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Is Now A Good Time To Start Being An Affiliate?

Many of us "old-timers" remember the good ole' days when there were considerably fewer affiliates around and the rules from merchants and networks were significantly more lax - back then it was easy to make immense amounts of money.

Now, it's less easy, you've actually got to work for it. But After reading the news that UK consumers are spent 38% more online in the first six months of this year over the first half of 2007 and that they believe that half of all consumer spending will be done online by 2014 made me think that now is a great time to start being an affiliate if people had the skills but not the inclination.

The first half of this year saw £26.5 billion online by UK shoppers. Not bad hey? Now if that's not an incentive to start being an incentive or to work harder then I don't know what is!

Many of may be concerned with the economy or how Google is getting stronger an networks and merchants are often putting barriers in our way (yes they are!). But I feel there's never been a better time become an affiliate.

There's Wordpress and Blogger if you're not a web designer, merchants and networks have made big inroads into helping you add relevant products to your sites with widgets and content units. They've also created deep-link generators and Awin have a useful Shop Window service which makes it a piece of cake to find products to promote (but they do need to sort out the errors when you search using non alphanumeric characters).

Also there's at least a handful of merchants for each niche so you if you want to stay out of the mainstream areas you can still make a few quid.

Google may have got a bit more expensive to do PPC on, but they've got some great analytics tools to make sure that you're getting a good ROI and you've got the graphs and data to allow you to effectively optimise your campaigns.

Statistically consumer spending has been quite low in the summer so now's the right time to be thinking of your winter sales generation tactics.

I've seen other data from IMRG which suggests the middle market is being squeezed. IMRG summarised the information:

UK Internet visits to mid-market online retailers have fallen by 6% in the past 12 months, while visits to discount and catalogue retailers have increased by 12% and visits to high-end retailers have increased by 14%, according to Hitwise.

So either start dusting off your cheap, cheapest, discount, offers keywords, or start thinking off "best, quality and recommended" merchants.

Clothing continues to enjoy large sales volumes as £1.76 billion was spent on clothes online in the first half of 2008 according to the IMRG Capgemini report, whilst beers, wines and spirits are being purchased online more. Electrical item sales online have been losing their lustre - 1st 1/2 2007 over 2006 they grew 63% but 1st 1/2 2008 over 2008 they grew 20%. Health & beauty and lingerie have also been static in net terms.

As more and more consumers are spending greater amounts online and a merchants see the true value of the transparent and accountable sales generation that affiliate marketing offers, it’s a perfect time to become an affiliate - but choose your approach and niche wisely.

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