Yes, the end is here.
Gloom and doom.
Death and destruction.
Utter and complete end.
… the middle-man leech who doesn’t add much value but wants to get paid (i.e. “thin” affiliate)
Yes ladies and gentleman, if you’re an affiliate marketer who’s in it for the quick buck, your career has either ended, is about to end, or will end near future.
If you haven’t noticed, a lot of affiliates and affiliate networks are going belly up.
And for a good reason too.. they don’t add much value to anyone’s life.
Fundamental truth in life and in business: if you don’t add much value, you are bound to get washed up.
This ain’t nothing new.. but for some reason, people keep forgetting.
People pay for value.. not for leads, not for clicks, not for banner ad spaces.. people pay for value.
If you don’t deliver value, guess what.. you’re no longer needed.
If your ad space, clicks, or leads don’t end up as $$$, shazam.. you are kaput.
As affiliates, you guys are basically salesmen. You bring in a sale and you get paid commission. No rocket science there.
Now, there are lots of shady crap you can do to make the sale.. or bring in a sales lead.. or what not.
When I was with one of the largest CPA networks (won’t say who), the affiliate manager even encouraged me to do whatever it takes to bring in the sale. Of course, they’d send out their legally obligatory email saying “we won’t tolerate XYZ” but behind the curtains, these mofos were telling their top affiliates to do WHATEVER it takes.. PPC cloakers, flogs, non compliant advertorials, spam (email, SEO).. whatever.
They would say “I don’t want to know.”
Why? Cuz they’ll make their cut and if they get into trouble and get subpoena’d by the FTC, guess what.. they’re gonna hand over you affiliate ID/information to them on a silver platter and say “Nope, he/she was a rogue affiliate. We didn’t know. Here, sue his ass.”
I’m not saying that all affiliate networks are bad (ok, a BIG chunk of them are).. and i am not saying affiliate marketing is bad..
But shady/lazy affiliates and those willing to work with them are giving it a bad name.
Guess what boys and girls.
The entire internet is waging war on you people.
SEO? Just read SEO blogs and see who got slaughtered on the last Google update. SEO is “dying” for highly commercial & competitive keywords.
Email? If you haven’t noticed, spam guards actually work pretty good these days (sometimes too well) and email service providers are cracking down on you affiliates left and right.
PPC? Ugh.. do i even need to go here? Adwords bitch slap is painful
Ok.. media buys / RTB / secondary ad networks? Ok.. i ‘ll give you that. But they have some insanely ridiculous rules on what you can advertise (don’t believe me? read the advertising guidelines on Facebook or plenty of fish ad platform).
The net is maturing.. and so should the affiliates.
It’s only a matter of time the entire net (thanks to social media and death of anonymity on the web) is pretty much making shitty content useless.
On a side note about web & anonmity…
Seriously, why the major “F” are there Facebook like buttons on porn sites?
I don’t want to say they’re idiots.. but WHAT idiots actually click on that?
So what’s a small time, one man shop affiliate to do?
Do what MOST super affiliates are doing.. actually go out and create a product or service that solves a problem.
Stop hiding behind the screen and actually show your face. Tell people who you are and show what you can do for them. Now, that’s what people used to do in the old days but for you tech savvy internet marketers, that might be innovation.
As for me (just like most of you reading this post), I am good with performance marketing and lead generation.
No brainer there: taking your existing skillset and applying it to an industry where what you provide might be a voodoo black magic.
And guess what? They love me (ok, not me.. but the fact that I am bringing them customers from “thin air”.)
If you add value and actually help someone (i.e. make his/her pain go away, or help a company make more money), you will make money.
And if you STILL wanna be an affiliate, the only way you’re going to make a big chunk of change is if you either have your own original content (content is king) or your own traffic source (Groupon / Mint / Pinterst).
Bottom line: stop being an ass and start being awesome (and actually create some real useful shit).