Affiliate Marketing in 2018
Affiliate marketing is constantly changing and evolving and 2018 is going to be another year when we can expect some incremental shifts, and some more radical shifts. I am going to spend a bit here explaining where I see affiliate marketing in 2018 heading and hopefully shed some light on the industry as a whole.

Before I get started, I want to clear your mind of ONE thing. Affiliate Marketing is not going anywhere. The opportunity to build a full time business through affiliate marketing is still as possible as it has ever been.

In fact, there is becoming a greater shift of investment by large companies into their affiliate programs and their affiliates. You can expect more of this in the year ahead.

There are 5 main shifts/changes that you can expect in the year ahead within the AM world.

1. Affiliate Programs Need Affiliates More Than Ever.

I am sensing a bit of desperation in the commerce world. Very successful retailers of the "offline" world are losing their grasp of their overall market because of the "progressive online" companies that have focused primarily in the online retail space.

You have the likes of Etsy, EBay, Amazon, AliExpress that have truly invested a great deal of their energies into affiliates and their online retail experience. They are continuing to thrive and grow and will do so in 2018.

Then you have companies like Sears, Toys R Us (as well as several others) that are going completely out of business because they didn't focus on affiliates and their overall online retail experience.

We are going to see more of this. There will be more retailers that will go bankrupt in 2018. There will be a much greater focus by existing retailers in their online experience, affiliate programs, and working at a higher rate with affiliate marketers.

Those that continue to invest in this manner will see positive growth in their businesses in 2018. Those that don't, are unfortunately going to experience the same demise as many other "offline focused" retailers that simply do not get the new economy.

2. Authority Bloggers Will Continue to Reap the Rewards.

One thing that you can be assured about is that those that focus on OWNING their niche in 2018, are going to continue to attract the attention of larger affiliate marketing agencies, networks, and affiliate programs.

As an affiliate, you have a lot of power as you start to accrue a brand in the industry. The same way celebrities attract huge contracts for selling contracts through commercials, if you focus on building your brand in your given niche/industry you are going to continue to attract these types of partnerships.

Often times as you gain true branding in your niche. Affiliate programs consider offering you more incentives or better commission (like our all-expense-paid Super Affiliate Conference).

So embrace your niche, work to become the best within it, and don't try to diversify and wear too many hats within the online world. It only takes ONE niche to be very successful online (as in millions in revenue per year).

Also, help as many people as you can in your niche. Make it a goal of 2018. If you can help 100% more people this year, you can expect 100% growth. If you can help 500% more people this year, you can expect 500% growth in your affiliate revenues.

If you haven't already had the opportunity to check out my Live Class on "Insights into Efficiently Becoming an Expert in 2018", I recommend you do so. All Premium members have access and it is going to give you some unique perspective on building a brand through the course of a year. It CAN be done.

Kyle, Live Class - Affiliate Marketing in 2018

WATCH LIVE CLASS: Insights into Efficiently Becoming an Expert in 2018

3. More People Online = More Affiliate Marketing Opportunity

Every year the world population grows. Ever year access to the Internet continues to grow. Every year more people are more active on the Internet than ever, through more devices.

There was a point in time when people were fearing the demise of desktop computing and people actually using anything but a mobile device. It was a big fear, in particular in the SEO space and with affiliate marketers.

What has happened though is that people now are online more than ever, people often times have 3-4 devices they can connect to the internet with and consume information with (desktop, laptop, iPad, smartphone, now home enabled devices), and people are now spending more money than ever as a result.

People also have ramped up their search habits.

Offline constructs like libraries, books, newspapers and offline retailers are continuing to become obsolete, meanwhile anything online is only gaining more popularity.

This is a good thing for affiliate marketers. In fact, the opportunity has never been so big and the affiliate marketing snowball is going to continue to grow in size in 2018.

4. E-commerce is Thriving, More Hybrid Opportunities

Affiliate marketing is great. But it certainly is not the only way to monetize website traffic and if there are greater profits outside of affiliate marketing within certain pages on your website, then authority sites are going to continue to leverage these.

For example, if you are selling something that is not branded (a wooden clock), there are many opportunities to drop ship through companies like AliExpress where you can ship products at a much lower cost than you can charge for them, sometimes you can make 100% plus on the actual price of the product.

Wooden Clocks AliExpress

If you take a $15 clock like the one above, you sell it for $30, you double your money. This is a logic that has been in place, but where the "brand" isn't as sensitive (like a generic clock), you are going to see more opportunities in this space. There is much more administration and costs associated with accepting payment, dealing with returns, and managing product support. But accepting payment and hosting a store on your website through plugins like WooCommerce can be a great opportunity.

We have some existing training on this, but we are going to be exploring facets in the direct "e-commerce" space through more live classes and training in 2018.

Affiliate marketing is definitely going to remain our focus with the largest share of our training, but we also feel there are going to be new opportunities arising out of the e-commerce side of things that conventional affiliate-based sites will be able to leverage (as technology continues to improve).

The ability to operate a hybrid website where you recommend products through affiliate programs, as well as other means like drop shipping, and owning your own products/services are going to become more of a reality in 2018 and beyond.

5. Lots of Opportunity Outside of Amazon

Amazon is eating a disproportionate piece of the pie, the most we have ever seen. They are blowing away sales records and one thing that can be said about Amazon in the last 10 years is that they have invested in their affiliate program, their affiliates (associates) and maximizing revenue.

During Black Friday of 2017 it was stated that Amazon took anywhere between 45-50% of all online sales. That is a big deal, but this certainly does not mean that Amazon should be viewed as your only option. Online sales broke records once again in 2017, and will do so again in 2018.

Amazon Black Friday Sales

Affiliate programs are going to continue to pop up. Networks continue to recruit brand new merchants and continue to expand their offerings. And often times you can find much better commission share (% wise) outside of Amazon.

There are 100,000's of affiliate programs out there across every industry offering a wide range of commission rates (1-75%), so explore your options and be strategic about what you promote on your sites. There is likely a greater windfall of revenue if you do your due diligence and you seek affiliate programs outside of just Amazon's.

Cookie life (the time in which you get credit for an affiliate commission) are typically better than Amazon as well through other affiliate programs and networks. Some like Wealthy Affiliate, offer affiliates LIFETIME cookies, meaning you get a commission if someone goes through your affiliate link and joins at any time, forever. Compare this to shorter cycle cookies like Amazon (which are only 24 hours).

Successful merchants on Amazon and other mass shopping agencies are going to become more privy to the benefits of having their own independent affiliate programs and either join affiliate networks or set-up their own independent affiliate programs. They will earn the merchants larger profit margins this way and they will also be able to pay affiliate more than commissions. A win/win.

There you have it.

Those are some trends I see either taking place, or evolving in 2018. The affiliate marketing industry has never been more exciting in my opinion and you can expect the most affiliate opportunities we have ever seen in the year ahead.

I would love to hear your feedback though. Where do you see the affiliate marketing industry heading in 2018? What are some trends you have noticed in your own niches? Do you have any questions or personal feedback? Drop a comment below!

Here is to a successful a brilliant 2018 ahead!

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maesitas Premium
I totally agree, we are in a time where there are more than ever opportunities for everyone, it is just that you have to have eyes with a commercial look to see products that satisfy any need and take it where necessary.

I see that the trend in terms of sophisticated apps and videos, many images with subliminal images and ease of purchases, type pays with mobile or paypal .. facilitate the payment .. as to be painless jajaj,
QYTan Premium
With many sophisticated things in the online world, it will be a great opportunity for Affiliate Marketers to share their quality review with full responsibility to help many people.
They need all the legit information for something that helps them to make the right decision of purchasing. This is our opportunity to contribute in proper ways and will lead us all to success :).

