Using AI to Apply for Affiliate Programs: An Advertiser’s Perspective

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Just wanted to share something I’ve noticed recently.

I manage a large affiliate program which pays high commissions on the affiliate network. When an affiliate applies to the program, they can include a note to tell me about their site. Lately quite a few of the affiliate applications are obviously written by AI – lots of words but tells me nothing! Quite flowery, poetic-sounding language that gives me no specifics about the methods this affiliate intends to use to promote my advertiser.

It's not hard to figure out the question they asked AI to answer. Unfortunately, the AI response has nothing to do with their personal site, so I’m getting lots of generic affiliate-related content. Blah, blah, blah.

While my first inclination is to automatically decline them due to the use of AI, I do take the time to review their site to see if it might be acceptable. So far, I haven’t found any.

Some even have words cut off in mid-word due to the character limitations for the message, and the affiliate didn’t even notice! If they can’t pay attention to that kind of detail, they certainly won’t be accepted into my program.

The moral of this story is this: Don’t just ask AI to write something for you, then slap it into place and assume it’s fine. If you’ve been asked to be specific and the AI result isn’t, don’t use it!


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Recent Comments


Hi, WA Family, I want to jump into this interesting topic, adding my point of view too (Italian Literature Studies and Creative Writing course on my shoulders :)

Writing good content is NOT easy. It is a skill that must be refined with thousands of hours spent on that, as any other art!

As Partha stated, you can spot in a second an AI content (if only you have the tools to spot it as education or personal interest in growing in that specific skill).

What we are seeing in the copywriting field, it is exactly what is going on in art and design too. Thousands of people trying to monetize AI images without having any clue of the drawing and artistic basic principles.

Our society has been HEAVILY conditioned to LOW STANDARDS lately (and my heart pains for that: being an Italian surrounded by the most marvelous works of art in the world - seeing what low art people is trying to sell outside there).

For WA members, I would say:
- don't rely on AI for writing your contents but USE AI to write better content: for example, let the AI outline your article and actually write it on your own. The more you write, the better you will become at it (more neural paths will be built in your brain and you will be able to create more creative ideas)

To Jeannine, I would say to give a clear motivation why you are declining the potential affiliate: maybe it will help them to invest more of their time in improving their writing skills

But let's all remember that writing good content is an art, and as any other art, it takes time to flourish! So don't be so hard on yourself and give yourself the permission to grow!

Thanks for jumping in here, you've made some great points.

Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of telling these publishers why they are being declined. I can only choose from a drop down of rejection reasons, and "Using AI on your application" isn't one of them.

Honestly, if they feel that AI was sufficient for their application, then I would expect that they would use AI to generate the content used to promote my merchant. And that's not good enough.

Hey Jeannine,

Here's a potentially unpopular and controversial view (wouldn't be me if it wasn't, LOL)...

Let's forget specifics for a moment, e.g. using AI for content, applications for affiliate networks, etc. and focus solely on how AI is used.

Here comes the controversial bit...

The "quality" of AI-produced content comes down to PERCEPTION.

And something I've been saying for a while, the main factors that can alter a person's perception are education (although I think this is the least important, there have certainly been many hugely intelligent people in history who lacked a formal education), how much they write, and most importantly, how much they read.

The vast majority of people who come into this business have probably not written or even read a book since they left school/college (there are case studies and statistics about this, I believe it's something like 42% of people NEVER read another book in their life after leaving school/college, yet, the average CEO, i.e. someone who is extremely successful in life, reads on average 58 books a year. Speaks volumes really).

So, my view is, let's forget education for now, but if someone never writes and rarely reads their PERCEPTION of what is "good writing" will be very different from those at the other end of the spectrum.

And unfortunately, this is what we are seeing all over the internet, and even regularly on the Wealthy Affiliate platform.

Some input the most basic prompt, receive "flowery and poetic-sounding" text in return and they PERCEIVE this (based on their experience, or lack of it) as fantastic writing.

Basically, they believe (perceive) that this is better than something that they can produce, and it sounds/reads as though someone well-educated and well-spoken had produced the text.

Their PERCEPTION unfortunately is simply because they know no better.

Sure, we also have the "lazy" AI users, but I honestly believe that many people "perceive" the absolute garbage they're getting back as "good writing" simply because they don't know what good writing looks like.

Just how I see it.


I understand what you're saying Partha and I largely agree. It's not to say I disagree at all. However, I have a slightly different take on it.

I'm an English teacher and I love to write. From a grammatical and mechanical standpoint, I'm a very good writer. But from an engaging and attractive standpoint, I'm probably more on the boring side.

You, on the other hand, write in a lively manner that exudes your personality and it seems you're on a different level than many of us, if not most of us, your formal education notwithstanding. I have no idea what your level of formal education is, but I'm guessing you at least have a college degree.

Until November, 2023, although I'd heard of AI and was well of aware of its existence, I didn't know what Chat GPT was, and it was from one of your blog posts that I leaned about Bard (now Gemini).

I became an instant AI junkie! I use mostly Gemini, but I also use Chat GPT.

I've come to rely on it much too heavily.

It's not that I don't know the difference between good writing and AI produced writing, regardless of the quality of the AI produced writing. It's that what AI has done for me, in addition to some of your writing, was/is to help me see how I lack whatever "it" is that people are looking for in good content.

The level of depth and detail that AI comes up with, amazes me. I have come to rely on AI to help me with details and organization.

Ironically, at least as I see it, the number of my articles that rank has decreased.

I'm left scratching my head, wondering what the heck do I really know?

My level of income (0) from my content, indicates that I'm clueless. I've put out a massive amount of content since November and have gotten nowhere very quickly.

I'm not sure whom to turn to, what I'm doing right, what I'm doing wrong, or where to go from here. I feel like I'm lost in the forest without a compass. I keep moving but I'm not sure if I'm moving in the right direction, the wrong direction or if I'm just moving around in circles.

I'm not ready to give up. I believe I will find my path but, in the meantime, I'm frustrated as can be.

The bottom line is, I think AI is a good thing, but I'm still trying to figure out the best balance between it and my own ability to write.


Hey Bob,

100% get what you're saying here, but also, due to your background (I guess you could call it "education") you understand what "decent" writing looks like at least.

What I am speaking about is those who are "impressed" simply because of the use of "flowery and poetic" (to quote Jeannine) language.

I'll give you an example so you know what I mean.

Here is an "exaggerated" AI description of making and drinking a cup of coffee:

"With the gusto of a caffeinated superhero, I embarked on the epic quest to summon the elixir of life itself: coffee. Armed with my trusty kettle, I commanded the elements, coaxing water from its slumber to a rolling boil with the fervor of a wizard conjuring a storm. As the steam billowed forth like a dragon's breath, I danced with the precision of a maestro, measuring out the sacred grounds with the meticulousness of an alchemist crafting the Philosopher's Stone. With a thunderous roar, the grinder pulverized the beans into a fragrant symphony, awakening the very heavens with its aroma. Pouring the potion into the chalice of my favorite mug, I witnessed a miracle unfold as the black liquid cascaded like molten gold, promising to bestow upon me the powers of the gods themselves. With a triumphant flourish, I raised the cup to my lips, tasting the nectar of the divine and feeling the universe bow to my command. Behold, for I have conquered the morning, one glorious sip at a time!"

What I am saying is that many people's perception will be that this is "good writing", whereas in my mind this is an absolute car crash!!! Hahaha!!

This is what I meant by the difference in "perception" between those who regularly write and read, and those who don't.

As for your personal situation, this is something that I have spoken about often on the platform, but by and large, it is ignored or "brushed under the carpet" on the platform.

We are currently going through huge changes in terms of Google organic search.

I have mentioned numerous times that what is currently happening in Google search reminds me a lot of 2011/2012 when two major Google algorithm updates (which are now embedded into the Google Core updates) wreaked havoc in the search engines.

The aim as always with Google is to get rid of spam and underhand and manipulative practices online (unfortunately, this is extremely difficult to do when you are talking about billions of people having access to the internet).

Realistically, I would say since September 2023, Google organic search has been very different, and unfortunately, a huge number of people are suffering.

