If it isn’t quite clear that traditional (old) affiliate marketing is dead, then you've been living under a rock the last year.
“Pure affiliate sites consisting of content that appears in many other places on the web is unlikely to perform well in Google search results and can cause your site to be negatively perceived by search engines,” according to Google.
It is unlikely that you can realistically create a sustainable long term search based business employing strategies that are outdated and marketing products or services that are already eating away at your profit margin. How can you fix this?
Stop Being an Affiliate
Start thinking outside the box and turning your passion into a real revenue creating business. Create something.
If you have an affiliate marketing site that is based around selling rubber bands, cut the middle man out and find yourself a rubber band drop shipping partner. Or, better yet, inventory it yourself and think big.
There are hundreds of suppliers in China and around the world willing to supply you goods at rates you can make a real profit on – way better than you ever could being an affiliate.
So this is great if you sell a product or were an affiliate marketer to a product. What if you aren’t? Let's look at another example.
Let's say you're selling auto insurance. Sure it was easy to generate some HTML code from CJ or another partner slam it on your website and be done. But you know where you can really make money?
Host the form yourself. Find a supplier locally to fulfill the insurance leads and get paid. You will make more money than a web affiliate program will ever pay and you can test the market out locally and just trial it in your area – then, expand.
The Beautiful Part of Not Being an Affiliate...
Is creating a database. For years I used to run affiliate marketing sites and at the end of the day you're left with nothing.
If you create a real business with a real website, not only does Google approve but you're also showing some determination and perseverance, which puts you ahead of the black hat spammers from the get-go.
A lazy man won't go to these lengths. If you're willing to put in the hard work here, you will be rewarded dearly.
Once you've successfully transitioned away from being an affiliate, you can then remarket your database of customers. Newsletters or other cross-over offers can help bolster your profit lines.
The most important thing is to actually create something you're proud of and happy to work on. Forget the figures and the potential for financial riches. The best rich you will ever have is waking up knowing your work doesn't feel like work.
If you like horror movies, write about horror movies. There are ways to generate passive income from doing what you love. Plenty of people do already.
My last piece of advice to the old affiliate marketers: just pick one thing and stick to it. You can never successfully create a sustainable business by slamming out hundreds of mini-sites and doing a shotgun approach.
Find what you love and start working on ways to make it generate money for you and stay focused.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!