Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? A Must-Read Guide

There is a whole lot of discussion going on in the forums, blogs, and social media platforms about whether or not affiliate marketing is dead and how long it is going to last.

And you know what’s so funny? This discussion has been going on since the day people got to know about the business model of affiliate marketing.

Every time people find something new, regardless of that being affiliate marketing, blogging, or podcasting…there are always some people who say that everything is dead.

So, what’s the reality then? Are those people correct? What’s the clear answer?

Is affiliate marketing dead? Affiliate marketing is not dead and it has been growing rapidly over the past few years, and is likely to grow even more in the future. Over 80% of the brands use affiliate marketing to grow their businesses and the percentage is only going upwards.

Yes, you read that absolutely right. Affiliate marketing is not dead for sure and as a matter of fact, it is the business model of the twenty-first century.

Large companies like Amazon, eBay, Shopify, WordPress, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and so many others are utilizing the power of this business model to scale their growth to the next level.

Also, publishers and content creators are doubling down on affiliate marketing to generate consistent income as it opens loads of new opportunities for monetization to support the overall economy.

Just to give you some context, In the United States alone, the affiliate marketing spend has grown tremendously over the past decade.

Affiliate Marketing Spend In The United States

YearAffiliate Marketing Spend (USD)
20101.6 Billion Dollars
20112.1 Billion Dollars
20122.5 Billion Dollars
20132.9 Billion Dollars
20143.4 Billion Dollars
20154.2 Billion Dollars
20164.8 Billion Dollars
20175.4 Billion Dollars
20185.9 Billion Dollars
20196.4 Billion Dollars
20206.8 Billion Dollars
20217.4 Billion Dollars
20228.2 Billion Dollars
(Data From Statista)

As you can see, the growth has been massive. This was just for the United States. Now let me show you what’s happening all around the world.

Growth Of Affiliate Marketing WorldWide

I was just looking for some resources and suddenly it hit me that why not do a Google Trends search and see how the growth has been around the globe.

The results were as expected. As you can see in the screenshot down below, the search interest for affiliate marketing is only going upwards especially in the last decade.

Is affiliate marketing dead? Growth of affiliate marketing

This actually proves that affiliate marketing is not dead at all and it has always been growing ever since it started.

And what’s important for you to know either as a publishers, affiliate marketer, or a merchant/brand is that just because there’s a hype around ‘the end of affiliate marketing’, you can’t blindly believe it and lose the confidence.

The trust is, it is a pretty hot topic and it always has been a great topic for some ‘gurus’ to capitalize on.

One of the people I admire a lot is Gary Vaynerchuk. What he says is that everything works the way it should, only people don’t work. And that’s the end of the story.

If you constantly work on the crat and implement the right strategies, affiliate marketing is never going to die as long as you will be alive. Fair enough?

Is Affiliate Marketing Safe?

This question always makes me laugh so hard. I have been in the affiliate marketing industry for quite a while now and I can’t just believe people search this.

The business model is as safe as any other traditional business out there on the planet. All you do in this business is connect the person who needs the service to the person who provides the service…and in between, you get a cut of the money whenever a transaction happens.

There’s no rocket science or something dangerous with this business. In fact, you are actually helping people when you recommend some helpful affiliate products or services to them.

Let me answer this once again pretty quickly with a straightforward question and a straight-to-the-point answer.

Is affiliate marketing safe? Affiliate marketing is a completely safe and strong business model that helps people find what they are looking for innovatively. Every time someone makes a purchase through an affiliate link, the merchant/brand gives a small cut of the money to the affiliate.

Frankly, that’s what it is all about. It is not unsafe at all.

Is Affiliate Marketing Legal?

This is another popular question people keep on asking every now and then. If you have read this article till now, you know that it is a legit business model.

But I can’t ignore the fact that there are a lot of scammers out there on the web who make it look like it’s not legal.

Before answering this question, you should know that there’s no such business model that can make you rich in a single night (excluding some exceptional cases). There are a lot of people here and there on social networks and search engines, claiming to teach you the business model of affiliate marketing to make millions of dollars without doing any work or having any skills.

That’s simply not true at all. Affiliate marketing does require skills, it does require patience, and it does require hard work just like any other business model requires.

