How Do You Treat Your Affiliates?

I apologise, but this is going to be one of those bitchy, probably incoherent, moaning posts. You’ve been warned.

So, upon returning to the online marketing world and finding that the adult niche is now as dead as, well, something that’s pretty fucking dead. I’ve decided to get back into it in a different niche. I’ve had a few sites in this niche before and conversions were good, with pretty easy to get traffic. The majority of ‘affiliates’ in this niche aren’t actually affiliate marketers, they’re mostly female bloggers, blogging about free products that the merchants have sent them to review. Most of the good SERPs are taken up by big online stores and the few ‘real affiliates’ that are in the niche, but there’s still plenty of spots available. I won’t go into my strategy here, I’ll save that for the $20k Challenge series. What to I want to do here is have a fucking good old moan.

Like I said previously, most of the affiliates in this niche are ‘mommy bloggers’ making a few extra bucks or noobs hoping to make big money. In the past I’ve run with a couple of different programs, but there’s one that stands out above the rest in terms of inventory and payouts, so I figure ‘right, I’ll go with them this time around’. Shame to say, that was a mistake:

  • What I Got

I’m looking around the website for any means to contact them, other than the public forum. Who the fuck wants to discuss business in a public forum? Eventually I find their support page, I was hoping for a phone number or Skype or ICQ or anything other than email, sadly they didn’t even have an email address, just a support ticket thing. Ahh well, I’ll have to wait a couple of hours for a response, this issue isn’t that big of a deal anyways, I can wait. So, I submit the form and am greeted by a nice “Thanks for your submission. We’ll try to get back to you within the next 48 hours”.

You have got to be fucking joking? 48 hours?! Well, I figure, that’s just a message, they’ll get back to me before then. 24 Hours later and still no response I take my issue to the forum.

Within minutes of me posting exactly what I had been afraid of happened. Idiots, with no idea what they’re talking about, who clearly don’t understand my issue start posting stupid fucking responses. In fairness to them, they were only trying to help, which is more than what I got from affiliate support.

Another few hours go by and eventually I get an email response to the ticket I submitted nearly 36 hours earlier – “Hi, I can’t help you with this issue, however [name removed] can, I think he’s already responded to you in the forum”. You must be fucking kidding? One of those idiots was your affiliate/tech support?! Fuck me!

  • What I Require

Somebody on the phone, available 24 hours per day, that is capable of dealing with whatever issue I may have. If not able to deal with it, at least, note it down and get somebody that can help to call me back asap.

Whilst I was on the abortion of a forum I decided to have a little poke around. I’d been there before a year or so ago, but thought something amazing might now be happening. I was wrong.

  • Bad SEO Advice

This is (kind of) related to some of the responding posts to my thread, but it’s all over the place. The worst SEO advice you are ever likely to here. A few gems include:

  • I used to think you couldn’t rank whitelabel sites because of duplicate content, then I was proved SO WRONG. Do a search for [keyword] and what do you see? One of these whitelabels on the first page with nothing done to it. A BRAND NEW DOMAIN, just thousands of crappy spam links.
  • Ok, mate. I’ll be polite, since you’re obviously such a fucking moron you wouldn’t understand if I had a go at you. In fact, no, fuck it, I won’t even waste my time. You aren’t worth it.
  • You need links only from PR3 sites or higher. NEVER get any links from sites with less than PR3.
  • Yes. No sites will ever rank if they get links from sites with a lower PR than 3! FFS, does Google even update PR anymore? I don’t think I, or any other SEO, has even bothered to check it in the last 3 years or more.

I won’t go on, it’s almost too much to bear. All this amazing advice is from the ‘official SEO guide’ in the admin area of the affiliate program. With an upsell to their ‘premium SEO guide’, of course, because actually helping your affiliates would be too much. You must charge them for bad advice. You need to make your money some how, afterall, your affiliates aren’t going to be sending you any sales after reading this shite.

This is the biggest seller of the products I want to sell. I’m an affiliate at their competitors and did quite well with them, but they just don’t have the inventory I need, so it’s either put up with this shit and be crippled from the starting blocks, or go down the dropshipping route, which is what I’m doing. Eccomerce site almost set up. Just need to get the merchant account set up and I’ll be good to go. I would prefer to be an affiliate, but it just isn’t possible. I cannot wait 2 days for a support request. No other affiliate program that big would even dream of doing that.

Considering the amount of sales I’m capable of sending, I don’t think my requests were unreasonable.

I understand that the majority of your affiliates are stay-at-home moms with nothing better to do that try to make a few bucks on the interwebs, but you do have some good affiliates, I know because I know who they are. We don’t need hand-holding, being given idiot advice every 10 minutes, but we do require a little bit of love and attention every now and then.

As a result of pushing me away, you’ve probably lost $300k worth of yearly revenue, just because you can’t be arsed to deal with your decent affiliates.

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