Then your reviews, listicles and comparison articles will reek of authenticity, and will convert handsomely for you.
That is what you want, right?
#1- Write Reviews, Comparison Articles and Listicles
Reviews, comparison articles and listicles are how you’ll make 95% of your affiliate income.
They’re all content based on money keywords people type into Google, and you need to know how to do them right to succeed.
When writing reviews, use the product first, then see what others have done with their articles, and then write your review which will be a composite of the best stuff from other articles + your unique spin.
For example Hassan Khan’s Content Studio review is a fine example of a well written piece of content.
It’s informational, instructive, and not overly salesy.
Video marketing is actually YouTube marketing as YouTube is by and large the largest video sharing platform on the web;
and Google prefers YouTube videos over those hosted by their competitors (Vimeo, Wistia, Facebook, LinkedIn). Bottom line- host your videos with YouTube.
One way to use video for affiliate marketing is to review a product or service.
For example, these marketers review SEMrush in their videos.
Another way is to give tutorials on products you use.
So your intent should be to teach people how to use X, and once you show them, you can plug your affiliate link by telling them to click it so they get an affiliate-exclusive discount.
Bottom line: video marketing is powerful, video is on the rise, and I suggest you start using it to your advantage.
#3- Add Affiliate Links Into Older Articles
Your blog archive is a potential goldmine of new affiliate sales.
What you need to do is examine your old posts and see where you can add affiliate links to them.
Sometimes, it’ll be very easy. For example, you mentioned ConvertKit somewhere, but didn’t link to your merchant?
Do it then and there.
Repeat across all posts and pages and suddenly your site is much better optimized for conversions.
Note: sometimes, you’ll notice that affiliate links don’t really fit in with the piece, no matter how creative you get.
But if you were to expand that article with relevant information, they would fit in quite nicely.
Do it. Yes, it’s more work than just placing a link, but it’ll be worth it.
You get to add your affiliate links naturally, but you also get to add new content which will refresh your page, and also get it to index and potentially rank for new queries.
#4- Write Case Studies
If you used product X to a great effect, if you can attribute great success to it, then make sure to write a case study where you show what you did and how product X held you achieve success.
For example, Spencer Haws used Link Whisper to gain a massive ranking boost just from internal linking he did.
He talks about it in his case study, and of course, he plugs Link Whisper heavily.
#5- Resource Pages
Resource pages are those where you show off all resources, tools and services you use to run your blog successfully.
The beauty of those pages is that they’re built for promotion. The drawback is that they don’t’ target any keyword so they won’t rank for anything in Google and Bing.
#6- Use Email Marketing
The goal of email marketing is to get people on your list and into your funnel. The goal of your funnel is to convert them.
Conversion can be anything that’s useful to your business. It can be them checking out your new post, signing up for your course. But it can also be them clicking on affiliate links and going to buy.
#7- Engage in Coupon Marketing
Coupons work. They turn a hesitant buyer into a convinced and converted one.
And you need to use them to your advantage.
Whenever you sign up to some affiliate program, make sure you immediately ask them to give you a custom coupon code to offer to your audience.
Then, as you write content about that product, you can always plug your coupon as a way to get it cheaper.
21 Affiliate Program With Recurring Revenue Revealed- All You’ll Ever Need to Be Successful Marketer
If you typed into Google queries like “best WordPress affiliate program”, or “affiliate programs with recurring revenue”; or “affiliate commission recurring programs list” you probably saw that certain sites boast a lot of programs on their lists.
And by a lot, I don’t mean just a few dozens.
One blog has 90 programs listed, and others are not that far behind.
Well, here’s the truth for you- they’re doing that for the SEO benefit.
They really want to rank in Google, and are prepared to list a 1000 programs if it helps them.
But that doesn’t help YOU.
There are no 1000 superb affiliate programs with recurring revenue.
There aren’t even 90 of them.
