12 Game-Changing Affiliate Marketing Statistics You Should Know
Affiliate marketing can be downright confusing. There are so many competing theories and scammers. It can be difficult to see whether it's a legitimate marketing strategy for merchants, or an income source for affiliates.
These affiliate marketing stats can show you that it's not just viable, but it's booming. When comparing affiliate marketing with other strategies for acquiring customers like outbound sales, billboards, direct mail, or promotional products, it's experiencing a massive insurgence of interest from merchants and new affiliates, and these stats show why.
If you're serious about being in one of the toughest but most rewarding career fields of our time, then these stats should take you on a roller coaster and pull back the veil to reveal a bit of what it takes.
Stats About the Affiliate Marketing Industry
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular passive income channels for big and small businesses. (Source: Podia)
As a result, affiliates are seeing great incomes! Independent affiliate marketers are making more than $700,000/mo. The large incomes don't mean it's the majority. In fact, stats show that 95% of affiliate marketers fail. (Source: Entrepreneurs Unstuck)
Look at this table and notice the site ages...Now with growing competition and more sophisticated algorithms, these numbers are still possible, but the work ethic has to be congruent to the goal.(Source: StartaMomBlog)
Based on the chart (above), you can see that most 1 year blogs are in the $0 to $1500 range. The 2 year blogs go up to $22,000 (most commonly in the $2k to $7k range though) and at WA, we have an anomaly story that made $100,000+ in one week.The $10,000 and up blogs are mostly more than 3 years old. In the business world, 3 years to reach these income levels is great!
What we don't know based on this is the amount of work, skills, team size, sacrifice, expenses and profits! So, don't go off wishing for results like this without knowing the full picture: skills, team size, sacrifice, expenses, work, and profits. It's a fragmented story.
For more income reports from our own WAer's, check out this post here.
Affiliate marketing mirrors the traditional sales industry. We get paid commissions when potential customers take action. We experience incremental increase after consistent effort invested into the business. Our main service is to influence the buying decision of potential buyers to achieve their goals and get results for our affiliate partners.
There are similarities, but unlike the traditional salesperson, we can:
- Avoid cold calling and door-knocking
- Use tutorials and non-gimmicky methods to make a sale
- Grow an audience that's interested in a topic we are
- Work with multiple companies at once
- Work from anywhere in the world
- Have independence (rather than the traditional corporate oversight)
- and, Have uncapped income potential
Who wouldn't want a career like that? It's got awesome perks, but you have to fight to get them. There's no handouts in affiliate marketing. You don't work, you don't eat. Hahaha.
Common Misconceptions about Affiliate Marketing
"Aspiring affiliates" come in thinking it's an "easy out" and falsely assume they'll be able to match incomes of people who have been in the industry much longer than they have by being lazy, mediocre content creators, who are selfish, and only focused on their futures. It seems oddly common for people to walk into affiliate marketing with false perceptions.
I still can't figure out why the perceptions are so disproportionate. The same person that is currently working a income-capped job (with much less earning potential than they reveal their dreams have), jumps online and expects their skills to translate into hundreds of thousands without any additional skills or effort. It's quite common and kinda weird.
I had false perceptions too. I believe it's because of all of the scammers out there who are desperate to give false hope so we'll buy something.
It doesn't work like that. Some people report not earning their first $1 until 4 years into their journey! It can happen.
Affiliate marketing income isn't automatic. Affiliate earnings can range quite a bit! Some factors that play into affiliate marketing income include:
- Work ethic
- Ability to focus and prioritize
- Ability to manage personal life and make room for professional tasks
- Amount of personal responsibility and ability to manage it
- Level of empathy for their audience
- Amount of competition
- Ability to stick out
- Savviness with numbers and strategy
- Ability to keep up with supply and demand
- Using the right tools
- Startup budget
- Amount of support
- and other factors play into how much income you make in affiliate marketing
Most of the facts aren't "natural". They can be built and improved habitually, but you have to be willing to put one foot before the other every day, enjoy your journey, and don't focus 100% on destinations.
Affiliate marketers are business owners!
There's no boss telling you what to do and there's no security blanket that says "this is the minimum paycheck you can get if you do this, this, and that. Owning a business is a big risk. We can make a big income and we can make nothing. It's 100% up to our effort.
As business owners, we lower the unemployment rates and make sure families have a stable way to care for themselves, and we can use affiliate marketing as the business model to get us there.
We get taxed like business owners. We're held to the same accounting standards. We can be sued like other businesses, and we have to think in terms of profit, loss, growth, and satisfaction of market demands.
We have to invest in our businesses like they're real businesses. Stats show that 77% of small businesses in the US rely on founders’ personal funds to launch and stay afloat. (Source: Lendio)
A McDonalds franchise may cost $200,000+ to purchase, but as affiliate marketers, we can start a business with an investment of $359. I don't think you can get a startup business for that cheap even if you're starting a lawn care business! Hahaha. Lawn mowers cost more than that nowadays. Wealthy Affiliate has made starting an affiliate marketing business a steal!
Small businesses are jumping into the online space with their own products and services. 66% of small business owners are juggling more than three hats: sales, marketing, and their trade. More and more local businesses are learning about the importance of internet marketing, and investing their time and money to adopt the strategies.
With many people coming into online business looking for a way to work less and make more, and with offline business owners coming online with a willingness to work nights and weekends to keep the hustle going, will they outpace you in this online space? Stats show that 80% of small business owners are willing to work nights and weekends to keep their businesses going. Will you be willing to keep up?
According to InternetLiveStats, there were 3.5 million blog posts published today, so far and the number is contiuously going up. Where does yours stack up? Top 1%, bottom 1%, or any published at all?
There is a bigger picture. It's not 100% about being "good".The competition is getting more fierce. Don't get too comfortable. If we want to have solid incomes and fulfilled dreams, we'll have to STEP UP THE PACE, and work like real small business owners. We have to take pride in what we're doing and concern ourselves with high quality, customer service, and a genuine heart to serve--these are competitive advantages.
Can you Make Money if Affiliate Marketing is a Side Hustle?
Many people start here at Wealthy Affiliate while they have:
- Parents to care for
- Children to care for
- and so many obligations, they can only work their business as a side hustle
Stats show that this is 100% okay. According to Bankrate, side hustlers are majorly profiting. I'm guessing the scarcity of only having a little time makes side hustlers more productive than people who feel they have alot. As a result, stats show side hustlers earning an average between $686 and $8,232 annually.
Not bad for a few hours on the nights and weekends (especially if your doing something you love).
Wowee! This just shows that you shouldn't give up on your dream because you're busy. If others are making their side hustles work, you're affiliate marketing side hustle can work too!
The Internet isn't a Safe Haven for Poor Work Ethic
We have to make a "constant". Grocery stores that are successful reliably provide food. Lawn care companies who are successful reliably provide lawn care services. What's your constant? What can your audience rely on you for?
We need to show people that hospitality isn't just for hotels and restaurants. We can make websites that make people feel welcome, heard, and solve their problems.
There are dreams and there's reality. Are you willing to outwork, outthink, and outstrategize your competition? Are you willing to invest the same work ethic (or more) than those who are earning what you want? These are questions most affiliates should think about when they're formulating their goals.
Can you Find the Right Affiliate Partner?
If you've ever wondered whether you'll be able to find an affiliate partner for your niche, then it should be a relief to know that 81% of brands actively use affiliate marketing. Some of them are called "referral programs" or "partner programs", but affiliate marketing is a viable way for businesses of all sizes to acquire customers. (Source: BigCommerce)
More and more brands are opening up to affiliate marketing because the brands using affiliate marketing are stating things like "new customers that came from affiliates accounted for 45% of orders in the last quarter of 2017" (Source: Acceleration Partners)
When is the Right Time to Jump into Email Marketing?
If you're wondering when to jump into email, these email marketing stats should clear some things up for you. Email marketing drives 184% more sales than social media. (Source: Campaign Monitor)
But, just because email drives sales doesn't mean you should jump into it too early. Wait until the right time to start your email marketing.
Stats show that you want to send between 5 and 19 emails per month. Less emails makes your list go cold and more emails can be annoying, so you want to be somewhere in the middle. (Source: Omnisend)
And, it's not enough to simply email. You also need to segment, split test, and experiment, which takes time! Mailchimp says segmentation is the way to boost your open rates and click-thru-rates. In fact, you can boost your open rate by 14.31% or higher and your open rate by 100.95%.
You don't want to send out emails no one opens or responds to, right? Did you realize, it's not automatic to get results from email marketing?
It's not. It takes SEO,social media, or ads to get people to your site, then building lead magnets (possibly more than once) to see what will get visitors to exchange their email with you, then you have to give value via email sufficient enough to build trust, and you have to segment our audience so you can keep the emails customized and personal.
If you're not getting much traffic, and you're already feeling a constraint with your current content calendar, is adding email marketing really a good idea? First nail down your traffic generation strategy, get vey efficient, decide which tasks get you the highest return, and double down if you need to, then once you're getting steady traffic, decide when you can add an addition 5-19 emails/month to your workload.
You don't want to cut corners on the content that brings people to your site, but it doesn't make sense to spend lots of time writing 5-19 emails/mo when:
1)Your list isn't big
2)You're list isn't growing fast because you don't have much traffic
Some people want you to buy funnels software, shopping cart software, and other things that serve their own interest. Instead, make sure you stay focused on the path that will give you the highest returns, and don't acquire unnecessary overhead expenses. There will come a time where you'll be able to stack strategies, stack revenue, and compound your skills into a booming business, but the "Jack of all trades" becomes a master of none 99.9% of the time!
You can have success in affiliate marketing, but it's all about rolling up your sleeves and carving a place where you can solve problems for users online.
What are your thoughts on this? Which statistics stick out most to you? Do you have more stats to add? Leave your comments, questions, and feedback below.