Affiliate marketing has been a good money-making strategy for thousands of people across the world for more than a decade now.
However, in recent years, it seems to be plummeting in the eyes of many.
Does that mean affiliate marketing is dying slowly or it is even already dead?
Well, I will be discussing this topic in length and showing you the real situation of it at the moment and what its future looks like.
So let’s jump right in.
Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?
To give you a brief answer to what I will discussing deeply here, the answer to this question is, affiliate marketing is not dead, but it is definitely evolving.
The many concerns that have been raised about the alleged death of affiliate marketing are from two categories of affiliate marketers.
First, it is the newbie affiliate marketers who have given the opportunity a shot for a few months, say 2 or 3 months, and haven’t been able to make anything substantial out of it, if any.
The second category is the fairly experienced affiliate marketers who had been earning plenty of commissions from it but suddenly their income seems to be decreasing and heading towards $0.
Both of these categories can raise serious arguments based on their personal experiences in regard to this subject. And yes, it might appear that affiliate marketing is dying or dead according to them.
But there is a reason this is happening to them.
See, for the beginners who only try it out for a number of months and then quit, they fail to understand that affiliate marketing is quite a unique and completely different experience for every affiliate out there.
There are those that have been able to make money within a few days, some a few weeks, some a couple of months, and others, after a couple of years.
And what happens is, many of the beginners who quit had been promised they would make money in no time, which is very misleading.
Affiliate marketing takes time.
Some people get lucky and earn in their early days but it is not the same for everyone.
So you need to give yourself a time frame of about 6 to 12 months to build the foundation of your affiliate business and gain trust with your audience and the search engines so that you can make money out of it.
If you quit because of this a few months or weeks ago, or you have lost faith in affiliate marketing after someone you know and trust told you this, or for any other reason, I encourage you to read my beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing.
It will answer many of your questions and give you the right perspective on what affiliate marketing is all about and what is expected of you to make it work.
The other people who have been discouraged by the online business to the point of believing that it could be a fading opportunity or an already faded one, are those who have had their best income days with it flash in front of their eyes.
These people were making great monthly commissions and then that went downhill overnight.
How did this happen, you ask?
Google algorithm updates.
Yes, whenever Google rolls out an update, hundreds of thousands of top-performing websites lose 50% to 90% of their traffic instantly and this affects these websites’ ability to get to the top positions again.
Google is always doing their best to make sure that good quality content that is correct and reliable from authority websites is well ranked.
And to be such a website, there is a lot of work that is involved.
You also need to be working with the right strategies.
Now, many of the websites that lose their traffic are those that Google algorithms find to be using the bad and unaccepted practice to rank.
Although websites that work with the right strategies at times get affected too, they get back up again without much effort.
Bad strategies, also known as black hat methods, include spamming links, building black hat backlinks, and other ways of tricking Google into thinking you are an authority site when you are not.
Some people do this knowingly and others, unknowingly.
Well, that is what happens to these sites.
I, myself, have seen a huge drop in rankings with the Google Panda and Penguin updates.
But after learning what the updates are all about, I have learned to evolve, make changes that Google recommends and my websites have always recovered.
Also, by building my website with the aim of providing the best to my readers and following Google’s approved methods of optimizing websites, it becomes easy to withstand the updates or be hurt a little and lose about 10% to 20% of the traffic instead of 80% to 90%.
So, it is a matter of learning to accept the mistakes you have done, correct them, and get back up.
As you do this, you evolve to be a better business you are proud of and which search engines like Google considers worthy of good rankings.
In essence, affiliate marketing is an evolving industry and if you are not evolving too, you will be left out, as many affiliates have been, who says it is longer an existing business model.
Let’s take a look at the recent affiliate marketing statistics and see why I am saying that the craft is worthwhile and very much alive and thriving.
The Recent Statistics on Affiliate Marketing
The statistics I am about to show you for affiliate marketing will give you an idea of how affiliate marketing has been performing over the years and its current state.
Have a look and judge yourself if affiliate marketing is really dying or otherwise.
Firstly, if you check the trend of affiliate marketing in Google Trends, you will notice that it has been growing in the last few years.
Although from 2012 to 2015 a number of people may have stopped working with it, you can see that from 2016 to date it has been growing in a huge way.
This shows that many more people have been getting interested and actively involved in it in the last 4 years and the number looks like it will keep growing considering the development of technology and people having more access to smartphones and being able to make online purchases easier and faster than the previous years.
Secondly, research reports by Statista have shown that affiliate marketing spending in the United States alone has been rising steadily.
Back in 2017, the spending was 5.4 billion dollars and the figure has been increasing over the years.
In fact, it is estimated by 2020 the spend will be about 6.8 billion dollars.
That is about 1.2 billion dollars spike in a span of 3 years.
Now as we all know, businesses are meant to bring profit, and all their expenses are well calculated and minimized to increase the profits.
If businesses are putting more money into affiliate marketing as the years go by, according to the statistics, it only means that this form of marketing is proving to be more profitable for the businesses.
And it is if profitable, you can be sure that they will be willing to spend even more on it.
Also, Inc has said that a recent survey has revealed that 90% of the advertisers found that affiliate programs were proving to be useful in their overall marketing techniques.
Research reports from Business Insider Intelligence have also shown that 15% of the revenue from the digital media industry comes from affiliate marketing.
This goes to show that affiliate marketing, considering we are in the era where the online technology is at its peak, is a profitable marketing strategy that is rewarding companies and increasing their popularity faster than they thought possible.
Affiliate Marketers Who Have Succeeded And Still Are Succeeding
Other than the statistics, we also need to go to the ground and see how it is like for regular affiliate marketers. Are there any affiliate marketers who are making good money or are they all seeing a sharp decrease in their earnings and their business performance?
If affiliate marketing was in fact dead, then it means there wouldn’t be anyone who is making money with it. If it is dying, it means affiliates are seeing their income reduce as the months go by which may indicate that the affiliate marketing business strategy is no longer worthwhile.
However, if people are making money and their incomes are increasing every month, it shows that it is a thriving business for those who know how to work with it.
Let’s take a few examples of affiliate marketers and see how this whole thing is working out for them.
First, we look at DollarSprout, which is a finance-based affiliate website that has been around for about 5 years now.
This is a well-established website that is making good money per month that is run by two friends, Jeff Proctor and Ben Huber.
They have another website called Breaking The One Percent where they publish their income reports of DollarSprout.
If you take a look at their recent income reports, you will notice that when they started back in 2015, they were not making a dime.
In fact, they didn’t get to make anything up until April 2016. And when they made their first sale, they only got $0.29 in commissions.
However, you can see that from there, they increased the income massively and in January and February 2019, they made more than $150,000 per month.
Their income has been growing through the years and there is a chance that right now they are getting over $200,000 per month.
Second, we have Matthew Woodward who runs a blog for helping people get started with blogging.
The blog started making money in 2012.
In August 2012, the income reports show that he made about $600. In the following months and years, the monthly income has been soaring.
The last income report he published was in December 2017, where he had made a little over $25,000 for that month.
Third, we have CreateandGo, a website that is dedicated to helping people succeed with blogging.
According to their income reports, the website wasn’t making any money in 2015. Their first income was about $170 which was in January 2016.
4 years down the line, they are making more than $100,000 a month. In April 2020 alone, they made $200,000.
Fourth, we have Smart Passive Income (SPI), which is also another website that helps entrepreneurs succeed. The income reports for this website to back to 2008.
Patt Flynn, the owner of the website made $7,900 in October 2008.
His income reports in December 2017 show that he made more than $100,000 in that month alone.
You can also look through the income reports on the website from 2008 to 2017 to see the growth.
Lastly, there is Making Sense of Cents, a finance and Lifestyle blog run by Michelle.
This website was still active in 2011 and by 2017, it was getting more than $1,000,000 per year.
This equates to about $83,000 per month. There is also a good number of individual monthly income reports of over $100,000 with the same website.
Many of these websites make much of their income from affiliate marketing. They have stopped publishing the income reports though due to many reasons, mostly security reasons.
