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Affiliate Marketing vs COVID-19: Industry Movement and Expert Advice on Surviving the Impact

April 30, 2020

31 Min Read
Affiliate Marketing vs covid-19

The recent COVID-19 pandemic impacts affiliate marketing in both positive and negative ways. To understand this, let’s look at how Affiliate Marketing vs COVID-19 stacks up, its overall market movement, and how the different niches are affected.

In this article, I’ll be covering three main areas:

  1. The overall impact of COVID-19 on affiliate marketers and the direction this steers them towards,
  2. Tools that affiliates recommend for working remotely,
  3. Affiliate marketers’ experience of COVID-19, and the techniques they’ve used to keep their ships afloat despite the challenges of working remotely.

The outbreak has significantly shifted strategy and approach in the affiliate marketing landscape as well. That said, a remote working lifestyle does not affect most affiliates as badly affected since this was already part of their early adoption.

Overall Understanding of the Market: Impact of COVID-19 on Affiliate Marketing

A recent article by Forbes reported that sales have shot up in industries like health, entertainment, supplements, medical supplies, and oxygen related equipment. On the other hand, once-hot offers like gym memberships and certain academic packs are now lagging in sales.

When it comes to coronavirus, the economic impact can be observed as affiliate marketers shift their niches for profitability. Let’s look at two niches that have experienced major growth in sales.

“COVID-19 has turned the affiliate marketing industry upside down. This has caused affiliates and companies to quickly pivot to refine their offers. Savvy affiliates have tried to pivot quickly to sell more items with the rising demand. But in some cases, companies cannot fulfill the fast-rising demand so they have put programs and payouts on hold.” – John Lincoln (CEO and Cofounder of Ignite Visibility)

Ad revenue among affiliate marketers has also dropped due to the change in consumer behavior in light of COVID-19. This also holds true in the industry of real estate and health care. The 2020 blogging industry survey shows that 64% of blogs were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and 25% of bloggers say that their revenue decreased during the pandemic.

Market Conditions, Niches to Focus On, and Outlook Towards COVID-19

Companies like Z-Skin Cosmetics have seen a major increase in sales according to co-founder Ryan Zamo. He credits this to their product line of hand sanitizers. Their sales numbers exploded thanks to their affiliate program.

In contrast, John Frigo, an affiliate manager for My Supplement Store, explains how buying behavior has vastly changed. Sports nutritional supplements such as fat burners and prohormones have faced a sharp decline in sales. Immunity boosting vitamins, on the other hand, had the biggest sales the week following COVID-19.

Niches to Focus On

Additionally, online classes and similar learning management systems show a promising sales boost because of their niche in affiliate marketing. Since the quarantine, a lot of people have been opting for these to keep themselves busy and improve their academic portfolio.

Video conferencing softwares such as Cisco Webex, Microsoft, and Zoom are becoming increasingly popular among educational institutes and as part of employee management. According to NotJitter’s recent publication,

  • Webex reports to have 6.7 million meeting minutes as of March as it hosts more than 4 million daily meetings.
  • In March, Microsoft’s video conferencing software Team reports a 500% increase in meetings, calls, and conferences.

A video conferencing software that has given other video conferencing softwares a run for their money, Zoom refused to comment on usage statistics, but its monthly active users during March reached 151% according to Apptopia.

video conferencing software - Zoom

On the whole, affiliate programs are reducing commissions and suspending their programs due to the uncertainty in the market. If the lockdown continues, affiliate marketers will have to shift to more profitable niches in affiliate marketing.

This explains the impact of coronavirus on affiliate marketing and the overall market. Before I dive deeper and gain the perspective of affiliate marketers let’s look at some tools to help you minimize remote working challenges.

Tools for Affiliates

Affiliate experts and professionals recommend the following tools to help you adopt the remote working lifestyle. These tools will help you streamline collaborative work, automate repetitive tasks, and ultimately increase work productivity.

Let’s take a quick look at the tool and its applications.

