I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

Amazon affiliate links and credibility

Fuckin’ Nerd in response to my Amazon affiliate link in my mouse post from earlier:

Is it really necessary to try to make money through giving a positive review for a product and adding a referral link? I love your apps Marco and I understand you need to make money to continue doing it, but even the $5 you make off of this is not worth sacrificing the spirit of what your tumblr is used for, unless I’m mistaken.

I’ve gone back and forth on whether I include Amazon affiliate links. Usually, I don’t. But I link to Amazon a lot, since I’m often talking about my opinions of specific products, so even if I only affiliate-tag a small percentage of my Amazon links, it’s still more than a handful.

The thought process behind this isn’t “Let’s make some money from Amazon by writing some posts with affiliate links”, but rather, “I’m linking to Amazon anyway, and I always manually shorten their ridiculous URLs anyway, so I might as well throw this affiliate tag on the end in case anyone actually buys the thing from my link.”

I’ve never made an affiliate sale. Not once. I’ve been occasionally sticking referral links in posts for more than 4 years now without a single sale. Most people don’t make anything meaningful from Amazon links, but I’ve made a big fat $0.00.

I didn’t think that anyone really cared about sticking affiliate tags in Amazon links, but risking my credibility isn’t worth the slim chance to make a few cents. I’m not going to go through and remove them all, but I’ll certainly default to “off” for future Amazon links.