Affiliate Marketing in 2020. A Shrinking or Growing Opportunity?

Last Update: September 05, 2019

Whenever you start anything "new" there is a level of natural apprehension takes place. If you are new to the online business world or affiliate marketing, then you are likely questioning whether or not it works. In fact, many people think affiliate marketing is something new.

Because of these misunderstandings and unwarranted fears about the industry, I wanted to offer some clarity on the common questions, and some clarity on the industry as a whole.

But first I want to start with my story.

My Start in Affiliate Marketing and Why it Matters

For those of you that have not visited my profile to read my story, I got my start in affiliate marketing back in 2002 (see picture below, from just prior to me starting out lol). At the time, I didn't really have much experience with affiliate marketing nor did I have access to a platform like Wealthy Affiliate to inform and help me with affiliate marketing. Instead, I had to learn the fundamentals of affiliate marketing, how it worked, and the revenue model on my own.

I also had to build websites, from scratch. I had to create hyper links in HTML, and I had to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to create my own, albeit very UGLY, website templates. It wasn't the prettiest, but I was able to fumble my way through the technical elements.

In all reality, the actual process of affiliate marketing and how it worked, wasn't that complex. The same way I teach affiliate marketing today, was the same way it worked and people were succeeding with it back then. In its simplest form, affiliate marketing is the process of connecting a "customer" with a "product", often times a product that they already know they want, or are researching.

The affiliate is the entity in between the product and customer. Nothing more complex than that. Your role as an affiliate is to inform and help & inform people, that is unchanged.

Say someone is looking for information on how to solve a problem they are having. You, as an affiliate marketer, can create content about the problem, the solution, and make a product/service recommendation that is closely relevant to (or is) the solution.

Say someone is looking to a product/service review? You, as an affiliate marketer, can provide them with insights into the very product/service, offering a comprehensive review and then either making a recommendation to purchase, or making recommendations to superior and more cost-efficient alternatives.

I could go on and on with examples, but they would all fit nicely into the ROLE of an affiliate marketer being that as a problem solver & helper.

The minute you try to make it more complex than this, is usually when you are going to go into information overload.

Has Affiliate Competition Gotten Worse Since 2002?

Some people new to affiliate marketing like to set themselves up for an "excuse" if they fail. They say there surely is too much competition these days, more people are online, more people are attempting to build business, and more people can actually create something of substance because of improvements in technology.

All of these are true, and I would not argue those.

But at the same time all of these things have happened, the marketplace for affiliate marketing has also grown.

In 2002, there weren't a lot of affiliate programs. People around me and that I told I was becoming an "affiliate marketer" certainly reacted with a blank stare as well. It wasn't nearly as prominent and if anything, the opportunity within the affiliate world was fractional as to what it is now.

But the funny thing was, I felt as though there was so much opportunity that I would never have time to take advantage of all the affiliate opportunities. That was the case, and I never did.

I moved between several industries in my first 3 years though (prior to starting Wealthy Affiliate with Carson). From the health niches, from hosting, voice over IP, and even pharmaceuticals (prior to their being so much red tape in that industry). The opportunities were everywhere, but there wasn't enough hours in the day for me to tackle them all.

It's still like this. Only you have a larger audience of buyers online now. 4 billion people. You also have over 550 MILLION products/services that you can promote as an affiliate marketer, something that continues to grow at an hourly rate. If you had told me back then about today's opportunity, I would have been blown away.

Affiliate marketing is here to stay, and there has never been a better time to get involved.

The Ingrained Function of Affiliate Marketing in OUR Lives

Affiliate marketing, whether we know it or not, has become an ingrained part of our day to day lives. Every search we do online, every purchase we make, all the social media services we are part of, and how we find out solutions to our problems are deeply connected to the affiliate marketing industry.

Affiliate marketers, are authorities of the various industries out there. They are authority bloggers, they are experts, and they are credible sources of information. They are YOU and this is exactly what our focus is with our education here at Wealthy Affiliate, to teach you how to become a presence and a long term brand in your industry.

To do this, you help people. You solve their problems. You interact and engage with them. You make product/service recommendations to them. Affiliate marketing is just one of the potential monetization methods on your website, but it is also one of the most lucrative. You can literally promote any product/service in the world to your audience, and get paid for it...often times at a ratio more than the net profit of the merchant (the owner of the affiliate program).

We go online to buy, there is likely an affiliate connected to that sale.

Affiliate Marketing is THE Focus of All Major Online Corporations.

You have likely read the doom and gloom on the news about retailers suffering. Many of the staple stores of our early childhood are going out of business. We have seen Sears, Toys R Us, Brookstone, Rockport, Nine West, Payless Shoe Company, Diesel, Gymboree, Claires, Forever 21 and MANY others file for bankruptcy in just the last few years in what some would deem as the retail apocalypse.

Below is a chart outlining some bankruptcies from the past few years.

Retail Apocolypse 2020


But how could this be, if they all of these companies had an online presence? They have online stores that you can shop at and buy their merchandise.

That is correct, but the problem is they haven't taken the "online first" or "online only" approach that many of the thriving retailers have taken. The successful and well run companies have been investing a great sum of money into their online divisions, and affiliate marketing.

You don't have to look further than Amazon, they are by far the biggest retailer in the world and they run strictly an online operation. They have been investing and have understood the power of affiliate marketing since their inception, and they continue to advance their Amazon Associates (affiliate program) technology, offering, and resources.

Love or hate the actual cookie and commission structure of Amazon, it is indisputable that a key reason they have been consistently growing their brand and revenue over the past 10 years is because of their affiliate program and investment in their online platform.

Look through the Affiliate Programs tab here at WA, you will find some really awesome affiliate opportunities and companies that are taking the "affiliate marketing first" approach to their online marketing. Companies can have 10,000's, and in some cases, millions of marketers promoting their products/services on a performance basis. Gone are the days of relying on an in house, salaried marketing force to sell products. That simply doesn't work online, and in the new 2020 world retail economy.

If you want to be a big fish, you invest in your affiliate program and you invest in your online retail platforms. According to a recent Awin Report, it was reported that the global annual investment is worth more than $13 BILLION annually now and this number is only continuing to grow. This is good news for affiliate marketers and is a business opportunity and model that will continue to become a more prominent fixture for many years to come.

The Idea of Opportunity Dilution

Is the opportunity fading though? I mean, it is getting more and more competitive right?

Yes, and no. The opportunity is growing, and there are more people getting involved. But MORE people doing something, doesn't mean more competition. In particular when most of them are doing it right.

You should be thankful that so many people these days are going in the direction of "funnels". This is being presented like some sort of new form of marketing, but "email marketing" (all this is) has been around for many years. It certainly is not the starting point of any business, but it can be a very important aspect of your business as you build an audience (as you can collect email addresses).

You are Building a Business. Treat it like one.

OK, so now that you can relax on the idea of affiliate marketing somehow vanishing (which there is NO CHANCE of happening) you can focus on building a business. That is what you are doing, and although affiliate marketing is likely going to be one of the core revenue models that you leverage within your online business, you are establishing yourself as a brand and authority in your niche.

If you want to succeed at a high rate and establish a long term and sustainable source of income online, you are going to need to invest your time, energy and personal resources into building an actual business. There has never been a more cost-efficient time to build a business (in particular with what you have access to here within the Wealthy Affiliate Premium membership), and there has never been more opportunity online.

The affiliate marketing space is going to continue to grow through 2020 and far beyond. We are going to remain on the bleeding edge of this industry and continue teaching you what works and provide you with all the tools, services, training, and support you need to create a thriving affiliate marketing business.

Treat your affiliate marketing ventures like a REAL business, and that is exactly what it will become.

So I want to hand over the floor to you now. First, have I put your mind at ease when it comes to the affiliate marketing space? Second, what excites you the most about the affiliate marketing industry in the year(s) ahead now that you have read this? And if you have any questions or personal insights into the affiliate marketing space, I would love to hear it.

I look forward to hearing your feedback and I can't wait to see what you all achieve in the affiliate marketing space in 2019, 2020 and beyond!

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
EmilyR40 Premium
@kyle Great read. I had to smile at the mention of funnels because people don't realize that funnels have been around FOREVER. I've been in the online business space for almost 12 years now, and I've never seen a time without funnels — though they may not have been called funnels back then.

Here's what I've been pondering as we move into 2020...

Social selling

It seems to be the latest catchphrase in the online marketing space and people are buying into it like crazy. But they are getting it all wrong. (I mean really it's just a fancy new phrase for social media marketing...)

I came across a girl a few weeks back who was selling a $5k per year coaching program (which was really a membership program and not the high-end coaching program she was raving about). She seriously told everyone following her throughout her launch that within the past year, she got rid of 90% of her automation.


>>> People don't read emails.
>>> People want to have more two-way conversations.
>>> It's easier to sell via DM.

Ummmm no. Just no.

Affiliate marketing is far from dead, and automated sales funnels and email marketing isn't going away any time soon. She totally capped her income cutting out all of her automation when she should have been focusing on building relationships and connections within her automated funnel. SMDH.

Sometimes I think people will just throw money at anything. Too bad, I'm not cut out for scamming people like that. I'd be a billionaire by now.
Tjones702 Premium
Great post! I have been trucking along building out sites and learning all I can about affiliate marketing because I really believe it to be a fantastic way to build a passive income stream.

After reading and listening to the 4-hour workweek I knew I had to live the location independent lifestyle. There have been many ups and downs but I am still pushing as the desire to have the location independence is far more important than having to go into an office or to a job that doesn't allow the same freedoms.
Rajanand6 Premium
Dear Kyle, Many thanks for removing doubts about the possibility of success from many would be Enrepreneur's minds {myself included}., and that too at the very initial stage itself.

Please don't take it otherwise,
for what aspect I am trying to emphasize upon here but even if an iota of possibility appears to be existing in the system, that should not be allowed to exist and grow.
I am brand new to the system and have tried to be well behaved and clearing payments promptly. But I could not understand the circumstances under which I was STRIPPED OF PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP twice.
In both cases the reason given was " your payment has not been taken, your bank did not let thetransaction happen.and also that I CANCELLED the order and then resubscribed, both of which are not true. Because I do not have Kyles' s or Carson's telephone or Email addresses and the regular CONTACT system does not work because you are prompted to OPT FOR PREMIUM to contact any body, Because only PREMIUM members enjoy that facility, which means that you first, pay, become PREMIUM and then contact, Here is what you read (in red ink) "Your comment privileges have expired.UPGRADE TO PREMIUM and unlock UNLIMITED HELP & SUPPORT.
That means pay first,become PREMIUM and then get help.
Sorry for this comment but hope it would not go in vain
Kind regardsb,

P.S. : Another aspect which worries me is the possibility of our unwelcome presence to some mischief maker.i
Debs66 Premium
Hi, Raja,

I remember this problem now. You was my referral in the beginning.

