Spoiler: It’s good. The future of affiliate marketing is that it’s going to grow. I’ll show my personal income reports that have actually been updated all the way to 2019. Here they are (right):
Now I do have more income reports (all from affiliate marketing) going back to around 2014 even possibly 2015, and I even had saved paychecks from places like Clickbank that go back to 2009 and 2011.
The point is that even back then, the question about what the future of affiliate marketing is going to be was on people’s minds and that’s because the popular ways of making money through this method were changing and even getting destroyed.
But being that I’ve experienced these changes, these doomsday periods and kept going, as well as continued to make money, I think I am fit to explain what the future holds for this business and the fact that I continue to make money with it, shows it’s promising (And I am not the only one).
This is my overall opinion on the future of affiliate marketing:
The more I learn about affiliate marketing, the more I believe this awesome opportunity isn’t going going to vanish.
I even think it will continue to grow, and at a rate that honestly will not be able to keep up with the rise of people that use the internet.
Furthermore, the more I though about this topic, I could not find any negative reason that this wouldn’t be the case, unless of course, some none online doomsday event takes place and completely destroys civilization or perhaps governments around the world become very totalitarian and enact laws/regulations to limit the usage, and even if that happens, it’ll just create a black market for people to use the internet outside the knowledge of that authority anyway, so in short…it’s just going to grow.
But if you need specifics, let me give you some numbers and rational theories to ponder that would be hard to disagree with…
5 big reasons affiliate marketing will not go away:
1) Statistics show there is consistent, gigantic growth of people who use the internet.
A few years ago, it was estimated that over 2 billion people use the internet. Checking that number today, it has surpassed 3 billion.
Here is a link to the graph, as well as other stats you should look at if you ever think this is going to go away.
In the past, internet usage was mainly centered around western countries, due to their technological advancements, but an even bigger boom started to occur when more and more third world countries began to grow their economies and technology which also gave them access to enter this digital world.
Also, with the growth that was occurring, many digital companies to help support this exponential growth, turned to third world countries and outsourced their services through employing people of those nations. This is why a lot of customer service representatives nowadays are usually from India, China and other areas.
But at the same time, this exposure to that digital world, helped those countries enter into it.
And let’s not even get into detail about how mobile devices helped fuel this too! I think we can all agree in that particular instance, having mobile devices has done a tremendous service for internet growth and opportunities to make money from it in general.
2) With that growth, the opportunity to start an online business also grew.
Make no mistake, being an affiliate marketer and selling things for other companies is in fact a form of business. And naturally with more people using the internet, your opportunity to sell to that, new, larger crowd, also grows substantially.
3) This is an industry where traditional work is essentially…impossible.
Imagine a company like Clickbank, or Amazon which has millions of affiliates essentially, would force those people to work from offices to keep things traditional OR to go out locally in their areas and sell the products of those businesses to people.
It would hinder their growth in ways that is unimaginable. Instead, by providing freedom and an opportunity to earn through it, affiliates can go out, work for themselves, without having an office or space limits in general (because they are working through the internet), and thereby providing the affiliate with more opportunity to grow, and cutting costs for the company that would otherwise have to pay for things like office space, medical costs, ect…
Also, in this business, an added benefit, especially for the company employing the middleman is that their failure will not add an extra cost burden on them. It will only really impact the middleman themselves.
With all these savings that companies will have thanks to this business, and the freedom for both parties that comes along with this new form of selling, how can either party hate this or think it’s ineffective? It’s not…
4) My own success in this year after year proves this.
In 2019, I wrote an incredibly long but very high quality post on affiliate marketing here.
In it, I detail my success in this business over the years since I started, and I literally lay out what you need to do to succeed as well.
Now I have to say, that my success fluctuated and I didn’t always experience growth in this business, nor success for that matter. I literally had periods where I was losing money and going broke, but this had occurred for different reasons and here are some:
1) The methods by which success was achieved through affiliate marketing was changing. For example, I once used article directories to get easy rankings on Google and I used this to grow an email list and even directly promote affiliate offers.
Then Google destroyed the rankings of these places and countless affiliate marketers including myself had to readjust. And they didn’t just “destroy it” for no reason, they did it because those places produced VERY low quality content.