There are 90 good ones, 90 decent ones, but the purpose of this list is to single out the best ones among them, to separate the wheat from the chaff.
That’s what my list will do, so let’s dive right in!
Moosend is an email marketing automation platform that offers all-in-solutions for eCommerce, SaaS, Publishers, Agencies, Nonprofits, and more. The tool is advanced and easy-to-use, which will make your affiliate marketing efforts less complicated.
As an affiliate, Moosend will provide you with a user-friendly affiliate interface, ready-made creatives, and material to start earning as quickly as possible.
The dedicated team will also be with you every step of the way, giving you information and advice on how to market the tool more effectively.
For every sale, you will receive a 30% recurring lifetime commission. Not only that, but Moosend’s monthly challenges will give you the opportunity to earn additional rewards and power up your income like a pro.
ConvertKit is one of the easiest affiliate programs for newbie affiliates to get started with. Their Link Mink affiliate platform is a joy to behold. That’s how simple and elegantly designed it is.
What’s more, ConvertKit is one of the easiest ESP’s to use on the market. This means it has special appeal to email marketing newbies who’re typically mighty confused with all that talk about sequences, automation, list segmenting, templates…
In contrast to ConvertKit stands ActiveCampaign. This platform is not easy to use. It’s very feature rich and can do pretty much anything some advanced email marketing professional wants to accomplish.
As such, your audience pool when promoting Active Campaign will be much smaller and you’ll need to be more targeted with your promotions.
On the upside, their affiliate program is great.
It’s recurring revenue of course, but it’s also a tiered payout system.
This means that the more you sell, the higher commission per referral you get.
For example, everyone starts at the bottom, which in ActiveCampaign case means Silver tier (20% per referral).
And if you’re good and refer a lot of paying referrals you can rise to the Platinum tier where payouts are much higher.
MailerLite is another simple ESP to use. As such, it’s a perfect choice to promote to newbies as their first email service provider and a good entry into email marketing.
They also have a generous free plan, which is always a plus.
Of course, as an affiliate you’re looking to get paid, and when your referrals upgrade from free to paid, you get rewarded 30% recurring revenue.
Join MailerLite affiliate program today!
Note: The team behind MailerLite also developed MailerCheck.
MailerCheck is a service that keeps your email list clean and campaign deliverability high by scanning your emails for common spam signals and warning you about them before you hit that “send” button.
This is an indispensable service for serious email list builders and they’re the perfect targets to promote MailerCheck to.
Aweber is a popular ESP that brand themselves as a “perfect choice for entrepreneurs and small business owners”.
And those will be your ideal target audience if you decide to promote Aweber.
Their affiliate program is top notch.
They’re fair, exact and punctual in payments; you get 30% recurring commissions per referral; and there’s a whole team of experts on their side you can contact to help you develop a custom strategy just for your brand.
GetResponse offer an excellent affiliate program which you need to join ASAP.
They have a big team of affiliate managers ready to help you out, payouts are every month on the dot; there’s a whole library of free conversion-tested material available, and finally, their affiliate program is actually two programs molded into one .
First, there’s an Affiliate Bounty Program where you get a one-time $100 commission per referral (warning, not recurring affiliate marketing program).
Second, their Affiliate Recurring Program where you get 33% commission for the lifetime of the customer.
Ninja Outreach is a beginner friendly platform for mass email outreach.
It has a bunch of cool features and pre-saved templates that help a total noob put up their first ever outreach campaign in 15m or less.
It’s a very useful tool and extremely popular with newbies who’re typically intimidated by email outreach and who don’t know where to turn and where to start.
For them, Ninja Outreach is a great start, and for you, it can be another source of recurring affiliate revenue.
The good news is that there are no monthly plans with Ninja Outreach. So every paying customer will have chosen a yearly plan, which means bigger commissions for you upfront.
But, the downside to this is that you’ll get paid only once per year for each referral.
