Half of affiliate marketers are ‘self-taught’


Nearly half (47%) of affiliate marketers working in the industry are actually self-taught, with almost three quarters admitting there is a greater need for awareness of affiliate marketing in schools, colleges and university in order to teach the next generation, according to new research.

After noticing an increased lack of knowledge and understanding amongst those working in the marketing sector when it came to affiliate practice and activity, the leading affiliate marketing company in Europe decided to investigate further.

For the purposes of the researcher, the team at Optimus Performance Marketing, polled a total of 1,036 individuals in the UK and Northern Ireland all currently working within a role that require skills related to affiliate or performance marketing. The ages of those taking part in the study ranges from 21-60, with the average participant stating that they had worked in or around the area of affiliate/performance marketing for 3.8 years.

Respondents were initially asked if they’d had any official training prior to securing their job role working in affiliate marketing; either at school, college or university or as part of a work-based training program. A total of 47% of individuals confessed they had, with the remaining affiliate marketers stating they had self-taught knowledge prior to beginning their jobs. Of this 47%, around a third (34%) confessed to researchers that, prior to working in the affiliate industry professionally, they had successfully implemented affiliate marketing techniques into their personal blogs or websites.

Next, relevant individuals were asked to list the ways in which they successfully managed to teach themselves the basic knowledge of affiliate marketing, with the most popular answers revealed as follows:

1. Internet tutorials- (42%)
2. E-books- (28%)
3. Blogs- (19%)
4. Video tutorials- (8%)
5. Books- (4%)

Respondents were then asked their opinions on how they feel the next generation of affiliate marketers are being prepared in terms of education on the practice in schools, colleges and universities. Almost three quarters (73%) of those questioned stated that they felt as though more needs to be done with regards to I.T. lessons and college/university courses dedicating modules to the basics of affiliate marketing in order to inspire a new generation.

Mark Russell, Managing Director at Optimus Performance Marketing, made the following comments about the results of the study: “When you work in a relatively new and ever-evolving industry, such as affiliate or performance marketing, it can be very easy to forget that the majority of people who don’t work directly within the industry are still extremely unsure about what it is we do. This doesn’t bode particularly well for those working in the industry when trying to scout the next generation of marketers for recruitment.”

He continued: “From my personal experience of teaching courses on digital commerce to students at Plymouth University and colleges in our local area, I see on a regular basis how will and engaged young people are in our industry. It seems to me that an influx of similar courses and modules relating to affiliate activity around the country would surely only be a good thing in terms of awareness and growth?”


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