Ever wonder how to make your wiki more visible to the external community? Affiliate programs are a great way to boost your Google search ranking and increase your wiki’s traffic. Your wiki may be a lonely island, but swapping links with other wikis and external sites can quickly expand your community network and increase your visibility.

Sound complicated? It’s not. In fact, several anime wikis have already partnered to create an inter-wiki affiliate program that benefits everyone – check out the affiliate template at the bottom of Bleach Wiki’s landing page for an example. The True Blood Wiki has successfully partnered with many external fan sites to expand their network and reach more potential contributors.

So that’s all good and well, but how do you find potential affiliates and what do you tell them when you get there? If you’d like to partner with other wikis, start searching for wikis about similar topics. Whether your wiki is related to Anime, Cartoons, NBC Shows, Fan Fiction, or Sci-Fi, you’ll find at least one wiki that shares something in common. Track down the admins of any related wikis and offer to trade links -- your best bet is to leave a friendly talk page message. If they agree to be an affiliate, add their link to an affiliate page or template on your wiki and make sure they do the same. It’s that easy!

If you’re interested in partnering with affiliates outside of Wikia, you’ll need to do a little bit of research. First, create a page on the wiki where affiliate links can live. Next, search for external fan sites that relate to your wiki and make a list of everything you can find. If your wiki is about Legos, for example, search for Legos fan sites, forums and blogs. Once you have a list of related websites, check to see if those sites have affiliate pages. If you find an affiliate page, look for the sitemaster’s contact information and request to be added as an affiliate. They may require you to add their link to your wiki’s affiliate page before they will link back to your wiki. In that case, add your new affiliates to your newly minted affiliate page, and leave a note asking them to link back.

Do any of you have more suggestions for how to find/grow a list of affiliates? Do you have an affiliate program that’s doing great things and want to share your success? Let us know in the comments below.

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