Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

André Ruud
Updated: 12/11/2023
3 min read

Affiliate marketing saw rapid growth in the 1990s after its inception in 1989. CDNow and Amazon, two industry forerunners, were early beneficiaries of revenue sharing. Affiliate marketing has become increasingly common as a result of the proliferation of Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, forums, and social media.

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?
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While it’s true that affiliate marketing has been more competitive in recent years, the figures reveal that expenditure on affiliate marketing has increased year over year since 2015.

Affiliate marketing earned a total of $4.21 billion in U.S. dollars in 2015, and that number is expected to rise to $6.82 billion by 2021. Even though it is getting harder to enter the market, it is clear that people are still eager to invest in affiliate marketing.

The term “affiliate marketing” has remained a popular one, as seen by Google Trends. Affiliate marketing is still very popular, with 81% of firms using it to promote their products.

Additionally, 20% of publishers rely on affiliate marketing as a primary or secondary source of annual revenue. When publishers use social media to share product stories, it benefits the affiliate marketing sector.

According to estimates, the affiliate marketing industry is valued at almost $12 billion worldwide, proving that it is still hugely successful. Affiliate marketing in the United States is expected to bring in $8.2 billion by 2022, up from $5.4 billion in 2017. This is according to Statista and the source.

Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?

Affiliate marketing continues to evolve and thrive within the realm of digital advertising. Affiliate marketing seems like a good idea in theory, but many people and businesses aren’t sure if it’s worth the time and effort. When it comes to increasing sales and expanding profits, how much faith should companies put on external marketers? How does it compare to other forms of marketing, specifically direct mail?

Is It “Easy Money”?

One prevalent misunderstanding is that affiliate marketing is a “get rich quick” scheme that can be used to quickly amass a lot of money each month with little work. A widespread belief that this is a goldmine would imply that many more people are taking advantage of it than is actually the case.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative business, but claims of easy money should be met with a fair dose of skepticism.

Affiliate marketing is a serious business that requires time, energy, and expertise to succeed.

Not for the Weak-Stomached

Affiliate marketing, like any other kind of entrepreneurship, has a steep learning curve. Signing up as an affiliate and waiting for the money to come in is not how it works. To achieve success in this area, you must:

Brand Loyalty: In order to be an effective brand advocate, a marketer needs to develop a deep familiarity with the brand’s values, products, and customer base.

Consistent Effort: If you enter affiliate marketing thinking it will provide you with a steady revenue stream without putting in the time and effort required, you will be sorely disappointed.

Commissions: Commissions earned by affiliates are proportional to the volume of sales they generate. Forging and maintaining connections with consumers is essential, as is persistently reaching out to potential retailers.

Affiliate marketing can be advantageous for people who already have a foothold in a certain industry and a wide network of contacts within that industry. Even under such circumstances, though, one cannot count on an instantaneous avalanche of converts.

Affiliate marketing, in sum, can yield significant benefits, but only if you go into it with your eyes wide open and your time and energy reserves fully committed. The benefits can’t be fully realized till then.

Want to start with Affiliate Marketing

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