Today, Black Friday, kicks off the busiest shopping season of the year, and I’m sure many (probably most) of you will be doing some, even all, of your shopping online. What you might not be aware of is that while you’re making your purchases you have the opportunity to support the websites and blogs you enjoy. I’m not too proud to say that I’d love it if you supported GizmoLovers.com, especially with my annual trip to report from CES coming up in January, but I mean it in a broader sense. Many of the sites you visit probably have affiliate links to sites like Amazon, BestBuy.com, Buy.com, etc., and if you use those links to do your shopping then you’ll support that site without any additional cost to you.
Affiliate programs vary, some offer a percentage of the sale to the site, others have a flat rate depending on what is sold. It may be pennies, but those pennies can add up. But you pay the same price you would’ve paid without using the affiliate link, and you help support the site – two birds with one stone, compounding your giving. It is a win-win situation.
So, when you go online to make your purchases, start at a site you enjoy and use their links, especially the smaller sites that don’t have a corporate parent to back them. Personally I tend to throw my referrals to sites like TiVo Blog or one of the many web comics I enjoy. So, while I do appreciate the support, I’m really hoping that you’ll take the opportunity to support any site or blog by using their affiliate links. Hopefully year-round, but especially at this time of year when so many purchases will be made. Pick a site, or spread it around – you have an opportunity to help sites you enjoy, and best of all it doesn’t cost you anything. Year round whenever I buy something online (which is quite often) I make an effort to use affiliate links from the sites I read regularly.
Happy Holidays, and thank you!