Warning! The Highest Paying Affiliate Program May Not Be What It Seems – Here’s Why…

With a successful website getting great traffic, joining the highest paying affiliate program seems like the most profitable thing to do.

It seems like a no-brainer…

After all, which would you prefer, $100 or $5 commission per sale?

Well, getting the top dollar per pop is not always the best for you. There are some not-so-obvious things to think about when choosing affiliate programs.

When To Turn Down A Top Paying Program

Perhaps the top reason for avoiding the highest paying affiliate program in your niche is to protect your reputation.

Every now and then, you’ll be caught between profit and integrity.

One niche where this kind of thing is common is the crypto-currency market. You may find the highest paying affiliate program in the niche is selling nothing more than hot air. But they’ll pay you a ton to promote their fake products.

Do you take the deal, help them swindle folks online and move on?

Or do you pass it up and look for a more credible op?

If you want to survive long enough to make it in this business, avoid any form of dishonesty. Bad stuff will come back to bite you.

Here are a few things that you should look out for and avoid in affiliate marketing.

– Flawed Product or Service

Back when Rev-Shares were the hottest thing on the net, the highest paying programs were usually the least sustainable. Whenever a “guarantee” of double-figure earnings was mentioned people always wound up getting burnt pretty badly.

Avoid promoting a product or service which you know is significantly flawed in any way. If you have to write fake reviews or don’t even like the product, why recommend the product to others?

– Related To Scams

Online scams are probably every internet user’s #1 enemy. The last thing you want is to associate your name to such. No matter how much an affiliate program offers, it’s not worth a dime if the company has a history with scams.

Today, many of the same people who were pushing rev-shares are not pushing crypto-currencies.

Of course, not all advertising services that offer revenue-sharing are scams.

Leadsleap is a good example of a legitimate online advertising company that includes revenue-sharing in it’s business model.

Also, not all crypto programs are fake. See my other blog, BestWayToGetFreeBitcoin.com for a risk-free way to earn Bitcoin.

But you must use your discrimination to separate the sheep from the goats.

– Reputation For Late Or Non-Payment Of Commissions

Affiliates make money not when they refer sales but when the program owner actually releases payment.

Commissions earned but not yet paid carry a certain amount of risk. This risk increases exponentially if you join a dodgy affiliate program whose owner avoids pays out commissions.

When To Jump Into The Highest Paying Affiliate Program

If a program doesn’t raise any of the above red flags, it may be OK to join. Of course, you’re in this business to make money. So the higher the commission, the better it is for your bottom line, if the company is legitimate and offers good quality products and services.

One key question to ask yourself before promoting an affiliate product is, would I use this product myself?

If the answer is “No,” then do not promote it to other people just to earn a fast buck. They simply won’t let you off easily if they are disappointed with the product or service they bought on your recommendation.

So here are some pointers to high paying affiliate programs which are safe but easier to tackle.

– New Company Trying To Make A Name

When a new kid shows up in your niche, getting in early can be a profitable move.

With fewer affiliates, competition for traffic is definitely lower. If the products are competitive, you will ride some crazy traffic waves as the market rushes to try them out.

Example: Real Specific opened their doors in April 2018 and are now just emerging from their pre-launch marketing phase.

– Competitors Raising The Stakes To Outdo Each Other

When multiple reputable programs are offering similar products, they are bound to compete for
market space. It is not unusual that they’ll offer higher commissions to affiliates who refer business to them. When you find such an opportunity, grab it without thinking twice.

Example: Real Specific operates in the crowded social media niche. They are offering a $97 upsell where you can buy into 100% first time affiliate commissions and 50% recurring.

That’s a clever way to attract more affiliates to them and increase their marketing footprint across the Internet.

– Market Leader/ Market Leading Product

Of course, promoting established products through established programs like Amazon
Associates, SFI and Wealthy Affiliate makes business sense.

If such a program happens to be one of the highest paying in your niche, that’s a potential gold mine you should explore.

But Always Do Your Homework

There’s no substitute for due diligence before joining any program, particularly if it’s offering a ridiculously high commission rate.

Being profitable isn’t about joining the highest paying affiliate program. It’s about joining a program that will add value to your online business. That value is way more than a dollar amount. It also includes your reputation and the trust of your customers.

David Hurley



P. S. Instead of looking for the highest paying affiliate program in your niche, seek out the most highly trusted. Here are my top recommendations for the “online marketing” b2b niche.

About David Hurley 156 Articles
David is a business blogger who started his first website back in 1997 and has been running an online business since 2000. He uses the concept of Top 5 Programs to build multiple online income streams without losing focus. David recommends Wealthy Affiliate to anyone who wants to build a profitable online business. Read more about David on his About page.


  1. Hi Mr. David,

    Thank you very much for your words of caution and guidance in selecting proper network for affiliate program.

    I would also like you to guide the newbies in affiliate marketing in generating sales and profit from the selected program. It will be be a great thing to learn.

    Thanks once again


    • Hello Harshvardhan,

      Thank you for popping by and posting your response. You’re right, I should be posting more about how to grow an online business with the Top 5 programs. I hope to do that with the help of some instructional YouTube videos in the coming months.

      All the best,

      David Hurley

  2. EXCELLENT advice David!!

    I am constantly amazed at the number of programs being pushed by hopeful affiliates touting the ability to earn $15,000 a week, or some such nonsense as that, if you sign up now. What’s worse is a program that has “JUST LAUNCHED” and then you read the testimonials that were written one or two years ago.

    Never before has that old adage…”If it seems to be too good to be true, it probably isn’t!”…ring more true.

    One should ALWAYS do one’s homework before rushing into something that may be nothing more than false promises. Take a day or two to think things over…especially if you’re being asked to part with a sizable amount of your own hard-earned money.

    That’s why programs like SFI are so worthwhile to pursue. Will you get rich quick? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Does it require hard work and perseverance? MOST DEFINITELY!!

    So if that’s the case, why join? Why even bother? Because SFI gives you the opportunity, as well as the tools and support necessary, to build YOUR own successful business. YOUR success is determined solely by YOUR drive, your attitude and your determination…to Build Something Great!!

    Thanks David, for YOUR leadership and for your continual support!

    • Hi Vincent,

      Thank you for your comments! Constant vigilance is necessary when working with affiliate programs! That’s why it’s a good idea to work with those which offer great value and have stood the test of time, such as SFI, also Wealthy Affiliate and Trafficwave, three of my “Top 5 Programs.”

      There is no magic bullet to online business success. You have to do the research, put in the work. You must also be willing to learn as things change fast online.

      Thank you, Vincent, for being so consistently active as a member of my SFI team.

      All the best,

      David Hurley

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