I would even go as far as to say that if you had "put out a lot of content" say in 2022 you would've seen very different results from what you're seeing today.

So, for now, while we all wait for this current update to finish, it's really difficult to state exactly what Google wants.

And I've always made it known that I don't agree with many of the "recovery principles" that have been mentioned all over the internet.

For now, it is a case of performing good keyword research, which involves actually finding topics to write about that people are really interested in reading about (I still think that MANUAL research on places like Reddit, Quora, Social Media, and niche-relevant forums is the best way to do this, whereas a keyword tool or AI writer may not be as efficient in finding these topics).

Continue to write these types of articles and increase your reach on at least two external platforms, e.g. YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, OR Reddit, Quora, Twitter, Medium, Linkedin, etc. (if you enjoy producing visual content, e.g. videos, choose two platforms from before the OR and if you prefer written content, choose two platforms after the OR).

I will say the days of creating a website, producing content for that website, and NOT doing any other form of promotion is what is "dead" (NO, affiliate marketing is NOT dead, NO, SEO is NOT dead, but we can no longer simply write articles on a website and do nothing else).

The other way to look at it is, the more you do something the better you can expect to get.

I do honestly think there will be some significant changes to Google search over the next 3 weeks, which could have both a positive and negative impact on many of us.

What these will be, honestly I (and NO-ONE else, don't believe ANYONE who says they know how the Google landscape is going to pan out over the next few months) simply don't know.

I know this doesn't really help a LOT of people, but I'd rather be honest and say, "Give it one more month then I can get a grip on what's actually going on with Google organic search", rather than just providing false hope.


As I say, things could look very different in a month's time once the current Core update (and the additional update of May 5th) are over.

Of course, I will let everyone know my feelings once the core update has finished.


Have you ever seen this guy; I am pretty sure you have. He has created a very successful business out of Australia. (Can't win them all, lol) He knows his business, is down to earth and helpful.

People like this I follow.

Tell the truth and take no prisoners.


Good analysis, thank you Partha. However I must look out for only the best results for my advertiser. I simply cannot risk having these affiliates join the program, and I don't have the time to teach them better tactics. I can only decline them and move on, hoping that somewhere they find some training to help their online results be better.

Boy, I hear you! Sometimes they AI pieces can be just so much empty noise. On the other hand, sometimes they are really good. For my last post to my website, I wrote the whole thing myself; then read what AI had written, and liked it better! It certainly pays to read carefully whatever you write.

Glad it was helpful for you. I'm still hesitant to use it in any of the posts on my personal site. Research, yes. Content, no.

I always get the outline and the written text, then do my own research. I'll rewrite the specifics on something AI has written if I think I can supply a better answer. I tend to use some phrases that AI includes that I like but for the most part write my own text.

I think we all are careful of the content in our articles.

What I do when preparing an article for AI, is, I spend at least 30 minutes telling it what I want in the article. AI doesn't know my audience like I do, so I give very specific directions as to what I want as part of the article. I even tell it not to speak in the first person and I state the reason I ask it not to. Mainly, I am responsible for the content of my article and I do not wish to edit because it takes time.

After the article was finished by AI, I proofread it very carefully and made changes where needed. For example, just today, I went through the process I use, and at a certain point AI said, something like a" promise of income", so, I had to change the wording on that because there is no promise of income.

I have had some positive results with AI and as long as it keeps to the directions I give there is very little I have to change. Of course, No one is perfect and I do not expect perfection. So, my point is I do not copy and paste, rather I keep my audience in mind while I give my directions to AI for the specific content I want for my audience.

These are just some of my thoughts and I hope it is helpful.


Glad to hear that you take the time to change and polish the AI content. I'm in several organizations, and one just had a whole collection of people who all make 7-8 figures a year with their content sites discussing Google's latest penalties for AI content. It's completely wiped out some sites, all the way to delisting them. You definitely want to make that content your own.

No doubt, thank you so much !

I would never even thought of using AI to apply for an affiliate program. I know there are some programs out there that will accept any and all, but I always try to explain my site and whatever else they are asking. There's no way AI could explain something so specific.

Yup, there are programs with very low thresholds for affiliates but even then you want to do it right. You are doing things the right way!

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