Affiliate Marketing Mini-Manifesto


Last week, the brilliant Hugh McLeod issued a call-for-papers for short (500 words or less) manifesto’s for anything people are passionate about.

Here’s my Affiliate Marketing Mini-Manifesto. Will it apply to you? Probably not. I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one…

1. Affiliate Marketing is Not About Money
If you are doing affiliate marketing in hopes of making large sums of money, you are not going to succeed. Marketing, in the larger scope of the term, is moving past the ill-conceived notion of short term dollar and sense metrics. CPA, CPC and CPM should not be seen as valuations of successes, but directional arrows of sustainability. In affiliate marketing, we have to move past the notion that what we’re doing involves only direct action payouts. Consider the longtail and think ahead.

2. Affiliate Marketing is Not Mainstream
Those of us involved in the affiliate marketing galaxy often wonder why we are not treated with more respect by the rest of the online marketing universe. The easy answer? We don’t belong there. Affiliate marketing, in principle, seeks to democratize and engender the monetized web by allowing producers of quality content, products community situations with the means to continue their efforts. It’s not about gaining riches, it’s about moving past the hubs and nodes of networks.

3. Affiliate Marketing Transcends Links
Links hold affiliate marketing hostage. Just as Jeremiah wore a yoke around his neck to show the coming servitude of Israel to the Babylonians, we affiliate marketers should heed the writings on the wall pointing us towards the dangers of positing all of our hopes and futures of industry sustainability and industry credibility on the link. Clickfraud and AdSense farms are just two examples of the sinful state we will enter if we continue down the path of praising the link while ignoring the individual doing the action of clicking. Give readers, consumers and individuals the chance to elevate themselves and your program by not insulting their intelligences with links.

4. Affiliate Marketing Demands Relationships
Although many will decry such a statement, affiliate marketing must, by its nature, embrace the relationship paradigm. However, this relationship situation between content publisher and individual need not be a handicap. Instead, relationships may open doors to affiliate marketing which other marketing platforms are not able to accomplish and position affiliate marketing as a viable platform of personalized performance. Scale is not everything.

5. Affiliate Marketing is the Future of Marketing
Affiliates, networks and merchants involved in affiliate marketing recognize the power of a platform which celebrates the individual and their involvement in the interaction of a person with a company or website owner providing content. Realizing the personalized conversation inherent (and essential) in affiliate marketing is not a hindrance, but a potential of fulfillment, will allow affiliate marketers to inherent their due place in the world of online marketing.

(Disclaimer: This mini-manifesto reflects my own personal viewpoints and biases and not the viewpoints and biases of the larger Cost Per News and Cost Per Network which strives for meaningful objectivity).

What do you think? Send Hugh your own mini-manifesto or send me your own Affiliate Marketing Manifesto. I’ll post it up to the sight with full credit given to you.

2 Replies to “Affiliate Marketing Mini-Manifesto”

  1. Jonathan (Trust) November 30, 2006 at 18:50

    “If you are doing affiliate marketing in hopes of making large sums of money, you are not going to succeed.”

    Disagree 🙂

    “Give readers, consumers and individuals the chance to elevate themselves and your program by not insulting their intelligences with links.”

    ? Web sites aren’t going anywhere, web sites with links. How do you insult someone by having links? That’s how people get around on the internet. I’ve seen other posts talking about mobile and such. It’s not an either or kind of deal. It will just complement sites with links. Most people will still do their shopping at home or at work. On screens where they can actually see what they’re buying 🙂


  2. Affiliate Marketing Mini-Manifesto…

    Sometimes I think I’m a little altruistic about our industry. If I had the time or inclination I could write a long manifesto filled with philosophy about affiliate marketing at higher levels. Thankfully I don’t have to write it and you …


Leave a Reply