The 2014 Affiliate and Advertiser Research Report (Global Affiliate Version) conducted by Affiliate Benchmarks has revealed some interesting details. A respectable sample size of 7,339 respondents had their survey answers included in the report. 45% of respondents were from outside the United States (including Canada).
The Personal Profile of the Average Affiliate Marketer
Women dominate the blogosphere and many are looking to the Internet as an income source while staying home with their children. Therefore, one would expect them to be well represented in affiliate marketing circles by now. However, these statistics indicate males are the overwhelming majority at 73%.
- Under 17 0.7%
- 18-24 12.7%
- 25-34 31.9%
- 35-44 24%
- 45-54 16.2%
- 55-64 9.7%
- 65+ 4.8%
There are tons of new affiliate marketers on the scene, according to this survey, with 40.5% starting with affiliate marketing in 2013. That may be because newbies are more likely to respond to surveys, but there’s some truth to it from what I’ve seen around the Internet. More people are blogging for starters, and blog monetization is often the goal. These statistics only go back to the year 2000, which means the veterans like myself fall into the “All other responses” category at 10.4%. I’ve been affiliate marketing on one level or another for almost 20 years.
The overwhelming majority of affiliate marketers (just shy of 50%) are working at it on a part-time basis. 25.7% are using affiliate programs to earn money online full time. It’s a little surprising that anyone would consider affiliate marketing to be a hobby, yet a quarter of respondents say it’s just that. I suspect most of them are hobby bloggers who blog for fun.
Affiliate marketing often begins as a single player game, but there are a good number of people who hire others to work with them. 62.5% of respondents said they employ at least one full-time person. Many are obviously part of a larger company that utilizes affiliate partners to help boost their bottom line, with almost 8% reporting they have 15-100 full-time employees. 50% of those surveyed said they have at least one part-time employee.
How Much do Affiliate Marketers Earn Each Year?
If you view this benchmark with the number of people who only do affiliate marketing part time in mind, it indicates a rather nice side income for many people.
- Less than $10,000 57.7%
- 10,000-24,999 9%
- 25,000-49,999 4.9%
- 50,000-99,999 3.6%
- 100,000-199,999 3.1%
- 200,000-299,999 0.7%
- 300,000-399,999 0.5%
- 400,000+ 3%
Affiliate Program Participation
Affiliate Marketers often have more than one website that they promote affiliate offers on.
- 43.7% have two to five websites
- 37.4% operate one website
- 9.2% have six to ten websites
- 3.4% operate more than 31 websites
- 3% run 11 to 15 websites
- 1.7% have 16 to 20 websites
- 0.9% own 21 to 25 websites
- 0.6% have 26 to 30 websites
6.3% of those websites have a business to business (B2B) target market, 36% are in the business to consumer (B2C) category, and 43.3% do both. Affiliate marketers are mobile savvy too, with 83.3% having a mobile compatible or mobile adaptive site.
How many affiliate/partner programs does the average marketer belong to? Just over 69% belongs to 10 or less affiliate programs with the overall majority (43.6%) working with only 2-5 merchants. The most important feature they look for in an partner program is the commission amount.
Affiliate Marketing Tactics
Affiliate marketers use a variety of methods to drive traffic to their website(s).
- Facebook 67.7%
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 62.8%
- Twitter 48.7%
- Online Ad’s (Banners, etc.) 44.5%
- eMail Marketing 43%
- Google+ 42.1%
- Pay-per-click Search 29.4%
- Pinterest 28.8%
- YouTube 27.3%
- LinkedIn 21%
- Other 7.7%
2014 Top Affiliate Networks
Note that the affiliate networks also promoted this survey, so the networks with the biggest reach and those who promoted the most would influence the outcome. When Canadians evaluate these networks they must also consider if they accept Canadians and how the rules may be different for those who live in Canada. While I work with (or have worked with) almost all of them, for Canadian affiliate publishers I recommend ShareASale and MaxBounty CPA network (Canadian). For Canadian merchants launching an affiliate program for their products, our choice is ShareASale.
- Commission Junction 65.6%
- Clickbank 24.7%
- Linkshare 17.3%
- ShareASale 17.0%
- Other 12.3%
- eBay Enterprise 6.7%
- Affiliate.com 5.7%
- Affiliate Window 5.7%
- TradeDoubler 3.5%
Almost three quarters of respondents (73.7%) don’t attend affiliate events or conferences.
- Free, extensive affiliate training and affiliate marketing tools can be had through the masterminds at Affilorama.
- Free affiliate marketing courses, community and more from The Wealthy Affiliate.
- Free Top 50 Niches Report, free online income stream training, Market Feeder software and case studies from Niche Profit.
- To automatically embed an affiliate store in your WordPress blog, try Datafeedr.
- To easily manage affiliate links in WordPress blogs (auto-link, cloaking, etc.), check out the Affilink plugin that top bloggers are raving about.
- The link management choice of super-affiliates (like Armand Morin and John Chow) for websites or WordPress blogs is LinkTrackr.
- WordBay Plugin – Bring niche-targeted eBay products into your website or blog post with this easy plugin. Supports the eBay Partner Network, Skimlinks and Viglink.
- If you’re looking for a profitable niche that isn’t too saturated, start with keyword research and competitive intelligence using the acclaimed Long Tail Pro tool that “super affiliates” love.
How would you have answered these affiliate marketing survey questions? Please share your comments below.
Source: Affiliate Benchmarks’ 2014 Affiliate and Advertiser Research Report (Global Affiliate Version)
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Top Two-Tier Affiliate Programs for Canadians
2014 Top CPS and CPA Affiliate Networks
Affiliate Marketers Reveal 2013 Top Networks, Income and More (Statistics)
What to Look for in a URL Shortener
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