Affiliates

Discussion in 'Business & Marketing' started by VirusZero, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. VirusZero

    VirusZero Resident Game Owner

    How often do you go searching for new affiliates?

    Where do you get most of your affiliates from? (Do you gain more from going directly to prospective sites? Or do you use a 3rd party?)

    What criteria do you judge whether or not to apply for affiliation with another site? (Or if they're applying to become an affiliate with your site?)
     
  2. Kitsufox
    Caffeine Fix

    Kitsufox Resident Game Owner

    I rarely affiliate. Mostly because the word means nothing on most sites who have dozens of them in a giant list. I treat it more like a sister sites relationship than most do, though. I generally look for a site that has similar goals and values, but reasons that people wouldn't pick one site or the other.
     
  3. Morrigan
    Cloud_9

    Morrigan Resident Game Owner

    I don't go out searching a ton but I am very specific about how mine show up so when I do look for them I make sure that my stuff matches.
     
  4. Zozma
    Unlucky

    Zozma Spider Demon Game Owner

    I used to take whatever came my way but now I'm sticking to 20 only. Before, I had 40 and it was just ridiculous. I wasn't even getting any new traffic that way, so I cut my losses. I am also particular about not having moving gifs so for sites that had a moving gif banner, I just edited it to make it static before putting it up. No biggie. It's just super annoying to have anything that flashes on the index, especially by the cbox.
     
  5. VirusZero

    VirusZero Resident Game Owner

    When it came to affiliates, I tend to be extremely picky. To me at least, when I affiliate with a site that's me in a way saying: "Look at this site. It's worth your time." because they get a static spot on every page.

    I've tried to have a wide and varied range of sites also without much overlap. (So if I affiliated with a Harry Potter based site then I wouldn't affiliate with another Harry Potter site.) The idea was basically that people likely have interest in more than just one genre. So if I affiliated with sites from all kinds of different genres then they'd be more likely to visit and join. (While still also remaining a part of their other site. So at least then it might not be a case of same genre sites cannibalizing each other.)
    I don't know if this actually worked or not. I got a few hits from other sites but I don't know if anyone actually joined from them. So now I'm a bit more open and willing to affiliate with sites even if I already have one in that genre.

    I've kept my affiliate numbers low (I haven't really had more than 10 at any given time). Though I also don't go out hunting for affiliates very often. (At least not going directly to sites and applying there.) I usually like to put up an affiliates request on a directory and then check other people's request topics.
     
    Max Shields and Kitsufox like this.
  6. WARNING: this is very ranty. I sort of read everything and then wrote everything in my head down.

    I could write a speech about advertising or teach a class. I've taken too much time trying to figure out what the ideal is for everything so that i can make the most of it (and i promise not to write a big lecture here. It's been a while since I've actually talked advertising so i feel slow. I apologize if i miss something.)

    I look for affiliates when i want to even my affiliate buttons out. I ALWAYS have a list of potential static to grab, and if I have an odd list I usually add a few to make it all look neat.

    I'm sorry if this is a bit ranty, but keep with me. People who have places to post advertisements SHOULD have an affiliate board. An advertisement gets buried under other ads, but an affiliate? These are ads that are far more prominent. It's an advertisement that will never be buried and appears on the index page. Who wouldn't want that?

    My approach to affiliates is very respectful. I want the people I affiliate with to do the same for me, and I try hard to make it so every button pops. I keep limited number of static buttons, but enough to give my site a large amount of coverage and an endless scrolling. The buttons are arranged dark, light, dark, light. This is so that they show up well. They are in the advertising area that is available under the category of OOC so when my players are chatting to eachother on the board, playing games, posting absences, asking questions in the graphics shop, or making an introduction they will see the buttons. Even if it is near the bottom of the forum it is still in a good location for exposure.

    I get affiliates from EVERYWHERE. I cruise alot of directories, look at topsites, and look at the affiliates currently listed on my affiliates pages. The ideal affiliates are the ones that are also on the sites you are affiliated with. This means that when someone is cruising someone else's affiliate buttons they are still getting exposure to mine. Click here, we are there. Click there.. .we are here. After a while you want to click just to see what we are about. The strategy is exposure.

    So, what are my criteria? There are a couple things.. well.. more than a couple.

    1. Advertisement campaign: how much is this site exposed? New sites tend to have very determined campaigns. They want to get themselves out there. Being an affiliate with a new site isn't bad. People will click on them just to see what it is about, and having a button there means they are indirectly advertising you as well. Old sites who have their buttons out there are also good too, but if they aren't advertising then they aren't getting themselves out there.

    2. Population: sites with a small population are less likely to get high traffic. You want a site that has people filtering through. The more that filter through the more that might see YOUR affiliate button.

    3. Display: look to see how they display their affiliates. If they have their scrolling set to putter across the screen in a slow conga line then it isn't right for you. The time that it takes for your button to show up means time that someone has to take to see it. The best sites are the ones that have multiple rows at a speed you can read easily. I prefer to scroll up or down instead of right or left. This puts more buttons on the screen a the same time. To make it easier to read I added a code so you can mouse over it and keep it from scrolling. This way people can look at buttons to their heart's content.

    4. Pick and choose your static wisely.: Static is where you get the most views. Aim high! your site is worth it. This is your best advertisement between site relations so make it count. Make a list of your dream affiliates and aim for them. Keep an eye on positions getting open. If you can get a static position on a resource site then more power to you. I usually aim for a site populated with about 30 or more people with a good display for static affiliates. When I say good i don't mean 'lots of them'. I mean complimentary. How do they respect YOUR button. Even if they are a big site and they have a fantastic advertising staff.. if they hide your button behind their cbox and you have to click something to see? Don't do it!

    5. No dead affiliates!: if they aren't getting rid of dead affiliates within a week or two after they've died then they probably aren't worth it. People don't want to see dead affiliates. They want to see living ones, and if you click on enough dead ones you sort of stop looking. It's a petpieve of mine so maybe i take it more seriously than i should, but If I have a bad position because a few dead sites are taking up the good ones then it's not cool. Remember, display is important.

    6. Affiliate numbers: If they have two affiliates move on. 6? Probably should still move on unless every single one of those are mutual affiliates. I usually have about 20 static in rows of five (that is four lines organized dark light dark so they are easy to see) and unlimited scrolling (which i watch carefully to make sure it doesn't take an ice age to scroll through. It should only take a few seconds to see them all. The gap between the first scroll through and the second should be small so don't make the space too big. They don't need a large gap to hike across to be seen. All it does is make it take longer to see the buttons again.). If they aren't taking affiliates seriously then I don't want to affiliate with them.

    7. Lastly, I try to aim for the players who might have an interest in my site. I usually aim for roleplays with humans involved. It's okay no matter what it is, but I want people comfortable with playing humans. Don't be specific, but don't be afraid to have an idea of how wide you are casting your net.

    In the end everyone wants affiliates that will compliment their site. Giving something that is mutual, respectful, and worthwhile is a great way to bring affiliates that can give the same.

    WOW OMG WORDS! I am so sorry for this rambling mess.
     
    Elena likes this.
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