Key 2021 stats that every online business owner needs to know

After the upheavals of 2020, it seems that all eyes are on the opportunities the internet can provide for building businesses and generating income.

Indeed, 2020 was the year that I kicked off my YouTube channel.

In just 12 months my two channels have seen amazing growth and enabled me to build an authentic encouraging community that I learn so much from:

As a full-time blogger and affiliate marketer, who has built and sold multiple online businesses, I am well aware of the surging demand that is building up for websites that are capable of generating passive income.

More and more people are becoming switched on to just how much they can achieve with a well-targeted and optimized online blog. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again. There has never been a better time to start an online business than right now!

Resources, expertise and free advice about online businesses are in plentiful supply meaning everyday people can quickly and effectively build profitable online businesses that they can run for income or sell for capital sums.

The internet is the perfect place for a self-starter to build a business and as I have found out creating engaging and insightful content is a key driver of success!

But if you are still in doubt, or hesitant to take that first step, let's take a look at some global stats that will give you insight into the sheer scale and scope of online businesses, blogging and affiliate marketing in 2021.

I've stacked up some remarkable online business stats, affiliate marketing stats, and blog statistics that I hope will show that online enterprise is a great investment of your time and effort.

Let's get into this!

Whopping world wide web statistics for 2021

  • The internet provides a unique opportunity to have an unprecedented global reach with over half of the world's population using the internet (4.66 billion).
  • If you are an affiliate marketer like me, knowing the proportions of internet users in North America, Europe, and the UK matters. In the US 87.3% of the population are online, in Europe, that figure is 91% and here in the UK, 92.5% of the population are internet users. 
  • Google is the world's most popular search engine (as if we didn't know), with over 63K searches every second! Make this your motivation for ranking well. 
  • Mobile phones account for half of all web traffic worldwide. You cannot afford the websites you build or run to not be responsive. In 2018 the percentage of responsive sites was just over 50%, but progress in increasing this proportion continues to be slow. The number of people using a smartphone to access the internet is over 4 billion, with numbers expected to climb higher in the coming years. 

If you are wondering where, to begin with starting your turbo-charged website, I thoroughly recommend watching my friend Alex at WP Eagle break down how you can set up your own affiliate marketing website.

This video runs through all the key steps from start to finish:

Use these online business statistics as motivation for getting yours off the ground:

  • Working out the total number of online businesses in the world is tricky, but there are more than 20 million e-commerce sites across the world. 
  • The 2020 pandemic led to a surge in online business activity with a 27.9% jump in the percentage of business conducted online. Online business activity now accounts for over 30% of all business and commercial activity. 
  • Empire Flippers, a leading online business broker reports an average sale price of over $269,000 across 298 businesses they sold in 2020. Their listings spend an average of 48 days on the market before being sold. 
  • According to website sales experts Flippa, revenue per user is highest in internet marketing businesses, followed by the business sector and social media-based online businesses. 

Do you want to know when the best time is to sell your online business?

Take a read of my article “When should you sell a website?”

The affiliate marketing industry is certainly going from strength to strength…

  • In recent years, spending via affiliate marketing has grown 10.1% year on year, with global spending of at least 14 billion US dollars in 2020. 
  • Affiliate marketing now has a 15% share of all digital media revenue, with between 15 and 30% of all online sales being generated by this form of digital marketing. 
  • Along with email marketing, affiliate marketing is one of the most lucrative sources of online income generation. These combined forms of marketing are thought to generate 16% of all e-commerce orders in the US and Canada. 
  • Over 80% of leading brands are offering some sort of affiliate marketing programme, demonstrating that companies see affiliate marketing as a viable and effective way of promoting their products and services.
  • According to a report commissioned by the Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, 84% of online publishers use affiliate marketing to generate revenue. 
  • More than half of all traffic referred by affiliate websites is via a mobile phone. This emphasises why it is vital that your website is mobile-ready!
  • Did you know that Amazon Associates has over 900,000 signed-up and active affiliates?
  • According to AffStat, the 5 leading categories that are promoted by affiliate marketers are:
    • computing and electronic products with a 40% share 
    • clothing and apparel at 41%
    • Internet-based services at 30%
    • Accessories at 29%
    • Beauty at 28%
  • Affiliate earnings are a big draw to this type of online business, and it's easy to see why. Here is the typical annual passive or residual income from affiliate marketing from leading sources:

