Well folks, we made it to 2016! I’ve only been an affiliate marketer since 2009 and I’ve only been full-time since 2011, but even in that relatively short amount of time this industry has changed in some serious ways. So, what is the state of affiliate marketing in 2016? Is this a healthy industry, or is it in decline? Well, that depends…
Affiliate Marketing Is Collapsing For Small Site Owners
The internet is growing by the day, and as it does, smaller sites are being pushed deeper and deeper into the search results. The main objective for sites like Google is to please the people who are using their search engine. If Google delivers high quality results, people will keep using their search engine, which means Google gets to make billions in profits through their display advertising network. Unfortunately for many, Google doesn’t really care about any individual website or business. Google only cares about what searchers want.
So, what do searchers want these days? They want it all. They want high quality articles, they want video, they want audio, they want slideshows, but most importantly of all, they want TRUSTED sources in search results. Gone are the days where people were happy to shop on BobsStore.com. Gone are the days when people are fine with getting their information from “Lisa’s Blog.” Gone are the days when people didn’t care how a website looked or functioned. Those days are gone.
So, basically, the majority of affiliate marketers that are doing very poorly are those who have failed to adapt. Back during the so-called “glory days of affiliate marketing” from 2005 to 2010, it was as easy as creating a 10 page website with a bunch of affiliate links. Back in those days, those sites would rank quickly and be earning 10’s of thousands of dollars or more within’ months or even weeks! Those days are gone, and those who fail to recognize that will be left in the dust.
Affiliate Marketing Is Collapsing For Black Hat SEOers
As I mentioned in a previous post, black hat SEO does still work in 2016 and it will continue to work for many more years to come. With that said, it’s becoming much more difficult to pull off. Back during those “glory days” of affiliate marketing, all people had to do is optimize a page in a certain way, then go to a link building service to send thousands of links to that page on their site and bam… it would rank. But, you guess it, those days are gone.
It will probably always be possible to game the search engines, trick their algorithms, and “cheat” your way into top rankings. The problem is, Google is getting smarter and smarter at detecting those who try to trick their way into rankings. Many affiliate marketers have seen their businesses decline literally overnight because they got caught trying to cheat. Are you willing to live with that kind of stress? And if so, how long do you think you can get away with it? Black hat SEOers are quickly becoming a dying breed, simply because the amount of time it takes to successfully use black hat strategies can simply be applied to white hat strategies instead.
Affiliate Marketers Are Growing Up
With so many small sites not doing well, you would think affiliate marketing is a struggling industry. It isn’t. In fact, 2015 saw a renewed surge in companies investing into affiliate marketing. But how could this be?
The industry is growing up. The affiliate marketing industry has developed a horrible reputation due to all of the shady tactics that many affiliate marketers have used in the past. From promoting very low quality products and services to creating websites that were nothing more than sales brochures, the industry has finally be forced to change.
The way to really succeed at affiliate marketing in 2016 is to become a trusted source of entertainment, information, or something else that is actually useful to others. Affiliate marketers in 2016 will be more focused on creating quality for their site visitors rather than simply trying to push affiliate sales.
The affiliate marketing industry has needed this to happen for some time and it finally is happening. Major companies that pulled their affiliate programs years ago are reinstating them, because the industry has finally grown up. There is still work to do, but we’re getting there.
How To Compete With Affiliate Marketing Competition In 2016
I’m going to be blunt here… Affiliate marketing is getting HARDER not easier. As I said earlier in this article, people searching on the web want to get their information from a trusted, established, and authoritative source. It’s nearly impossible to build a trusted, established, and authoritative source in weeks or months. Reaching that status can take years.
So what is a brand new affiliate marketer to do in 2016? START NOW!!! It’s not gong to get any easier in 2017, so there is really no reason to wait a second longer. When you are starting from scratch, the thought of building a large authoritative website can seem impossible. While it’s not impossible, it is not an easy feat. The trick is to not look at the skyscraper you’re about to build. Instead, just lay one brick at a time. Today you can lay your first brick. Will you have a completed structure next week or even next month? Absolutely not. But what about in one or two years? The point is, you need to start now. We are still in the middle of “the good old days” of affiliate marketing. Don’t miss the boat, because the engines are fired up and the boat is ready to leave you behind.
The Most Successful Affiliate Marketers Are Those With Patience And Faith
Affiliate marketing has almost no barrier to entry. Anybody can start an affiliate marketing business at any time with almost no specialized knowledge and virtually no start-up capital. That can’t be said for other start-up businesses. You don’t have to quit your day job, you don’t have to risk anything other than your time, and you can work on your business from anywhere.
That’s why the biggest barrier to entry for affiliate marketing is time and patience. New affiliate marketers are expected to work their butts off for 1 to 2 years, just in the HOPES that they might make money later on. That’s a tall order, and not an order most people can fill.
Those who will truly succeed in affiliate marketing are those who are patient enough to work a minimum of 10 hours per week, every week, for 1 to 2 years, without receiving a single paycheck for their efforts.
But there’s some good news… Once you do start to earn some revenue and once you do create a high quality, trustworthy, authoritative site, you have a passive income maker that will continue to make you more and more money for years to come. Many millionaires have been make through affiliate marketing for those who had the self-discipline to stick it out. There’s no reason you can’t do the same thing. The real question is, do you have the patience? Be real with yourself here. If you don’t, then this isn’t the industry for you. That’s the straightforward truth.
So, What Is The Overall State Of Affiliate Marketing In 2016?
Affiliate marketing in 2016 is stronger than it has ever been. It is true that there aren’t nearly the number of affiliate marketers in the industry as their used to be, but that’s because the focus has shifted. Affiliate marketers have much more expected of them and that has created a more ethical industry overall. While most of the smaller affiliate marketing companies have gone to the wayside, larger affiliate marketing companies have seen tremendous success in 2015. For the new affiliate marketer, a crucial time has come. It’s now or never. While the industry as a whole is very strong, that means it’s more difficult for newcomers to find success. It’s not going to get any easier as we go into 2017. We are almost at the point of no return for new affiliate marketers. Will you make it in time?