Affiliate Program Directories are Web sites that contain lists of links to affiliate programs that have been compiled and organized by various webmasters. They usually categorize the listed programs by type of products sold (e.g. educational, business, etc.) and include brief summaries of each program with sufficient information to allow directory users to choose which programs they would like to join. Some also provide program ratings as supplied by program users.
Affiliate program directories are best used to find merchants that have stand-alone or 'in house1 programs which are therefore not associated with the big affiliate networks.
However, when searching through the directories, you'll discover that many of the merchants listed ARE also affiliated with networks. It therefore saves time to research the networks first, because in all likelihood, you'll be redirected back to them anyway to sign up for many of the programs.
Although there are hundreds of affiliate program directories, here are the two most worth visiting:
Approaching 6,000 program listings, AssociatePrograms.com offers the most comprehensive list of affiliate programs anywhere on the Net. The site is easy to use, and listings appear alphabetically in the search results, making it easier to locate programs again later. Listings are kept brief, with only salient points like commission structure and product descriptions. If you have first-hand experience with any of the programs listed, you are invited to share your 2-cents worth and rate the program. The site's owner, Allan Gardyne, writes excellent articles about making the most from referral programs. I highly recommend that you browse his directory and sign up for his newsletter. Allan also owns the affiliate program directory, LifetimeCommissions.com, that lists only affiliate programs offering - you guessed it - lifetime commissions.
A division of Internet.com, I really like the associate program rating structure and criteria offered by Refer-it.com. The listings are perhaps a little more detailed than at AssociatePrograms.com and include the launch date and number of affiliates. Take the latter number with a huge grain of salt however, as the chances that those numbers get updated at all is akin to a snowball's in Jamaica.
For a more comprehensive list of affiliate program directories, go to: + http://www.partnerindustry.com/adirectories.htm
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