Is Affiliate Marketing Saturated? (For Some It Is)

Is Affiliate Marketing Saturated? (For Some It Is)

I get asked all the time by people looking to enter affiliate marketing if you can still make money with affiliate marketing or is it too saturated? I will say that there are areas where participating as an affiliate marketer would be difficult to make any significant income due to the fact that the niche they are looking to work in is over populated with affiliates. In saying that, there are many areas where an affiliate marketer could still make a lot of money, you just need to know where to look!

I am currently helping a few new affiliate marketers get their feet wet in the affiliate marketing game, from what I am seeing through some niche research I am helping them with, there are still many areas where affiliate marketing isn’t saturated that offers new and existing affiliates a good chance of generating a very lucrative income stream.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

In the event that you are just investigating whether affiliate marketing is something you want to get into, here is a brief description of what affiliate marketing is.

As an Affiliate marketing you would be, for lack of better words, a salesman for online merchants products. You don’t handle, ship or have any responsibility for these online merchants products or services, other than to direct internet traffic to these products or services. If a sales transaction occurs from the traffic you send online merchants you will receive an agreed upon  commission for your efforts.

Over the years I have made thousands of dollars in commissions directing traffic to online merchants products using proven affiliate marketing techniques.

 The Numbers Don’t Support Saturation Claims

There are literally hundreds of thousands of online merchants and more and more are clambering to get online every year. With the allure of skyrocketing online sales for merchants, comes opportunity for affiliate marketers.

Online retail sales continue to rise year over year. The US Commerce Department data supports what retailers already know, online merchants are flocking to the internet to increase their sales opportunities.

According to recent US Commerce Department data, online shoppers spent $517.36 billion through US online merchants in 2018, up 15.0% from 2017. The online shopping trend continues to increase at an incredible rate and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. More online sales, more online merchants translates to more affiliate commission opportunities for affiliates, doesn’t sound like affiliate marketing is saturated to me!

There are more and more people purchasing products online with merchants trying to capitalize on these sales opportunities by opening online storefronts. The problem for online merchants is still the same as it was years ago when I got my start online as an affiliate marketer, how to get their products in front of the  internet consumer. The majority of online retailers are realizing very quickly that the answer to getting exposure for their products and services lies in the hands of affiliate marketers.

Where The Real Opportunity For Affiliates Hides

Online merchants have a big challenge trying to get exposure for their products or services online, I guess if there is something that is saturated or competitive, it’s the first two pages of search engine results where all the internet traffic is. It’s hard for online merchants to get their products and services in front of internet users when you have online giants like Amazon that have thousands of affiliates promoting their marketplace products, taking up those valuable spots on the first two pages of search engine results. Maybe the question worth exploring should be, is participating as an Amazon affiliate becoming too saturated?

 Only 7% of all internet users search past the first two pages of search engine results. This demonstrates the importance of occupying a spot on the first two pages if you want exposure for your products or services.

Roughly 40% of all online sales in the US are made by Amazon alone. With Amazon’s dominance online and other retail giants vying for their piece of the online sales pie, using affiliate marketers is the only way that smaller online merchants have any chance of levelling the playing field that is dominated by online giants.

My experience has shown me that the real opportunity for affiliate marketing lies with smaller higher commission paying online retailers. Many that enter affiliate marketing have this preconceived notion that becoming an Amazon affiliate is the only way to make it in affiliate marketing. Even affiliate marketing training platforms lure newbies in by using Amazon as their main example for making money online. Amazon is such an identifiable brand that it’s hard not to use their marketplace as an example of the success that the online world offers.

Unfortunately, what falls through the cracks are some very good affiliate opportunities that offer more specialized products and services. These speciality retailers offer more income potential through a higher commission structure. Although Amazon offers a huge market for affiliates,  their commission structure is quite low, set at 4-10%. With some smaller online retailers, commissions can reach as high as 75% with much less affiliate competition.

Practicality And Profitabilty supports Using Affiliates

Affiliate market places like ShareAsale, Commission Junction, Market Health, Rakuten, Amazon Affiliate Program, Clickbank, ImpactRadius, Partnerstack, Refersion Makretplace, Awin and Avangate offer online retailers affiliate management services for online merchants.

Another option for online retailers is to contract out their affiliate needs to an affiliate management group. Many of these affiliate management groups hire affiliate managers that have come from the ranks of top affiliate marketers, some of which I have known through my years participating as an affiliate marketer. Using affiliate marketers is the preferred method to drive sales for online retailers because it is efficient and profitable. Affiliates don’t get paid unless a sale is made. For this reason alone,  it makes no sense why some are saying that affiliate marketing has seen its day?

What’s Really Happening With Affiliate Marketing?

Over the years I have witnessed many changes to how affiliate marketers have made money online. Gone are the days of throwing up simple capture pages or one page niche websites that ranked high in search engines and captured valuable traffic. In this era of the internet, search engines such as Google, are putting their emphasis on authoritative content, giving their users a better experience. This has virtually eliminated the effectiveness of cheap traffic generating tactics that over the years have routinely produced good results for affiliates.

I can tell you from my experiences, affiliate marketers who think they can throw up crappy sales funnels, cheesy one page sites,  or offer completely bias product reviews,  and still make a killing like they used to, are just fooling themselves. The reality is,  these affiliates are the people who are saying that affiliate marketing is saturated because their traffic generation techniques aren’t productive anymore.

 The Key To Success For Affiliates Is The Right Training

If you want to stick around and play in with the big boys, or get started off on the right foot in affiliate marketing, then you had better equip yourself with the most relevant and current affiliate marketing training. There are still affiliate marketing training platforms out there that equip new affiliate marketers with outdated affiliate marketing techniques, something you need to be aware of.

 What you need to look for in an affiliate marketing training platform is training that teaches you how to create engaging SEO friendly content, content that will rank high in search engines.

 Training that shows you how to write informative and product reviews

 Training that emphasis the importance of using social platforms to leverage content creation

 A training platform that can teach you how to create free giveaways such as ebooks for your website visitors that will help to build your email list

 Training that shows you how to build a blog that fosters visitor engagement, looks professional with a good flow and converts your traffic

 Training that shows you how to create a brand for your affiliate business

 Training that re-enforces the need to build trust, be ethical and demonstrate expertise

These are just a few core features you should be looking for in an affiliate marketing training platform that will prepare you for success in todays affiliate marketing environment.

A Few Final Thoughts

Over the years working as an affiliate marketer, I have seen my share of changes to how affiliate marketing is done. The latest trend is affiliate marketing service providers offering high priced tools and SEO services that are hypothetically designed to give you the leg up on your affiliate marketing competition, don’t be fooled into thinking you need all these gadgets and services.  The one method that has consistently produced affiliate commissions is the investment of time where the time is really needed, which is in producing quality content.

Invest your time in creating an engaging and informative blog. You an easily turn the traffic that your blog garners into affiliate commissions with the right training. Google’s focus on giving their users access to informative information makes the creation of an authoritative blog that allows for affiliate opportunities is a no brainer!

I hope you enjoyed this post and encourage you to leave me your questions and comments below, have a good one Mike.


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