Today’s blog post is something a little different, but it is a subject I feel so strongly about that I hope you don’t mind a short break from sharing something more creative. At this time of year, with the season of giving upon us, our shopping lists are long. I would like to encourage everyone to be mindful as to how they can help and support others as they work through those lists. Shopping small businesses is a great way to support people who are putting their heart and soul into what they do and this time of year is so important for their success and the ability to keep going year on year.
As the world changes, technology improves and more of our shopping is conducted online, I feel it is even more imperative to be conscious of where and how we purchase. How is the way we purchase relevant? Well, let’s say for example, that you want to buy a phone, a kitchen gadget, a set of paints, a new die cutting machine, whatever it is, if you are unsure of which is the best option out there, I know the first thing I do is search online for recommendations and I’m guessing I’m not alone in that. So I look around for a review, to see how someone has used it, what were their thoughts, the pros, the cons etc and then I make my decision and purchase. Now here is the important thing, I click through the link provided by the person who has given me the advice. The link that is provided by the person who has posted on social media, written a blog post or created a video, that link will likely be an affiliate link. For those of you that don’t know, an affiliate link means that if you make a purchase after clicking through that link then the person receives a small commission at no extra cost to you.
I am sad to hear so many negative comments about people earning money through what they do online. I find it even sadder when many of these comments are directed at women being successful online. Why is that? Why is it so wrong for someone to benefit from the hard work they have put into what they do? Surely, we should be supporting each other and celebrating those successes. A rising tide lifts all boats as they say and I for one want those opportunities to be there for everyone and I want to support those people who are providing content that is relevant to me.
When I think back to how I used to research a purchase, I’m showing my age here LOL, but if for example, I wanted to buy a piece of camera equipment, I bought a camera magazine that reviewed the piece of kit. I paid for the magazine of course and that money went towards creating the content I needed. So why now that we mainly shop and consume information online, do we not value the information we want and need? If I trust the person writing the review and creating the content then I want to do my bit to pay that person back. If I don’t then that person will likely not have the resources to continue doing what they do. So please, please, consider clicking through affiliate links to help support those creators you respect so that they can justify the time it takes to put the information out there.
HOW TO CREATE AFFILIATE LINKS
With a view to transparency, I use affiliate links and I hope that if you appreciate what I do then you will click through my links. You will notice in every post I share that I use the following sentence: “Compensated affiliate links used.”. That link will take you to a page where I detail about my use of affiliate links. Letting people know I use affiliate links is the law, but more importantly, it is for transparency and courtesy. Affiliate links help me to pay for the creation of content here on my blog. The money generated pays for things like the equipment I bought to make videos, the monthly subscription I pay to edit my photos, the cost of web hosting, the online security so that this website doesn’t, hopefully, get hacked. The list goes on and on. So I truly thank everyone who supports me here. Thank you.
This also got me thinking though about the times I see people’s content and they aren’t using affiliate links. So I thought I’d share here how I add my links and I hope that if you use affiliate links that you may find some hints and tips here and if you don’t use affiliate links then I hope you will consider doing so. I for one would love you to benefit from the time and effort it took for you to provide the content that I enjoyed or found helpful. Let me help and support you.
This section is likely to get a bit technical and if this is not for you, then please click away and I hope you will come back and enjoy my next crafty share. Now lets jump in.
There are a few options available, but for ease of use, professional appearance and great customer service, I use LinkDeli to create my affiliate links. I use LinkDeli for both text links where the link is embedded in the words you see on screen (clicking the word takes you to the product) and also in the little picture thumbnails you see at the bottom of my posts. Again, clicking the thumbnails takes you directly to the relevant product. LinkDeli works with a large variety of shops that provide affiliate links; please note that you need to be part of the shop’s affiliate programme in order to benefit. I do find creating links relevant though whether they are affiliate or not. One of my most frequently asked questions is which products did I use for a card. So by having links in place, people reading my blog can see exactly what I used. For those who have seen a card on my social media channels then I can direct people to the blog post for the full write up and links.
LinkDeli is a monthly subscription service but it is one I find so valuable and I am happy to pay to support another small business. LinkDeli is packed with options from styling how your links look, statistics, links to multiple shops etc. Below I will show you how I use it day to day which to be honest, doesn’t even touch on the many options available.
Here’s a video I put together of how I set up the structure of a blog post (I use WordPress) and how I add my affiliate links. I hope you find it helpful. Watch below or on YouTube.
Here’s a quick picture-by-picture rundown, but to be honest, you are better off watching the video to get to grips with the process fully and to see all the options I use.
I have a piece of text that I copy and paste into the start of every blog post. It creates a basic structure for me to add my images and text but most importantly I have the notices about affiliate links there ready at the beginning of the blog post and again at the end of the blog post. To reiterate, it is the law but is also common courtesy.
I then add my pictures and text to the blog post. Once the blog post is drafted I open LinkDeli and create a new list and fill with the products I used.
I click the web code button and then the HTML button. I grab each link url by clicking on the ‘copy’ button, highlight the relevant text in my blog post and then press the cmd and V buttons (I’m on a Mac) on my keyboard to create the text link. I go through the blog post adding text links wherever necessary.
In LinkDeli, I then click the “Blog’ button, then turn email integration on, choose thumbnail products and press the copy button.
In WordPress, I then go from the ‘visual’ tab to the ‘text’ tab and here you will see the HTML for the blog post. I paste the text from LinkDeli into the HTML of the blog post. This creates the grid of little squares at the bottom of each post such as these here in this live list.
I then carry on to publish the blog post. LinkDeli can be used not only on your blog though but also in a YouTube description for example. When you collect the code to use for the thumbnails you have the option to choose ‘blog’ or ