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Recurring or One-Time commission: Choosing an Affiliate Marketing Program that’s better for You

Updated on September 7, 2020

11 Min Read
passive income affiliate marketing

Imagine this: You are out on a vacation in Hawaii with your family. Without a care in the world, you enjoy the most beautiful beaches, scenic locations and different cultural attractions of the state. Now, it’s time to return home. In a normal scenario, your bank account would take a steep toll after your return (unless you are already earning passive income with affiliate marketing). What if we tell you that instead of taking a beating, your financial situation can improve even after such exorbitant vacations?

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Affiliate Marketing – Your Hope of Earning Recurring Income for Life

No matter how absurd you find the idea above, it is possible through affiliate marketing. The digital marketing model works on revenue sharing. Affiliate marketers sell another entity’s product or service and earn a commission on the number of sales they make.

If done effectively, affiliate marketing can allow you to have a steady stream of passive income. You will find thousands of blogs online that promote affiliate marketing as an easy get-rich scheme – which is too far from the truth.

Dedication and hard work are essential for attaining success in affiliate marketing. From finding the right products to maintaining blogs, there is a lot of work that goes in.

Earn at your own pace.

Refer customers and set up your passive income stream.

Your ability to earn profits as an affiliate depends a lot on the affiliate marketing program you chose to work with. Whether you’re going for something that’s one-time or recurring, your affiliate marketing success depends entirely on the program’s earnings schedule want the payout and how much time you’re willing to invest on promoting these programs:

  • One-Time Commission Model
  • Recurring Commission Model.

One-Time Commission Model

This is a simple model. The more referrals you get, the higher the commission you earn.  In order for you to earn your commission, you’ll need to promote a product to prospective customers from your audience through an online medium. That’s because affiliate marketing programs operate with a referral URL link. When a prospective customer buys a product you’re promoting through one of your mediums, you make an earning. 

Here are some one-time commission models of affiliate marketing programs through which you can earn profits.

1. Cloudways

Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting platform that enables you, whether you’re a startup/business owner, or a professional working in agencies to set up a server and deploy a web application. You can choose from 5 infrastructure providers (Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, Linode, Vultr, DigitalOcean), choose the perimeters of your cloud server and get to business within a few moments!

The Slab Commission Structure  provides web hosting affiliates a unique opportunity to earn upto $200/sale. This commission plan best suits performance marketers and media publishers. Affiliates can earn monthly payouts on achieving the $250 threshold by simply referring customers on a regular basis.

Cloudways Affiliate Slab

2. Fiverr

Fiverr is an online portal that’s built to change how you and the world work together. It can connect your businesses with freelancers that offer digital services in more than 250 categories.

Fiverr has two affiliate programs; one is self-hosted while the other is on CJ Affiliate Network. Fiverr pays a fixed commission of $15 with the additional bonus of $150 for first time buyers. After that, you can earn depending on the category you choose.Fiver Affiliate Program

3. PureVPN

PureVPN is a commercial virtual private network service. It allows you to select from four categories: Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, and File Sharing. It has 2000 servers that are in 140 countries, out of which 87 of them are virtual servers – making it easy for users to stream the internet without compromising on your device’s data.

PureVPN’s affiliate commission plan comprises of three major options;

  • 100% Commission per sale on monthly plan
  • 40% Commission per sale on other plans
  • 35% Commission per purchase

Every time you reach $100, you can cash it out through PayPal and Wire.  What’s great about this affiliate program? You’ll get timely payouts along with low barriers to sign up to  the affiliate program. Every affiliate gets a dashboard to track sales and commission. You, as their affiliate, will also get pre-event alerts and campaign notifications, so you can prepare to scale your earnings.

4. GetResponse

GetResponse is an email marketing platform. It enables you as a user to create marketing lists of prospects, partners, and clients – so that you can develop relationships with your prospects and build a responsive and profitable customer base.

With GetResponse, you’ll earn through their Affiliate Bounty Program or a recurring program. Their bounty program is more attractive, as you’ll get $100 everytime you refer someone to create an account. You can use four of their packages, that include Email ($15),. Pro ($49), Max ($165), and Enterprise (1$99). You can also track results through your mobile phone or laptop browser on  their mobile-friendly panel. 

And  you can start for free!Get Response Affiliate

5. Shopify

Shopify is a software-as-a-service shopping cart solution through which you can create an ecommerce website. It has a content management system that can help you manage/add products, process orders and  much more.

