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Affiliate Marketing: Is It Worth Starting Today?

5 June 2024

In today's article, we will look into the affiliate marketing space. We shall discuss the importance of traffic sources and offer selection in affiliate marketing. We’ll also give an overview of the changes in popular niches, discussing which areas are suitable for beginners with no experience vs. those that require an existing affiliate background and a big budget.



What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an online digital marketing business model where individuals, known as affiliates, promote products or services offered by a company or other individual through an affiliate program or offer. Affiliates earn a commission for every sale, lead, or action that is generated through their promotional efforts on the affiliate program or offer. This promotion can be done by placing advertisements on websites, social media platforms, or other online channels.


For example, if an affiliate spends $15 to place an advertisement on a website that attracts a buyer to a product, the advertiser or affiliate program may pay the affiliate $30 for that buyer. This results in the affiliate making a $15 profit on that sale.


The main goal of an affiliate is to reduce the cost of acquiring traffic to achieve a higher ROI. To do this, they test different creatives, landing pages, and pre-landing pages. They can also experiment with working with the best affiliate programs and offers. In addition, it's necessary to choose the optimal bid, select a budget, and then optimize it while the ad campaign is running. The process of finding a profitable traffic source that yields a high ROI often requires a lot of time, money, and dedication from affiliates. It's rarely as simple as investing $100 and earning $200 straight away. There are many complexities and details involved in being a successful affiliate marketer.






The basic principles of affiliate marketing stay the same, but tactics for driving traffic evolve constantly. In this article, we'll discuss affiliate marketing trends. But first, let's review the basics of affiliate marketing so that even newcomers can grasp the concepts.

Basic concepts of affiliate marketing

Purchasing website visitors/ traffic, as mentioned earlier, happens on different online platforms that have a lot of visitors. In the world of affiliate marketing, these platforms are referred to as "traffic sources." The big players among them include Facebook, Instagram, and Google. They catch the attention of affiliate marketers due to their large user base. However, they have many strict restrictions on what products can be advertised.


However, there are equally popular advertising networks that bring together many partner websites where ads can be placed. One example is MyBid. Here, you can promote almost any offer to a vast worldwide audience.

  • An "offer" is like a business proposal from a company that wants to sell something. They give this proposal to affiliates who help promote their product. The offer includes important details about the product, how it should be promoted, the kind of audience the promotion should target, how much the affiliate will be paid, and other important terms. A great way to access the best affiliate marketing offers is through working with highly rated affiliate networks.
  • A "creative" is a photo or video used to promote an affiliate product or service on a traffic source. Creatives also include text or voice elements to grab the user's attention. The creative is the first contact point of the user with the promoted product;
  • A "landing page" is a webpage that receives traffic. It contains details about the product, its advantages, promotions, discounts, bonuses, and an order section where users can make a purchase.
  • A "pre-landing" page is used to generate interest in the product before sending online users to the main landing page. It acts as a bridge between the creative and the landing page. The pre-lander provides expert information about the product, scientific data, or reviews from influential figures.
  • A "campaign" is a combination of various promotion elements, including the traffic source, offer, creative, landing page, pre-lander, budget, and bid. An affiliate campaign is successful if its components allow you to acquire traffic at a lower cost than what you sell it for to an advertiser.
  • A "lead" is a potential customer who has filled out a lead form or shared their contact details for further communication with the advertiser. The most common way for affiliates to earn compensation is by getting paid for the leads they bring in.

Not all affiliate marketing terms are listed above, but these are the main ones that are necessary to understand how affiliate marketing works.

Niches in affiliate marketing 

There are many niches within affiliate marketing. The affiliate marketing industry is evolving so rapidly that some niches have become outdated, while others have gained renewed popularity. Additionally, new niches are emerging that reflect the current affiliate marketing trends.


Traditionally, affiliate marketing niches can be categorized into three types: 

  • Whitehat niches
  • Grayhat niches
  • Blackhat niches

Whitehat niches allow you to promote offers from different traffic sources without the fear of being banned. On the other hand, grayhat and blackhat niches are usually strictly regulated or even prohibited. To promote these niches, you need to use a technique called cloaking. This involves displaying acceptable content to ad moderators while sending users to a different landing page that may not have been approved. Dealing with the last two niches requires a certain level of experience in affiliate marketing.




