0% of Affiliate Marketers Are Female

How’s this for a mind boggling gender statistic? There are 70 affiliate marketing blogs listed on Affbuzz, and precisely zero of them are run by a female.

Admittedly, I’ve only just found out that Nana Gilbert-Baffoe is the President of Tracking202, and not the sweet grandma posting articles in a rocking chair that I originally suspected.

70 male blogs vs. 0 female blogs is a staggering depiction of our industry.

In any other industry, Affbuzz founder Justin Barr would be eating lawsuits for his sexist discrimination and Victorian principles. He’s saved by the evidence that affiliate marketing is a raging sausagefest that shows no sign of abating anytime soon.

I’m using an ambiguous example. Just because there are so few female bloggers, doesn’t mean there are no female affiliates. Maybe they prefer to keep busy in the trenches? Maybe they don’t want to be terrorized by their WickedFire peers?

Have you seen how affiliate marketers flirt with the fairer sex? I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you, but the phenomenon is best described as a bull in a china shop; or a teaspoon of honey in a beehive.

I do know a few female affiliates, and they are certainly capable. But they are exceptions to the rule. If you go to a trade show, the large majority of women are working on the corporate side.

I doubt there’ll ever be a shortage of female account managers.

Just like the male counterparts, their competence ranges from awful to excellent. You can shoot me for slander if I’m wrong, but it seems pretty obvious that some networks hire their account managers not only for their technical skills, but for their ability to inspire the loins of the young, testosterone-driven males they’re obliged to serve.

If I ever had to translate my dating ‘fantasy ads’ to the affiliate demographic, I’ve no doubt that “Would You Like to Date an Affiliate Manager?” would trigger a monster CTR.

We are working in a male-dominated industry. That much is clear. But why do men have such a stranglehold on the business? The qualities necessary to succeed are available just as readily to women as they are to men.

I have to confess that the gap in the market for an excellent female CPA blogger often keeps me awake at night. I wish I’d called this blog Charlotte Sells, or that I had the arse of Kim Kardashian, or that my tits weren’t so hairy.

Eventually I accept reality; that a gasbagging machine-gun of expletives like myself would struggle as a feminine brand. But it still hurts.

When you look away from CPA, and turn your attention to Internet Marketing as a whole, you’ll find lots of female bloggers. I mean, Christ, the ‘work at home mom‘ gimmick is one cow that keeps on giving milk. It’s a monster niche with huge scope for profit, but it rarely seems to push the envelope.

WAHM blogs will typically focus on low-risk, low-reward enterprise. I’m not knocking them. Such ventures make perfect sense when you have kids biting your ankles, and less time to spend in your basement. I find work hard enough with two puppies. I don’t even want to think about fathering an ankle biter that doesn’t have four legs.

In fact, many of the newbies reading this blog, those with no budget, would perhaps gain more from copying the tricks of the ‘stay at home moms’. They may not promise the same rewards, but at least those blogs are grounded in some kind of reality.

I sometimes wonder if affiliate networks could one day level the gender playing field. So much of our industry is branded around fast cars, a testosterone-driven ‘grind’, and strip clubs in Vegas. You can’t knock the networks for appealing to the majority of their clients. But is there an opportunity being missed?

How many more networks do we need with essentially the same brand in a different skin? And how many more male blogs will jostle for position on Affbuzz before a female presence bucks the trend?

It’s tough to say if affiliate marketing is dominated by males because of some natural gravitation in the male mindset, or whether it’s because 99% of the networks and blogs are conforming to the status quo.

Would more women get in to affiliate marketing if there were more female personalities blazing the trail? What if a network came along with feminine branding rather than the usual ‘hoes and dough‘?

I think the appeal of affiliate marketing as a business has no reason to be slanted so heavily towards males, certainly not on a scale of 70:0. But it could change very easily. As is so often the case, whoever acts first will stand to profit the most.

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About the author

Finch
Finch

Hi, I’m Finch. A 26 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who makes a lot of money from the Internet.

  • http://www.ipyxel.com/ iPyxel Creations

    I think it comes down to technical skills (even though you tried to be PC about it haha). If you look at any engineering program at any university, it’s the same thing: no females. While you do find a fair share of female software engineers in tech industries, it’s still in the mainstream companies. This industry of ours, like you said suffers from one-dimensional branding that caters to the male-dominated status quo. From the point of view of a woman, she has to work alone and then come to events that reek of testosterone while Cupid’s girls get hit on in their cupid outfits. It’s hard as it is to break into the industry as an affiliate, but you now add to the fact that there’s very little commaderie for them. It makes sense to start as an affiliate manager to learn the business.

