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Compensation

And what should you pay your affiliate manager? Compensation is all over the map. The United States Affiliate Manager Coalition recently surveyed affiliate marketing professionals regarding their annual income; based on 43 respondents, the survey showed that 7% of affiliate marketers are making less than $40K per year; 44% earn $40K to $59K per year; 30% earn $60K to $79K per year; and 19% earn $80K or more annually.

With a lot of work and some luck, you might be able to find team members who will work for less than the average just to gain the experience. These are students or other young people looking to gain Internet marketing experience as unpaid interns. You can look for these people at InternshipPrograms.com or call your local universities.

Ultimately, the best affiliate manager for you is not necessarily the one with the Harvard MBA, but rather the person who has his or her own site and knows how to make money with affiliate marketing. Although it is recommended that you at least have an affiliate manager to oversee your program, it's preferable to have an affiliate team. The affiliate manager will excel if she is able to focus on managing the program, budgeting and coordinating with the finance people, and building support within the company. There should also be an affiliate outreach person on the affiliate team who proactively scours the Internet to recruit targeted sites.

It's a tremendous help to have a dedicated affiliate tech on the team. This person coordinates back-end implementation and functionality of the program (especially necessary for an in-house program), troubleshoots any breakdowns in tracking, and pulls reporting data for the affiliate manager.

Finally, an affiliate analyst is a key position to focus on some of the items that are often neglected by affiliate managers, such as managing relationships with top affiliates, analyzing the performance and trends of affiliates, and developing promotions and offers for the affiliates.

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