For a lot of people, the concept of affiliate marketing and its earning potential sounds just that little bit too good to be true. In these articles I answer the naysayers:

Here are some great stats on online purchasing decisions:

  • The same survey by Bright Local found that 84% of their respondents trust online reviews as much as their friends.
  • Another survey found that almost 70% of consumers will not trust sponsored ads or press releases.
  • “The Truth About Online Consumers” survey by KPMG found that over half of respondents firstly search online for reviews before they make a purchase, followed by 47% heading over to the company website and only 26% attempting to check a store. 
  • According to KPMG,  92% of all online feedback is positive. 6% was found to be neutral and only 2% negative!
  • Interestingly, men buy more online, and will also spend larger amounts of money per transaction than women. The average e-commerce purchaser is male and aged between 25 and 49 years.
  • People are heading to the internet to buy because they believe they will get a deal. Over 70% of a surveyed group believed that an online item will be a better deal, even if it is not on sale.  

If you're on the fence about becoming an Amazon Associate, these Amazon statistics show why this affiliate programme is one of the most popular: 

  • Amazon is the first website that almost 60% of Millennials will head to when they want to purchase products or services. 
  • There are over 1.2 million websites that are known to have participated in the Amazon Associates programme since it began. It is thought that there are currently 88,9776 active websites and just over 34,000 domains that are currently participating in Amazon's affiliate programme. 
  • The leading countries for Amazon Associates participation include:
    • United States of America
    • Japan
    • Germany
    • United Kingdom
    • France 

Are you interested in what is going on with the Amazon Associates program right now?

Get up to speed with my video 7 Pros and Cons of the Amazon Associate Program in 2021:

If, like me, you use WordPress, take a look at the remarkable market share this content management system (CMS) has:

  • 500 new WordPress websites are built every day!
  • According to Kinsta, over 40% of websites are WordPress websites. WordPress leads other popular content management systems including Drupal, Magento, Blogger and Shopify.
  • Plugins make WordPress websites! Did you know that there are more than 50 thousand WordPress plugins listed in their official directory?  WordPress plugins have received over a billion downloads since the first one was released. 
  • Yoast’s SEO plugin is one of the most popular WP plugins of all time. 

If you are looking for a cracking WordPress theme for your next affiliate marketing niche website, you need to check out the POPCORN theme I have just released in partnership with Alex from WP Eagle and Phil from SpidrWeb that has been built for outstanding speed.

Learn more in this video:

Stay up to date with the competition with these 2021 blogging stats:

  • Did you know that websites that have a blog have almost 450% more pages indexed on the leading search engines?
  • Bloggers who publish 16 posts per month generate 3.5 times more leads than bloggers that publish rarely. 
  • According to Semrush, bloggers are putting more time and effort into the blogs and articles they publish. In 2014, a single blog post took two hours to write, in 2020 this was up to over six hours for the majority of bloggers!
  • Those bloggers who put in more hours get the rewards with posts that took six hours or more to write performing 31% better than more quickly produced content.
  • According to HubSpot, the ideal word count for an article is between 2,250 and 2,500 words as these articles earn the most traffic. 
  • Semrush says that a long-form article of more than 3000 words generates three times the traffic of shorter 1000 to 1500 words posts
  • However, your site visitors are likely to be spending no more than 55 seconds reading your articles.
  • When people were questioned about their online browsing habits, three quarters preferred reading articles that were less than 1000 words long.
  • Bloggers who hit the publish button every day get 57% better results than bloggers who publish a few times per week!
  • The Nielsen Normal Group found that website visitors tend to read web pages in an F-shaped pattern. Users were found to start reading in the upper left of the page content, working horizontally across the page, they would scan down the page not reading a shorter horizontal length, then scanning down the left-hand side of the page quickly. 

