Is Affiliate Marketing Saturated?

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Affiliate marketing online has been one of the best money makers for entrepreneurs for over 2 decades now.  It hit its stride in the early 2000s when affiliate marketing was basically the wild west.

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The search engine algorithms were still playing catchup and people were constantly taking advantage of that fact.

But catch up they did and now we have a scenario where getting your new website to rank in the SERP’s for any big volume search phrase is close to impossible for the first few months.

What Might appear to be saturated is really just competition and poor keyword strategy.

So the question then becomes…

Is affiliate marketing saturated?  The answer is more complex than you might imagine. In some areas it is oversaturated, in others, there is a huge amount of opportunity.  But With new possibilities and markets opening each day there will be a need for affiliate marketers for years to come.

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What Is Affiliate Marketing

Before we get into whether or not affiliate marketing is too saturated, let me take a moment and do a quick refresher on what affiliate marketing is.

Affiliate marketing is a middle man of sorts. You take someone else’s product and promote or advertise it through a variety of means.

You direct potential customers to this product and in return, you get a commission for your troubles. Think of it as a finders fee.

Does It Even Work

Another question to ask before we get to the into the bulk of the article is to ask whether or not affiliate marketing actually works in ideal circumstances much less if it is over-saturated.

Not only does it work it is one of the best ways to earn money online and has been for the better part of two decades.

Advertising and info products are certainly rivals for it and in some cases surpass affiliate marketings profit potential but affiliate marketing is still one of the best ways to make money online.

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Some Niches Are Saturated

If affiliate marketing is such a good way to earn money online then why does it have the perception of being saturated? The answer is because some of it is. Or more precisely some of the more popular niches are saturated.

Trying to break into the weight loss niche or the recipe niche or a dozen others is so difficult that it might not be worth even trying unless you are willing to put the extra work in for very little extra gain.

In other words, there are better niches that you can use to get more profit for less work. But these saturated niches are some of the most popular and lucrative ones and that is why people still try and break into them.

And in turn, make them even more saturated and make it more difficult to stand out.

In this case, micro-niches are a must to leave the saturation behind. For example, the weight loss niche is saturated as a whole but you can niche down and find some much less saturated micro-niches.

Check out our list of 40 weight loss micro-niche ideas. None of them guarantee success or s smooth ride but they are much less saturated than the general weight loss niche.

Some Niches Are Too Broad

Another interesting reason why some niches look so saturated is that they are not really niches at all. If you try and start your affiliate marketing blog in the dog niche you are going to have a tough time building your brand.

Why?

Because dogs are far too broad a subject to tackle without a full time writing staff behind you. While dogs are technically a niche, a sub-niche of pets really, it is so broad that you will get swallowed up most likely. And the entire space will look saturated to you.

But if you were to drill down into the dog niche. Maybe down to dog toys or dog clothes, you can find out niche review of dog clothes here, you will find it far less saturated.

Go a little deeper into individual breeds of dogs and you might just find enough room to build a great foundation before expanding into other areas of the dog niche.

Not Too Narrow Though

While niching down is great and very necessary you may find yourself getting too specific. In which case you will not have the traffic to support a blog of any real size. This happens quite often.

People feel suffocated by the large, broad niches that might be saturated. So they drill down and then go a bit overboard.

They find some good keywords in a tiny little niche and start work on their new blog only to find out that the keywords ran out after 10 or so good articles. The perceived saturation of a given niche has forced you to go too far in the other direction.

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Individual Keywords Are Saturated

Another reason why affiliate marketing is perceived to be saturated is that many of the keywords are. The problem here is that many people, especially beginners, are targetting the wrong keywords.

Let’s go back to our dog example. If you write articles trying to rank for the keyword dog, you are never going to even sniff the front page. The keyword is too broad, too competitive and too saturated to even have a chance of getting anywhere with it.

The issue is that many people are enthralled by the super high volume of the keyword and think they can just get a little piece of the traffic and that would be great.

But it doesn’t work like that. The vast majority of the search traffic goes to the first page. and a large percentage of that goes right to the first spot on the first page. About 33% goes to the first spot (source).

Emerging Markets Will Keep It Fresh

Two types of emerging markets will go a long way to keep affiliate marketing from becoming too saturated.

  1. Emerging Global Markets: Every time someone new comes online they are a potential new customer for affiliate marketing. Think of it like this in 2015 only 26% of the Indian population accessed the internet(source). That is a lot of room for growth and a lot of room for new customers.
  2. Emerging Niches: What did drone bloggers write about before drones started taking off? What did vape e-stores sell before electronic cigarettes? What niche that few people are in right now that will explode in a couple of years? No one knows. Being on the vanguard of that wave will be a great place for an affiliate marketer.

Affiliate Marketing Is Not For Everyone

Here is one of the biggest reasons why affiliate marketing has this perception of being oversaturated. Because a lot of people fail at it. People look for a built-in excuse when they fail at something.

In the case of affiliate marketing, it was that the entire industry is saturated. That’s why they failed. Not because they didn’t put the work it.

Not because they failed to get the proper training to help understand the mechanisms and strategies behind affiliate marketing. No, they failed because they were doomed from the start because of the over-saturated market.

No-fault of their own.

It is a harsh way to look at it. A lot of people do everything right in affiliate marketing and still fail at it. I certainly did my first try and I suspect many of you have had your struggles along the way as well.

The important thing to do when you fail at something is not to blame the wind, or the gods, or oversaturation, but to learn from the experience. Fix the mistakes you made and pick yourself up and try again.

We get up and take action. And Again. And Again. Until we get it right.

The Big Finish

Wrapping everything up, affiliate marketing is far from saturated. Sure their individual niches that I would avoid like the plague. But as a general business model affiliate marketing is doing great right now.

In fact, it might be the most beneficial time to jump into affiliate marketing because of the number of people that are starting to get online and buy goods and services on the web.

You have to think of it in terms of a Global Marketplace. so while the majority of the United States, for example, is online and consistently making purchases there.   Most of the world is not there yet.

For an affiliate marketer, this is one of the biggest opportunities but you could have. Being able to tap into these new and emerging markets and even into the old western markets.

As more and more people get more and more comfortable about spending them you are going to see affiliate marketing grow in the next 10 years or so.

So now is a great time to get involved and to take action.

Start your website or YouTube channel or your Instagram account or whatever it is that you want to use to get your affiliate marketing message out there. The foundation you build right now is going to bring in passive income for the future.

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Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful day.

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