If you’re looking to make huge commissions as an affiliate marketer, one of the easiest ways to make that happen is to join web hosting affiliate programs.
On the average, these programs offer $50 to $100 or even more per sale, and the demand for web hosting packages is ever booming.
Now, the number of web hosting affiliate programs available on the Internet is so overwhelming that you’d easily get confused when trying to choose which one to go for.
Worse, some of these programs are only out to waste your time and steal your commissions. But in this post, I’ll teach you how to choose the good ones. I’ll also recommend a number of reputable ones that you can register with.
Are you ready? OK, let’s get started.
What makes a good web hosting affiliate program?
Basically, a good web hosting affiliate program or network is one that:
- offers quality products or services
- tracks sales accurately
- has a lot of satisfied affiliates
- has a high conversion rate
- has a long cookie duration
- has friendly terms of service
- has responsive support staff
So, any affiliate program that fails to meet these conditions is just bad. However, meeting these conditions doesn’t mean that a web hosting affiliate program suitable for you.
Here are all the factors you need to check when trying to determine if a web hosting affiliate program is right for you.
1. Service quality
The first and most important thing you must investigate about any web hosting company you’re looking to promote as an affiliate is the quality of their services. It makes zero sense promoting a web hosting company that offers a commission of $100 or more per sale, but actually offers poor-quality hosting services.
I once promoted a particular web hosting company on my blog. Their affiliate program pays a whopping $105 per sale. That’s attractive, no doubt. But I stopped promoting them when those who registered with the company through my affiliate link started complaining that their sites were loading too slowly. Before parting ways with the program, I personally confirmed that the problem was from the company — because they admitted it, and many of their customers posted the same complaint online.
The next program I promoted paid just $50 per sale, but their services are excellent. And I went with them notwithstanding the much lower commission because my integrity is paramount. Why should I trade the trust I’ve built over years for a few hundred dollars? It’s better to get paid $50 to promote a good service than to get paid $105 to promote a bad service.
2. Cost of service
Another important factor to consider when you’re scouting for the right affiliate program is the cost of service. That is, how much the customer will pay for the hosting package.
Since you’ll most likely be marketing to newbie bloggers and webmasters, you need to steer clear of web hosting services that are too costly. Bear in mind that most people would be reluctant to spend top dollars on hosting when they’re just starting out and still testing the waters of online business.
So, only promote web hosting services that are affordable, but of good quality.
Now, one important fact worthy of note is that most web hosting companies offer very cheap rates to first-time customers, but have far expensive renewal rates. So, if you’re promoting hosting packages for such companies, you need to tell potential buyers beforehand, how much they’ll be paying at the end of their first billing cycle.
3. Commission rate
Though not the most important, the commission paid for each sale is another factor you should consider. Of course, you’re into affiliate marketing to make money, and it’s just intuitive and smart to favor a bigger commission over smaller one.
Commission figures and structure vary from program to program. Some web hosting affiliate programs pay $50, some pay less, and some pay more. And the figures even depend on the service you sell.
For example the same web hosting company can pay $50 for each sale of shared web hosting (the basic, regular web hosting plans we know) and pay $200 for each sale of dedicated hosting (advanced web hosting plans for big organizations).
While I wouldn’t recommend you go with any web hosting affiliate program that pays less than $50 per sale, I’d also warn you not to jump at every attractive offer. Aside that you might be in for a scam, you need to realize that affiliate marketing isn’t all about commissions. The quality of what you promote is what matters most!
4. Tracking system accuracy
Each affiliate program uses a computerized system to keep track of clicks, sales, and commissions earned. A good affiliate program will track all these data accurately alongside other important details, such as the referring website, the buyer’s IP address, and so on. You can rest assured that such a program will give an accurate account of your sales and earnings.
However, some affiliate programs have poor or inaccurate tracking systems. Such programs will not register some of the sales made through your affiliate links and ultimately deprive you of some of your earnings. Though, many such programs will verify and acknowledge your sale if you contact them to inform them about it. But what when you’re not aware of the sale yourself? You’ll simply lose your money! I’m sure you don’t want that. So, you have no business with such programs in the first place, no matter how attractive their earnings are.
5. Conversion rate
As an affiliate marketer, you will be referring potential customers to the merchant’s website, hoping that they will eventually complete the sale.
However, whether the potential customer you referred to the merchant’s website will eventually complete the purchase or hit the “close” button depends on many factors, such as how easy and smooth the purchase process is, how attractive and user-friendly the merchant’s website is, and how compelling the words on the merchant’s website are.
The higher the conversion rate of an affiliate program, the better. So, stay away from affiliate programs that convert poorly.
6. Holding period
The holding period is the duration of time for which your commissions are held by the affiliate program before being made available for you to withdraw. Typically, web hosting affiliate programs have a holding period of 60 days. That is, your commissions will be held in “pending” status for 60 days before you can be able to withdraw them.
Why do you have to wait for 60 days? Because most web hosting services offer a 60-day money back guarantee to customers. So, they have to hold your money for the same period to ensure that the customers you referred to them do not request refunds or cancel their accounts. If the merchant pays your commissions before that period, and some of your referrals request refunds, they will bear the loss. That’s exactly what they are trying to prevent by holding your commissions.
However, some merchants have shorter holding periods (30 days) while some have longer (90 days). Just go with whatever pleases you, provided you’re not compromising on the most important factors.
7. Cookie validity period
The cookie validity period is the length of time for which you will be credited for a sale that follows an earlier click. If an affiliate program has a cookie period of 30 days, for example, it means if a potential customer clicks on your link today (but doesn’t complete the purchase instantly) and then completes his or her purchase anytime within the next 30 days, you’ll still earn commissions for that sale.
