Quality Unit’s Learning Center has lots of great information, but we also want to direct you to other places that might offer some guidance and inspiration for understanding more about the affiliate space and helping you run an even more successful affiliate program.
Blogs, Websites, Newsletters, Magazines
Signing up for the RSS feeds or emails from a variety of sites can help you stop on top of the latest news, trends and issues impacting the industry.
Here are a few worth signing up for or checking out:
Affiliate Marketing Blog (http://www.amnavigator.com/blog)
Affiliate Tip (http://blog.affiliatetip.com)
Click Z (http://www.clickz.com)
Media Post (http://www.mediapost.com)
Website Services Magazine (http://www.websitemagazine.com/content)
Internet Retailer (http://www.internetretailer.com)
Affiliate Advocacy (http://affiliateadvocacy.com)
Forums are a good way to interact (and possibly recruit) affiliates. It’s can also help you get ideas from other affiliate managers about how to improve your program, which affiliates should be avoided and generally keep in touch with like-minded peers.
Here are some you might consider:
5 Star Affiliate Programs (http://affiliate-marketing-forums.5staraffiliateprograms.com)
ABC’s Plus (http://abcsplus.com/forum.php)
Being a member of a professional trade association enables you to network with peers, see studies and reports, share best practices, and get the latest information on issues facing the industry. However, these groups also have a lot of informative materials on their websites – even for non-members. Many of these organizations also hold their own conferences.
Here are some that might interest you:
IAB - Internet Advertising Bureau (http://www.iab.net)
PMA - Performance Marketing Association (http://www.performancemarketingassociation.com)
MMA - Mobile Marketing Association (http://mmaglobal.com/main)
DMA - Direct Marketing Association (http://www.the-dma.org/index.php)
WOMMA - Word of Mouth Marketing Association (http://womma.org/main)
Trade shows and Conferences
Trade shows, conferences and events are a great way to network and get a lot of educational material. Even if you can’t attend the show in person, these conferences often posts slides, videos and write ups from the event. Many of them have conferences in multiple locations throughout the year.
Here are a few worth checking out:
Affiliate Summit (http://www.affiliatesummit.com)
ERA - Electronic Retailers Association (http://www.d2cshow.org)
Internet Retailer (http://mcf2010.com/2010/?IPROSPECT=MCF2010)
A4U Expo (http://www.a4uexpo.com)
The Performance Marketing Expo (http://www.iirusa.com/performancemarketingexpo/event-overview.xml)
Market Research Companies
There is not much market research that focuses specifically on the affiliate space. However, there are a handful of companies that often have studies and reports with data that is related. This information can be helpful in gaining a larger picture of the overall online landscape.
Here are a few market researchers that have newsletters or daily emails you can sign up for:
Center for Media Research (http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Archives.showArchive&art_type=8)
Forrester Research (http://www.forrester.com/rb/research)
IDG Research (http://www.idgresearch.com)
Listening to audio podcasts can be an efficient method of staying on topic of a wide variety of affiliate marketing topics. You can subscribe to most via iTunes and have them downloaded to your iPod or iPhone for listening in the car, the gym and at your leisure. There are two big podcasting networks that focus on marketing and marketing-related subjects such as affiliate marketing and search marketing– GeekCast.fm (http//www.geekcast.fm) and WebMasterRadio.fm (http://www2.webmasterradio.fm).
Here are a few shows worth listening to:
Affiliate Marketing Fanatics (http://geekcast.fm/archives/category/affiliate-marketing-fanatics)
Affiliate ABC’s (http://geekcast.fm/archives/category/affiliate-abcs)
Affiliate Strategies Session (http://geekcast.fm/archives/category/affiliate-strategies-session)
Affiliate Thing (http://geekcast.fm/archives/category/affiliate-thing)
AFP Affiliate Salon (http://geekcast.fm/archives/category/afp-affiliate-salon)
Both Sides of the Tracks (http://geekcast.fm/archives/category/both-sides-of-the-tracks)
Merchant ABC’s (http://geekcast.fm/archives/category/merchant-abcs)
PMA Industry Report (http://geekcast.fm/archives/category/pma-industry-report)
Ten Golden Rules (http://geekcast.fm/archives/category/ten-golden-rules)
Affiliate Marketing Insider (http://www2.webmasterradio.fm/affiliate-marketing-insider)
Affiliate Buzz (http://www2.webmasterradio.fm/affiliate-buzz)
The Joel Comm Show (http://www2.webmasterradio.fm/joel-comm-show)
Market Edge (http://www2.webmasterradio.fm/market-edge)
Landing Page Optimization (http://www2.webmasterradio.fm/landing-page-optimization)
Net Income (http://www2.webmasterradio.fm/net-income)
Not all of these books are specifically about affiliate marketing. However, there is plenty of good information to be applied from other marketing disciplines as well as general business.