If you’re checking out this page, you’ve probably come from an article or tutorial where I’ve mentioned I’ve used ‘affiliate links’, and you want to find out more… affiliate links are used in most blogs these days, so I wanted to put a little explanation up of what they are and what it means to you and to me when you click on one of my affiliate links.
What is an affiliate link, and what happens when you click on one?
So firstly, an affiliate link is just a link to an external website (in my case, they’re pretty much all to Amazon), with whom I have a referral agreement. If you click on that link and then buy something from that website, I’ll receive a very small (often just pennies!) percentage as a referral fee from that website for sending you their way. That fee doesn’t add anything to the price you pay, which is exactly the same amount as it would be if you went to that site direct.
As far as data goes, in my affiliate homepage I can see a report telling me which of my links people have clicked on, and even which products have been bought. But I can’t see who made those purchases. On the rare occasion that I get a few minutes for some planning or admin, I might check out those reports to see which of the links I’ve been putting in are useful to people, so I can do more or less of the same in new posts, or change out ones that aren’t working. That’s all I personally use those reports for.
What products do I link to?
If I put a link to a product, it’s because it’s directly relevant to the article you’re reading. It may be equipment or materials that are needed for a particular tutorial or recipe, or it may be a product I’m reviewing (either because I bought it and loved it, or because I was offered the chance to review something that I would have bought for myself anyway – I never do random product reviews for things I have no actual interest in).
When I’m choosing what to link to, I look for the best price, quickest (usually) delivery and good reviews. Or, often it’ll be what I used myself – in which case I would have looked for those same three qualities before buying in the first place. I aim to always say when it’s something I can recommend from personal experience, though sometimes that gets cut if I’ve been waffling on too much!
Why do I have affiliate links on my site?
Well, to be completely honest, for the money! We’re not talking about holidays-in-the-Caribbean kind of money, just making-ends-meet extra cash. Because, did you know running a blog costs money? Yep, there are fees, for example, for my site name, for the site hosting, and for some of the software I use to make the site secure and pretty. As I do my own photography, graphic design and writing, I don’t pay for those, but I do need equipment and more software to do all that. And there are the materials I buy for these tutorials and makes – though obviously I do get to keep/eat/play with those afterwards anyway!
So creating and maintaining a blog is quite expensive and to keep Rhubarb and Wren going, I need it to make me at least a little bit of an income to help with those costs. I could put up ads, but have you noticed I don’t have any on my site? It’s because I hate them and their stupid popping-up-everywhere in-your-face-ness! Don’t even get me started on auto-play videos.. When I’m visiting other people’s blogs and sites, I like to be able to do so without distraction – with lots of space for the pictures and text to breathe. Naturally that’s what I want you guys to experience on my own site too.
Affiliate links are much less intrusive, and are actually quite helpful too, so they seemed to me to be a much better option for raising a bit of dosh towards the site costs. As most of the products I list are low-price craft supplies, the money I currently get from affiliate links isn’t very much, but even this little bit of cash is what enables me to keep this blog going – as a stay-at-home mum, I wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it.
A personal ‘thank you’!
For me, writing a blog is a passion and a privilege – I do it because I love making, writing, photographing, teaching, learning, and playing with my kids, and through the blog I get to practice all of these things. Slowly, I’m getting better at some of them, and that is a big enough reward right now. That’s where the privilege comes in – as I’m at home looking after the kids, I have the time to put towards the blog and am lucky in having a partner who not only supports my decision to make bubble wands instead of hoovering or tidying, he actively encourages me. Because we’re a single income family, money is often tight and so these affiliate links really do help me keep Rhubarb and Wren going. Every time you click on one of those links, you are personally helping, and I really, honestly, truly am very grateful to you for choosing to do so. So thank you!
I hope that answers any questions or concerns you had about my affiliate links, but if there is anything else you wanted to ask, either about affiliate links or blogging in general, please do either comment below or contact me via Wren Mail.
Thanks again for all your help and support – I couldn’t do this without you!