So what’s my point? Affiliate marketing is not dead. Not in the least. It’s simply evolved. It’s fluid and ever changing  so both affiliates and merchants need to be prepared to adjust to those changes and be ready to adapt.  You as the affiliate manager need to be ready to support affiliates in their quest for earning opportunities and changes to strategy. That’s why it’s important for you to stay on top of important topics in the space.
Affiliate marketing will be around for as long as reviewers are needed. Whether you’re listing the best toasters to use or the best budget laptops, there’s always a chance that you can continue to grow big as an affiliate marketer. To help you out, we’ve put together a few of the most useful tips that will catapult your career and get you off to a fantastic start.
In the past, large affiliates were the mainstay, as catch-all coupon and media sites gave traffic to hundreds or thousands of advertisers. This is not so much the case anymore. With consumers using long-tail keywords and searching for very specific products and services, influencers can leverage their hyper-focused niche for affiliate marketing success. Influencers may not send advertisers huge amounts of traffic, but the audience they do send is credible, targeted, and has higher conversion rates. 
Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!

This over simplifed example is a pretty poorly written as the author clearly did not do the research on this or talk to any company or industry professionals. Every single brand you interact with or see on TV has an affiliate program. To characterize this $1 billion per year industry in this light on the FTC blog shouldn't happen and is an insult and a disservice to every single affiliate company and employee that works in the industy. Every single industry from doctors to lawyers to salesman to As Seen on TV products have good and bad portions. I feel like the FTC blog has a responsibility to be truthful to consumers and an obligation to understand any concepts and business models spoken about on their blog and website. Any good blog post or writer should speak factually about both sides of said debate, consult and reference industry professionals and focus on examples of best practices. Step up your content FTC.


Websites consisting mostly of affiliate links have previously held a negative reputation for underdelivering quality content. In 2005 there were active changes made by Google, where certain websites were labeled as "thin affiliates".[34] Such websites were either removed from Google's index or were relocated within the results page (i.e., moved from the top-most results to a lower position). To avoid this categorization, affiliate marketer webmasters must create quality content on their websites that distinguishes their work from the work of spammers or banner farms, which only contain links leading to merchant sites.

Azam Marketing’s network enables advertisers to promote their products and services to over 325 million people via 29,000 affiliates, influencers, emailers and bloggers we have built relationships with since the 1990s. This includes the option of reaching out to millions of visitors, followers and subscribers via Azam Marketing’s internal websites, social media assets and opt-in email databases.
Websites consisting mostly of affiliate links have previously held a negative reputation for underdelivering quality content. In 2005 there were active changes made by Google, where certain websites were labeled as "thin affiliates".[34] Such websites were either removed from Google's index or were relocated within the results page (i.e., moved from the top-most results to a lower position). To avoid this categorization, affiliate marketer webmasters must create quality content on their websites that distinguishes their work from the work of spammers or banner farms, which only contain links leading to merchant sites.
I believe Google was cleaning out the thin sites, the garbage sites and mine have come back in full swing. I ran tests at SEOMoz to ensure my site structures were all in good shape. Traffic is fine, it’s the “sponsors” who want us to send traffic who are the problem. They want something for nothing IMHO. We read all the Terms and Services and then we comply but we really never know if we’re being treated fairly and our traffic and conversions are being recorded and reported.
I personally don't recommend them or use them. But I would be lying if I said a properly constructed PBN doesn't work, but that requires it's own set of expertise - if you are learning from scratch, it is a massive gamble that you won't tank your websites rankings. I sure wouldn't buy any "pbn links as a service", which is what I believe spencer did? That's just asking for google to smack you down.
Although it differs from spyware, adware often uses the same methods and technologies. Merchants initially were uninformed about adware, what impact it had, and how it could damage their brands. Affiliate marketers became aware of the issue much more quickly, especially because they noticed that adware often overwrites tracking cookies, thus resulting in a decline of commissions. Affiliates not employing adware felt that it was stealing commission from them. Adware often has no valuable purpose and rarely provides any useful content to the user, who is typically unaware that such software is installed on his/her computer.
Do you have zero interest in an expensive mountain bike the company you are an affiliate of sells? Well, you probably don’t want to feature it on your blog, as it is extremely difficult to persuade readers (or anyone for that matter) that they should buy something you wouldn’t be caught spending a single penny on. When you are passionate about a product or–at the very least–interested in learning more about it, this will come through to your readers, engage them and better coax them to buy
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