You might be surprised at the answer I’m about to give you in this post if affiliate marketing is dead or not.
I just want you to stick around for a minute as we are going to answer this question in a very broad-detailed way.
As it wouldn’t be too cool to tell you a “Yes” or a “No” without backing it up with some facts and insightful responses to why an affiliate isn’t dead or probably dead.
Do you get the point?
Before heading straight to the answer let’s refresh our memory on what affiliate marketing is.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing can be simply defined as a marketing tactic where you (as an affiliate) promote other people’s products or services, make a sale, then get paid in commissions.
For the product owner, it involves recruiting, assigning, managing, and paying affiliates who bring customers to you.
You as an affiliate marketer are being assigned or given a unique link. If a purchase is being made through your link you get paid.
You’re just like a salesperson for the business you’re affiliating for – who gets rewarded for sales.
Your work as an affiliate marketer is to find a way of bringing prospects into the door for them to buy. And the ONLY way of doing this is through traffic.
The blood, water, and still the blood of every online business.
You have to use a traffic source in getting people to the products you’re promoting. Although there are other marketing tools needed to run a profitable affiliate business, nothing is more important than traffic itself.
Check out this process of doing affiliate marketing:
There are thousands of guides explaining the concepts and basics of affiliate marketing, and I personally covered some parts on how to promote specific products like:
The idea behind it all is still wrapped around getting paid when you help make a sale on an affiliate product.
But that’s not why you landed here in the first place, right?
Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?
Affiliate marketing is not dead – however – several approaches to it have come and gone. While some of these tactics that are being taught today have also died.
Despite that, people still practice and implement these strategies that give affiliate marketing a rap.
I mean tactics like:
- Spamming your links in groups
- Using black-hat SEO tactics in building a website (ol’ Google is now smarter)
- Straight-up running ads directly to an affiliate link
- Not tracking your affiliate links with a link tracker
- Not incentivizing visitors with a no-brainer bonus for them to buy from your link
- Not building relationships and adding values to people before sales
Plus, a bunch of other archaic methods.
The way marketing was being done 10 years ago wasn’t the way it was done 5 years ago. And obviously marketing methods of 5 years doesn’t apply in today’s world.
Times and things are changing.
New platforms are evolving, consumers are getting more exposure and most importantly human focus, in general, is adjusting.
And a study reveals that the global attention span is narrowing and trends don’t last as long as they used to.
The information age has changed the general attention span. And one of the major causes of these changes is the internet.
What does this mean?
It means that marketing (including affiliate marketing) is also transitioning alongside. Though the fundamentals are evergreen but direction remains inconstant.
So YES, old affiliate marketing methods are dead.
While we are going to cover some of the affiliate marketing practices and ideal processes to carry out affiliate marketing and my recommended resources for affiliate marketing later down this post.
For now, welcome to the new world.
Why Affiliate Marketing Isn’t Dying Anytime Soon…
I will have to back this section up with quite a lot of insightful data, so you’d find out for yourself if affiliate marketing would eventually die or live till the end of time.
Or maybe stay around only for a few years.
According to Statista:
The affiliate marketing spending in the United States alone from 2010 to 2022 is due to reach 8.2 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, up from 5.4 billion recorded in 2017.
As you can see, this is an ever-growing form of marketing that’s being accepted and I don’t see that number coming down any time soon.
According to some of the affiliate marketing reports from Business Insider Intelligence conducted some time ago it says that:
Approximately 15% of the digital media industry’s revenue now comes from affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing now drives as many e-commerce orders in the US as email. Both channels currently account for 16% of US e-commerce orders, according to marketing firm Custora. This makes affiliate marketing one of the four largest sources of e-commerce orders, outperforming social commerce, and display advertising.
According to 99firms in its affiliate marketing stat roundup – it was also gathered that:
In the US, affiliate marketing spending increases annually by 10.1% and this spending is projected to hit the $6.8 billion mark in 2020.
And also, 81% of marketers and 84% of publishers leverage the power of affiliate marketing.
Amazon which happens to be the #1 eCommerce platform and online marketplace boasts one of the popular and dominant affiliate programs (Amazon associates) with a market share of 39.30%.
According to some of Amazon statistics published by BigCommerce states that:
- 9 out of 10 consumers price check a product on Amazon
- More than 50% of all Amazon sales come from third-party sellers
- Amazon shipped over 5 billion items worldwide in 2017
- And lots more…
And you know the funny part?
Most Amazon shoppers perform some sort of research (comparison, reviews, ratings, etc.) before buying.
This is where affiliate marketers come in to serve content on YouTube channels, Blogs, Podcasts, and groups to help buyers make the right decision.
When I search for “best smoothie blender” on Google…
I clicked on the first result which compared over 7 smoothie blenders for me to make my choice. All the links to buy each of these blenders takes me to Amazon.
Guess what? They’re all affiliate links!
Í also took my time going through other results, and all of them were linking to Amazon for searchers (to turn buyers) to get the products.
Want another proof of why affiliate marketing is not dead?
Since I didn’t just base my research only on other external sources – I did a little peeping myself on Google trends to see how the movement/trend has been over the years.
Check it out:
That’s the Interest over time from 2014 till the present.
Now if I may ask – what does that tell you? Is affiliate marketing dead or ever-growing, you say?
The bottom line is:
Affiliate marketing offers an adaptable environment as well as a cost-effective method for brands to generate leads consistently and continually market and sell their products.