ABurns2 Premium
I believe the affiliate marketing is really taking off. I didn't realize it because i haven't been exposed so much, being a long haul driver. And that too has changed in the last few years.So it's going to be a good year. Good Luck to everybody. I hope to meet you in VEGAS!!! Angie
Kyle Premium
Yeah, if you haven't worked within the space before then you wouldn't realize just how have the affiliate marketing world has become.

It works in direct parallel with the marketing that goes behind all of the largest online commerce companies. They all have affiliate programs, they all understand the value of affiliates, and this is only creating more and more opportunity as time goes on.
Sheris4U Premium
Everyone needs some type of help in real -estate. I am aiming at fining affiliates in lending, buying pre-foreclosures, cash buyers which can help someone going into foreclosure. A cash buy can save there credit, pay off their house and possibly give the family extra money in there pocket to find something more in there budget so they are not left homeless. My nitch is to have a one stop someone can go to for help. We can pay ash for probate houses and pre-foreclosures now and I have found one lender that works with affiliates.
I want to market for WF as well, I just am new and trying to figure this all out. Penny for you thoughts as I stay up late trying to get this all going.
AfqmBiz Premium
Thanks for this 2018 spot-on opening insight of Affiliate Marketing. It is so refreshing and honour to be here at WA with privilege of direct access into the great mind of huge DigiTech top brass like you, bro.

The reason I took drastic decison towards end of last year to go for total reconstruct, re-thinking, re-tinkering, re-capture, reassemble, regeneration, and rebuild ideas from my mind right to the system / platforms when I learn all about the above-mentioned possibilities, vast virtual SME, corporate, and commercial expansion / investment, unresticted opportunity in both Goliath and David business size. And this insighful blog just confirmed the possibilities in 2018 ahead.

It is real challenging the mind to go beyond our limit. One crucial but encouraging sign is about algorithm. Where and what the stand of algorithm with new influx of raw keywords against current 1st to 3rd level "keywords". SEO is becoming sea of data but full of different small, medium, and big opportunity and possibility. Ads, niche, and authority marketing now have their own designated "basketball", "football", "soccer", and "baseball" system and structure in every level of "MLS' and "USL", "National", "Conference", and "College" divisions. Money according to the different "tiers" and "fans" or "attendance" but different in traffic behavior.

Jaaxy have the answer as long we do it alright and proper according to all data provided, right application towards structure, placement, audience, and few more, even from small to the big segmented area we can capitalise. And I decided to go for new, medium and small segment area while buy my time a bit, let say in gaming niche I decided to pursue by learning and gaining few more knowledge and sources.

And for my personal goals, this will be down as one of the big challenge to reach yet another career high of make or break level of potential.

Thanks for this big insightful post, Kyle!
PHandley1 Premium
Love the article Kyle, in my affiliate marketing search, I've found some companies that are
strictly affiliate marketing companies, 1 stores Offervault they are like the Google of affiliate marketing companies, the next one is JVZOO affiliate marketing, they offer a great list of campaigns. I'm considering writing a blog on the many different affiliate marketing companies.
Kyle Premium
There are definitely lots of different options out there when it comes to affiliate networks (some that you have mentioned). Some of the top ones that I recommend for tangible products are:

There are many others, but in terms of affiliate networks this will be a very good start.
mbouteiller Premium
Wow Kyle, thank you! More people online 2018 means more affiliate marketing for sure. More hybrid opportunities... lots of opportunities.

I see more people in 2018 heading in the direction of being an online entrepreneur so they can be their own boss. The ones who are tired of working the 9-5 jobs, tired of sitting in traffic, people who want to create their own destiny, wives who want to help earn additional income to the household and those who want to be able to fullfil their dreams. Many will want to find how easy it will be, many will want to understand how they can do affiliate marketing... nothing techy.

Trends that I have noticed in my niche (scuba diving)... well, good question. I'm finding more people want to go on holidays, most can't afford to do the holidays and many that don't have the time because they have family. Many who are afraid to dive. I'm also finding the trend in dive gear purchase has to done thru and not thru The only problem is they will not ship to Canada and even doesn't really carry it. Best to go with Canadian affiliates outside Amazon.

I think 2018 is the year more and more people will purchase from Amazon depending on the product.

There is something for everyone in terms of finding their own particle niche affiliate, it's a matter of an affiliate marketer showing the individual the tools. It's becoming easier to become approved by manufacturers who have affiliate programs.
Stella741 Premium
Hi Kyle, I would like to mention that I joined a FaceBook group relevant to my niche and got 15 responses to my posts iin 3 hours. I wanted to see what people's needs were and was surprised at the desire for my niche.

1 person PM'd me and called me her 'friend' as she was getting real depressed over her issue. That's just the tip of the iceberg and I'm trying to get my site up and running properly for traffic to come in.

At the moment I'm stuck on Amazon affiliate links not working on my site - but hey that's just part of the learning curve.

I will press on...!
bpais1 Premium
Great advice, Kyle!

I will be adding other affiliate programs to my website as I see the opportunity to add better partners that offer the same or better benefits than Amazon.

It is hard to ignore longer cookie life and higher percentage commissions that some of them offer in contrast to Amazon's continuously lowering their commission rates.

Thanks, for the heads-up!

nurit Premium
Hi Kyle and WA,
I am really looking forward to all your updates and what WA will bring in 2018.

I just wanted to make a comment relating to the ambassador program page. I think you probably already know, but it still says 2017 in title, throughout the blog, and in the email link.

Thank you for all that you do here at WA. I really appreciate this place and look forward to 2018

Warmest regards

Kyle Premium
Yeah, we are going to be updating this with a new version of that as I release the Ambassador 2018 blog post. Thanks for letting me know.
kimgwinter Premium
Great post, thanks Kyle. I'm a newby but really excited to ride the tide which seems so promising. Speaking from personal experience, a year ago I would never shop online, but do it all the time now. Online shopping is exploding and I'm excited to look at affiliate programs like Amazon and others.
Warm regards,
Kyle Premium
It really isn't a matter of riding something out anymore, it is part of our lives forever now and it is only getting more mature in terms of how we can leverage affiliate marketing within our respective businesses.

There are going to be trillions spent online over the next 5 years, a lions share of these transactions are going to at some point involve affiliate marketing. :)
ZenKai Premium
This was an excellent article to set the stage for what is to come this year and where we should be focusing our energy. I was lucky enough to become an approved affiliate for something I saw on Shark Tank and I want to make a site for that niche as soon as possible to capitalize on that momentum.
Kyle Premium
Awesome, you never know where you are going to get your ideas from, but if you keep your eyes and ears open, there are certainly going to be a lot of affiliate opportunities that pop up (and products, most of which will have affiliate programs).

I hope you can capitalize on this!
ClaudeDawg Premium
Salute Kyle I agree with you 100%... now, but I must admit there was a time I was "one who had briefly engaged" in the "crazy" notion that AM may loose it's way... BUT come to find out, that that "disruptive emergence" of Android and IP Mobile App "bubblings" certainly "BUBBLED OVER" even more opportunities for us "2018 and beyond Niche Focused Affiliate Marketers... Great Article..Big Dawg..!
Kyle Premium
Definitely not losing it's way, I think it is more of a case of getting it's handle. When I started out in 2002 there were very few affiliate programs and I felt there was endless opportunity then. You can probably assume what I think about this space now, with 10x the affiliate programs!
Worden1 Premium
Thanks Kyle, I have been trying Rakuten marketing. The have tons of online stores a affiliate can apply to be a store affiliate for. You might have heard of Rakuten? It is easy to apply. Some of the Wealthy Affiliate community might want to check it out, again there is tons off online stores to apply for as an affiliate. The commissions are not bad. Thank you again and happy thoughts. 2018 is going to be great, I want to expand my knowledge in Wealthy Affiliate.
kimwolfe Premium
Yes, I just signed up with them. Haven't really started with them yet. But they are definitely easy to apply for. Thanks for sharing.
Kyle Premium
Yes, and we actually recommend them within the training. They used to be Linkshare a few years back, and them, Awin, ShareASale and CJ are some of the biggest (and most legitimate) affiliate networks out there.
Telecaster89 Premium
Thanks Kyle on you insight and knowledge of how online eCommerce is getting is growing and highlighting the future opportunities.

