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Reader Interactions


    • Agreed. I’ve done promotion of some products via affiliate programs, but always for something I have tried myself and actually believed in.

      It’s also good to listen for feedback from your users/readers. I had been promoting a WordPress plugin that I did really like, but my users informed me that the developer was not responsive to support requests..

      Giving the developer the benefit of the doubt, I contacted him regarding the comments I was receiving. I did not hear anything back for a week or so, I emailed him again and he responded that he was sorry and he had been busy on another project.

      Yeah – that was the end of my promoting his product. If the developer isn’t going to provide support to the users, it doesn’t matter how good it is. Service and followup is part of the total package.

      So I had to go back to my users and tell them (1) he was responsive with support when I tested out the product, (2) evidently that was when it was new and exciting to him, (3) I was no longer recommending the plugin, (4) they should ask for a refund.

      Moral: you (meaning me) can still end up being a douche even when you are trying not to be.

      Anyway, great post Carrie; and excellent point Susan.

      • Hey Chad,

        Great example and point about listening to your readers! I’d argue you were the OPPOSITE of a douche. You reached out to the developer, used a little friendly social pressure, and, when you didn’t get the best response, you went back to your readers and reported what you found. Good on ya. πŸ˜‰

        I’ve also dropped products from my affiliate round-up if they’ve ceased to deliver on service or quality. I haven’t gotten the feedback from readers about a poor experience with a product like you have, but I really hope my readers would let me know if that happened. Not worth alienating my audience to make $15!


  1. Hey Carrie, great post as usual πŸ™‚

    And yes, it seems as if it’s a no-brainer, but I am glad to see you reemphasize using affiliates of products you know and trust. I will not do one myself unless I have used it for some time and experienced it myself. I get people always asking me to push their WP product when I haven’t even used it.. Ugh!

    I also like the idea of writing posts about the products, as you suggested. Have done that a lot as well. And one other thing I have found really helps is creating a resource page of your affiliates and telling your readers why you love this product and recommend it. I have done that on my sites from day 1 of using affiliates. My page is here (sorry about the link),

  2. I was pleasantly surprised when you came in one day on an email and announced that you are demystifying WordPress. Happy days! Most of your readers are way ahead of me as I am a newbie (dumber than a fencepost) when it comes to operating WordPress.

    I have an unusual problem that probably no one on earth has and I thought I’d bounce it off of you to see if you could point me in the right direction without memorizing the WordPress encyclopaedia. Up to now I’ve had 3 webmaster “experts” do most of the work on building my blog and the blog is kind of in a mess. And never making one dime of income I am being forced to try and learn it myself.

    My big concern at the moment is how to remove things (junk) which are useless from the blog. And, conversely how to insert ads, banner ads and other things into open places in the blog without interfering with anything else. I don’t know a thing about html codes or any of that stuff. Maybe I should switch to a more SIMPLER WordPress theme and would you have any suggestions? Presently I’m using the “Karma” WordPress theme which I was told was quite acceptable and flexible???

  3. This is a novice question but if there are specific companies, organizations or products that you are passionate about and want to link your user community with, do you reach out to the companies/organizations individually and how does that usually work in terms of is there a standard agreement or middle man?

  4. I just came across this article and it helped me very much. I am starting to do some affiliate campaigns on my website, and I learned something here to help me get started.

    Thanks a lot

  5. I am late, but nice post. I came across this when looking for tips on how to setup a successful affiliate program for my website. Though I myself don’t intend to become an affiliate anytime soon, but who knows.

    • It certainly could make the author look biased – you’ve got to work hard to build audience trust so that those links don’t diminish the quality of the content.

      My experience is that people go out of their way to use my affiliate links as a “thank you” for the information provided, which is pretty darn cool.

    • Thanks, Sai! I’m using the Redirection plugin (free) to track clicks. I really don’t do a lot of deep analytics. Most of the companies I affiliate for use Shareasale, which will generally show you which page converted the click. That’s a helpful way of seeing what your best converting articles are.

  6. In effect you’re saying don’t use affiliate programs to pick niche ads but find products you admire that offer themselves to become an affiliate to your blog???

    • No, if there are affiliate programs with products/services in your niche, use the heck out of them – just make sure you actually like or have had experience with them. People trust you to provide quality recommendations. My two cents anyway. πŸ™‚

  7. Hi! Great article Carrie!

    I do have a question: When using Amazon Affiliate links you have the option of using image only, text only, or image and text. I like to use affiliate ads when I am blogging about products I already use. Do you have a suggestion for which affiliate ad design I should use?
    I will disclose but I don’t want it to SCREAM Affiliiate link.

    Thanks again!

    • Hey Whitney,
      Good question. I have not tested click-through-rates on images vs links. It is a tough balance to disclose while not INTERRUPTING the experience for readers. You might enjoy seeing how Rae Hoffman does things at


  1. […] How to make some extra income off of your existing website via affiliate links…without being a douche. Great article from Carrie Dils. via Carrie Dils […]

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