Going Beyond No Ads
“That said, in all my years of blogging (and the years before that when I had a “home page”), I’ve never put an ad on my site, or taken money to write a blogpost.” I wrote those words some time ago, on a disclosure page you’ll find by following the links at the bottom of […]
“That said, in all my years of blogging (and the years before that when I had a “home page”), I’ve never put an ad on my site, or taken money to write a blogpost.”
I wrote those words some time ago, on a disclosure page you’ll find by following the links at the bottom of this site. From time to time I need to remind visitors to read that page and, at least once a year, I like to remind myself how I have defined the way this site works.
A Thousand Shades Of Grey
But, one area felt, for a long time, grey and poorly defined – affiliate marketing. This is where you get a kickback, a commission really, for mentioning some product or service and adding a link to your site. If people click the link then buy the product, you make a cut, if they don’t, you make nothing.
I’ve always seen it as different to ads or paid reviews because with an affiliate link, you are free to write whatever you want about a product in way you can’t really do when taking money upfront for a post or advertisement.
Some bloggers I know make a substantial bit of income on the side from affiliate links and it certainly makes sense to use them if you run a review based site, say, for books or camera gear.
But, for me at least, affiliate links muddy the water. I’m not in the business of reviewing and I’ve grown tired of being marketed to by those who use affiliate links to sell their products. I’m tired the asymmetry of pro-blogging in the age of personal branding. It’s not the internet I believe in.
It’s Not The Players It’s The Game
I’ve gone through and either edited or deleted the posts with affiliate links in them, most of which were for ebooks. There is, no doubt a few posts still on the site with links to Amazon’s affiliate programme and I will keep editing those out as I find them.
Of course, I will still continue to review and praise products I enjoy using and people I admire. But, I want to be clear, in every way, I do so because I believe in them, not because I get a kickback.