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Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? What You Need To Know!

Throughout the last couple of years, a lot has changed in the Affiliate Marketing world. Is affiliate marketing dead, and why should you think that?

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? What You Need To Know! 1

Let me clarify first and foremost that this is actually out of question. Affiliate marketing is not dead…by any means.

Actually, it’s the very opposite.

But let discuss why people should think affiliate marketing is dead and why it’s evidently not.

Let’s get started

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing1 is selling other people’s products and get paid with a commission. Some people might confuse it with network marketing and it has some similarities for sure, but there are some differences as well.

You’re not building any kind of structure, up or downlines in affiliate marketing. You solely promote products and services that you don’t own and get a percentage of the revenue.

That can be all kinds of products or services with commissions from 1% up to 100%. Yes, 100% commission even if you don’t own it.

Why Someone May Think Affiliate Marketing Is Dead (And Why It’s Not…)

affiliate marketing overview

First of all, affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry2, that extends through various markets and niches.

Every day people buy products, though recommendations and comparisons…To make affiliate marketing work the only thing that needs to be in between the customer and the sale is you! Sure it’s not that simple but we get back to that later on.

So in order to be able to make a living from affiliate marketing, you just need to get a tiny fraction of a percentage of this billion-dollar industry.

It’s totally possible and I’ve seen it over and over again how total newbies dedicate to the process and make ten of thousands of dollars every month…by recommending other people’s stuff!

Those who claim affiliate marketing is dead are those who aren’t willing to adapt to the new surroundings.

It’s those who aren’t willing to put in the necessary work, stick to the process for long enough, and treat it like a business.

Because the landscape has changed a lot over the last couple of years. Years ago you had an easier time but nowadays there is more and harder competition, more regulations, and a lot of misinformation and self-proclaimed gurus who spread confusion.

Old School Methods That Worked Years Ago

Years ago it was way easier to rank for some keywords in Google or build a Youtube channel that got viewers and make an easy living without too much effort.

affiliate marketing is not dead graphic

You could trick Google’s search engine and rank pages with affiliate links easily. After The Panda and Penguin updates, these methods are dead…

Google ranks a site based on relevancy more than anything else. You can’t just spam a keyword into an article and expect to rank.

Those times are long gone, now you need to learn proper SEO to please the search engines.

Also, there are more and more YouTubers who are fighting for the attention of the same audiences. The overall quality and content increased and it’s harder to compete nowadays.

But is affiliate marketing dead because of that?

The best time to have started for affiliate marketing was indeed years ago, but the second-best time is now…

It’s still totally possible to compete in affiliate marketing and find niches that are easy to rank for.

But nowadays you must be willing to do some research and put in the effort. But I’ll share my recommendations later on.

The Amazon Associates Tragedy

Not long ago Amazon was one of the most favorable platforms for affiliate marketing. Affiliates had thousands of items to choose from and the commission rates went from 1-10% per product.

Personally, I’ve never favored Amazon for affiliate marketing because of the small margins. But through the high trust factor of Amazon, you also have a high conversion rate.

By putting in some volume you could make a very decent full-time affiliate income. But not long ago Amazon cut their most commissions and capped it to max. 3%!3

For some affiliates that was the death of their business. Others seem to manage the cut quite well. The reason for that is maybe the fact that you get a commission on the whole basket, not only the product you promote.

So when customers put additional items in their Amazon basket, you’ll also get a share of that.

But some of the top-notch affiliates don’t recommend Amazon anymore because they don’t treat their affiliates very well. But there are a lot of alternatives for physical products, you just need to find them.

More Competition

affiliate marketing competition

When done properly affiliate marketing is a great way to make money. The awareness for that gone up throughout the last couple of years.

Especially now in times of the Corona Virus a lot of employees lose their jobs and businesses go bankrupt. A lot of them are striving online, trying to find other opportunities to earn a living.

Sooner or later they will find out about affiliate marketing.

Also, big brands strive into the affiliate marketing industry, to partner up with other brands to earn more revenue through promoting complementary products, or to look for affiliates to have basically free promoters.

There is literally no reason why a company shouldn’t have an affiliate marketing program, they pay their affiliates only when they make a sale and they save ad cost at the same time.

The problem with that is that big brands and authority control a lot of audiences and traffic. They rank easier for competitive keywords and small affiliates will have a harder time competing.


Affiliate Marketing is and never was a get-rich-quick or spammy way to make a living.

Anyway, some idiots try it that way…

That means they just sign up for an affiliate program and start spewing their affiliate links all over the internet, in question forums like quora, in Facebook groups, comment section from other peoples Youtube channel, and what not…

Those guys always had the wrong mindset and were doomed to fail in affiliate marketing. Those are also the who failed and now claim affiliate marketing doesn’t work… well not like that for sure!