  1. Get Response:
    An email marketing platform that enables you to create a list and build your customer base.
  2. SEMrush:
    An SEO tool that helps you carry out keyword research, runs an SEO audit of your blog and highlights opportunities for backlinking.
  3. Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin:
    Get access to SEO tools to improve SEO and attract more traffic to the website.
  4. ThirstyAffiliates:
    Compiles the tools bloggers need to monetize their WordPress website with affiliate marketing.
  5. Slack:
    A method of communication/workspace for sharing and organizing communications by channels for group discussions.
  6. Ahrefs:
    One place to audit your website, research keywords, explore competitors & backlinks.
  7. Sendfox:
    Create simple, beautiful emails and automate them to make email marketing convenient.
  8. Yoast SEO:
    A search-optimization plug-in that integrates with WordPress and facilitates its users in content optimization meta tags.
  9. Voluum:
    An analytics platform for tracking and monitoring online campaigns for performance marketers and individual advertisers.
  10. Asana:
    A platform to help connect remote teams to work on collaborative work.
  11. PowerAdSpy:
    An influential online Facebook ads tool that allows you to locate the best advertisements running on this platform.
  12. KWFinder:
    A keyword research tool that will help you identify the best long-tail keywords that have high search volume and low competition.
  13. Elementor:
    A drag-and-drop page builder plugin for WordPress that works with multiple themes and layouts.
  14. Buzz Sumo:
    A research and monitoring tool that finds influencers and content with high search volume. This tool helps by sending alerts based on keywords, brand name, links, author name or domain.
  15. ClickFunnels:
    An online sales funnel builder that helps businesses market, sell and deliver their products online. This tool simplifies online marketing, selling, and delivery of their products and services.

There are more tools that can help you work smarter if you’re working remotely or at an office space. You can find an extensive list of tools that can help raise your game as an affiliate marketer through our blog.

Tools For Affiliates
Now that you know about some of the most effective remote-working tools,  let’s look at what industry experts have to say about the impact of COVID-19 on affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing vs COVID-19: What Industry Experts Say

Industry Experts

After connecting with a few experts, I asked them how they’re surviving through this drastic global change. I received some very interesting responses about how they’re dealing with working remotely, the tools they recommend other affiliates to use, and their overall outlook post-COVID-19.

Shawna Newman 

Digital Marketing Consultant at Skipblast.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

I have a large portfolio of affiliate sites, so while some are suffering traffic/revenue declines due to COVID-19, others are seeing increases. Overall, I’m up slightly on the YoY for both traffic and revenue.

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

I’ve been working from home for 10+ years, so it isn’t a new transition for me. What is different is that my neighbors are all home with nothing to do, so my “workspace” has a lot more noise nuisance than usual.

Work From Home

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

I try to keep things lean and stick with only a few tools.

Though it’s expensive, I think that Ahrefs is the best complete tool for affiliates because you can do competitive analysis, keyword research, look for backlink opportunities, etc.

I’m also a fan of KWFinder because it shows you Google trends, the current SERPs and keyword data all in one place.

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

I think that creating a new site to match current consumer focus is a fool’s errand because by the time your site gets traction it likely won’t matter. However, if you can pivot into a trending shoulder niche with a current site, then this is an easy win for you. I have done this with one of my sites and revenue more than doubled on the YoY last month.

What’s your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

Going forward, I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve always done – creating and growing sites in niches where there is a lot of consumer spending. Focusing on niches that solve problems is the easiest way to make sure your sites stay afloat during hard times because people always spend money to solve problems.

Morgan Taylor

Chief Marketing Officer for LetMeBank.

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

Working remotely is nothing new for us, and while we’ve had to switch up our approach in some ways, we are still going strong. It makes you realize that even though the majority of your work is done from home, that only makes the time you spend outside all the more important.

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

The most important tool for any affiliate is an email list. At a certain point, you start switching from one shot affiliate commissions to list building, and that’s where you have a business rather than a hustle.

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

I don’t think anyone really needs to change their niche, long term. Short term, there is probably more interest in niches that deal with solving basic problems and saving/making money. This won’t last though, but certainly, if you were considering those niches it’s worth looking into it.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

Post Covid-19 there is going to be a substantial shift in how people see those that have built their businesses online. Most of us have been largely unaffected while regular employees at brick and mortar stores have had their lives turned upside-down. I see a lot of interest in working from home in the near future, and a lot more respect for those building a business online.

The best tip though, no matter what business you are building online, is to build a list. Once you have an email list, no matter what happens you always have a way of reaching your customer base. 

Lior Amar 

Business Consulting & Personal Development for Journeyborn.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

It’s true that the COVID-19 quarantine situation may seem hard, but I believe that this could be an opportunity for most of the affiliates or people who want to start their own online business in the future. Think about it, when did you get the chance to sit home with all the free time to yourself, without anyone expecting you to do things.

Take advantage of this time, because when all of this situation would be behind us, you will regret that you didn’t put the time and effort into developing yourself the required skills to succeed in the affiliate marketing world apart, and into starting your own business in general.

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

The difficulties that I’m facing while working remotely are basically little but very common among the majority of society. First of all, it’s staying focused on the important tasks, while staying productive for the rest of the day.

Second, maintaining a morning routine even though it’s hard because you stay at home all day so your inner-voice try to convince you to sleep through the morning and wake up late. A productive day starts with a morning routine, working out and some time for self-reflection. In order to survive the current situation, we must stay focused on our long and short term goals and also we mustn’t neglect our so important morning routine.