  • http://www.stuartlangridge.com Stuart

    Interesting post.

    A number of my sites have been built using SBI/SiteSell and having attended a couple of user conferences and hosted one of my own, a significant percentage of the audience is female. In fact, I’ll go further, a significant percentage is female and aged 45 or over.

    I think that every one of them that I have met has been kind, generous and friendly. Certainly a long way from the secretive yet boastful (I know) young studs in the affiliate space.

    Many of these ladies have a business model that is mostly based on free search traffic from Google, using AdSense and one or two other monetisation methods, including things like cj and clickbank. As you mentioned above, they aren’t trying to own a sports car or move to Monaco or Vegas and so use much less aggression in their methods. But they seem to be surviving just fine.

    Perhaps they are not so typical, but at least the fairer sex are involved in this world, even if they don’t blog about it.

  • http://www.pjkdirect.com Patrick

    I think iPyxel hit the nail on the head. It is a technical field, at least from a general public view. People are blown away by what we do, even though it is really pretty simple. Same goes with engineering, math, or any type of programming. I studied engineering in uni and males have dominated the field since its existence really, and still do. I’d love to see more female programmers, or affiliate marketers, but I don’t see it happening. Their general way of thought and society keeps them away from the technical side, in general.

  • https://www.syndk8.com Earl Grey

    I know quite a lot of girls in Affiliate and SEO but they tend to keep quiet.
    Ironically i thought Justin that owns Affbuzz was a girl because he/she has a girls name.
    /Facepalm

  • http://www.mikechiasson.com Mike Chiasson

    If we use affbuzz as a judge for things like this its clear that the IMGrind blog is the top industry blog covering 65 of the last 200 posts lol.

  • Hannah

    I think a lot of the lack of blogging stems from the fact that women don’t necessarily crave the same recognition men do. Add that to the fact that affiliate marketers are the biggest bunch of retards when it comes to dealing with women in their industry (I have had people try to flirt with me via wickedfire PMs) and that the conferences, etc are giant sausage fests leads to the women keeping their heads down and working without drawing attention to themselves with things like blogs.

    Anyone who thinks women don’t have the same technical skills as men and that’s the reason there aren’t as many in AM is an idiot.

  • http://dinovedo.com Dino Vedo

    Most women would rather work for someone else, and don’t have the want to be an entrepreneur, which affiliate marketing in its essence really is… Argue with me all you want, but women simply like to be told what to do, in a general sense.

  • Hannah

    I think the comments section of this post is single-handedly proving why women in affiliate marketing don’t run their own blogs…

  • Darren

    Hannah just confirmed Dino point, probably unintentionally, an entrepreneur won’t listen to what their people say and mind their own business.

  • http://www.affplaybook.com/blog David

    I know several female affiliates who earn more than most male affiliates ever will. The reason you don’t hear about them is the exact reason they’re making so much – they aren’t messing around on blogs, forums, Facebook groups, etc…they’re actually doing what needs to be done to make that kind of money. They are fewer in number for sure but they’re out there.

  • Hannah

    Dino’s point was that women don’t like being entrepreneurs because they like working for other people.

    Of course when you look at actual facts, like the fact that there are more women who own small businesses than men his argument completely falls apart, but we’ll just ignore that and continue to insult women why don’t we?

  • http://affbuzz.com Affbuzz

    Little known fact: There was at least one female run blog on Affbuzz for a while, but she stopped updating…ahem, Ms. Danielle…

    lol @ Mike Chiasson

  • Mr Green

    For the most part our industry doesn’t exactly have the maturity for a chick to feel comfortable to run a blog. I’m sure in the back of the heads they are thinking of the potential abuse, sexist comments, and stalking they might attract being in the lime light.

  • your wrong

    Not only are you wrong, but you’re wrong. There is one blog listed 5staraffprograms which is run by a woman, Linda. :)

  • http://www.portent.com Ian

    Um…

    Sugarrae
    Netmeg
    Laura Roeder

    A bunch of others I’m probably forgetting…

    And “I think it comes down to technical skills”? Seriously?!

