I've been strongly considering creating some affiliate sites in niches that look rankable, but I just found out that Google is going ahead with becoming an affiliate. My concern is that in the longterm, this won't just be in sponsored links but will happen in the organic results too. Eg GBase showing up higher up etc.
So assuming I launch as an affiliate, what steps would I later need to take to shift and become a merchant? Is it a difficult process? Do I just need a drop-shipper? What about working off data feeds and submitting the orders to merchants after I've taken them? What happens to customer support in that case?
I'm finding this pretty frustrating as I just wanna do marketing, n it feels like Google's shift is going to impose significant business burdens that are absent from the affiliate model. Eg Customer service, PCI compliance for taking cc orders, hiring staff, buying product, shipping, more complicated accounting ...
Love to hear any tips or experience or thoughts you might have on this.
I can't see Google wiping out affiliate marketing or even coming close. There are an infite number of areas to target, merchants may be hesitant to install the Google tracking to facilitate this. CJ is constantly growing and has lots of new advertisers signing up all the time. They've had the CPA ads on the content network for quite a while but that never seemed to do anything (unless I missed it). This version will get more traction than the content stuff but there is plenty of room for everyone to co-exist.