Why Affiliate Managers Should Become Affiliates – By Rebecca Pollard

by Colleen on February 18, 2014


Starting out as an affiliate isn’t always easy – so much to learn, so much to do, and not enough time or money to get it all done. As an Affiliate Manager, I try to keep that in mind every time I hop on the phone with a new recruit. How can I make it simple for my affiliate partners to get started? What resources can I give them to help them succeed? ff25_cover_small

If you make it easy for them when they’re just getting started, then as they grow, your program will grow right along with them. Had I not been an affiliate, I would have never truly understood the challenges that come with trying to build a site and develop affiliate relationships at the same time. Being an affiliate helps me recognize the challenges other affiliates face every day, and it helps me solve for those challenges as an affiliate manager.

Familiarity with Affiliate Tools

Affiliate managers often rely on their networks to help affiliates that are having trouble with the technology. As an affiliate, I’ve seen that getting bounced from affiliate manager to network and then back again is not only annoying, but it’s also a waste of my time. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

As an affiliate manager, I’ve learned that the more familiar I am with the products my affiliates are using, the easier it is to manage and build upon the relationships I have with them. My affiliates are also more likely to be happy with my brand. Take the time to understand the experience your affiliates are having with your network and with your programs.

Broad Industry Knowledge

If you’re an Affiliate Manager for a company that’s got a niche, you likely haven’t explored what other industries outside of your own are doing. DO IT! Become an affiliate in another industry, and you’ll learn a ton more about affiliate marketing. Plus, it will help you generate new ideas for ways your affiliates can be promoting your brands, and you can test them out firsthand to see if they work.

Earned Respect from Affiliates

Affiliate management is all about creating successful relationships. When an affiliate asks you a question and you can reply, “On my own blog, I’ve seen this work really well,” you’ve given them a reason to trust you. The affiliate now knows that you can help them along the way because you’ve got experience and because you understand their objectives.

There are tons of Affiliate Managers out there who can speak to the benefits of playing both sides. Joe Sousa, Affiliate Coordinator for Fanatics, says, “Being an affiliate let me see what affiliates really want and need, not just what an affiliate manager thinks they need.”

Affiliate management takes hard work, time and energy, but so does being an affiliate. Don’t forget that if you’re going to make the leap, you had better be ready to make the commitment. Your affiliates are doing it – so should you!

Rebecca Pollard is the Marketing Specialist for Pet360, Inc. and fashion affiliate blogging at CanYaHeelMe.com.

This article appeared in issue 25 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in January 2014. http://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/ff25_full_final_web

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