Is affiliate marketing worth it in 2021 or not?

As long as there are businesses, there will be affiliates. Simple maths. Get 20 affiliates to promote your product and pay them 10%, your loss paying commission is more than covered by a huge gain in sales revenue. 

Not only do physical goods vendors gain by selling more stock, but they can also benefit by qualifying for additional discounts, for the higher quantities, they order.

So YES affiliate marketing is well worth the effort and probably always will be.

How to Promote. 

Consumers are becoming much more used to ignoring Direct Ads so the key is to HELP your potential customers.
If you can produce a video which shows how to use the product. Or a blog post that explains how a product can increase a client’s throughput or reduce their daily workload, in an interesting way, then you will get clicks through to your sales pages.

It doesn’t really matter about slick, flashy, or sophisticated methods in the presentation. In 2021 most viewers are aware that the fake timer or “only 3 left” message is just rubbish. Instead, just talk about the BENEFITS without undue exaggeration. Don’t confuse features with benefits. Clients only want to know about what it will do to help THEM.

Quality and Standards Matter

Do not promote low-quality products try to maintain a high standard and promote only good reliable, long term, proven products in your content.
Clickbank has a ton of products but not many are household names if any. Digistore too, to an even greater degree. If you want to promote popular , easy-to-promote but low-quality stuff, I suggest you do it from a new domain, with no association with your main domain, to maintain your reputation.
Choose long-term products – evergreen products can work for many months even years once set up. The real greats in the industry promote dull products which last years with very little change in demand. That way you can build up a portfolio of “streams” of income sites

What to Promote?

Some of the best things to promote are the everyday tools and services that you use, email autoresponders like Sendlane, Sendinblue, Aweber and Mailchimp. Hosting providers like Hostinger, WP Engine, Hostgator and Ionos. Page builders like Clickfunnels, Builderall, LeadPages, Divi and Elementor pro.

Go into these with depth though, they are amongst the most promoted and widest promoted products online. Write in great detail if you hope to make any impression here.

And with evergreen products the demand is always there so you won’t have to keep changing the affiliate program links, because the manufacturer stopped selling it, or changed the offer.

Over time SEO will give you a boost naturally for your affiliate pages. Normally for affiliate promotions you would build landing pages and not worry about SEO as the campaign will simply not be around long enough to matter.

The stream of income will continue to flow in, along with others that you build and ‘forget’, this frees up your time, to build more and more of these pages and campaigns. Contrast this with the Ads methods:

Ads are costing more each year, there is more competition. Platforms like Facebook have become virtual dictators, shutting down their affiliate’s ad accounts for little infringements and without any notice. So affiliates can suddenly lose their income.

The number of different types of promotions allowed seems to diminish every week. Links have to be super careful to avoid going to banned sites.  FB is actually very anti linking anywhere out of Facebook…. period. 

This is a great pity, when I started affiliate marketing back in 2010 ish, a Facebook post, promoting a new blog post, sent me huge amounts of traffic. The Targeting options on FB are massive, better than any other for sorting demographics etc. You can still engage with people in a FB group, but as far as sending free traffic to your blog site – forget it.

I recall a post from Income School, Jim, one of the founders of Income School, built up a massive following in a Photography niche Facebook group, which he devoted a huge chunk of his day to answering questions in the group and helping members. But the traffic to the photography blog from this FB group was tiny, less than 1% ! Eventually he saw it as a waste of time.

What is working now in 2022 and going forward?

Pinterest for the right audience

Not all platforms though are like Facebook, Pinterest is still ok with links. Though the range of things successfully promoted is smaller with Pinterest. Their audience is still very Female oriented and only certain niches work, have a look though and use the Pinterest search function before dismissing it. Check out this Pinterest Course for best results

Pinterest Pins Can Link Anywhere!

Tik Tok is Where Viral Growth is Now

TikTok is growing like wildfire. With a concerted effort it is quite possible to build a big audience on here, very quickly, the style of the TT post actually favors cheap video production, so there are no barriers to entry.  I think this will continue through 2021/22. Instagram, being more mature in years may be possible in certain niches but not for the sort of evergreen niche that I favor.

Great Email Campaigns Work !

Email is still working. A good well crafted email sequence can make a good number of sales, from an initial blog post with an Optin form. Bear in mind only a few people will buy on first viewing a product , most will take up to 7 further product mentions / Ads / searches to make up their mind to purchase And of course once you have a list, you can continue to promote new items to it. Read More on Email Campaigns

YouTube Cheap Ads

YouTube should be the focus of attention for Affiliates in 2021 onwards. Ads on YT are way less expensive than Facebook or Google. YT in video Ads are many times more effective than Google, Facebook or other Ads. By putting an “in-stream” Ad before a suitable video, it can have a great response. Choose your placement carefully (which niche of video to put your Ad in)  and you can expect a very good return.

For those not ready to do the video presentation themselves, video services like lumen5 or InVideo  can generate video from a script, which you can edit and either do voice over or even pay an actor to voice over for you. I found a good voice over gig on fiverr, for a diet presentation that I did, it was the only Ad that had a good return for me, so for the audience (USA) it really paid off to go that extra  mile, to get the voiceover  correct.

Checking Affiliate Offers.

This is where the two methods ( Adsense or another Ad network) vs Affiliate Promos differ. Whereas Ads keep showing very reliably, you will need to constantly check affiliate product offers are still current and converting. Investigate changes immediately or you can find your income declining quickly. Affiliate networks should contact their affiliates if changes are coming up, but there are some that do not.

Do Your Maths

Building an Affiliate sales page or bridge page is work. Check that the percentage commission, especially on physical goods, is high enough to warrant your time and effort, building the pages. Factor in any advertising campaign you are planning too. If the goods are going to be useful and available long-term, then you could possibly be ok with a lower commission rate.

Have a backup Product

When you have a large portfolio of offers running, it is wise to have a quick back up in case there is any problem. I try to source an Amazon product if it’s in a physical goods niche. With most page builders you can duplicate pages and substitute your backup good very quickly. Although Amazon no longer pays a decent commission, it can still be useful as it is so quick to set up.

Read more from the beginners Digital Marketing Section