Why Affiliate Programs Suck

Okay, if I asked you what brand of coffee I liked most… you’d know the answer. I’ve been proselytizing it for several years now. I’ve sold more of it to people without ever taking a bounty or asking for something in return. I just like the coffee THAT much.

So, you’re about to hear me say something I never thought I’d say:

Screw you, Peet’s Coffee.

I logged into my CJ account this afternoon to check on some stats, only to discover that my earlier Peet’s Coffee and Tea affiliate application was declined. This, in a tidy little nutshell, is why affiliate programs suck.

  1. Affiliate programs completely ignore and devalue branding.
  2. Affiliate program managers are typically morons hired straight out of college (if they even went to college) who have no idea how to manage relationships, or who are afraid to dig in and help balance the workload.
  3. Affiliate programs tend to favor search engine gamers over smart placement with valid content.
  4. Affiliate programs are akin to free advertising.
  5. Affiliate programs are a pain in the ass to manage en masse.
  6. Every single affiliate program network is beyond a kludge.
  7. Affiliate programs offer no value add for each affiliate.
  8. Affiliate programs are a commodity.
  9. Affiliate IDs aren’t foolproof – they can be hijacked and are too often circumvented.

Am I going to stop drinking Peet’s? No. Am I going to stop recommending Peet’s? No. Am I pretty damn upset that Peet’s declined the application? Hell yes. Can Peet’s rectify this situation? Likely. Does somone important at Peet’s care? Doubtful. Would I bother to promote the affiliate links actively were I ever to be accepted? Who knows.

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