Military drones or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have been around for decades now.
But it’s only recently that consumer drones – in the form of quadcopters – have become popular.
Pricing – they became affordable.
Which is why there are now over 1 million registered drones in the United States alone.
And when the price of an item drops to the “mass market” level that instantly creates more sales.
Based on that, the drone industry is projected to be worth US$43 billion within the next few years.
And taking part in growing markets is why we can generate monthly income statements like this:
The key is choosing drone affiliate programs that will not only serve your audience but also fill out your bank account.
Here’s what we found for you.
There’s some cool stuff in here, so don’t skip ahead – you’ve been warned!
Drone Affiliate Programs
- Drones Direct (UK)
- Horizon Hobby
- ABJ Drone Academy
- Goal Zero
GoPro is the name behind the world’s first affordable and accessible range of cameras designed for extreme sports.
Since 2002, surfers, skiers, paintballers, and anyone who enjoys an adrenaline buzz has been a fan of their devices.
Okay, but how does this qualify as a drone affiliate program?
Well, GoPro used to sell their own range of drones, but recently discontinued them.
But what they do sell are high-definition cameras suitable for mounting on most drones.
Yay for sales potential.
In addition to giving you a different angle to use on your drones niche site, this is also one of the top-performing programs on Commission Junction.
You do only get 5% commission, but GoPro cameras tend to sell themselves.
Some of their cameras retail for well over $200, so you stand to earn $10 for every sale made through your affiliate links.
Commission: 5% on all sales
Cookie duration: 30 days
It’s one big e-commerce platform selling everything from no-name home security products to branded smartphones and drones.
Imagine all the “budget” consumer electronic items on Amazon all gathered in one place, and you have Cafago.
It’s basically a big outlet store for Asian factories.
And that includes a very, very complete range of branded drones, and related accessories, for sale at heavily discounted prices.
Literally all your drones needs under one roof, and they ship internationally.
So how does their offer shape up versus the other programs here?
Well, you get a standard 6% commission rate to start.
But they’re happy to bump you to 10% if you can move $12,000 of products each month.
That might sound like a small increase but it’s the difference between earning $750 per month in commission and $1,200 per month.
Commission: Up to 10%
Cookie duration: 45 days
Drones Direct (UK)
Drones Direct is from the same company that brought you Laptops Direct.
And Appliances Direct, Furniture Direct and…well…you get the basic idea.
They’re the UK partner for leading drone brands like DJI, Parrot, Yuneec, and Parrot.
So your visitors can purchase drones from leading brand names, but at guaranteed lower prices than from any other supplier in the United Kingdom.
Or you can just choose to purchase a refurbished drone instead and save even more cash.
They also sell as complete a range of accessories as any drone owner could wish for.
And if your visitors would like some training on how to use their new drone, well Drones Direct offers that too.
So far, so good – this sounds like a really great program for UK-based affiliate marketers to promote.
The downside here is that they only pay a 1% commission rate.
Based on their average order value of £450 you’ll earn a grand total of £4.50 for anyone who makes a purchase through your affiliate links.
On the flip side of this, they do offer finance packages.
So there’s always the possibility that your referral might splash a few grand on an expensive drone kit.
Cookie duration: 7 days
It’s a pretty natural move for a business like Horizon Hobby to add drones to their inventory.
After all, they’ve been one of the most popular suppliers of RC aircraft since 1985.
And they’re still going strong today.
The difference here is that instead of moving their entire business over to high-end drones, they only focus on the hobby end of that market.
So if your visitors are looking for a drone that costs $80 instead of $800 then you can point them in the direction of Horizon Hobby.
What they also have is hundreds of drone accessories, from frames to prop sets to gears, and everything else your visitors might need.
Now we’re back in the realm of more attractive commission rates.
You’ll earn a 3% cut of all referred sales, with 30 days for the traffic to convert.
The metrics for this program, however, mean you shouldn’t rely on it as your sole source of affiliate income – you’ll need to promote other offers alongside it.
Cookie duration: 30 days
In the interests of full transparency, I used to be a HobbyTron affiliate many moons ago when I was active in the airsoft niche.
There are three reasons they’re included in this roundup:
- They always did a good job converting traffic I sent their way
- They have a pretty extensive selection of entry-level drones
- They have a reputation for providing great customer service
There’s also the tiny additional detail that they’ve been around for over two decades now, so they’ve outlived most of their competitors.
In terms of drones, your visitors will find a mixture of entirely affordable racing and general-purpose and hobby drones costing no more than $400.
And page after page of all kinds of accessories and other products.
This is definitely one to appeal to the younger or hobbyist fan.
So that’s all about their drones – affiliate program details next.
Anyone promoting their offers starts out with a commission rate of 8%.
8% is a hell of a lot more than what’s on offer from certain other affiliate networks and programs.
And, as I mentioned earlier, HobbyTron has a ton of experience in converting traffic to sales, so they’re definitely worth adding to your list of potential affiliate programs.
Commission: 8% on all sales
Cookie duration: 90 days
Oclu claims to be the next generation of action cameras.
Which is a pretty big move considering you’re going up against products from brands like GoPro.
They spent five years testing everyone else’s gear before they released their ruggedized 4K camera.
Apparently this is a camera designed to work around you instead of you having to bolt clunky technology to your active lifestyle.
And their approach seems to have worked, what with them winning several product design awards.
