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Affiliates, Payoffs, Links and Amazon

There are no ads on this blog.

There is no way to buy a link.

There’s no SEO strategy, either.

When I link to an item, it’s because I feel like it’s worth linking to, not because I’m getting compensated to do so.

Over time, I’ve found that linking to sites other than Amazon (if Amazon sells the item) often leads to frustration. Either people don’t buy or they end up searching for it on Amazon. For books in particular. My books, for example, sell 40% or so in Kindle, another 20% in Audible, and in paper format more than half via Amazon. All the links to independent bookstores (which I love and consistently support with my dollars) don’t actually yield clicks. My readers have decided how they want to engage with the marketplace. I’m not endorsing Amazon, that’s up to each of you.

Once I decide to have a link to Amazon, I have three choices. I can link to the native Amazon URL, which gives maximum income to Amazon. I almost never do this, as it doesn’t serve my readers better.

Or I can link to the Smile domain. This costs the purchaser the same amount, but Amazon makes a donation to charity. Over time, Amazon has given more than $100,000,000 via this method. The thing is, it’s a bit sneaky, since it mostly exists to keep affiliate sales down.

And sometimes, when I do the extra work, I’ll use my affiliate code. All the revenue I receive from affiliate links goes to charity. To date, via these links and some books I’ve done for charity, we’ve donated $400,000 to charities that include Acumen, Room to Read, charity:water and Buildon. I think that’s really cool.

Thanks for reading and for learning and for sharing.