Logan Thompson

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10 Annoying Things About The Affiliate Marketing Industry

While I love affiliate marketing and most of this industry, there are a few things that annoy the crap out of me. If you’ve been around the industry for just a short time, I’m sure you’ve run across at least a few of these, and while you may have a different opinion than me, these are my pet peeves.

So without any further intro, here are 10 annoying things about the affiliate marketing industry in no particular order.

  1. White Guys Talking Like They’re From The Hood
    Ok, so this is at the top of my list for a reason. Seriously, go to any conference or forum and you come across these white kids from the suburbs trying to talk like they’re from Compton. I know there are a lot of people who didn’t make it to college, but come on, that doesn’t give you an excuse to talk like a G. What’s worse is when I get an instant message from a so called network owner trying to get me to join their network and I have no clue what they are talking about as it’s all in ebonics or more likely, some made up language that they think makes them sound gangsta. On a side note, if you can’t put a fully functional sentence together I will not even consider looking at your website let alone joining your network.
  2. Affiliate Managers Who Don’t Listen
    If you’re like me, you have too many affiliate managers. I admit that I have signed up to more networks and merchant programs than I know what to do with. With that comes the abundance of affiliate managers, and nothing turns me off to a network more than affiliate managers who don’t listen. They all want to “help you earn money” and “build a relationship”. Well that’s not going to happen if you don’t listen. For example a few weeks ago an AM contacted me on AIM and asked what I was looking for. I told them I’m looking for some unique campaigns for PPC in non saturated markets. They replied, we got some great acai, colon, teeth, and biz opp offers you should look at. Sure, tell me you have great offers in the 4 most saturated markets there is, when specifically I told you that wasn’t what I was looking for. I doubt I will ever run anything with that network.
  3. Flogs
    Aside from blatantly taking advantage of people and lying to them, can you be any less creative? Sure people are making a ton of money from them, but they are annoying and deceptive. If you’re pushing a product that sucks enough that the only way you can get people to buy it is to lie to them, then its time you find a new product.
  4. Affiliates Stealing Landing Pages & Content
    This not only annoys me, but makes me mad. A few times I’ve found someone who has completely ripped off my landing page and content, maybe changing a few words here and there, and then bid on the same keywords I do. There are a lot of idiots in this industry who can’t think for themselves and just steal what others are doing. If a car dealer steals another car dealers cars and tries to sell them, they get arrested. In the online marketplace, they earn money and keep on stealing.
  5. People Who Blab About How Much They Make
    There are a lot of not so humble people in this industry that love to talk about how much money they make. “Hey, I make $250,000 a month, I’m super!”. Who really cares? Congrats to you if it’s true, but I don’t really care. You don’t see a lot of other professions who shout to the world about what their income is and take pictures of themselves with checks (other than professional golfers). Spout off how much you make publically and you lose instant credibility to me.
  6. The Term Super Affiliate
    This one goes along with #5. Generally it is the people that label themselves as “super” affiliates who like to scream from the mountaintops about how they are rolling in the cash. The whole phrase “super affiliate” just annoys that crap out of me. I’m not superman, so don’t call me super. Ok, maybe I’m being a little harsh, so you can call someone a super affiliate when they can make $1 million a day consistently and fly while doing it.
  7. 12.3 Million CPA Affiliate Networks
    Alright, maybe there aren’t 12.3 million CPA networks out there, but it feels like there is. It seems that everyone is starting their own CPA networks lately. With Has Offers and other tracking software out there, it makes it easy for people that shouldn’t be owning a network to start one up. What annoys me most is that I get pitched to just about every day about a new network that has the highest payouts, and biggest selection of offers. Here’s a clue, if your “network” is based out of your moms basement, I probably won’t return your IM.
  8. Assuming All Affiliates Care About UFC Fighting
    Maybe it is just since I’m from Washington state and don’t know anyone around here that cares about UFC fighting, but I find it odd that UFC fighting is such a big deal in the affiliate community. Whether its conferences, twitter, forums, or blogs, someone in this industry is talking about UFC. I’ve also had affiliate managers want to strike up a conversation about it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad sport, I just care about UFC fighting as much as I care about bird migration in Africa.
  9. Conversions That Don’t Track
    I absolutely love it when I launch a new campaign and spend a few hundred dollars in PPC the first day to get 0 conversions. I especially love it when I come to find out that the merchant didn’t have the tracking setup correctly so I probably had some conversions, but they can’t be sure. Back to the car dealer example, if a car dealership messed up the monthly tracking of which salesman sold what cars and ended up not paying commission on the sales, they would probably have very few quality sales reps in a short amount of time. Same thing applies in this industry.
  10. Liars
    I know it happens in most industries, but there are so many people lying in this industry. Whether it’s networks telling you crap about how they have the highest payouts, other affiliates telling you they made $150,000,000 in a day, merchants telling you their program doesn’t suck, or the countless other bull stories out there, it starts to get annoying. It’s almost to the point it’s hard to trust anyone is telling the truth anymore unless you really get to know someone well. And even then…

So what have I missed? What annoys you in this industry?

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27 comments… add one
  1. deceptive rebills which most cpa companies have some of

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  2. PPC affiliates who break the merchant rules always get me. I take the time to read agreements of merchants I’m promoting via PPC, and 9 times out of 10 find affiliates breaking those rules.

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  3. Nice post. I totally agree except for the UFC thing. I don’t hear much UFC chatter.

    Most affiliate bloggers annoy me, except your blog of course ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Haha, I try not to be too annoying.

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  4. This is a great post! Maybe you should only post once a month? LOL

    I agree with agree with everything you said, including the UFC thing, I don’t know maybe it must be Washington State thing.

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    1. Yeah, the once a month post might work better for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Nice post – I think a lot of this is more “generational” in the industry than typical of it.

    I don’t think most of this applies to those affiliates focused on revenue share, or those that have been around for a good while.

    As far as the “super affiliate” tag, it seems to have gotten a lot more mainstreamed over the years.

    Back 8-10 years ago, it was just shorthand among affiliate managers I used to meet with for monthly meetings as the top 2% performers in a given affiliate program.

    UFC – I totally don’t get the fascination.

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    1. Yeah, I don’t mind the term Super Affiliate when affiliate managers use it to talk about their top affiliates. I guess it just annoys me when affiliates over use it about themselves.

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  6. That for many networks I still have to contact an AM to get a tracking pixel placed. It’s not rocket science of how to do this dynamically for pubs. C’mon, people.

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    1. I agree. It definitely isn’t that hard for networks to add to their interface.

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  7. Great Post! Definitely LOLed about the UFC thing and the people who blab about how much they make.

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  8. I heart you for annoying thing number one. ๐Ÿ˜

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  9. Love this post even though I am guilty of a few of the above. Oh and I’m starting an affiliate network… (J/k)

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    1. Haha, I’ll forgive you. Let me know when “Volk Clicks” launches. I’m looking for a bunch more networks to join.

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  10. Im a G son! straight out the gutter of jersey!

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    1. Ian you are the biggest G I know

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  11. Number one made me lol.

    Anyone in the industry is guilty of at least 2-3 of these.

    Great post.

    Cheers!

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  12. LOL I just found your blog as I normally read the UK Affiliate ones but honestly, itโ€™s like I found my new hero. Reading your top 10 I was like, oh my god this could be my top 10, well except for 8 but we have stuff we could swap that for in the UK.

    Cheers for the laugh in another wise dull day ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. This RULES! I always noticed the whole nouveau riche-ness in this biz.
    You can have money but class sure isn’t for sale…

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  14. A little late to the party here but great post Logan.

    This post is dope yo, know what I’m saying? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    From the merchant side, I just LOVE it when some new “network” starts up in China and the owner IMs me to ask if he can send a contract so that I can give him $2000 to start up on his “network.” Sure!

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  15. My biggest annoyance are those damn personal cartoon logo’s made popular by supposed “super affiliates.” The ones you seen on Zac Johnson or Tyler Cruz’s blogs. When I go to a blog and see one of those I immediately close the blog and never return. I just don’t get it, why is that so popular?

    Oh, and probably more annoying than the cartton logo’s is that guys face from superaffiliatemindset.com. It’s just one of those smarmy “I’ve got an undeserved sense of superiority” faces…makes you just want to punch it.

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  16. This was a cool post. I agree…anyone that brags about what they make is full of it and trying to sell you something…if 3rd party email marketing was outlawed 12,299,995 affiliate networks would be SOL.

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  17. What annoys me is people who write 10 things that they love, hate, annoys them because 1) it reminds me of a chick-flick, 2) 10 is a stupid number, and 3) I think it’s a lame way to go to set you apart from the flock.

    I totally agree with you on points 1-4 and 9 but 6,7,8,10??? C’mon. If you sacrificed blood, sweat and tears putting together a campaign and it bear fruit wouldn’t you be proud of it? Maybe that sacrificing blood etc is an exaggeration and most successful affiliates will swear how easy it is but for a complete affiliate moron and newb like me that was exactly the case- I did sacrifice blood, sweat and tears via hospitalization from too little sleep and poor diet (this happened while I was working on my very first campaign). I made less than $500 dollars yet I am DAMN PROUD OF IT! How much more if I start making 4, 5, 6 figures? Heck I’m gonna let the whole world know how proud I am of my hard work and I will never get annoyed of anyone who is proud of their craft!

    And so what if affiliates love UFC? I don’t consider myself an affiliate yet but I love UFC and when I do become an affiliate, you can add me to your list of affiliates who love UFC. But I also love boxing, poker and ball games. It just so happened that UFC is more fun to talk about coz all the blood and drama (they have a reality show). Do you even have Spike?

    “Super Affiliate.” If there’s a level ZERO affiliate- That be me. I am on that level. But the term Super Affiliate doesn’t bother me not one bit. I see it as a goal and not some superficial term like the way you see it. How else would you differentiate an affiliate who does Internet marketing for a living from an affiliate who does it as a sideline only? What would you propose- calling the former [synonym of “super” here] affiliate and the latter mediocre-affiliate? Super affiliate is a good term and I like it to stay that way. Uber affiliate? Ugh.

    “if your โ€œnetworkโ€ is based out of your moms basement, I probably wonโ€™t return your IM.” — I have a soft spot for people who dream and take risk. That my friend is where I stand.

    “10. Liars:” Psy-war. I love it.

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  18. You know Logan, I think I’m allergic to bs. Your post was straight to the point. Last week when I talked with Jason I told him straight up that we are a new program and learning more about the industry. We’ve come across a lot of people that claim that they can do this and do that, but when it come time to performing this industry defies the 20/80 rule. It’s more like the 1/99 rule: 1 percent of the affiliates bring in 99% of the conversions.

    As far as the caucasian Gs, well I think that is a tragedy of our times…It does appear as if the zeitgest is transitioning into that talk not being so “cool” anymore, just check out some of the newer commercials on the box…

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  19. I think at least half of the UFC stuff is my fault, and the other half is shoemoneys! LOL
    Great post.
    I sold a slapchop and brought in like $2, straight outa Sun Valley!

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  20. I agree with #2 There’s nothing worse than an AM who does not listen (or I should say READ the email I sent) and then reply to me with a sarcastic remark. IE: “what is your problem”

    I was asking him about cloaking my links. One that HE set up for me wasn’t encrypted. If he had checked it out he would have seen my ID still showing.

    I haven’t bothered to contact him again.

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