affiliate programs that are bad for beginners

3 Popular Affiliate Programs That Are Terrible For Beginners

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If you’re not a part of any affiliate programs, then you’re definitely missing out on some serious business.

Affiliate marketing is perfect for whatever platform you’re on and it is a great way to start bringing in some money.

The best thing about it is that it is both beginner-friendly and fairly easy to build up.

However, not all affiliate marketing programs are made equal.

If you do some research into affiliate marketing, you’ll see that there are some names that constantly keep coming up.

Especially in the blogging community.

Everyone will tell you to become an affiliate for Bluehost, GetResponse, and Tailwind.

But what you don’t know is how difficult it can be to get a sale as an affiliate for these products.

So to save you the headache and the tears, I’m going to go through each one of these programs and show you why they’re not a good place to start if you are a beginner, and what affiliate program you can replace it with instead.

Are There Any Bad Affiliate Programs?

Now the question may come up: Are there actually any bad affiliate programs?

And the answer is yes.

But these programs that I’m about to talk about are not “bad” per se. They’re just not as easy to breakthrough for beginners.

However, there are other affiliate programs and platforms that are actually terrible.

A lot of these are CTA platforms which tend to be a bit scammy. They can send your viewers on endless loops just to get some gift certificate or discount. 

As well as any other affiliate platform that is not 100% legit.

If you encounter any platform or program you are not sold on, the best thing to do is avoid it.

What Affiliate Programs Should You Avoid as a beginner?

I’m going to start this off with a big disclaimer.

All of these platforms are professional, trustworthy, and secure.

However, if you are a beginner, do not have a big platform, and don’t get a lot of traffic, then these are the programs that are going to be hard for you to get sales from.

That does not mean that it is impossible.

You will find that as you start to grow, the sales will start to come in.

But these programs are more suited for people who already have some form of traffic coming in already.

Now that I’ve made that clear, let’s look at what programs you need to avoid.

1. GetResponse Affiliate Program

getresponse review

GetResponse is an amazing e-mail marketing provider. The service has been around for years and has an excellent reputation for being a professional and easy to use service.

GetResponse has been very attractive to a lot of Affiliates due to the high ticket commissions that you can get if you get a sale.

They allow you to choose to get either $100 upfront non-recurring commission for each sale. Or receive a 30% recurring commission on that customer.

Considering that the smallest plan starts at $15, this can sound very good for a new affiliate.

And I have to admit myself, it does have some of the best paying commissions out there. 

Why Should You Avoid GetResponse’s Affiliate Program?

The truth is that it is extremely hard to break through in the e-mail marketing niche.

You’re going to be competing with websites that have extremely high domain ratings and that can target very highly competitive keywords in the e-mail marketing niche.

For me, just the thought of going up against someone like Neil Patel, is a scary idea.

There is also a hard truth that GetResponse is so well known at this point and has so many affiliates that it’s going to be hard for you to stand out from the crowd.

And it also seems that the company has not really been investing as much into any of its own marketing campaigns.

There was a time when you would see them push out ads and social media posts to get people to know more about the platform.

But over the past few years, it seems that they have relied more on affiliates and blog posts to get their name out there.

If you know anything about affiliate marketing and blogging, you know that if you have a product where the company is also running ads for that product, it’ll be easier for you to sell.

That’s because when companies run ads, people will become curious and go on Google to search more about that product.

And if you’ve done your SEO correctly, you have a high chance of being able to rank for that search term.

But without some incentive for new clients to search for the product, it’ll be hard for you to get traffic and eyes on your content for that product.

I can tell you from personal experience that it took me a full year of blogging before I was even able to make one sale with GetResponse.

So until GetResponse decides to start running more campaigns and creating some buzz around their platform, you may want to wait before you sign-up as an affiliate.

What Should You Promote Instead?

Depending on which niche you’re in, I suggest you go on platforms like CJ Affiliates and work with E-mail marketing platforms like Aweber.

Another great alternative to GetResponse is ConvertKit. This company has been doing really well with its campaigning and marketing over the past few years and is really growing in popularity.

Just keep in mind, the more campaigning the company does, the more of a chance you have in getting search traffic for that product. 

2. TailWind Affiliate Program

tailwind app

If you’ve done any research about how to get traffic to your blog, then you have most likely stumbled upon hundreds if not thousands of blog posts talking about how you should use Pinterest.

And with the idea of using Pinterest to promote your blog, there’s one tool in particular that every single Pinterest Blogger is talking about.

And that is TailWind.

TailWind is a third-party Pinterest and Instagram automatic scheduler. 

It basically helps you be able to batch your content and then post them automatically onto the platforms even when you’re not there. 

It is a great way to batch your content and do all of your posts in one sitting. 

Why Should You Avoid Tailwind Affiliate Program? 

If you’re looking to make some money from this program, you’re out of luck. TailWind doesn’t pay you in cash, it pays you in discounts for its own platform. 

Meaning, that if you want to get any benefit from it at all, you actually have to be using the platform and paying for it yourself.

If you sign up enough users, it’ll basically just pay for itself. 

But since every Blogger on Pinterest is talking about the same product, it’s also something that’s going to be difficult for you to attract new attention to.

TailWind does a minimum of campaigning. They barely run any social media ads or YouTube ads

So there’s very little search incentive for the program. 

They rely heavily on bloggers and Pinterest Pinners to promote their platform for them. From a marketing perspective, it is pretty genius as they are probably saving a ton of money.

However, for us affiliates it’s going to be a bit of a harder sell.

What You Should Promote Instead? 

There are so many amazing platforms for social media schedules that you really have the pick of the litter.

