What is Recurring Commission


Is there anything better than getting paid again and again and again for a one-time effort? To me,  thatʼs the meaning of passive income (nothingʼs 100% passive, but you get the point, right?)

Working once, and repaying the rewards for years. And thatʼs exactly what recurring commissions are – a continuous reward for limited effort.


Affiliate marketing is always going to be one of your major revenue sources if you keep up with it. But it becomes even sweeter when you promote products/services that offer recurring commissions.

In this guide, weʼll give you a quick overview of the benefits and risks (yes there are some) of promoting affiliate programs with recurring commissions.

Plus, we’ll tell you exactly how you can find the right programs/offers to promote.


Letʼs dive in.


What is Recurring Commission

What exactly are the recurrent meanings? It’s as simple as this: when someone purchases a product subscription through your referral link, you receive a commission not only the first time, but also every month that the user you referred continues to pay their subscription costs.So refer just once, and you’ll get money every month after that.



One-time commissions vs. recurring commissions

Most affiliate programs pay you only once when your referral makes a purchase. For example, if youʼre promoting a pair of shoes from Amazon, youʼll earn a one-time commission when someone buys through your link.



Why one-time? Because of itʼs a one-time transaction between the buyer and the seller. When the seller doesnʼt make money, you donʼt earn a commission – simple.


To build a regular income stream, you need to keep sending referrals that turn into buyers. But many programs, where a customer has to pay monthly/annually, also offer one-time commissions to their affiliates.

For example, BlueHost, a web-hosting company, offers a one-time $65 commission for every referral that turns into a customer.



They pay you the first time only. You donʼt get paid when customers renew their hosting account.


Recurring commissions work differently. Theyʼre offered by products/services that require a monthly subscription. As long as your referrals keep renewing their subscription by paying a monthly fee, you keep earning monthly commissions.

The affiliate program of LeadPages, one of the top landing page and marketing automation tools, is a good example.



The immediate difference between one-time and recurring commissions is quite clear (you get paid once vs. every month).

But itʼs the long-term difference that really makes recurring commissions so tempting. Unlike one-time commissions, recurring commissions keep adding up and in a few years time can become a huge part of your monthly income.


Let’s explain with a scenario

Suppose youʼre promoting a one-time commission program on your site that earns you $10 for every sale.

Your monthly traffic is 10,000 visitors

1% of those visitors (100) buy through your link

Which means you earn $1000 (100x$10) that month in affiliate commissions


In order to sustain this income, youʼll need to keep driving these referrals every month. If the number drops, your income drops with it.


If you keep referring 100 customers every month, your monthly earnings from that particular affiliate program will be $1000 per month. To earn more, you need to increase the number of monthly referrals.


Now consider this.

Instead of a one-time offer, youʼre promoting a recurring offer that pays you $10 for every sale.

Your monthly traffic is 10,000 visitors

1% of them (100) become customers

You earn $1000 (100x$10) that month in affiliate commissions and continue earning it every month in recurring commissions as long as your referrals keep paying.


And thatʼs not all The next month you refer 100 more customers (since thatʼs your monthly average

Guess how much you earn the next month? $2,000 ($1K from the last monthʼs recurring commission + $1K this month) The next month you earn $3K ($1K recurring + $1K recurring + $1K this month) and it keeps adding up.


Hereʼs how your income would look like in 12 months.

Month 1 – $1000 per month

Month 2 – $2000 per month.

Month 6 – $6000 per month

Month 12 – $12000 per month

Month 24 – $24000 per month


See the difference?

The sales that you made even 12 months ago keep paying you every month because itʼs recurring commission.

To simplify the example weʼve assumed that your referrals are not increasing which is usually not the case with a growing site. Your
earnings could actually be a lot more if your referrals are increasing every month as well.


Do you see the potential here?

Even if you stop right there and donʼt make any more sales youʼll still get paid for all those referrals as long as theyʼre subscribed to the products/services you promoted.

Your commission only drops when the client stops paying. In one-time commissions, the moment your siteʼs traffic drops (resulting in a decrease in the number of referrals) your income drops with it.


This is why affiliate marketers emphasize so much on promoting recurring affiliate programs.



The advantages of recurring commission programs

The benefits are quite obvious arenʼt they?

  • You put in the work once (creating content, creating an email funnel etc.) and reap the rewards for as long as your referral keeps paying
  • People, especially bricks & mortar business owners, like to stick the same software for years. So if youʼre promoting an accounting program or an invoicing solution that pays recurring commissions,chances are youʼll keep getting paid for years.
  • The commissions can add up to become a huge part of your monthly income (like we just showed you in the previous section)


This means you should only promote recurring commission programs, right? No!


Recurring commissions are great but there are a few risks involved as well. Let me explain.



Risks associated with recurring commission programs

The idea of recurring commissions is tempting. So it doesnʼt surprise , if you plan to promote such programs only But diversification is always the best way to go.


