Affiliate Marketing Is Dead – Say What!

Affiliate Marketing Is Dead – Say What!

I can’t count how many times I get asked the question, is Affiliate Marketing Dead? The reason that I am writing this post was spurred on by a question I received through a forum that I contribute to. A member on Quora asked me if it was too late to start affiliate marketing? I am going to answer that question for you right now.

Let’s Start With What Affiliate Marketing Is

If you didn’t already know, Affiliate marketing is the promotion of online products or services for commissions. An affiliate marketer will enter into a contract to market an online merchants products or service for a pre determined commission.

Why You Would choose Affiliate Marketing

The benefit of being an affiliate marketer is, you don’t touch or carry any inventory. You don’t facilitate sales, you simply direct traffic to your affiliate products using an affiliate link that identifies you as the person responsible for bringing that customer to the merchants website.

Usually cookies (  your affiliate id) goes with your traffic from your content or promotion to the merchants offer. Cookies are good for 30 days in most cases, sometimes this can be longer depending on the merchants desire to sweeten the pot to get more affiliates. I have seen 90 day cookies which is pretty nice. If that potential customer lands on another affiliates site and uses their link, you lose out. The last affiliate link used recieves the commission if a sale is made.

You get no commission if a sale isn’t made. This is why there is usually a 30 day window for your affiliate cookie. If a customer takes time to think about their purchase, as long as that customer comes back within that 30 day window with your affiliate link intact, you will get credit for the commission if that sale goes through.

Contracts that you enter into with online merchants aren’t your usual contract.  Affiliate contracts are in place to ensure you are using ethical methods to drive traffic to the online merchants products or services for the most part.

An affiliate contract isn’t anything binding in the sense that you are locked into promoting a merchants product or services.  If an online merchant changes conditions on you, such as commission structure, payment methods that you don’t like, you simply move on. You have no commitment to the online merchant, other than to follow their guidelines for promoting their products or services.

Why Affiliate Marketers Are Important To Online Sales

There are literally thousands of online merchants and more coming every year as they start to see the opportunity that bringing their offer online presents.

Online retail sales continue to rise year over year. The US Commerce Department stats show that online shoppers spent $517.36 billion online from US online merchants in 2018, up 15.0%  from 2017. The trend for dollars spent through online shopping continue to increase at an insane rate and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

There are more and more people buying online with more and more merchants opening online storefronts. The problem for merchants is still the same as it was 10 years ago when online shopping was really starting to roll.

Online merchants are struggling to get exposure for their products or services online. Amazon for example accounts for roughly 40% of all online sales in the US, even with that exposure, Amazon still uses affiliates to promote products. Selling online is becoming even more competitive and online retailers are looking for every advantage they can get over their competition, using affiliates gives online retailers that advantage!

Using Affiliates Makes “Cents”

As I mentioned earlier, online retailers use affiliates to get their products and services maximum exposure, a presence in the niche that their product or service speaks to. An online retailer would need to expend considerable resources and energy to market their own products online using in house marketing or contacted out marketing services , with no guarantee of sales. Online retailers of all sizes use affiliates for this reason

Affiliate marketers get paid only if a sales transaction occurs, in other words, this offers a guaranteed sale for the online merchant. Affiliate marketers push hard knowing that they only get paid when the retailer gets paid. You can start to see why online merchants like using affiliate marketers and why affiliates are needed more than ever.

Online Retailers Have Limited Contact With Their Affiliates

One other reason online merchants love using affiliates is, they are completely hands off when it comes to dealing with affiliates. Many online retailers use affiliate market places to take care of  the promotion of their product/service.

Affiliate market places like ShareAsale, Commission Junction, Market Health, Rakuten, Amazon Affiliate Program, Clickbank, ImpactRadius, Partnerstack, Refersion Makretplace, Awin and Avangate offer online retailers a hassle free way of promoting their offers online.

There are lots of affiliate programs offered by online merchants that are run by affiliate managers or independent affiliate management contractors. Online merchants really have very little to do with affiliate management, all they do is sit back and count the money from their online sales. The biggest risk that online merchants have when dealing with affiliate marketers is the risk that an affiliate will tarnish their brand by using less than ethical marketing techniques, this is why they have contracts to ensure their brands are protected.

If Affiliates Are Needed, Why Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

We have gone through what purpose affiliates serve and how important they are to online retail sale for merchants. So why are people asking if affiliate marketing is dead?

There’s really a simple answer to this.

In the old days, yes, when I first started out, affiliate marketing, just like the internet, was a different animal all together. Affiliate marketing has gone thorough many changes as the internet and online shopping evolve. The people who are saying that affiliate marketing is dead are the affiliate marketers who wouldn’t or didn’t change. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are, if you don’t believe in the old adage “the only thing certain in life is change,” then you will eventually be sitting on the outside looking in.

I can tell you from experience, affiliate marketers who think they can throw up crappy sales funnels, cheesy one page sites or offer completely bias product reviews and still make a killing like they used to, are just fooling themselves. Online shoppers are more informed and savvy than ever.

Over the years as the internet has grown so has the access to knowledge and information. Having access to all this new information has made online consumers more knowledgeable. The people who are providing this information to consumers are the people who have the best opportunity to facilitate a sale.

Is Affiliate Marketing As Profitable As It Used To Be?

Affiliate marketing for some is even more lucrative than it used to be, for others, it’s definitely less profitable. There are good reasons why some affiliates are still making great affiliate commissions and some are starving themselves out of the game.

For affiliates to find success moving forward they need to establish themselves as experts in their niche, they need to have the ability to persuade an educated buyer that their knowledge is superior and their opinion can offer value and be trusted. Affiliates that are struggling need to start putting the effort into learning all they can about their affiliate products and also learn how to leverage their new found knowledge.

 Invest In The Right Training!

If you want to stick around and play in the affiliate marketing sandbox, or get started in affiliate marketing, the you had better be prepared to get some decent affiliate marketing training. Not just any training, affiliate marketing training that will prepare you for what participating in affiliate marketing in this day and age requires.

  • An affiliate marketing training that teaches you how to create engaging, SEO friendly content, content that will rank high in search engines.
  • Training that sows you how to write informative and un-bias product reviews
  •  Training that will teach you how to use social platforms to leverage your content
  • A training platform that can teach you how to create ebooks for free giveaways to build your email list
  • Offers training that shows you how to build a blog that fosters visitor engagement, looks professional and has a good flow
  • Training that teaches you how to build a brand for your self
  • Training that re-enforces the need to build trust, be ethical and demonstrate expertise


There’s not enough time in this post to list all the training that you should look for in a good affiliate marketing training platform. Here’s some info I created to help people find the best affiliate marketing training platform.

If I could Tell You One Thing!

In my 10 or so years working as an affiliate marketer, I have seen quite a few changes to how affiliate marketing techniques have adapted so that one could keep generating income. What I have noticed is of late is, there is a big emphasis on putting as many high priced tools in your tool box so that you can get that edge over other affiliates. In my opinion you are missing the mark. The one tried and true method of achieving continuous affiliate commissions is by investing time where it should be invested, that is in providing your niche audience with engaging, thought provoking and informative content, it doesn’t take a big tool box to accomplish this!

I hope you enjoyed this post and encourage you to leave me your questions and comments below, have a good one Mike.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *