How Affiliate Marketing Provides High Job Satisfaction: Case Study

Yesterday Jeremy Dean, a British psychologist, and author of popular PsyBlog (self-characterized as the “website about scientific research into how the mind works”), put up a great blog post, entitled 10 Psychological Keys to Job Satisfaction.

The opening paragraph of his post states:

…Clearly many are finding it hard to get that feeling of satisfaction from work. Job satisfaction is important not just because it boosts work performance but also because it increases our quality of life. Many people spend so much time at work that when it becomes dissatisfying, the rest of their life soon follows.

And he is right on the money there! Back in 1992 three psychologists — Rice, Frone, and McFarlin — conducted a study, using a household sample of 823 persons, which was aimed at measuring the impact of Family satisfaction, Job satisfaction, and Leisure satisfacton on the quality of life; and each of these domains was shown to have direct relationships with quality of life (0.43, 0.34, and 0.18 respectively). Obviously, job satisfaction together with family satisfaction were discovered to have the bigger impact.

Reading Dean’s 10 psychological keys, I can’t help but look at them through the angle of an affiliate marketer. And the two groups of affiliate marketers that immediately come to mind are affiliates, and OPMs — the former being an independent marketer who receives performance-based compensation, while the latter being an independent affiliate program manager who manages other business’ affiliate programs. It seems that out of all other players involved in this industry these two have the best chances of hitting most of the 10 keys. Here’s my quick case study cross-comparing Dean’s “psychological keys to job satisfaction” to what we observe in affiliate marketing:

  1. Little hassles — Can’t lie here. Scrupulous planning and wise administration are integral to being successful in affiliate marketing. And neither affiliates, nor OPMs can brag about a lack of “day-to-day irritations. So, let’s mark this “key” gray.
  2. Perception of fair play — We’re told that “the bigger the difference between what you think you should earn and what you do earn, the less satisfied you’ll be.” Well, here the helm is definitely in the hands of the affiliate marketer. However beat up the idiom “the sky is the limit” may be, it’s pretty close to the truth with affiliate marketing.
  3. Achievement — There’s plenty of opportunity for affiliates and OPMs to make real, obvious contributions — both into the overall industry, and into the lives of their families, in the process. I personally can testify to this (with my very life) any day.
  4. Feedback — Dean writes that “there’s nothing worse than not knowing whether or not you’re doing a good job” and that “no news is bad news.” Both affiliates and OPMs get immediate feedback on their “job” performance (through traffic, CTRs, conversions, and, ultimately, earnings)
  5. Complexity and variety — We’re being told that “people generally find jobs more satisfying if they are more complex and offer more variety.” No lack of opportunity here either. In fact, the more complex and innovative you go in affiliate marketing, the better your chances to “win big.”
  6. Control — “The more control people perceive in how they carry out their job, the more satisfaction they experience.” It’s hard to imagine contexts where “workers” have more control over their “job” taks than affiliates and OPMs (especially, affiliates).
  7. Organizational support — When it comes to “their organization” caring “about them”, obviously it’s not as applicable in our contexts. But isn’t the freedom and immediate remuneration through the fruits of our work incomparably better than “fringe benefits… and other subtle messages”? I’ll mark this one gray too (as it’s not directly applicable) though.
  8. Work-home overflow — Here he gets into the interdependence of Family satisfaction and Job satisfaction; and I admit, this will be differ greatly from person to person. However, generally, when things are all ok “at work”, and its outcomes allow for more “at home” fun, we see happier affiliate marketers’ families/homes.
  9. Honeymoons and hangovers — Due to the array of opportunities in affiliate marketing, you can pretty much always get “a new job” (read: start something new) when you want it (again, this is especially true for affiliates).
  10. Easily pleased? — Don’t know about this one. Affiliate marketing may not be right for everyone (I do know people who enjoy boiling in the office environment), but in most cases, I think, affiliate marketing has a potential of suiting most people.

As always, the comments are all yours; and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one.

6 thoughts on “How Affiliate Marketing Provides High Job Satisfaction: Case Study”

  1. Yeah, this is a great post and I agree on all the points above. From the standpoint of being an affiliate and selling my own products, the level of satisfaction is much higher because of the control I have. Where as working for someone even at a very high executive level did not give back to me the satisfaction I receive from running my own business.

  2. good post. howevever, this is all hinging on the assumption that the affiliate can actually run a profitable campaign… without this, everything else is out the door in terms of job satisfaction 😉

    1. And, of course, that is a good point and the premise of the whole reasoning.

      On the other hand, doesn’t an affiliate stop being an affiliate (and finds other work) after running an unprofitable campaign for too long? 😉

  3. Pingback: This Week in Affiliate Marketing | Blue Global Media

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