2013 is shaping up to be a quite interesting year for the world of Internet marketing. At a global level mobile devices and smartphones are expected to overtake desktop and laptop computers in early 2013 and by late 2013/ Early 2014 they are expected to do the same in America. Furthermore, with sale figures into the two dozen billion mobile sales are shaping up as a market worth noticing and acting on. But one component of online sales in general is performing exceedingly well and is expected to hover around 5 billion dollars within three years. I am, of course, referring to Affiliate Marketing.

Affiliate Marketing programs grew 45% in 2012 with big brands starting to spend higher chunks of their online budgets on affiliate network sales programs and affiliate agency handling of publishers. Some brands spent as much as 30% of their dedicated on-line budgets. Surely nobody would invest so much in a business model that doesn’t have a sound ROI.

The thing is that with the slow but inevitable professionalization of affiliate marketers everybody stands to make more money. The publishers are getting good at turning better conversion rates and earning more per month, the merchants are expanding their programs because of sound returns and the affiliate management agencies (or in-house departments) are earning more by having more affiliates to juggle and check up on.

Affiliate marketing is booming and 2013 might just be the year for it. Several factors like the tremendous growth of mobile sales(people are getting more comfortable with ordering on the run) the slow but steady fragmentation of the public towards specialist and single-topic sites (people are diversifying their browsing lists and they have more options to choose from) and the final acceptance of blogging as a legitimate profession of sorts are helping drive commission based sales.

People have gotten used to trusting the opinions of strangers on the Internet as long as they are well argued and present a certain knowledge of the topic. For the past decade single topic sites are seeing more traffic year by year and when the site owner has affiliate links to products alongside a considerable knowledge of his site’s topic and great content he can earn quite a bit of money. Today’s blogger is a honest door-to-door salesman driving up sales through charisma and personality. It also helps that many times the ‘customers’ come to him, i.e. his blog or profile due to the aforementioned specialization.

Regardless of whether you are thinking of taking up affiliate marketing as a second or even first, fulltime job, rest assured that 2013 is the year to do it. Affiliate networks are growing larger and spreading to new markets and companies both large and small are starting to be more and more generous with top earners.