How to Diversify Your Affiliate Marketing Promotions

In April 2020, just as millions in the UK and America were filing for unemployment and attempting to figure out new ways to supply new ways of their income due to the COVID-19 global crisis, Amazon announced that it would be reducing affiliate commissions for certain product categories–a massive hit to plenty of affiliate marketers and their revenue.

Changes Made to the Amazon Associates Program in April 2020

Product CategoryPrevious RateCurrent Rate
(as of April 21, 2020)
Amazon Fresh3%1%
Baby Products4.5%3%
Business & Industrial Supplies6%3%
Health & Personal Care4.5% 1%
Home Improvement8%3%
Lawn & Garden8%3%
Musical Instruments6%3%
Pet Products8%3%
Product categories that did not experience any changes to commission rates include: Automotive, Amazon devices, DVD & Blu-Ray, handbags & accessories, jewelry, kitchen, luggage, PC and PC components, physical books & music, televisions, video games, and watches.  

While the announcement of the Amazon commission cuts gained plenty of the attention of online affiliate marketing news sources, they weren’t the only commerce powerhouse slashing rates. Retailers like Wal-Mart, Macys, Patagonia, and Victoria’s Secret put a pause on their affiliate programs due to coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon Associates

Amazon was one of the first retailers online offering an affiliate program. In 1996, the company launched their affiliate program, “Amazon Associates.” Affiliates received their payments via paychecks. The paychecks were signed and then sent via mail. Now, the program is more sophisticated and advanced and makes payments to over 180k affiliates globally. As Amazon’s program boosted, so did other affiliate programs that were launced.

Companies have moved away from funnelling money into ad budgets and now rely heavily on traffic generated by partner affiliates. Currently, 81% of brands and 84% of publishers offer affiliate marketing programs.

Considering the broad scope of the e commerce industry and its grand rise, it would make perfect sense that affiliate marketing provides substantial income for many people around the globe.It hasn't always been this way,  It used to be that affiliate marketing was touted as a way to earn “passive income” or as a “side hustle.” Now, professionals agree–there’s definitely a strategy to the industry and, while it may not be someone’s “day Job" substantial energy isn’t invested, the returns will be slim to next to nothing. In the US alone, at this current time affiliate marketing is a whopping $4.5 billion dollar industry and drives 15% of all eCommerce. 

For affiliate marketers who are choosing an affiliate program to get started, product niche, and offers to promote always comes with some risk. Affiliates may put plenty of working behind promoting an offer that just isn’t resonating in its sales channel. Or, they may promote an offer in a niche market that’s about to experience a devastating upset–for example, affiliates who primarily promoted travel-related offers are likely not very pleased right now. While frustrating, these types of issues commonly create better affiliates who understand the flow of their craft and produce an ability to pivot and be diverse. 

When it comes down to large commission cuts, the same resilience is required. Solopreuners and small business owners who rely on affiliate marketing for income must come to anticipate commission cuts and add variety their promotional plans. A way to do this is to diversify revenue sources and marketing promotions by exploring different types of affiliate marketplaces that offer a variety of commission rates and consistent payouts… like ClickBank

How is ClickBank Different?

Like Amazon, ClickBank was one of the first companies to offer an affiliate program. As a stamp in the affiliate marketing industry since 1998, ClickBank has diversification embedded into their affiliate program. Here’s how it works:

ClickBank offers products with commission rates that have been set by the seller–not ClickBank. ClickBank, as a company, never endorses specific commission rates or suggests commission rates to sellers. It is up to the seller to determine the correct commission model that works for their unique product or niche. Because of the variety of sellers who bring their product to ClickBank, sellers are highly considerate of what it takes to incentivize affiliates to promote their product. Therefore, the majority of commission rates for ClickBank offers are over 25%–with most between 40-75%.

This is so important because affiliates who promote ClickBank products in a particular product category (i.e. health and fitness) will never receive an email from ClickBank informing them that commission rates are being cut for an entire category. If a single offer is no longer appealing because of a slashed commission rate, there are more to be found in the ClickBank Affiliate Marketplace.  

Sellers can make changes to their commission rates as they see fit, however, if an affiliate has developed a receptive email list of following based on their niche market, they will be able to promote a variety of offers from a wide range of sellers who can raise and lower commission rates at their discretion–not at the direction of ClickBank. This creates a naturally competitive and diverse marketplace for affiliates to select offers from. 

With over 30 categories and subcategories of products, offers that are consistently converting, and a variety of digital downloads and products with recurring sales, the ClickBank Marketplace all but downright prevents affiliates from pigeonholing themselves into the regretful position that Amazon has left their affiliates in–high and dry with no say regarding their livelihood.

Mitigate Risk by Adding Variety

Investors that are successful continually tout the importance of diversification. However, this wisdom key does not only apply to investments alone. If you are an affiliate marketer and rely on one company or affiliate program for the primary source of your income, you are doing a disservice to yourself–especially if that company is in control of commission rates. According to Nick K. Lioudis, contributor to Investopedia and former deputy manager of Financial Investment News, diversification is about risk mitigation: 

“Investors confront two main types of risk when investing. The first risk is undiversifiable, which is also known as systematic or market risk. This type of risk is associated with everysingle company. Common causes include inflation rates, exchange rates, political instability, war, and interest rates… it is just a risk investors must accept. The second type of risk is diversifiable. This risk is also known as unsystematic risk and is specific to a company, industry, market, economy, or country. It can be reduced through diversification… Thus, the aim is to invest in various assets so they will not be affected the same way by market events.” 

The same advice is relevant for affiliate marketing. There is always an inherent risk in marketing. But affiliate marketers can alleviate systematic risk in the same ways investors would: diversify, diversify, and again I say diversify.

Top Converting Offers on ClickBank as of June 14, 2020

Product CategoryOfferRate 
Health & Fitness Yoga Burn 30% 
InvestmentThe Richdad Summit - By RobertT Kiyosaki50%
Health & FitnessLost Book of Remedies75%
Health & FitnessDiabetes Freedom75%
Health & FitnessFlat Belly Fix75%
Home & GardenTed’s Woodworking75%
Home & GardenThe Self Sufficient Backyard75% 
Self HelpCombat Fighter 75%
Health & FitnessCustom Keto Diet75%
Self HelpMake Him Worship You75%

CLICK HERE to sign up for a ClickBank University account and get started as an affiliate.