I do believe I contacted you after contacting Kyle. Your Payment didn't go through. I still have the PM's with Kyle and the conversation we had.

This can happen as sometimes our Banks do not allow it or sometimes the payment simply does not go through. It was a simple case of that. No extra payments was taken.

You did in all essence re-subscribe.

When you re-subscribed you went directly under Kyle this time and by then your payment was successful.

The write access does last 7 days only so you will lose that privilege.

I do believe we got this sorted. Now you are all good to go as a premium member. It makes no difference if you are Kyle's referral or anyone else's we all help each other here.

Have a wonderful week Raja.
Debs :)
Rajanand6 Premium
Ma ny thanks
MLorenz1 Premium
Yes, Kyle, I agree with you. Internet marketing is only going to grow and grow.

I think someday stores will become obsolete. Now you can even grocery shop online and have it delivered.

Even if you are not in the business, if you don't get on board with the changes, you are going to get left behind.

Kyle Premium
it absolutely is, and online spending is continuing to ramp up. We actually see very obvious evidence of this every Black Friday as records online sales are set every year and I anticipate this year being no different. :)
learnto Premium
I thoroughly enjoyed this post by Kyle which clarified the true need for Affiliate Marketing and the explanation of how the way merchandise is sold currently. I have seen many once prominent stores close -- due to bankruptcy and the post revealed they have been replaced by alert companies who have had the intelligence to sell online and use affiliate marketing
Kyle Premium
Those that invest into their marketing, but do so in a way where they are being the most efficient with their marketing expenditures, are those that will thrive.

In this day and age, ALL companies should be focusing on their affiliate programs, working directly with affiliates, and providing their affiliates with the tools, training and human resources to scale their businesses.
sjones2 Premium
My sister-in-law works as an VP for long standing major retailer. When she and I get a chance to talk about her company and their efforts online she simply says, "yeah we have online shopping". She does not fully understand affiliate marketing and she only speaks of their customers ability to shop on their website. Their company does have an affiliate marketing program as part of a smaller affiliate network, but not heavily promoted.

I read a post here a WA last year regarding retailers that were closing stores, her company had closed several stores. I spoke with her about two weeks ago she was responsible for going to tell another store it would soon be closing. Just to give you a little background about my sister-in-law she herself does not like shopping online; she does not trust it.

My daughter is dancer and when I send her the link to purchase tickets for a upcoming show she immediately ask if she can by tickets at the door or is there a phone number to call, she wants a live person. I constantly tell her will you get with it, lol, and get online.

I hope her company survives, she has been there since she graduated from college in 1990.
Kyle Premium
Well perhaps you should explain affiliate marketing to her and how it can lead to a companies ability to scale much larger than ever.

Instead of paying a CMO and a marketing team, you can potentially have 1,000's or 10,000's of people marketing your services online on a performance basis.

It is crazy to me that retails don't understand the power of this model. Amazon will continue to each their lunch if their only focus is their "online store".
sjones2 Premium
I will definitely plan on have that talk with her.
kpercival55 Premium
Thanks Kyle!
Every time I read one of your posts my commitment level goes up a notch!

It has taken me twice as long to get the OEC training completed as originally planned. But I have 3 websites up and indexed, and am happy with all of them.

The first one, my niche, just underwent a domain name change and logo update now that I understand more about branding.
The second one, unplanned and unexpected, is for my son who started his own business. He has gotten 2 jobs and a referral from it in less than 6
The third is an MMO site with only an about me page and an affiliate disclosure page. I will give it more attention when I begin Bootcamp training.

I have no doubt about the potential success of being a WA member. My everlasting thanks to you, Carson, Jay, and all the folks behind the scenes whose names we never know. What you have built is an incredible opportunity, and I plan to be a participant until they pry my cold stiff fingers from my keyboard, or bury it with me! LOL 😝!

Keep rocking my friend!
lamarkgroup Premium
Thank you for the this! The 4 Billion people 550 Million product ration puts things in perspective as to the unlimited size of the affiliate opportunity. The "FOMO", fear of missing out, as always kept me from staying with one course of action, i.e. letting a blog gain traffic before changing tactics!!
TDomena Premium
I agree with you that the competition has increased but the opportunities have too. In my opinion, the old school sales industry (with cold calling, door to door, PR, and cold emailing) have a lot more to worry about than affiliate marketing.

As an old school salesperson, if you don't know how to leverage the internet (as affiliate marketers do), then you have a reason to be concerned about whether or not you'll be able to hit your quotas because nowadays, more people are making their buying decisions online.

Bloggers and Youtubers are having more influence than the person who knocks on your door and wants to do a presentation. Like you, I can only imagine the affiliate marketing industry growing and I already feel like its more opportunities than I can take advantage of for more than 20 years (even if I hired a team)!
TheMagicBrad Premium
You and I are on the same page.

I think sales are about the alignment of the product and the market. If demand matches supply, there will be a $ALE if the trust factor is in order.

Also, the "attraction marketing" aspect of online blogging and affiliate marketing is a better way, in my opinion.

Pushing a product or service on a prospect is pretty ineffective when the prospective customer has SO many choices online.

However "attracting" the prospect to your offer, allows them to feel they are in control and are gradually moving themselves closer to the decision of making a purchase.

My 2 cents...


Minneapolis, MN
TDomena Premium
I agree with you. Attraction marketing and being in position online is the direction things are going.
skmorrow Premium
The whole competition thing is real, and it doesn't matter what niche you are in. My niche is really tough, and I really didn't understand that when I started. But I keep plugging away.

I have wanted to quit so many times but at the end of the day, it's up to me to succeed. I can study what my competition is doing better than I am or I can throw my hands up and say it's too competitive.

Competition is good. My biggest frustration is how long it takes to build a successful website. Again this is on me, if I had posted more content and had more faith in the process, I would probably be further along.

I see people in my same niche who are having success and I know it's possible. I could (and have) be depressed, "why isn't this working for me?" Been there done that.

At the end of the day, I am so much better from a writing standpoint now than I was 3 years ago when I started. I will continue to use those skills going forward.

Now, I understand this takes time, dedication and continual learning to be successful. I can't wait to get there!!
SirTristan Premium
Good on you Steve. Like.
BobMargroff Premium
Hi Kyle, it is amazing to see the opportunities out there. I noticed that it isn't just using websites...but YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram as tools to promote it all.

My 9-year-old daughter gets it...she wants her own YouTube channel...what exactly is she going to do with it? We have no idea. But it will be up to her.

I also find myself pointing out many of the affiliate marketing methods to my wife and she is finally coming around to the possibilities with this. She is seeing the potential and has even started to ask about ways to sell products on her pet sitting website. I am more interested in her and I partnering together to write blogs and link to pet supply, or other pet-related retailers.

All in all, I am very excited to see this interest in my wife and daughter...I can't wait to see where things go with this online world.
Linda103 Premium
I know its a growing market, seeing the numbers of internet users, which is growing all the time made me realise the possibilities are greater than I thought.
I was also amazed to discover how many companies there are using affiliate marketers.
When I came here I assumed it would be the big companies in each field but I was completely wrong.
I have been slower than i expected getting through the training but I'm getting there.
Slowly and surely I am learning and building alongside running my original online business. Once real life slows down a bit more I shall be getting much more done.
Onwards and upwards!
Kyle Premium
Yeah, that is the reality. The more people online, the more people spending money online, and the more products/services that have affiliate programs equates to more opportunity.

This is an exciting time to be within the affiliate marketing world and this is going to be the case for several years to come!
Linda103 Premium
I think so too. The more I learn and discover the more I realise what a vast field it is.
The future is online, that's for sure.
ShaunSumner1 Premium
Whoever thanks affiliate marketing is going to vanish must be out there rabid mind because I'm pretty sure it's here to stay.

I mean think about it it cost tens of thousands of dollars to put a billboard up for a certain amount of time when affiliate marketing is indefinite and is much cheaper than tens of thousands of dollars.
Kyle Premium
Lots of companies like to "fear monger" as their approach to marketing, our approach is showing you exactly how vast and expanding the opportunity actually is.

It is quite apparent, the companies investing money and resources into their affiliate marketing platforms (and affiliates) are thriving, those that are not are well, going bankrupt.
Hey Kyle,

You are a lifesaver,

This excellent post turned on a light in my foggy brain.

People do need solutions to their problems.

That's why reviews are so important for building trust.

Like a bridge, they connect people with products/services.

Also, reviews offer a practical solution to a specific problem.

I really should have been focused on doing more reviews instead of "doing me" Got it this time. :-))

There are millions of products/services out there.

However, how do I ditch the concept that I have to use them before I could review them?

Thank you kindly for sharing much appreciated views about affiliate marketing.

Have a great day.

Blessings always,
DorisHarsh Premium
I'd like to know the same thing, how do we get past feeling that we don't need to buy the products to try and give a review about?

I have heard that there's no need to buy them, but how can you give an honest review?

Have an awesome day
Kyle Premium
You can review products without buying them, in an ideal situation you would own every product but there are circumstances where this isn't cost efficient or necessary.

There are many reviews on Amazon itself (if it is an Amazon product), within forums, other websites, product information, discussion boards, the actual product website, etc that you can leverage to offer a thorough, informative, truthful, and highly engagement review for your audience for just about any product you can imagine.

It all comes down to doing your research and this is part of the process when writing any content, whether it be for a review or whether it is for a product/service or a generic sort of article.
PotaJ Premium
Kyle, cool post my man you seem to know when to post something to keep people up, when they may be having second thoughts about this industry. I plan on taking it one step at a time, me and my 13 year old son are doing this together got to get him a business mind going on early in life, we both love sports and he is a talented baseball player so we will focus a lot on sports in the start.

Thanks for your heart felt information.

Kyle Premium
Awesome, that is so cool that you are getting your son involved. It is never too early to get involved and understand the online business world, and I could have only wished my parents had gotten me into business at an earlier age. :)
Jaz333 Premium
Thanks Kyle! I have no doubt that affiliate marketing is here to stay (and grow)!

What is most exciting to me is the fact that we can dip our toe into several industries that interest us. I am building a site in the herbal niche, which is a huge passion of mine with so much information that I could continue to build a site out literally forever.

That being said however, the unique opportunity we get as affiliate marketers is the ability to have careers within several industries. I love my herb site but I also love the outdoors, hiking and camping and I have been known to cross-stitch here and there as a hobby.

For most people their 'job' lies within just one industry - but for us, we have the ability to build sites and be involved in several industries if we so choose.

Life will certainly never be boring when we are able to diversify our careers so easily :D

Thanks so much for giving me that opportunity!
Kyle Premium
Yeah, so true. The reality is that YOU have the flexibility to do what you want, when you want. You can work within any industry, promote what you like, and help a great deal of people in the process.

It has created and an even playing field for entrepreneurs and the start up costs of an online business are next to nothing these days.
tcrawford789 Premium
I really like your content., it made me feel more motivated and at the same time hit home. What I mean is right now my time is taken up a lot because I'm learning and trying to be successful, so hopefully by sharing your content to the important people in my life they will understand the affiliate markeing business and be more supportive to me and my successes.
I wanted to tell you also that I am so happy I found WA, for I wouldn't be where I am today, building my successful empire if it wasn't for you. What makes you different from the rest is
Being knowledgeable and setting us up for success. Most importantly
Your compassion for your Wealthy Affiliates family.
Thank you so very much for this opportunity.
Kyle Premium
That is all we know. We have always operated our business with honesty and ethics and that will continue to shine through with every thing we do.

Wishing you a bright and successful journey moving forward within the online world, you are capable of brilliant things.
Trodvies Premium
It's like you're some sort or mind reader or soothsayer, Kyle. Your posts - not just this one - always come at the right time - to address the prevailing concerns of members here. Guess other can testify to that.

As a matter of fact, I'm just venturing into the MMO niche, and my concern of recent has been, by the time my MMO website is up and running, will there still be so many people out there who would want to join WA (considering the the daily new members rate), to enable me get a share of the MMO cake?

I've been encouraging myself, and what you've done by publishing this post only reinforces my faith. Thanks for sharing.
Babou3 Premium
Great post!!
It's true that the world of affiliation is very competitive. But I think that if it's so competitive it's because there are great ways to succeed otherwise nobody would be interested. The important thing is to start and not to give up at the first difficulties. Kyle, you are proof that perseverance pays and pays very well. I prefer to be in a competitive market that is well lit by success than reinventing the wheel and waiting for people to be interested in what I would have created.

AnaB7 Premium
Thank you for the post with positive information and your take on the affiliate marketing future. I agree online is the present and the future for many businesses. Affiliates are the center to drive sales.

I am learning every day so many things, and one day it will pay off.


EarnestH1 Premium
I became a Premium member about two weeks ago,I have set up my website,because a lot of other members encourage me to do so and they say Wealthy Affiliates is a great place to Get Rolling.OK I get it,But I know nothing{nada} no ideal how to add content to my website.So I have two questions.

How do I are what do I need to do to add content to my website?
How do I become a Wealthy Affiliate Marketer?

merlynmac Premium
Keep following the training. It's covered in there. Where are you in the training now?
KateO Premium
Hi Earnest,
I understand you completely. I still have no idea what I am doing either, however I have just followed the training step by step like everyone will tell you to do. Yes, training courses are great and they make it that simple for you to follow along and create a great website for your niche. If you do not have a niche than you would go the Wealthy Affiliate Bootcamp way. That is the training to become an affiliate for WA. Hope this helps..Best wishes..
KRojas Premium
Wow to think it myself is one thing, to hear from one of our fearless leaders is exhilarating. The opportunity in affiliate marketing is abundant even within the same niches.

I see something in the gaming niche most media companies do not even think of exploring as a worthwhile opportunity. Thanks to WA I am able to cease this opportunity from what I have learned and continue to learn.

I imagine perhaps you, Carson and possibly Jay all felt the same when you started this amazing endeavor of creating WA.
judym Premium
Such a great post Kyle, thanks! Definitely think we are 100% in the right place at the right time.

There's so many great niches to work in... would love your thoughts if there are any that really stand out to you as a powerful opportunity right now.

Here's to great success!
TonyJS Premium
Awesome post Kyle!

I am so excited to be on this adventure and so thankful that I joined Wealthy Affiliate.
You have definitely put my mind at ease about the future of affiliate marketing.

What excites me the most is the fact that there are so many niches that you can get involved in. I mean it’s nearly endless!
If one doesn’t work for you then you can try something else. It’s a great time to be building an online business and I can’t wait for the months and years ahead.

Thank you Kyle,

All the best
RNL Premium
A great article Kyle. As an affiliate marketer I am always looking for improvements to becoming financially viable and stable.
I for one would really appreciate a comprehensive actual step-by-step list of exactly what to do from the moment you have a website to the moment you earn your first buck, rather than have to constantly search for a myriad of tips and suggestions everywhere on your site. Just one list of everything, no matter how long, would for me be invaluable!
FKelso Premium
I think we are in the right arena. It just takes some time to figure out the best way to play the game.

Not so many years ago I started learning about computers, and at first I was afraid to try anything on the machine for fear I'd cause it to crash. Now I'm over that, though not too anxious to mess with codes.

Now, thanks to your training program, I've learned enough not to afraid any more...that can be dangerous, but so far my computer still functions.

I still feel there is some key element missing in my own little business, but hopefully time will show me what it is.

Thanks for the update, Kyle. Moving onward.
KenGuest Premium
Being a 63 year old "dinosaur", I have felt the pains the past decade by not adapting to new online business models. I don't want to go the way of Sears Roebuck, Toys R Us, et al so I pulled my big boy britches up, get over myself and get busy with the brave new world order of commerce.
chjerpstedt Premium
Hello Kyle
After reading your current blog, i have renewed energy concerning opportunities in online marketing. I am excited about renewing the annual membership for the 3rd time at the end of September 2019. Now that i am retired, putting things together is a lot easier. Thanks Kyle, Carson, Jay and the WA community, you all are the best.
TysonE1 Premium
I am in love with all the concepts of affiliate marketing - being able to work as much as I want, from wherever I want, and promote quality products for people instead of selling junk like I did at my last job.

That being said, I think the market is only growing if all my stats are correct which is super awesome for us.

But man, anxiety is a ***** sometimes. I'm always afraid that I'll never know enough about products or ideas to effectively market them, so I sell myself short. I have a couple niche sites going currently to which I am happy working on because I know a thing or two about the subject matter. That's cool.

What I really want to be able to do though, is to be good enough to make a site and referral sales for Wealthy Affiliate. I've been doing the training for a couple months now, but I feel it'll be ages before I'm good enough to drive customers here.

I really do just want to share the awesome opportunity we have here and make a few coins too =)

russWA Premium
What I most like about Wealthy Affiliates is the the constant emphasis on the need for work and patience in developing a business.
It is very easy, especially at the beginning, to give up in frustration or chase the latest program offering the secret to success. The latest I have come aware of for affiliate marketing are programs offered by so called superaffilates of Clickbank - Mark Ling, Gerry Cramer, Rob Jones.
How to make money in affiliate marketing is a niche - one of the most popular along side how to make money as an Amazon seller.
There are countless programs and websites at various price points promising the secrets (of course they always are careful not to guarantee results).
Are any of these education programs worthwhile?
Learning is an accretive process. After watching a number of webinars, the formula is recognizable. Their background, failure, financial struggle, discovery of secrets, financial success, desire to give back by teaching, MBG, continued support, the time sensitive offer, bonus inducements for action.
Since I have become aware of online business, I have investigated many alternatives. Each promises the most direct path to success with the fewest downsides. As a newbie, you don’t know what you don’t know so the tendency is chase multiple opportunities.
At some point information overload sets in. You recognize instant success is unlikely and continued incremental learning is required. There are no grand epiphanies.
Helen123 Premium
The economy is suffering earthquakes like we have never seen before. In the UK, similarly to USA and Canada, we have lost those stores that I grew up with, stores that I never thought would fall by the wayside and Amazon probably has a LOT to do with it. But its all about adaptation, how quickly you can accept the old ways of business do not work... not so easy for those with fixed mindset. We have to grow, a growth mindset will allow a business to drive forward.... you can tell Ive been using these words before. I manage a website for a doctor, he's definitely old school but being dragged, kicking and screaming to accept new ideas! My only worry is the political turmoil in the UK right now, I wish I could emigrate.
MarkBoisver1 Premium
Yes more and more product owners are using the funnel system which is ripping the affiliate off by giving the affiliate 70% to 75% on the top three parts of the funnel. For the affiliate to make more money. The product owners should give the affiliate around 30% to 35% of the bottom two parts of the funnel. As the product owners can ask any amount money on the two bottom parts of the funnel. If the above was the case the price of products would go down and be more affordable for the customer the product owner would still make money with the affiliate making more sales for his share of the money.
OSegun Premium
Thank you Kyle for this assuring piece.

I have kind of been scoffing myself for not embracing affiliate marketing earlier than now.

But as you rightly mentioned, the opportunities are on the increase. With the growth in the use of the internet and internet literacy all over, the future of affiliate marketing business is predictably great, at least for the foreseeable future.

I think competition is good. Competition brings out the best in human beings. And for affiliate marketing it is good omen of a better future. If there is no future prospect, people will stop coming.

My resolve is to ensure that I do the right thing at all times. Raise my head above the water of mediocrity. Surely the reward will come.

I wish you all the best.

GOseyemi123 Premium
Hey Kyle, thank you for the post is great …. which I call “Wakeup Call”. I know I’m still far, far behind but I’m coming along; no quit no stop and I will get there.

Slow and steady wins the race! And the patient dog gets the fattest bone.

Again, thanks for the wakeup call.

MazieD Premium
Thanks for this insightful read. It has put all the pieces of the puzzle in place, and it's up to me to align myself to the endless possibilities of opportunities ahead.

I am committed to following the training materials available in order to brand myself. Again, I say a big thank you for allowing me this opportunity.

Palatia Premium
Thanks, Kyle. That puts things in perspective nicely. I too was making websites from HTML in the early 2000's but I didn't continue past a few years. I think part of your point is people are looking for information, not just a product. It's still the information age. :) I try to give my articles credibility by citing the sources I got my information from (primarily because it's a health-related niche). I'm still working on delicately adding ad copy to get them to click but heading in that direction (I hope lol).
Hey Kyle,
Great post! It certainly added to any optimism that I already had!

Being a newbie to this business, i don't know alot yet and i havent done a ton of research yet but it would seen that most businesses are trying to expand their online presence. This would seem to dovetail nicely with the affiliate marketing business model..

Just an observation from mewbie.
dominic16 Premium
Having joined the WA platform in 2016, my initial mindset was that I'm already late in the affiliate marketing game. So I wasted years dilly-dallying in my online business, playing and loafing around different money-making opportunities in order to find one method that works.

Fast forward to 2019 (3 years later), the ones who started the same time as me (and even those later than me) have overtaken me coz' they're now raking in like 4 figures per month simply by implementing what's taught here at Wealthy Affiliate. The teachings were so simple, that I taught it can't be effective for making money online.

But hey, past is past. I gotta' move on and not wallow in regret!

So I started to think of business from a different perspective. As someone who's coming back and giving affiliate marketing another shot, would I still tell myself that affiliate marketing doesn't work especially for the upcoming 2020?

What I realized is that if I talk myself out of affiliate marketing once again and continue slacking off like I usually do, then I might regret the decision for like 3 years later (probably in 2022 onwards) because I'm going to see a 2020 WA member producing a consistent $1,000+ affiliate earnings per month by the time it's 2022!

Ultimately, I shall keep on doing affiliate marketing no matter how long it takes to succeed.
megawinner Premium
It is never late. Do not quit ever. Just one day at a time bro. keep it going.
TysonE1 Premium
I believe you can do it as much as I believe that myself or anyone here can! Don't let self-doubt and fear be the things holding you back - 'cause if you're like me you'll always regret it later on.

Best wishes,
jivitaa339 Premium
Thanks, Kyle, a great encouraging post as usual:)

After reading this blog, yes I am in a relaxed zone. It's really incredible and inspiring how you overcome your difficulties in affiliate marketing and actually built a platform which is going to be useful for all the coming years.

The opportunities in affiliate marketing are endless and in coming years, these opportunities are going to increase in an exponential way, is really exciting.

At the same time, at WA we are constantly getting expert guidance is always a Plus:)

EdwinBernard Premium
Well stated Kyle.

The training you have put together here is perfect to help us succeed. The main takeaway in this business is that the work must be done first before success can be achieved.

Like doing the tasks to make our website an authority site. There is no going around that to do this at least 100 quality articles must be published. And the thrust of these articles must make the reader feel valued and that it was worth their time reading it all.

In that vein I carry on writing and publishing. Not as fast as I should do. But I am making strides.

The skill is in how one makes that connection with the right customers and keeping them engaged so that they make a buying decision and click through, in my case to WA.

Thanks for all you do Kyle.


JackStephens Premium
I never doubted the impact of affiliate marketing. Before coming to WA, I had considered another program but it did not use affiliate marketing in the same way. I was much more impressed by the WA method.

I am not one to get excited about something until it works and begins to show its worth. Right now, I am still in the learning stage and am only part way through the training. But I have faith in WA and the system, so that is what sustains me.

I know that if I do the right things, fix my problems and keep at it, my program will succeed. So I save my excitement for the future which, as your post explains, is very bright indeed.
Debs66 Premium
Hiya, Kyle,
I can't ever imagine starting Affiliate Marketing without Wealthy Affiliate. So it is amazing to see how far you and Carson have progressed.... You look well young :)

(I am writing this now and an email has just come in with a recurring Affiliate commision from you guys.. Haha. That makes me feel good lol. )

Anyways getting back to your post. With so many possibilities nowadays it's a no brainer to step into Affiliate marketing. It amazes me how many people don't even know about it. The people I talk to and mention Affiliate Marketing they look at me as if to say ''What you talking about'' lol.

You know what the best thing is if I fail at one niche I have a zillion other directions I could take. If I just look at the Affiliate Program section I get tons of ideas.

The best day I had for a lot of years was the day I met W.A. and went premium I have never looked back.

To think I run my own Businesses now. Well what can I say. I am chuffed to bits. Not bad If I say so for myself an absolute complete newbie to everything in Affiliate Marketing and building my own website. Not to mention the Local Marketing side I have learned too.

Affiliate marketing Rocks and so do you Kyle and Carson. Thank you for making my journey a good one without all the scams. I call Wealthy Affiliate my safe place to learn and work from. Everything I have here is at my fingertips and the answer to your post...

Yes my mind is at ease. I am enjoying every single moment of it.

Debs 😉👌🙌
rolfbratli Premium
Hi guys, I am just a novice in this online business game., so I should possible shut up and let you guys talk. But I want to share what I as a novice online marketer got out of Kyle's article, and then you can put m in my place later!

The article by Kyle make a lot of sense to me as online we are talking about more than 4 billion users a

day,and these numbers increases every day.

This seem to be one of the most important channels for business in the future, and If you're not here you will slowly disappear....

Because the businesses that invest in their online presence will build trust with their followers, and no business transactions are done without trust being part of the process.

The exemptions being the occasional impulse purchase....

The way I understand Kyle is that if WE build our BUSINESSES now, and provide quality content to our readers we will, over time, get the required authority that will lead to trust and thereby sales.

In other words we are in a marathon, not a sprint, and we need to keep at it relentlessly until we get sufficient traction to build trust and thereby generate sale from our websites.

And we have an advantage as we KNOW (well at least you guys know) what to do with respect to getting traffic, trust and sales. So let's use our advantage and make a lot of success stories for 2019 and beyond!
Dale123 Premium
"You are Building a Business. Treat it like one."

The easy-entry of affiliate marketing opens up business for many people who otherwise would never have started a business - however because it truly is so easy-entry (and easy-exit) many people as you say never actually treat it like a real business. They just hop in, "try it" and then hop out.

You hit the nail on the head once again with your post & those that do indeed treat it like they would an "actual" business will undoubtedly see great success.
Fredeim88 Premium
A fantastic blog. And you are absolutely right. Many businesses have never even heard about affiliate marketing. Nor the possibilities online. Or, maybe they did but thinking it's not worth spending time on it. I think it's about fear of success. They should be more focus on the possibilities out there. Get coaching from the next generation.

Especially in Norway there are people in the management who been there 30 years and more. Doing things they always did.
Tich4 Premium
First off, I would like to thank you Kyle for this very insightful article. It is helpful to those of us who are new to this type of business, and I encourage you to keep up the good work that you are doing here at Wealthy Affiliate.

I for one am excited about the future of affiliate marketing. With a 250% plus annual growth in the number of people connecting to the internet, there is definitely reason for people to want to take advantage of this lucrative business.

The competition also has without a doubt grown over the years and it is only going to continue on this trend. This fact however should never be a deterring factor when chasing your dreams. I actually am all the more determined because of this, as it gives me the opportunity to become more innovative in my approach to my business. And just to add to this point, i would like encourage the WA community to never feel like they are fighting a loosing battle. You made it this far, so you can undoubtedly become a brand name in this industry.
AlexEvans Premium
I was thinking about Kodak today, they originated the photography niche so to speak and yet filed for chapter 11 in 2012.

That was a watershed event, they were iconic yet failed to grasp the need to have that online presence.

So many companies are exploring the affiliate marketing trail as a way to create sustained growth.

The mobile-first world that we are living in will continue to drive the affiliate marketing sphere.

We all search online to find the best deal or offer, we can even make that purchase while living our daily lives, and that product will turn up at the door.

Of all the online gateways affiliate marketing is the most legitimate, and moving forward definitely an industry worthwhile being involved in.

Never tire of hearing about WA history and bylines.

Thanks for sharing that Kyle.
Intention Premium
Thankyou Kyle. clearly affiliate marketing is here to stay yes it may well be more competitive. but with all the support we have here at WA which wasn't available just a few short years ago makes it still possible to succeed in this industry. Thank heavens we don't have to do all the behind the curtain technical stuff because most people would not be here today if it wasn't for those innovators like Kyle and Carson making it possible.
juanavila49 Premium
You've said something very true, and it actually was my major stumbling block when I tried to think ahead when I wanted to plan success selling on line: ¿how can I build a website to my fit if I'm not a techy guy?

Affiliate Marketing is a blessing by solving that.

Thank you for pointing it out!

Kghosh Premium
A great article. You definitely have dealt with affiliate marketing in a great detail. You made some lines on niche selection where I am still stuck. I don't know, why I cannot come out with bravity. I have to do something quick. Time cannot be wasted. I don't have any language to praise this article which has dealt with all its pros and cons and above all its acceptability in the present time. One thing is made clear that this trade needs rigorous action with strategic planning. I know that understanding is bit easier than implementing. I still don't know, how far I will be able to transform all these into reality being a fresher.
Anyhow, lot and lot of things to know and do. It will take time and that is what I have been thinking seriously.
My regards,
Rob001 Premium
Hi Kyle, thanks for your description of affiliate marketing and how you started.

The fact that so many traditional retailers are disappearing in the US and the UK tells me the online market must be growing by at least the same rate.

People are not going to stop buying products and services because the way they buy them is changing. Markets are becoming bigger and the number of potential customers is also increasing. Buying online has increased year on year by enormous amounts. It is easier to buy online, it takes less time, the retailer does all the work involved with delivery, many offer better than next day service, the customer does not need to go anywhere and can buy 24/7.

Online retailers and suppliers do not need to maintain impressive premises, shops or offices. All they need are efficient distribution centres and good logistics which need less staff. All the advances in distribution technology, stock control and automation are helping to reduce costs, provide better selling prices, and higher margins. The prospect of driverless vehicles and other advances planned for the future can only improve efficiency and increase online business all the more.

There are bound to be changes in the way affiliate marketing works but as the number of affiliate marketers increases the more the online retailers and suppliers will rely on them to recommend their products and services. Regarding future changes, the more successful of them will find ways to acquire others, which will expand their businesses more quickly and build protection for their existing positions.

As you say, I believe the affiliate market can only increase in size at the same rate as the online business increases, which makes it the biggest business opportunity and the most sensible way forward at this time.

Thanks Kyle for your article.
Best wishes, Rob