Hi! Chris Masterjohn, here.
My goal with this site is to produce content that is incredibly useful, incredibly thought-provoking, or both.
I do this full time. I don't have a job. I don't accept donations, and I don't ask anyone for money. I want to finance this site based on delivering value so great that people voluntarily purchase items I offer for sale or purchase products I recommend that earn me commissions. I also want to keep it free of annoying ads. I believe the smart way to run a business and stay afloat is to have multiple streams of revenue.
Therefore, I use affiliate links throughout this site as one of those revenue streams.
Affiliate links track the purchases you make when you click the links on my site and give me a commission from my purchase at no extra cost to you.
Here is how I go about deciding which affiliate links to use:
- I evaluate products or recommend them based on their merit.
- Before publishing my content, I look to see whether the products have affiliate programs. If they do, I sign up and use affiliate links. If they don't, I use regular links.
Here's what I don't do:
- I don't ever take money from someone in order to recommend their product.
- I don't ever allow a commercial entity to produce content that I publish as if it were my own.
Here's why I believe it's consistent with making honest, genuine recommendations:
- Almost any product under the sun is available through Amazon's affiliate program. Amazon gives commissions based on entire orders even if the items are irrelevant to the recommended product. Therefore, commissions are not necessarily proportional to the price of the recommended product at all. If I can make money recommending literally anything regardless of what it is or how much it costs, why would I let potential earnings influence what I recommend?
- I believe in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. If my revenue streams are sufficient to meet my basic needs, that helps me focus on being more honest and authentic.
- I'm fundamentally honest and authentic at heart. You can sell yourself, your service, your product, or your affiliate links with honesty or dishonesty, and I believe who you are at the core is far more influential than whatever you choose to sell.
Not all of the links to products that you find on my site are affiliate links. So many of them are, though, that it is safe to just assume they all are. If you don't like using affiliate links, then Google the product I recommend instead of clicking the links.
Alternatively, know that when you do click the links to make purchases, you are helping to support my work at no extra cost to you. In that case, I thank you for your support! Still, please only purchase items that you genuinely want or need. You'll have plenty of other opportunities to support my work down the line. 😊