Lessening the amount of money wasted on advertisements. This alone is enough reason.
For marketers – this is a great way to make a side or full-time income passively without the need to create your own product.
How to Do Affiliate Marketing Profitably
Are you looking to get started with affiliate marketing?
First of all,
#1: Decide on a niche
If someone sends me a message right now or walks up to me seeking for guidance on how they’d go about starting an affiliate marketing as a career…
…instead of sending them to a course or a resource that teaches affiliate marketing – the first question I’m going to ask them is:
“What have you learned so far and what are you good at currently?”
This is because – getting to know their strengths and level of exposure in the online world, would enable me to know where and how to help them from.
And most importantly, guide them on deciding on a niche they’ll be comfortable affiliating on.
Starting affiliate marketing in an industry that really interests you will help you stay more consistent.
It’ll be much easy to press on even when it feels like giving up.
No matter how boring or crowded the niche might be, I’m certain that there will always be an opportunity out there for everyone.
#2: Find affiliate programs to join
The next step is finding and joining affiliate programs in your chosen industry.
Let’s say for example you’re interested in the pet niche (which is super-broad). You can narrow it down to a dog-related niche (still broad).
Okay, let’s go with the dog food niche. Nice!
You can perform a quick Google search for the term “dog food affiliate program”.
As you can see, there are a bunch of rich results for all. Another easy way to find affiliate programs is by going to ClickBank to filter affiliate programs. If you plan to blog then you can apply to various blogging programs.
It’s always advisable to niche down in your industry where the competition seems less fierce. Successes are mostly faster that way.
#3: Choose a traffic source
The above 2 steps are nothing really in creating an affiliate business. remember what I said earlier?
Traffic is the holy grail!
And it happens to be the hardest part of this whole game.
Check all of the marketing groups on Facebook and forums, you’re sure to see tons of marketers and business owners looking for ways to drive traffic to their businesses.
Honestly, I would say, figuring the traffic secrets out is what separates and differentiates you from your neighbor’s grandma who has also joined the same affiliate program as yourself.
They also got their affiliate links. Now so what?
In driving traffic to your affiliate offers
There basically 2 types:
- Paid traffic source (FB ads, Google ads, YouTube ads, etc.)
- Free traffic source (Blogging/SEO, Facebook organic, YouTube SEO, calls, etc.)
I highly advise you to start with free traffic sources you’re a bit more comfortable with.
Then, when your organic efforts start yielding profits you can put them into paid ads to scale.
Or maybe you prefer doing organic/free all-time, then invest your profits into mentoring, tools, or organic resources that’ll skyrocket your business.
No paid ads aren’t bad choices at all.
If your pocket is fat enough plus you’re knowledgeable and have the skills on how to optimize your ads for conversions, then go with that.
Why focus on organic?
Simple, you’re building an asset and growing your personal brand at the same time.
Affiliate marketing these days is more of becoming a personality of value and not just throwing your links on people’s faces and expecting your bank account to be green the next day.
It doesn’t work way.
These days people buy from people they know, trust and connect with.
First, you have to figure out the problem your affiliate offer solves, who it solves it for, and where your target audience is.
Secondly is getting in front of them, with the right message copy at the right time.
And one EFFECTIVE way to do that is through content.
If you want your affiliate business to succeed and stand the test of time in terms of passivity, you need to create high-quality relevant content that addresses your audience’s needs.
Also making sure your affiliate links fit naturally within those contents.
Affiliate marketing is not dead. It still remains one of the most highly lucrative and profitable online businesses anyone can venture into.
No product creation or inventory management of any kind.
Although the entry barrier is kind of loose. Anyone can get into it quite alright. But a very high percentage of people who come into the affiliate marketing world never succeed with it.
They end up frustrated and come to the conclusion that:
Affiliate marketing is dead. While it is NOT!
You know why?
- Some of them see it as a means to get rich quickly. Wrong
- Most get on the wrong foot following bad advice and an unsustainable strategy
- Most people refuse to invest in themselves (courses, mentorship, coaching, etc.)
- Some of those who invest never take action to implement the strategies
- Most aren’t patient enough. They possess the wrong mindset
- Lots of people aren’t consistent. They jump from one place to another hoping to get the ‘new’ trick to millions
If you know anyone who had given up on affiliate marketing – without doubt, I’m sure one or more of the above reasons would be why they failed in this business.
Ready to start your affiliate marketing journey?
Then I will recommend you learn from someone with a track of massive successes.
Check out the below resources:
Watch this free training on building authority that makes money via affiliate marketing
Still not convinced that affiliate marketing isn’t dead? Let me know your reason in the comments below.
Here are some frequently asked questions concerning the death of affiliate marketing.
Why do most people fail at affiliate marketing?
I believe most people fail at affiliate marketing because they started with the intention of making money immediately and end up backing out when there was nothing coming forth. So most failures are a result of people giving up early. If you want to succeed at affiliate marketing, you must be patient enough to learn the tools of the trade.
Is affiliate marketing still alive?
Absolutely, affiliate marketing is still alive but spamming forums and Facebook groups with your affiliate links is a dead strategy. You need to build real audiences and provide value in order to succeed with affiliate marketing.
Is affiliate marketing the future?
I think the real question should be “will people always seek recommendations before getting a product”? Hell, yeah! However, strategies and approaches might change.
Why do most people fail at affiliate marketing?