Covid-19- Work From Home

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

To all fellow affiliates out there, first of all I would recommend to you to just start if you haven’t done so yet. Focus on promoting products that are really giving value to the customer and that you would have purchased for yourself.

If you are into blogging and looking for ways to improve your website’s SEO I suggest you use the tool called Ahrefs. In my opinion, this is the best tool for keyword and competitor research. I wouldn’t recommend starting a blog or any other online business if you didn’t do the proper research in the current field you’re getting into.

Also, when it comes to spying on other people’s campaigns and ads I would recommend on PowerAdSpy. They have a huge database that is constantly updated to make the life of affiliate marketers a lot easier. 

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

I wouldn’t recommend everyone to shift their niche because of the change in market demand because it may be temporary. If you have already established a business/website/community around a certain niche and it has taken a hit from the change in market demand, I would suggest keeping working on it at least 50% so you would be ready for when we get back to business as usual.

And in the meanwhile, dedicate your time to learn new skills or to improve skills that you already have. And look for other business opportunities in this massive world.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

When the COVID-19 would be behind us, most of the people would realize that their jobs are temporary, and most of the things around us are going to change. I would recommend staying alert to new trends in fields like homeschooling, pharmaceutical companies, and home-based work that would become more popular in the near-by future.

Mark Webster

Co-Founder of Authority Hacker for Authorityhacker.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

We are fortunate enough to have always had a rainy day reserve in our business. While I don’t foresee us having to actually use it at this stage, it means we can comfortably continue business as usual without the threat of making drastic cutbacks for our survival.

The fact is, this is still just a temporary blip at this stage. While that’s always subject to change, this is currently no different from other high points and low points that have affected the fundamentals of affiliate marketing, for example, when Amazon drastically reduced their commissions back in 2017 or when Google introduced their Medic update.

The affiliate community is a resilient one and this is just another dip in the roller coaster of highs and lows!

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

Our business has always been fully remote so we’re not affected too heavily by this. What we have noticed, however, is many things have actually become easier in terms of communicating with others. More people are online throughout the day and available to talk with us regarding affiliate activity, etc.

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

The simplest tool I urge every affiliate to use is a simple spreadsheet of all your profits and losses. List out all the tools and plugins you’re using and their cost. Additionally, note down all your income. How much are you making from each program and any other income you’re making.

With this, you’ll get a fuller picture of exactly where all your money is going/coming from. You can cut any necessary expenses like plugins you don’t use etc. and you can begin focusing your content on the affiliate programs that have paid you the most. You can also optimize this content to make it go even further!

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

Mobilizing such a shift would be fruitless. Every niche has its highs and lows. If you’re in the survivalist niche right now, for example, sure that would be great, but what about 1 year down the line? This boon will inevitably dip. On the flip side, if you happen to be working in a luxury niche right now, for example, home cinema systems, sure you’re going to see a drop in the short term, but long term, buying habits will eventually return to normal.

The work you do now to rank will show big time when the economy recovers, so don’t waste this opportunity by chasing the shiny object.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

It will end eventually. There are already solid signs of recovery around the world.

Yes, it’s uncomfortable right now, but the fact is, this isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last tough spot for affiliate marketers.

If you haven’t already, this should give you the kick you need to seriously consider the longevity of your business and start building up a rainy day fund for future events like this.

David Attard

Founder Collectiveray.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

The COVID-19 has dented our income so we are using this time to perform two necessary functions as much as possible. The first is we are doing maintenance on any articles and the site in general.

With a lot of time on our hands, we can afford to do plenty of much-needed maintenance on the sites such as CRO, email marketing updates, technical SEO audit, and other stuff which is typically on the back burner.

The 2nd is we are pushing aggressively on the link building, where people are now much more willing to help each other out.

Covid- Work From Home

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

We are lucky to say that apart from the lack of social interaction with other people from our office, we are not doing too bad. Given that most of our work is done online anyway, working remotely has not affected us too much, yet we still miss the camaraderie at the office which is much harder when you’re just holding meetings online or on chat.

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

We would suggest other affiliates to think outside the box and find ways to monetize even any informational articles they have. Get creative with lead-generation to increase your email subscriptions, so that you have a larger pool of people to market to.

For example, set up a drip marketing campaign that sends a mix of informational and money pages. That way, rather than broadcasting to your email list the new posts only, you can send them all your older (but relevant) posts too.

Any good email marketing is great, but a tool such as Sendfox allows you to do email automation without a subscription cost. 

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

It’s always a good idea to diversify your income. If you’ve accumulated a reserve of income from your previous affiliate income, now is the time to either acquire other affiliate sites that are struggling (at a good price), or start new sites with new affiliate streams in diversified markets. 