    There are some fantastic female affiliates out there. You don’t even have to look that hard.

  • Finch

    I forgot 5star! I shouldn’t have though. I remember guest blogging there a couple years back.

    Of course, not denying that there are female affiliate bloggers out there. The headline was strictly linkbait. But there’s no doubt that most blogs seem to be male-run, and the trade shows reveal a hugely skewed demographic.

    I disagree that it has anything to do with technical expertise. I don’t even consider affiliate marketing to be that technical. I think the industry is branded heavily from a male perspective, and that seems to be who it attracts.

  • Finch

    I also think it’s pushing it to say that “most women would rather work for somebody else”. I certainly don’t see it that way. Many, many women would beg to differ. My girlfriend being one of them!

  • Finch

    @Ian – I haven’t read those blogs personally, but having taken a quick look, they seem to be more of a general Internet Marketing vibe rather than CPA affiliate marketing, which is what I’m referring to.

  • http://www.sugarrae.com Rae

    “he trade shows reveal a hugely skewed demographic”

    Been to one lately? Not only is the LARGEST affiliate trade show half owned by a woman (Missy Ward), but there are a large amount of female attendees. Is it more male? Yes. 0%? Come on dude. Such a BS headline.

    “I think it comes down to technical skills”

    Anytime you have to insult the other gender with a false and ignorant stereotype to make an argument, you’ve already lost.

    There are plenty of us that are female in this industry. And successful as shit while we’re at it too.

  • Finch

    Every trade show I’ve been to has been very much skewed towards males. I’m not saying there aren’t females. But in CPA particularly, the gender divide seems obvious. How else do networks get away with holding their meet-ups in strip clubs? You can’t tell me it’s anywhere close to 50/50.

    Again, I have to make it clear that corporate affiliate marketing and general Internet Marketing are completely detached from the CPA side of the business that I’m referring to.

  • http://www.nickycakes.com nickycakes

    Females in this comment thread: stop getting mad at facts. There are WAY fewer females than males as affiliates. I’d be willing to guess it’s around 1:50. Just like the article states, there are tons on the corporate side. Listing people like missy ward and people who work at affiliate networks, merchants, forum owners or bloggers who don’t actually really do much as affiliates doesn’t count toward the tally, sorry.

    I won’t make any speculations as to why, but all it takes is 10 minutes at the ASW exhibit hall or 10 minutes in ANY affiliate party or meetup.

  • http://www.sugarrae.com Rae

    Nicky: Not arguing it’s skewed towards males, much like the SEO industry. But more and more women are showing up. I can’t say the ratio I see is 1:50 at affiliate shows or anywhere close to that, but I also don’t talk to every female there to know if they work for a network or are actual affiliate marketers.

    However, I am an actual affiliate marketer (and I’m pretty sure you know that and weren’t referring to me in that statement). And I know tons of other women that are too. Just saying that 0% is sensation and no where near fact.

    Finch: Not every woman is offended by strip clubs :)

  • Finch

    No, but it’s an example of what I’m suggesting in the post: the male-centered branding.

    I’m sure there must be some female affiliates out there, or would-be affiliates, who are slightly turned off from the CPA industry by the idea of strip clubs, casinos and networks with scantily clad girls plastered across the templates. Just as Mr. Green mentioned above.

    How much of that culture is turning away females who could potentially be very good CPA marketers? It seems that for a woman to succeed in CPA, she has to learn to deal with the male-centered branding, unless she ventures in to more general Internet Marketing fields where this is a much stronger presence of female bloggers and the like. I think personally a CPA network branded for females might have an opportunity to get some real traction. But as far as I can see, there are none. And that seems to be the case with CPA bloggers too. Very few of them are female, as shown by the Affbuzz stat.

  • your wrong

    You know what would have been nice, starting that you are offended by all the sexist disgusting things in the industry, the message boards full of naked ladies, the parties that call to women as “HO’s”

  • Finch

    I think it’s probably unrealistic to stop guys on WickedFire posting naked ladies over affiliate chat. A guy’s gotta have his porn. But where’s the alternative? If a woman wants to get involved with CPA, that’s generally where she has to start, because there are so few alternatives.

  • your wrong

    There’s no other alternative to being sexually harassed by kids who think its cool to call women whores? Give me a break.

    There are tons of forums that are not full of homophobic kids who spend their entire time masturbating to pictures of women.

    From DigitalPoint to Warriorforum.

  • Finch

    DigitalPoint to Warrior Forum? Probably the two worst places to learn anything worthwhile about CPA. Those forums are about as full of bullshit and misinformation as it gets.

    Give me 1 example of a popular female CPA blogger? I can’t think of any.

    Do you work in CPA yourself, or are you in the more general field of AM/IM?

  • http://www.ipyxel.com/ iPyxel Creations

    Didn’t mean to blow things up and offend people. Sorry about that.

    Let me rephrase and stick to facts only:

    There are way more men than women in technical fields.

    E.g.
    http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=224&Itemid=247#EEbyGender

    This is observed also in technical majors in college and life experience.

    It could be because
    1. Women think it’s boring as hell.
    2. They’re better at other things.
    3. Combination of both.

    That’s all that’s being discussed here-facts. No one is trying to say women are worse than men at anything by nature. This industry is great because it rewards you purely based on merit. There’s no need to prove anything. So what if there’s more men in any industry?

    Let’s stop being so sensitive and hostile and be happy that we absolutely dominate animals at survival.

    PS, I think “your wrong” spent his/her name wrong

  • http://jpmmarketing.net/ John

    Girls like malls, salons, and jacking the money I make.

  • Pete

    I agree that the stats show that men tend to be in more technical type careers, like engineering, software and IT. This could be for the simple fact that (in ‘general’ and I’m not stereotyping!) women tend to be more social creatures and sitting in front of a computer for long periods does not involve interaction with real people (not virtual people, so not Facebook/Twitter).

    But let’s not forget the fact there are many great women in affiliate marketing:
    http://performinsider.com/2012/02/10-great-women-of-affiliate-marketing/

  • http://www.kjrocker.com/ cpa marketing blog

    a suggestion for networks trying to recruit more affiliates , Hire a hot female Affiliate manager and see whole industry affiliates rush to your network

  • http://blog.affiliatetip.com Shawn Collins

    This all reminds me of a statement from film critic Pauline Kael back in the early 1970s after Nixon carried 49 states:

    “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

    There are certainly legions of guys who define themselves by forum porn and Adderall, but they are hardly representative of the greater industry.

  • Leylah

    Wow, I’m surprised by all that is stated here and it seems to have started off a little debate lol. There are many female affiliates around online, it is just a huge case that we don’t waste our time on forums or networking.. I use that MomCPA.com/FemaleAffiliates.com female only affiliate network and have done for ages now and they have a large base of female affiliates and we all sometimes gather for meetings/conventions! Males are not the only underground networking marketers, us females also have our own place of meeting :) x

  • http://blogger.comwriter Megan Steward

    @Leylah i also use http://FemaleAffiliates.com & http://MomCPA.com too :D, i might have seen you around haha lol! When i first started working from home online i didnt have a clue where to start! I used to do Avon selling which is basically affiliate sales but door to door selling and i wanted it a little less hard on myself to be honest and i wanted to work just from home with no products.. I think as time goes by more and more female affiliates will get to grips online and start to show as things are getting far more easier to do online even for the less experienced!

  • CPAchick

    There are a lot more men in the industry, but there’s definitely ladies repping in the IM/CPA/AM world. I’m one of them. I’m not sure what would gauge as successful, but I consider myself to do pretty damn good in CPA. I do know, however, that I’m in a predominantly male situation though. I kind of like being a diamond in the rough. :D

  • http://affiliatemarketingtune-up.blogspot.com/ Pamela

    Well it is definitely not true, there are female affiliate marketers, in fact I am one myself. I saw that someone posted a comment that women would rather work for someone else, well I’m a woman and I’ve always wanted my own business since I was a child and could never stand to work for someone else coming to work when they wanted me to come or not being able to take days off to go on vacation because my boss tells me they need me there to put money in their pocket. I love being in business for myself. I work online and offline in a cleaning business. So there are some women who do want to be in business for themselves and there are females who are affiliate marketers, I’ve seen some.

  • http://www.eurovisionodds.co.uk Stefanie

    I work for a very big affiliate in the sports betting sector and I must admit that it’s a very male dominated industry. However I know plenty of females who run affiliate businesses and they tend to be in softer sectors (not competition-wise but in the kind of products and services they deal with). All the affiliate conferences I’ve been to are appalling in terms of how I’ve been treated as a women (even the female staff showing us to the conference room looked through me to the men behind me and asked how she could help them). I’m building my own affiliate biz and want it to stay male-dominated so I can use my female business instincts to quietly overtake the boys :)

  • http://www.blissfulhomemaking.com Crystal

    Seriously?! I am an affiliate for PeerFly and several other CPA programs. I run several niche websites. Have you guys noticed that many “coupon blogs” are run by women and make a killing? Money Saving Mom anyone? Have you never heard of BlogHer? Do you think women just blog about kids? When I attended NAMS which is an affiliate marketing conference I believe it was VERY mixed. Not only gender but cultures. Y’all need to do some research. The comment about technical skills is annoying because although there are more engineers I promise using WordPress is not the freaking same thing.

  • http://www.blissfulhomemaking.com Crystal

    I meant although there are more men engineers like my husband who is on software, I promise it is not the same thing AT ALL as affiliate marketing. Maybe this blog post is more about CPA networks.

  • Nic

    As for the comment about there being more men in technical roles – did you ever think it’s because women don’t have the opportunities to enter these fields that men do? From the time they’re little, they’re encouraged to enter more humanities and service-based industries. And the women who do go into technical fields find it hard to advance because it’s a boys party. The same thing goes for CPA. Luckily things are (slowly) changing for the better.

  • http://markmilan.net/blog/ Mark Milan

    On average, women desire more flexibility and meaning in their lives than men. This is why many women who enter such “technical roles” eventually end up reducing the amount of hours they work or taking a more flexible or meaningful job with less pay. It is also why on average women are more likely to turn down promotions.

    In Susan Pinker’s book The Sexual Paradox, she explains how the politically correct view that there are fewer women in powerful positions due to sexism is completely at odds with the evidence.

    As one small example, there are examples of big law firms and universities that offered women incentives to take promotions or study in certain fields — incentives that were not offered to men, making them sexist AGAINST men, incidentally — and still women turned them down.

    If you still doubt me, read The Sexual Paradox. It’s a rare ray of clarity on the subject of sex differences.

  • A female

    So many comments here make me outraged!! There are many smart women in affiliate marketing.

    I have been one of the largest publishers for many affiliate networks and I own my own business.

    However I don’t waste my time networking online, I don’t have a website, the people that need to know me, do. I prefer to stay private. I don’t brag about my success because I do not want people to get competitive with me and copy my marketing practices.

    PS. When I go to conventions all you drunk boys sit there and disclose your secrets to me all night long because you don’t realize who I am and what I am up to :)

  • Bo

    This will probably make the poster above me even more outraged. The first comment implied that affiliate marketing is essentially a technical field, and like other technical fields, (engineering, IT) it is male-dominated. However, affiliate marketing is more than that – it encompasses marketing and design skills as well, which aren’t typically male-dominated endeavors.

    Someone else touched upon the fact that men are more likely to be risk-takers, and I think this plays into it too. But the primary ingredient to affiliate success is brains and main reason why there are no affiliate blogs run by females could be the fact that at certain intelligence thresholds, men vastly outnumber women. Over the IQ level of 140, for example, men outnumber women by about 7-1. Now to be fair, average intelligences between the genders seem to be about equal; men having the broader distribution means you have more outliers at the extremes and therefore more geniuses or near-geniuses.

    Combine these three attributes (technical ability, risk-taking, high intelligence) together, and there is your answer.

  • http://www.jacobking.com Jacob King

    Reading these comments is almost like getting punched in the face, so I read but one.

    Damn sausage fest affiliate conferences. I should hire a hot actress to pretend to be an super affiliate at the next conference.

  • To Bo

    To Bo,

    Honestly, I have to tell you that I am a female and do have an IQ of over 140. You are just implying that men are smarter than women, and that is why women find it hard to be in the open because of all the sexist and prejudiced assumptions.

  • To Bo

    Oh, and sorry for double posting, but a quick search “Are men smarter than women” on Google shows a whole page of titles saying “Women are smarter than men”, “Women overtake men in IQ tests..”, etc.

    I am NOT saying we are smarter than men. To be honest I believe that we have both dumb and smart people in both sexes and I do know lots and lots of guys (and gals) that are smarter than me, but this is just to point out that we should make assumptions.

    Here’s the search if you are too dumb to do it yourself.

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=are+men+smarter+than+women&oq=are+men+smarter+than+women&sugexp=chrome,mod=17&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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