Q: I am a Merchant and I am gonna launch my site soon. I have two questions first how can i get my name out there so affiliates can promote me, and can I use my web sites built in affiliates program or do I have to use a program like Commission Junction?
A: There are a number of ways to go out and promote your affiliate program.
One quick, easy and cost efficient method is to use Google Adwords. Just bid on terms related to your offer with the words “affiliate program” and write an ad pitching your affiliate program.
Lots of people search for relevant affiliate programs by searching on Google.
Make a handful of variations of the ads to test which work best.
Another tactic is to get active in the affiliate marketing community by commenting on blogs (useful stuff – not just to drop a link to yourself) and affiliate marketing forums.
Make yourself available as a resource without looking for anything in return. That sort of help serves as a subtle ad for your affiliate program.
Also, you should have a presence at affiliate marketing conferences.
Phone, IM and email will only take relationships so far – it’s a whole different situation in person, where you can work out special arrangements with big performers, get their candid feedback, and learn some new and better ways to do what you do.
As far as your other questions, if I understand you correctly, you’re asking if you can use software to run your affiliate program, rather than Commission Junction or another affiliate network?
While the option is out there to use software, I would highly suggest you run your affiliate program through a network.
Personally, as an affiliate, I am far more likely to promote a company in an affiliate network. It’s somewhat out of laziness/efficiency, as I do not want to have hundreds of logins.
I’d rather have a handful of accounts to manage my affiliate reporting and other associated tasks.
You may be able to build up a decent affiliate program outside of the networks, but it’s going to be a lot more work.