Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? Or rather, change its shape entirely?


Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? Probably, will it disappear? Don’t hardly think so, let's discover in this article. Make sure to read it till the end.

Affiliate marketing came into existence back in 1989 and started to gain steam throughout the 1990s.

Companies like CDNow and Amazon were early adopters of the revenue sharing trend, and associate programs continued to become more popular in the following years.

By the time Web 2.0 came around, affiliate marketing was a widespread trend and many more channels were opened up through things like blogs, web forums, and a variety of social media sites.

While affiliate marketing was a success for many people over the years, we now find ourselves wondering if the technique is dying, or even completely dead.

Many people have seen their affiliate marketing programs fade out, and a good number have gotten out of the business altogether because they are no longer making money.

But do these extreme cases really mean that affiliate marketing is completely dead or will affiliate marketing die?

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

The simple answer is that affiliate marketing is not dead, but it has changed drastically over the years. You can no longer rely on the most basic affiliate marketing programs to make money.

Those who want to earn an income through this technique need to be creative and willing to adapt to new trends and ideas.

Related Topic : Affiliate Marketing For Dummies: This Is What Professionals Do

The Numbers

While it may be more difficult to succeed in the world of affiliate marketing these days, the numbers actually show that spending on affiliate marketing has consistently gone up since 2015.

In 2015, Americans spent 4.21 billion dollars on affiliate marketing, and it has gone up every year since then, with an estimate of 6.82 billion dollars being spent in 2021.

Clearly, people are willing to continue to spend money on affiliate marketing, even if it is becoming more difficult to breakthrough into the marketplace.

According to Google Trends, "affiliate marketing" has constantly been a fairly common search term.

Affiliate marketing trends

It is still widely popular, with 81% of brands using affiliate marketing to push their products into the public eye.

On top of this, 20% of publishers use affiliate marketing to generate revenue on a yearly basis.

Many publishers use social media to tell stories about their products, and this serves the affiliate marketing industry well.

The global affiliate marketing sector is worth approximately $12 billion, so it seems that it is still widely popular and insanely profitable.

According to statista and the source, the U.S. affiliate marketing spend is due to reach 8.2 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, up from 5.4 billion reported in 2017.

Affiliate Marketing spending 2020

In 2017, over 170 million transactions were made through affiliate marketing programs, and more affiliate marketing links garnered more than 5 billion clicks.

The numbers for the previous two years aren’t out yet, but it’s easy to see that this still remains a very popular way to boost sales for any brand.

Approximately 90 percent of merchants assume that affiliate marketing is essential to their digital marketing plan. (Source: Rakuten Marketing)

The biggest industries that are currently utilizing affiliate marketing techniques are the fashion industry, sports and outdoor activities, and health and wellness.

Fashion accounts for 19% of affiliate marketing activities, while sports make up 15% and health and wellness make up 11%.

While these are the big three, there are many other industries that use affiliate marketers and that have seen major increases in revenue and exposure because of their programs, around 83%.

Affiliate marketing spending worldwide is projected to reach $15.2 billion by 2024. This represents a significant increase from previous years, highlighting the ongoing demand for this marketing strategy. (Source: Statista

Over 80% of brands currently leverage affiliate marketing programs. This widespread adoption demonstrates the continued relevance and effectiveness of this approach. (Source: Invesp)

Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?

It is clear to see that affiliate marketing is not going away any time soon, and that it is actually growing at a steady pace.

However, many may still wonder if affiliate marketing is really worth it.

Can a company really rely on outside marketers to increase their sales and boost their profitability? Is there any advantage to affiliate marketing over direct marketing?

Can you really make money if you want to become an affiliate marketer?

  • The commission rates for Amazon Associates programs differ amid 1% and 10%. (Ryan Robinson)
  • BigCommerce rewards affiliates a 200% commission payment for the customer’s first recurrent payment. Affiliates also get until $1,500 for each project customer. (Ryan Robinson)
  • ConvertKit gives a recurring 30% commission every month for every customer.
  • The biggest players in affiliates are Amazon Associates, VigLink, CJ Affiliate, SkimLinks, Rakuten, ShareASale, and Awin.

