A few months ago I watched an SEO documentary revealing the wild and crazy days of SEOs and affiliate marketers in the 1990s.
(If you’d like to watch it, there’s a link down below).
It shows you what the early-day SEOs used to do to rank in Google, how they were making buckets of cash with affiliate marketing and how they were partying-it-up in Las Vegas with all that moolah they were making.
(For a bunch of SEO geeks, they sure knew how to have fun).
Now keep in mind that back then there were no fancy algorithms that you need to work around, and of course; there was 1/10000th of the competition there is today.
Just to give you an idea of how easy SEO was back then, let’s say you wanted to rank for the keyword “bottled water”.
All you had to do was create a short 400 word-ish blog post and structure it like so:
“Today I am going to tell you about bottled water. Bottled water is great because it’s bottled. Here’s why you should drink bottled water when you’re thirsty. Find out more about bottled water here”
That is what we today call “keyword stuffing” and you’d be flagged as spam in a heartbeat if you tried that on your website, but if you did something like this in the 90s: you’d be swimming in cash.
One of the guests was a woman who was experimenting with SEO at that time and she was asked by a friend to promote a certain diet pill.
She wrote her article, had to wait 5 weeks before it was indexed (back then Google didn’t update metrics as often as they do today) and in her first month;
She made “more than her yearly salary” – her words not mine.
That’s with just one blog post and one product.
She managed to grab position 1, 2 and 3. There was literally zero competition.
That is how easy it was.
Now why am telling you this?
Is it so I can pass on my frustrations of missing out?
Perhaps, but the truth is – and this will be hard to believe – affiliate marketing is even more profitable today!
Yes, it’s 10,000X harder, but with all the tools and resources that are available, pretty much anyone can make money online.
Back then a good-enough web hosting would’ve cost you $100 a month, today an even-better hosting plan costs just $5 per month.
You didn’t have WordPress either with all its beautiful themes and features.
You literally had to code your website from scratch or; you could’ve hired someone to do it for you (an investment of about $5,000+)
Would you have been willing to spend $5,000 to build a website to “make money online” in the 90s?
I doubt I would’ve been bold enough to do it – probably not.
I’ve just finished reading a post from one my online mentors describing how affiliate marketing is still an incredible opportunity for anyone to make money in 2019, 2020 and beyond.
Kyle has been doing affiliate marketing since 2002 so he’s seen the progression of what was then and what is now.
If you ever wondered whether affiliate marketing is here to say (and whether it’s worth getting into it “so late”), do yourself a favor and check out his latest update:
Affiliate Marketing in 2020. A Shrinking or Growing Opportunity?
Even though we’re late to the party, the party is still just getting started.
Just as one of my favourite quotes go;
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is today”.
I’ll leave you to it.
PS: If you want to watch the SEO documentary, you can find it here: