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How to Hire the Right Affiliate Manager

Affiliate Managers all around the world faced with a blessing and a curse: usually they are the only person at the company that knows what affiliate marketing is. Although it is great job security to be performing a role that no one else at the company knows how to do, it also works the other way; everyone (especially executives) expects the program to just work. But being a good affiliate manager is a tough job!

hire the right affiliate manager for the niche of your product

You know who else has a tough job: the recruiter that has to find a qualified affiliate manager. How do you hire for something that you don't know how to do? This post will go into detail of how to hire the right person for the job.

What Does an Affiliate Manager Do?

Affiliate managers have one job: assemble an army of sales reps that bring in 20% of the company's revenue. That job however is broken down into hundreds of small jobs. The job of the affiliate manager is never done and is almost always thankless. If the program succeeds, almost everyone thinks it is the affiliates that are doing the work. If the program fails, it's 100% the affiliate manager's fault. While some affiliate manager jobs simply entail calling new affiliates and verifying applications, others may require more in-depth tasks such as tracking analytics and building webpages or banners for affiliate program promotions.

Some of the tasks that are required from an affiliate manager each day include:

  • Recruiting New Affiliates
  • Verifying Applications
  • Check/Respond to Emails
  • HTML/Building Web Pages
  • Designing Banners and Promotional Materials
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Newsletters/Email Marketing
  • Compliance Reviews

12 Step Process to Affiliate Success

For each affiliate the affiliate manager recruits into the program, have to hold the hands of affiliates through a 12-step process:

  • Find your program either by recruiting or happenstance
  • Review your program and product to see if you're legit or not  or worth their time
  • Request to join the program
  • Get accepted
  • Keyword research
  • Content research
  • Create the content 
  • Optimize the content
  • Monetize the content
  • Ranking on Google
  • Start bringing in clicks > then sales > get on your radar
  • Maximize the partnership

That is a lot of work! This is a really long process and you need an affiliate manager that is driven and nurturing, which is a unique combination.

the 12 step process of affiliate managers of getting affiliates signed up and promoting products

How Much Does an Affiliate Manager Make?

affiliate managers are paid peanuts in comparison to affiliates

Not enough. It is an undervalued field in the world of marketing.

An affiliate manager salary is likely to vary based on the affiliate program they represent, their level of experience, and the responsibilities they are required to take care of each day. On average, affiliate marketing managers earn $57,000 annual salary, but ranges from $35,000 to more than $100,000 as an affiliate manager salary, depending on their experience, skillset, and their location.

Small companies and independent entrepreneurs are typically unable to hire an outside marketing manager until they have achieved a steady income flow that allows them to hire additional employees. However, it is also possible to work together with an affiliate marketing manager part-time, depending on your needs and the type of jobs you require from the manager themselves. you can find cheap labor on Upwork to fill the void of affiliate management without strategy.

When negotiating a salary, make sure you bake in a bonus structure for performance. You want someone who is self-driven to perform well, but having skin in the game will help nudge the affiliate manager to work even harder.

What Skills Should I Look for in an Affiliate Manager?

an affiliate manager must be detail oriented and have great nunchuck skills

Nunchuck skills…obviously.

When you are thinking of hiring a manager to help with your preferred affiliate marketing program, it is important to search for individuals who are genuinely qualified for the job. Here are some of the most important skills for an affiliate manager to have:

  • Detail-Oriented: A manager must be detail-oriented, especially when tracking data, analytics, and even income reports.
  • Professional: Managers must maintain a professional presence at all times, especially while crafting and responding to emails or customer inquiries. If any manager is unprofessional to prospective affiliates, new recruits, and loyal customers, you are much more likely to encounter issues.
  • Organized: Managing a growing affiliate marketing program requires the ability to remain organized at all times. An affiliate program manager must have the ability to jump into various tasks and responsibilities each day without missing a beat, especially if they are doing all of the work on their own. They need to recognize the importance of a CRM and documenting affiliate partners.
  • HTML/CSS: Having basic HTML/CSS skills are highly recommended when working as an affiliate program manager. Knowing how to craft simplistic email that are modern, appealing, and easy to read is essential when attempting to attract new recruits or additional affiliates beneath you in your preferred program.
  • Graphic Design Skills: Knowing how to create banners, buttons, and other graphics for social media pages, promotions, and advertisements is a must for a full-time marketing manager. In order to promote the affiliate program you represent, you will need high-quality and professional designs to truly stand out amongst your competition.
  • Newsletter Formatting: Hire an affiliate program manager who has experience when it comes to crafting newsletters and sending emails to subscribers on a regular basis. Not only is it important to use proper grammar, but it is also imperative to code each email without issue. Implementing logos, color schemes, and images to link to the content you want to promote are all jobs for your manager to handle.
  • Content Creation and Monitoring: Your manager will be responsible for content creation and monitoring if required by you. Monitoring stats and data collected from each piece of content is one way to gain valuable insight into the wants and needs of your prospective customers or recruits.

