“This post contains affiliate links.” You have seen that often at the beginning of posts here, and most likely at other places online as well. It occurred to me recently that you may have no idea what that means.
An affiliate link means that when you click on the link (on my blog, that’s usually a link to Amazon), Amazon will give me a percentage of your purchase price. The price for you won’t be any higher — Amazon just shares a part of their profit with me, as a thank you for my “advertising” for them in the form of a post letting you know about a product. As an example, if you click on the cover of my memoir, here, and buy it, Amazon will give me about twelve cents of the price you pay.
Likewise, if you want to shop at Amazon, and you begin by typing an item into the Amazon search box over on your right, Amazon will pay me about 2% of your purchase price.
Now, before you hurry out to start a blog yourself to reap the rewards of affiliate links, don’t be so fast. There is a $10 minimum payout at Amazon, and I think I have reached it twice in the history of this blog. Additionally, Amazon is very specific about paying affiliates. For instance: I log in to Amazon while at my mom’s visiting. My mom has always placed Amazon orders through my blog to support the site. However, since I logged in to my Amazon account at her house, Amazon assumes we know each other, and thus doesn’t pay me affiliate fees for anything she purchases. Basically, Amazon wants to pay affiliate fees only for purchases of visitors to blogs that are unknown to the blogger.
Amazon isn’t the only company using affiliate links. Sometimes I’ll post about other companies (Gymboree and Shutterfly come to mind). Same thing there — if you click and order through my links, the company will give me a percentage of their profits. Companies have specific rules about using these links. They must be disclosed at the beginning of a post, for instance. So, feel free to click on my affiliate links. I click on them for other bloggers. I figure that if they help introduce me to a great deal or a new company, I’m happy to help them out with part of my purchase price.
Hopefully, now the “affiliate link” lingo makes a bit more sense.