With the internet space constantly evolving and increasingly becoming more competitive, not to mention the most recent slash in Amazon affiliate commissions, many wonder whether affiliate marketing—a prominent way of generating revenue from selling another company’s or person’s product —is dead and has long seen its best days.
So in this post, we will be exploring the question, “Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?”, along with what the future has in hold for it, how to get started, affiliate programs to take advantage of and more.
So let’s go ahead and get right into it!
Affiliate Marketing is Not Dead
First things first, it’s important to clear up any misconceptions about affiliate marketing being dead. Because affiliate marketing is indeed alive and well and continually growing.
Just take a look at these eye-opening stats relating to affiliate marketing!
Affiliate marketing spending is due to reach $6.82 billion by the year 2020 (this year) and predicted to hit $8.2 billion by 2022!
It accounts for nearly 15-30% of sales for advertisers
81% of brands rely on affiliate marketing as a channel of generating sales
Affiliate marketing was responsible for 16% of ecommerce sales in the USA and Canada
As a global industry, affiliate marketing is worth 12 billion and will continue to grow
Awin affiliates (an affiliate network) paid out nearly $700 million to its affiliates in 2018!
So it’s reasonable to say that affiliate marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And in fact, it will only continue to grow as we continue to shift toward a digital era!
Interest in Affiliate Marketing—over the time span of 5 years (Source : Google Trends)
Why is Affiliate Marketing a Growing Opportunity?
So what’s the driving force behind the continuous growth we see occurring with the affiliate marketing industry? Well, much of it has to do in part with:
Businesses Increasingly Seeing the Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
More and more businesses alike are adopting and implementing affiliate marketing programs. This is because it offers businesses an affordable yet effective marketing channel that outsources time and money—as it is a performance-based model where businesses pay only for purchasing referrals.
In addition to this, other benefits affiliate marketing offers to businesses include
Scale – Can quickly and inexpensively (a major benefit for small businesses with limited funds) scale by partnering with social influencers, bloggers, marketers, etc. to promote products and services.
Cost effective – As mentioned earlier, affiliates are paid only for purchasing referrals. This means businesses receive a higher ROI than any other marketing channel.
Brand awareness – Most consumers like purchasing a product or service from an entity they’re familiar with. And so with affiliate marketing, businesses can work with affiliates who are trusted, therefore expanding their credibility and reach!
And so as you may see, affiliate marketing is indeed a lucrative channel that businesses will continue to take advantage of! Because if an affiliate succeeds, so does the business. Making it a win-win for both!
Increase in internet usage and online shopping
With nearly 4.4 billion (and this number continuously increasing) of the world’s population being internet users and an estimated 1.8 billion of those people (as of 2018) purchasing goods online, it is not hard to see the huge opportunity there is with affiliate marketing!
Because as the number of online consumers and internet users continues to increase, with it comes a larger audience of potential buyers in the internet space! This means that affiliates have a bigger window of opportunity to convert potential online audiences and the ability to participate in a wider range of niches.
Why Most Fail with Affiliate Marketing
So you’ve seen the outstanding amount of money affiliate marketing generates and the growing opportunity it presents itself among businesses!
But still, why is it that most affiliates struggle to generate any money online? Which in turn, leads many to believe that it’s the industry itself that isn’t working or dead!
Well, there are many factors that can play into this, but some the most common mistakes affiliates make are :
Giving up too easily – To be successful with affiliate marketing requires upfront hard work and persistence. Earnings unfortunately won’t come overnight and is the reason why many quit.
Not developing a marketing strategy – It’s important for all affiliates to develop and focus on a single marketing strategy! Because it much happens much too often where affiliates focus on more than one strategy at a time and make little to no progress at all! Rather, focus on a single strategy which can be facebook ads, SEO, youtube and etc..then and only after successfully mastering that marketing strategy, move on to the next strategy!
Only in it for the money – The thought of creating an income online is definitely one we all lust for (and there’s nothing wrong with that). But to be successful online, you need to focus on serving others and helping them with their problems. Because if you do so, all the good stuff will certainly follow.
Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing
Creating your own affiliate business may seem like a very small investment today, but with the right strategies and hard work, can most definitely pay you back ten-folds in the future.
So if you’re ready to set off on your venture, below I’ve put together a (brief) guide on how to get started!
First things first, you’ll need to decide which platform you’ll be using to promote your products. You can either create a blog (my favorite and recommended method), start a youtube channel; begin an instagram, facebook page etc.—basically any platform where you can build and provide to an audience!
The next thing you’ll want to do is dabble with a few ideas you’d like your platform to be about (decide on a niche). For example, you may look to start a youtube channel specifically around photography. Which is great! Just please keep in mind that whatever niche you decide upon, it is one that is high in demand and one that you can provide value/solutions to.
After deciding on a niche, what follows next is to decide on the products you’d like to promote. Now, I recommend to only promote products that you believe in and know will benefit your audience! As trust is a key component to lasting success.
Lastly, it’s time to begin promoting your products. Now, you can go about this several ways, but creating content continues to be the best ways to promote products (as you’re able to provide the most value). This means creating things such as reviews, tutorials, comparisons and or sharing your personal experiences with the product(s) you’re promoting.
For more on affiliate marketing, please be sure to visit Pat Flynn’s ultimate guide on Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing!
Amazon Slashing their Affiliate Commissions (Update)
Just this year, Amazon, one of the largest retailers and affiliate networks, announced that they will be reducing affiliate commissions for a number of different categories beginning April 21st, 2020.
Which comes as nothing short of disastrous and upsetting for many. As many affiliates rely on these commissions to supplement their income.
But it’s important to remember that within these hardships, we can always find opportunity! Which is why I wanted to share with you a list of +70 Affiliate Programs you can take advantage of today. This list consists of various products (which you may very well be using) belonging to different niches, many offerening handsome commissions (much better than amazon)—in an effort to help you expand and diversify your income streams.
Final thoughts on affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is most definitely not dead! It’s an industry that has seen continuous growth over the years and will only continue to do so as internet usage increases! Meaning there are tons of opportunities out there! You just need to be willing to put in the work!
And yes while there are certainly many people who are making thousands of dollars online each month, it’s important to remember that the majority make little to nothing! Which is why it’s important for affiliates to treat their online businesses as real brick and mortar businesses! Meaning provide value to the marketplace, extend reach, and profit!