Friends do things for each other. And there's no one that can / will do more for you and your blog in performance marketing than your affiliate manager.
If you're having trouble with a link, it'll be your AM that helps you figure out what the issue is. If you have a question about a promotion or sale, your AM will be the one with the answer.
But s/he isn't just there for troubleshooting. They can do a helluva lot for you, if they have the right resources.
Char Polanosky is an account manager with All Inclusive Marketing and the manager of such affiliate programs as Kiyonna, Julep and Madison Reed, and is one of my go-to people on the regs. Char is a perfect example of this post, because she is someone I can turn to at almost any given moment and ask a question or get some tool that I need. And it's a totally mutual relationship, because the more she helps me get what I need, the harder I work to drive sales for her. Here's what she has to say on the subject of the relationship between an AM and an affiliate:
AMs don't work for you, just as you don't work for them. Ideally, you'll work together to strengthen brand recognition among your readers, which will help drive sales, which will earn you more commish, which then makes everyone happy. Don't ever be afraid to reach out to them to see how best you can work together for the benefit of all parties.
And if you never hear from an AM for a program? Maybe consider rethinking that partnership, because that's usually a red flag. Kind of like the friend that only calls when she needs something or only hangs out because you offered to buy.