10 WordPress Affiliate Marketing Programs: Make Significant Passive Income Selling WordPress Hosting, Themes, Plugins, etc

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 make $10,000/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.

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!

My Personal Favorites (The Ones I Made $150k/Year From)

  • Cloudways (Hosting) – flexible commissions (but very good)
  • WP Engine (Hosting) – $200/sale
  • Elegant Themes – 50% of sales
  • StudioPress Themes – 35% of sales
  • StackPath CDN – usually $10-$20/sale
  • Freelancer.com – around 13% of first project commissions
  • SEMrush – 40% recurring commissions ($40 – $160/month)

 

WordPress Hosting

Cloudways – I started promoting them after SiteGround went downhill in 2020 (and glad I did). There is a huge shift in Facebook Groups of people migrating away from lower quality hosts (especially SiteGround) to Cloudways. There is tons of evidence suggesting they’re one of the best choices including Facebook polls, migration results, etc. Here’s my full Cloudways review if you want to see a good example on how to promote them. My recent PayPal activity says it all.

Cloudways Affiliate Commissions

Recent Facebook polls show a large shift in people moving away from low quality hosts to Cloudways, LiteSpeed servers, Kinsta, GridPane, and A2 Hosting (click thumbnails to enlarge):

Moving from SiteGround
eCommerce Hosting Poll

People who migrated to Cloudways and posted faster load times:

Cloudways Shoutout

Cloudways Numbers
Cloudways-BuddyBoss

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.

wp-engine-affiliate-commission

wp-engine-affiliate-tiers

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 – 15% 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 – tier starts at $50/sale up to $120 per sale. Decent host not owned by EIG.

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.

 

WordPress Themes

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.

Elegant-Themes-Affiliate-Payments

MyThemeShop – 55% commissions on the fastest loading themes on the market. $48 commissions for a single theme, $244 for a membership. They also have plugins – I recently switched rich snippets plugins to their WP Review Pro and promote that now. They also have a a two-tier program where you get 10% if you refer other affiliates and they make a sale.

ThemeForest – horrible affiliate program. You only get 30% of each new person’s first purchase. 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).

themeforest-affiliate-program

Honorable Mentions

 

Genesis Themes

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.

ShareASale-Affiliate-Payments

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.

Pretty Darn Cute Design – 35% commissions plus 5% from sub-affiliates. Mobile responsive feminine Genesis themes from a StudioPress recommended Genesis developer.

 

WordPress Development

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 $40/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.

Pronaya-Kumar-S-Reviews

My commissions basically pay for all the development work I need…

Freelancer-Affiliate-Earnings

It doesn’t have to be limited to design or development, you can do this with any freelancer…

freelancer-affiliate

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.

 

WordPress Plugins

WP Rocket – 20% commission on the #1 rated cache plugin in this Facebook poll (and this poll too) which makes WordPress sites significantly faster. I use it on my website and it’s easy to configure with great support/documentation. Here’s my tutorial on the WP Rocket settings.

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 version let you get stats, autolink, even add Analytics event tracking. You make 30% which is relatively small compared to other WordPress affiliate marketing programs.

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.

 

SEO

All In One SEO Pro – 40% commission, however most people use Yoast.

SEMrush – 40% recurring commission for SEMrush subscription sales. That means $40 – $160/month for each person who continues their subscription when they sign up with your affiliate (not bad). This is one of the top rated SEO tools on the market and provides you with a large amount of data about keywords, backlinks, authority, referring domains, and more.

SEOPressor – up to 50% monthly recurring commissions on a premium SEO plugin. I have gotten spam comments from SEOPressor backlinkers, but they’re endorsed by ShoutMeLoud.

WP Review Pro – MyThemeShop’s rich snippet plugin which I use on my own website, after I switched from the unsupported WP Rich Snippets plugin. Very happy with WP Review Pro (they also have a free version) and you get nice 55% commissions which is $36.85 per sale.

 

Email Marketing

AWeber – 30% recurring 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.

Constant Contact – $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 email software affiliate program.

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.

 

Stock Images

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.

 

Education

Udemy – 20% commission on any course. Instructors can create a custom link that gives them 97% commissions on their course. Udemy lowered their commissions, making it less appealing.

WP 101 – 20% commissions from one of the most reputable source of WordPress tutorials.

 

Other Affiliates

Refer WordPress – 20% commissions for wordpress.com, JetPack, and WooCommerce.

StackPath – if you blog about website speed or do it for clients, you can refer them to StackPath who bought out MaxCDN. I was making $1,000/month with MaxCDN – we’ll see how StackPath goes. It’s much harder to get accepted into their affiliate program than MaxCDN – they want to know you’re capable of producing higher sales, and that CDNs are a key part of your business/blog. I contribute my sales to writing tutorials on cache plugins which nearly all integrate StackPath – those tutorials alone get me over 500 visitors/day.

Impact-Radius-Affiliate-Sales

StackPath-Data-Centers

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.

TubeBuddy – popular software/Chrome Extension for optimizing and managing YouTube videos including audio/video effects. 30-50% recurring commissions. See plans/features here.

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!

p.s. WP Beginner is an affiliate for basically every WordPress affiliate program out there. Chances are if they list a company on their deals page, they also have an affiliate program.

WordPress-Affiliate-Marketing-Programs

 

What’s Next? Making Money Of Course

See my affiliate marketing guide which walks you through everything in this table of contents.

Affiliate Marketing TOC

 

Frequently Asked Questions

💰 Which affiliate program did I make $150k/year from?

SiteGround and Cloudways make up at least 90% of my affiliate income. I wrote a tutorial on affiliate marketing which shows you how I did it.

💰 Which hosting affiliate programs are most popular?

SiteGround, Bluehost, HostGator, and a couple other shared hosts are the most popular. Join WordPress Facebook Groups and check polls and people's conversations to see not only the most popular hosting companies, but where the trends are going.

💰 Where do most people make their money from?

The high majority of successful WordPress bloggers make their affiliate income through hosting. It's a high-paying, lucrative (but competitive) industry.

💰 Can I make a living promoting themes/plugins?

Do the math. If you only make $30/sale, how does that compare to hosting commissions at $150/sale? You will need to make 5x more sales which can be challenging, but it can be done with enough traffic.

💰 What is the best affiliate link management plugin?

I use the Thirsty Affiliates plugin. It's great!

Cheers and good luck,
Tom

About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis 2017Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
112 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments