I remember back in the late 90′s and early 2000′s affiliate marketing was one of the easiest ways to earn money online without the need for much start up cash. All you had to do was create a simple website, join a ton of affiliate programs and start sending traffic. Now though, it seems as if affiliate marketing programs are dying out. The days of easy money are no longer with us, as major corporations eat into the profits of many of the smaller online companies which use to offer nice incentives.
Amazon.com is one of these major corporations. Although Amazon offers an affiliate program, the rates in which they pay are extremely low, making it quite difficult for anyone to earn a substantial amount of money selling via their affiliate links. Even if you did create a site dedicated to a few special products, and tried marketing that site via search engine optimization, and paid search, it’s likely a good majority of the people who may have bought from you in the earlier part of the 2000′s, would simply go directly to Amazon or Ebay and search for the same product.
The search engines are no longer the best start points to purchase a product. The search engines are being used more and more to research products before a purchase, however when a purchase is ready to be made, most consumers are going directly to the Amazons, Ebays, and Overstocks of the world. As time goes on the value and importance of affiliate marketing will likely continue to decrease.