2) Article directories died out, but this gave rise to individual blogging as a new way to get rankings, something which continued and grew since 2011.
3) There were also periods where I became lazy from making money and stopped growing my site. This led to a decline in my rankings and obviously the money I was making.
But I had to readjust, and get back to work, and so I did and my profits regrew so I don’t want you to think that affiliate marketing is some chaotic world where making money from it fluctuates. There is a logic and method that makes it work and most of the people who do not succeed with it, don’t due to their own faults and/or bad training.
5) Success stories are very common in AM.
I even did a post on this where I shared 50.
Here’s more success stories on people who promote a specific program.
And frankly, if you do a Google search for affiliate marketing success stories, you will find plenty, but I’m certain the ones I linked above will suffice enough for proof.
Big companies, if they want to grow, need the internet, and they CANNOT supply this growth and scale properly without affiliates. And they also can’t grow without people who know how to grow an online business either. Think about that…
Even if something happens and things fall apart, this idea of selling for other people will not go away.
Even before the internet, affiliate marketing was just another name for being a middleman and selling for individuals and companies. People have ALWAYS in one way or another had jobs that paid commissions. With the internet, that form of earning became known as affiliate marketing, but the formula is still the same.
But let’s imagine a scenario in which the internet ceases to exist for whatever reason. What’s to stop someone who was successful being an affiliate from being successful in the offline world?
I would say nothing. With all the knowledge I’ve personally gained about selling to people, I see no reason why a lack of internet would hinder my ability to recreate a successful business outside the internet world. In fact, here’s a sample idea:
In internet marketing, success really comes from targeting hungry niche markets. And niches which are evergreen are also great.
As an example, let’s suppose I had a site which sold self defense tips.
Now let’s say things fall apart. The internet dies and I have to adjust. What’s to stop me from selling those same items to the same niche market? Nothing really, I would just have to find them through other means, but they are there.
Niche markets in the online world are the same as they are in the offline world, the ability to connect with them is just different, but if you have the niche market and can sell to it, it’ll be possible to do the selling in an offline environment just like in an online one.
My final thoughts:
- There have been many people who have speculated that the internet will die because it’s a bubble.
- There have been many people who have said the internet will die out because of government interference.
There have, in short, been MANY naysayers about what will happen and that of course would impact affiliate marketing. But I think with all the evidence I have provided with the stats and personal experience, there’s really no reason to fear that this industry will die out.
If you can establish yourself in this industry, you will insure yourself even if things crash and this is why:
Affiliate marketing has taught me how to become a successful businessman on the internet, but in the process, the same steps of success would also, as I said, apply to the offline world.
However, this is still NOT an easy industry to grow in. There are a MINUSCULE amount of people who are successful in this business.
You can certainly look at this and see it as an opportunity to take over , but I would go further and say that RIGHT now is the best time to become successful at this business.
Thank to this industry, I have learned how to create a business and the beauty is, unlike traditional businesses, I saved a lot of money and headaches on costs and learning curves as a result. Again, I see no reason why this industry will ever fail, but EVEN if it does, I’ll say it again…
If you can become successful at it, you can take that knowledge and become successful in the offline world as well because you’re still doing the same things which is selling.
More updates on the future of affiliate marketing…
These are my personal updates and things I’ve done to continue my growth and results with this business:
1) Firstly, since I began, my profits rose, fell, stagnated, all of that, but in recent years, specifically since 2013 and all the way up to 2019, rose back up and slowly grew. As I linked to above, here is the report, which monitors the income numbers I produced in this business for many years and you will see the growth I was talking about.
2) I focused MOST of my time as an affiliate promoting this program called Wealthy Affiliate, which earned me about $300,000 and Clickbank where I promoting a few products for over a decade netted over $500,000.
3) I have also actively started working with YouTube and creating videos that also engage in affiliate marketing and that has also been a positive experience (in some cases). See my results here.
If you have any questions or doubt whether to start affiliate marketing or not, make sure to begin with this program and it’ll ensure you do well as I have 🙂
26 thoughts on “What is The Future of Affiliate Marketing? A 2019 Update!”
