Affiliate marketing trends in 2018 – what marketers learnt

As we step into 2019 and grab it with both hands, it’s worth reflecting on what happened in 2018, and what marketers learnt from affiliate marketing trends in 2018.

What all marketers can learn from 2018

Before I continue, I’d like to acknowledge that much of what I cover here I gleaned from a live training seminar I attended online on 29 December. I try to participate in weekly live training to keep myself up to date with the latest marketing tools and techniques, and this one had so much great content I felt the need to share it with you. Hopefully for my readers who have their own blogs or websites, this post should help you in your online marketing endeavours.

*Click here for the platform that teaches you everything you need to know to set up and maintain your own successful online business*

In this blog I will cover:

  • What did we learn from 2018? An overview.
  • The evergreen strategies that worked
  • The evolution of the knowledge commerce industry
  • What is going to replace Google +
  • What is to come in 2019?

WIthour further ado let’s get into it!

What all marketers can learn from 2018

Shiny objects don’t work, as much we want them to – they just don’t work!! 

Shiny object syndrome relates to those things that distract us. It might be those emails we receive that promise to make us money online fast! For example: within 10 clicks you can make $1,000 a day! Here’s a picture of a luxury car to convince you!

Don't fall for shiny object syndrome!

There are loads of sites that could be considered shiny objects that I discovered in 2018. Some were so bad I wrote about them under my category “things to avoid”. The reviews of these shiny objects are here:

And I saw so many dubious looking ‘shiny objects’ that I was prompted to write about how to spot a scam:

How to spot an online scam

The live training, hosted by the Wealthy Affilite live training coach Jay, gave a list of red flags to look out for. The ones that stood out for me were:

“push this button”

“cash cow”

“automated traffic”

“set and forget”

“done for you”

“earn $x daily”

“PLR” (private label rights)

“cash machines”

“goldmine” (eg. social media traffic goldmine)

“10 minutes a day”!

“fast” or “instant” (eg. instant cash daily)

Another one I noticed was “millionaire”. This seems to pop up regularly and should make your spidey senses tingle.

In our nature, we do want to click on things that look like they’ll change our lives for the better, but always remember that shiny objects just don’t work.

Here’s what does work: hard work. Hard work pays off every single time. No short cuts, and no shiny objects.

The evergreen strategies that have worked in 2018

Evergreen trees don’t just spring up overnight. They grow over time, and last a really long time. An evergreen strategy is one that lasts a long time and there some evergreen marketing strategies that have stood the test of time and will continue to deliver.

Evergreen strategies

1. Content

Content is an example of an evergreen strategy. If you’re in online marketing you’ve probably heard the expression ‘content is king’. Well, content IS king, and you need to be producing consistent content. Once you’ve written it, it lasts a long time. It all starts with content. Without content our websites and social media are empty. Regardless of the medium being used, it’s all about the content. 

2. Niches

A niche is a distinct segment of a market. Niches are everywhere, and always will be. Almost anything you can think of is a niche. You can earn money online from every single niche because there are billions of people out there searching for information and solutions, and spending billions of dollars on products and services every day.

There will always be an evolution of niches. 

I’ve written about how pretty much anything you’re interested in or passionate about can be a niche for your business:

How to turn your hobby into a career

3. Keywords

Keywords and keyword research will always exist, because eople will also use search to find what they want. So regardless of what people may say, keywords are still critical.

Write posts based on one targeted keyword. Find a low hanging fruit keyword (phrase), and write a post based on that one keyword.

Jaaxy, the truly amazing keyword tool that is free and fully integrated with the Wealthy Affiliate platform, allows you to do a keyword search, and then directly turn the keywords that you have chosen into a draft article for you. You can either save those keywords for later, or start writing your content right away. It makes content writing SO much easier.

Let me show you what I mean:

Jaaxy - the best keyword search tool in existence

You can also save your keywords into lists so you can use them at a later date.

4. Engagement

Engaging with your audience is another evergreen strategy that workds. Readers need to see that there is a person behind the blog that interacts. It could be through comments, through YouTube video or live video, social media such as facebook groups etc. It’s important to engage with your readers as they are your ‘tribe’. If you don’t engage with your tribe, they’ll find someone else who will.

5. The techncial components of evergreen strategies that continue to prevail:

Meta titles – up to 55 characters with your one targeted keyword inside, noting that a keyword can be a phrase.

Meta descriptions – up to 160 characters to entice the person to click on your site, with your one targeted keyword.

