I just got done having a brief discussion with a coworker explaining the problem I’m being faced with as an online affiliate marketer. In the short and sweet I’m being pulled by the bad economy, meaning visitors are not converting as high as normal. On the other side I’m being pulled by affiliate programs, which are tightening the reins and becoming more exclusive. Being pulled from both sides puts a huge strain on my already dwindling bank account.
Consider that just a few years ago it was possible to get into almost any affiliate program. Also, once in these programs there were huge incentives with arguably low ceilings. eBay is a perfect example of this, with their EPN program switching from CJ to in house and providing lots of easy commissions to affiliates. Now, they have made it to where they aren’t accepting everyone and are booting you for having low conversions.
Is this a trend likely to continue through the end of the year? I had hoped that we would see an increase in incentives from affiliate programs as we near the holidays. There haven’t been seem to been any ramp of that I’ve seen, but they could be waiting until the latter part of November.
Without question, this holiday season will directly make or break online companies. If this is a slow buying Christmas, then some companies will simply shut the doors. However, if there is an uptick, like others are predicting, then these same companies will be relying on the sales from Christmas to pull them out of the red in 2009.
P.S. Just a friendly reminder, remember to diversify so that one failing affiliate program doesn’t bring you to your knees.