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

Things will have to get better eventually, so cut down on your costs now so that you can ramp up when stuff starts to recover.

Once things start to recover we anticipate a surge of pent up buying which should boost the income of many of us in general. The important thing is to ensure we are able to get there in good shape so that we can start reaping the benefits again.

Beth Noll

Full-time affiliate marketer at Giftobserver.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

At the moment, it’s all about promoting products that fit with working from home. Some big affiliate niches that have seen an increase recently are digital educational products (ebooks and courses), home fitness online entertainment (games, movies) and toiletries (hand sanitizer, soap, toilet roll). Since I’m a multi-niche affiliate, I’m particularly focusing on promoting products that are in high demand right now.

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

The hardest bit about working remotely is mixing work with entertainment. At the moment it currently feels like a holiday every day so my body thinks I should be relaxing instead of working! Aside from that, spending a lot of time in the house with less social interaction is the only other issue.

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

My personal go-to tool is Ahrefs as it provides search volume for a range of useful websites including Google, YouTube and Amazon, which is where you will find most affiliate operations. It’s especially useful for search engine optimization and researching the demand for a given niche or product. It’s kind of pricey, but for anyone running an affiliate website, it’s essential.

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

I’m in a lucky situation where I can easily put out content in different niches, so the hardest part is determining what people need right now. Recently I’ve been focusing on more work from home affiliate products and anything relating to home entertainment. For others, it can be harder, but focusing on home office and fitness products right now is key.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

Post pandemic, I think there will be another shift back to normal market demand, meaning the niches that suffered should return to normal. This also means if you’re cashing in right now on a certain affiliate product or niche, then don’t expect it to last forever. It’s very likely your earnings will decrease as demand gets back to normal, so be sure not to over-invest or spend.

Reuben Yonatan

Founder and CEO of GetVoIP.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

At GetVoIP, we generate income by funneling our readership to our affiliate partners. Since we are in the web conferencing and Voice over IP industry, the pandemic hasn’t had an adverse effect on our business. The opposite actually! We’ve observed increased traffic to our articles on remote work as well as a lot of inquiries on team collaboration and web conferencing Software.

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

I would thus encourage others in affiliate marketing to shift their niche to help meet market demand. However, do it ONLY IF the current niche complements the new niche! That way, you won’t lose your core readership.

Think about it; it would be a hard sell to move from pet products to video conferencing. Moreover, once the crisis is over, you will still need your core readership.

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

With regards to working remotely, we have transitioned rather smoothly. That is largely because we have experience with remote workers. 

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

The key to getting it right is Communication and Collaboration! Use either social media or a specialized platform such as Slack to ensure the team is in constant communication. Next, pick your preferred project management platform to facilitate collaboration. At GetVoIP, we use Asana. Finally, make use of video conferencing to simulate the in-person office experience.

Chris Kaiser

CEO & Founder at Clickatree.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

Sales are down since we mostly focused on travel in the past. We’re now expanding the portfolio, which helps generate income. 

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

Working remotely is a blessing. It offers a lot more freedom and flexibility, hence it helps me be a lot more productive than I was in an office environment.

However, it’s crucial to get into a routine nonetheless. Read up on all the tips about being productive from home that people have published in the past month, most of them make sense, from showering, dressing properly, starting with a short workout, saying a mantra, turning the phone to flight mode for the first hours of the day and so on.

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

The only tool I recommend beginner affiliates is ThirstyAffiliates for link cloaking. Everything else is secondary – the key is to get started. So build a website, install TA and get going.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

Imho affiliate marketing won’t be any easier going forward. Some companies probably won’t revive their affiliate programs, so it’s more important than ever to send high-quality traffic to those partners that still exist – and that only happens when you create high-quality content.

If we continue sending existing partners high-quality traffic that also converts, there’s no point for them to close their affiliate program, is There?

Alex Panagis 

Founder at Scalemath.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

I’m doing alright! While it’s definitely turned the whole world upside down, it’s really important to remember how grateful we should all be and how much worse our situation could be. For one, I’m still healthy so I can’t really complain and I’m sure many of you reading will agree…

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

I’ve actually always worked remotely, but particularly now being forced to remain in my house and not being able to socialize does make life very difficult. All in all, it definitely makes us appreciate the times when we could meet people in the real world!

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

If you’re using WordPress, which I can imagine most affiliates will be then I highly recommend checking out the Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin.