They also supply “kits” designed for specific uses of Oclu cameras.
Like bolting it onto a quadcopter so you can take drone videos, for example.
This affiliate program has an average order size of $207, so you’ll pocket at least $20.70 from each referral who purchases one of their products.
It’s also worth mentioning that this program is one of the most recent of the affiliate programs in this roundup.
Which presents early adopter types with lots of opportunities to stake their claim in the SERPs.
Cookie duration: 30 days
ABJ Drone Academy
Have you ever wondered if there was some kind of certification available for drone pilots?
After all, who do amateur pilots go to for their drone training?
They get it from companies like ABJ Drone Academy – a school run by drone pilots who have worked in some of the most demanding industries in the world.
Courses are available for pilots of all experience levels, from novice to advanced.
Even better is the fact that their classes can be taken online or in-person.
So, you can learn how to fly a drone the right way no matter where you live in the world.
Each of their training courses is ISO-approved, and you get lifetime to whatever course you pay for, including updates.
They even have a drone simulator with more than 100 different training modules to learn from, including cool stuff like ‘Wind turbine inspection’, ‘Coastal watch” and a variety of fire scenarios.
All your visitors have to do is choose which of their monthly plans suits them best.
Sooooo, after all of that, how does this compare to the other drone affiliate programs in our lovely roundup?
Commission rates start at 40% for 1-9 referrals per month but soar to 70% per sale if you can refer more than 100 new customers each month.
The bare minimum you’ll earn per sale is $9.90, but with the potential to earn a lot more.
Commission: Up to 70%
Cookie duration: 30 days
Gearbest is one of the biggest suppliers of consumer electronics online right now.
Okay, the name is a bit cheesy, but let’s not forget that LG actually stands for Lucky Goldstar.
They stock products manufactured by thousands of Chinese brand names, as well as leading brand names from other countries such as ASUS and Intel from Taiwan and the United States, respectively.
All told they have over 110,000 products in stock at any one time, including hundreds of different drones and thousands of accessories for them.
Need a basic drone for your kid’s birthday?
Need an advanced drone with 4K video cameras and a built-in GPS tracking system?
Also no problem.
So, how does this drone affiliate program work?
They advertise that you can earn up to 50% commission on the majority of sales made through your affiliate links.
But it’s actually more like 9% on consumer electronics items like drones.
With that said, they claim some of their affiliates are making over $11,000 per month in commissions.
They run their affiliate program in-house, but you can also sign up to promote them via FlexOffers.
It’s always handy to have a second option that allows you to “backdoor” into programs that declined your application.
Commission: 9% on consumer electronics
Cookie duration: 30 days
And now we’ve reached the pro drone zone – DJI with their Mavic and Phantom series of drones.
They claim to be the, “…world leader in camera drones and quadcopters”, and who are we to argue with that?
Seriously though, their reputation does precede them and their gear is some of the best for recording drone videos.
How many other companies do you know with drones designed for agricultural protection?
Anyways, from an average user’s perspective, they sell some of the more exciting drones out there for taking super high-quality photos and videos.
You’ll also find companies willing to take a basic DJI model and create a custom drone as per your exact needs.
But they’re also not cheap, with some of their standard models retailing for just under $2,000.
But that’s actually great news for those of you looking for drone affiliate programs to promote.
Because you earn a 5% commission for each DJI referral you generate.
That means you earn $100 for selling a drone worth $2,000.
Now before you think, “People don’t buy expensive drones from affiliate sites”, I’d like to draw your attention to the numbers in the above screenshot.
DJI’s top affiliate earned $245,874.06 in a single month.
They earned more in 30 days than the average person earns in 8 years!
So, yeah, the high-end drone market is totally worth it.
Commission: Up to 8% on sales
Cookie duration: 30 days
And now we take our usual leap right off the edge of affiliate dogma.
It’s time to look at something unlike the other drone affiliate programs in this roundup.
Drones have very short flight times (30-ish minutes), after which they need to be recharged.
Which is a pain in the ass if your visitors are out flying their drone in the middle of nowhere.
Unless of course, they have a Goal Zero portable solar charger.
Because if they did they’d simply plug the drone into it, recharging its batteries from a clean and 100% renewable energy source.
Most affiliates will completely overlook products like these.
This is a real shame because the average drone owner will look at a solar power charger and see tons of other uses for it.
So they’re already justifying their purchase decision while reading your content.
Affiliates get a 2% commission rate to work with.
Which isn’t exactly life-changing.
Then when you factor in that their entry-level solar charger (minus panels) costs $299 you’ll see you only make $6 per sale.
BUT this is a market with a ton of growth happening right now, so people are pretty much pre-sold on these devices.
Over to You
One thing that always surprises me about niche research is how what you find often stands in stark contrast to your initial expectations.
Like when I expected to find dozens of drone affiliate programs simply because these devices are so popular.
Simply not the case.
But what I did find includes affiliate programs with incredible earning potential.
Once you put the work in.
You’ll have to do some lateral thinking if you want to build an affiliate site in the drone niche.
But let’s take a step back here first – what if you don’t know how to build an affiliate site?
Well, why not let us show you how to do that in our free training class?
You’ll walk away from this with enough information to help you get your first affiliate site off the ground.
And you don’t even need to buy anything from us.
All we need to know is the best email address to send your invite to.
P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on YouTube.