The whitehat niches that are relevant this year include the following:

  • E-commerce products: This involves selling physical goods like home items, electronics, and clothing online. These are physical products that can be sold without needing special licenses or complex certifications. While many people thought small online stores would disappear as big marketplaces took over, in 2023, affiliate networks are filled with product offers. Advertisers and affiliates have figured out how to promote both physical and digital products on large e-commerce platforms.
  • Finance: This category includes offers from banks and credit organizations, such as microloans, credit cards, and even mortgages. With financial instability in many countries this year, these offers are popular as people turn to loans to manage their finances or cope with rising prices for essential items.
  • Infobiz: This is a relatively new and rapidly growing niche. There’s been a surge in educational platforms. Many coaches have emerged in various fields, offering guidance on making money, spiritual growth, and self-discovery. These courses are in demand, making info-business offers very effective.
  • Mainstream dating: Online dating reached its peak during the coronavirus pandemic. Even in 2023, people's interest in finding partners or engaging in flirtatious interactions remains strong. Moreover, the number of dating sites increased this year, providing opportunities for new affiliates to enter this niche.



Advantages of whitehat niches:

  • Advertisements and advertising accounts are not banned by traffic sources.
  • No need to employ complex cloaking techniques or other technical solutions.
  • Low entry threshold for niches due to a wide range of offers.

Disadvantages of whitehat niches:

  • High competition in profitable niches and/or offers.
  • Lower lead approval rates for many products.
  • Smaller affiliate payouts compared to grayhat and blackhat niches.

Now let's move on to the grayhat niches that are relevant for affiliate marketing:

  • Gambling: The promotion of online casino offers over the past 2 years has been monopolized by large players who drive SEO traffic from Google searches. This year, influencer marketing has become mainstream, which made it possible to earn money in it with relatively little investment. These days, its even easier to earn more from gambling offers as many countries have developed their online banking systems there for giving players/ gamblers fast payment options to top up their accounts on the gambling platforms like online casinos.
  • Betting: The niche, which practically died during the coronavirus pandemic, gained a second life in 2023. Influencer marketing through Vloggers and streamers competently warm up their audience, and conduct live streams on YouTube - they have taken this feature to a new, higher level. This, in turn, had a positive impact on the profit. In addition, eSports is gaining popularity and more and more similar offers are appearing in the best affiliate programs. Soon, they will remove betting from the category of seasonal niches dependent on major sporting events and make it an all year round niche because of eSports.
  • Nutra: This category includes products for things like weight loss, body enhancement, treating chronic illnesses, and other drugs that may not be proven effective. Big traffic sources don't allow promoting affiliate links of these products. Cloaking these offers is not always a good strategy anymore, as platforms like Facebook are now more strict in regulating questionable products. However, in 2023, there's a new trend in the affiliate marketing world where advertisements about Nutra products are coming from mobile apps. Affiliates are saying that acquiring traffic from top sources like Facebook and sending the users to download their Nutra- based app, then promoting the Nutra offers within the apps is earning them a good return on their investment.
  • Crypto: The target action of the offers in this niche is to attract the user to invest in cryptocurrency, forex, binary options, etc. This niche began to gain momentum 2 years ago, but all the offers were mostly private and it was not easy for affiliates to access them. In 2023, more crypto advertisers have highly paying affiliate programs, that give generous rewards to affiliates for each lead. At the same time, they have very high requirements for the quality of traffic. Also, the difficulty of these offers lies in the fact that the minimum deposit is within $250, which is at least 10 times higher compared to the minimum deposit in gambling.

Advantages of whitehat niches:

  • The offers have high payouts.
  • There is high user interest in the products.

Disadvantages of whitehat niches:

  • Affiliates need to purchase extra tools and software.
  • Unpredictability since the campaigns can easily get banned by the traffic sources.

Blackhat niches involve promoting activities like phishing, carding, and other fraudulent schemes. Scammers in these niches aim to steal bank card information. All the offers in this niche are considered unethical, illegal and are punishable by the law.