Your video was a great wealth of information of what is coming down the pipe. I am going to watch it again and take notes.

You should periodically record videos of you explaining changes coming or trends that are foreseeable in the future.

It is really nice to see that face to face interaction with the WA Community.

Thank you,

Kyle Premium
I will definitely be recording more live classes and we have actually recently discussed a "state of affiliate marketing" sort of live class that we run quarterly. I think it would be a very interesting production as we always have lots to talk about this topic behind the scenes.
DaveSw Premium
This sounds really interesting...Things change all the time, and timely videos letting everyone know/discuss would really be useful for us all I think...Cheers for that! Dave : )
EOPolini Premium
Thank you Kyle for the encouraging post, it got me pumped with excitement. Of course, as a blind man I know more and more disabled individuals are hungry for these awesome opportunities and they will go where it is possible for them to make things happen, so I truly hope WA will move to the top as a viable option for this growing sector. I know as I grow within this community I will be better prepared to help other like myself, and I am counting on the whole team as well. Cheers!
Kyle Premium
We will continue pushing our offering in a direction that is suitable for everyone and to allow people with visual and hearing issues to be able to build a successful affiliate marketing business.

We have a lot of exciting plans for 2018!
EOPolini Premium
Sounds great, keep up the great work!
kiliwia62 Premium
Your post, Kyle, was very informative and it does put, once again, Affiliate Marketing in a greater perspective to see that everything is (still) possible and that there are options.

One of my goals for 2018 is to do some "inventory" what and where I can expand my niche. Yup, exciting times are ahead. :)
Bluemoon1 Premium
I'm so pleased to hear that WA will embrace and offer "hybrid" training.

Another thing worth to mention and that adds even more value to WA in 2018 are the initiatives by some of our members to promote mentorship initiative as per link below : As MKearns says : "I want to see WA grow to unparalleled heights in 2018 and beyond!"

As DaveSw says : "I believe in ALL of you"

As botipton says : "Onward and Upward"

Might be those phrases of inspiration to all of you in 2018 and beyond.

Cheers ;)
Kyle Premium
Yes, this is something that is going to be of greater focus in the year ahead. More mentoring, coaching and ways to get help.

This is going to come in the form of a brand new design, but also new ways in which you will be able to communicate, join as groups, and get help.
Bluemoon1 Premium
Hi Kyle,

thank you for taking the time to aknowledge my post and reassuring all of us.

Would you please also try to address what I posted on the threads below :
Thank you :)

Best wishes.
DaveSw Premium
Looking forward to the upcoming things you have in store for us! : )
BillandSue Premium
Thanks Kyle, for a most informative preview of what will most likely happen in 2018. we are preparing ourselves to keep up with these changes which have been coming (with the retailers) for several years .

I am focusing on putting in more hours for "reasearch and development" for better content on the website.

I want to work smarter not harder.

Thanks again,
DocDoug Premium
My niche is brand new and affiliate marketing is making it an out-of-the-gate powerhouse. Governments and retailers in the old economy did not see this coming and in fact I believe that they still don't realize how big it is. As the old market continues to focus its sites on the dusty model of industry leaders and giant retailers (yes, even including Amazon), the real news is the proliferation of niche business driven by affiliate sales. 2018, here we come!
Kyle Premium
The proliferation will continue to happen in 2018 and far beyond. Affiliate marketing, although not new, is still very much in it's infancy with big companies as they move the majority of their marketing budgets online.

This is only going to continue as the industry marches forward. It truly is an exciting (and very interesting) time.
DocDoug Premium
High five!
TedBliss Premium
In my niche, I'm working with independent affiliate programs. I hope 2018 will bring more awareness of the benefit of creating an affiliated relationship. A lot of the services I'd like to recommend just don't have affiliate programs - I'm trying to educate the ones I really like. Happy New Year everyone. Ted
Kyle Premium
Yeah, there are lots of great independent affiliate programs out there.

I think you are going to find a "higher than usual" insurgency of affiliate programs and lots of sellers leveraging larger warehouses like amazon and ebay moving independent (so they can get a bigger slice of their own pie).
TedBliss Premium
Thanks for the update. I hope that trend spills over into my niche. Maybe I can help it along - it's worth a try. Keep up your great work here with WA. Ted
DaveSw Premium
Yes, this is so true...

Fulfillment is a pain, but the more you do yourself, the more you can profit...

We are selling our items (some) on Amazon, and as with the other side (i.e. affiliates), they squeeze a lot of profit from the transactions...

We make more when we store, package and ship orders on our own, which we are also doing through online stores...

Costs for space in Thailand are reasonable (cheap), while in Germany they can induce involuntary tearing up of the eyes (as in "Are you serious!!!?"

There is also issues of HR, taxes, etc. (although reasonable in Thailand not so much in Germany)...

Bottom line is you have to keep running the numbers to get the best mix of business models that will give you a reasonable profit margin from what we have seen/experienced...

: )
Kyle Premium
Absolutely Dave, it comes down to running the numbers. These always need to include the time investment required by you (so you need to value your time at a certain $$ figure).

More often than not, affiliate marketing will make the most sense. Sometimes e-com, and if you have your own products/services that you promote, of course those are always somewhere near the forefront.
Phil-58 Premium
Hi there
many thanks for this great insight into how the world of affiliate marketing is expanding more and more as we go forward
As you rightly pointed out there are more and more opportunities in the online commerce industry and will only increase year on year as other companies see the benefits of having an affiliate programme with or attached to their companies.
This all bodes well for us here at WA for 2018 and beyond
Cheers and thanks
Kyle Premium
It definitely does bode well for all of us in the year(s) ahead.

The affiliate marketing industry has been continuing to mature as the result of technology and it has become ubiquitous for most companies that are successful online, are operating a successful affiliate program.
phakacha8 Premium
Yes Kyle,
You have outlined the Would-be Affiliates in the years ahead starting with 2018.

I feel the same when you said Offline Markets are shrinking. There will be a time when people have to enrol their wards in Affiliate programing like the Admissions taking place presently in schools.

Having said this, I must relate my opinion that families without the knowledge of affiliate marketing in the near future shall be as good as not knowing the A,B,C's in schools and colleges.

Thanks for this post and wish that 2018 is a year of thumping success for all WA members.

Kyle Premium
First it was learning "how to code" in elementary school, perhaps affiliate marketing is going to be next.

It is amazing how "tame" the malls were this year on Black Friday, Christmas season as well as Boxing day. People don't line up any more at stores, they shop online to get the deals they want, have greater selection and do so with more comfort.
phakacha8 Premium
Great, great.
mrtime86 Premium
Affiliate marketing seems to be the new wave of advertising models. I honestly don't see it going anywhere anytime soon. The reason stores like Sears and K-Mart are failing is because they were just plain old.

Innovation requires fresh ideas and minds willing to explore new frontiers. Here's to a happy New Year and continued success for everyone!


Kyle Premium
I wouldn't say it is the new wave, it has been around for sometime and many companies have been truly capitalizing on it over the past 15 years.

What you see now is ALL companies are starting to adopt affiliate marketing as one of their core marketing agenda online.
HarveyBrown Premium
Great analysis of the environment Kyle. I have been following the closure of once was the large box stores that anchored a shopping mall and my view is exactly the same as what you stated. They did not keep up with how shoppers are using technology and the convenience of online shopping. Your experience in affiliate marketing and ecommerce is a big help to those of us (meaning me) who are neophytes in this world. Thank you for this.
Kyle Premium
It is definitely an interesting time and one that we have not seen.

What you are starting to see is that the offline retail world is starting to "try" a lot harder and they are running hybrid like ventures, where although offline, they still point their customers to buy stuff online as well.
HarveyBrown Premium
Yea I have noticed that with stores like Costco and Best Buy.
Kev-dogg Premium
Thanks for the good words Kyle, and thanks for staying on top of this for us all. There is enough for us newer affiliates to stay on top of right now and I am grateful you guys are studying the crystal ball to keep the larger picture manageable for the rest of us.

Let's have some fun and make some money
veronica.l Premium
Couldn't agree with you more. It's interesting to see the changes in the industry. Amazon is clearly one of the main affiliate programs and they know it. They proved it by changing the commission structure in 2017...

The great thing is that it should push people to find complementary programs to monetize with. In every industry, there are independent affiliate programs to discover. A lot of them pay much higher commission as well...

Looking forward to the e-commerce information,
To a great 2018!
Kyle Premium
It is going to absolutely push people to diversify their income, I know of several BIG traffic affiliates diversifying their programs in which they promote moving most of their business away from Amazon.

They were impacted by the removal of the floating commission model for top affiliates (which I really do think was a mistake by Amazon).

Wishing you an amazing 2018 ahead Vicky!
Defiant6 Premium
Affiliate Marketing keeps getting stronger and stronger every year. As you've said, there isn't a better time to get into affiliate marketing as there is now as the future is very bright and beautiful. You just have to have the will, persistence, and the ability to learn in order to be successful.
CalvinC Premium
Thanks for sharing all these information, yup I also think the future belongs to ONLINE, so a lot of opportunities, it's why I've gone yearly at WA.

I definitely found the best place to learn about marketing and online business, thanks to Carson, Jay, You and the Best of all the WA Community.

Being here is the best decision I've taken.
Habitus Premium
Thank you Kyle for this concise forecast of industry trends for the coming year, very informative and thought provoking.

Technological advances are making it increasingly easy for small businesses to build an online platform to sell their products and services themselves. It will be very interesting to see if the big players like Amazon continue to increase their market share in 2018, or if more businesses opt to go it alone and sell direct on their own platforms.
Kyle Premium
You are likely going to see a lot more "offline" acquisitions by companies like Amazon to further improve shipping times and their "prime" product subset.

I think to a certain degree, people are starting to get a little annoyed as they don't know where their products are coming from and what the shipping times truly will be. Plus, returns can still be very much a headache.
je721 Premium
It"s true agree with it. There will be more opportunities in affiliate marketing in coming days. Even in our small town people usually buys products online. Lastime I visited one packaging and shiping courier service, I found their room space haven been packed with goods from online selling sites. People are becoming more and more comfortable using their cards for purchasing online products and it is good sign. They know it they can save more money. In India is getting stiff competitions from online affiliate programs like Flipkart, snapdeal, ebay, myntra and pepperfry etc. So I find is relaxing on their terms and conditions. I join associate program in 2014 and did not sell anything. But my associate program working fine. I don"t mind if they cancel my approval. We have lots of options and better cookies policies. So enjoy your journey to affiliate program
Kyle Premium
Village affiliate marketing. It is becoming a thing with the adoption of the internet and the affordability of buying things online, shipping, etc.

And don't worry, there are going to be lots of affiliate programs that you can leverage (and it sounds like you are very much aware of).
DShensky Premium
Here's what I've noticed, the older generations don't use computers and they either spend the day reading or watching television. When they not occupied with those activities they spend the day going to the stores either to window shop or buy, while I'd say about 25% of the baby boomer generation fall in that category 75% of that generation, the millennials, and generation z do their business online. As the older generations die off this trend will continue and that affects how business is done and how people work.
CherylK Premium
Well, I don't know where you got your statistics but, as one of the "older generation" I respectively take exception to your post. I'm busier than ever.

I was using computers long before they became a household word. I conduct almost all of my business online and I find nothing more boring than window shopping.

My friends are just as busy as I am...most of them have side hustles, take classes, are active outdoors, as well. We volunteer our time in a dozen different ways. We have a group of friends who hike once a week here in Arizona.

I love to travel and I'm lucky enough to be able to pick up and go anywere I like at anytime I like. Online jobs allow me to work anywhere I choose.

I do not spend the day reading or watching television although I do read every evening while I'm winding down from my day. It's how I relax.

I've been blogging for years. I joined WA to learn how to monitize my blog and ended up starting two more. Still have a ton of stuff to learn but I'm getting there.

We're not dying off anytime soon...
DShensky Premium
I didn't say all, I said the majority. I know many who have never used a computer and don't want to start and then there's also the exception who is always open to learning.

There are many in the older generations who always used a computer and many who didn't and learned later in life, but at the same time there are many who don't want a computer

those who are older that used computers as part of their work will always use a computer and of course, there were many, but those who never used computers don't want to learn
davehayes Premium
Kyle, I really enjoyed this Post. You have hit the nail on the head with the first two points for sure, where retailers are not embracing online advertising / a presence, they will hit difficulties.

Affiliate marketing (High Ticket Affiliate Marketing) is and has for some time been the place to SECURE your future as opposed to signal the death knell of an online career.

Offliners have little idea about the online world, so as you have rightly pointed out becoming an authority on your chosen subject, which the training at WA, combined with other already gained experience and knowledge, will help with, should make you by default virtually, the GOTO guru for want of a better word

This in turn leads to a good business growth

Thanks for sharing the insights.
Kyle Premium
High Ticket Affiliate Marketing, is also a scare proposition in many cases as people are getting "duped" out of their hard earned money as a result of overpaying for products (mainly the info product type).

But there are also many higher end products that you can capitalize on that are expensive, pay high commissions and are truly valuable to the consumer.

A fridge online, yes. Jewellery online, yes. Furniture online, yes. These are all things that people are buying that are in the several $1,000's (or higher) that affiliates are really starting to capitalize on.
GoranBockman Premium
Thanks a lot for your very encouraging news Kyle. I know we're in the best hands here on WA. As a new member of this network it gives a confidence boost and makes me more daring in my approach. I see endless possibilities here.
I wonder do merchants Know what great resources you offer new affiliates on WA and, if yes, does that make them more inclined to take a chance on us newbies?
Kyle Premium
Yes, many merchants are aware of what we offer affiliates here and the Wealthy Affiliate platform. You might see a lot more merchant activity here within WA as we move through 2018. ;)
tommo1968 Premium
Great to hear e-commerce will be looked at in 2018. I know there are quite a few blogs and tutorials on here that members have written, the addition from you guys will enhance this area.

I am currently working for a wholesaler building an B2B e-commerce platform so they can compete with others in the niche. An opportunity I wouldn't have received if it hadn't been for the training here at WA.

As you say businesses not online are missing out and many are closing down with that these guys seen the need and approached me.

I intend to drive traffic to the platform with all the tools available so we can become stronger and will be keen to see anything you show in this area.

Keep up the great work guys.
Pernilla Premium
Kyle, thank you for sharing your thoughts and knowledge of the trends of 2018. I´m very much looking forward to the e-commerce trainings and the drop-shipping possibilities sounds exciting.

It´s awsome to be part of WA and enjoy all the benifits of WA. It´s extremely important to be ahead of the competitors and with your support we are in good hands - we just have to make use of all the knowledge we are given.

:-) Pernilla
amjadjudeh Premium
Thank you Kyle for the very encouraging post!

I have just joined the WA ten days ago and every time I login I find something that makes me sure that I'm in the right industry and more important, I joined the right community. I have started looking for opportunities to make money online few months ago and I liked the idea of the Affiliate Marketing, and tried it for few weeks by promoting CPA offers through PPV campaigns but it didn't work with me and I only lost money. But I knew that this is the industry that I want to be in but I still need the right mentor, and I kept doing my research until I finally found the Wealthy Affiliate Community. And now, I'm sure that I have the access to the right system that if I follow it will get me the lifestyle I'm seeking.