Shopify lets you earn $58 every time a user signs up for a paid plan using the affiliate’s unique link. Furthermore, you can earn $2000 for every entity who signs up for the Plus plan membership. Shopify Affiliate Program

6. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is an ecommerce website builder that enables users to build their online store. This ecommerce solution can enable you to set up your store, add products, and make money through it.

BigCommerce’s Affiliate Program gives you the chance to earn 200% commission through their bounty program when a customer pays for the first  month as an enterprise customer. Here’s how you’ll be earning by promoting a product category or even an item.

With BigCommerce, you can earn industry leading commissions that can help you strategically grow your online visibility. You’ll get powerful tracking tools, dedicated affiliate managers and pre-designed promotional material.

  • Standard Plan = $60 per Item
  • Plus Plan = $160 per Item
  • Pro = $600 per ItemBigCommerce Affiliate Program

Recurring Affiliate Program: Commission Model

The recurring commission model is a great way to earn long term passive income. Recurring affiliate programs do not just pay on conversion, they also pay every month as long as the user continues to use their subscription.

To enhance your recurring income, you get your monthly share without having to do much, provided the subscription continues. This model typically applies to any digital product or service such as web hosting, online courses, etc.

Here are some Recurring commission models of affiliate marketing programs through which you can scale your passive income.

1. Cloudways Hybrid Commissions Plan

When it comes to recurring affiliate programs, the Cloudways’ Hybrid affiliate web hosting commission plan works perfectly for affiliates that work as bloggers, developers, freelancers, and digital agencies. So, if you wish to earn passively with the options of earning flexibly, get regular monthly payouts, and earning recurring income- this is a great place to start.

How Cloudways affiliate agencies can earn recurring revenue by reselling hosting?

With the Cloudways web hosting affiliate hybrid commission plan, you can earn $30 per sign up, and 7% as a lifetime recurring commission with every referral for as long as the client  is hosted on CloudwaysCloudways Affiliate Program

2. ClickFunnels Affiliate Program

Clickfunnels is an online sales funnel builder that can help you market your business online. There are prebuilt funnel options through which you can market, sell, and deliver your products and services to your designated audience.

The ClickFunnel recurring affiliate program gives 40% commission on any of their services. This includes their webinars, books, online courses, and funnel software.ClickFunnel payments come through every 45 days and can be cashed out through PayPal and Checks.Click funnels Affiliate Program

3. LeadPages

LeadPages help you create attractive landing pages for your online business. It’s central focus is towards building landing pages that cater to PPC campaigns and also are responsive to desktop and mobile applications. 

With LeadPages, you can  earn 30% commission per sale every month. For the monthly, or annual plan, you can  earn anywhere between $25 to $199.Leadpages Affiliate Program

4. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is an email marketing software that works wonders for creators. You can grow your online business and use it’s automation to track your subscribers. ConvertKit is known for its email designer, and integrates well with multiple platforms like Demio, Gumroad, Stripe, and Teachable.

ConvertKit’s  recurring affiliate program will allow you to earn 30% commission for every sign up. They have a great recurring model where you’ll be getting 30% of the signup plan every month, so long as your referred person keeps their ConvertKit account active.Convertkit Affiliate Program

5. Printful

Printful enables you to prepare custom designs and send them to your customers directly. It works as an order fulfillment and warehousing service that ships products such as clothing, accessories, and home & living items for online businesses. It’s free and very easy to set up.

Bloggers, Inlfuencers, YouTubers and ecommerce entrepreneurs can start earning through their online store. There’s a 10% commission for every referral order and you’ll earn this for the first nine months after the first successful sale. You;’ll be able to cash out your earnings through PayPal.

Printful Affiliate Program

6. Clickbank 

ClickBank is an affiliate marketing network that’s known for multiple digital products such as ebooks, videos, and softwares. If you’re a vendor, you can track sales, list your product, and create your very own product online through ClickBank’s system and become visible to other affiliates.

An incredible catalog of digital products offering high-converting recurring commission affiliate programs with a threshold of $250 bi-weekly payouts. Clickbank sells its products on a subscription basis. This means that affiliate marketers can continue to earn month after month as long as the customer continues the subscription.

The best part is that you can cash out your earnings through check, direct deposit, wire transfer, and Payoneer. So that’s the convenience you get with Clickbank.

ClickBank Affiliate Program

7. Teachable

Teachable is an uni-platform solution where you can create and sell courses online. This platform works as a solution that handles web-hosting and payment processing, so you can focus on building awesome courses. 