13 years in the industry, wow bet you have seen a few changes. I sure hope the opportunity to make money online with affiliate marketing isn’t going away anytime soon. The statistics you shared shows growth everywhere but especially in the developing world is the growth quite shocking. This is encouraging for those who are just starting their online career..
I guarantee you that it is not going anywhere, there is too huge of a growth and too much demand for affiliates for this to slow down.
You know, I’ve pondered this topic many times. I never really thought that the need for this kind of work would cease to exist, but at times it seemed like all the ‘gurus’ out there would kill the business by over promising and under delivering, thus destroying the interest of new comers and preventing expansion.
I’m glad that that didn’t happen. And I’ve no doubt that someone who learns to build a business through hard work, there is a lot of opportunity out there. I’m sure that the opportunities will only grow.
The only thing those fake gurus ruined was their businesses and reputations Paul. The internet and it’s possibilities are growing, but these scammers are always stuck back in those old days where they tried to make a quick buck, it has always been and always will be a hustle to them.
The timing of me running into this post is impeccable. I was just thinking about this last night!
Being new to affiliate marking (but not new to the digital world), I was wondering whether the affiliate marketing business would become saturated (i.e. too many people doing it). The information and data that was shared on this post made me feel better and now I am glad that I made the decision to get into affiliate marketing.
I especially appreciate the facts that were stated. It is true that the number of internet users is continuously growing and that the idea of selling for other people will not stop.
Thank you for posting this Vitaliy. I look forward to doing what I can to be as successful as people like Kyle (from Wealthy Affiliate) and yourself in affiliate marketing.
No problem Marco, everyone who gets into this business eventually has this same question. But I am glad this article cleared up that problem you’re having and now you can move forward with your affiliate marketing endeavors 🙂
This is such an interesting topic and one I’ve been thinking about recently. I’ve only just started and I was already thinking that I may be late in the game but it seems not to be so at all. I really like the comparisons between affiliate marketers and middle men – they were there before and if anything happens they will be there after. It puts us at ease.
I’m happy to see that you’ve been working in the industry for such a long time as it gives us newbies hope that it is a sustainable avenue to go down!
No problem Thea, I’m glad my points helped you move past this idea about affiliate marketing decreasing 🙂
Excellent points. Pretty astounding numbers of the people coming online and doing the majority of their purchases there. I feel it is only growing. Many people don’t realize, but this business is still a baby, as is the internet. It’s still growing and developing, and it’s year after year growth just shows that it will be here for a long time. The only thing that would hinder that, would be some sort of government intervention. Let’s all just hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon. Thanks for the article!
I agree about the regulation part and I do have the same fears Jay. There are attempts every year by governments to somehow limit, tax and censor the internet and it is happening in countries like China. This absolutely hinders affiliate marketing and people seeking to benefit from this industry.
As part of what you stated in your excellent article, there is also the absolute fact that, especially here in the U.S. malls containing physical stores are shutting down at a very fast rate.
The reason is that nowadays, a much higher percentage of people are doing their shopping online instead of getting into a vehicle to take a trip to a physical store, (money also being spent on gas money) and make a purchase of a needed item as was the case 10 to 15 years ago.
With the continued expansion of the internet that very same product can be bought by the consumer at a website instead of at your local Macy’s or J.C. Penny mall store which could be located 10 miles away in distance.
The savings of time, (traveling to that mall) and gas is incalculable especially as so many people already lead hectic lives. Besides which, many of these well-known chain stores, like the two that I mentioned above, also have their own online sites.
Because of the ease of ordering a needed product on a computer or mobile device which many people do own throughout world, it is a reason why there really are no limitations when it comes to affiliate marketing. Anyone who states otherwise simply does not know what he/she is talking about.
A great time to be an affiliate marketer if that person is trained well – such as through the Wealthy Affiliate program that you also mentioned!
Jeff, I couldn’t agree more! What I would classify as a general convenience being one of the reasons why affiliate marketing is growing, you dug far deeper into it and made me rethink and further solidify my reasoning! The whole point about saving on gas and time expenses perfectly explains why people are willing to spend a little extra on things like shipping costs. This is not going anywhere so long as the internet remains.
Wow, I knew there were a lot of internet users but 3 billions and growing fast just blew my mind!
Thanks for setting out the facts to support the positive future that affiliate marketing has. I found this extremely encouraging since I myself have begun to pursue this area of business too. I agree that this is where the future is heading and we can embrace change and the opportunity that comes with it.
Yeah that number also stunned me, but when you have THAT many people online, growing more and more, proportionally you’re also going to have growing numbers of people buying things from the internet as well. And proportionally to that, you’re also going to have more and more affiliate opportunities arising.
As I read a post from you, I feel more and more secure about my joining WA. I, myself, don’t see the affiliate marketing business falling off anytime in the near future. As you stated and listed in your post, steady consistent growth is all that has been proven from this market.
Yes, the evidence and stats on affiliate marketing show constant growth, proportionally increasing, yet still NOT keeping up the with the growth of the internet, meaning there’s still more opportunity now and in the future to see this industry grow.
Thank you for your excellent article. I am new to affiliate marketing and very excited about my opportunities. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me.
I really appreciate your article because I was wondering the same thing and if the market was saturated because others have been doing it for some time now.
I am finding out that it is not which makes me even more excited about possibilities. Now if I can just get it to work!
Funny you mention saturated markets, because I did talk about that awhile back Brenda and that there is really no such thing! I would recommend reading my article on the topic of saturated niches and I am certain doing so will actually help you progress even further in your own affiliate site.
Affiliate marketing is only growing and that is great! I was always intrigued by the idea of working from home full-time. However, it takes time and effort. Wealthy Affiliate also got me started and I can not believe what I have accomplished in the last few months. Do you think that affiliate marketing can provide you a good income after a while?
Yes it can John. Affiliate marketing has been my business for nearly a decade.
Thank you for the very exciting article. I remember when I first started working online – it was 8 years ago – a statement that affiliate marketing will die soon was used very frequently. So I didn’t even start it then. I have had a few years break and am back – but affiliate marketing is still here. And it does seem to me its not planning to die.
I have probably heard from these people as well, it was like a naysayer belief that people repeated and others just believed without evidence. History has shown me that this business is not going to lose it’s popularity.
This is a very good article that answers the question that I have as I am just beginning to step foot in affiliate marketing. I am worried on how much money I am going to make and how long the market will be here. This article gave me so much confidence. My parents (I am a junior in college) are always skeptical of anything I do to try and create money. They always make me frustrated but it’s articles like these that keep me going. Thank you so much.
I would also like to ask you, is it possible to make millions in affiliate marketing? I have high ambitions in life and want to generate great passive wealth, then grow that wealth with investing. Thank you for your help.
Hi Brenden, yes to your last question, first of all. But I would NOT start your business, whether it be in affiliate marketing or whatever other venture you try with the immediate hopes of making millions. It is literally a stepping stone type of process that leads you into these numbers.
You first have to enter any sort of business from a position of having a passion for it and also seeking to make a problem a niche audience has, go away. This is really the fundamental key.
I know very well about the type of ambition you have. because in my early 20s, I also wanted this. But I’m telling you, this mindset that I see can easily lead to failure. Follow the basic idea I pointed to in regards to passion and niches.
Apply that to any business you start, including affiliate marketing. For me, I never wanted to own a physical store or worry about hiring people and managing things outside the actual business functions, so affiliate marketing was the best choice for me and I love it.
This is great, it answers a question that most affiliate marketers have probably had at one time or another. I think the info you provide shows that with the advances in technology, American enterprise and creativity also find ways to advance. I fully agree with you, I don’t see any way that this business will end. But: What would happen if the payouts become less from companies that use affiliate marketing across the board?
I do think that could happen. What do you think?
Then it’s very simple: The affiliate can move to another company Harrison. Why wouldn’t they? This is actually why Clickbank for example has one of the most attractive business models for affiliates in that they provide the highest commission rates in the business.
Sure, big companies can slash their commission rates, but if the majority of sales they make come from affiliate sales, then making this slash would only hinder their business. They need affiliates and vice versa, so the demand is to provide, not just a great product to promote, but a commission percentage that would make the middleman keep wanting to work with the company.