It doesn't take a genius to see that affiliates are moving into different, and away from pure internet marketing. I'm glad to see this change, becasue It's one we've been talking about on the forum for a long time.
My goal with the forum was always to get people building long term businesses.
Is Affiliate Marketing Long Term?
This depends on what you mean by long term. Things change so fast in this business, it's hard to look at many online ventures as long term. When you talk about pure affiliate marketing (ie sending traffic straight to affiliate offers), it's not really a good long term option.
Most affiliates seem to have a 2-4 year lifespan. Some quit after this, and some take those skills and build other businesses. Why don't affiliates last longer than this?
– They get tired of the constant up's and downs that are out of their control (traffic sources, offers being pulled, etc.)
– They did great in a vertical or traffic source that's no longer viable
– They see greater opportunity elsewhere.
The affiliates I've seen become really successful usually follow this formula:
They get really good at affiliate marketing. They learn a specific skill, or skills that enables them to make a lot of money.
They then take those skills (and hopefully money they saved) and move into their own offer, traffic source, startup, ecommerce, etc.
Why Even Do Affiliate Marketing Then?
Good question! Why not just start with your own offer, or something in ecommerce? You can do that certainly, and people do, but the skills you learn in affiliate marketing are usually vital to make those businesses work well. Not to say you couldn't succeed at one of those without doing affiliate marketing, but the skills you learn from becoming a successful affiliate will give you a great advantage. Many people view affiliate marketing as a stepping stone to something else.
With an affiliate background, it's something you can always go back to or do a part of it. It doesn't need to be an all or nothing. Maybe you can outsource the affiliate stuff you do at some point while you build other businesses? Maybe you can, like Mike Geary, send traffic to your own offer.
Even if you build the best ecommerce store, or CPA offer, you have to understand the affiliate side of things to make that business as successful as it should be.
Just to be clear – I'm not saying affiliate marketing is dying, or that you should jump ship. I think affiliate marketing in some form will be around for a very very long time. My goal, is to get you thinking about what your long term plan is.
What are you going to do when you get tired of chasing offers? What will you do when you can't scale a campaign any further? What will you do when you realize your income could double when you become the one retaining the customers, instead of sending them to someone's offer?