Affiliate Marketing in 2017, More Exponential Growth

Last Update: February 24, 2017

Affiliate marketing is something near and dear to my heart. Being in the industry for the last 15 years I have seen this industry evolve from something that was a mere tool for companies to extend their reach online, to a term that is “synonymous” with their actual businesses. Many businesses rely solely on affiliate marketing to build their brand, their exposure, and their revenue.

If you are a company with an online presence and you don’t have an affiliate program in 2017, you truly don’t have a presence. It’s that simple.

With Affiliate Marketing in 2017, you have a lot of opportunity online in 2017, more so than I have ever seen. This is going to be the case in subsequent years as the Internet continues to grow, as people are more connected more often, and as more and more companies are continuing to put invest most of their marketing budgets into their affiliate programs (for their online sales anyways).

Affiliate Marketing in 2017, is it ANY Different?

Okay, time for a quick break down of affiliate marketing. First, what is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting another companies product or service in exchange for a commission. There are 100,000's of affiliate programs that you can join, choose products, promote them, then get a cut of every sale.

At the core, you have a product and you have a consumer.

Connecting these two items is YOU, the affiliate (and your affiliate link).


At the core, that is what affiliate marketing is. Obviously there is a bit more to it than this, as in, how do you find and attract consumers, but the process of making money as an affiliate is not any more complex than this.

Here is a diagram we have on the Wealthy Affiliate website that explains the process is a clear flow diagram.

That is what you learn here at and when you understand the proper processes of choosing a niche, building out your website, becoming an authority within any niche of your choice, you are truly going to be able to capitalize on this business model which will remain largely unchanged for many years to come.

7 Things You Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing in the Year Ahead

There are many things that you should be aware of prior to heading into affiliate marketing. In fact, I have 7 things that I want you to privy to before you enter into the affiliate marketing world.

  1. Affiliate Marketing is Growing at the Fastest Pace ever. It is estimated that the affiliate marketing industry is going to be worth $5.97 billion by 2019. It is growing at an incredible pace and when I look back to when I started out in affiliate marketing back in 2002, I was operating a full time business within a much smaller space. The revenue growth within this industry is growing incredibly fast.
  2. All Major Online Brands Are Built on Affiliate Marketing. Amazon, Apple, HP, Best Buy, Etsy… you name it. Without affiliate programs, and affiliates, these companies would have WAY less marketshare online. The likes of Amazon have built their empire off of affiliates, it is rare these days when doing research on a product or service you don't come across an Amazon affiliate site.
  3. There Has Never been this Many Affiliate Programs. Every year, there are more and more affiliate programs as companies see the opportunity to carve out such a vast marketing team online. There are 20-30 huge affiliate networks alone, with 10,000's of affiliate programs not to mention all of the 10,000's of independent affiliate programs.
  4. There Are Over 500 MILLION Products You Can Promote as An Affiliate. Yes, you read that correctly. There are over 500 MILLION products that you can promote online! This subset of products only continues to grow, not to mention the 100,000's of online and offline services that also have affiliate programs.
  5. People Are Moving Their Spending Online at a Faster Pace Than Ever. I personally spend most of my money online now, shifting away from offline business. I know it is bad not to support local, but I personally would rather support online (being an Internet entrepreneur) in particular when the prices are better, the selection is unparalleled, and when I know affiliates and fellow Internet entrepreneurs are benefiting from it. This trend is ONLY going to continue.

  6. Almost Every Sale Online Has An Affiliate Behind It. That is correct, almost every purchase that you make online has in some form or another an affiliate behind it and earning a commission. Whether you are doing your Christmas shopping on Amazon or you are buying a service to help you build a business (ahem...), there is almost certainly an affiliate reaping the rewards of a commission. It's brilliant.
  7. Affiliate Marketing Will Never Die. There was an underlying fear when I started out online in 2002 that affiliate marketing was a temporary thing. Logically it didn’t make sense that such an incredible business model would die, but the marketing teams of some of the biggest product launches started piggybacking the idea of this.

Affiliate marketing is here to stay. It has grown every single year since 2002, creating the greatest opportunity of our lifetime. As offline jobs vanish because people are not shopping as much offline, affiliate marketing grows as a result.

As shipping gets faster, people spend more and more of their spending budgets online. I have to say, out of my 15 years online I feel the affiliate marketing industry and the opportunity is just getting started.

Why Companies Cannot Live Without Affiliate Marketing

Companies like Amazon have grown and exploded their sales online because of their focus on their affiliate program at the core of their marketing.

Instead of spending BILLIONS on marketing their products/services (by the way, they have over 488,000,000 products on their network now), they leverage millions of affiliate marketers through their affiliate program, Amazon Associates.

Think of it this way, if you were a business online would you rather hire an ad executive and a 3-4 person marketing team full time (which would carry costs of $300,000 per year) or would you rather have potentially 100,000’s of marketers working for you on a performance basis where you only have to pay them based on the actual tangible sales?

