Is everything so sad in affiliate marketing?
Katrina L

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead In 2021? This is the title of an article written by Charles Ngo in March of this year.

Charles Ngo is an affiliate marketing influencer. More than 75,000 people a month read his analytical reviews on affiliate marketing, internet marketing, and productivity. Charles has been in the industry for over 9 years. was voted Blog of the Year by the STM Forum Community.

In this article, Charles discusses in detail the facts of the decline of the affiliate marketing industry over the past few years.

We have the opposite opinion, as we wrote about in the article “No Time to Die” published in our blog.

In a dispute, truth is born. Let’s discuss opposing perspectives on the viability of affiliate marketing. 

Affiliate Marketing is Dead
  • Fewer and fewer new affiliate networks
  • Little talk about affiliate marketing, low activity on the forums
  • Lack of innovation and new trends
  • Few people associate with “super-affiliates”, people change their occupation
  • Profiting from affiliate marketing has become a headache
Here are a few highlights from the article "Is Affiliate Marketing Dead in 2021?", that the industry is dying.
Fewer new affiliate networks:
Companies for the production of cars or antivirus also do not "start up" 10 per month. Both industries are incredibly in demand.
Opening an affiliate network is a business. Not all affiliate marketers (and people!) want to hire employees, look for an office, pay for lights and install coffee machines. This is a weak indicator of the decline of the entire industry.
Let's take a look at CPA networks that have been on the market for a long time - they have only grown with the level and quality of services. They have passed the stage of "childish" mistakes in business and work processes. Therefore, working with market leaders is the right choice. It reduces the risks for the affiliate marketer.
There is little talk about affiliate marketing, forums are half-alive.
I speak only for the activity and vitality of all forums and platforms that I know about. But we noticed that there was more talk about affiliates and the activity of affiliates increased.
In 2021, we held more than 30 conferences and meetups dedicated to affiliate marketing around the world.
Including: Affiliate World Global, Affiliate Grand Slam 2021, Affiliate Summit West, KINZA, MAC, ALO — Affiliate Leaders Online & Offline The number of conference participants is in the thousands. Most, if not all of the stands are always booked. Conferences are held all over the world from the USA to Dubai. The transparency of the market has grown - there are many resources with niche news, feedback, reviews.
Forum activity
The activity on the forums has not decreased, the format of communication has changed; The competition has grown, it is obvious that there is no point in disclosing working details to other market players. Otherwise, tomorrow the working approach will stop working. All business issues are discussed either in person with colleagues or in messengers. Those who have time to print articles, publish feedback and reviews, physically do not have time to test and launch campaigns. Many have moved to social networks: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, the popularity of forums has fallen in other areas too.
Real affiliate marketers who launch and make good profits don't have too much time. Including - on empty forum chatter, questions of newcomers from the series “what is better to launch”.
And yet there are forums and communities that are popular among affiliates: affLIFT, STM, affiliateFIX, BMF . Such sites contain useful articles, materials, case studies, reviews and feedback about affiliate programs, as well as like-minded people who work with you in the same area.
Few people associate with “super-affiliates”, people change their activities.
The main rule of affiliate marketing is that money loves silence. It is logical that there are almost no super-affiliates' success stories on the web, surrounded by expensive cars, watches and other attributes of a “successful” life. Which they got due to the scaling of the logical vulnerability in the work of the traffic source. Many of those affiliate marketers are not bragging. Difficult tasks are a joy to them, turning a one-time success into a permanent one. They like to deduce working business models, build a team.
Today's super-affiliates have no time for forums and conferences. The working day is scheduled by the minute, they know the value of their time. And they go for a long "run".
And what about changing the type of activity - this is natural for any person. Those who have come just to make money for a living, and not to create something new are leaving. Copies what was seen and overheard. New affiliates come. Natural selection makes them stars or sends them home.
Lack of innovation, trends
There are always current trends and innovations. Is there a desire to seek, delve into? Do you have the courage to try? Among the latest trends in 2021, we note calendar Push notifications. Converted no worse than push notifications in 2018. New traffic resources - yes, of course, for example Tik Tok.
The main enemy of an affiliate marketer is their own laziness, fear and a conservative approach.
Judge for yourself, ROI 130%. Income per month 15k $! The affiliate marketer was not afraid to test the new format. And I got a profit.  
Ad Format: Calendar Push
Vertical: Antivirus Software
Cost: $12,108
Revenue: $27,840
ROI: 130%
Getting a profit turned into one continuous headache:
Competition has increased, requirements have become tougher, the required budget for tests has increased, the price of quality traffic has increased, and much more. Along with this, many advantages appeared that were not there before.
For example: maximum automation of advertising campaigns, transparency in the market, the community will always warn about unscrupulous partners, training, forums, resources - all this is in the public domain. Something becomes more difficult, something, on the contrary, makes the work easier. We ourselves decide what to focus on.
“Everybody lies”
“You are an affiliate network, it is beneficial for you to say that affiliate marketing is alive and well”, - people will say. Perhaps, but not entirely.
Affiliate income develops at the expense of regular customers. This would not have been possible without earning incoming affiliates.
Spending time and effort convincing someone that the industry works? And for what - for the sake of a minimum deposit of $ 50 and disappointment? Content writing with promotion costs more than the minimum deposit. With this approach, the business would decline. It's pointless. 
Should have started earlier
Only large media buying teams make money! You can say that about any sphere, industry, business. Then you can lie down and do nothing else. Everywhere someone has already worked before you, why bother at all?
Is the glass half empty or full?
Much depends on which side of the coin you are looking at. Some see growth, opportunities and prospects, while others see nothing. It is not necessary that someone's opinion is wrong, it is just that you can look at everything from different perspectives.
Charles does not take into account that it is now a generation that is changing. We think the reasons he writes about are the same. The “old” generation of affiliate marketers is losing their former flexibility, as in 2010.
Young people are “hungry” and ambitious. A fresh eye sees no problem. The guys just do their thing. They achieve success while everyone around them asserts that this is impossible.
Coming soon - an interview with niche leaders on their successes in 2021 and thoughts on 2022.  Subscribe to our Instagram so you don't miss it.
What was 2021 like for you?
 In your opinion, is it worth continuing to work in affiliate marketing, or should the prospective ones change their occupation, for example, start filming a video on TikTok?