Affiliate Marketing is Dead? Again?!

Oh, what a disappointment (in affiliate marketing) awaits you, should you entrust your judgement to search engine “autocomplete suggestions”! The pessimism about affiliate marketing — reflected in these most frequent queries —  is merely astounding:

Affiliate marketing is… “dead” and “a waste of time”

Affiliate marketing is… “very hard”

Thousands of successful affiliates won’t even try to convince you otherwise. After all, why encourage/increase the competition?

However, I urge you to read the following three (listed in chronological order):

Being an extremely “cost-effective way for businesses to market themselves”, affiliate marketing is growing and “expected to grow significantly in the next year” [source]. While several years ago only some of the Internet Retailer’s Top 500 merchants had affiliate programs in place, today nearly all of them use this marketing approach. In the UK, affiliates have driven “more than £5bn in e-commerce revenue during 2011”, while in the US the affiliate marketing spend is expected to exceed $4 Billion by 2014 [more here]… No surprise why per Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2011 report, affiliate marketing now ranks as one of the most popular ways to monetize blogs [details].

Don’t let those autocomplete suggestions fool you. Affiliate marketing is worth your most serious attention.

9 thoughts on “Affiliate Marketing is Dead? Again?!”

  1. Geno,

    Great post.

    I’ve found that generally, the people who say affiliate marketing is “dead” simply don’t understand it fully (or haven’t taken the time to understand it). That, or they weren’t serious about making affiliate marketing a part of their business, or serious about being an affiliate themselves.

    This is similar to the people who say direct mail is dead, TV is dead, blogging is dead, and on, and on… etc…

    Thanks Geno.

    1. Joseph, brilliant observation! Thank you for this comment.

      To me, they always fall into one of two groups: either (i) those who do not have a complete understanding of how exactly affiliate marketing works, or (ii) those who are just hoping to stir up things. Neither of these reflects the seriousness (about the subject) which you have justly underscored.

      Thanks again for the great comment.

  2. Hi Geno,

    It’s actually nice to see a little back and forth on the topic because it helps raise interesting discussion and awareness over the issues.

    I didn’t think to do a search in auto-complete, but your screenshots show it’s an even bigger issue than I expected. Thanks for countering with some good sources for people to further understand the topic.

  3. Saying that affiliate marketing is “dead” is like saying that sales is dead or that face-to-face meetings are dead.

    It’s a integral part of online marketing. It doesn’t just die. Anyone who says so is delusional.

  4. Unfortunately (and this is just an option) these weird suggestions by Google for example may take place due to some black hat techniques. I came across several articles and even talked with few top Affiliates that have high skills as Black Hat SEO webmasters that can actually insert such suggestion in the search engines.
    I must admit Yahoo are positively surprising by offering more reasonable suggestions in this case. Affiliate Marketing is dynamic and therefore not necessarily easy – but DEAD? hell no!

  5. It’s funny how affiliate marketing has been on the verge of extinction, according to some people, for years and years. I think the fist time I remember hearing it was dead was when the dot com bubble burst.

    And so often, as Joseph mentioned, it seems many soothsayers base their opinion on their inability to make it work.

    With that rationale, I’d say water skiing and playing guitar are dead, because I can’t do either.

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