Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? Complete Guide

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Last Updated on October 23, 2022 by Chris Panteli

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

Affiliate marketing began over 30 years ago. During the 90s, it was quickly adopted by big brands, including Amazon. 

As the internet grew, so did the earning opportunities and the 2000s saw a boom in many industries, including affiliate marketing. 

Here we are now, and the possibilities, thanks to modern technology, are seemingly endless! One question remains.

Is affiliate marketing dead?

I can tell you that affiliate marketing is neither dead nor dying! Here’s why.

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

Affiliate marketing is far from dead. If you are an affiliate marketer or you’re planning to start an affiliate marketing business, go for it!

Making money online from the affiliate marketing industry has changed significantly from those humble beginnings in the early 90s.

To be a successful person in the affiliate marketing world you must be capable of learning new techniques. A successful affiliate marketer today must understand social media, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google Trends, and much more!

If you can master the affiliate marketing world, then you could earn enough to live life however you please!

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4 Awesome Reasons Why Affiliate Marketing Is Alive and Well

Affiliate marketers will tell you that the affiliate market is booming! Let’s see why they are right.

1. What The Numbers Show

Understanding the numbers is the best way to know how worthwhile affiliate marketing is. In the US, the affiliate marketing spend in 2017 was a staggering $5.4 billion! 

In 2022, data compiled by Statista shows the US is expected to see an affiliate marketing spend to reach a whopping $8.2 billion!

Reasons Why Affiliate Marketing Is Alive and Well - a graph showing affiliate spending

That’s an insane amount of money! Affiliate marketers are in high demand to satisfy the continued growth of the digital marketing industry.

Not only is affiliate marketing worth continuing to grow each year, but the numbers are high in other areas too.

Google Trends shows a steady rise each year for the search term “affiliate marketing”. This could be businesses looking to grow their affiliate program or affiliate marketers looking for new opportunities. Either way, it’s another data point that proves affiliate marketing is far from dead!

affiliate marketing google trends graph

2. Retailer Engagement With Affiliate Marketing

Retailers need an online presence if they want to grow or maximize profits. One of the world’s biggest businesses, Amazon, has the Amazon Associate program. However, even small operations usually have an online presence and an affiliate marketing program to boost sales.

Although a retailer must pay affiliate commission, it’s often worth it thanks to the extra sales and traffic they receive.

One report confirms 90% of online merchants believe affiliate marketing to be a crucial element of their internet marketing strategy.

These numbers clearly show how important affiliate marketing still is.

Not only is affiliate marketing growing each year, but new affiliate opportunities become possible too.

Influencers are increasingly becoming more important in the affiliate world. One affiliate marketing trend is to work with influencers that use geo-location. This means small businesses can target potential customers in the local area.

The rise in the popularity of influencers leads to another growing trend. Brands of all sizes are turning to so-called nano-influencers and micro-influencers. 

A nano-influencer has up to 10,000 followers on social media and a micro-influencer has up to 25,000 followers. 

Platforms like TikTok and Instagram give room for these smaller influencers to earn a recurring commission from affiliate content. Businesses love these smaller influencers as they are cheaper than influencers with larger social media followings and usually passionate about the niche. That passion translates into the influencer being more authoritative which can drive more affiliate sales.

4. Amazon Affiliate Program

Amazon runs an affiliate program that currently accounts for an incredible 46% of the affiliate network.

As an Amazon Associate, you can earn up to 12% commission every time someone makes a purchase on Amazon via your affiliate link.

Put another way that’s a potential $12 to you for every $100 spent! 

How to Make $4k-$5k per month CONSISTENTLY with the Amazon Affiliate program in 2022

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As an affiliate partner, if you can drive traffic to Amazon using your affiliate website and that leads to $100,000 worth of sales each month, then you could earn as much as $12,000 in one month! 

How Has Affiliate Marketing Changed?

How Has Affiliate Marketing Changed?

Affiliate marketing has seen plenty of changes and innovations since the early days of the internet. Here are some of the biggest changes.

The rise of display ad revenue

Once upon a time paid ads were almost exclusively bought by large brands. These days paid ads are extremely common. Services like Google AdWords make it easy for affiliate marketers to place a Google Ad anywhere on their affiliate site, blog, product review, or other channels.

