Misconception on affiliation

“Affiliates are friends.”
Something that many personal website owners shout out to the world.

Unfortunately, this is where the misconception begins. The popular belief is that being affiliates with someone is equivalent to being friends. It is actually both yes and no.

It is a no because if you look at the history of affiliation, affiliates are partner websites, blogs, companies, agencies or groups with the same interest or aim. The purpose of affiliating is to drive traffic to each other’s websites. Being affiliated simply means being associated or related. No where does it say that affiliate have to be friends nor does affiliating mean making friends. Your affiliates could be completely strangers who have different interests from you but both of you have one common aim: that is to drive visitors to your site.

But over the time, the coming of personal websites that are growing daily in numbers like mushrooms bring about a revolution to the idea of affiliation. People have taken the meaning to a different level. And this is where affiliates become friends.

Instead of having these partner websites as tools to generate backlinks to your site (or to their sites), we befriend these sites by visiting their sites once in a while, leaving comments on their posts. This is a very common trend in personal websites/blogs. Because these sites sometimes do not offer any services or products, affiliates evolve into friends. And this trend becomes such a common thing that the original idea of what affiliation really is has been completely forgotten.

We tend to get agitated when our so-called affiliates don’t visit us. And some of us find it ridiculous when there are sites that put up requirements to be affiliated with them. But you will have to remember, their definition for affiliation may be different from our own. And the purpose of the requirements are to filter out the people who open and close their sites too often and keep those who are dedicated. So there is nothing wrong if your affiliates do not visit you often enough just because he/she doesn’t share your idea of what affiliates are. So before you start throwing a fit and lashing out rude comments about your affiliates or pointing out their bad qualities, think of how many traffic they have brought to your site and think of whether you have been a good affiliate yourself.