There are platforms like SocialBee, Crowdfire, and Agorapulse that are all very well-known and great tools for social media posting. 

Not to mention, you can even promote a platform like Canva, which I personally use to schedule all of my Pinterest and Instagram posts. 

3. Bluehost Affiliate Program

what is bluehost

Last, but definitely not least, we have Bluehost.

Bluehost is an amazing and very beginner-friendly hosting provider that is most well known for shared hosting plans.

If you’ve done any research about blogging and starting a new website, you’ll probably see a lot of people telling you that Bluehost is the perfect choice.

I am also one of those people.

If you are just beginning on blogging, Bluehost will give you everything that you need to get set up.

I have personally set up a couple of websites just using Bluehost and it’s always worked well, to begin with.

The fact that it’s also very cheap and affordable and gives you a free domain for one year makes it very attractive to new customers.

But one thing that really attracts its affiliates is the $65 commission for every client brought in.

That is a very pretty penny for any beginner affiliate to start with. 

Why should you avoid Bluehost’s affiliate program?

As much as it hurts me to say, it is really hard to get a sale promoting Bluehost. Even though it is really popular for beginners, it’s also very popular amongst bloggers And affiliates.

Which has made the keyword for Bluehost extremely difficult and hard to rank for.

So as a beginner coming in with a new blog, it’s going to be extremely difficult to find a BlueHost keyword that you can start to rank for.

From personal experience, it took me a year of blogging and three Bluehost articles to be able to start ranking for certain Bluehost keywords.

So you will definitely need to have it grow over time and grow your domain authority before you start to see some traffic and sales. 

It doesn’t mean that you can’t write about it. Just expect a good 6 to 12 months before you start to see some traffic coming in for those keywords. 

And just like the other platforms mentioned, Bluehost has begun to rely more and more on its affiliates to put the word out about its platform.

Meaning there are noticeably fewer campaigns being pushed out by Bluehost themselves.

Which is also decreasing search intent for bloggers.

What Should You Promote Instead?

Honestly, any other hosting provider will probably be easier to sell than Bluehost at this point.

The people who started writing blog posts for Bluehost years ago are the ones that are most likely going to be getting most of the traffic.

So start going on places like CJ affiliates and Share-A-Sale and see if you can find other hosting platforms that are good quality that you can promote to your viewers.

I highly recommend hosting providers like Hostinger and Namecheap that not only have very suitable and cheap shared hosting plans but also run campaigns continuously to draw in new customers.

This will be great for both search intent and for bringing in sales for you as an affiliate.

How do you find good affiliate programs as a beginner?

woman holding money

If you’re a beginner, the key to finding good affiliate programs is to go where nobody else is going.

If you notice that every other blog that you’re reading is promoting a certain product, go and try to find a competitor for that product. If it has just as good quality, then promote that instead.

One other thing you can do is go to a site like SimilarWeb and see where the traffic is coming from for that certain platform.

If you see that, there is a lot of search traffic coming from Google and other search engines. Then it could be a great product to promote.

If you want to know whether the company is running campaigns for its platform, then you can search for the product on Google first. Then go on YouTube and see if you start getting ads for that product.

If you see that you’re getting YouTube ads for that company, then that means that they are actually running campaigns to promote it.

This means that if a user comes upon that ad and is curious about their product, then they will most likely go on Google to search for it. Giving you a chance to be able to rank in search for that product. 

What should you avoid in affiliate marketing?

man speaking business

The quickest way to kill your reputation as an affiliate marketer is to promote scammy products.

So make sure you do your market research and really look into the programs before you apply as an affiliate.

My general rule of thumb is not to promote anything that you have not used or don’t know anything about.

For example, I always wanted to promote Cloudways because I thought it was interesting to have a managed WordPress hosting provider.

But I didn’t start promoting Cloudways until I actually moved my own website onto Cloudways hosting from Bluehost.

And that is because I believed that I could give a much better perspective as someone who has used both platforms.

But if you happen to know somebody who’s used another platform, ask them what their experiences were and use that to create informative blog posts.

Don’t just pick a product because you’re looking for some quick cash and you think it’ll make you some money.

And don’t promote something just because everybody else is doing it either.

You’d be surprised how many of the products that you use daily actually have affiliate programs.

So use those instead. 

Is there any risk in affiliate marketing?


The biggest risk in affiliate marketing is mainly if you are spending your own money to run campaigns or ads for a product. 

If you are a beginner and have never done this before, you will easily lose money doing things this way. 

This is why I always promote organic traffic for beginners in affiliate marketing. Meaning building social media platforms or blogs that will give you organic reach to people. 

I can tell you from first-hand experience that running ads with no prior knowledge of how to do it can be a huge risk.

I once ran a $50 ad campaign on Instagram and only made a few bucks back.

I also ran a $100 ad campaign and I only broke even.

Although these are both learning experiences for me, I would love to have you avoid this headache.

So if you are going to run ads, make sure that you only use money that you can afford to lose.

Final Thoughts

I love affiliate marketing and it really is a great way for any beginner to start making some money.

However, there are a lot of truths that I feel need to be said and that are not being shared in the community.

Not every program or affiliate platform is going to be good for everybody.

You need to find what suits you and what works.

And as a beginner, there are certain places that are simply over-saturated.

But you’ll find that once you start to gain momentum and after a few months when you start to get traffic, things will get easier.

Your domain rating will start to go up and it will be easier for you to rank for harder keywords.

At that point, the sky really becomes the limit for you, as there won’t be any keywords that are too difficult for you to rank for.

Make sure you take the path of least resistance and find affiliate products and platforms that are easy to and make sales from.