What’s Hot? Affiliate Marketing Trends in 2018

Written by Charles Ngo
Written by Charles Ngo

Here’s one thing I HATE about the New Year: I get bombarded with questions about my “predictions for what’s hot in affiliate marketing in 2018.”

I can understand why people ask me this: no one wants to miss any upcoming waves, and no one wants to waste valuable time in a dying niche.

Just remember that information is one of the most influential currencies in the industry. Spend time networking, attending conferences, spying on the competition, and doing your analysis, so you’re always up to date with the latest news.
Alright gimme a crystal ball and call me Ngostramus, here are some of the things I’m predicting in 2018.

eCommerce is Still Booming

Facebook made it HARD last year for affiliates who don’t play by their rules. They do this all the time, but last year was the worst I’ve ever seen it.

It was the Cloakpocalypse.

What did affiliates do? Some were persistent and found their ways to adapt. 

Some affiliates thought”what if I just play by their rules? I’m tired of this cat and mouse game.

The good news is e-commerce boomed last year and became a great option for affiliates.

Facebook doesn’t like most CPA (Cost per acquisition) offers. The monetization methods tend to be unclear, and the landing pages are aggressive.

E-commerce is more Facebook friendly. The customer knows what they’re getting, and they know how much. 

E-commerce is a “generic” term. There are 3 main types of “e-commerce” for us.

The first is what I call Shopify eCommerce. You create your store, and dropship products from China. (Here’s a discount if you don’t have a store yet)
It was huge last year.
But surprisingly I’m starting to see a lot of affiliates moved from Shopify back to CPA.


The margins are getting thinner. That’s what happens in every vertical. There are massive profits to be made when the market’s inefficient and there isn’t as much competition.

And I guess a lot of affiliates realize they just like running campaigns itself. Dealing with vendors and managing a team of virtual assistants can be a headache.
Shopify is still booming though, just don’t expect it to be as easy in 2018.
The second type is called affiliate eCommerce offers? Sorry, I can’t think of a better term. 

Examples are the Flashlight offers in the past and TrackR.
They are e-commerce products where the advertiser takes care of the backend. You sell the item on a cost per sale basis. The advertisers behind these products know how to maximize each sale. Their funnel game is solid and they’re able to give you high payouts.
Expect affiliate networks to start picking up more of these types of offers, or developing them internally.
Warning: Offers can be allowed by Facebook, but you can still get banned if you’re using angles, ads, or landing pages that aren’t approved by them.

Just because it’s “eCom” doesn’t mean you’re 100% safe from getting banned.
And the third type of e-commerce is to create your products.
A lot of the more prominent Shopify guys are doing their own thing. Instead of drop shipping the flavor of the week from AliExpress, they found a niche to dominate.
They’re working with the vendors to create unique products. They are fulfilling out of the States, so the customers don’t have to wait weeks.  

They are building their brands using influencers, videos, and more.
They are using their affiliate marketing skills and building real businesses. Higher profit margins, more stable, but they lose a lot of the flexibility that comes from being an affiliate.

Crypto is Booming!

I’ve never talked about real estate, precious metals, or the stock market on this blog, but you’ll probably hear me talking about Cryptocurrency here and there.

There’s a massive correlation between affiliate marketers and Cryptocurrency, and it’s hard to ignore.

I want to share some of the ways that Cryptocurrency is going to affect this industry. 
Let’s talk about Blockchain Technology:

(Make sure you read my article last week on how Blockchain Technology can affect affiliate marketing)

Check out these companies:

OysterPRL – Monetize a website without ads by
BasicAttentionToken – Pay for someone’s attention, rather than their click.
HoQu – Decentralizing affiliate networks.
They will affect affiliate marketing if they meet their goals.

These are ambitious projects. Some of them want to straight up get rid of the online banner / advertising itself.

Blockchain technology will affect affiliate marketing, but it’ll take a few years for it things to change. 

Crypto CPA Offers

The streets are buzzing.

Your auntie is hearing about all the Bitcoin or Crypto millionaires and wants to get in on it.

I’ve been promoting various “business opportunity” offers for the past decade.
A lot of times you have to “convince” someone that working at home, binary options, playing a casino app, penny stocks, or Forex are great ways to make money. With Crypto, it’ll be a lot easier to convince people about this opportunity. Why? Because of the buzz. They’re already hearing about it and already curious.
Expect Crypto CPA offers to be huge this year.

Affiliates Are Becoming The Crypto Wolves of Wallstreets

“Everyone’s a genius in a bull market”

Some affiliates are taking their money bags and re-invest into the Crypto market. Other affiliates have quit altogether to pursue the Crypto space full-time (day trading).

There are a lot of parallels between the stock market and Crypto in a way. Here’s a framework that I’ve viewed the stock market and how it can apply to Crypto. 
1. Research and find the coins.
Some coins are solid and can 10x your ROI.
Other coins are scammy coins designed to be pumped and dumped. It takes a tremendous amount of due diligence to understand the vision, the team, the roadmap, etc. 

2. Time IN the market > Timing the Market.

You can’t predict “dips.” The only truth we’ve observed is that the market goes up in the long term.

I can’t say this applies precisely to Crypto, but I do believe the technology is here to stay.
I think a lot about Pets.com and WebVan.com. Both were excellent ideas but their stocks crashed and the companies died.

They were great ideas, but the timing/execution wasn’t right.

  • Pets.com died, but the idea evolved Chewy.com
  • WebVan died, but the idea grew into InstaCart

Hold on to your seat belts; there’s going to be turbulence on this ride.
3. Put more coals in the fire
The more money you have to invest, the more money you can make.
Putting in $2k in the market can only grow so much.
Here’s my advice.
Research and find some coins you believe in. Find companies with strong teams and a real-world purpose. 

Put some money in it and don’t touch it.
If you hold coins longer than a year, then you’ll be taxed at a lower rate due to long term capital gains. (Wait…you guys know you have to pay taxes right?)
Checking CoinsMarketCap 25x a day isn’t going to make you any richer.

I rather focus my time / energy on launching campaigns and finding ways to make more money. I’ll let time do its thing. 
“Be greedy when others are fearful, be fearful when others are greedy.”

A Lot of Affiliates Networks Will Pivot or Shut Down

There are way too many affiliate networks in the space.

Competition’s getting stiff as an affiliate network. I first saw it several years ago when a lot of Chinese networks started popping up.

Staff and office space are a LOT cheaper over there than in NYC or LA. Less overhead means they can afford to pay affiliates more.
And let’s look at the existing pool of super affiliates. Now affiliate marketers have more choices than ever to make money due to eCom, Crypto, or starting their own thing.

My advice to the networks? Differentiate, solve the pains of affiliates, and stay lean. 

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

I’ve heard the same thing since I started.
“Affiliate marketing is dying”
“Affiliate marketing is dead”
And maybe this blog doesn’t paint the brightest picture for the industry.

Well let me ask you this:

  • Are people still fat and want to lose weight? Yes.
  • Are creepers that surf porn sites still interested in hooking up with housewives next door? Yes.
  • Do people still want to find mobile games to play? Yes.

The demand for affiliate marketing products hasn’t changed.

What has changed?

You have a lot less competition. Affiliates kept complaining that CPA was too competitive. Well, now there’s less competition :-).
Mobile hasn’t become less profitable. Native hasn’t become less profitable. Facebook’s still booming.

People say things are dead. I look around and see more opportunity than ever.

Did you guys enjoy this post? Interested in me analyzing the industry on a Quarterly basis? Comment below and let me know.
What are your predictions for 2018?
Featured Image by DigiDream

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                The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

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