The really big news for 2017 is that Facebook is back. (Cheers!)
With a new performance marketing team aiming to get affiliates spending on the platform again, and the rise of affiliate-style drop-shipping stores, Facebook's back as one of the most attractive options for affiliates, both newbie affiliates and experienced affiliates.
Aside from e-commerce, we're also seeing more clarity on how to run nutra and bizopps on Facebook in particular, as well as third-party lead generation and e-commerce offers.
Of course, black-hat Facebook is still rolling too, but it's getting steadily harder, particularly if you don't already have the expertise and connections in place. White-hat Facebook is definitely the big news this year.
As one rises, another one falls - and in this case, let us go for step by step through the below detailed information about separating traffic types.
Pop traffic: particularly mobile, is still holding very steady as one of the better sources, particularly for affiliates newbie and those with a blacker tinge to their hat. The supply of new, higher-quality pop traffic hasn't slowed down from last year, and it's still one of the best traffic sources to get started with if you're new - although FB/ e-commerce is now a good whiter-hat option too.
One thing that's worth noting about pop traffic is that it's quite volatile - campaigns don't last a long time - and currently has high competition. It's important, once you are regularly seeing profits, to start looking for an edge: whether that's finding newer offers in geos with less competition, out-automating your rivals, becoming an expert in one geo, or something else.
My pick for the dark horse of the year would be Google Adwords. That's largely because of the opening up of the e-commerce space. Adwords has always been a monster if you get it right, and whilst we don't hear a lot about it, there are people out there making mind-blowing numbers on Adwords. It's also very much not a "hip" traffic source right now, meaning less competition, and non-affiliate advertisers are starting to get disillusioned with the high costs of advertising on the platform.
Native: it hasn't really fulfilled its promise of becoming the big new traffic source, and with the mass-media concern over "fake news" it'll probably hit leaner times still this year. Having said that, it's still a reliable earner if you have the budget to test it - native works much better with higher-payout CPS offers, rendering it a poor choice if you're on a lower budget, but a worthwhile addition to your testing suite if you have the budget and work in those verticals.
Video: still remains on the "mostly not cracked" list. Barely affiliates having sporadic success with it, and usually on Facebook rather than video-only platforms like YouTube.
Adult (finally!): Adult really hasn't changed since last year. It's not setting the world on fire any more, but there are still decent profits in the sector, in terms of if you're experienced with it. The major change in this space is the rise in new networks - there aren't just 5 stable adult traffic sources any more, so more searching for good traffic is required.
The biggest news of 2017 is the oldest vertical on the Web - Selling Stuff To People, Also Known As E-Commerce. Can’t wait to getting to know more?
Well, the short version is that a number of disruptive technologies finally reached maturity, and that an affiliate-like approach to it, testing a lot of stores very quickly and sticking with the ones that work.
Ali Express means you don't need to order in huge quantities, and can in fact just drop-ship from a single huge source. Shopify is a fantastic platform that makes it very, very easy to set up a high-quality, respectable looking store. And third-party solutions like Oberlo can integrate directly with product sources, meaning all you need to do is pick a product and set a markup for yourself.
This is all a huge deal, and means that you can set up your own store using affiliate techniques and speeds of execution. Plus, you get all the advantages of a conventional business too - building a brand, repeat customers, and the possibility of an exit. A lot of conventional affiliates are going into this market hard, and it's set to be The Big Thing for 2017.
In terms of "traditional" verticals, PIN Submits and Sweepstakes are still going as strong as ever. International legislation is very slowly squeezing PIN submits, but it's barely noticeable yet. These remain strong verticals particularly for people starting out, usually paired with pop traffic and sometimes with adult - adult mobile is largely dominated by PIN / carrier billing offers of one kind or another.
App installs: are recovering a little bit, and some people are making good money with them. There are some big apps coming from China right now with huge potential. However, the key element for app installs in 2017 is having the connections necessary both to get onto fresh offers early and to monitor the quality of leads and the offer owners carefully. If you're looking into this vertical, make very, very good friends with your AM, and make sure you're with a network that offers fast payments and keeps on top of the quality reports from the advertiser. Bad quality reports can result in a cascade of unpaid leads from the top down that can leave you seriously out of pocket.
The played-out app install offers that have been on the networks for years are, if anything, doing even less well than before. Avoid un-fresh app offers.
Dating: continues to suffer from the twin blights of having very few fresh offers, and very few good traffic sources to run them on. If you're making money with dating at this time, good for you but it's not a vertical recommended for anyone, really, unless you have a substantial edge at this point.
Adult Dating: on the other hand, is still working, although it's getting steadily more volatile. However, it's still the primary monetisation method for adult traffic in Tier 1 geos, and some new offers are coming out for previously uncovered geos (in Eastern Europe and elsewhere). Penis enlargement and live cam sites are also still viable offers on adult, with penis enlargement mostly on Tier 2/3 geos.
Nutra: which is experiencing something of a resurgence at the moment, running on FB (carefully!) as well as pops and, in particular, native. High test budgets required because of the higher payouts, but a lot of people are doing well with it.
Casino: evergreen and pretty much unchanging. Very profitable, very competitive, requires high test budgets. Runs well through a variety of traffic sources.
And that's it! What are you seeing working on 2017? What are you mainly interesting for what will be diamond in the rough 2018? Let us know!
We are talking about Pops traffic, this is definitely one of the best traffic sources for Affiliates who are just starting out but also for scaling, I think. Please see below tips:
Tips for pop offer Newbie:
1. Starting test with low payout offer, low payout means will be relatively to get conversion;
2. Newbie might not 100% confidence about creating landing page, will be best to start with the direct link. Set up pubid quality, if going to test new geos the pubid that can be above target 3 which can help to control budget.
Traffic Platform recommendation: