It seems that there are thousands of companies that have chosen to manage their own affiliate programs rather than using companies like Linkshare or Commission Junction.
In fact, our friends at Five Star Affiliate Programs tracked a posting on a UK affiliate forum where they are wondering if the networks deserve their 30% commission. Great Question.
The point is that it takes big bucks to get into a Commission Junction or a LinkShare, and there are plenty of good-paying, unique programs out there that are worth at least reviewing. Like everything else on the Internet there are plenty of directories out there that list independent affiliate programs. Again, like everything else on the Internet some of them just list programs from other networks (like Clickbank).
In fact, a lot of them were organized the same way and had the same sites listed, so I came to the conclusion that they were just repackaged content (which I find a lot on the Net these days).
I looked over 25 to 30 of these directories, and here are the 5 I found the most useful, in the order that I liked them:
This was my favorite. They seemed to have the most unique set of sites, and the user interface is intuitive.
EarnFind was a good one too, with lots of good links and good organization.
Not a bad site, although many of the listings were from other networks.
Great layout, some good sites. My only gripe is that it is a paid listing service, which lessens its impartiality.
This is the affiliate guide template site. Lots of ads, but some good programs. I wanted to include at least one of these sitesthere are many.
Here's a good Google tip: type in the word or phrase that describes the affilate program keyword, then include +affiliate. For example, if you're looking for a dog toys affiliate you would search dog toys +affiliate. You should get back a bunch of programs.
If you know of any more good ones, drop me a line at www.affiliateblog.com.