(Disclosure: I work with Rank Math but am an avid user of their plugin – and recommended their tools – long before doing anything together)

Especially now with times being tough since the core functionality of the plugin is free, it’s an absolute no-brainer to migrate all of your sites from whatever SEO plugin you’re currently using if you’re not already using it to Rank Math…

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

In affiliate marketing, I’ve always been in favor of not building multiple smaller sites to focus on very small niches and instead focusing on building one authority site, but given the drastic change in market demand, it’s becoming clear that when choosing your industry overall, you have to ensure that it can withstand situations like this. Is there an opportunity to pivot or are you actually limiting yourself in the long-term with the niche that you’ve chosen for yourself? These are all questions that I highly recommend people ask themselves.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

My overall outlook towards COVID-19 as well as specific to marketing is that it has taught us all a lesson. We all got too comfortable with how well things were going beforehand and just like any unexpected situation, this is a great reason to work on diversifying income streams and ensuring that you don’t rely on any singular source at any point.

Dominic Wells

Founder of Onfolio.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

It’s not making a big difference in how I work, as I work remotely already. That’s the beauty of working in affiliate marketing. As far as how it’s affecting my websites – it varies. Some of my sites are naturally earning less and receiving less traffic, others are benefitting incredibly well. Overall we are up.

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

Having a small child is the biggest difficulty, as it can be hard to create a work-life balance. It’s all too easy to work 12 hour days with periods in the day of not really working, but trying to.

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

Brain.fm is a must for focus while working remotely.

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

It’s always good to be diversified and have multiple websites covering multiple niches. If you only have one website, you need to ask yourself how long it will take to pivot, and whether you’d regret it once things go back to normal again. Or, you have to ask yourself if they WILL go back to normal again. In some niches, like travel, pivoting or starting a new site is probably the best decision you can make now, but other niches might only be experiencing temporary pain.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

I think it’s impossible to tell, but in terms of strategy, it just makes me even more bullish on diversification.

Earn at your own pace.

Refer customers and set up your passive income stream

Nate Shivar

Marketing Consultant Shivarweb

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

I’ve been able to create a good home office in the corner of my bedroom with an IKEA table and kitchen swivel chair. The key thing is to have a monitor platform and keyboard to keep from looking down at a laptop screen all day. Business-wise, I’m sticking to the fundamentals and not running new experiments to conserve cash & attention.

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

Setting & sticking to work boundaries is hard, especially with family sharing the same space. It’s harder to create & stick to work time when the computer is *right there*. I’ve made the mistake of doing a quick Analytics check before bed instead of waiting for the walk to the office space in the morning.

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2020

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

Invest in your website & revenue analytics with either time or money. If you have some money, a tool like Affluent or Voluum will allow you to make fast, smart decisions. The visual data more than pays for itself in times of uncertainty. It will also help you learn faster. And if you have the time instead of money, spend it creating a really good tracking spreadsheet in Google Sheets. Make sure you are making use of Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Facebook Insights. You can’t learn anything unless you have good data.

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

Be careful about shiny object syndrome and chasing the hottest next thing.

For most niches, market demand has not evaporated – it has just shifted to the future. You should look at how to move that demand up to now (discounts, purchase rationales, etc) and how to position yourself better for the wave of future demand before you go shifting to an unknown niche.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

The world will be different. But affiliate marketing will be well-positioned to change. People will still want to buy stuff. And businesses will still want guaranteed sales. Since affiliates don’t have to maintain inventory or long-term commitments, affiliates will be well-positioned to keep matching customers with businesses well after COVID-19.

Anna Barker

Industry/Designation Founder at LogicalDollar

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

I’ve been at home for several weeks now and there have certainly been times that it’s gotten frustrating.

That said, it’s opened up a lot of free time that I’ve been able to use for a number of projects related to my website as well as for crossing things off my personal to-do list. For example, you should have seen my wardrobe before all this…!

For my site, while page views have dipped, I’ve used the time to generate a ton of new content for when things pick up.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to review a number of my affiliate partnerships. For those that haven’t been performing so well, I’ve subbed them out for those that my audience tends to favor more.

It’s easy to get down over the possibility of being stuck at home for who-knows-how-long. But we may never again have this much time to dedicate to (almost) whatever we want.

By thinking of it this way and using it to further build my online business, I’ve found this to be a great help for coping with the overall situation.

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

It can be easy to feel like you need to be achieving everything during this time, especially if you scroll through Instagram for more than 30 seconds. With everyone getting fit or baking up a storm, anything less than this can start to feel like you’re failing at this whole quarantine thing – and that also applies to work remotely.

For me, I’ve had to tell myself that it’s ok if I don’t do every last thing on my list each day. The pressure to do everything at once can be even greater now than usual when often all you have to focus on is the screen in front of you.

And it’s also fine to feel about down about the whole situation from time to time and to give yourself the chance to just *be*. I’ve had a few days when the news was just getting a bit too much where I had to tell myself that not being 100% focused on work that day was completely fine.

So take advantage of this time to achieve some professional goals. But if you don’t – or simply feel like you can’t right now – then that’s perfectly fine too.

