Is Affiliate Marketing Dead in 2021? Read My Postmortem

 Is affiliate marketing dead?

Good question. Want the quick answer?

If affiliate marketing was dead I wouldn’t be writing this blog post. That’s a simple fact. If I wasn’t successfully making money through blogging, this idea wouldn’t have even popped onto my radar.

Also, I wouldn’t need to say things like: I’m an affiliate marketer and this article contains affiliate links. If you follow them and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

The truth is, affiliates the world over have had so much success in the past 5-10 years that the trade is growing rapidly.

If someone told you that affiliate programs are dying, I”d say they’re 1) misinformed or 2) misleading you to avoid competition or 3) trying to drive you towards picking a different business model. 

The reason I’m writing about this is because I’m a moderately successful affiliate marketer, and I’ve connected with many who make their entire living that way. If you want to get started doing business online, it’s one of the easiest ways to start making money.

Don’t believe me? I spell it out in my article on affiliate marketing strategies. Check it out!

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the practice of selling goods or services owned by others in exchange for a commission. A commission is usually a percentage of the price, and can range quite literally from 1% to 100% depending on the type of product and the vendor.

If you want to get started making money online, I think finding a few good affiliate programs to promote is one of the best ways. It’s easy enough that I essentially fell into it by accident.

I started a blog because I love writing. A few of my posts started ranking on Google, and that got me wondering if I could make money from the traffic.

Including affiliate links in my posts is simply the easiest way to generate income from the people who visit my website. It’s certainly easier than starting a digital marketing agency!

How Do You Make Money as an Affiliate?

Let me suggest an example. You likely followed a search engine to this article, or maybe you clicked a link on social media. Now I’m going to recommend that you check out my GrooveFunnels review. GrooveFunnels is a marketing software that has a “free for life” tier, making it incredibly easy to promote.

You might as well check out the review for GrooveFunnels, and sign up for a free account. Why wouldn’t you? It’s free, and you could potentially make some money by using it. Maybe you’ll like using it so much that one day you’ll decide to upgrade to the premium version.

If you did that, I would earn a commission. That’s how you make money as an affiliate – or rather, that’s how I make money as an affiliate.

There are a number of different strategies you can use to promote products in just about every niche. I recommend you check out the article I linked above if you’re a do-it-yourself type. If you’re interested in one one one coaching, you can apply for a free strategy call at that link.

Does Affiliate Marketing Work in 2021?

It does work, but because the trade is becoming slightly saturated, you really need to find a way to be different. You can definitely make money on Clickbank, for example, if you know what you’re doing.

My main play is being more open and honest than my competitors, and it’s working pretty well so far. I also focus on creating the best content possible, so that people will have a reason to stick around and come back.

But this business model definitely works, if you work it. I know quite a few people who are doing this successfully, and all of them are hustling. It’s like anything else, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. If you try to cheat, scam, or otherwise hoodwink people into buying through your link, you probably won’t last long.

Why Do Affiliates Fail?

With more and more people taking up this trade, it’s inevitable that the number of folks who fail and quit will rise as well. If it seems like a ton of people are dropping out, it’s probably because they “learned” from a “guru” who didn’t teach them a sustainable array of marketing techniques.

For example, some marketers – even those who aren’t affiliates – tend to rely too heavily on a single skill or platform. You might be the most ninja Facebook ads master in the world, but if you get banned at the business manager or personal account level, you’re pretty much screwed.

And account bans are far from the only bad thing that can happen to business owners. Some people just don’t quite understand how to handle adversity without throwing up their hands and saying “well, I tried” and moving on to something new. If you can stick it out longer than those folks, you’ll probably succeed as a marketer.

man talking to affiliate marketing skull

How to Spot Fake Gurus

The easiest way to know someone is a phony is when they claim that their unique method is the only way that works, or that it’s the best way by far. Many “mentors” have earned absurd amounts of money selling programs and courses that only teach a single skill. 

Now, take what I’m staying with a grain of salt. You need to use your judgment. For example, a course about YouTube SEO is not a scam because it’s teaching a “single skill”. For one thing, YouTube SEO requires a number of skills. It’s a specialization within digital marketing, but it’s still a fairly broad one.

But, if someone comes to you and says that all you need to do is make product reviews on YouTube, they’re probably a fake guru. Why? Because making product reviews exclusively is not a great way to build an audience. I publish product reviews on YouTube and my blog, but I would never focus on that exclusively.

You certainly can make money on YouTube just by posting product reviews, but anyone who understands the platform would teach you to create a more diverse range of content.

Who to Trust

Trust no one!

Races off into the night.

But seriously… trust yourself. And if you really need someone else’s advice… you can trust me.

What’s that?

You want a list of my top affiliate programs?

You got it.

12 Minute Affiliate System – Clickbank-based affordable affiliate training program.

Personal Affiliate Marketing Mentoring – High ticket one-on-one coaching.

GrooveFunnels – FREE funnel builder.

Aweber – FREE email marketing.

Rebrandly – FREE link shortening.

GetResponse – Email marketing for affiliates.

ConvertBox – Best on-site messaging software.

Kimp.io – Amazing graphic design service.

MobileMonkey – FREE chatbot platform.

About Alex

Digital and affiliate marketer - helping you build the business in your brain.

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