Affiliate Marketing is dead

by HostPython 177 replies
Hi,
Just wanted to share my journey of affiliate marketing and how it has changed.
I started my affiliate marketing venture 13 years ago in 2004. It was not planned, I started my hobby website about graphic designing and quickly learned that money could be made through advertising.

First I tried Google adsense, but the revenue was low. Later joined a few programs under CJ and was impressed by the high percentage of commission. After trying few promotional pages on my existing website and getting impressive rewards. I quickly started developing dedicated niche websites. The income started to grow as my websites were gaining positions on search engines. After 4 years of starting this business, I reached the peak income, I was making over $30,000 per month in profit with over 100 websites.

After 2008, it all went downhill. Merchants I was working with started to reduce commission and cookie duration. Some highly converting merchants even closed their programs. I now get 30% of what I used to get because of reduced commissions and cookie duration. There is not a single store that hasn't reduced commission and cookie duration. This is just merchant side, the other end "search engines" is another story. 2008 is the year search engines started targeting affiliates. Your website could be penalized just for having an affiliate link. A lot of my websites were targeted.

I started to adapt and kept myself in business until now. Every year, the profit margin is narrowing, and I expect to go out of business soon as hosting and domain cost will exceed commissions. I made just $700 profit last month which was shopping season.

All the people I know who were doing affiliate marketing full time have moved on to other businesses or day jobs. Even my beloved affiliate community Abestweb which I joined in 2005 and where I was a moderator has closed down last year.

Overall I have made about $2 million from affiliate marketing, and since I started this business when I was just 18 and never did anything else, Finding a new line of work will be challenging.
Thankfully, I didn't blow it all and invested some money which turned good rewards. I can stay unemployed for the rest of my life if I choose to.

I don't think affiliate marketing is completely dead, but its extremely difficult now and not worth the effort as the rewards will be minimal because of low commissions industry wide and organic rankings are now dominated by big players. You can make more money flipping burgers at McDonalds than wasting your time at affiliate marketing.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #affiliate #dead #marketing
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  • Profile picture of the author rknuppel
    I think this really depends on the niche you are in. It's certainly not like it was in the "good ole days" but there is still money to be made in certain areas online. Thanks for your input!
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  • Your niche perhaps. But I disagree you can make more money from a day job
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    I disagree. I promote PPL (pay per lead...lead generation) offers and there is tons of money to be made/is being made. I have also been doing it for 16 years and the ROI isn't as high as it was when I first started, but what is. You need to adapt or as others have said, maybe it is your niche.
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    • Profile picture of the author yeoww1978
      how to do PPL ?
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    • Profile picture of the author Rory King
      I've just started with pls mate do u do ok from it?
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    • Originally Posted by DIABL0 View Post

      I disagree. I promote PPL (pay per lead...lead generation) offers and there is tons of money to be made/is being made. I have also been doing it for 16 years and the ROI isn't as high as it was when I first started, but what is. You need to adapt or as others have said, maybe it is your niche.
      Agreed, I'm too in the PPL business and it's still alive and kicking as far as I'm concerned.
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    • Profile picture of the author Productpromo
      May i get the Marketplace for Home Improvement Leads?
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  • Profile picture of the author phenomix
    Dead? Tell that to Pat Flynn.
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    • Profile picture of the author NicolasDevDes
      Originally Posted by phenomix View Post

      Dead? Tell that to Pat Flynn.
      Exactly man!
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    • Profile picture of the author hammadsaeed
      Originally Posted by phenomix View Post

      Dead? Tell that to Pat Flynn.
      Yes plz tell him
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      Do or Die!!! That's Life!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author HostPython
      Thank you everyone for your replies, I didn't expect such strong response. I've read every reply and its packed with some good advise.

      I think I chose wrong title for my post as I never implied that AM is dead in my post. I said that its now more difficult to make big money in this business. The title was more of a rant than fact. Of course AM can never die as long as there are online stores and buyers.

      But personally, I think its no longer worth the effort to work more and earn less with mounting problems facing this business model. As you grow older, you want to progress, not retreat. Since I've extensive SEO and marketing skills, I think starting my own store will be right option. That way I can choose my own percentage per product and lifetime cookies that don't require tracking. Of course it will present with different harder challenges, but in the end I will have a brand with returning customers and I could be truly my own boss.
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  • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
    All I know is I started building my list in 2010, and the bigger my list gets the more money in affiliate commissions I make. I see a steady sales increase every year. About 3 years ago the growth slowed, as it did for most.

    Still, my bottom line improves a little every year. I need to add more leads to my list now than before to hit higher sales, but that's just the way it is.

    List building in the niche I'm in has simply becoming a numbers game. So, you just adapt and overcome. I constantly discover new ways to add leads to my list and go for it. As long as email marketing exists I'll NEVER get a day job. I'm 42 now so I doubt I'll ever work a day job ever again.

    As far as Affiliate Marketing being dead?

    Not even close...
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    • Profile picture of the author revjoe
      Amen to that.
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      Keep the faith and never give up!