So, anyone who clicks on your link doesn’t have to complete the purchase instantly for you to earn your commission on that sale. But they must complete their purchase before the cookie validity period lapses.
Affiliate programs have varying cookie validity periods: 30 days, 45 days, 60 days, and so on. Some even have an unending cookie validity period (that is, their cookies remain valid forever).
8. Payment methods
Another important factor to consider before going with a web hosting affiliate program is the available methods of payment. This is very important if you’re in a country where popular payment methods like PayPal are not accessible.
Most web hosting affiliate programs pay through PayPal, some pay via check, some pay via direct deposit, and some adopt a combination of these options. So, before registering with any affiliate program, you want to be sure that they pay commissions through methods that you have access to.
9. Customer support
One of the hallmarks of good web hosting affiliate programs is responsive customer support. An ideal affiliate program should reply all email enquiries and complaints within 48 hours, and should provide the live-chat support option for instant correspondence.
You can test the responsiveness of an affiliate program’s support staff by sending them a test email asking a question about their program. If they should take more than 2 or 3 days to respond, then keep away from them. You’ll always find far better alternatives.
10. Customer reviews
One of the best ways to tell whether a web hosting affiliate program is good or bad is to search the web for reviews about the program. If you find more of negative reviews than positive, then stay away.
The good thing about online customer reviews is that they usually reveal details about a web hosting affiliate program regarding all the factors stated so far. So, even if checking for reviews is the only thing you want to do to check for a good program, do it extensively, and you’re unlikely to go wrong.
Now, bear in mind that you won’t find a single web hosting affiliate program that will have a positive rating of all these factors. In other words, there’s no perfect program, so don’t even try looking for one. What you should look for is a program that rates positively for as many of these factors as possible.
Top 10 best web hosting affiliate programs
With all of the above in mind, let’s now look at some of the best web hosting affiliate programs available at the moment.
Here are five reputable programs that are highly rated in terms of the factors discussed above:
1. Web Hosting Hub/ Inmotion Hosting affiliate programs
I’m putting both programs together because both companies are sister organizations and are similar in many aspects, including their respective affiliate programs.
Having hosted sites with both Web Hosting Hub and Inmotion Hosting, I know that both companies high quality hosting services. They both pay a commission of $50 per hosting plan sale. And for their cheapest shared hosting packages, they both charge around $84 for one year hosting (plus free domain name registration). But new customers can get cheaper deals by buying 2-year or 3-year plans.
Both affiliate programs have accurate tracking systems that ensure that all your sales are recorded. And their affiliate support personnel are responsive and professional. Payment from both programs is through PayPal, check, and direct deposit.
2. Bluehost affiliate program
Aside being widely known for its high quality hosting services, Bluehost also runs one of the web’s best affiliate programs.
The program pays $65 per sale, and their charge for one year hosting plus free domain name is around $75 (but 2-year and 3-year plans are cheaper). They pay via both PayPal. Payment is made after holding commissions for 30 days.
While I’ve not promoted Bluehost myself, I recommend them because I can vouch for their services and I know far too many successful webmasters who are not promoting them, but also hosting their sites with them. If the affiliate program sucks, it wouldn’t have been favored by so many people. And web would have been littered with negative reviews on the program – but I’ve yet to come across any.
3. Hostgator affiliate program
Having been a Hostgator customer since 2012 who has never had a single issue with them, I have no doubts that Hostgator offers high quality web hosting services. I’m using their baby plan, which presently holds my 10+ sites without any hassles.
Until early 2016 or thereabout, Hostgator ran an in-house affiliate program alongside a third-party program on Commission Junction. Back then, the program was widely known for shaving affiliates’ commissions and cancelling sales for no justifiable reason. The Commission Junction version was better, though.
However, since Hostgator started running its affiliate program through Impact Radius in March 2016, they seem to have regained the confidence of many affiliate marketers. Having promoted another hosting company via Impact Radius in the past, I know how accurate the platform (Impact Radius) is in terms of sales and commission tracking.
In addition, Hostgator is generous in terms of affiliate commissions. They pay based on how many sales you make monthly ($50 for 1-5 sales, $75 for 6-10 sales, $100 for 11-20 sales, and $125 for more than 20 sales).
Payment is made via PayPal or check after a holding period of 60 days.
4. Siteground affiliate program
Though I’ve not really used the Siteground affiliate program myself, a close friend of mine does. And I’m in fact planning to join them soon. Their services are of top quality, and they charge fairly (just around $40 for one year hosting plus free domain name registration). They pay based on how many sales you make per month. You earn $50 per sale for 1-5 sales, $70 per sales for 6-11 sales, and so on.
The greatest advantage of the program is that they pay every week. Yes, you can withdraw your commission within one week of referring a sale. But they do shave commissions at times (that is, they sometimes fail to credit you for your sale, which means you won’t get commissions for it.). They pay via Paypal, but if you register for their program through Commission Junction, you can withdraw your earnings via direct deposit to your Payoneer card.
5. Midphase affiliate program
Though not as popular as other web hosting services mentioned here, Midphase also offers high quality services that are very much affordable. Their cheapest shared hosting plan sells for just about $45 for the first year and renews for around the same price.
The Midphase affiliate program is run via Commission Junction, which means you’ll have register on CJ before you can promote their hosting packages.
NOTE: On CJ, you’ll find Midphase as one of the offers under the UK2 Hosting affiliate program because the company is owned by the UK2 group alongside a few other web hosting companies.
The program pays $100 per sale.
Now, you’ve understood what factors to look for when scouting for good web hosting affiliate programs. And you’ve figured five of the best options available at the moment. So, if the idea of making money by promoting these programs sounds cool to you, register and let the marketing begin.