Thanks a lot!
Kashinga77 Premium
Thank you so much for this elaborate post Kyle. It has helped me position myself strategically as I continue to build my brand. And I really can't wait to learn more of e-commerce..drop shipping etc. It sounds so interesting and I believe I will do well there as well. Thanks Kyle.
bbhugaloo Premium
Very true. affiliate marketing will not die. But I am at odds with dropship from aliexpress. Products worth $2 on aliexpress are resold at $10 for same free shipping and same delivery fulfillment time. Though I can understand there are risks linked to returns. If we see Amazon TOS, it requires affiliates to disclose that they will earn commission and to know that they are buying from Amazon. In the case of aliexpress the resellers do all to keep the deals obscure - like no invoice, no brand etc. In my opinion its unfair to the customer. I would prefer to be an affiliate of aliexpress and let the customer know the source.They would pay a fair price of $2 and not $10. Aliexpress gives higher commission than amazon. So just like the 'Buy from Amazon' I would tell them 'Buy from aliexpress'. That's my opinion, though business wise one may well say that I am losing "an opportunity".
Kyle Premium
I agree, there is a lot of "mysterious" elements to the drop shipping space that have turned customers off of buying online and it is unfair to those purchasing online.

I think it comes down to affiliates and being ethics, but if someone is on the Amazon or Aliexpress webiste, they know where they are buying from so as an affiliate you are safe.

It is a bit careless and unethical if you are operating a "fake store" using a medium like Shopify and tricking people into thinking you are sending the product, whereas you are not.
bbhugaloo Premium
Thank for the advice Kyle. We must all be aware that companies like Google, Amazon are all trying to 'educate' us publishers to provide genuine 'value added' to our audience. Means that we must 'earn' our commissions. We must not forget how many publishers who were 'black hat' adepts just had their earnings drop from multiple figures to zero after Google released their algorithms and other publishers who were high amazon earners got suspended from Amazon because they were not adhering to Amazon TOS. I personally think that publishers must look into the long term to create sustainable online businesses.
Colorman Premium
I was recently contacted by a company that relies heavily on online reviews to sell their products after I did a review post on my website. They offered me a free sample of the product upgrade. That convinced me that affiliate marketing works. I am looking forward to the year ahead.

Thanks Kyle. Have a great 2018. Hope to see you in Vegas in 2019!
Kyle Premium
This is only going to happen more and more as your site gains more authority. You will have merchants reaching out to you offering you free products in services in exchange for a review. ;)
Colorman Premium
Working on it.
Rich908 Premium
Hey Kyle,

I dont know where my first reply went to. This is good news and could not have come at a better time as a reminder of good times ahead. you have given us a kick start, that we can become high achievers at Wealthy Affiliate if we give it our best shot

I was watching the BBC news yesterday and it seemed that online sales was a bumper record. It overtook high street shopping in sales because of the ease of shopping online.

More high street shops are looking into expanding their business online. As you predicted there will be more opportunities available for Affiliate members. I am watching your live class right now “Insights into efficiently becoming and Expert in 2018”

Here’s to Our Success for 2018 with Wealthy Affiliate

mawitty Premium
I'm excited about the prospect of building a hybrid website. That's kind of what I've tried to do before by building an Etsy store and directing people to that from my website, but I like the idea of keeping it all in one place even more. Can't wait to learn more about it!
giftyafd Premium
Thanks, Kyle this makes me feel safe and good with Affiliate Marketing. The e-commerce also is a thing to watch and if you guys can give more training, someone like me can seriously plunge into it. Online Biz is the way to go in 2018 and beyond.

Thanks a zillion Kyle and prosperous new year with more wisdom to you and the community here
AlexEvans Premium
Really appreciate your post, Kyle, we are sitting in such a unique position here at WA, there will be changes in online marketing in 2018 for sure things seem to be so fluid. It is about being able to meet these changes head we are well placed to do just that.
Kyle Premium
There are always changes, and they are typically very marginal in terms of actual marketing side of things and the business constructs.

I think we are going to find the way we shop online is going to evolve much quicker over the next 3-5 years than it ever has, there are going to be much more sophisticated stores online (with better experiences), greater investment within the online world and affiliates, and basically a great things for all of us that are operating a tangible online business.

Exciting times indeed!
AlexEvans Premium
I have to agree, the online shopping experience is going to evolve, at the rate of knots, a trend that I am noticing is that folks are becoming so comfortable with shopping online and across the generation divides, this combined with the distribution networks and payments gateways that have evolved around the Chinese manufacturing phenomenon there will be exciting times ahead for all that create legitimate online businesses .

I like that hybrid model that you spoke of definitely some real potential there.

Just on a side note, one of my nephews just bought a large double wheeled caravan online in the UK and shipped it halfway around the world no worries all done with the click of a mouse, apparently, freight has never been

Folks were saying what and his mum struggled to get her head around it..... but it is the shape of things to come.
I really like the idea of a hybrid store. It just makes sense. Sell products that are generic and can be drop shipped or white label a product you are able to source. Then add some complimentary programs or courses through affiliate marketing that compliment your products. Like fitness. Sell fitness gear or clothes and have a diet plan and cook books etc that are affiliate. Just makes sense to me.
Kyle Premium
Exactly, that is definitely an approach you can take once you start establishing your site. The key is first focusing on getting to that point and on your way there, you can seek out both types of opportunities.

I would recommend starting on the affiliate side of things though as it is much more hands free and it can actually be quite a bit more lucrative in many situations.

What you are saying definitely makes a lot of sense though and is exactly what I am speaking too. The affiliate programs in the diet plan, memberships, supplements, and guides typically pay very high, from 30-75% and I know many affiliate marketers that have been/are successful in this space.
Memorylaneuk Premium
Everything here makes sense. There are few companies who can afford not to have an Affiliate programs as more and more of us avoid the retail store in favour of shopping from our sofa.
The truth is that companies now need Affiliate marketers, more than we need them. The budget for affiliates is so much less than a conventional marketing budget and they don't need to pay it out before there is a sale. One thing has not changed, cash flow is king, so why pay for Marketing before you sell a product when you can pay someone after they have promoted your product and a sale is made ?
Kyle Premium
An ad on TV, or put it into your affiliate program? An magazine ad, or affiliates? Setting up shop at a conference, or affiliate marketing?

The choices seem obvious. There is a need for multi-facet marketing for many businesses, but I know that if a of them spent $20K and invested that into affiliates versus taking out a print ad, they would see much more return.
Nekko26 Premium
I agree the facts and stats are there to support your insights into the year 2018. Some the things I see that support your claim, are things such as the change in the #2 biggest retailer in the world. Walmart stores - that has been their full and real company name since the opening of the company they have been "Walmart stores" anyway I don't remember the exact date but it was real recent within the last 2 months, but Walmart stores have changed their name and their hopping their brand from Walmart stores to just Walmart. Not a huge deal just dropping stores off their original name, but why? Well I'll tell you why, because they already admitted and explained why they did this, "we plan to swing a huge focus of our attention and energy, to the online side of things", they also plan to reduce their number of brick n mortar stores, witch is surprising , they have more physical locations than any other company, It was something like 11,000 something stores world wide, this has always been one of their strengths. I don't know if or how true this is, but I read that there it was eaither their goal or they had already accomplished it, but supposedly their was a single location in the US that wasn't within 20mins or 20 miles from a Walmart store... That's impressive and a strength, and it would take a pretty big shake to stop what has made them one of the most successful businesses of our time. Unless they see, they recognized, they saw the numbers in 2017 showing that Amazon set records, and showing more people are buying online... They are scared and trying to jump in before its to late.... They focused on what worked for them while ignoring the world slowing changing threw the time... So just from that example alone I think your have nailed your predictions... Of course you already know you are going to be right, or I don't think youd be giving your predictions to the ones who trust you most, us WA members
MarkBa Premium
What stood out for me as I read your post Kyle is that there is more opportunity now for wealth distribution than ever before.