I apologize for not directly answering the question but it is something important to know for you as a beginner. Now, let’s come back to the question…

Is affiliate marketing legal? According to the laws in the United States and almost all countries around the globe, affiliate marketing is considered a legit and legal business model that helps marketers, as well as brands, generate streams of passive income.

Just think about it, if it would have been illegal, huge brands like Amazon, Google, Apple, and Netflix wouldn’t be doing it.

Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable?

First of all, there is not a specific answer to this question. This varies from person to person and company to company.

On the other side of the table, if you want to know whether or not you can make some good money through affiliate marketing, then the answer is a big yes!

If you have read this guide, you know how Pat Flynn and thousands of other affiliate marketers make thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars every single month through affiliate marketing.

This time, I will answer your question with some numbers so that you can get some context and motivation at the same time.

Is affiliate marketing profitable? Affiliate marketing is profitable if an affiliate executes the process strategically. According to the stats, 48.36% of affiliate marketers earn $20,000 per year and 3% earn over $150,000 per year.

So, if you put in the work, it is profitable, if you don’t, it’s not!

Is Affiliate Marketing A Pyramid Scheme?

According to Wikipedia, Pyramid Scheme is a business model where members are recruited via a promise of payments or service for enrolling other new people into the scheme.

On the other hand, affiliate marketing is a business model where an affiliate recommends certain products or services to other people and whenever someone buys the product or service, he ends up making a small or big percentage of money (commission) from the vendor’s side.

As you can see, the two business models are completely different and affiliate marketing is not a Pyramid Scheme.

Affiliate Marketing Isn’t Changing, It’s Evolving

You will again see a lot of people talking about how affiliate marketing is changing and how it is becoming more and more ineffective as time is passing.

Well, that’s not the case. Affiliate marketing isn’t changing, it’s evolving. Just like any other business model evolves, this business model is evolving too.

And the good thing is that if you have always focused on helping people with no wrong intentions, affiliate marketing will never change for you.

What generally happens is that people come up with ‘new strategies’ that are temporary and when it’s no longer effective, they claim that affiliate marketing has changed.

If you focus on the following, affiliate marketing will never change for you and will always be a profitable/legit business model;

  1. Provide free value to people
  2. Build a loyal audience across various channels (Blogging, YouTube, Email, Social Media, etc.)
  3. Provide valuable information consistently
  4. Don’t try to steal money from your audience
  5. Care about your traffic
  6. Recommend products that are helpful instead of the ones that pay more
  7. Have honest intentions
  8. Work hard and smart at the same time
  9. Keep evolving

Some of the things might feel a bit generic but that’s just the truth you can either accept or keep doing what the ‘gurus’ teach you.

What Is The Future Of Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is going to be quite different in the upcoming years. Not a lot, but quite a bit. But if you are asking how long affiliate marketing will last…then the answer is, affiliate marketing is not going anywhere anytime soon and has a bright future in the world of internet and internet marketing.

If you are getting started with affiliate marketing as a beginner, there are a few things you will want to pay attention to considering the future of affiliate marketing. Let’s have a look at them;

  1. Building a brand is going to be more and more important
  2. Mobile market is going to rise
  3. Shady traffic and sales techniques won’t work
  4. More focus on audio and video content will get better results
  5. Ecommerce affiliate marketing will rise
  6. Affiliate marketing agency business model will rise

These are some important points you need to take notice of regarding the future of affiliate marketing.

In Conclusion

If you have read this article, you already know how much of an effective and efficient business affiliate marketing is.

Affiliate marketing is not dead and it is not going to die or end anytime soon. As long as marketers and brands keep evolving and consolidating their strategies and intentions (which they will), the business model is going to be as effective as it was and is.

Focusing more on quality and quantity for publishers and content creators is going to become highly significant.

I hope you found some value in this post. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to jump into the comments section down below and let me know what you think.

Also, consider checking out this post to know about the major affiliate marketing mistakes beginners usually make.

[FAQs] Frequently Asked Questions

Is affiliate marketing growing?

The affiliate marketing industry has shown tremendous growth over the past few years and it is continuously growing as time is passing.

How long affiliate marketing has been around?

The concept of affiliate marketing has been around on the internet since 1989.

Has affiliate marketing changed?

Affiliate marketing hasn’t changed. It’s evolved just like people and businesses have.

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