I’m always terribly tempted during “that time of year again” on my favorite public radio and television stations. You know that time: Pledge Drive Season!
Of course I understand the importance of support from “viewers like you,” but I’m generally too lazy to randomly send in my support without a little enticement reminder. These public stations, boy, do they have my number:
Thank you gifts in the form of a DVD of that amazing program about lost New Orleans restaurants! A signed copy of a book of Mississippi Gulf Coast photographs! Heck, logo sweatshirts so I can put all of my non-NPR-supporting friends to shame! Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me isn’t free for our local stations, you know. (psst… the show is always funnier when Mo Rocca is on.)
It’s our support that makes these stations run. It’s our cold hard cash that keeps our favorite shows on the air. Or at least it’s someone’s cold hard cash. It’s generally not mine because, as I mentioned, I’m lazy and distracted.
Which reminds me… ahem… I’m looking at you.
Blogs are, for the most part, free. Bloggers occasionally scrounge together enough income to pay for hosting, graphic design help, and various applications and tools, but it is rarely more than enough to just break even. Which is fine. We do it for the joy it brings, right?
But, man. It would be sweet to be able to buy a cup of coffee and a muffin, if you know what I’m getting at:
It’s that time of the year again!
Online holiday shopping season!
For bloggers, that means Affiliate Link Season, the online equivalent of the public radio and television station Pledge Drive. Your big chance to support your favorite sites, complete with gifts and yet without spending a penny more than you were already planning to spend for the holidays anyway.
Ah yes, the lazy man’s pledge drive. Here is how it works:
When you sit down at your computer to do a little online gift shopping at Amazon.com this year, take a moment to notice if your favorite blog has a banner ad for Amazon. Banner ads are those square or vertical ads in a blog’s sidebar or horizontal ad in their post footers. Usually something splashy like:
When you click on the ad, it takes you to Amazon.com (or whichever store is being advertised) and you shop just as you normally would. That’s it. The difference is that when you shop at your favorite store through a blog’s ad or text link (for instance: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon is my favorite book and I bet it’s even better when read on a Kindle), that blogger receives a small commission from your purchase, usually approximately 5%.
The blogger won’t know who clicked on what or who purchased what, so no privacy worries. You can even use them for gift card purchases.
And that, “viewers like you,” is how Cyber Monday and Online Shopping can serve as your own personal Pledge Drive to support your favorite blogs this holiday season. Sure, you could just type in http://amazon.com or click your bookmark, but why not let the Big Box share a scrap from their holiday table instead?
This holiday Public Service Announcement brought to you by:
“The more you know…
the better the chances that your favorite bloggers will be able to
stay out of the po’ house and, well, yo’ house.”
Okay… I stole that line from some street performers in New Orleans. I’ll have to remember to give them an extra couple of dollars next time. Damn. Plagiarism never pays.
Now then, go shopping! I happen to know that Amazon has some amazing Cyber Monday deals… ;)