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    • Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

      All I know is I started building my list in 2010, and the bigger my list gets the more money in affiliate commissions I make. I see a steady sales increase every year. About 3 years ago the growth slowed, as it did for most.

      Still, my bottom line improves a little every year. I need to add more leads to my list now than before to hit higher sales, but that's just the way it is.

      List building in the niche I'm in has simply becoming a numbers game. So, you just adapt and overcome. I constantly discover new ways to add leads to my list and go for it. As long as email marketing exists I'll NEVER get a day job. I'm 42 now so I doubt I'll ever work a day job ever again.

      As far as Affiliate Marketing being dead?

      Not even close...
      What are your 3 - 5 best methods for list building?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricky Parker
    I don't think they flip burgers at McD's. I believe they put them in some sort of magic box and they come out all cooked in shit.
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  • Frankly I think its pretty hard to make serious income with aff marketing now.
    It can be a nice model for newbies to gain some experience.
    But these days it's hard to call it a serious and legit business.
    For people that have all this experience it's better to take it and build your own funnel and products.
    Doesn't even have to be in the mmo niche cause its a crappy niche.
    Teach real businesses with real products and services how to market their stuff better.
    Sure it takes more time but it's a more serious model.
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by Alex Leizerovich View Post

      Frankly I think its pretty hard to make serious income with aff marketing now.
      It can be a nice model for newbies to gain some experience.
      But these days it's hard to call it a serious and legit business.
      For people that have all this experience it's better to take it and build your own funnel and products.
      Doesn't even have to be in the mmo niche cause its a crappy niche.
      Teach real businesses with real products and services how to market their stuff better.
      Sure it takes more time but it's a more serious model.
      I don't agree at all.

      I definitely don't think MMO is a "crappy" niche, either. It's an absolutely MONSTER niche that THOUSANDS of marketers are making an absolute killing in. MMO gets a bad rap because it's the niche that is filled with the most bad actors and for lack of a better word, sleazeballs. That does not mean, however, that everyone in the MMO niche is like that or the niche itself is bad. Some people have done the wrong thing with that niche and it's been given a bad reputation.

      I've been in the niche since 2007 and I've done and am still doing extremely well at it. If you work it ethically not only will you will do well, but you will be able to stay in the niche for as long as you want. Rip off artists and con men get outed pretty quick and they don't last very long in the niche at all.

      Also, it's simply not true that you must have your own products.

      I think you need to have extremely good list building funnels, but as long as you are constantly increasing your list size then you will always be able to do extremely well in the MMO niche.

      I make 95% of my money from affiliate sales.

      I'm more than happy to let someone else toil over creating a product for weeks and then I wake up in the morning, spend about 15 minutes crafting a well written email, send it out, then make money all day while I pretty much just do whatever I feel like.

      Call me lazy if you want. Wouldn't bother me one bit.

      The funniest thing is that I have been using the SAME EXACT FORMULA for the past 10 years and yet I log onto this forum almost every day and read threads about how doing this is harder and that's harder and this is dead and that's dead, etc, etc, etc.

      Nothing has changed. The formula stays the same. And it goes a little something like this:

      Create an awesome lead magnet and set up an effective funnel. Drive targeted traffic to the funnel. Build a list of prospects who want what you're selling. Mail out affiliate products that help them solve their problems or achieve their goals. Wake up in the morning and find out you made $200 while you were sleeping.

      You want to know what I think has changed? I think the people have changed, not the business.

      For instance, five years ago this forum was absolutely packed with super successful affiliate marketers and product creators and list builders and there was loads of amazing information available here for free (and it still is, if people would learn how to use the "search" function). Today, not so much. Just the same old people asking the same old questions OVER AND OVER AND OVER!

      You want to know what's changed? The people. They don't want to work. They don't want to sit in front of their computer for 12-14 hours a day 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

      Well GUESS WHAT? That's what it takes to be a successful affiliate marketer.

      That's what I did, and that's what the up and comers of today are doing. And THAT'S why they are succeeding and most of the newcomers here are not.

      It doesn't happen in a week or a month, or maybe not even a year.

      It took me almost three years of incredibly long hours of boring work and thousands of dollars in failed experiments before I found success. I was simply NOT willing to fail. That was not even a possibility in my mind. I simply HAD to succeed. I wanted it SO bad.

      Yes, it's not as easy as it was a few years back. I'll admit that. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't work.

      It simply means that people need to work HARDER than before!
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    • Profile picture of the author Urushie Flame
      Originally Posted by Alex Leizerovich View Post

      Frankly I think its pretty hard to make serious income with aff marketing now.
      It can be a nice model for newbies to gain some experience.
      But these days it's hard to call it a serious and legit business.
      For people that have all this experience it's better to take it and build your own funnel and products.
      Doesn't even have to be in the mmo niche cause its a crappy niche.
      Teach real businesses with real products and services how to market their stuff better.
      Sure it takes more time but it's a more serious model.
      I think so too. Build a funnel and choose a products
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11082081].message }}
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