When affiliate marketing is no more and you have to go to the factory
Katrina L

Getting into affiliate marketing by waving a $500 bill like you did 10 years ago will no longer work. Competition has increased, many rules and restrictions have appeared. Perhaps it’s time to close your office and go to work in a factory?

Conversations that affiliate marketing is dead have been going on for years. In the article “Is affiliate marketing still alive?” In 2021 we discussed this topic in more detail.

“Time passes”, “the market changes”, you say, and we completely agree. So let’s take a look at the statistics from the past few years to understand how the affiliate marketing industry is faring around the world.

Who are we talking about
Please note that the statistics below include those who run campaigns by taking offers on products, those who promote products through their blog, social media or website, and those who work with affiliate programs such as Amazon . In other words, the entire diverse field of digital and affiliate marketing is reflected.
Affiliate Marketing
  • As of 2023, there are over 10,000 affiliate marketing companies and services around the world.
  • According to Google Trends, searches for "affiliate marketing" have grown by 300% over the past 7 years.
  • The affiliate marketing industry is currently valued at $17 billion and is expected to reach $40 billion by 2030.
  • There are 2,200 affiliate marketing groups on LinkedIn.
  • 336,000 people list "affiliate marketing" as their job title on LinkedIn.
  • Affiliate marketing generates between 5% and 25% of online sales for some of the largest brands in the world.
  • 95% of affiliate marketers fail and quit.
  • 54% of affiliate marketers are men, while 43% are women.
According to Similarweb website, using its 2022 keyword research tool, the breakdown for the top monthly search terms is as follows:  
  1. The phrase "affiliate marketing" was searched 501.4 thousand times.
  2. The query “what is affiliate marketing” was searched 62.2 thousand times.
  3. "Amazon Affiliate Marketing" was searched 15.5 thousand times.
  4. "Affiliate programs" was requested 9.6 thousand times.
Previously, desktop traffic prevailed over mobile traffic, then they became equal. It's time to recognize that mobile traffic dominates the affiliate marketing market. Most purchases occur through phones, which are in our hands 24/7, without weekends or holidays. According to the existing statistics conducted by Saas Scout: Every second website visitor browses blogs and websites through a smartphone when searching for a specific product or service.
Therefore, optimizing landing pages and the entire campaign for mobile traffic is more relevant than ever.
It is also important to pay attention to page loading speed as it becomes a key factor. A delay of just one second in website loading can result in a 7% drop in sales. 47% of website visitors expect it to load in less than 2 seconds. If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, you'll likely lose 40% of your customers. Another interesting fact: According to Think With Google, 53% of shoppers do research before purchasing to ensure they're making the best choice possible, while the remaining 47% simply make the purchase.
Social media
Social media plays an important role in the world of marketing. More than 65% of marketers and affiliate marketers use social networks to interact with potential consumers. Not surprising considering that over 3.03 billion people use Facebook and Instagram has over 2.3 billion active users.
In the graphs above, we see statistics from a 2019 survey that asked the question: “Which digital marketing channels are most important for your business?”

A Forrester survey found that the majority of executive-level marketers (54%) consider affiliate marketing one of the three most important channels for attracting customers. One in five respondents even named it the most important digital marketing channel currently.

About money
A few years ago, STM Forum conducted a survey among members asking how much they earned per year. Below is a graph with the results of this survey:
According to the 2023 edition of Authority Hacker, 15% of publishers and affiliates earn between $80,000 and $1 million annually, while 57.55% of them earn less than $10,000 per year. According to statistics agency AffSTAT, approximately 35% earn at least $20,000 per year. The average salary for an affiliate (employee), according to Glassdoor, is $59,060 per year. This figure ranges from $58,000 to $158,000, including “additional payments” in the form of bonuses, commissions or percentages of campaign revenue.
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an unconditional trend of our time, which is gaining popularity and covers many areas. Affiliate marketing is no exception. AI is already being used in almost every industry and will continue to help automate tasks such as lead generation, customer service, personalizing marketing campaigns, and improving advertising effectiveness. Not to mention that AI is capable of creating texts, especially short ones, performing translations and creating unique images for your advertising campaigns.
According to PRNewswire and, click fraud in affiliate marketing accounted for 17% in 2022, some of which was driven by AI, and is estimated to be worth approximately $3.4 billion. For 2023, marketers, including affiliates, expect losses of about $1.5 billion. It is important to note that the amount for 2023 appears to be less significant than in 2022, but keep in mind that 2023 is not yet over and AI fraud continues to grow.
The statement that affiliate marketing is dead should not be taken literally. Affiliate marketing has not disappeared, but rather has evolved and adapted to changes in the world and technology. Just as VHS cassettes and CD players have given way to new technologies, that doesn't mean that we don't watch movies or listen to music anymore.
From the statistics presented, it is clear that 95% of those who start working in the field of digital marketing ultimately abandon this business.
Regarding the current affiliate marketing, opinions differ. Some may see it as more challenging due to increased competition and changes in regulations and technology, while others see new opportunities and ways to succeed. We believe that affiliate marketing continues to exist and change, and there are still opportunities and potential for making money in this industry. What do you think?