I have just received the following questions via email:
I am looking into the possibility of becoming an affiliate manager. Where would you suggest I go to get more information? How does one become an affiliate manager?
Since many of my current (and future) blog readers may find the answer of benefit, I have decided to answer it in public (as opposed to simply emailing back my thoughts).
Obviously, the question boils down to how one may get trained (or educated) to comfortably take on the affiliate management role. In Chapter 5 of my Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day tome I wrote:
…since as an occupation this is still a fairly new one, there is no exact set of qualifications typically required to work as an affiliate program manager.
[Similarly] no certification is necessary to practice affiliate program management, and neither is there a unified certification accepted across the industry. Various companies run seminars on affiliate program management, which last anywhere from one day to a weekend. These are generally very informative and practical. Attending a seminar will undoubtedly enrich one as an affiliate manager, as well as help in the networking aspect of the business. Attending affiliate conferences, networking, and other relevant events helps one grow in the knowledge and increase the list of your contacts in the industry…
[However] although certification is not necessary, educating yourself is a must.
Here is a quick list of affiliate management educational/training resources I can confidently vouch for:
- A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing [book | 2007]
- Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day [book | 2011]
- Affiliate Management Days [the only conference on affiliate management]
- Affiliate Management Trainers [virtual or in-person training]
- MyAffiliateCoach [virtual and video training]
Finally, it is important to realize that the hard part is not in becoming a good affiliate manager. Diligence and hard work are your best friends here. The hardest part is in staying good. In an industry that evolves as dynamically as affiliate marketing, continuous education is a must. Keep networking professionally (through online professional communities, and conferences like AM Days), keep reading and self-educating, and keep developing together with the industry. Only then you will succeed.