Affiliate Marketing is DEAD!

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Affiliate Marketing is dead

Affiliate marketing has long been a decent source of income for many webmasters around the world, not only that as it's also been a good source of traffic for brands who use affiliate marketing to promote their product. The internet marketing arena is constantly evolving and so does the marketing tactics used by brands and webmasters along with online privacy regulation directly effecting online marketers.

So why is affiliate marketing dead?

If you are an affiliate marketer you might have noticed that competition is growing day by day, more and more affiliates are competing with you, new marketing tactics which are not necessarily "white hat" are taking a piece of the action. Affiliate marketing has became a dirty business and is most likely to die because:

* Black hat SEO is still relevant - even after Google's Panda and Penguin updates black hat SEO still works.

* Google in general don't like affiliates - Brands almost always come up before the affiliates. This is true also if the affiliate websites provides a better added value than the brand.

* Content theft is still a problem.

* Trademark infringement is a major issue for brands and affiliates.

* Spam in a form of E-mail marketing is still a winner and directly effects the loyalty of the customer who receives tons of offers.

* PPC bidding inflation due to the competition and unauthorized brand name bidding causes bids to be too high and less attractive in terms of ROI.

* Private browsing - Are you aware of the fact that any visitor using the built in feature in most web browsers called private browsing is not getting tracked properly, as cookies are then blocked, and you are missing sales.

* Online privacy policy regulation such as the one that came into place last month in the UK. Visitors must be aware of cookie use in UK websites. This is usually done by presenting an alert at the bottom of the page or at the top directing the user to the cookie policy of the website.

Regardless of all the above and even more, affiliate marketing is not actually dead. Many webmasters still make a pretty good living out of affiliate marketing. The good one survive and the weak fall behind.

So what's the real future of affiliate marketing?

Affiliate Marketing 2.0

Affiliates will have to adjust to a reality where the "brand is the king" and only the strong survive and do the following:

* Build a brand which is relevant to the industry they promote for example: groupon - their product is promoting other products using coupons - they are actually an affiliate of the products they promote and get a piece of every coupon sold, but they are actually the brand.

- There are so many advantages to being a brand rather than being an affiliate for example: if we go back to the private browsing issue, all sales you get from affiliates sending traffic that is not tracked due to private browsing or cookie blocking is 100% yours as a brand and you don't have to share it with any affiliate.

* White lable - if not becoming a brand, at least become a white lable for the brand or product you are promoting - this will provide you a unique identity and added value to your customers.

* Build a customer database - collect leads, build a membership club, offer an added value, communicate with your customers on a regular basis, socialize with them and eventually resell them products (even if these products are not yours to sell).

* Media selling - Sell your traffic rather then sell products. Sell ad spots on your sites rather than wait for a sale to happen.

* Build a proper reputation - Your reputation as a reseller could be better than the brand or product you promote.

* Technology - you should always progress with technology - become mobile friendly, improve your design, layout and programming languages that constantly evolve (e.g. html5).

In the jungle only the strong survive so are you going to be a lion (king of the jungle) or a gazelle?