Do You Use Affiliate Links? – Let’s Discuss!

April 29, 2015 Let's Discuss 59

I recently went through a phase where I was buying more books than usual for one reason or another. I had a bit of birthday money to spend (books!), I was getting things for my OTSP Secret Sister (books!), I was going to more author events (books!) … and then there were just some books that I couldn’t resist based on reviews that I’d read. And it suddenly dawned on me that I should be purchasing through my blogger friends’ sites!!

Now, this shouldn’t have been a big revelation. I mean, we all know that a lot of us bloggers use affiliate links on our sites. None of us are making big bucks off of these (well, I’m not – if you are, I want to know your secrets!). But, unless I’m specifically buying a book that I’m reading a review for right then and there (which is actually pretty rare), I don’t think to go back to a blog before I purchase. I just go straight to Amazon and find what I want and buy it. It was never an intentional thing – I just didn’t think about going back to the blog before I purchased.

But I’m going to make a special effort to change that now! Heck, I buy TONS of stuff through Amazon. Why not click on someone’s link to get there instead of just going straight to Amazon? (I’m pretty sure that once I click through from someone’s site, they get credit for my purchase, even if I end up buying something completely different than what was advertised – someone correct me if I’m wrong). It’s one extra click, so as long as the Amazon link is displayed prominently on someone’s site, it won’t be hard to do. And then I’m benefiting another blogger and supporting their blog. It’s so simple – why didn’t I think of this sooner?!

So, I’m going to try this out. I don’t know for sure – maybe it will end up being a big pain and I’ll end up going back to just heading straight to Amazon, but I don’t think it will make that much of a difference to me. Why not at least try it?

How do you feel about affiliate links (and/or ads) on blogs? Do they bug you?

Do you use affiliate links when you shop? Do you display affiliate links (for Amazon or another book retailer) on your blog? If so, let me know and I’ll make sure to make your blog one of the ones I go to when I shop!

(Don’t worry – I’m not going to be putting this at the bottom of all of my posts from now on or anything. I just thought it was appropriate for this post. My normal affiliate link is at the bottom of my right sidebar – and in my Amazon links for my reviews – but I’m considering putting it somewhere a little more prominent – I don’t want it to be big and annoying, though.)

59 Responses to “Do You Use Affiliate Links? – Let’s Discuss!”

    • Nicole

      Yes – it doesn’t take much effort to include them, and whatever you make is money you wouldn’t have otherwise, so …

  1. kindlemom1

    I do use them, when I remember! Like you, unless I buy the book right then off the person’s blog, I seldom think to go back and do it. Horrible I know but true. I do try to use them though when I do think about it. I have them on my site too and while I don’t always put the link in to use because I get lazy, I do use them about 90% of the time.

    kindlemom1 recently posted: WoW Pick of the Week!
    • Nicole

      I sometimes get lazy and don’t use a link either – but I usually try to. Every once in a while, I decide it’s too much effort, though! 🙂

    • Nicole

      It’s such a simple thing, but I just didn’t really think about it before. I’ll definitely put your site on my list to use when I make purchases!

  2. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    I don’t do affiliate links on my blog, but you are totally right that I should be going through other bloggers links more if I’m heading to Amazon anyways. I usually just don’t think of it. But it’s nice to help out that way and it doesn’t take much time. This is a great post – it’s a good reminder of little ways we can all help each other out!

    Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy recently posted: Review: The Tapestry
    • Nicole

      I have to confess that I hadn’t heard of Powells – I had to look it up! I know – affiliate links don’t make much, but it just occurred to me that this is a way I could help out fellow bloggers – just by buying things I was going to buy anyway.

        • Nicole

          That’s great that you support your independent booksellers. I buy from my local booksellers when I go to author events, but I have to confess that I’m lazy (and kind of frugal), so I buy from Amazon most of the rest of the time.

  3. Alexandra

    I do use the affiliate links and banners. I have added offers for Audible and Kindle sales as also my Amazon wishlist in order for my blog visitors to know if they was something in particular! At the same time I always add a buying link every time I review a book, so anyone can buy it straight from my affiliate link if they want to.

    Thank you for the post!

    • Nicole

      I saw that you could display your Amazon wishlist and that seemed really interesting to me. I might consider doing this on an About Me page or something.

  4. Cynthia

    I don’t have a problem with affiliate links, but it just never dawns on me to use them. 99% of the time, I do not buy the book right when I hear about it from another blogger. I typically add it to my Amazon wish list and buy it whenever I have the money. But maybe I should change that . . .

    • Nicole

      I do the same thing. It just never occurred to me to go back to someone’s site to make my purchases. Now I’m going to make a specific effort to do that.

    • Nicole

      Honestly, Amazon affiliate links don’t get the average book blogger much – but it doesn’t hurt anything to include them, at least in your posts as your Amazon link. Unless you’re just fundamentally against them.

    • Nicole

      Me too! I buy so much from Amazon, and for some reason this never occurred to me before. I’m really going to make an effort to do this.

