Readers are becoming banner blind. Ad networks are kind of sucking (you know who you are) and direct advertising is slowing as brands find other avenues for promotion.
What's a blogger to do?
Well, you focus on affiliate marketing.
"But Christen!" you say, "Affiliate marketing is always changing and it might be obsolete tomorrow! I don't want to put energy into that!"
Darling, let's chat.
Yes, affiliate marketing is changing -- but it's evolving, much like your blog has. Remember that little baby blog you started? Now look at it. Affiliate marketing is kind of like that -- changing, but for the better. Some of the largest and most well-known brands in the world are in the affiliate space, and more join on the daily (um, helloooo Etsy!).
As bloggers, it also totally depends on how you utilize your tools. If you think it's all product reviews and banner ads, then you're missing out. The possible ways to utilize your tools in the affiliate space are seemingly endless, but you have to be willing to be willing. Affiliate marketing is the most blogger-friendly kind of monetization, as you can seamlessly integrate product links into nearly every post, without sounding like an advertisement. Sure, you have to disclose, but anyone worth their salt in life will understand that it takes money to provide good shit, and blogs provide good shit.
For further reading:
- Clickz: History of Internet Marketing http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1699440/history-affiliate-marketing)
- Internet Retailer: 2014 Top 500 - Big E-Retailers Continue to Expand Their Market Share