Not a Get Rich Quick Scheme

The mistake that most people make is in thinking that affiliate marketing is some sort of get rich quick scheme that will have you earning thousands of dollars a month with minimal effort.

If that were the case, even more people would be participating in the business.

However, this is not how it works, and if somebody tells you that you can easily get rich from affiliate marketing, they are not to be trusted.

Affiliate marketing takes a lot of time and effort and requires patience and plenty of training.

Much like any other business, there is a steep learning curve and it is not likely to result in automatic profit just for signing up to be an affiliate marketer.

One must work hard with the brands they are representing, and it is necessary to build a wide network of customers and followers.

Anybody getting into affiliate marketing should consider that it is going to take time and effort.

They can’t expect to simply enter the marketplace and replace the income of a full-time job.

Because affiliates get paid on commissions for every sale that they refer, they need to spend a lot of time building a network and reaching out to potential merchants.

If you already have connections in a certain industry, this can be a major benefit, but it is not a guarantee that you will get a large amount of conversions. I

if done right publishers still generate a lot of money using affiliate marketing.

Related : 9 Ways To Increase Affiliate Sales!

From a Merchant Standpoint

The merchant is the company or person who creates and owns the product or service being sold. When they use affiliate marketers, they give them a commission for every sale that comes through their channel. 

While nobody ever wants to pay extra money, affiliate marketing can definitely be worth it for these merchants.

Affiliate Marketers can open merchants up to a group of followers who never may have heard of the product without them.

You can also read : Can You Really Make Significant Money Using Affiliate Marketing?

Although they are paying a commission on any sales that come through the network, it is worth the money because these are sales that might have never been made with the marketer.

In essence, it’s almost like a finder’s fee. The company doesn’t have to spend any extra on their own marketing efforts and can simply pay their affiliate marketers on a contingency basis.

This can save them money on payroll and benefits, as these marketers are not full-time employees, but rather affiliates who get to share the revenue when a sale is made.

The numbers clearly show that most brands (84%) utilize some sort of affiliate marketing program.

These companies range from mom and pop shops to Fortune 500 companies, so there must be some benefit to using affiliate marketers.

Even if they only make up a small percentage of a merchant’s sales efforts, they are still being utilized in a big way.

Affiliate Marketing Spending Is Growing

Affiliate Marketing Spending Is Growing

Even with all the challenges you might face in becoming a successful affiliate marketer today, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it's still a popular and viable way to make passive income online.

  • Global affiliate marketing spending is expected to reach $14.3 billion in 2023, up from $12 billion in 2022. E-commerce's rising popularity, the rise of social media influencers, and the expanding use of performance-based marketing strategies are some of the factors driving this growth.
  • Affiliate marketing offers a number of advantages over other forms of online income generation, such as low startup costs, flexible work hours, and the potential to earn passive income. This makes it an attractive option for many people, especially those who are looking for a way to supplement their existing income or create a new income stream altogether.

Of course, success in affiliate marketing requires hard work, dedication, and a strategic approach. However, with the right mindset and the right tools, it is possible to build a successful affiliate marketing business and achieve your financial goals.

Affiliate Marketing Best Practices

Affiliate marketing is certainly not dying, but it is becoming a more competitive industry that requires a lot of knowledge and hard work.

For those who became affiliates early in the game, they may be lucky enough to have a network in place that won’t require them to change too much.

But those looking to get into affiliate marketing for the first time, whether as an affiliate or as a merchant, need to be realistic and set certain goals for themselves.

It is important to realize that it is not likely to become an immediate success in the affiliate marketing world.

There are many brands and many marketers who already have a stranglehold on certain sectors, and it is going to take some creativity and hard sales effort in order to start to make a name for yourself.

Here are some tips for running a successful affiliate marketing program in modern times.


