By Sinead Hernen: This month marks my fourth year anniversary at Azam Marketing as Director of Affiliate Partnerships and later this year I will celebrate my ninth year of managing affiliate programs, a role I first took on when I started running several high profile affiliate programs for the Shop Direct Group way back in 2003.

Having been an Affiliate Manager for nearly a decade, I value the experience I have gained – working both merchant and agency side has allowed me to manage a wide variety of affiliate programs across a range of sectors including retail, travel, finance, IT and B2B.

Being part of the Azam Marketing team has further enhanced my affiliate marketing knowledge as I can reach out from the Azam Agency division to the Azam Affiliate team to brainstorm ideas and discuss ways in which I can incentivise affiliates to give additonal exposure to my client’s programs and increase those all important sales.

There is also a wealth of information on other industry blogs and websites which help me keep my ideas fresh as well ensuring I don’t lose site of the fundamentals of what makes a good Affiliate Manager.

Over the last few months I have read a number of inspiring affiliate management articles. My top five are listed below for anyone interested in learning more about how to manage a successful affiliate program.

1. How do Smaller Merchants get Traction in a Crowded Market Place? – A useful guide for Affiliate Managers who are managing smaller affiliate programs and are looking to engage with affiliates to negotiate premium publisher promotions and optimise sales to compete successfully against bigger and better known brands.

2. Finding the Value of your Top 10 Affiliates – Matt Swan describes how analysing publisher sales data can pinpoint the value specific affiliates are adding to a program which will help advertisers understand how to create tailored affiliate campaigns to meet specific KPI’s.

3. Analysing the Incremental Value of Cashback – The true worth of cashback sites is a topic that we often see debated. Graham Jenner (Topcashback) outlines the results of a recent survey which investigates the incremental value of cashback to advertisers and their sales performance.

4. How to Optimise Creative and Landing Pages to Boost Sales Via Your Affiliate Program – My own presentation which I gave at Conversion Thursday last year focuses on why improving affiliate conversion rates can be significant in increasing affiliate engagement and sales.

5. 20 Effective Tools for Affiliate Management A concise list of ways in which you can recruit affiliates from US Affiliate Management Consultant Geno Prussakov.

So those are my recommended top five affiliate management reads; I hope you find them as interesting and motivating as I did. If you would like to leave a comment about the above you can do so below. You can also contact me at sinead [at] azam.net or follow me on Twitter.

You can also keep up to date with all affiliate/performance marketing news and information here on azam.info. Make sure you sign up to our RSS feed and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for future blog posts from our team.