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

When I first started with affiliate marketing, I applied to be an affiliate for all sorts of companies within my niche.

However, I quickly became overwhelmed at the amount of information that I suddenly had to deal with. Which was the best one for that credit card I wanted to recommend? Which budgeting app had the highest payout? And when one affiliate partnership expired, which other one should I replace it with? 

Based on this, I’d definitely recommend beginner affiliates to use a simple spreadsheet to keep track of the companies they are affiliates for. I use Google Sheets so I can access it anywhere, but any program or application will work.

I then use tabs to categorize affiliate companies in different areas. For example, I have one for credit cards, one for apps for discount shopping, another for budgeting apps – and so on.

Using this, I can easily see which companies align with the product or service that I want to recommend. It’s also been super helpful for replacing affiliates in existing content if needed.

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

I personally will not be shifting my niche as, with the coming recession, personal finance advice will be needed more than ever.

That said, shifting your niche is certainly something to consider for those in other niches, particularly travel. At the same time, I’d caution anyone against making this decision rashly.

Firstly, this could be a good time to pivot your content towards new topics that are still broadly in your niche. You can see that already with mommy bloggers who are now producing more articles on activities for kids at home.

It’s also worth keeping in my mind that if you change your website to a brand new niche, it will take some time for the Google juice to start flowing. For those relying on SEO, Google needs some time and content to trust your site in a new niche. Depending on your circumstances and how much success you’re having in your current niche, this might not be a good business decision.

Affiliate Marketing Success: 14 Simple Traits and Tips

Finally, it’s worth keeping in mind that this too shall pass. While you may be seeing a downturn in traffic now, things will return to normal (at least relatively) in time. People will start to travel again and will be more willing to spend money when things eventually stabilize, so it may be better for your business to use this time to build it up rather than spending time shifting your niche.

Earn at your own pace.

Refer customers and set up your passive income stream

That way, you’ll be ready for the recovery and in a better position than ever for your website to take advantage of it.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

It’s clear that we’ll be in this situation for some time but, from a purely financial standpoint, after every dip there has been a recovery. And there’s no reason why this will be any different.

That said, there may be some changes for website managers and online business owners to take into account going forward. For example, *we may need to make sure that the content we produce in our niche will also work when times are not normal*, like now.

This may be tricky for those in the travel niche particularly to work with, although it’s worth noting that every niche has periods of peaks and troughs. For my personal finance website, the middle of the year is always quieter than before and after Christmas.

At the same time, this is definitely an extreme trough for many people, but will certainly be something to consider for dealing with future situations like this.

On a more positive note, I see this period leading to a massive upswing in online businesses in the post-COVID times.

People are now seeing the benefits of not working in a traditional office setting. Similarly, companies are producing more products and services to make remote working easier, all of which will continue to exist once the situation goes back to normal.

So for those of us who are already building our online businesses now, it’s good to be ahead of the curve as we also all work to flatten it! 

Thomas Kelly 

Blogger at Zeroeffortcash.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, our site has received slightly higher traffic, but a lower conversion rate. Our click-through rate has remained fairly in line with the percentage it was at before, but once the viewer is going through to Amazon, they’re buying a lot less than normal. The annoying part about this is there really isn’t a fix, people simply don’t have money right now to be splurging on unnecessary things. All we can do is try and continue to ramp up traffic and keep creating quality content.

Covid19-Quarantined

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

Working remotely has been somewhat frustrating. I personally much prefer discussing important things in person so that everyone has a full understanding of what’s happening, with nothing lost in translation. Online communication simply isn’t the same, we use zoom now to have meetings when necessary, but due to laggy internet connections, it’s almost a waste of time.

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

We use quite a few tools, both free and paid, that without I think we would have a really hard time. The MVP’s would have to be SEMrush for keyword research, backlink building and competitor analysis, Yoast SEO for quick and simple on-page SEO and Sumo for that all-important email list. 

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

I don’t believe shifting your niche is the right thing to be doing due to the change in market demand. Maybe creating content that is more related to what’s happening right now is a smart move, but completely shifting the focus of your site isn’t what I’ll be doing. The pandemic will come to an end (hopefully soon) and things will return to normal, so the way I see it, now is an excellent chance to build up loyal traffic and your email lists that are interested in what you’re currently offering them. 

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

Post Covid-19 won’t be easy. I believe it will take a while before people worldwide have disposable income again that is able to justify making online purchases to the same level as before. I also think we’ll see a psychological change in spending, there will be a lot more saving than before and unnecessary spending (which let’s face it, a lot of affiliate marketing is) will drop.

