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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