Here are a few things that can go wrong when promoting recurring programs:


  • Selling Recurring Programs is Harder

Getting people to pay for something, again and again, is harder than one- time product sales. They research longer, need more time to decide, and hesitate to commit long-term to a product.


And even when they do sign up, thereʼs always a chance theyʼll go away to a better competitor since new products keep showing up all the time. This is why making the first sale for a recurring program is usually harder.


  • Companies Routinely Change/Close Affiliate Programs

Many instances of companies initially offering 40% or 50% recurring commissions in their early days and then reducing it to half (or
even less) the rate once they become stable.


Itʼs their right, but it can completely mess up your calculations and monthly income.

In many cases, companies completely get rid of their affiliate program like this email.



So donʼt be surprised if you get such an email from a program that you had banked on for months.


  • Product Selection Requires More Research

Product research is a lot more important in case of recurring commission programs for several reasons.


Firstly, the quality of the product gives you an idea whether people will stick to it for long or not. Because thereʼs no point promoting a product for recurring commissions if customers unsubscribe the very next month.

Secondly, you need to research the companyʼs business model and background to get an idea of whether theyʼll stay in business for long or not. Again, whatʼs the point of promoting a company that doesnʼt exist?

Thirdly, you need to see whether the company youʼre promoting cares for its customers or not. People youʼre referring to this company are trusting your recommendation.


If they get treated poorly it will reflect badly on your credibility and can lower your conversion rates for future programs. So be careful while choosing the programs you promote.


  • Recurring Commissions Start Low

Since most of the recurring commission programs are offered by monthly subscription services or SaaS products, the average commission rates are pretty low.


For example, if a service charges its customers $11 per month, even at 50% recurring commissions itʼll only pay you $5.5 per  month. The secret to succeeding with recurring commissions is in volume sales that add up month after month.


If your product selection is right and people love your recommendation, those tiny commissions can add up in a few months to become a big part of your income.



Product Categories with recurring commissions

So what are the product categories, niches or industries where youʼre most likely to find recurring affiliate programs?

Few quick pointers


  • B2B Software as a Service (SaaS) Products

Web based software is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Most of these products follow the subscription based model in which customers pay a monthly, quarterly or annual fee.


Examples of such tools are:

  1. Email marketing software like AWeber and GetResponse
  2. Marketing automation tools like ClickFunnels and LeadPages
  3. Shopping Cart solutions like SamCart and PayKickStart
  4. Web Hosting solutions like WPXHosting
  5. SEO Tools like SEMRush
  6. Content Marketing Tools like Ninja Outreach


  • B2C Niche Software and Tools

Web based products in the B2C space also offer recurring commission programs. These are often niche specific programs that are available to a select group of affiliates only.


Here are a few examples:

  1. Time Tracking tools such as RescueTime and TimeDoctor
  2. Finance Apps like Etoro and Personal Capital
  3. Food Blogging Courses on Food Blogging Pro
  4. Health Consultancy Platforms like Forward


Both B2B and B2C SaaS businesses make up the majority of the recurring commission programs out there.

But there are a few other types of businesses that offer such programs as well


  • Monthly Service Retainers

There are companies that give you access to a wide range of tools that you can use for a fixed monthly price.  companies offer WordPress fixes or content creation services for fixed monthly fees. Many of them have affiliate programs as well.


For example:

ThriveThemes offers you a wide range of WordPress tools with recurring commissions


  • Food/Recipe Boxes

The scope of recurring commissions is slightly limited in the physical product space. But there are exceptions.


For example,

there are companies like Organifi that offer recurring commissions on promoting their monthly healthy product boxes or range of juices. Similarly, companies like Phen375 offer recurring commissions on promoting their weight loss supplement boxes.

There are many other businesses that follow this model and Iʼm sure you can find them with a few searches.


How to find recurring commission programs

Google is your best friend when it comes to finding new recurring affiliate programs in your niche. Most of such programs are in the B2B and B2C software industries. But you can find them in other niches as well. also, we have a guide for this


Try using search queries like [Your Niche] + “Recurring Commission Affiliate Programs” “Subscription Box Affiliate Program”

Here are the results when I searched for “Weight loss recurring commissions”



All of these results have long lists of weight loss affiliate programs, many of which offer recurring commissions.

The other way to find such programs is through affiliate platforms like Commission Junction, ShareASale, JVZoo, Clickbank etc, where you can search for affiliate offers in different niches and filter them for recurring commissions.


What is Recurring Commission


Related Article:

Best Email Outreach Templates for Affiliate Marketers

How do You join the Affiliate program – Definite Guide

25 Best Traffic Source : To Get Your Site Moving

24 Ways to Find Customers Online


Are you ready to make a recurring affiliate?

As we have said earlier, there is nothing more enjoyable than getting paid again and again for a one-time effort. Promoting affiliate offers with recurring commissions is a great way to get 10X return on your marketing efforts.


The right way, however, is to diversify your income and promote multiple offers, both recurring and one-time, based on the needs of your audience so that you keep making good money without solely relying on any one program.




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