Using Affiliate Directories to Improve Your Program
Who joins an affiliate program? The most common group is people who want to become rich quickly and easily using their computer, the majority of which will never become productive affiliates. The second most common group is webmasters who have some good content and regular traffic, but are looking for a way to generate revenue from their web site. (Note these classifications are not based on quantifiable data; these are simply my impressions of the industry.)
When a webmaster decides to incorporate an affiliate program in their site, how do they go about selecting one? Most will type "best affiliate programs" or "affiliate reviews and ratings" in their favorite search engine and wind up at an affiliate directory. Similar to Yahoo!'s site directory, affiliate directories group programs into categories that allow webmasters to quickly locate the opportunities that best correlate with the content of their site.
For this reason alone, it is important for affiliate program managers to submit their programs to as many affiliate programs as possible. (http://www.affiliatefirst.com offers a very affordable submission service that will submit your program to a large number of directories.) Affiliate directories also offer an extremely valuable opportunity to evaluate your program through the eyes of your potential affiliates.
Affiliate directories will allow you to make side-by-side comparisons of your program with other similar programs. Very good directories will also contain vital stats that are extremely important to affiliates, such as return days. By comparing your profile with that of other programs you can quickly evaluate where your program is most appealing and where other programs are going to lure your potential affiliates away. This process gives you the necessary information to tweak your program to increase appeal to affiliates and magnify the effectiveness of your recruiting efforts.
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