Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?
When researching something new, like a way to start your own business, it is a good idea to look at the pros and cons of it. For those of you that are researching affiliate marketing, you may have come across people on the internet saying affiliate marketing is dead and not worth doing. So, is affiliate marketing dead? No it isn’t, keep reading to find out why.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
I am going to describe affiliate marketing with an example.
Sarah has just go her annual bonus and decides that wants to buy some new skis. In particular, she wants some freeride skis. She has heard about the ZAG SKI UBAC 102 and likes the sound of them, but wants to learn more, so she googles them.
You have written a review on the skis on your website, giving details about all the advantages and disadvantages and suggesting who they would be suited to.
On the back or your review, Sarah decides that she wants to buy the skis. At the bottom of your review, you have a link that will take her to the online store for her to buy them.
The link is on the blue button above. But it is an affiliate link, which tracks clicks and sales from your website. When Sarah buys the skis, you get a percentage of the purchase price. My guide on how to start an affiliate marketing website goes in to more details about the steps you need to take.
Of course you don’t have to write about skis. You can base your website around pretty much anything, but you do have to choose a good affiliate marketing niche for a better chance of success.
What The Neigh Sayers Think
During your research in to affiliate marketing, you will see people saying things like:
“affiliate marketing is dead“
Affiliate marketing is not dead, it is getting more and more popular. This is because everyone involved benefits from it. The customer gets reliable and information about purchase decisions, the publisher (you) gets rewarded for their efforts and the seller gets targeted advertising and only has to pay out once a sale is made.
“affiliate marketing is a saturated market“
Affiliate marketing is a process of selling products and services, therefore it cannot be a saturated market. A market becomes saturated when there are too many people selling a certain product. As affiliate marketing is a method of selling, rather than an actual product, it can’t possibly be “saturated”.
“affiliate marketing is a scam“
Affiliate marketing is not a scam. It is a legitimate way of making money online. However, there are scammers involved with affiliate marketing. These scammers will be trying to sell you poor quality courses on how to start an affiliate marketing business. Therefore, you need to avoid fake gurus and choose a trustworthy source for your information, such as Wealthy Affiliate.
Check out my blog “Does Wealthy Affiliate Really Work?” for my warts n’ all review.
These kinds of comments come from people that have failed in their affiliate marketing business or trying to get you to buy their course for a different way of making money online.
The Truth About Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an excellent business model that has many benefits including:
- Flexibility over your workmen hours
- You can work from anywhere
- It is cheap to start
- It has a huge earning potential
But there are a few things that you need to know before you decide on starting an affiliate marketing business.
It Takes Time
Many people fail with affiliate marketing because they give up too soon. Affiliate marketing is a slow burner and takes months before you even make a penny. Sometimes, it can take up to two years before you start to see any significant money coming in. There are a few reasons for this:
- The learning curve – The techniques you need to use when building an affiliate marketing business are not particularly complicated. However, there are some things you need to learn and incorporate your new skills in to making your website visible to as many people as possible.
- Creating content – You need to create quality content that is SEO friendly and also engages with your audience. It takes time to do this properly, as it needs to be done in a certain way to appease the Google gods to make sure it is put in front of the right people.
- Mistakes – I know from experience that mistakes are made. Sometimes these mistakes are not obvious and can take a few months before you notice them. But this is all part of the learning curve. As long as you don’t make the same mistakes again, you are making progress.
- Google algorithms – When a new website is launched, Google places it in what is known as the ‘sandbox’. It sits there for about four months until it has proven itself to be a good source of information to Google users. While in the sandbox, it is difficult to rank highly in people’s searches. But once it is out of the sandbox, content can be at the top of Google searches within an hour.
Content Is King
Your content is what people are looking for and it needs to be helpful. This is because people want solutions to problems. Their problem can be that they are wondering what product to buy or how to do something. Therefore content can be:
- A blog post about a personal experience and you can recommend products and services to your readers
- A guide on how to do something with a suggestion of a product that will make their life easier
- A review on a particular product or service
- Comparisons of different products are popular, as people usually are trying to decide between products. By writing a detailed comparison article, you can help them decide which product is best for them
This is not an exhaustive list, but you get the idea. You can incorporate all of these content types in to whatever niche you are working in, be that a travel blog or a health and fitness website.
Creating content that people are looking for is essential to your affiliate marketing success. If you just start writing what you think people want to read, you are shooting in the dark. Therefore, you need to do some research in to what keywords people are using in their internet searches. Keyword research will let you know how many people use a particular search term per month. It will also tell you how many other websites use those keywords. This means you will get a good picture of if the keywords you are thinking of are worth pursuing. My guide on keyword research will tell you everything you need to know, so you can Crete content that people want to see, making you money!
Your readers and search engines love it when a website demonstrates that it is active. You do this by consistently posting quality content regularly. Ideally, you need to post something every day, as this builds up your status as an authority figure in your niche.
When you start to get a following, your readers will start to trust you, especially if you are consistent. This means that they are more likely to buy stuff through your website.
By getting educated about affiliate marketing, you will shorten the path to success. This is because you will be able to see a defined road map of what you need to do. You will learn how to do things properly, which will reduce the amount of mistakes you make.
There are a few ways you can learn about affiliate marketing. The first way is to trawl the internet looking for the best techniques on how to do things. The good thing about doing it this way, is that you will. get different perspectives of the best methods. However, some of these perspectives will conflict with each other. This will be confusing, so you need to find a source of information that you trust.
The next way is to listen to one of the many gurus in affiliate marketing. There are lots of people that are experts in affiliate marketing and will be selling courses and eBooks. I’m sure that there are some legitimate ones out there but, I would be cautious before handing your money over.
The problem with these gurus, is that you don’t know what kind of training material you are getting until after you have pated for it. Therefore, you don’t know how good it is. If you decide to go with a guru, make sure you do your research on them to see if they have any good results. Check out my guid on how to avoid fake gurus.
I have already mentioned the third way of learning about affiliate marketing, Wealthy Affiliate. This is my recommended platform and is the one I still use for web hosting, support and up to date training. There is a Free Membership that allows you to get first hand experience of starting your affiliate marketing business. You even get two free hosted websites to play with and to start your business from. I outline what you get in my rundown of the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership.
Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? - No!
As you can see affiliate marketing is not dead and is a legitimate way of making money online. Do you have any questions or thoughts on this subject? If so, please leave them in the comments section below.