Affiliate marketing has traditionally been a male dominated industry, but a recent study in the UK by Optimus Performance Marketing has found that women are twice as likely as men to engage in affiliate marketing in the future.

Wanting to understand the opinions and perceptions of both genders towards affiliate marketing, Optimus polled 632 women and 589 men aged 18-60, all who were running their own personal or professional blogs.

Although 86% of all the participants said that they already had a basic understanding of how affiliate marketing worked, only 6% of females had existing affiliate marketing experience, compared to 14% of the male respondents.

However, almost half (47%) of all the female participants said they intend to promote products and services through affiliate marketing on their blogs and websites in the near future compared to just 23% of the men. A further 24% of women (and 11% of men) indicated that they would be likely to implement affiliate marketing into their strategies within the next five years.

The reasons driving the women’s interest in affiliate marketing were:

41% – The appeal of earning extra income

34% – Affiliate marketing fitting in well with own blog/site topics (fashion, beauty, lifestyle)

29% – The availability of evening and weekend time to spend on affiliate marketing

18% – The ability to provide better site content to visitors through affiliate marketing

Mark Russell, Managing Director at Optimus said of the study: “At present, with the affiliate sector being largely male dominated, it is hard to see why affiliate marketing hasn’t yet managed to strike a chord with more female bloggers and professionals. Yet our study highlights that, in the future, more women are gearing up to take the plunge into the affiliate world.”

Indeed, the findings show that over the next five years, the percentage of female affiliate marketers could surge by up to 400%, and the gap is already closing. The 2013 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report showed that out of 1,600 affiliates, almost half (48.8%) of those completing the survey were female. And back in 2011, their Women in Affiliate Marketing report showed some impressive stats on the reach of women within the industry.

Women may well be the future of affiliate marketing. Men, you’d better watch out.