How third-party cookies affect affiliate marketing

Cookies are small files that are created when you visit a site. A third-party cookie is a version of a cookie created by websites to sit on sites that you visit. Primarily, a third-party cookie is used by advertisers and analytics platforms to gather more data. That data can then be used to create more targeted advertising.

Cookies are a key part of affiliate marketing and other types of content marketing. Third-party cookies let brands track users on multiple sites and use that data to build a bigger profile of the user.

Affiliate marketers provide an affiliate link that is tracked by third-party cookies. When a customer uses the affiliate link to make a purchase, the cookie traces it back to the affiliate marketer and makes sure payment is made.

The change to third-party cookies will not affect affiliate marketers because the cookies are used to track website visits, not individual users. The use of third-party cookies will allow websites to track users across multiple websites, which will provide more accurate data about website use. This data can be used by affiliate marketers to determine which websites are most effective for advertising.

Affiliate marketing alternatives

There are some great affiliate marketing alternatives that use a lot of the same skills needed for building a successful affiliate marketing business.

Freelancing as a writer, marketer, SEO specialist, or other skill is one option. There are many freelancing platforms online, like Upwork, that allow talented people to connect with businesses needing specific skills. This can lead to a full-time career in some cases!

Dropshipping is another way you could use your existing skills. You choose a product to sell and create an online storefront to sell the product. The neat part is that you don’t have to buy or store any stock. The manufacturer handles packing, shipping, and returns. All you do is sell the product!

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Combining affiliate marketing with other monetization strategies

If you’ve built an affiliate site, you could explore other ways of monetizing the site to boost earnings. Putting display ads on the page can be a great source of additional income.

You could use your site to sell your own products. These could be digital or physical products that you sell directly to visitors to your site.

Starting a YouTube channel is another innovative way to monetize your traffic. You could create videos that are linked to a related article. Visitors to your site can be directed to your channel boosting views quickly. 

More views mean more ad revenue from YouTube. Don’t forget that affiliate links can be promoted on YouTube which means another way to earn those commissions!

Tips for Successful Affiliate Marketing

Tips for Successful Affiliate Marketing

Is affiliate marketing dead? No, it’s not! However, to be successful and earn a good affiliate income you need to be prepared to put in some hard work. 

Here are some top tips to help you become a successful affiliate marketer.

Pick a niche

Promoting a wide range of affiliate links covering diverse categories is not recommended. That’s because you will not be considered an expert or authoritative source for the products you are promoting.

Choosing a niche is the best way to gain dedicated followers and build a network. Understanding the fine details about an industry comes from dedication to that industry.

By becoming the top affiliate marketer in a specific niche, you will unlock opportunities with merchants and potentially earn more!

Not all merchants are trustworthy. If you’re not careful you could promote an affiliate offer that takes customers to a scam merchant. Doing this would destroy your reputation and means you could end up earning nothing!

Take the time to check the merchant thoroughly before promoting their affiliate links. A good rule to follow is that if you wouldn’t buy it yourself, then why would anyone else!

Build a network

Life as an affiliate marketer doesn’t have to be a lonely one! Join online groups to build a network. If you are new to affiliate marketing this can be an excellent way to learn.

Staying on top of trends and new ways to grow your affiliate marketing business is much easier when you are in touch with others. Sharing knowledge means everyone can benefit!

Data is king

Gather every piece of data you can to track your progress. All Clicks, conversions and sales should be tracked.

Google Analytics, Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

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There are lots of programs that can do this for you. Google Analytics is one or you can find your own. Tracking and monitoring this data is essential to seeing what works and what doesn’t.

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What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when businesses pay a commission for someone to promote their product or service.

Bloggers, influencers, affiliate marketers, and others specializing in content marketing create content using various channels to promote the affiliate product. Thanks to this traffic source, businesses make more sales and pay a commission to the affiliate marketer.  

How can I be a successful affiliate marketer?

Earning a passive income from affiliate marketing could mean you think the hard work is done. However, to keep earning, you must keep your affiliate site up to date and relevant.

It’s vital that you keep up to date with marketing trends as they can change in an instant. Watch out for the trends mentioned above and new ones in the future. That way, you can always stay ahead of the competition!

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Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

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