Affiliate with TCoD

Affiliation is when two webmasters mutually agree on linking to one another, usually in a place specially denoted as a list of affiliates. (Note the 'mutually': you can also just link to someone without making any kind of arrangement with them first, but then you're not affiliates.) This is a great way for new webmasters with potential to quickly build up a visitorbase and a great way for bigger, better-known sites to support the general community of Pokémon websites.

Affiliation Requirements

If you would like to affiliate with The Cave of Dragonflies, your site must meet certain standards. First of all, there are some basic restrictions on what kinds of sites I will affiliate with:

  • It must not contain sexually explicit, graphically violent, hateful, prejudiced or plagiarized content. It's fine to include artwork or fiction that's intended for mature audiences and clearly labeled as such (so long as it's not outright pornographic), but then it should not be the only thing on the site - younger visitors should have something to look at too.
  • It must be written in English (or offer English as an option, if it is multilingual). Non-English-language sites would only be relevant to those few of my visitors who happen to speak the right language, and I can't enforce quality standards on content that I can't read.
  • It must be a Pokémon website. It's okay to also have non-Pokémon-related content, but the site must be Pokémon-themed enough to be clearly relevant to Pokémon fans.
  • It must not be a strictly-community site. In other words, I will not affiliate with a standalone forum; there must be some content for visitors to enjoy as individuals, not just a platform for them to interact with each other.

Aside from that, your site must meet three fundamental quality requirements:

  • It must contain some worthwhile content. That just means it has to have something interesting, useful or entertaining on it that overall makes it feel worth visiting and isn't simply a carbon copy of something I could find on another website. My Kinds of Content and Content-Writing for Dummies sections provide some tips on what makes for worthwhile content.
  • It must be easily readable. Specifically, the presentation should not get in the way of your content. Your layout should be clean, easy on the eyes and not take too long to load; your content should have decent spelling and grammar; and if you have pages with a substantial amount of text, it should be properly paragraphed, structured and organized.
  • It must be reasonably error-free. Your links, images and scripts should work as they're supposed to; your information should be accurate; and typos and other slip-ups should be infrequent. We all make mistakes sometimes, of course, and I won't hold it against you if you have some here and there, but if every other page seems to be riddled with errors of some kind, you need to make a bigger effort to test, proofread and fact-check your work before your site can truly shine.

Obviously, these criteria are pretty broad and somewhat subjective. If I feel you handily pass them, I'll always accept, and if you obviously fail them I'll say no, but there is a huge gray area in between where it really comes down to how much you've made me want to affiliate with you. Qualities that tend to shift my opinion one way or the other within that gray area include:

  • Originality. Your content becomes a whole lot more interesting to me if I sense some substantial original thought or initiative behind it, and it's always a huge plus if you have something genuinely interesting or useful that I've never seen anywhere else before.
  • Effort. I love seeing people who have obviously really poured their heart and soul into their websites. Long, detailed pages that clearly must have not only taken many hours of writing but also many hours of preparation, research or thinking make me really happy. Conversely, if most of your content doesn't seem like it took a lot of work, I'll probably be less enthusiastic about your site.
  • Personality. A lot of sites focus purely on dry information and data, and that's fine, but I have a real soft spot for sites where I can feel that it was made by a person and that the person was having a blast making it.

Remember, these are essentially tiebreakers - as long as your content is clearly worthwhile, readable and mostly error-free, you don't have to worry about it not having a lot of personality or being massively original.

Applying for Affiliation

In order to affiliate with The Cave of Dragonflies, you will need to e-mail me at antialiasis@gmail.com with the link to your website, explaining that you want to affiliate. You don't have to include an essay on why you want to affiliate or what your site is about - just a quick "Hi, I would like to affiliate with you, my site is at [something]" is fine. I will go over your site to make sure it meets the quality standards, and finally I'll respond back telling you whether your site is accepted or not, along with any advice I might have on how you could make it better.

If I accept, pick one of my link buttons and put it wherever you put your affiliates on your site; I don't care where I am on your list or how prominent the list is. I'll similarly put one of your buttons on my affiliate bar (if you don't have link buttons in an obvious place on your site, then send me one with your application). I regularly go through my affiliates and remove those that haven't updated in over three months, on the assumption that they're dead (if you've been around for a long time, especially if you've revived your site after a long hiatus before, I may let you slide for a while longer, but there are limits). If I've removed your site and you do bring it back after all, just contact me again and I'll reinstate you.

If I reject your request, you may apply again whenever you like, so long as you've clearly improved the site since last time - reapplying when the same problems I rejected you for last time are still present is obviously not a recipe for success. When I reject an affiliation request I always hope it inspires the owner to work harder, apply again and pass with flying colors, so don't feel discouraged if you're not accepted - just keep at it and try again.

Page last modified August 12 2016 at 22:34 GMT