Commission rate- starting from 20% per referral, maximum is 40% per referral;
ClickFunnels have an amazing affiliate product that you should join as fast as possible.
Not only is it a high quality product that sells really well with people looking to build landing pages and convert more users with funnels, but conversion rate is abnormally high.
That’s because, once a referral signs up under your link, they enter the ClickFunnels funnel designed by Russel Brunson personally, and since he’s no average marketer, his funnel converts at an exceptional percentage, meaning a lot of work is being done for you.
And it’s so easy to get people to sign up with a low entry info product (for example, his DotCom Secrets is free, just pay for shipping), and once they’re there, the journey begins for them.
Commission rate- starting from 50% per referral for the first year, and 30% for subsequent years.
Instapage is a landing page builder that specializes in converting leads that come to your site from PPC ads, Facebook , Pinterest Twitter ads…
Because of this very specific use, the potential audience pool is pretty small as most marketers don’t dabble at all in paid advertising.
However, those that do have plenty of money, are excellent targets and warm traffic just waiting to convert.
Instapage affiliate program offers a ton of promotional materials and guides on how to promote them effectively.
They also have an affiliate manager who’ll onboard you once you join, and who’ll later be there to help you out when needed.
Commission rate- 35% per referral purchase; 25% recurring commissions.
Despite what the name says, ThriveThemes are not all about premium WordPress themes.
Instead, they also offer a landing page builder (Thrive Architect) and lead generation tool (Thrive Leads).
Customers can buy each tool individually, or they can purchase them all in a bundle.
Whatever they decide, you get paid 35% commission immediately, and then 25% recurring revenue for customer lifetime.
Teachable is an online business platform through which creators can create, host and sell their courses on any topic imaginable.
Teachable affiliate program is top notch. They have a manager to onboard you, a ton of promotional materials to help you sell, and they even supply you with fully split-tested sales funnels that all target unique demographics.
Similar to Teachable, Thinkific is an online platform where users can create, host and sell their online courses.
They give you 30% commission for every sale on both monthly and yearly plans. Unfortunately, their recurring revenue model covers only the first year, so you can get recurring commissions only on monthly plans your referrals buy.
Otherwise it’s a one-time payment for yearly plans.
Join Thinkific affiliate program now!
Affiliate signup link;
Affiliate network- PartnerStack;
Offer recurring commissions- yes;
Cookie duration- 30 days;
Commission rate- 10% per sale.
Memberium is a premium WordPress membership plugin that webmasters can use to convert their common WordPress sites into membership sites.
It works with both Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign.
Though commissions are not something to brag about(only 10%) it’s still recurring revenue and when you sign up you get access to the affiliate dashboard where you can get free promotional material, + contact your affiliate manager for clarifications and help.
HostGator is a newbie friendly host you better promote if you know what’s good for you.. It’s because they’ve been in this business for 20+ years and for most people terms “hosting” and “ HostGator” are interchangeable.
The market to tap into is huge.
And you can promote HostGator with a peace of mind in knowing their services are solid stuff, and pushing them won’t tarnish your reputation with your tribe.
HostGator also offer tiered affiliate payout system which hugely benefits successful affiliates.
Everyone starts at the bottom tier where payouts are $65 per referral, and those who’re very successful at promoting HostGator can rise up to $125 per referral.
Commission rate-2 $70 per referral, maximum $100 per referral
WPX Hosting is the world’s fastest managed WordPress host.
They’re also pretty expensive with their basic plan starting at $30/mo
This means that WPX Hosting is not newbie friendly when it comes to price, and people looking to buy this hosting will already be successful webmasters who can afford to pay $360/yr for a superbly fast host.
WPX Hosting also offer a tiered commission payout systems.
If you refer <25 customers, you get paid $70 per sale.
If you refer 25-100 people you get paid $85 per sale.
Finally, if you can manage 100+ referral in a given month, you’ll be paid $100 per referral won.
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