If you are on this site, you will know that blogging can be a lucrative trade.

Learn more about the income streams you can enjoy as a blogger in my article, “How do bloggers make their money?”

Have a look at the state of play for social media in 2021:

  • According to Brian Dean of Backlinko, Asia has led the growth in active social media use (+16.98%) followed by Africa (+13.92%) and South America (+8%).
  • The average social media user has 8.8 accounts. 
  • In India, almost half of social media users are using it for their work.
  • In 2021, the big players have continued to be the most popular: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
  • Interestingly, on Facebook, links are the content type that is most commonly used and shared by businesses and are featured in 44% of brand posts. 
  • Internet users on average spend over two hours per day (144 minutes) on social media!
  • Pinterest has enjoyed significant growth in 2020/21 with 442 million Pinners being monthly active users. Though pinners are mainly female, male Pinners have increased by 50% each year. 

Look at that! I'm a man with Pinterest boards. In this video I tell you all about them and how I use them to drive lots of traffic to my sites:

If you have not yet looked into email marketing, these intriguing email marketing statistics demonstrate that it offers a wealth of opportunity!

  • Email marketing is the most widely used modality for engaging customers, exceeding content management and social media.
  • Over 80% of B2B marketers have made email marketing a key part of their as part of content marketing strategy. 89% of all marketers use email to generate leads, and 40% of B2B marketers report that email newsletters are the most important part of their content marketing strategy. 
  • Marketers rate email highly, with just under a third of marketers rating it as the most effective marketing channel behind social media, SEO and content marketing. Email is thought to be the most effective channel for boosting brand loyalty and custom retention, ahead of websites and social media. 
  • According to SaleCycle, email marketing influences the buying decisions of over 50% of potential customers.
  • Email outstrips social media for conversions and is 40% better at converting than platforms like Facebook and Twitter. 

If you are thinking about setting up email marketing. I have reviewed 5 great Email Service Providers that are just right for starting as they are all under $30 per month.

Take a look at “5 Email marketing tools under $30 a month”.

For me, these stats are encouraging indicators of a bright future for online businesses that utilize digital and content marketing to engage an audience. 

There are so many opportunities to make an impact online in a variety of niches and sectors, with powerful marketing channels and tools that everyone has the opportunity to access. 

Let these statistics motivate you to participate in these fast-moving sectors that are experiencing real growth that you can harness and profit from. 

In addition, you have a wealth of experience and expertise you can learn from in the form of digital marketers and affiliate marketers like me who take the time to show you how to build passive income through quality content creation. 

Before you go!

If you're looking to start a new website then maybe you should consider an aged domain. No waiting for that 7-9 month sandbox before you see some results. Get fast results by using aged domains. I recommend ODYS which is where I purchase mine from.

What's the fastest way to monetize your blog? Display ads of course and you can't go far wrong with Ezoic. You can also join their program with a small and even brand new website. By using my link to their Access Now program you'll get quick access to high-paying display ads for your website. Start earning money today! Sign up here.

and finally...

All websites need one thing. Content, whether that be outsourced content like I get from BuySellText or AI software that will write it for you like Jarvis.AI. Currently, the best tool out there if you like AI software.

If you can't see the tool or resources you need here. Check out my resource page which is packed with helpful tools, software, and apps that can help you maximize your revenue and grow your website faster. Many of which are discounted if you click my affiliate link. See my resources page.

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Being an affiliate marketer and earning a passive income is NOT a get rich quick scheme. All the work I do takes time. CarlBroadbent.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and other affiliate programs.
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