A comprehensive platform for creating and selling online courses. With more than 7 million users and 34000+ active courses, Teachable provides an incredible learning experience for business owners, startups, agencies, marketers, freelancers, and more.Teachable Affiliate Program

8. SEMRush

SEMrush is a search engine optimization tool that helps you analyze and execute digital marketing strategies and SEO campaigns. With +40 tools SEMrush offers solutions for SEO, PPC, content, social media and competitive research.

The SEMrush Affiliate Program offers up to 40% recurring commission for SEMrush subscription sales. The SEMrush Affiliate Program provides you with all necessary promo materials and also creates additional opportunities by launching monthly incentives and contests to increase your affiliate income. You can cash out your commissions twice a month via PayPal or Wire Transfer.SEM rush Affiliate Program

9. Pabbly

Pabbly caters to you if you’re in need of an automation system to earn through recurring billings. If you have a software as a service, or a subscription based service – this automated billing system can help you simplify the billing and invoicing process.

Pabbly is a simple email marketing solution that promotes itself through its affiliate program. Currently, you have the ability to recieve your earnings only through PayPal, though Pabbly has been talking about opening up other payment gateways soon. Affiliates  can earn 30% commission for 1-10 sales, 40% for 11-20 sales, and 50% for more than 20 sales. The recurring model works as long as the customer stays on Pabbly.

Pabbly Affiliate Program


Who Should Opt for Recurring Affiliate Programs?

There’s nothing better than having a steady stream of income every month with little to no efforts. It’s all about the peace of mind that many desperately crave for.

Recurring affiliate programs are feasible for people who freelance or run a business. It is a great way to monetize your marketing efforts and increase your monthly revenue. Following are some entities that can benefit greatly from some of the best recurring affiliate programs:


The power of words has never been more pronounced. As a blogger, you are an ‘ideas’ person. Imagine if your love for words and passion in expressing your ideas can be a source of earning.

Joining a recurring affiliate program presents bloggers with an excellent opportunity  to monetize your blog. These programs can help you earn recurring income while you create high-quality content.

Make Money Blogging with the Best Affiliate Programs

Looking for an affiliate program that offers high conversion per sale? Follow this to create additional income streams for your Blog.

You can partner with any of the platforms that offer recurring affiliate programs. They are typically subscription-based services. A good approach would be to try the service for yourself first – some companies might even be willing to provide you with a free trial.

Learn everything you can about the service and then write honest yet strategic content to convince your readers and convert them into potential leads.

Make sure that the service you are endorsing is high-quality. In a recurring commission model, you will not benefit much if the customer unsubscribes after using the service for a short period of time.


If you’re a freelancer you already know the unpredictable nature of earning income. Your earnings as a freelancer depend on your time. The more time you spend should equate to the more you will earn. This is why having recurring revenue can prove to be a significant factor for your  financial growth.

Let’s say, you are a developer who has just developed a client’s website. You think that it is one of your greatest works and the client is truly impressed. This will be a great time for you to offer them a website maintenance service from a third-party.

You partner with this company through their recurring affiliate program. You can also pitch them a reseller hosting package and generate another revenue stream for yourself.

As long as your happy client stays with them, you get a steady stream of passive income.

Resell hosting that makes you money and keeps clients happy!

With Cloudways, you deliver top-notch hosting services to your clients with the best security protocols to keep their sites safe. You can also generate custom invoices and resell for as much as you like.

Digital Agencies

Digital agencies usually have a lot on their plate. Not just that, there’s so much competition that they just do not seem to have a breathing space.

Taking a smarter approach, you can turn existing customers into sources of recurring revenue. Here’s how you can do it:

Let’s suppose you use a reliable web hosting service for your own digital agency. You know that the web hosting provider is reliable. Convinced that the web hosting company will always deliver, you can recommend the company to your existing customers – customers who might already be using your services, say social media marketing. The web hosting company keeps on paying you a commission until that customer stays with them.

Imagine the recurring income if you can do the same with many of your  customers.


Well that’s a wrap.. We’ve also covered some affiliate marketing forums and communities to join which you’ll find interesting to read, so do check it out!

If we’ve missed out an affiliate program that you think will help affiliates earn passive income with affiliate marketing , feel free to mention it in the comments section below.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

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Owais Khan

Owais works as a Marketing Manager at Cloudways (managed hosting platform) where he focuses on growth, demand generation, and strategic partnerships. With more than a decade of experience in digital marketing and B2B, Owais prefers to build systems that help teams achieve their full potential.


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