Affiliate Marketing in 2002 vs. 2020. What's Ahead?
First off, an important announcement...
For those of you that don't know, this week is one of the most exciting weeks of the year for Carson and I. Why? It is Black Friday here at Wealthy Affiliate! It is our opportunity to really put our best foot forward and offer YOU, an offer you cannot resist.
If you haven't heard about the offer yet, you are going to be getting Wealthy Affiliate Premium at the lowest price ever ($299 for a year...which is less than $0.82 per day), and you are also going to be getting exclusive access to EIGHT bonuses that will further equip you for success in 2020.
- Bonus #1: The Path to Affiliate Stardom in 2020 - Kyle Goes AMA (Ask Me Anything)
- Bonus #2: Building an Incredible Internet Business in 2020, The WhitePaper
- Bonus #3: Creating a Thriving Authority Website in 2020 (FIVE Weeks of Live Training)
- Bonus #4: Early 2020 Beta Access to New Platforms (Yearly Members Only)
This WA Black Friday Offer Date: OFFER EXTEND UNTIL Dec 5th, 2019 (at midnight).
=====> Get The Discount Here (TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!)
So mark this in your calendar! We will also be reaching out to you through email to let you know about the offer when it is live.
I know we have offered this price in past years, but it looks like this is going to be the very last year that you are going to be able to get the $299 yearly pricing. If you upgrade to Black Friday yearly, you are going to be grandfathered (have access to this price) forever, you are going to want to take action and invest in your future this Black Friday weekend!
OK, now onto my 2002 vs 2020. I want to discuss my journey within the affiliate marketing world and then discuss some things that are taking place within the affiliate marketing and online business industry, as well as behind the scenes at Wealthy Affiliate that you should be very excited about!
Affiliate Marketing in 2002, A Little Back Story...
This post is much more than me wanting to save you money, and help you build a business in the year ahead. It is a post that I have been wanting to offer you to help give you some perspective of the opportunity that resides online, and what the future looks like in the world of affiliate/internet marketing...and how your journey moving forward can be positively impacted by the platform & community here at Wealthy Affiliate.
But first, I want to tell you a bit about my journey online...
You see, I started out online back in 2002. To many, this may sound like the dark ages of the Internet as it is now close to 18 years ago. This is the year when I first learning of this "affiliate marketing" thing, how it works, and fumbled my way to a successful business simply by promoting other people's products.
People are under the delusion that there wasn't competition back then, and it was "easier" to be an affiliate back then. The reality is that this assumption couldn't be further from the truth.
It was difficult back then. Difficulties that you don't have to deal with these days. Here are just some issues that I faced when I was starting out online, issues that you have the luxury of not having to deal with here at Wealthy Affiliate these days.
My Old Issue #1: Websites Were Difficult to Build
Back in 2002 there was no Wordpress, there were no "website builders", there was software that you could use to code and build websites yourself. There were templates that you could buy to speed things up, but they were often times very difficult to use. And the imagery on your website, menus, and other features like "mouse overs" were things that you had to create in Adobe Photoshop.
Building a website, including graphics used to take me up to 30 days. No joke. And to top that off, my websites were horrible looking, the menus were often times broken or shifted from page to page...they were ugly and must have been an awful experience to the end user. lol
No Longer An Issue at Wealthy Affiliate:The same thing can be created in less than 30 seconds using the state-of-the-art website builder here at WA!
My Old Issue #2: Technology Was Confusing
This meant everything. Setting up a domain and DNS was confusing. You needed a technology map just to figure things out. Even finding out where you could buy a domain from was confusing. I remember buying a domain from 123domains.com, a domain company at the time and it took me a few days just to fumble around and figure out how to connect a domain to my hosting company.
Not only was the technology disconnect there, there was little in the way of resources and tutorials to walk you through the process. Remember, Youtube didn't even start until 2005, and there certainly weren't resources like Wealthy Affiliate that could teach you the process, and offer you the tools you need to seamless make things like connected domains, and setting up hosting happen.
No Longer An Issue at Wealthy Affiliate! Setting up a website on your own domain is now instant, you don't need to even understand what DNS is or what updating name servers are. The technology is only going to get more and more seamless for running an online business as we evolve the technology here at WA, we have lots of exciting stuff coming in 2020!
My Old Issue #3: There Were Limited Products to Promote
Back in 2002 and for the first few years, there were certainly affiliate programs. There were few retailers that first, understood the power of the Internet. Back then companies were still unsure whether the Internet was going to take off with consumers and even be a viable business.
There were still what felt at the time, lots of affiliate opportunities. As I look back though, and certainly compared to today's standard there were next to none. Clickbank was popular, along with CJ.com and Linkshare.com (which then became Rakuten).
There were also independent affiliate programs, but their technology and the software they used back then was very simple. It was unusual to have access to any form of promotional tools outside of some promotional banners. That was the extent of "affiliate resources" someone would have access to as an affiliate.
No Longer An Issue at Wealthy Affiliate:You can now search from over 10,000 affiliate programs right within WA, the largest affiliate database on the internet. Not only that, you can engage with actual companies, and you register and manage your affiliate programs, and you can review your experiences. The Affiliate Programs platform here at WA is going to continue to be more integrated into the overall processes, and we are going to be working to cultivate the relationships between affiliates and company owners in the year ahead. There is nothing like the Affiliate Program platform anywhere, and it is only going to get better!