  5. Lola

    I don’t use affiliate links on my blog, mostly because it always seemed more effort than it was worth it. I never think to use affiliate links either, but I buy most of my books through Kobo and I don’t think I ever seen affiliate links for that. To be honest I never really looked into and I try to avoid impulse buys so I never bought anything through an affiliate link as far as I could remember. I do remember seeing affiliate links on other blogs quite often.
    btw could you buy something through your own affiliate links and then get that percentage back or would amazon know it’s you and not count that?

    • Nicole

      I don’t know the answer to your question for sure, but I’ve always assumed that it wouldn’t count my own purchases.

      • Nicole

        Thanks for the info, Silvara! I’d never looked into it because I’d always just assumed that buying through my own affiliate links wouldn’t work – but it’s good to have confirmation!

  6. Tracy Krimmer

    I use them on my site and try to use them when I post on Twitter & Facebook. I should try and remember to never go through Amazon direct and always go through a blogger or friend’s links. If I go through a link but buy a $100 item, the commission is on that! It’s small pennies, but I get it back in a gift card 🙂

    Tracy Krimmer recently posted: Y is for Yoga
    • Nicole

      Exactly! Why not give someone the commission when you’re going to purchase something anyway? I don’t know why I never really thought of this before – it seems so obvious to me now!

  7. Sharon

    I use them on my site and also on Facebook and Twitter if I’m promoting something. Sometimes I will click through to amazon from a blog but a lot of the time I will purchase straight off my kindle and not even give it a second thought. But I’m thinking otherwise now, why not help each other out, that sounds great to me!
    Great post. 🙂

    Sharon recently posted: Jem by Michelle Abbott – Review
    • Nicole

      Exactly! It’s something we all do kind of automatically, without really thinking about it, right? But for some reason it just all the sudden occurred to me that I could really be helping my blogger friends by purchasing through their sites. Heck, my Amazon purchases alone could support a small country, so … (Okay, not really, but I am ridiculous about purchasing anything and everything online).

  8. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    This is SUCH a good idea! It’s funny, I read this in my email, and I came to the actual post to comment and in the hopes that you had a Book Depository link so that I could buy a giveaway winner book from it! But you do not. Get on that so I can use it! 😉 HOWEVER, I think this is a really great post, because I DO need to remember to use my friends’ Amazon links. I shall be using yours the next time I purchase something for sure!

    As for your questions, yes I do use them, both in my posts and on the sidebar. BUT, I have also made $0 from them, and I’ve had my Amazon one for about 2 years, and STILL haven’t gotten to the $10 payout. So, it isn’t going great 😉 I was thinking of looking for other advertising options that were low-key but I don’t know. Great topic!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted: Review: Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos
    • Nicole

      I used to have a Book Depository link, but when I switched over to WordPress, I never got around to changing the info with them, so I never put it up! I’ll have to fix that. But, yeah, I never made any money from it, so it wasn’t a high priority. LOL!

      I used your blog to make an Amazon purchase a little while back – that was actually the first time I thought about this, and then for some reason, I let it slip my mind again. In that case, I was specifically buying a book I knew I’d seen on your site, but all of a sudden it occurred to me that I could use the links for ANY purchases – and why not?

  9. Paij Slater

    This just shows your how blogger challenged I am. I do use links from bloggers websites, and I add them to mine but I had no idea you could make money off them..hehe! Oh well. I add them just so people know where to buy it. You should fill me in on your secret. I told you I was blogger challenged several times, now you can believe me 😉 hehe

    • Nicole

      If you go to Amazon, you can sign up to be an affiliate and then you’ll make money if someone uses your link to make a purchase. Honestly, you can’t expect to make much this way – which is why it just recently dawned on me to use people’s links for my purchases! You can also sign up to be an affiliate for The Book Depository (which I used to be, but I never updated my links when I moved to WordPress).

  10. Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales

    I’ve never used affiliate links.I don’t have them at my blog and I’ve never even thought about it before!Maybe I should start doing this hereafter.Thanks for the heads up:)

    P.S-Hey Nicole,I want to ask you some advice.Can I send you an email?

    Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales recently posted: April Wrap Up
  11. C.J. @ ebookclassics

    I agree it’s a good idea to support other bloggers and buy through their affiliate link. Why not? I currently don’t have any affiliate links on my blog. I have been approached, but I didn’t sign-up for anything because I was hesitant to make the commitment.

    C.J. @ ebookclassics recently posted: Mini-Reviews of Read-a-thon Books
    • Nicole

      Yeah, I’m always a little bit leery of signing up with anyone who contacts me and says they want to advertise on my blog, though I did end up putting up a LitBreaker ad and I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them. I really don’t want my blog to be covered in ads, but I don’t mind one book-related ad on the side. SO, if you’re ever approached by LitBreaker, you can be assured that they’re legit. I DO you Amazon affiliate links, though.

  12. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    I don’t have affiliate links on my blog because the blog isn’t very popular. I know I wouldn’t make any money. I’ve never used an affiliate link on someone else’s blog because I can’t afford to be an impulse buyer. I don’t have a lot of money, so I spend an embarrassing amount of time thinking about which books I’m going to buy and when I’m going to buy them. I do want to support bloggers, though. I’ll use an affiliate link next time I need to get something from Amazon.

    Aj @ Read All The Things! recently posted: Un-Review: Hachiko Waits – Lesléa Newman
    • Nicole

      You do have to build up readership before affiliate links can help you at all – but keep at it and you’ll get there!

  13. Silvara

    I have affiliate links for Amazon and Barnes and Noble for all my book review posts. I also have a link in my sidebar for them. I don’t get many clicks at all, maybe one or two a month and usually no sales.

    But personally I shop at Amazon All The Time! I’m a Prime member, so anytime I need something quick or just want something that isn’t easily found on the island, I head to Amazon. And I do tend to remember to go to my friends blogs and click an Amazon link there before I go shopping. Or at least, before I add anything to my cart. I figure if I’m buying it anyway, there’s no reason not to give someone I know a commission for it.

    • Nicole

      That’s exactly what I’m talking about – I have Prime too, and I buy anything and everything through Amazon. For some reason, it never occurred to me to click through from one of my friends’ blogs first. I’ll make sure to keep you on my list of blogs to use – especially since you’re already making an effort to do this for other people!

  14. S. J. Pajonas

    I use affiliate links on all my blog posts where I write about other people’s books. I figure it can’t hurt and I should use them as much as possible. It’s passive income, and I’m certainly NOT making bank on selling my actual books. Lol.

    S. J. Pajonas recently posted: Suspending My Disbelief
    • Nicole

      Right – they can’t hurt! Hopefully soon your books will gain wider recognition and you”ll be making all the money you need that way … Hey, everybody, go check out S.J. Pajonas’s books – you won’t be sorry!!

  15. ShootingStarsMag

    I tend to forget about this too, but it is a good way to help support blogs I love, especially if a certain blog recommended the book I want to read. I need to try and remember this now too. I buy a lot of e-books on Amazon lately. 🙂

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
    • Nicole

      Yeah, I just don’t think about it usually – but now I’m going to make a special effort to remember!

      P.S. You got my last email, right? With the doc? I’ve been having some problems with my emails getting bounced, so I just want to make sure!

    • Nicole

      Yeah, sometimes we just need a little reminder, right? For some reason just doing my general Amazon shopping through blogs hadn’t occurred to me, but I’m glad I thought of it now!

  16. Bri @ Books and Ashes

    I always try to use affiliate links when I do buy something from Amazon, just so I know I’m helping someone out! If I see a book I like I always copy the link so I can buy it later though. I also always use affiliate links when I promote books, and even have one on the side of my blog.
    Great topic! 🙂

    Bri @ Books and Ashes recently posted: None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio
    • Nicole

      See, you’re way ahead of the game – you’d already thought this all out. For some reason, I hadn’t!

  17. tonyalee

    I’ve always used affiliate links on my blog. I don’t make a lot – but the conversation rate has a BIG impact on what you make. I try to be good and use other affiliate links, but I forget too. BUT I if i discover a book on someone’s site, I will use their links. 🙂

    As for ads, I tried it out on my main blog but it didnt pan out. i don’t mind ads if they are small or few. some blogs are flooded with them

    tonyalee recently posted: Weekly Wrap Up (57)
    • Nicole

      Yeah, I’m not fan of when the ads take over the site. That gets really frustrating. I don’t mind a few here and there, though!

  18. Topaz @ Six Impossible Things

    This is… such a good idea. I’m kind of beating myself up for not having thought of it before – I buy so many things from Amazon + Book Depository, and all this time I could have been sending some extra cash over to my blogger friends, haha 😉

    As for me, I don’t have any affiliate links or ads on my blog – I decided awhile ago not to participate in that, mostly because I prefer not to clutter up my sidebars and things with links, but also because I’m not solely a book blogger, and I feel like it might be a bit dishonest to advertise solely bookish things, you know?

    Topaz @ Six Impossible Things recently posted: Friday Poetry: Little Horoscopes for May
    • Nicole

      Yes, it’s so obvious once you’ve thought of it – I found myself wondering why it had never occurred to me before! I understand the desire to keep things sleek and simple on your blog. I definitely didn’t want to do anything too terribly obtrusive!

  19. Sam

    I used to use affiliate links all the time, but I stopped a while ago. I was barely making anything off of them. It got to the point where I just felt like I was wasting too much time getting the links for nothing, ya know? I just got sick of it…

    That’s a great idea! I always try to remember to purchase through other bloggers’ affiliate links as well. My problem is I don’t buy much from Amazon. I buy most of my books from Kobo or Indigo, which are not as popular when it comes to affiliate links.

    Sam recently posted: A Look Back at April 2015
  1. Death of the “Buy Link”? |

    […] April of this year, Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction wrote a post about affiliate links. Her focus was on whether or not bloggers are signed up as […]

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