12 months ago I wrote a predictive blog about Affiliate Marketing – 2008 – The Year Ahead…. Mystic Meg would have been proud of the future insight as the “year ahead” failed to predict the upsurge of voucher codes, the credit crunch, and the demise of Woolworths.

Still unperturbed by this it’s time to dust off the old crystal ball, get out the star charts and then make up 12 random comments for your amusement only! All resemblance to anyone in AM is of course purely coincidental!

January: The IAB’s new guidelines for ‘Click to Reveal’ are in force from the start of the month. At five past midnight networks are inundated with emails from intoxicated conforming affiliates grassing up non-conforming sites. A well known voucher code site appears on the first news bulletin of 2009 to announce to Sir Trevor MacDonald that they’re the first to conform and in fact it was their idea!

February: Affiliates are stunned by a new voucher code cookie dropping method based upon a top TV game show. “Click to Deal or No Deal” involves a visitor gambling on the kind of discount they get whilst cookies drop and sites pop up as the 22 boxes are opened. “It’s not a forced click” and “it’s not click to reveal” the siteowner tells Paxman on Newsnight!

March: Larry King is told “It’s a disgrace” by the siteowner who used Click to Deal or No Deal, as The IAB issues emergency guidelines to outlaw it. They also ban any derivative of “Click to ..” which rhymes with Reveal (like to Click to Beale, Click to Squeal and Click to Wheel of Fortune) just to screw up any further funny predictions in this blog post… the swines!

April: A4UExpo goes to Amsterdam! The event is a major success again and surprisingly no affiliates visit the red light area or interesting coffee shops, instead preferring day trips to see The Tulips and Windmills…. yeah, right! The rest of the month in affiliate marketing remains fairly mellow, man!

May: The codes juggernaught shows no sign of slowing down and before long big media brands from TV and newspapers are flexing their muscles and launching their own code channels… everyone claims that they were first in one form or another!

June: The second black tie A4UAwards take place at the Hilton in London! Kieron wins lots of awards, including best network, although he’s pipped for best affiliate blog by Doug who’s bribed everyone to vote for him else he’ll take their code site off them! See the pink bandana man had a plan all along!

July: A prominent code site owner announces the launch of his own TV channel, where he’ll be interviewing the stars about their online shopping experiences. It’s called Codes Until Night Time TV. Noel Edmunds is rumoured to be considering hosting Click to Deal or No Deal.

August: By now we’re either getting out of recession or are all completely screwed, in the Euro, and Southampton are playing in the First Division. Global warming means that it’s too wet in Swansea to do affiliate marketing.

September: An affiliate marketing report gives all affiliates hope – a sale (yes one sale) was made during the last quarter that did not come from a cashback or voucher code affiliate. The tide could be turning! “You mean we don’t have to have codes to get sales” becomes the most popular discussion thread ever on a4u.

October: It’s the third A4UExpo and once again it’s a roaring success and the highlight of the affiliate calendar. Shopping via your mobile is touted as the “big thing for 2010″ after failing to be the “big thing for 2009″. The most popular session at Expo involves the super affiliates. Many delegates are left disappointed when a spelling mistake involving a B and an M is pointed out – the session is actually “meet the super affiliates’!

November: It’s nearly Christmas and merchants are desperately outdoing each other with incentives. Prezzybox will be taking affiliates on a round the world cruise, Platform A are taking an expedition down to The Titanic or in search of The Yeti, whilst Buyagift will be taking their top guys and gals to the moon in 2010. Everyone else offers an ipod Nano!

December: Codes Until Night Time TV ends when viewing figures drop from 1 to 0 due to the siteowner falling asleep. In a surprise move The IAB announces that all click to reveal will be stopped from January 1st 2010 whilst cashback sites will be capped on their offerings to users. “All we need now is some affiliates who aren’t in these sectors” concludes the announcement.

Come back in 12 months time to find that the above haven’t come true… and what are your predictions?