Affiliate Marketing Seems Very Promising in The Coming Years
With the few examples of successful affiliate marketing websites I have offered here, you can see that affiliates have been succeeding and continuing to grow online as some leave and others continue to lose trust in it.
And please note that these are only 5 examples. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites, bringing in more than $100,000 in commissions every month.
These are people who know that affiliate marketing really does work and made a life long commitment to building out their businesses to where they are now.
They gave themselves time, invested their efforts and money to improving the performance of the sites, and kept grinding to the point they have reached.
I believe you have seen that most of these websites started years ago and with no commissions at all for the first few months and years.
But through the years, they made their first sale and things pretty much snowballed from there through their consistent effort.
If these people have been in the industry for this long and their earnings have been increasing with time, is it possible that affiliate marketing is dead? When they are increasing profits through the same strategy?
Affiliate marketing is not dead and is nowhere close to dying.
In fact, it is getting to its peak at the moment.
Think about it, the improvement of technology has helped millions of people across the world have access to smartphones and the internet at cheaper prices than it previously was.
Many more countries are also taking up and getting used to the idea of online purchasing.
So it means that even more people will be buying products online than any other year in the past, which makes affiliate marketing more relevant and essential than before.
So if you are considering getting into affiliate marketing, there has never been a better time to do it than now.
How to Make Affiliate Marketing Work For You
So how do you also succeed in affiliate marketing? How do you get to establish yourself in the way you have seen with the other successful websites and get to earn more than a full-time income from it?
Well, the plan is simple yet it requires a determined person who thinks long term.
Someone who doesn’t want to make money in the next 3 to 6 months but seeks to create a strong foundation through that time, which will help them make thousands of dollars every month after that.
Yes, you may make a few dollars in a few days, weeks, or even a few months but your main aim is not to make money that time but to work on creating a reliable, trustworthy, and authoritative brand.
If you are ready to do that, then here is how to go about it.
Getting Started Completely From Scratch If You Are New
If you are just stepping foot in affiliate marketing and you don’t know much about it, I encourage you to read my comprehensive beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing.
This guide will introduce you to the basics and help you understand the various options that you have when doing affiliate marketing.
It will also help you take the first few basic yet important steps to get started.
The guide is simplified and easy to work with and you will have a fairly easy time putting it into action.
Getting Back Up If You’ve Failed And Almost Gave Up
Before anything else, I am sure you are now convinced that affiliate marketing is alive and kicking.
I also hope that you have accepted that you may have been using the wrong strategies in the past which accounted for the failure.
If not, don’t worry. By getting back into it and succeeding, you will soon come to realize your previous mistakes. 🙂
So, what you need to do is this.
One, if you have not gotten any affiliate marketing training, this is the time to invest in one.
It will open your eyes to many things and acceptable practices that will bring you back on your feet.
Two, if there are any black hat methods they were using in the past, you need to stop and detach your website from them, if you can.
That will take away the penalty on your website.
Three, invest in good quality content that aims at helping rather than selling.
If you can write high-quality pieces of content yourself, do it. If you cannot, hire top-notch writers to do it for you.
Four, invest in website optimization practices that are acceptable by search engines.
If you know them, apply them in the best way possible.
If you don’t know any, look for people who are skilled and hire them, or invest in a course that will help you learn them properly.
Five, keep grinding.
Work harder than ever before. Create the best content in your niche and optimize your website better than anyone else.
Be consistent and never ever give up.
Please don’t forget or ignore anything I have said.
And if you follow those steps, you will see the fruits of it in good time and you will have yourself (and of course me, lol) to thank later on. 🙂
In summary, affiliate marketing is not dying. Neither is it dead.
It is actually growing faster than ever before.
With the recent statistics, it is clear many companies are investing in it even more.
While it is a good alternative marketing strategy for companies that also use offline sales and marketing, there are other companies that use it as their only marketing strategy and it pays off quite well.
This means that there is a chance affiliate marketing is here to stay for the next few decades to come and many more firms will be taking it up in the coming years to help them boost their sales.