  • It's growing: Affiliate marketing spending is expected to hit $15.7 billion in 2024, showing it's a major player in the online advertising world 
  • It's adapted: Successful affiliate marketers today focus on building trust with an audience and offering genuine recommendations, rather than just chasing quick sales.
  • It's competitive: There are challenges, like keeping up with algorithm updates and audience preferences. But with the right approach, there's still plenty of money to be made.

Find a Niche and Stick With it

You may think that trying to promote as many products as possible will give you the best chance to succeed as an affiliate marketer.This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your best bet is to choose a single product or a narrow range of products.

In order to successfully market to fans and followers, you need to be knowledgeable and passionate about the items that you are promoting.

It is very difficult to learn the ins and outs of dozens of different industries and to understand the advantages of hundreds of products.

If you are interested in fashion, consider reaching out to fashion companies and offering to become an affiliate.

Fashion, however, is a broad industry that is made up of thousands of different products. Try to find a specialty such as makeup or jewelry.

The more you can narrow down your field, the more expertise you will be able to gain, and this will help you market yourself to future merchants.

Read more : Top 9 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

Vet Your Merchants Thoroughly

Although you are ultimately trying to sell yourself as an affiliate marketer, you want to ensure that you are working with reputable merchants who provide quality goods and services.

If you direct your customers to a subpar merchant who sells them low-quality products, they are not likely to use your channel for purchases again.

Be sure to have in-depth conversations with potential merchants and to ask any relevant questions about their products.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t offer to promote any items that you wouldn’t use for yourself.

The ultimate goal is to increase sales and keep customers happy. The more you do that, the more return business you will get.

Don’t be a Loner

Although you may like the idea of working independently as an affiliate marketer, it is important to remain open to the idea of learning from others.

You can attend networking events or reach out to other affiliates in your field to learn a thing or two about the business. There are also many classes available on affiliate marketing, both online and in-person.

Affiliate Marketing In 1 Day: Home Business Success

Although they might cost a bit up front, they are likely to teach you some of the skills that you need to become a successful affiliate, which will end up paying for itself.

Always keep your eyes out for ways to learn more about the program, and you will likely become better at it.

You might also consider bringing team members into your affiliate marketing campaign.

While you may want to keep all the commissions to yourself, working with a team can help your outreach program and is likely to garner more clicks and conversions.

If you can expand your customer base, you’ll still be earning more money, even if it is being split amongst the team.

Don’t Get Discouraged

discouraged in affiliate markering

It can be easy to get into a funk if you haven’t started making money right away or if you are having trouble finding merchants to work with.

It’s important not to let this get the best of you and to remain optimistic throughout the process.

Look at each failure as a learning experience and try to figure out what you can change to do better next time.

Affiliate marketing is not an easy job, but there is a lot of potential reward for those who stick with it.

Track Everything ( Aka Data )

In order to know what is working and what isn’t, you should be tracking everything that you are doing in your network.

This means measuring clicks, conversions, and sales of every one of the products that you are promoting.

There are different software programs you can find to do so, and many affiliate sites even offer their own, I suggest Voluum or google analytics. 

Just make sure that you are being diligent in tracking everything that you do so that you can focus on improving the things that are working and eliminating the things that aren’t.

Diversify Your Sources

It should be obvious that you shouldn’t just stick to one traffic source to promote your products or services.

If you have a website ( If not check this guide ) , it’s a great start to promote on that, but you should also consider other avenues for your outreach.

Think of social media – you can reach out to many potential customers through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

If it exists online, you should consider using it as a way to market your products.

You might also consider paying for some services like Google AdWords or Facebook Targeting.

These can go a long way in helping you identify your target audience and in garnering more interest in the things that you are promoting.

When you find the right people to market to, you increase your chances of making a sale and decrease the number of inefficiencies that occur throughout your day.

Taking advantage of marketing tools is a great way to become a successful affiliate marketer and hope now that we answered : Is Affiliate Marketing Dead ? 

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap