Is affiliate marketing dead in 2018?

There was a time when I use to make affiliate sales as low as 1:18 with one of the top programs that I send traffic to.

As I look through my stats for the entire year of 2017 I see that those number has dropped drastically but they still aren’t that bad – I mean if you consider all things.

My sales ratios for the year with this program are now 1:292. Yes a far cry from the days when I was pushing out sales at 1:18 but still 1:292 isn’t that bad.

That means on average out of every 292 people I sent them, I’m I make 1 sale. To me those numbers are okay. Because even back when I was making 1 sale for every 18 visitors, the average affiliate was happy with ratios of 1:350 and 1:450.

Today I’m told the average affiliate jumps for joy with sales ratios of 1:500 to 1:700. Those are considered “good” or even “premium”.

So, clearly at 1:292 I’m still way above average.

This means that despite the downturn in membership sales, my traffic is still producing. I’m still able to do what I did 15 years ago, only with slightly less success.

That being said, I can only say what I do with confidence because I know the quality of my traffic.

I don’t run tube sites and the majority of my traffic comes from search engines through my SEO efforts. It’s also very targetted traffic. So if someone visits one of my websites they came there looking for something specific, such as a specific porn star like Meggan Mallone, Hanna Hilton, Chasey Lain or maybe Megan Rain.

When they get to my website, they find exactly what they were looking for – content specific to that porn star and I advertise affiliate products specific to that porn star, such as the movies she starred in.

So while I may not generate as much traffic as a tube site does, the quality of my traffic is better and as a result, I make more money. How is that possible you ask? It’s a pure numbers game!

If I have 37 sales this month, it’s most likely that 31 of them will renew their membership. So not only will I make the money form those 37 sales, but I’ll also make money next month from the 31 members who renewed. So as you can see, not only do my sales convert better but I also have a crazy amount of rebills. More than 80% of all my joins will result in a recurring membership.

Tube site traffic, although plentiful isn’t as successful.

I sent an affiliate program I work with 19,823 unique visitors. In return, I was paid for 68 sales. This makes my sales ratios 1:292.

Now the argument is, if you run a tube site you’ll generate more traffic. This is true. Tube sites get much more traffic than my tiny little porn star websites do. However, their sales ratios aren’t as high.

  • 1 out of every 292 people who I send to the affiliate website will join.
  • 84% of those will stay a member of that site.
  • For all of 2017, I had only one membership refund/chargeback. 1 TOTAL!

Tube sites can boost much bigger numbers than me. They quite simply draw in more traffic. But their sales ratios are often as bad as 1:10,000. So the question is, do bigger numbers = more sales?

I not only have fewer expenses because I don’t need as much bandwidth because I’m not running high traffic websites and I don’t need all that disc space for all those videos they are hosting for their tube sites, but I’m also making more money.

After speaking with a few friends who run tube sites and comparing the numbers, I can safely say that the average tube site generates about 10 times more traffic than my porn star websites do. However, since they only make about 1 sale for every 10,000 visitors, that means that even with their extra traffic they are still only making about sales for every 68 that I make.

And that’s being generous. Ask around and I’m sure tube site owners will tell you they often have sales ratios much worse than 1:10k. In fact many report sales ratios of 1:30,000 and higher!

That means to get the same 68 sales that I sent them, some tube sites will have to bombard your website’s tour or preview area with over 500,000 visitors and in some cases as much as two million. Not only does that suck up your bandwidth but it also puts a heck of a load on your server.

The point I’m trying to make is — quality matters. Just because you build a website where you throw up a bunch of free porn doesn’t mean you can still make money as an affiliate in today’s market.

it takes time and effort to make your website unique. You have to offer people something of value. You have to really focus on putting together something that isn’t just a banner farm with a few free videos thrown in for good measure.

It is very much possible to make money in today’s affiliate market but it does also take effort.

Here are a few tips …

  • You should always limit the number of ads you have per page. Don’t have more ads than you do content. Focus your attention on creating a page with more content and fewer ads. Seriously.
  • If I visit your website the first thing I should see is your content, not an advertisement of any kind.
  • Tailor your ads to your website’s content. If your site is dedicated to blondes with big boobs, then sign up for affiliate programs that offer that kind of thing as well. If your website is dedicated to Asians then promote affiliate programs who offer Asians. I know that sounds obvious but you would be surprised how many people don’t bother trying to match the affiliate program with the theme (niche) of their own website.

 

Affiliate Marketing in the new age!

Most people say that affiliate marketing is dead. I couldn’t disagree more. I just think it’s changed. The days of 70%+ commissions are long gone and as I’ve always said, anyone who offers you those kind of numbers should scare the living hell out of you.

Because no program can be profitable by paying out so much and if they aren’t profitable then they won’t be in business for long.

So I decided to look into mainstream because website owners are reporting massive profits in promoting mainstream programs. So why is that? What does mainstream pay? I decided to find out.

Amazon’s affiliate programs payout varies from 4% to 6%. No that is not a typo. They actually pay less than 10% and have an INSANE number of affiliates promoting their shit all day long. Top Amazon affiliates report earning $10,000+ per month. Last December one Amazon affiliate boasted earning $30,000. Not a bad Christmas, ey?

But that’s not the only thing that surprised me about Amazon’s affiliate program. Their cookie length is 1 day. 1 freaking day?!!!!!!!!!!! In porn affiliates bitch if it’s under 6 months. LOL

Walmart also has an affiliate program. They pay typically 1-4% and their cookie length is 3 whole days.

How about Target? They pay about 2%-5% and have a cookie length of 7 days.

Surely Best Buy pays more, right? Nope. They pay between 1.7% to 6% depending on the item purchased. Their cookie length is 3 days.

Home Depot – 3% to 5% with a 1 day cookie length.

Plenty of Fish – a popular mainstream dating site pays only 20% but that’s much higher than any other of the mainstream programs and they even offer a 60 day cookie length.

So with so many big time mainstream affiliate companies paying so low, could that be the reason why porn affiliate programs struggled?

As someone who has been an porn affiliate for almost 20 years, I can tell you the biggest problem I have is getting paid.

I typically only get paid on about 25% of what I actually earn in any given month.

I probably spend more time chasing my money in a month than I do actually earning it. How sad it that?

So what are the options?

  • #1 I now only do business with companies that have a solid reputation.
  • #2 I have a two strikes and you are out policy. If you are late or bounce a check more than once, I will put you on my fuck you list.
  • #3 I no longer expect any affiliate program to help me with the promotional material I need to well … promote their website. I get it on my own.
  • #4 I don’t do business with affiliate programs that have large payouts. As I said before I know that no business can maintain profitability under those conditions so I know eventually they won’t be able to pay me what I earned so I do myself a favor and avoid doing business with them in the first place.
  • #5 I’m not afraid to do business with a program who is only paying 25%-35%. Why? Because I would rather do business with a guy only willing to pay me 25% and actually pay me what I earned ON TIME EVERY TIME than to do business with a guy offering me 70% and pays me late or his check bounces. I don’t have time for that shit. I want to get paid. I’m tired of the bullshit that comes with the big payout guys. As long as I know up front what I’m going to get, then I’m good with that. I actually do business with a program that pays me 30% but they convert well and pay on time so I’m more than happy with my 30%. I make more with that 30% program than I do with any other programs I work with and some of those pay me up to 60% revshare.