Keyword in content above the scroll – placed the keyword in the section you see on your screen before you scroll down.

Internal links – these are very important on your sites. You should have at least one internal link to another relevant post with relevant anchor text. This helps google know about your other posts and pages. It gives google another way to cross reference your site. The links should be relevant to what you’re writing about.

External links – post at least one external nlink to a relevant authority site. Wikipedia is always a good one, it’s an easy one to link to. You’re letting google know that you are sharing knowledge and creating additional points of reference of your content. It signals that you are not trying to hoard your traffic, and you’re trying to educate your traffic.

Post to social media. The ones I love are Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. I’ve just started posting on Tumblr, and have been with Webtalk for a little while. Instagram is one I just haven’t got the hang of yet, but that’s one of my goals for 2019! Google+ has actually been one of my favourites, and it’s always been a priority given that it’s a Google product and I want my content to be ranked by Google. with commentary within the social post. However, we all know that Google+ will be closing down shortly … but I’m still going to use it until it is no more.

Email marketing will never go away. It will always be around as long as email exists! Email marketing is one of the best ways to convert readers into customers. This is a way for you to build your tribe. This creates exclusivity, which is a winner for your readers.

Affiliate marketing lessons learnt 2018

The evolution of our knowledge commerce industry

“Knowledge commerce is the serach for information in a casual educational style format” – Jay, Wealthy Affiliate Online Training Coach.

Knowledge commerce is evolving all the time, and it’s important to remember that it doesn’t always necessitate a monetary transaction. Knowledge commerce could include Email marketing, or a private Facebook group to name a couple of examples. Your readers are providing their personal information to receive your information. They are exchanging personal information for knowledge. They are ‘paying’ with their email address, their name, or possibly even their phone number.

It’s important to be able to think about what you can do to use knowledge commerce with your users. It might be an email popup requesting their email address in exchange for providing training materials, or blog updates. Within those emails, there will be selling opportunities where people can buy things.

Another example is by joining a private Facebook group to be provided with exclusive information that you provide. It would also include opportunities that you can monetise the group by selling things.

You need to build your tribe and knowledge commerce is a great way to build your tribe.

What are the knowledge commerce strategies you might use to build your tribe?

What is going to replace Google+?

I don’t know about you, but I was so disappointed to hear that G+ is closing down. I’ve always used Google+ to my advantage, by sharing all my posts there.

The words of from wisdom from Jay are that YouTube discssion may very well be its replacement. 

What is you YouTube discussion?

Well, login to YouTube, then go to your channel.

Then, go to the discussion tab:

Is YouTube discussion the next Google +?

I didn’t even know that was there! 

Do the same thing as what you do when you post in Google +. Write some words about your post and leave a link to your post.

The discussion tab changes to the word “Community” once you reach 10,000 subscribers. Even if you have one subsriber, you will see the discussion tab.

It is likely they will evolve this area and take what was in Google + and put it in the discussion area. It should be just as effective as Google +, as YouTube is a google owned entity.

What is to come in 2019?

Prediction #1:

Mobile first. More purchasing on mobile devices. Security on mobile devices has improved, and using your phone to pay at terminals is now common place. People feel more comfortable makeing purchases through their phone via web based buying. Paying through apps is definitely more mainstream, and web broswer purchasing will increase. What do you need to do to focus on mobile first?

Make sure your site is mobile friendly, to make it a great mobile experience.

Prediction #2:

A shift to micro video blogging.

Eg instagram stories. When people are on YouTube or instagram or another source that has video, people are ingesting video in short bursts. Instagram stories and IGTV (instagram TV), or FaceBook live or YouTube. Small sequences of videos, in about 10 to 15 second bursts, with several in a row. More people will shift to do this.

Prediction #3:

All evergreen strategies will still dominate conversions.

These strategies will still convert the best. Prediction 2, micro video blogging, is not evergreen yet. Whilst it is a trend, it isn’t dominating conversions yet.

Want to learn more?

For more live training gems, together with comprehensive online marketing training modules that you can work through at your own pace, suitable for any level of experience, visit my platform of choice:

Make money online anywhere

You can even try it out for free to see if you like it, no credit card required. Questions and comments are welcome.

Wishing you a successful and prosperous 2019. 