Donovan Gow

Owner of House and Tool.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

Like everyone, we’re struggling a bit to manage the anxiety of the Covid-19 situation while still continuing to be productive at work. We’re putting a heavy emphasis on mutual support and communication among our team members. This just seems like the right thing to do in these unusual times, but it does also help with productivity if people feel supported and Valued. 

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

We’re fortunate in that our team is distributed and works remotely normally, so the adjustment hasn’t been as great for us. The big change is working remotely while our families are home but we’re all understanding about that and the challenges it can cause.

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

If you’re interested in web-based affiliate marketing, I’d strongly recommend taking a course like Authority Hacker which walks you through all the steps.

It’s not cheap but it will save you months or years of trial and error. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, there are few easier places to start than the Amazon Affiliates program. Other companies may offer terms that on the surface look better, but the sheer volume and exceptional conversion on Amazon make it the best place to start.

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

We’re in the home improvement space which is proving to be very solid now so we have no plans to change. Almost everyone has a list of home projects they want to get to. Now that we’re all at home more, many people are actually getting them done and turning to sites like ours for advice and reviews.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

I’m confident that affiliate marketing will continue to be strong post-Covid-19. If anything, the current situation may drive even more retail sales online in the long-run.

Earn at your own pace.

Refer customers and set up your passive income stream

Khris Steven

Full-time affiliate marketer, sales funnel expert and owner of KhrisDigital

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

Despite the fact that the entire world is facing a very serious challenge due to the spread of the Coronavirus – there’s still hope.

Personally, as an affiliate, one of the ways I’ve been surviving ever since there has been a worldwide lockdown is staying positive and working more than I should in my affiliate business. Because one thing is certain; this situation isn’t going to last forever.

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

So far, I haven’t experienced any difficulty as an affiliate during these times. Working remotely has been my lifestyle for over 2 years now. Although lots of remote workers in some niches are experiencing hard times.

Like huge drops in traffic and conversions rates. For me, the opposite is the case. My income and traffic aren’t affected, instead, I’ve seen a great increase because of the industry I’m in.

Post-Covid19

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

For anyone starting out as an affiliate right now – the tools I would recommend are nothing but the domain and hosting (Cloudways), an affiliate friendly autoresponder (GetResponse), good website builder (Elementor, ClickFunnels etc), Keyword research tool (Keywords Everywhere) and a nice (but optional) link tracking software (Voluum).

All for a start.

And most importantly the right mindset and action. Tools are really useless if the person using them has a blind mindset and inaction to make money online.

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

If you’re in an affiliate niche where market demands are extremely down – what I’d advise is for you to go broader a bit in your industry, find products or services that are in demand right now and promote them. 

For example, some of the high demanding niches are:

  • MMO (Make Money Online)
  • Adult & Dating niche
  • Communication softwares
  • Gaming and streaming
  • Pet niche
  • DIY home niche
  • Health (safety & survival kits)

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

Taking a look at these micro and macro niches – I’m confidential that no matter the industry you’re in right now, you’ll find one or more of these a perfect choice for you.

I’m fully in support of marketers and business owners shifting industries due to the change in market demand. It’s not a bad idea. But must be approached with some clever tactics you know.

No doubt that most businesses and things will never go back to normal after this. Both for good and for bad.

Only those who were smart and brave enough to see the pandemic as an opportunity for growth, resourcefulness, improvement and creativeness are the ones whom the future would favor the most.

Like they say: there is always a light at the end of every tunnel. Right?

Things will surely get better for lots of affiliates and online business owners after this is all over. But for only those who were proactive.

Gintaras Steponkus

Project Manager at Solid Guides.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

Affiliate marketing work does not require the office or physical presence of all the team members. So, there are no severe issues in running it regarding the technical side. However, drastic changes have come into the buying trend worldwide. So, it is an alarming situation for affiliate marketers.

Small to medium level affiliate marketing websites usually run across a single niche. The whole website’s revenue generation went down, whose niche was not related to the medical and household stuff.

Fortunately, we were already dealing with the domestic items niche, so we are secure from that side. Undoubtedly, the drastic decrease has come in the sales of other niches. Our primary focus is shifted towards the niches who have the earning potential nowadays. However, we are not neglecting the other niches. The team is generating content on those websites as well to maintain the SEO score.

Work From Home.

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

We are finding communication and collaboration issues between employees as we hired most of the employees recently who have little to no experience of remote working before. We have thought to resolve this issue by investing in advanced monitoring and project management tools like Asana and Slack. Hopefully, the process would be streamlined, and the communication issues would be fixed to a much extent.

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

Get Response:

It is not only always about getting subscribers, but the magic lies in taking most out of your subscribers’ list. My recommendation is to use Get Response as it is affiliate marketing friendly tools and offer several features that average tools do not have.

