If you don't already know, affiliate programs are a way to pay a referral commission or credit for links from one website to another.
Sellers have a way to reward those referring customers — buyers don't pay anything extra for this — and sometimes it comes with an introductory discount for the buyer too.
The referrer then receive a payments or credit for their linked recommendations for their shared insight and networking.
Customers can sometimes receive the commission back themselves through cashback websites like Topcashback. Although, commissions are only paid once, either to the referrer or the customer via the cashback site. So, you can choose to use this for a discount — or not, and use the referral link to reward the referrer.
These commission payments can be used for anything from helping to cover costs in hosting and equipment, or purchasing the products used by the referrer for their reviewing and recommending. Alternatively, it's a way to collect and raise funds for a cause.
For a cause that is close to our family and friends, I've include affiliate links on this site as a way to raise money for Parkinson's UK.
If any of my recommendations help you find something useful to purchase or subscribe to, I hope you'll also find this a nice way to help a little too
Either reasoning is fine for using affiliate links. It's just courteous to be transparent with any affiliated links and relationships, by identifying those links as-such.
It's considered best-practice and, in some places, lawful to add a note to the bottom of each page that contains affiliate links. This declare the associations, commissions and intended use of the funds — for your audience to be aware and understand who or what they may be supporting in good faith.
Be an affiliate for this website
Currently, I don't have anything to sell personally, so I don't currently have my own affiliate program for fellow publishers and creators to subscribe to.
Although, I can think of a few things that I could create, like more detailed courses and business documents, for example. This would take me a lot longer than the regular posts to compose, and cost an amount in research, opportunity-cost and resources — to then make them available in a way that I can also offer the typically expected time to support or discuss.
I'm thinking along the lines of step-by-step tutorials for things that have worked well for myself and my team in business, that took us a long time to refine, and should be a significant shortcut for you, compared to all the trial & error we and others have to go through to evolve our preferred and recommended solutions.
Something else I feel strongly is valuable, and important to anyone developing business relationships, are good and useful written agreements, that both function as guides to a relationship, and are supported by qualified legal review.
Agreement templates should be designed to think of all the the things that should or can happen with a relationship, how to complete a service, and remedies for if things don't go as planned.
These will be agreements we have good experience with, and would otherwise take a long time to form and refine, including; Employment, Freelance Contracting, Website Development, Support Contracts, Outsourcing, Distribution, Supply-Chain Services, Affiliates & Brokers, Intellectual Property, High-Value Purchase & Sales, and other various business, digital or blockchain relationships.
For the standard legal agreement expectations on websites, I have specifically included the open-source GNU Free Document Licence for anyone that needs similar text to that included on this website's Legal pages, to freely use and modify as required.
In the meantime, if you have an audience interested in the kinds of courses and agreements I can offer, have a browse around my musings here, and let me know what would help you and your readers the most.
I am a strong believer in a mutually beneficial 50/50 business models. Therefore, all affiliate-referral fees for course and documentation sales will be offered for a 50% net-revenue commission – in respect of the value you offer your audience, and the trust they have and expect to continue enjoying your good advice on our shared offerings, with equality of expectation between my creations and your promotions.
If you have a product or service, with an affiliate referral program, that you'd like me to try — and potentially publish an independent review and link to (at my discretion for the value and ethics of the offering, of course) — please do get in touch.
Affiliate commissions will not in any way influence my independence in reviews or commentary, and is strictly only accepted without obligation, influence or bias for the transparent fundraising purposes I've documented here.
If you're looking to supplement your website, social media or email referral links with a method of remuneration —to help cover your publishing costs, or help with fundraising — you may find this selection of affiliate networks useful, for their experience in managing these kinds of relationships:
- Affiliate Future
- Commission Junction
- Ebay Partner Network UK
- Ebay Partner Network US
- Rakuten Advertising
- Trade Doubler
- Amazon Associates UK
- Amazon Associates US
(Regarding the Amazon Associates program, I prefer to link to independent stores where possible, so will link to Amazon only if the offering is the best value and from a trusted seller at the time of publishing. I still recommend supporting your local independent retailers where possible, that's what keeps them there for you with their more specialist experience.)
I'll add links here to the great people and places I know, that like what I offer enough to be confident in recommending it to their audiences too.
Please do take a look at their links and follow their publishings for similar recommendations:
- Brandlight and related Clients (my day-job)
- Others TBC
To follow my online adventures, with advice on creative technology, building a brand, ethical business, ecommerce and online security, find me on Twitter...