One of the interesting trends in affiliate marketing is that while many of the top sites are still based in the US or the UK, there is an increasing number of companies gaining market share in the developing world, including India, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
The question is: can a US or UK Affiliate marketing site compete against the rising competition overseas?
In this post I’ll consider both sides.
The Advantages of the Developing World
Firstly, let’s look at the advantages of the developing world.
It’s really quite simple:
Internet marketing is often a labor intensive process that can’t be automated.
To compete in the big leagues, you need to produce a large amount of content consistently, and it certainly helps if you have a workforce that’s willing to put in double the hours for half the pay.
It’s not just about content creation. Almost every aspect of affiliate marketing is somewhat labor intensive when you’re first starting out. While spending 12 hours a day promoting your site on Twitter probably isn’t worth your time, there’s someone in the developing world who is willing to put in those hours.
The risk is that, in the long run, this workforce is going to “up the ante” of what it takes for marketers to be successful.
Bit by bit, some argue, we’ll find you need more content and more social activity.
But does this argument have any merit?
Why The US and UK Still Have The Upper Hand
I’m a firm believer that cheap labor alone isn’t enough to tip the scales in favor of developing countries.
That’s because there’s a huge cultural and language issue at play.
Even if you have someone who speaks very good, non-native English, you lose a bit of the fluency involved in successful blogs. The writing just doesn’t flow the way it would from a native writer.
That puts a lot of readers on alert. They can detect those changes, and feel like the content is a little more spammy…even if it isn’t. This difference in perception leads to less time on site and fewer social shares.
Not only that, but good affiliate marketing involves a subtle cultural art to it as well. Language barriers aside, you need to understand your consumer base, and a site owner in India or Vietnam isn’t going to truly understand the American or European market, just as I will never truly understand the Indian market.
I wouldn’t lose sleep over it.
Affiliate marketing is still a great business to be in.
What are your thoughts?