Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? And is it Easy & Worth it?

Is affiliate marketing dead?

The answer is a big resounding NO!

Just ask any random teenage gamer on YouTube making 6 figures off his YouTube channel with it.

Anyone who tells you that affiliate marketing is dead just doesn't know what they're doing when it comes to affiliate marketing in today's landscape.

Change does not equal dead.

In this article, we'll answer the following questions:

  • Is affiliate marketing dead?
  • Is affiliate marketing worth it for most affiliates?
  • Can affiliate marketing make easy money?

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? The Numbers.

Before we dig into my thoughts on this question about whether or not affiliate marketing is dead, let's look at what some of the latest statistics say:

Just look at this graph from Statistica, which shows that affiliate marketing spending is still on the rise:

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead Proof It's Not

That chart shows just how consistently affiliate marketing is growing. Not a single year of slow downs. Growth every year.

Dead methods of affiliate marketing?

But that doesn't mean answering the question, “Is affiliate marketing dead?” isn't cut and dry. There are definitely two types of affiliate marketing that are dead. They are:

Amazon Affiliate Marketing

Based on the new changes that Amazon made to their commission structure, I do feel that Amazon affiliate marketing is dead (and I never promoted stuff on Amazon anyway because the commissions were so low to begin with). 

Amazon Affiliate Marketing is Dead

So what can you do about this if you've been promoting Amazon?

A lot of the products you can promote on Amazon have their own affiliate programs, and you'll usually earn much better commissions that way. So switch your current stuff over to those instead.

I show you exactly how to pivot in this video.

Spammy Affiliate Marketing

The spammy kind of affiliate marketing is definitely dead, as it should be. What I am talking about here is:

  • Spamming links in groups
  • Spamming comments on YouTube channels (see the picture below)
  • Making dumb little websites that provide no value and spinning articles to put out all over the place

yt affiliate spam

The people who did affiliate marketing these ways in the past gave the whole industry a bad rap, but today, affiliate marketing is really just content marketing, and it is thriving.

How To Actually Do Affiliate Marketing in 2020

While affiliate marketing is dead in those two aspects above, for all of the other types of affiliate marketing, it's really just a shift to a more valuable and reputable type of marketing. These days, successful affiliate marketers use the following strategies…

Know Your Audience

Affiliate marketing in today's landscape all hinges on understanding your audience. The more you know about them, the more you'll succeed.

That means understanding the following:

  • What they like
  • What they don't like
  • Where they hang out online
  • What issues they have in regards to your niche
  • What is missing from the solutions that are available for those problems

Without knowing these things, you can only guess at what your audience would want, and you'll get shotty results. Understand what makes your audience tick, and they will absolutely love you and the solutions you bring to the table.

Build Relationships

Once you have a deep understanding of who your audience is, it's pretty easy to build a relationship with them.

Give them something they can download for free in return for joining your email list. Then, stay in contact with them, making sure that you are always providing value based on what you know about them.

For example, here's what you see when you visit my Free page on my website…

is affiliate marketing worth it

When you click on any of those links, it takes you to a screen where you can enter in your email to receive the free training…

is affiliate marketing easy

By growing a list in this manner, you'll experience the real success that occurs as an affiliate marketer!

Why? Because most people don't buy from people the first time they are exposed to their product. It often takes time to build trust, and that is what you'll be doing when you email them on an ongoing basis.

My emails follow Gary V's strategy of hook, hook, punch.

Provide value. Teach them. Help them.

Then wen you move in with a sale you will have hundreds of sales come pouring in.

affiliate commissions

Don’t Get Shiny Object Syndrome

Affiliate marketers are typically the entrepreneurial type, and if there's one thing entrepreneurs have in common, it's shiny object syndrome. But successful affiliate marketers stay focused!

If you are constantly promoting the next new affiliate program, you never be a super affiliate.

Instead, find a few high paying affiliate programs and make those your bread and butter.

Alls your content. All your emails. All your lives.


Remember, Affiliate Marketing is a Long Game

The ultimate goal of affiliate marketing is to earn passive income, and passive income doesn't happen overnight.

You have to be okay with delayed gratification. You have to put in the work up front without seeing many results so that you can reap the benefits months down the road.

That's just the way it works.

affiliate marketing growth

If you get discouraged because you aren't earning a big income right away, you'll keep switching gears, and that is the kiss of death in affiliate marketing.

Focus on the Right Products

If you're an affiliate marketer and you've been wondering “Is affiliate marketing dead?” then you most likely aren't promoting the products that will make it worth it.

The “right products” are different for everyone based on your niche and your audience, but there are two types of products that we can all agree are the best:

  1. High Ticket Products – When you can earn $100 a pop on an affiliate sale, you can make a lot less sales while earning a lot more money doing less work.
  2. Recurring Programs – Affiliate programs for subscriptions that pay over and over again each month are the ultimate passive income strategy. 

Focus on these two types of affiliate products, and you'll start to realize that affiliate marketing is certainly not dead.

Create Killer Bonuses

If you really want to provide value for your customers, and you want to ensure that they'll buy from your link instead of someone else's, adding bonuses to sweeten the deal is they way to go.

When you offer a bonus to people who purchase from your link, it makes people actually beg you to be able to buy from you. And then, your life just got a lot easier.

Don't overcomplicate your bonuses by piling every digital product you own into one big bonus. It's not about quantity. It's about giving them something that is irresistible because it will help them so much.

I always teach that there are 4 different types of bonuses that people drool over:

  • Software – Chrome extensions, WordPress plugins, and iPhone and Android apps are cheap and easy to create. Simply hire someone at Upwork! Or you can get white labeled software to give away.
  • Training – When you can teach something that will make their lives easier, they'll want it.
  • Time – Personal mentoring provides the highest value. You can't include this with all of your offers since you only have so much time, but for big income opportunities, this will seal a lot of deals.
  • Templates – Templates save people time, so they are highly valuable.

Want to learn how to create killer bonuses? Click here.

Is Affiliate Marketing Easy?

No, I wouldn't say affiliate marketing is easy. It's not a get rich quick scheme like many people think it is. And if you are wondering, “Is affiliate marketing dead?” what you should be asking yourself instead is “Do I want to put in the work?”

Often times your affiliate journey will feel like this chart.


These days, affiliate marketing requires more work and more value than it used to, so it's really all about content marketing (digital real estate). And here's how it works:

  1. We use buyer keywords and create content around those keywords (reviews, tutorials, comparisons, etc). Content can be through blogs, videos, podcasts, or any other method you prefer to use. Our affiliate products are the solutions.
  2. We promote to the right marketing channels, such as Google, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook Groups, solo ads, and email marketing.
  3. If we did it right, that content then keeps working for us, creating passive income.

When you create content based on buyer keywords, you have a greater chance of making affiliate sales since the people who find your content are already interested in what you're promoting.

Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?

Let me answer this question with a question:

If you could work for 10 years and then retire, would you?  That's what affiliate marketing can do.

Affiliate marketing is worth it to those who focus and stick with it. 

In my first year as an affiliate marketer, I worked countless hours and made hardly any money. Why? Because I wasn't following the tips in this article.

Once I learned these strategies, I was able to work a lot less while making a 6-figure income in my second year.

The problem is that most people never get to that point because they give up long before they figure out how to make it work.

Affiliate marketing is worth it when you treat it like a real business and do it the smart way.

The questions, “Is affiliate marketing dead?” and “Is affiliate marketing worth it?” can both be answered with a resounding “YES” when you follow a few important strategies:

  • Promote high ticket affiliate programs
  • Promote recurring affiliate programs
  • Create real passive income

Let's look at each of these in more detail…

Promote High Ticket Affiliate Programs

High ticket affiliate marketing is certainly worth it because it gets you results so much faster.

You can make $500-$1000 on a single sale; therefore, you don't need to chase your tail trying to make so many sales.

Choosing a high ticket affiliate marketing program isn't easy, but here are my best tips:

Choose Digital Products

Since digital products are downloadable, it's pretty easy to earn 30%-50% commissions, and sometimes even 75%-100% commissions.

On the other hand, physical products always generate lower commissions since they require money and materials to create them.

Promote Companies with a Range of Prices

The best affiliate programs have the following:

  • A free or a really low price product that you can promote
  • A funnel with some low ticket products ($97 or less)
  • An upsell or downsell product (around $49)
  • A high ticket product ($1000 and up)

A company that has all of this in place already has their marketing worked out so that all you have to do is get your referrals in the door with the easy stuff.

Then, they'll market to your referrals for you, and you still get commissions on the bigger sales even though you only got them in the door with a free product.

Companies like this might even be able to tell you how many leads you'll need to bring in to get to a high ticket commission based on their conversions.

Promote Recurring Affiliate Programs

Other than high ticket programs, you also want to look for recurring affiliate programs. These programs are so worth it because once you make a sale, you will keep earning on that same sale over and over again every month.

What could be better than that?

When you find a recurring affiliate program in your niche, it's a gold mine, and it provides real passive income, which brings me to the next one…

Create Real Passive Income

A lot of people are telling you lies.

Most of the people who are teaching others how to make passive income aren't actually doing it. They are working many more hours than they say. Here are several examples:

  • E-Commerce – People often talk about dropshipping or selling physical products as opportunities to earn passive income, but there is no way that can ever be passive. Even if you hire people to do it, you still have to manage those employees.
  • Agencies – I do teach this method but I also make it clear that while you can hire people to do the work, there's still a lot of in between work that goes on in the background.
  • Facebook Ads – The ads will almost never be passive because you have to monitor them. The instant your ads stop performing, you stop making money.
  • Instagram – Instagram isn't passive because you have to keep working it and cranking out content or you won't make money and your posts disappear within a day or two.

So how can you earn real passive income?

The formula is Affiliate Marketing + Content Marketing + Search Engines

Affiliate marketing is one of the only industries that is actually passive.

And when you combine it with passive income traffic sources, you can disappear for a year and you'll still be making money. Yeah, some things will change and die down but you'll still be making money.

The content you create is like digital real estate and it can live forever.

  • YouTube – Videos on YouTube can rank for years.
  • Pinterest – Content on Pinterest can rank for years as well.
  • Search Engines – YouTube, Google, Quora, Pinterest, Bing, Yahoo, Podcasts – these are passive income traffic sources.

Plus, you can do even better when you promote the recurring affiliate programs and the high ticket affiliate programs I'm always going on about.

Will We Ever See the Death of Affiliate Marketing?

When people ask me, “Is affiliate marketing dead?” I tell them that I don’t think we’ll ever see the death of affiliate marketing, and there are many reasons for this:

  1. Economic Sense – Brands have to spend a lot less money on affiliate marketing than advertising, so why wouldn't they want a bunch of affiliate marketers promoting their stuff?
  2. Work-From-Home Opportunities – More and more, people want to work from home, and affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to do it.
  3. Low investment – You'd be hard-pressed to find another industry that has such a high earning opportunity with low to no investment.
  4. Online Shopping is Growing – People are shopping online more and more, and that is only going to continue to increase.
  5. It Provides a Win-Win-Win – Savvy online shoppers actually seek out affiliate marketers because they know they'll either get a special deal when they use their link or they'll receive extra bonuses. That means, the customer wins, the seller wins, and the affiliate marketer wins.

What's Your Next Step?

There's no doubt about it; affiliate marketing is still an amazing opportunity for internet marketers to take advantage of. But what should your next step be?

Sign up for my free affiliate course!

You'll learn how I created a full time income with affiliate marketing. I'll take you inside my business and give the run down. 

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