Some of you may remember affiliate marketing in its infancy. The websites were ugly. The content was awful. And the link profiles were anything but white hat.

The crazy thing is that people were making six figures a year. A few were making seven figures.

Fortunately, many of these affiliate marketers are now out of the game. They either could not or would not evolve with Google updates. If you want to be successful in 2022 and beyond with your affiliate marketing efforts, keep reading. We’ll help prepare you for the future.

Our Top 5 Changes Coming to Affiliate Marketing

The new year is a time for change and renewal. Are you ready to up your affiliate marketing game in 2022?

Big changes are afoot with this game. It’s time to pivot to grow your income in the short and long term. Pay special attention to these changes and tips.

1. AI Generated Content

Artificial intelligence is all the rage. Some companies have revolutionized what AI can do. It’s called GPT-3 and it’s already being used to generate fake blogs.

Some marketing companies have demonstrated the value and the danger behind it already.

Not only does this content come out as readable, but it takes very little time to make a few edits, throw in some affiliate links, and immediately profit. Given how fast this content can be created, entire portfolios of niche websites can be generated in a matter of days.

However, this isn’t going to last long. What it will do is turn people off. They won’t know what websites they can trust and what content is real or made up.

Because of this type of content gaining in popularity among shady marketers, you need to go out of your way to prove your authority. Content generation is new and will fool some people, but eventually, consumers will catch on and if you’re caught, your affiliate marketing career will be over.

2. Create the Best Content

How do you compete with black hat marketers using AI content that fools people and search engines?

You go out of your way to create the best content. If writing isn’t your strong suit, you can find plenty of hard-working human content writers on websites such as ProBlogger.

What’s really important right now is making your content focused on the user and bringing value to them. The focus behind this is the most recent Google update that rewards creators who generate the best reviews and punish those that are going with old-school tactics.

There was a time when it was common for a blogger to post nothing but specs, copy-pasting a few points from other creators who actually did a review, adding affiliate links, and then making a ton of money.

As of now, this technique is no longer valid. You need to do the reviews yourself, provide an in-depth review packed with value, and then add multiple links to the product.

If you still want to use Amazon, that’s fine. But now you also need to include a couple more links to the exact same product. If one of the links isn’t an affiliate link, too bad. You may lose a few sales, but there are workarounds.

As an example, let’s look at some gaming affiliate programs. You can write a review about a gaming PC. At the bottom of this amazing review, you add Buy Now links to Amazon, NewEgg, and Wal-Mart.

The commissions on these products are going to be low to begin with, but let’s say New Egg and Wal-Mart aren’t currently running their programs. How do you make up for lost sales?

Look at individual parts and add ons that might work for this PC. It can be a gaming mouse, a certain type of chip, or anything else related to the machine. Look for possibilities with these individual products and slide some affiliate links into the content this way.

3. Make Your Website Faster

One of the most important ongoing changes to affiliate marketing is making a website fast. There are several things you can do and most of them are basic plugin-related fixes.

Get yourself a free caching plugin like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache. These plugins “remember” static pages and help them load faster. They’re also CDN compatible.

A CDN, or content delivery network, is a series of servers that help your website load quickly all over the world. There is a free one, called Cloudflare, that works well for most website owners.

Next, get an image optimizer. WP Smush is one of the best free versions out there. It compresses the files, making them smaller and easier to load. It also offers lazy loading, which prevents images from loading until a user scrolls to their placement on your page.

4. Go Cross-Platform

There was a time when someone could just blog and be fine. They might have a Facebook page but that’s about it.

Now, you need to be everywhere. And by everywhere, we mean you should live in the same neighborhood as your tribe. If they’re on Facebook, then you should be on Facebook. If they’re on Instagram or Pinterest, that’s where you need to be.

While this may seem like a hassle at first, it opens up your business to new revenue opportunities. Brands and businesses look for influencers on the platforms where their tribe lives too. If you’re a blogger, then why would a company reach out to you if they’re looking to do most of their marketing on Snapchat?

However, being on too many platforms is bad. Try to limit yourself to social sites where you can get the most bang for your buck. What we mean by this is to focus on social media platforms that offer lots of income opportunities as well as places where your following is large or can become so.

5. Build More Links

If you want to be the best, you have to build the best. Links, that is. Link building has always been and likely always will be what sets the best affiliate marketing sites apart from the mediocre.

Even if your content isn’t quite as good as the competition, you can beat them in the link game and still rank among them on the first page of the SERPs.

Affiliate marketers should focus on two main strategies for white hat link building. The first is guest posting. This is when you reach out to another blogger or website owner and ask to write a piece of content for them in exchange for a link back to your website.

The second technique takes more work but will get you great links and bring in a ton of traffic. It’s called the skyscraper. Find a keyword you like. Search for the content that ranks well for this keyword and go to work writing something better.

Next, use marketing tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to find links going to the competitor’s content. Reach out to these website owners, tell them you have content that may have more value, and add a link to this piece of content.

A Few Thoughts on the 5 Important Changes to Affiliate Marketing in 2022 and Beyond

As you’ve probably realized, affiliate marketing isn’t changing as much as it’s evolving. With every passing year, creators, influencers, and search engines are morphing the landscape into something new.

While it may be difficult to keep up with some of this, it’s infinitely better than becoming a dinosaur and watching your revenue slide to zero.

We appreciate you sticking with us for this long. If you have time for some more reading, check out this post on responsive search ads.