Traffic sources  

When you're deciding where to get your website traffic, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider how popular the traffic source is in the specific location you're targeting. Also, understand how the source lets you choose your audience. If you need to make detailed adjustments, it's better to go with Facebook or ad networks instead of Google Ads. And if you're not comfortable handling the targeting details yourself, MyBid is a good option since our team takes care of that.


Here are the top traffic sources for affiliate marketers in 2023:


Facebook: Even if you're new to this, you can learn how to use Facebook for advertising pretty quickly. But be aware, Facebook is getting stricter with affiliate marketers, so it's not so easy to promote certain things. Luckily, there's software that can help you create accounts and run ads automatically. Working with a team is a good idea to manage the workload.


Google: With an extensive audience across its search engine and services, Google provides huge potential. However, the competition in various niches within this source is intense, leading to higher advertising costs. While YouTube yields high-quality traffic, the Display Network's conversions are comparatively lower. Mobile app streamers focus on creating compelling video creatives to target YouTube audiences specifically.


Advertising Networks: These platforms facilitate traffic redirection to a broad range of offers and creatives, eliminating the need for cloaking. A standout advantage of ad networks, such as MyBid, is the direct assistance offered by every individual’s affiliate manager in campaign setup and scaling. This active involvement differentiates us from Facebook and Google, who strive to control ad inundation. Advertising networks are preferred for promoting adult, mainstream, nutra, and crypto offers because of MyBid's flexibility in allowing clickbaity creatives and headlines in the ads.




Organic Traffic: Among the free traffic sources, TikTok, YouTube, and Telegram are prominent. These platforms are predominantly used for promoting gambling, betting, mainstream, and Nutra offers. Affiliates often rely on spam messages in social networks that include their affiliate link. Although categorized as "free," affiliates incur expenses for accounts, proxies, and the software tools they use.







Answering the question of whether affiliate marketing is alive, we can confidently say that affiliate marketing is very much alive and active. If you're wondering whether it's possible start affiliate marketing from the ground up this year, the answer is a definite yes. Even newbies have the opportunity to start their own affiliate marketing business and succeed in competitive niches; They can simply start by sending organic traffic to gambling offers without having to pay for traffic. 


To conclude, we'd like to share a few tips for beginners that are relevant:

  • You shouldn't dive into multiple niches all at once. When you spread your focus, you won't see meaningful results in any of them.
  • You should begin by thoroughly studying the specific niche you plan to work in. Understand its strengths and weaknesses, and the GEOs where you intend to buy traffic from. It's also important to grasp the characteristics of the niche's target audience – their problems and desires. Make sure your available budget is sufficient enough for testing the affiliate campaigns as well as for funding each marketing tool and software required.
  • For testing purposes, you should then choose a few different GEOs and allocate an equal portion of your budget to each.
  • Once you've tested the waters, analyze the results by identifying the top 3 GEOs that are bringing in the most profit. Gradually increase your budget for these countries while stopping campaigns for the rest that are not bringing in profits.
  • After a couple of weeks, from the 3 profitable GEOs determine which one is the most profitable, followed by the second and third. Allocate your budget for scaling based on the profits each country is bringing in. This way, you can optimize your advertising campaigns effectively.

Getting into affiliate marketing is tougher than before. Many popular niches now focus more on influencer and mobile traffic sources. It takes a big budget to effectively dominate any of these niches. The usual traffic sources like Google and Facebook are now stricter about the quality of accounts, proxies, and the content you create. Even if you somehow manage to start an advertising campaign with low-cost materials, you can't rely on it lasting for a long time.


Nevertheless, affiliate marketing is still viable for beginners. Free/ organic traffic allows you to test offers and see how well they resonate with an audience. This helps you make a more informed decision about whether it's worthwhile to invest paid traffic into it. For beginners, it's best to choose paid channels that don't require extensive expertise for example, MyBid where our affiliate managers handle campaign setup and guides optimizing and scaling on behalf of the affiliates. By doing this , we help setup our affiliates for success and help them generate a lot of affiliate income.

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