14 thoughts on “Affiliate marketing trends in 2018 – what marketers learnt”

  1. What I learned in 2018 is that content is King. I was able to post only once a week and my traffic became stagnant. My goal for this year is to write at least twice a week and I did made a plan what to post for 3 months and 6 months. Facebook group are good source of traffic. One thing that surprised me is my Pinterest and Instagram accounts. My visitors are growing and my followers. Thank you for the information about Youtube discussion. I would check it out.

    • Hi Dan,
      It’s great to set writing goals for yourself. It sounds like you’re seeing success with Pinterest and Instagram, well done. I wish you much success in your business.

  2. what i learned on the year before is content ,keyword reseach can make very me  finacialy  stable if well done and also learned at wealthy affilites  they teach what to expect  when you learn and follow what they are teaching   they also told me if i use jaaxy well i can never go wrong,

    • Hi Charles,
      Jaaxy sure is a great tool. It truly does make keyword research so easy. And the seamless integration with site content makes it even better!
      I wish you all the best in your affiliate marketing journey this year, and putting all your learning into action.

  3. Thank you for sharing with us what you have achieved in 2018.I am new in affiliate marketing but I found your work very informative and helpful to me.

    I am going to copy your way of doing and I know I will achieve much in this year regarding the training and even my earnings.

    • Hi Julienne,
      I have no doubt that if you put your training into practice you will go far. It’s all about keyword research, content, SEO and social media. Turn this into your own way of working that you can repeat.
      I wish you all the very best.

  4. “The Evergreen Strategies” – I really like that. For me it sounds like (and you could pretty much say symbolizes) some insane amounts of knowledge and hard work. Which brings success and makes it come into fruition. Which WA will definitely help make reality. No need for shiny things. Or push a button then minutes a day schemes.

    I mean, everything you said was on point. Would love to disagree on something, but can’t. Anyways, it was really easy and fun to read, thank you for sharing. I appreciate it.

    Cheers and have a Great One!


    • Hi Matiss,
      Thanks so much for your comment : ) You’re welcome and I wish you all the very best.

  5. Dear Melissa,

    This is one of the best “very detailed” article on the Affiliate Marketing Trends I read recently.

    Shiny objects Syndrome was one of the biggest challenge for me and because of that I lost lot of money and my time. One of my resolution of 2019 is to stay away from the Shiny objects and just focus on writing quality content for my blog.

    How to spot online scam part is very helpful. I strongly believe your post is going to be very helpful for many and save people time, trouble, money and effort by avoiding & escaping scams.

    On the evergreen strategies I missed the email marketing and posting to social media I will implement it going forward. The predictions are very helpful and after reading your post I said to myself, I need to focus on creating video content.

    Very Insightful and Helpful post!

    Much Success!


    • Thanks so much Paul. I appreciate your comments. I wish you well in your email marketing and social media strategies moving forward, and in your video content creation. I need to put more effort into video content also. There are some pretty handy tools out there that can help. I have found Lumen5 to be a nice starter tool, and there is a free version available too.
      All the very best to you Paul, I wish you well.

  6. A lot was learnt in 2018 and 2019 is going to be better in the online world. Content is really king and without it running an online business would be really difficult. Even if one does not own a blog, the emails that we send out can be considered as content and need to be rich in value.

    The videos we produce in YouTube are also contents and needs to be of high quality. This is the first time hearing about the YouTube discussion even after I have spent quite some time on YouTube. I have never ones made use of it and due to that I must have missed a lot of traffic from YouTube.

    It’s pretty sad about the closing of google plus because it served as a place to communicate with ones audience and it would be sad to see it go but the market would keep on evolving and another platform would come out that would replace google plus and like you said it might just be YouTube discussion. I am really looking forward to making use of it. This was a good read and I got a lot of informations from it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Jay, I’m sad about Google Plus too, I always liked using it. I think it will take some time for YouTube discussion to become more of a thing, but I now incorporate that into my suite of social media posting.
      All the best Jay and thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  7. 2018 was my first real association with Affiliate marketing. It is easy to say that there are still those who hide behind the anonymity of the internet, but after 30 years I am finally again interested in building a comfortable income online.  2018 led me to several groups that were either too noisy  (too many shiny objects) or they required too much investment.  Finally I have found a group that have become my mentors and encouragers. My teachers and cheerleaders and global friends, the list keeps growing.

    BCNU, Rod

    • Hi Rod, it’s easy to be distracted by shiny objects, and social media groups. I’m happy for you that you found a group you consider to be mentors and encouragers – it’s important that we have that support.
      All the very best to you Rod.


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