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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    How has affiliate marketing changed over the years
    A few years back, it was really easy to make money with AM. At times, it seemed to be raining money. Now I think it is impossible us average affiliates to make a living through AM.

    How has AM changed for you over the years? The good and the bad.

    1. Our cookies get gobbled up through norton and other such software that labels them as spyware. No cookies --> no tracking --> no commission.

    2. Affiliates have a harder time ranking in the SERPs with merchants taking the top spots. (At least that's the way it appears to me. Or is it my imagination?)

    3. Much more competition with books sprouting up everywhere about internet marketing, some of which give lame advice to get traffic like asking a question on a forum, registering another id and answering that question recommending the product the said marketer is promoting. That gives us all a bad name.

    Sorry, can't think of anything good. Hope someone could bring up some great things that cropped up lately in this industry.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by womanht
    My plans for 2006...
    Hey womanht, looks like your sig needs updating...



    X

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I think the biggest change has been with the customer demands. Customers want more social features, the lowest prices, tons of reviews, the best coupons, and only the freshest information. What worked 6 months ago won't cut it anymore because customers want more. But that's what makes it so exciting, there's always that chance that customers will adopt our new ideas and innovations as older authorities fall behind.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Some short-term boosts have come and gone, but the core principles of affiliate marketing are still there. If you provide value to the consumers and merchants, you can still succeed. It doesn't take new-fangled ideas or chasing the latest fad (although that can often have short-term success).
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  5. #5
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    More competition.

    "What worked 6 months ago won't cut it anymore because customers want more."

    Um, no Snib, lol. I hate to break it to you but there are people that want nothing more than the current coupon. And yes, there are people who like all the social stuff too. Goes back to all the discussions we've had over and over again. There are many different models out there that work, not just your social shopping site.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    There are many different models out there that work, not just your social shopping site.
    I'm not referring to my site. In some ways I'm still playing catch up to all the major players. I was referring more to the newer players who have gained mainstream success over the past couple years like Kaboodle, ThisNext, ShopStyle, Like.com, Pronto, Jellyfish etc. Some very impressive properties have been popping up and I'm sure there will be many more to come.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  7. #7
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    I think we all know that it's harder. My first year was the year before the Florida update and I made so much money so fast, I almost quit my job. (I'm really glad I didn't).

    But it is still possible to make $$$, I am just putting in alot more thought. I am keyword obsessed and disciplined. (Today is my first official - "so what Am I doing for Christmas" workday).

  8. #8
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    I think we all know that it's harder. My first year was the year before the Florida update and I made so much money so fast, I almost quit my job. (I'm really glad I didn't).

    But it is still possible to make $$$, I am just putting in alot more thought. I am keyword obsessed and disciplined. (Today is my first official - "so what Am I doing for Christmas" workday).
    AMEN


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  9. #9
    Full Member Jim Guinn's Avatar
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    I think you can still make money the good old fashioned way...by earning it legitimately through solid marketing, but I also think that it is getting harder and harder. There is so much more competition out there then when I started. Everyone and his brother with a computer thinks they can make money on the internet. The market is saturated. And, there is so much more use of "questionable methods" that take advantage of the market.

    Jim

  10. #10
    Member niche's Avatar
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    Well the days of fast money with the google cash method are long gone, but new opportunities have come along.

    Bookmarking and social networking sites are springing up everywhere.

    We have to work harder and be more innovative these days but internet marketing still rocks
    [URL="http://www.affiliatemarketingintro.com"]Affiliate Marketing Basics[/URL]

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    You have to have more skills than the few you could get away with a few years ago. Back then, you could still make decent money just slapping up datafeeds, so long as you took the time to make sure that they displayed properly (cleaned them up).

    Nowadays, you need a skillset.... either programming skills, writing, SEO, or preferably a combination of all three.

    I believe that the social features that Snib is always ranting about are popular with many, but not as many as he would lead us to believe and that some people are just looking for informative sites, without all the social bells and whistles.

    If you are selling to techies and the younger crowd, then yes, by all means add as much social stuff as you can, but if you are targetting a middle-aged crowd, simply become more informative and give these folks the information they are looking for, staightforward and simple.

    There's still lots of ways to make money, you just have to keep quality foremost and look through your customers' eyes.
    We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.
    ~Lynn Hall

  12. #12
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Two words:
    1. Traffic
    2. Value

    A site with little value can sell, given enough traffic. So 5 years back, we (me included) were on a mad dash to create hundreds of pages containing not much more than links or pre-made showcases. "Spider Bait" is what we called them. Then the SE's figured out how to put these page results in the SE-dumpster, and perhaps that is where many of them belonged. Of course there is PPC, but a site with only a bunch of affiliate links is rarely profitable on a long-term basis.

    So develop a site with VALUE, real value. A place where you yourself would go to shop or seek information. And provide services, real services. To the point where "word of mouth" becomes one of your best "Search Engines". It's not easy though!

    It's certainly not the copy-and-paste-and-optimize-for-search-engines world it was at one time.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  13. #13
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    It's interesting. I started with content, moved onto a focus completely on sales. Now I'm back doing this as a hobby for fun, with a day job to pay the bills having fun writing.

    One thing stays the same. It is a wonderful creative outlet to let loose your ideas online. You can come up with a site on any topic you love and design it whichever way it likes, even if your color sense sucks LOL. If you dream it up, you can build it.

    Who knows what might catch on?

    Hey Boomers, thanks. I've been away for too long.

  14. #14
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    In the beginning - small pond, few fish, few rods
    A little later - big pond, many fish, some rods
    Now - ocean, many fish, many rods (and some using spears, guns, and lasers...)

    -sfcom


  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador IOWNIE's Avatar
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    Supply and Demand.

    Supply = AM's. Everyone is now an AM. If you have a blog, use facebook, myspace, if you are part of any social network or participate in forums......EVERYONE is allowing Affiliates to put Ads on their sites. Too many people promoting the same ads. Supply is too High.

    Demand = Audience. The people who used to click on our ads have figured it out NOT TO click on our ads. Its these same people that have now become AM.....why buy from "them" when you can buy from "yourself". Internet users are smarter now. Our once stupid audience is dissappearing. Demand is Down

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    I believe there are more SEO savvy players who can still present products and services more beneficially and more attractively than the actual merchant and beat the merchants in the SE's.

    I've only been in AM for a little over a year and only wish I had the foundation that only time can build on some of our AM sites. We have some very solid business websites that rank extraordinarily well but that came from years of consistent SEO.

    Bottom line is that it's probably not as easy as I hear it once was but there is plenty of opportunity out there for sure.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    From an AM standpoint, I am seeing a lot more garbage sites enter the application systems. I think that Steele is correct in saying that you need a skill set to make a site successful in these very competitive times.
    When I refer to garbage sites, these are sites (mostly blogs) that people start and then just paste ads all over. There is no content, no direction, pretty much just banner farms.

  18. #18
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    I agree that there is more competition. I think this is largely because people no longer have to be super technical in order to start a website.

    I have been doing AM for a long time, but was never super technical. The new applications we can use to make websites have led to a lot of competition, but it also allows me to have much better sites that offer my visitors a much better experience. I'm hoping the new applications will allow me to succeed now that my weakness in technical skills is no longer such a hinderance.

    One thing I'm surprised about is the lack of innovation by the affiliate companies. Seems everyone is progressing, but CJ, LinkShare, Shareasale, etc... are still in the same place they were five years ago. I figured they would be offering much more dynamic links and storefronts by now. Doesn't really surprise me, but we need these companies to get their acts together since we all rely on them for generating offers, links, and trackable clicks that don't get eaten in various ways.

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