Financial power has been shifting since the last global financial crisis of 2007/8.

Ten years later as we head into 2018 and beyond there is still every opportunity for every one of us to be a part of this continued shift. This is so evident as you have shown in your intuitive post.

The world of online business will continue to change and expand and we are all perfectly positioned to take advantage of this by being active WA members. Thank you to you and Carlson for providing us with the platform to do this

I appreciated reading your insights and wish you a brilliantly successful 2018 too.

IvyT Premium
I have a big list of complex, probable futures in which e-comm factors heavily. So many things! All of the things!

But to answer your questions: All the most successful online businesses I’ve interviewed include many layers of engagement and service. Affiliate content is just one element of this, and it’s considered an authentic and personal counterpoint or alternative to 20C style branding and marketing options.

E-commerce is definitely growing and diversifying to meet the needs of such businesses.

Those with a lot of upfront capital to invest will still lead the e-comm pack in profit, but their success doesn’t preclude the possibilities for small sole traders engaged in affiliate marketing. Rather, I see affiliates becoming accepted as an essential part of their supply chain. Not just an add-on.

But there will be so many engaging in online selling at a small scale, that there will need to be more growth of businesses that offer to muster and manage the constellation affiliates as intermediaries for those who produce.

I see that as one of many emerging business opportunities online.

E-comm growth may also lower the barriers to participation in an online goods and services market for those living in non-English speaking countries with a volatile job market. And their commercial interaction with the wider community has the potential to be really positive.

So, I see e-commence forming a new merchant class, and affiliates are among them.

The Merchant classes of Queen Elizabeth 1st’s day shook up the existing social order with their activities. I think e-commerce is only a very superficial aspect of an existing global commerce, but that the society and conventions it’s helping to form are very interesting, and every bit as future-making as Elizabethan merchant activity.

It’s all still so messy online now, and there are so many things yet to be resolved so far as law, order and sovereignty. But the foundations of how we will all interact in the future are being laid by e-comm now. And we still have some tech leap surprises to look forward to! Quantum computing for the masses, blockchain that doesn’t take so much time and energy to process. Many more things besides that may reshape online commerce.

So how do you hope it might look one day? What part do you see yourself playing in that process?
bicarmee Premium
You've seen the big picture - that's great! Yet, we are to focus on our "niche" in order for us to pick some bits of the pie. :)
IvyT Premium
Yes, but even a little sole trader successfully serving a niche market must never lose site of the big picture they are a part of. This is where you’ll get your cues and warnings that your market is changing, and that you need to adapt!
bicarmee Premium
DEversley Premium
Hi Kyle!

Thanks for the positive reassurance. The future does indeed look very bright for us.

We will have to continue to sharpen our axes and increase our activity (productivity) here, to take advantage of these wonderful opportunities for success.

You have presented the research and we must fittingly respond by taking a proactive approach. We must position ourselves for the success that awaits us.

I am going to get fairly busy with my affiliate marketing now.:)

All the best and more for 2018 to you and yours!
CarolMeador Premium
This was really helpful, Kyle. Even though I'm not at the point of becoming affiliates yet, it is certainly something I will be doing as I get my website to that point.

It will be a normal thing to have affiliate links to the products I'll be promoting when I finish writing the review of them.

Do you recommend I get signed up for the affiliate programs for the dance shoes I'm reviewing now so that they are in place by the time I'm ready for them?
Spark3r Premium
I know I'm not Kyle, but when I was signing up for affiliate programs, some took me a long time to get approved. However, there are some affiliates that will revoke your affiliation if you don't make a sale during a period of time. I would just make sure you read all of the terms before you sign up.
CarolMeador Premium
Thanks, Sam. Good advice. Carol
BPryga Premium
Your insight & comments are truly inspirational. My site is nowhere near where it should be. I had several family tragedies
that took me away from my WA development. I have been learning a lot from the live training sessions and blogs from everyone. My goal is to bring my site online in 2018 and select affiliate markets that work best for my niche.

Thank you so much for keeping us informed about new ideas and developments.
buffetearns Premium
Hi Kyle

I appreciate this wonderfully, encouraging post and thank you for keeping us up to speed in aspects of the industry.

I am not making excuses for my lack of progress and I am certainly not stressed over it. There has been something nagging in the back of my mind and I think it is related to your first big statement.

“I want to clear your mind of ONE thing. Affiliate Marketing is not going anywhere”.

I am not naïve enough to expect guarantees in life or indeed in affiliate marketing but it’s encouraging to read the statement. It’s more encouraging because it is a statement based upon knowledge and from your success and wealth of experience. Thank you for this.

It’s only my newness to the industry, that makes me realize there is still so much, I do not understand. When you speak about Sears and Toys R Us going out of business, it helps me realize again how affiliate marketing fits into the complete picture and helps me make sense of my niche again and how it is really possible to be in a situation of benefitting others and on so many different levels.

I still can’t imagine the endless possibilities of affiliate marketing. I want to expand my mind wider than Amazon but they have such a presence and it will be nice if companies like Amazon change tack and we see the more of a win/win direction in the future.

Not much to contribute unfortunately, but you have given me further insight into the Affiliate World and some exciting things to think about.

Off to watch, Insights into Efficiently Becoming an Expert in 2018 again! I’ve only watched in piecemeal.

Followme2 Premium
Kyle thank you and very good to point out that Amazon is huge, however so many other options are out there. Because if they took 45 to 50% then what are the other sources that make up the difference? Glad to see the information on the projected growth in the affiliate industry.
hirohurl Premium
"we are going to be exploring facets in the direct "e-commerce" space through more live classes and training in 2018."

This is very good news! I think there is a lot of room for other marketing models to sit alongside affiliate marketing on a niche blog, such as drop-shipping, direct selling of physical goods yourself, as well as offering your own digital products and services.

Actually, I got started online back in the early 2000s (!) by selling Japanese games, comics and other Japanese gear, which involved packing and shipping the orders myself. (I was amazed when my website about Japanese mahjong sets began to get orders. At that time I knew nothing about "keywords" and simply wrote a few blog posts on the topic and put up a sales page with Paypal buttons - and it worked!)

When I moved into affiliate marketing, I also focused on developing my own digital products and online services for other marketers, which was a good way to cover my business expenses while learning the ropes. So I have always felt that affiliate marketing, although a BIG piece of the pie, is not the whole pie!

I'm looking forward to seeing how WA develops along these lines this year.

All the best,

David Hurley
MorneOlivier Premium
Thank you Kyle, its important for us to get your overall outlook on the AM industry, puts extra perspective on it when someone with your experience stands back, summarizes and shares.
I look forward to developing my sites in 2018 and building on my relationship with my friends on WA.
I think AM will steadily grow as more up and coming companies fight for online retail space. I think cryptocurrency will be a part of that growth and blockchain in the set up of that company structure is the way of the future. We would be wise to educate ourselves in and grow with it
seisbart Premium
Thank you Kyle for this blog. This is going to help me after I do my cruise website and monetize it. Because I was considering becoming an affiliate of Amazon which I will sign up for. But because of the low commissions, I will do my research and figure out what will be best for me. And also promote WA.

Happy and very Prosperous 2018!!
Cindyda1 Premium
Great motivational information. I saw on Squak Box this morning the talking heads are predicting Amazon to buy Target next (old news I guess by now)...I don't plan on applying for Amazon affiliate just yet because my site isn't where it needs to be but I have applied to a few others related to my niche I am excited about.

Anyway, I have been working on my "Authority" site hard lately and plan to continue doing so. I have more confidence than ever that I will eventually make my online site work! I have also been studying about products for drop-shipping and putting my own brand to a few products.

Very exciting stuff ahead! Thanks for keeping us up to date and looking foward!
DaveSw Premium
Hi, Kyle...

I totally agree with your assessment. I am glad to see that you and Carson are continuing to fine tune the training and features here to keep abreast with the market...

This means Wealthy Affiliate will remain relevant and dominant in the training marketing segment. A good thing for you both and for members too...

Some of the things I am noticing in the market that affiliate marketers need to pay attention to is the ever-increasing focus on sellers improving user engagement/experience for their website visitors and leads/subscribers...

This is taking many forms...Some tools have been around, they are just evolving somewhat, and some are relatively new or even brand new...

I see ever more ways to intermingle social accounts available on the various platforms with your content and SEO marketing strategies...

Some are just shiny objects, some are real advancements...

These social platforms are competing with one another for the attention of their users, and have been adding new tools and features to attract and keep people on their platforms, and also are adding new ways to get users to embed their tools on their websites...

I could go through them one by one, but suffice it to say that if the affiliate marketer pays attention to the new social features and tools out there, and leverages them for their own branding and programs, the marketer will be able to tap into this increasingly important traffic source and sell more...

Tools like instant reviews, purchase bot pop-ups, chat-bots, AI, quizzes, surveys, contests, videos with embedded links, hot spot images, memes, and gifs all can complement your content and SEO marketing, which will remain important.

These days you can build a business entirely on the social platforms (i.e. Instagram, Facebook), however, I believe it makes more sense to spread the ways you drive traffic to many channels versus one, and I think that content will remain king in that regard.

If I were starting out again, I would focus on the content and website, as taught here, and then start drilling down on social marketing, while standing up the ability to collect subscribers and use email autoresponder marketing as soon as I have 100 site visits a day.

I would be ready prior to that point, meaning developing lead magnets that the target audience is looking for and setting up a way to capture those prospects...In my case, I waited too long...

Next, I would learn about sales funnels, how to plan and design them, how to create effective copy for them, how to stand them up and how to connect all the pieces together...

The next area I would start to study and learn about after the email marketing would be one social marketing method. That might be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Does not matter, whatever you feel comfortable using...

As an example, Instagram is a fast-growing channel to sell. Using influencers, or through focusing on Millenials or members having a smaller but more focused audience you can create new sources of targeted traffic...

While building your content portfolio of targeted subject posts, and using SEO to get rankings for them, and gathering subscribers and using email marketing from the traffic, you add new streams of traffic...

The big picture is that you will always be expanding and learning. You will be building your brand and reputation, your influence in the niche grows and grows. People listen to you. People buy based on your recommendation.

This feeds on itself, and your traffic figures get better and better...As do your sales and income...

Getting traffic to your website is fine, it is what happens when they get there that will make you an income. Traffic in and of itself is of no value...Adding in Calls To Action and pages to focus that traffic on your offers makes sense...

Moving on...

I think video marketing use will continue to rise by affiliate marketers. The delivery of videos is changing too, i.e. people are using more live streaming...

There are a number of free tools available, and because this marketing means is so effective, it just makes sense to learn as much as you can about this as early as you can...

By 2021, 82% of activity will involve viewing videos...So it is a way you will have to draw people to your websites...Make them mobile friendly too, as the percentage of internet access time continues to rise via smartphones while desktop access falls...

Monetizing video...

Even though changes in YouTube mean it is harder to leverage a channel (get paid for showing ads) and your videos, it is worth standing up a channel and start pumping out videos on your websites and also post them on YourTube...

You can use them to sell your promoted products, your own products, or services, etc. that you may be focusing on for your websites or social accounts too.

Again, I say jump in as soon as you feel comfortable enough with what you are doing...

All of this cannot be learned or applied in a day, a week, or even a month. It is like a snowball hurtling down a snowy hill...It starts as a small ball, builds as it rolls, and when it reaches its end-point, it can be huge...

Quite a journey...

10,000 Foot View...

It is and will remain a progressive journey, this online marketing business. Starting with the basics as you learn here, and moving to intermediate and advanced marketing methodologies (also available here) makes sense.

You are so right that affiliate marketing is not only not dead, its use is rising and it makes sense for the business owner. You cannot get cheaper salespeople.

A Business Owner's View...

I am thinking from a business owner standpoint, as this will help you understand my point...Affiliates are working for you to sell your goods and services, and they only get paid when they sell something...

There are few costs involved, as affiliates are responsible for paying all taxes, overheads, and things like health insurance, etc. You really are remiss if you do not tap into affiliates.

Bottom Line...

So yes, we will continue to have a market for our blogs, sales pages, and products/services. It is a bright future and if affiliate marketers apply what they learn here, they can do very well...

I for one am looking forward to this year. As many here likely are thinking, this is a year for scaling. Take wherever you are now and plan on growing that by a factor of 10, 20, or more...

It most certainly is possible!

Dave : )
NannaGoosey Premium
Sat, Feb 17, 2018

Hi, Dave.

What a wealth of information your comment provides! Thank you very much for taking the time to write it!

sb4269 Premium
Awesome Kyle, the bigger the online world gets, the BIGGER THE ONLINE WORLD GETS. In today's world, any company that fights the online affiliate marketing world is already in trouble. The company that gives us a chance to reap the rewards of selling their goods and services, is way ahead of their competition, Amen.
Bless WA for being seeing the marketing future of many companies. We Are There for them.
Sam and Deb
Kyle Premium
An "affiliate" is much more than a tool. It is the ability for a company to have access to 100's, 1,000's and 10,000's of people with an interest in marketing their products and services. If they treat them well, they will reap the rewards of having an astute, knowledgeable and forward thinking marketing team.

Some co's still don't get it, but MANY do. They will continue to at a higher rate than ever and I am really exciting for the opportunities that are going to continue to establish themselves for affiliate marketers in the year ahead.
sb4269 Premium
Yes indeed Kyle. Deb and I were at the VA Clinic today having some tests for stuff, leave it at that. The conversation came up with our DR about what we do to keep our selves busy. We very gently, lol, told her that we invest a lot of our time figuring out how to save some of North America's big conventional walk-in companies. She was taken back some what, she knew I had turned 70 last November 12 and was dealing with some Agent Orange Issues from the Vietnam days. She asks Deb, "How in the world do you and Sam stay that active on the net and the conventional business world?" Easy question: Easy answer. We told here that the world is made up of a lot of people that reach certain ages or conditions in life and start telling themselves, take it easy or slow down some, and other reasons to start pulling back. How does one learn all the Blogging and Internet stuff she asked; Well, we introduce them to the Number One Blogging Platform on the Planet. I could go on Kyle, but you get the message. What you guys do is important in the grand scheme of things and many of us intend to help spread that.
Bless You Guys,
Sam and Deb
halinphilly Premium
I can't believe this Kyle. I was just logging on to write about this very topic, because Amazon just changed one of it's program policies and brought the commission rates down on several popular items. They probably do this every year after the holidays, but it still stings.

Nevertheless, I always look for opportunities outside of Amazon, so this is spot on. And of course, there's no reason you can't have an affiliation with Amazon as well.

BTW, I linked to this post from mine, so people will see how great minds think alike :-)

Kyle Premium
I saw that and I chimed into your post. Sometimes serendipity truly shows it's face. I really loved your post and it was so true, certain companies continue to think they can shave prices and shave affiliate commissions in parallel (not just amazon),

But you are also seeing companies raise affiliate commissions and you will see much more off this as well in the year ahead. In particular if they see the opportunity in doing so.

Offering a few more % and attracting 100's more skilled affiliates with authority sites is a good trade off in my opinion. :)
CraigW315 Premium
I'm really not sure how Amazon can manage to pay less than they do.... In another year or two, WE will probably pay THEM when we sell something. Their commissions were almost insulting before, but if they have dropped again....
DaveSw Premium
This is so true...If you factor in the acquisition costs for new customers, you just cannot get them for what you pay an affiliate...

Facebook or Google ads can be very expensive and you can blow through a lot of money with less than stellar results...It is not going to get any cheaper either, quite the opposite. I believe...

Here is an example of how cheap it can be, though, and how paying a decent commission will get you more for less ...

I have been approached by a local fella here in Dubai that has access to advertising space on websites that get 2B views a month...

For the products I am selling, he has related website/pages getting 150k views per day, with about 25% coming from Germany, Sweden, and the UK. Another large chunk is coming from the USA...

I have entered into an agreement with him wherein I only pay on sales/conversions for ads placed with him. That means unless something sells, he makes nothing from showing my banners and native ads...

Because the only cost to me is the time to prepare the ads, I have agreed to pay him 10%. For me, that is a deal. I get the lead, I can sell again and again to that customer, and my average acquisition cost likely will go way down...

That 10% is higher than many affiliate programs and I could have gotten him for less money, but my intent is that he aggressively pushes my offers on those sites...He wins and so do I...

Of course, it is yet to be known how effective this sales channel will be, but what are my costs? Nada...

Potentially, my colleague can make some really good money for his efforts, and he is quite happy with that 10%, it is higher than what he gets from others...


Dave : )
Kyle Premium
Exactly Dave, an affiliate marketing relationship makes much more sense in almost every case. In your case, if their traffic is bogus and they have pumped up their numbers or it is throw away traffic, you don't stand to lose.

They stand to lose their reputation in the sense that you are going to see what they really offer in terms of traffic quality.

But there is little inherent risk when a company creates an affiliate program other than the risk of not managing it properly and it being "stale" as a result. This can happen and does happen quite frequently, companies get excited about their affiliate programs, the invest in the creation and set-up, and then forget about the follow through (working with the actual affiliates).
DaveSw Premium
Good point on the follow-up and continued work with your affiliates...I have seen the value in providing training to help them and your company...

In many ways, you are teaching a lot of what is taught here, and indeed, I am looking at adding more such training for the people that work with us...

I also like the seamless tracking and payout system you have in place...This is not the case with all programs, even some on the relatively sophisticated platforms like JVZoo...

Here are a few examples of vendors not paying attention to their programs:

(1) I went through the end-of-year numbers in December, noting outstanding commissions, etc. There was over $500 total due, to my surprise.

Almost all of these were outstanding from sellers that were due months earlier. I had to chase each down to get paid, even though it was clear that the payments were due...

This was a waste of my time...

What went through my mind was that I will not make any further efforts on their behalf to push their products or services. Another thing I noticed was that some annual renewals I did not get paid for...

(2) Apparently, as with Amazon, there is no lifetime cookie with many sellers of IM products, so the sellers cash in 100% from your efforts. Seems a bit dodgy and again it means I will not push or promote their products...

I missed out on several hundred dollars of commissions from a couple of vendors who are doing this...Lesson learned...

(3) Yet another example was the changing of the rules after the fact. I had one seller tell me they changed to 120 day payment period after the sale 'to make sure there would not be a refund' (even though the money back guarantees is only 30 days???)...

I was told I should expect payment in February 2018 for sales made in October 2017...When I pointed out these inconsistencies, I got paid. But guess what? Another vendor I will not work with...

Overall Lessons Learned...

It is from my own experiences plus what I see from good and responsible vendors like Wealthy Affiliate that is shaping how we are putting together our affiliate program...

As with the e-commerce membership training and affiliate website that we have as a project, sometimes it is better to walk the walk before finalizing your own program...

Sometimes a year can make all the difference in the world, as the knowledge, experience, successes, and failures will help you provide a more enriching and useful product...

This is the approach we switched to for almost all online activities...We want to have done what we are talking about/selling. We want it to be beta tested and fixes implemented, we want a product that is ready to perform for partners and affiliates...

Too many times this is not the case...People are selling garbage...

Anyway, good discussion and appreciate the valuable insights, as always!

Dave : )
RD40 Premium
Thanks Kyle! I'm super excited for what 2018 has in store for us all. I would be even more excited about this e-commerce training you're thinking about getting started. Before finding WA, I was working on doing drop shipping, but eventually decided not to get involved. So would love to learn more about it and maximize on this traffic that is starting to flood in.
Kyle Premium
Don't be too fixated on that concept. There tends to be more money in affiliate marketing generally speaking and you should still be building an authority site and establishing your brand, but we are going to continue reveal new opportunities to maximize your website revenue and profits.
mtatar Premium
I have seen this happening too where I live. Kmart, JCPenny, Sears, Yunkers. Now Meijer, Walmart, and some other stores are offering customers the opportunity to do their grocery shopping online pay by credit card and have it delivered to your home.

I haven't seen anything in my business because I haven't worked steadily. I am hoping to change that for 2018 and this blog has got me enthusiastic. Thanks!!!!
Kyle Premium
Steady, will win the marathon. The key is consistency over a sustained period of time and you will really start to see results.

I look forward to working with you in the year ahead Michelle!
EddySalomon Premium
I'm happy to hear that there will be more training on e-commerce in 2018. It's one of the topics I was going to discuss with you in Feb in the Vegas conference. Last year I received a lot of questions from members that wanted to sell their own products. So I think having more e-commerce training will be welcomed and provide members additional ways to earn in addition to affiliate marketing which isn't going anywhere.
Kyle Premium
E-commerce is great, it is certainly not for everyone though and it absolutely does not replace affiliate marketing.

There are definite drawbacks to "starting with ecom", the main one being that most people that do this need a significant ad spend, they only can use FB ads or Google/Bing paid placements to drive revenue, and they never really learn how to market to their audience.

Once you have a solid source of traffic, a brand/authority, and have room to position products where your profits (including your time expenditure) are better than promoting those same type of products through affiliate programs.

So you will see some strategic training on ecommerce, but it won't be a sort of catch all like you see out there. We want people to WIN in their markets, and be as profitable as possible. That will always be the goal.
EddySalomon Premium
You're preaching to the choir. I totally agree with you. But for some reason some people just want to dive into ecommerce without understanding that without understanding the other fundamental SEO and marketing principles taught here for affiliate marketing sites, their ecommerce site is likely to fail unless they can invest in the paid traffic sources you mentioned.

So I think putting that in context while helping folks set up the ecommerce element would be useful. But i can see this being a gift and curse become some people just set up an ecommerce store and not following the principles of SEO and writing content to promote their site. So I get your apprehension.
Kyle Premium
Absolutely, it is important that people understand the fundamentals of building a business online before they dive head first into e-commerce.

Too many people are losing a great deal of money in the e-commerce space simply because they are sold on the idea of "build it and they will come".

That is the backwards approach and if you take the "ecom first' approach to business, you surely need a substantial ad budget in order to test and refine and see what converts and what doesn't.

And then you are at the demise of PPC platforms (a) disapproving your ads (b) welcome new competition in that will pay their way past you (c) thinning margins with competition as you are paying for traffic.
EddySalomon Premium
PatsyC Premium
Thank you Kyle! this verifies what has been going on out there with retailers. Toys R Us and Sears are history where I am. Sears closes its doors in a couple of weeks.

Online shopping is climbing and we are all here at the right place and the right time to become success stories and it's exciting!

Thanks again for this information!
Kyle Premium
Yeah, Sears has closed it's doors here as well. It is sad as it has been such a staple, and the offline world is not a bad one for shopping, but they haven't offered any reason for people to come to the store, and certainly they have not put enough emphasis on their online side of their business.

Same with Toys R Us, Kmart, Wet Seal, etc. The list of casualties piles up.
Stella2 Premium
Thank you for sharing your insights with us, Kyle. It is very reassuring to know that this is how you see things for the future. It gives me a satisfied feeling of having made the right decision to choose WA and trust the guidance of the leadership.

Really appreciate this inspiration!
Stella :-)
Kyle Premium
Out of my 16 years within the affiliate marketing world, I have never been more excited about it.

I do think there is going to be more transition of funds from companies into the affiliate marketing world as they realize the value add it is to have a base of active affiliates driving their businesses.