Workflows and Conditional Emails

The marketing automation tools, including workflows and conditional emails, work best to create smart marketing campaigns for affiliate products.. It allows you to set a communication pattern by applying different conditions, actions, and filters against the subscriber behavior. Automation features take off the burden, and you could give more time to content planning and generation. This feature is missing in most of the email marketing software.

Local Time

Additionally, it sends emails according to the local time of subscribers.. For example, if data is showing you that X type of emails generate the best results in the morning, then Get Response will send email according to the local time of the receiver.

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

I do not believe in totally “shifting” the niche and finishing up the previous work entirely. However, there is no harm in molding your strategy for the time being because it is a need of an hour.

It is not said without any reason that “health, wealth and relationships” are an evergreen niche. Even in this pandemic, the sites related to these niches are working well. So, my first recommendation is at least to include one of these niches in your affiliate marketing. If you have not done it before, then it is the right time to start working in the health niche. The lists of your subscribers would prove helpful in it as a reasonable percentage of them would be attracted to your newly launched website, YouTube channel, or any other major platform you will work on.

Do not finish your previous work because now you have experience in those niches. Keep generating content on that for the sake of maintaining SEO score or even making it better. Yes, you can compromise on the frequency because of less earning potential nowadays.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

We are seeing dramatic changes in consumers’ behavior. Additionally, the economy is going through its worst stages right now. The picture is not clear of what is going to happen after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maybe we would see reduced spending on luxury or unnecessary items. So every facilitating marketer must start working on the niche whose products are necessary to survive or for daily usage.

Moreover, keep an eye on the latest media trends, resorts, and buying patterns by using the premium tools so that you can plan for the post-COVID 19.

James Chittenden

Founder One Click Advisor.

How are you surviving the COVID-19 quarantine situation?

Good so far. It is NOT good for anyone who is sick or worse, lost a friend or family member. However, our customers are new startups. We have not been affected, but some of our customers have.

Let’s talk about some of the remote working challenges you face on a regular basis.

None. We are a remote team, so we have not been affected.

Tools you recommend other/beginner affiliates to use?

The best tools are your own website, aggressiveness, and abilities to position your advertisers for problems faced by your readers. Use social media and special offers or tools your advertisers provide, if relevant to your audience.

Your thoughts about shifting your niche due to the drastic change in market demand?

We always have to re-position as the market requires. Since coronavirus or coronavirus-related shutdowns affect nearly everyone, chances are that your niche has been affected too. Your advertisers have adjusted, so adjust with everyone. Watch leading economic indicators to stay ahead of the curve. Specifically, stay with financial news and watch inventory levels, unemployment claims, stock prices, and building permits. The direction of all of these will reveal plenty of clues about where we will be in the next month or two.

What is your outlook towards post-COVID-19?

People’s belief in job security has been shaken. Look for more gigs. And great new businesses to come as people look more to themselves for job security.

Earn at your own pace.

Refer customers and set up your passive income stream

What We Have Learnt So Far (In a Nutshell)

I’ve now been able to conclude a major aspect of the niche affiliate marketers steer towards, the impact of coronavirus on affiliate marketing, and the overall sentiments on the future of affiliate marketing post-COVID-19. Let’s quickly recap each section.

Nutshell

On the subject of market movements that are relevant to affiliate marketers, most affiliates have shifted their niche to software products, learning software, and home appliances. This can be seen with the significant shift in sales of video conferencing software like Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex.

Affiliates responded to the following aspects of the current affiliate marketing vs COVID-19 situation

  1. Tips to survive the COVID-19.
  2. The challenges they face due to the impact of this pandemic.
  3. Their outlook towards post-COVID-19 activities.
  4. Some of the remote working challenges they’re facing on a regular basis.

Based on the responses of affiliates, here are some key takeaways about the future outlook post-COVID-19.

  • There’s going to be an influx of new businesses as people are likely to start their own ventures for job security
  • Post COVID-19 consumer behavior may change from spending on luxury goods to necessities.
  • COVID-19 has impacted the day to day operations of affiliates far less drastically than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
  •  Who was smart and brave enough to see the pandemic as an opportunity for growth, resourcefulness, improvement, and creativeness will be most favored by fortune. Affiliates show confidence in the prospects of retail sales online in the long run.
  • A lot of affiliate programs may drop as post-COVID-19 consumers may be saving more and spending less.
  • Businesses are likely to work remotely which leads to more IT-related products in the market.
  • The importance of diversifying income streams as reliance on a single income source can be risky.

What do you think? Have I missed anything?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll be happy to engage with you.

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Usman Dar

Usman is a Digital Marketer at Cloudways- A Managed Cloud Hosting Platform, where he looks after affiliate partnerships and helps digital nomads in generating passive income. He is a foodie by heart, who loves to explore new eateries around his vicinity.

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BFCM 2019