The consequence of those approaches where companies regulating more and more affiliate programs. Often times you have to get through an application process and describe your business and strategies on how you plan to promote their product or service.

That makes it harder for beginners who don’t have an audience or a plan yet.

Ad Costs Are Skyrocketing

I would never recommend starting off affiliate marketing with paid ads. It’s just burning money if you don’t have a proper strategy, advanced knowledge about marketing and paid advertising, a good backend, and sufficient starting capital as well as patience until your ads optimize.

But let’s assume you’re as arrogant as I was when I started with affiliate marketing. Thinking I’ll learn quickly and earn even quicker (lol…no).

Paid advertising is very expensive. You can’t expect to put a dollar in getting two dollars out right in the beginning. That’s not realistic, it takes time, effort, and a big testing budget to get to that point.

Affiliates and businesses are fighting for keywords and willing to pay a higher cost per click. Bigger companies and brands are getting into online advertising as well, having certainly bigger budgets than you and I have.

I remember the Clickfunnels Affiliate Program in 2019. After a course from a successful affiliate marketer launched, everybody and their mother were advertising on Google Ads for the keyword “Clickfunnels”. The max cost per click climbed to $999… yes…PER CLICK!

Learn All About The Clickfunnels Affiliate Program In This Article

cost per lead paid advertising

Imagine spending nearly on thousand bucks on a click for potential affiliate commissions of $38.80…After updating their terms and regulations for affiliates it’s not even allowed to bid on this keyword anymore.

So when you want to play with the big guys, be prepared to bring the change or your business will be dead before it started.

Fake Gurus, Bad Content, And Misinformation

Everybody wants to have their piece of the pie. I see so many fakers trying to sell crappy overpriced affiliate marketing programs. thrown together from other crappy affiliate marketing programs on how to make money online.

You’ll find so many of those self-proclaimed affiliate marketers who never made a single dollar online but want to teach you how to do it…

The result of that is a massive amount of misinformation and confusion, caused by the narrative of fake gurus teaching stuff they don’t know about.

Especially beginners don’t know who to trust online, who’s the go-to authority, and which of the often contradictory information is correct. If you should be one of those, stay with me, I’ll get to the solution in a moment.

Related: 13 Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes

Why You May Fail In Affiliate Marketing

Shiny Object Syndrome

Shiny object syndrome is a real thing!

I’ve suffered from that myself for years. Always chasing the next best opportunity and method to make a quick dollar.

The problem with that is, that you won’t stick for long enough with one thing to make it work, which then results in looking for the next best thing over and over again.

What brings us to the next reason why affiliate marketers fail.

Giving Up Too Early

They give up too soon and don’t stick for long enough to make it work. Don’t believe the ads that claim you’ll be making $1000 daily in 2 weeks. That’s total nonsense

Marketing requires some skills that you need to learn. That can be handling software and tech, copywriting, funnel creation, traffic generation, and so on. Of course, it depends on which approach exactly you wanna take in affiliate marketing.

That takes time! Every time you learn something new you can expect to invest some time before you can “master” a skill. It’s the same in affiliate marketing.

How long? That depends on you, your determination, and the skills you already have.


As mentioned above a lot of fake gurus are spreading misinformation about affiliate marketing. Also, you can find so many different approaches and strategies.

But given the amount of available information on the internet, a lot of people fail before they even begin because they don’t know where to start.

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? What You Need To Know! 2

Only In For The Money

It’s not a bad thing to make money. That’s why we’re into affiliate marketing. But it’s not okay if that is the only thing that you wanna do.

A common theme amongst those who only try to make a quick buck is the mediocre or inferior quality of content they create (when they even do so) or the spammy approaches a.k.a. affiliate link barfing all over the place.

What you should do instead is pick a niche, brand yourself as an affiliate marketer, create valuable content, and care about your customer. That will set you apart from all the spammers already.

Don’t Know How To Drive Traffic

This is a little bit controversial. What’s more important traffic or conversions?

I’d say it’s conversions, but most think it’s traffic. They create their blog, YouTube Channel, Facebook Fan Page, or whatever they pick, they put out their affiliate links and lead capture pages aaaaand… crickets. No traffic.

How are you supposed to make sales when nobody sees your affiliate offers or content?

It’s hard to create organic traffic. I mean it’s not difficult but it requires a lot of effort and consistency until an algorithm catches up and sends you visitors. Also, you need to know HOW to do that.

But consider this. What does all the traffic mean when no one converts and makes a purchase?

If you have a high converting offer you can always send traffic by creating an ad and paying for it. Then traffic is not the problem. It’s usually the offer and conversion.

But here we are again, many affiliates fail because they don’t know how to convert leads into customers.

The Simple Makro Perspective

To make any business work you need to have three things in place.

  1. A product/offer
  2. Leads
  3. A conversion process

There are so many combinations you can approach with this framework. But a lot of people lack this overview or are only concerned about one or two of these things.

  • They try to do paid ads and drive traffic but the offer doesn’t convert and they lose money
  • They have a great offer, enticing content but don’t know how to build an audience
  • They have a big audience or channel, a product but don’t know how to connect them

You need to master all three of them!

Why Affiliate Marketing Is NOT Dead! (And Never Will…)

I don’t want to bore you with all kinds of fancy statistics here about how many companies utilize affiliate marketing or market share.

But let me show you one thing. The Google Trends graph for the keyword “Affiliate Marketing”

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? What You Need To Know! 3

It’s obvious that we have an upward trend for affiliate marketing, isn’t it? The upwards trend started some years ago around 2016. Since then affiliate marketing constantly evolved.

Especially the year 2020 has brought a huge amount of new people into the market. People are always looking to make some money and we’re living in times of opportunity.

Looking back, we never had so many ways to build businesses and opportunities to find on the Internet.

More and more companies discover the advantages of affiliate marketing to increase their revenue by recruiting affiliates or cross-promote themselves. So the affiliate marketing spending increases every year!

In this year alone I’ve met several people who managed to start affiliate marketing from nothing and earn over $10,000 every month just with their Facebook profile.

So how can some ask “Is affiliate marketing dead?” The question is ridiculous!

The problem is only the attitude of people who are not willing to adapt to the new surrounding and spreading misinformation because of their frustration.

Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?

is affiliate marketing worth it graphic

Is it worth it to live a life on your own terms by making a substantial amount of money by promoting other people’s products?

Is it worth it to make a full time income after a few months or maybe years of commitment and firing your current boss?

For me it definitely is.

You can still make more money than in any regular job, but of course, you need to commit to the process and stick for long enough with it to see results.

That’s the difference between those who claim Affiliate marketing doesn’t work and those making thousands of dollars every single month.

Let me give you an example. It’s totally possible to earn $10k within a couple of months hustling on Social Media. Now let’s assume you’re not talented or you need 2-3 years to cross that amount.

Would it still be worth it?

How many people do you personally know that earn that amount in their regular jobs? How long do you think would it take to climb the corporate ladder to see $10k on your paycheck?

How many jobs do you even know, where it’s possible to earn so much? For affiliate marketing, that’s just the beginning. If you know how to get up to $10,000 you’ll be able to multiply that as well.

I repeat myself. It’s totally worth it!

How To Get Started Properly

starting with affiliate marketing on tablet

Remember the reason why people fail in affiliate marketing form above? Don’t do that 😉

If you want to be successful in affiliate marketing you need to know how to sell. The company whose products you promote won’t do that for you, they just take care of the fulfillment.

But you must do the selling. Also, you need to know how to generate traffic and grow an audience, so that enough people will see what you have to sell.

Lastly, the most important aspect nowadays is branding. Build a brand and treat affiliate marketing like a real business.

Branding will help you to gain trust from your audience and improve your conversions.

Find a relatable product and stick to that. One thing at a time. Focus on one traffic source, and one platform until you gain traction.

If you don’t know what you want to do or how to get started with affiliate marketing I can give you two solid resources you can check out.

One of them is the free Clickfunnels Affiliate Bootcamp, where you can learn all kinds of different strategies from some top affiliate marketers and pick the one that suits you the best.

Or If you want a precise blueprint with a step-by-step approach on how to make high-ticket affiliate commissions on Facebook with free traffic check out the Super Affiliate Intense program by clicking the button down below.

It’s one of the best ways to earn as quickly as possible without any prior experience.

This is the program that can help you to reach $10,000 monthly with affiliate marketing in just a couple of months.

Also read: Affiliate Marketing Side Hustle – A Beginners Guide

Conclusion – Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

So, is affiliate marketing dead? Nope, of course not! Affiliate marketing is not dead is not dying by any means, anytime soon…but it’s changing.

If you expect a get rich quick system I have to disappoint you. But if you’re willing to build your own business to become an affiliate marketer and make a substantial living you can totally do that.

Those who are successful in affiliate marketing treat it like a real business. They invest in themselves and in their one-man company. They seek improvements, quality output, and care about their customers.

That’s the way to make affiliate marketing work. Become a trustworthy authority that gives great recommendations.

Avoid shiny object syndrome and buying all the affiliate programs. Find a decent one and stick with that until success.

So if you want to get started, build your affiliate marketing empire, and see results as quickly as possible I highly recommend checking out my free 4-day challenge on how to make your first sale on Social Media without spending a dime on ads.

See ya on the other side!

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