How does someone become an affiliate manager?

As affiliate programs were getting created in the last 90s and early 2000s, nobody knew what an affiliate manager was. You certainly would struggle to see it on any job board whereas today it is a well respected job.

Believe it or not, the need for more affiliate managers is understated. To add another spin to it, many affiliates would say that most affiliate managers are not very good at their job and need training.

I mean to prove a point when I worked on some affiliate sites in the past few years I would receive all sorts of terrible questions like;

  • Why is our brand not in the #1 spot?
  • I don't see our brand on your site (it is there, just not on the homepage try the search bar)

Before I get into the 3 best affiliate manager training courses, I'm going to talk about the job in detail a bit more and what life is like as an affiliate manager.

What does an affiliate manager do?

Affiliates or publishers are people that drive traffic to a brand that is managed through an affiliate program. The eaiest example to think of is Amazon Associates and people putting Amazon ads on their hobby website. When a user clicks on a link and buys something, the affiliate gets a commission. 

Ok so really what does an affiliate manager do?

An affiliate manager is like a marketing represetative for the brand they work for. Their job is 2 part to attract new affiliates to the program and to maintain and nuture the existing relationships they have. 

How to find affiliates?

Finding affiliates is both easy and hard. If you don't have good research skills then it is hard. Also if you don't have good interpersonal skills it is also hard. 

I think the science behind outreach is changing and affiliate managers need to learn what it takes to get their messages opened, read and actioned. The days of bulk emails with copy and paste are long gone. 

How to manage your existing affiliates

Some managers are good at their job and don't need to track much or have a need for a CRM. Others do need a CRM to stay on top of the day to day conversations. There are plenty of CRM tools that exist but not many that should be customized for the world of affiliate management. 

So what are 3 great courses you can find as an affiliate manager?

1. Performance Marketing Manager Course

Dustin Howes is the founder and course creator. He's been a regulat speaking on the topic of affiliate marketing at some prominent conferences. He is one of the first to create courses catered for affiliate managers when everyone else has focused on just affiliates. 

Cost: $1597

2. Affiliate Management Performance Program (AMPP) by Affiliate Insider

The AMPP program is a 12 week course that is reasonably priced and has received excellent feedback from industry peers that have taken the program. The team behind Affiliate Insider are passionate about the affiliate marketing industry and are now running their own virtual events as well as live in person events. 

Cost: £650 (payment plans available)

3. Affiliate Marketing Unlocked by Ciaran Doyle

This last course is actually an affiliate course. Why did I include an affiliate course? There actually are not a lot of courses for affiliate managers and I personally feel that the best way to understand your affiliates is to spend a day in their shoes. 

Cost: $99 CAD

4 useful tips for being a better affiliate manager

Affiliate managers can ruin a future business relationship with a single message or email. Some of the messages are cringeworthy and it makes you wonder how they got their job in the first place. With that said, we are giving you 3 tips to take away that can help you be a better affiliate manager. 

  1. Take the time to research a site
  2. Master outreach
  3. Try building an affiliate site
  4. Learn SEO

Take the time to research a site

When an affiliate manager reaches out and says they can't find their brand on our site, it is frustrating when we listed everyone. A simple search in the search bar would reveal it. On top of that a quick Google search would also reveal it where you can do a google search for site://

In my case since I mainly promote affiliate programs, it is annoying to get blanket messages from managers that are trying to sell me something I won't be promoting. My question in return to them is what do you think my site is about? Sadly these counter questions seem to fall on deaf ears and it makes me to not want to work with the program at all unless they have a budget and will consider a flat fee. Relationships should take time to build and you can ruin it in 5 seconds by not taking the time to look up a site. 

Another example of this type of laziness are emails that say "great site and good work" then go on to sell me their program. It is obvious they probably say that to everybody, compliments are nice but they are worse when they are only words. 

Master outreach

Getting good at outreach takes time and is a skill that has to be learned. If you think you can just copy and paste messages and blast your way through results, you'll struggle to find success. Affiliate marketers like to move fast but they also like to choose wisely the businesses they want to work with. 

To compound this, if you are too aggressive on your outreach, you may end up hurting your deliverability rate. Yes that is a thing. Send too many emails in a day and you could end up getting your domain flagged as a spammer. 

Try building an affiliate site

Honestly this is my #1 takeaway tip that rarely gets discussed in any affiliate marketing or affiliate management courses. 

Why should you consider this? Because everything I've written about as tips will make sense instantly.

What to see how bad outreach emails can get? Join 100 programs and watch over 80% of them do a terrible job at selling you their program.

You'll see how hard it is building a site and you'll gain a new respect for affiliates. It really helps to see the business from the eyes of an affiliate marketer because it will highlight the things you overlook when doing the affiliate manager job. 

Learn SEO aka Search Engine Optimization

Ok this might be easier said than done but if you understand SEO, youl'll understand a lot of issues affiliates have to deal with day in and day out. Here is one more SEO course you can pick up to add to your skillset. 

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