Job Search Affiliate Programs

You can generate RSS job searches through a single TagJag OPML pull: (obviously, you’d want to replace the word ‘keyword’ with your own search term. I think I’ve uncovered just about every job search site that outputs RSS for search queries (if I’m missing any, please let me know). I only bring this up after being approached by at least four companies in the past month to start doing co-branded job search portals. While I’m sure this works well for some, it’s never really worked well for me in the past.

Even though I’ve just set job listings at $5 for 60 days through Simply Hired’s Jobamatic, I’m really not expecting a single bite. Why? Oh, maybe because I’ve set up job affiliate sites before and (despite sending good traffic) have wound up making far less than it costs me to buy a cup of Peet’s coffee.

When you join an affiliate program, you’re doing THEM the favor – NOT the other way around. I remember being impressed with Amazon’s affiliate revenue back in the day, and then millions of publishers came online during the dot-com boom. I’d have been lucky to score $20 in a quarter for sending traffic to Amazon after that. I’ve had a few small Amazon Web Services ideas brewing in my head, but have been waiting for a few more things to click before jumping on them (literally and figuratively).

It was suggested to me that the design of these co-branded affiliate programs may have been keeping people from clicking and posting. Page design has absolutely nothing to do with – and if it did, Craigslist would’ve failed before it started.

If I can’t hyperlink directly to specific back-fill job offers without losing the affiliate credit, success will be severely hampered (and I’ll be sending you even more “free” traffic). I understand I’m supposed to promote these links to my community, but do they understand that the same people (you) belong to 100 other communities that have job listings that are extremely similar (even if they’re not from the same service)?

Job search / job listings are a commodity – to an extreme degree. I could plug anybody’s URL for a year and maybe eke out one new customer and make a few bucks in affiliate revenue. These things simply DO NOT WORK without a hook, and hooks do not apply if everybody’s given the same set of tools. This is one of the reasons why having an API is a great start – but don’t leave those of us without extra developer cycles hanging.

It’s the classic affiliate conundrum.