A marketing executive cannot guarantee results. In fact, most don’t achieve results and are incredibly expensive and then insight a company to spend outrageous costs on advertising. An affiliate marketer is required to get results to get paid, so there is ZERO risk to a company to take on new affiliates.

Thus the model being so brilliant and EVERY major corporation now understands this. Plain and simple, Affiliate Marketing drives the Internet. Mic drop.

Where do you think Affiliate marketing is going in 2017?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, your excitement, and what you are doing in the Affiliate marketing space in the year ahead!

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Defiant6 Premium
More and more people are making full time income from affiliate marketing and like you said, with more and more people getting access to the internet these days, opportunity just keeps skyrocketing. This is why I jus refuse to quit. I KNOW there are thousands upon thousands of people making so much from affiliate marketing and if I quit, I will never get into that group.

I know it takes time, continuous work and a laser focus, but the payoff in the end can just be so big. With each passing year, technology keeps getting better and better, new products arrive on the scene, products that people are hungry for, and there comes a great opportunity and niche for anyone to try out and make a living from affiliate marketing.
Kyle Premium Plus
That is true, the easiest way out of anything is to give up...including success unfortunately. Most transactions online these days have in some way an affiliate involved with it and definitely a merchant.

Focus on the long term and establishing yourself within any given space/niche, that can take time and once you have an audience you can truly realize just how many things you can potentially promote to that audience!
GayleneNepia Premium
Thanks Kyle, I agree.

Affiliate marketing isn't going anywhere but up, so I'm so pleased to have found WA. And now almost one year on, I'm making good progress; I've been approved for several affiliate programs, so now it's up to me to create great content and make sure it's getting to the right audience.

I'm very excited about where I'm heading :-)
Kyle Premium Plus
Excellent Gaylene, sounds like you are moving in the right direction with your affiliate marketing business.

There are an abundance of affiliate programs and there are a lot of high quality products you can promote, any high grade product is likely to have an affiliate program.
OTolo Premium
Thanks for this information. The "bad" side is that when your website is new,then it is really complicate to find an affiliate program. ShareASale gave me green but the programs they sent to me I applied but I recieved only "at the moment we can't". I know it is hard but need to stick on it. And my "service" is the "product"
Kyle Premium Plus
Of course, that is part of the set-up of your website. All businesses start with ZERO existence, it doesn't take long to have enough content on your website to qualify for pretty much every affiliate program.

It may take a month or two to get set-up, but this shouldn't be a concern if you are actually intending on creating a business.
OTolo Premium
Yes Kyle, I understand. Maybe it was really soon to ask for it if my website doesn't have around 15 pages yet. I still need to create more pages and posts.
Kyle Premium Plus
Yeah, you will get there. There is no rush in the early stages, if you don't have any traffic I wouldn't get ahead of yourself.
OTolo Premium
Thanks for the advice Kyle, still work to do.
speedking Premium
Yes, affiliate marketing has a definite bright future, and could easily be regarded as the new industrial revolution or a total paradigm shift in the marketing think tank.

I travel all over the world from time to time and it is evident in many countries that online marketing is fast becoming the new norm.

Boot camp.........will become very powerful in time to come as it fills a growing gap in the new digital world. The choice of niches will be mind boggling.

Surveys done lately at certain universities worldwide indicate that up to 61% of courses offered will be obsolete in 10 to 20 years time.....the digital age is approaching at an alarming rate!

It most certainly is a very exciting new marketing world awaiting us all here at WA.

I have a good feeling that we are going to have our work cut out for us. So let's prepare and get ready!

Take care.

Kyle Premium Plus
The digital age is definitely creating a lot of new opportunities and replacing a lot of the jobs. Sure, offline mom and pop shops are collapsing because of the low prices and better selection online (not to mention you don't have to drive anywhere, you can order stuff in an instant from your house).

But these lost jobs are creating a slough of affiliate marketing opportunities and as a result businesses online, online services, and even platforms like Wealthy Affiliate of course rely on the fact that the affiliate marketing exists in the first place.

Without it we would be teaching people how to mould clay or something?! lol

As always, thanks for the feedback Johan!
EddySalomon Premium
If this doesn't put things in perspective for people, I don't know what will. I know some people like to push the idea of the MLM business model but all I have to say is I don't see Amazon, Walmart and any other big brand using that model to make money. They all have affiliate marketing as part of that mix. That should tell you all you need to know about this business. Great job Kyle! Time to bookmark this article.
Kyle Premium Plus
Yeah, the affiliate marketing model works when you have tangible products and services that people actually want, they buy, they love. MLM is completely different because there is a tendency to rely more on the scheme itself and the recruitment there within to drive revenue.

Affiliate marketing in 2017 probably won't have too many surprises, but will be exciting for affiliate marketers as it will be one with more growth, more affiliate program opportunities, and more products/services they can leverage within their promotions.
EddySalomon Premium
Agreed Kyle