After tons of affiliate networks have folded up and the remaining budgets from surviving networks are smaller than Dennis Yu’s self esteem, many affiliates are paying bills by sharing marketing techniques with large corporations.
There is a transformation going on from super highly profitable affiliate marketing to less profitable and more sustainable performance marketing. ( Are these two things different? Is an Acai Weightloss Trial Rebill the same as a landscaping customer getting a sales lead that turns into a 16 month long client? To me there is a difference.) Perhaps “affiliate marketing” will be able to pull it’s name out of the mud some day but for now everyone is running from those words faster than the head lice in the 3rd grade.
During this transition profits are less reliable and access to offers with multi-million dollar budgets is limited. Many affiliates are leveraging the lessons they’ve learned through affiliate marketing and helping small and medium sized businesses improve their online marketing performance and returns.
Top affiliate marketers seem to become SEO experts almost overnight. Successful affiliates learn how to research, A/B test and measure things quickly to keep food on the table. SEO is a perfect area to exercise these skills and climb the learning curve quickly. These SEO and optimization skills seem to be the most valuable assets many affiliate marketers have to large companies right now.
Affiliates are starting SEO Agencies at the same rate Affiliate Networks were launching in 2009. I expect to see many more big names from affiliate marketing shift into the SEO / Web Consulting business over the next 24 months. There is a huge demand to feed such shifts.
How long until the market gets so crowded the agencies start choking each other out? It appears there is a lot of space left.