You can use this great job description of a junior affiliate manager and adjust for your company.

Where Should I Be Looking for a Qualified Affiliate Manager?

this is how you find the right affilaite manager for the job

Seeking out a manager for your affiliate marketing program highly depends on the type of program you are promoting as well as your current location. If you live in a rural area, it may be difficult to find individuals who are currently qualified in the IT and digital marketing sector. Searching for a manager of an affiliate marketing program is ideal online.

Outside Recruitment Services

Use traditional job-searching services such as Indeed to post more information about the position you currently have available. Or use online communities designed for professionals such as LinkedIn. With LinkedIn, connect with other independent entrepreneurs and professionals who have experience in affiliate marketing before posting a job listing or manually searching for those who are looking for work.


When searching profiles on Linkedin, the most important feature will be experience with multiple niches. Affiliate managers grow exponentially when they are required to come up with new tactics for particular niche they are not familiar with. you want that type of creativity on your team. Look for other job titles as well that are in the same field, like performance marketing manager or digital marketing manager.

What Are My Options When Hiring a New Manager?

That's easy…just hire the best 🙂

Once you have made the decision to hire affiliate manager, it is highly advisable to understand all of the options you have before making a decision. Choosing to hire an affiliate manager is an important decision that should not be done flippantly. If you hire the wrong affiliate manager, it could set your program back dramatically, so it is best to take your time and hire right.

Hiring In-House

An in-house affiliate marketing manager is one way to get the help you need without going to an outside source. Bringing on a new employee is one way to get the job done, although it may not be as cost-effective as working together with current employees you have available. Also, you never really know what they are going to bring to the table. Sure, they might have experience, but are they a strategist or an executor? You usually need one of each to run at full speed.

Hiring an Agency

Another option when hiring a manager for your affiliate program is to do so by working together with an outsourced program management agency (OPM). An OPM specializes in the management of affiliate marketing programs and is well-versed in the steps necessary to reach any audience, regardless of the niche you are in.

This option can be costly. An OPM will charge anywhere between $2,000 to $10,000 per month and require a minimum six month retainer. However, they bring strategy to the table and have the manpower to execute the gameplan. An OPM is optimal for larger businesses and entrepreneurs who have already worked with in-house employees and managers but want to scale even more. You can find a short list of agencies that I personally suggest here.

Train Your Own Team

One of the best ways to get the management assistance you require for your current affiliate marketing program is to train your own team with the one of a kind training program at Performance Marketing Manager. Our online course helps affiliate managers look good by coaching them how to grow the revenue of affiliate programs.

The Performance Marketing Manager course is eight hours of conference style video training, packed with 50+ tips, tricks, and hacks that are guaranteed to make you an amazing affiliate manager. You’ll learn to better prioritize your time, how to recruit the right affiliates, and develop deeper partnerships. The course also includes two 1 on 1 calls with Dustin Howes to answer any questions that you may have and to create a custom game-plan that will take your program to the next level. All of this for a one-time payment of just $497.

Wrap It Up

Choosing the right affiliate manager can be a tedious task that few people are qualified to do. Your company will need to be extra cautious of who you bring on; the wrong choice could set your program back dramatically.

The candidate you choose must bring a gameplan to the table and have the experience to execute it. They will need the vision of a marketer that knows how to speak to consumers, affiliates, and brands alike. They must be self-motivated and trustworthy since most of the company will not know much about what affiliate marketing even is. Your best strategy is to have a strategy and vision in place for the program and then hire the right affiliate marketing manager to execute the plan.

Attention Recruiters!

If you need help finding the right person, contact Coalition Marketing and schedule a free exploration call and let us help you find the perfect candidate.


Dustin Howes is the owner of Coalition Marketing, an affiliate marketing agency developing innovative techniques in publisher recruitment. Dustin has created an online course that coaches affiliate managers to prioritize time, recruit the right affiliates, and develop deeper partnerships.

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