Almost half of affiliates (46%) we surveyed now work full-time in the industry, up from 34% in 2009, which shows the increasing professionalism of this sector. 

These findings are taken from our third Affiliate Census, conducted in partnership with the A4u and sponsored by Commission Junction and Argos.

Here are a few highlights from the survey. 

More full-time affiliates

Interestingly, the proportion of hobbyist affiliates (18%) has only decreased by 2% from 20% in 2009. However, the proportion of part-time affiliates has decreased significantly from 46% two years ago to 36% in 2011.

While 15% of affiliates work as employees at someone else’s company, the vast majority of affiliates (85%) are self-employed or own the affiliate publisher they work for.

Which of the following most accurately reflects your involvement in affiliate marketing?

Increase in affiliate commissions

The survey found that the average affiliate is driving significantly more revenue for merchants than in the past. 48% of affiliates are now driving at least £60,000 per year for merchants, compared with 31% in 2009. 

This increase in revenue from affiliates seems to be reflected in the increased commissions.

57% say their commissions have increased in the past year, while 19% of those enjoying this increased income say their commissions have more than doubled. 

By how much have your affiliate commissions increased in the last year?

Affiliate categories and linking methods

We asked respondents which affiliate categories were most important to them, in terms of the revenue generated. 

The most important category by far is content (58%), followed by blogs / forums and pay-per-click (level-pegging on 26%).

Which are the most important affiliate categories for you in terms of how much revenue they generate?