My Old Issue #4: Less People Were Buying Online
Online spending has increased drastically since 2002. In 2002, online spending in the USA topped out around $30 Billion. I know that might sound like a lot, but comparatively it is a fraction of what people are spending online in 2019, and certainly in the years ahead.
Here are some stats from 2017, and projections for online retail in the next 3 years ahead.
Based on the $30 billion spent in 2002, the online spending will have grown by 2,000% heading into 2020. Affiliates reap the rewards of all online growth, and you year over year growth is anticipated to continue climbing by double digits for the foreseeable years to come.
No Longer An Issue at Wealthy Affiliate: More money spent online, more revenue for affiliates. Simple as that. We are going to be teaching you how to take full advantage of all the affiliate marketing opportunities, old & new, in 2020.
My Old Issue #5: Affiliate Skimming and Cookie Stuffing Was a Thing
Affiliate Programs were not as honest, there was far less policy around affiliate marketing, and it essentially was the wild west as the industry had not matured.
There used to be a lot of talk around terms like "affiliate skimming", which was the act of merchants taking sales from affiliates or overwriting their cookies before someone bought. If you had been subject to this fraudulent and unethical activity, it was often times difficult to prove, but even more difficult to enforce anything. There was also nowhere to publicly share this information other than the few forums that were out there in the affiliate marketing space.
Also, cookie stuffing was also a prominent activity by unethical affiliates. What someone would do is stuff 1,000's of affiliate links in their page, then advertise that page in a search engine. It would overwrite any of the cookies
These are moot issues these days, the internet has evolved and most unethical companies have been pushed out of the industry. Yes, we have seen new types of scams in the affiliate marketing space (like high ticket products, multi-level schemes, etc), but these older issues are no longer even discussions.
No Longer An Issue at Wealthy Affiliate: We set a precedent back in 2005 with our affiliate program here at Wealthy Affiliate. We were one of the first companies in the world to offer "lifetime" cookies, and also offer IP tracking on affiliate links to ensure affiliates got maximum revenue for their efforts. Compare this even to Amazon Associates Program these days, which still only offers 24 hour cookies! We are going to continue to go to battle on your (affiliates) behalf in 2020, and continue to help affiliates and merchants alike understand policy & ethics online.
My Old Issue #6: Limited Traffic Sources, and Limited Traffic
There was no such thing as social marketing back then, in fact Facebook didn't even start their business until 2004! That was the reality back then. When I started out, Yahoo was the most popular search engine and to advertise in Yahoo, it was done through a 3rd party platform called Overture.
It was fun as you could bid for "exact" placement, and see how much your competitors were bidding...but at the same time, it was archaic and the amount of traffic available through search engines back then was fractional compared to what it is today.
Today you have the luxury of "traffic abundance" and you have the opportunity to create a business through many forms of traffic, whether that is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, Yahoo, Bing, LinkedIn...there are many viable sources of traffic these days.
No Longer An Issue at Wealthy Affiliate: Traffic is plentiful and if you understand how to get it, you can get 1,000's of unique clicks per day in any niche. You have access to all the SEO, Social Marketing, and PPC training you need to rank, convert, build a following, and to build positive ROI campaigns here at WA. And MUCH more is to come in 2020 Wealthy Affiliate, which is going to be our biggest year for training advancements EVER!
Where We See the Industry & Wealthy Affiliate in 2020!
Of all our years in this industry, the affiliate marketing space has never been a more exciting one. We are experience year over year growth in this space every year, but the number of affiliates required to sustain this isn't keeping up. This means there is a shortage of qualified affiliates out there, and by being in this business, you are certainly here at the right time.
Now is YOUR time to gain a foothold in a particular industry, and start working towards the creation of a long term and sustainable business. Affiliate Programs and Retailers are going to continue to put more and more value on their affiliate base (the smart ones anyways), and the companies that don't are going to follow the same demise as companies like Toys R Us and Sears did...they simply didn't understand the importance of their online channels and how to properly work with affiliates.
So it is a very exciting year ahead in that respect. More affiliate opportunities, more people spending money online, and more people online equates to more success for us all as affiliates.
As for Wealthy Affiliate, 2020 is going to be a year full of innovation and evolution. We have many platforms here at WA that are going to undergo innovative change as we are going to be upping the ante within the affiliate marketing industry.
We will continue to lead the affiliate space, and we are not looking back. Everything from our research platforms, our websites/hosting platforms, our training environment, affiliate relationships, and live classes are going to see significant and exciting evolution.
Not to mention community based initiatives. We value each and every member and their contributions, and we look forward to improvements to the overall "lines of support" and improving the ability to interact and the efficiency at which you can interact.
Combine these two things, and you are going to see MORE success than ever this year, and the community at Wealthy Affiliate is truly going to have a huge competitive advantage over everyone in the industry.
2002, at the time seemed good. But the reality is, 2020 is significantly better in every way...and there has been no better time to be online than there is RIGHT NOW. Let's ALL make BIG things happen in the year ahead!
To Your Success,
Kyle (& Carson)
PS. In the comments, I would love to hear your plans and goals you have in 2020...and if you haven't thought of them yet, now is a good time to start planning for the year ahead! Also, if you are going to be joining in on the Black Friday offer, let us know as well! :)