The question will affiliate marketing die has been asked for quite a long time now. In fact, I challenge you to Google “will affiliate marketing die” or “is affiliate marketing dead” and I guarantee you that you will see thousands if not millions of articles on this subject dating back years.
The quick answer to that question is no, affiliate marketing will not die. The only scenario I can think of where it dies will probably be a post-apocalyptic world where robots are running the world and there are no more humans. Forgive the dark example but I recently watched I am Mother.
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Affiliate marketing, just like blogging, is here to stay and that for the foreseeable future as far as I’m concerned. It’s true that some major players have fallen by the wayside over the years but does that suggest that affiliate marketing is dying?
Will Affiliate Marketing Die? Making a Case for Affiliate Marketing’s Future
Affiliate marketing has existed for over 30 years and companies like Amazon wouldn’t be the giants that they are today if it wasn’t for the affiliate marketing model. Jeff Bezos has become the richest man in the world largely due to affiliate marketing.
As it stands, they don’t look like they will be giving up this model anytime soon. They recognise its power and will keep it for the foreseeable future even though they have recently revised their commission rates downwards.
The Trends Suggest an Upward Trajectory
When you search Google Trends for affiliate marketing, there is actually growth over the past 5 years in America.
With the world expected to significantly change post-Corona, it’s expected that more people are going to be looking at working from home hence the affiliate marketing industry is actually set to grow.
If you were on the fence regarding whether or not to get on board, this is definitely the time to jump on to the bandwagon.
The Advent of Automation and AI
If you need further convincing about the relevance of affiliate marketing heading into the future, there is a rapid move towards automation and AI in most industries. This means that a lot of people will lose their jobs over time.
Companies will get a greater ROI by utilising AI and robots and will likely outsource a big chunk of their human labour because it works out cheaper for them. They only have to pay for the work and not worry about staff welfare-related payments.
With the world now employing 5G technology on a wide scale, there is now access to extraordinarily high internet speeds meaning that there will be great strides made in implementation of artificial intelligence.
It’s much closer than you would like to imagine.
Affiliate Marketing Has Changed & You Need to Change With It
I have, hopefully, established proven to you that affiliate marketing is not dying but actually on the rise. What has changed though is how it is being done and will be done in the future.
In the early 2000s into the next decade, it was simpler to make a lot of money from affiliate marketing. A lot of things have since changed. A lot more players have come onto the scene and with this influx brought some complexity to the market.
More Discerning Consumers
Among the changes that we have experienced is how more sophisticated the customer has become. Nowadays, consumers are wary of the tricks and even the genuine marketing tactics that affiliate marketers use.
It takes a lot more convincing to get a customer to make a purchasing decision than it used to. The consumer of today has been overexposed to marketing and information online. They have become numb to some of the psychological triggers that marketers apply.
What it has meant is that the affiliate marketer has had to be a lot more deliberate and put more effort in order to make the sale. This does not mean that affiliate marketers are no longer making money.
It means that the tactics used to make a sale have to evolve in line with the sophistication that the customer now has.
It’s partly due to these changes in trends that have led to the “affiliate marketing will die or is dead” mantra. It’s not the industry that’s dead but the affiliate marketer still stuck on old methods which no longer work.
Market Over Saturation
Another major contributor is the large number of new affiliate marketer s who have entered the fray. It has led to an over-saturation of the market due to high levels of competition. Whenever more players come into a market, the pieces of pie become smaller and smaller.
This naturally gives the impression that the industry is dead or dying when in actual fact it has just become more competitive.
There’s still a lot of pie to be had but you have to be a lot more deliberate if you want to get a bigger chunk of the pie.
Some time ago I was studying direct marketing through one of Dan Kennedy’ s courses. In explaining the power of direct mail marketing, he mentioned a term that stuck with me. He said that the power of direct marketing is that you arrive alone.
What does that mean? Well, in today’s marketing environment, the consumer is seriously overwhelmed. There are just too many options out there and you need to be able to stand out from the crowd.
When someone receives your mail through direct marketing and you have managed to get them to open the letter, they are usually settled in their chair at home after work and probably with little to no distractions.
They are able to go through your sales letter, regardless of how long it is. That is the power of arriving alone. There are no other distractions or marketing messages that the consumer is being inundated with.
They are able to give your sales letter their full attention and you, through your sales letter, are able to take them through a journey which will most likely lead to them taking the action that you want them to, if you’ve done your job well.
Through this method, Dan Kennedy’s clients are able to thrive in industries where they are even considered to be overpriced in comparison to their competitors.
In order to compete in today’s affiliate marketing environment and into the future, you need to e able to do the same. How do you do that?
The Solution – Niche Down
In an industry where there are a lot of general store type players, it’s important to be able to niche down and serve a specific customer.
How Niching Down Helps You Make More Money
As mentioned earlier on in this article, today’s customer is very discerning and will make very deliberate buying decisions. Their money will be spent where they are convinced they will get the best return.
Think about it this way, if you have a heart condition, would you rather go to a GP or a heart specialist? I hope some light bulbs are coming on for you.
When you niche down, you are able to become an expert in that industry and not a jack of all trades. Affiliate marketing involves creating content and ads which are designed to make the consumer like and trust you enough to spend their money with you.
This means that before you can make a sale with your client, you need to pre-sell them. Pre-selling involves positioning yourself as an expert and then offering an expert recommendation which is your affiliate offer.
Niching down takes a lot of work and commitment to offering value to your consumer. Let me take a side road here and point out that the businesses that make the most money and grow are customer-centric and not money-centric.
They focus more on how they can help their customer than their bottom line. By so doing, they end up increasing their bottom line. What it all boils down to is that you need to give your customer as much value as possible before you expect them to give you’re their money.
Build a Brand
You need to think along the lines of building a brand rather than building affiliate marketing campaigns spread across multiple niches. When you build a brand, you build an asset that will grow over time with the right nurturing.
It’s an asset that you can even sell especially if you have built systems around it.
Affiliate Marketing & Blogging
One of the lowest barriers of entry ways of building a brand is by setting up a blog. A blog is a great way to offer amazing content while at the same time building your expert authority in your niche and building a community.
This is the path that I would recommend you take:
Pick a Niche
Decide on which niche you want to tackle and whether or not it has income potential. This is super important because you don’t want to build a blog that ends up attracting a lot of traffic but can’t really be monetized.
You want to pick something that is not too narrow and will have long term potential. In light of this, don’t pick a fad as your niche. A good example is fidget spinners. They came, were really hot for a while then faded away.
If you had a niche site for fidget spinners, your site would be dead in the water right now. A good example of a niche would be survival gear or preppers gear. Right now the world is experiencing the effects of the Coronavirus and prepping is a trending theme right now.
Prepping is a good niche to go for I you pick Doomsday Preppers as a niche then write on other subcategories. If, on the other hand, you pick Corona preppers, there is no real longevity but you may experience some spikes in traffic every time a different variant comes along.
This is not a situation that you want to find yourself in. Going for the broader preppers niche though will allow you to get into different avenues of it therefore guaranteeing long term relevance. The lesson here is that even though you want to niche down, don’t go too niche.
Pick your niche right and you’ll be able to make some decent money down the line.
Create Amazing Content
Next up, create some killer content. In the case of blogging, create the best possible article on that subject. You want to do it in a manner where you research the right topics to write about. Don’t go about creating articles that won’t see the light of day because you chose something that’s too competitive.
So, do some research then create amazing content that will add value to your blog visitors.
Build an Email List
Next up, create an email list. This is a time tested strategy of creating an audience that you can monetize down the line. I will not go much deeper in this article but I have written on it extensively on this blog.
Monetize Through Affiliate Marketing
Lastly, monetize your content and email list through affiliate marketing.
Will affiliate marketing die? My answer to that is a resounding NO. It is here to stay and you might as well join the bandwagon.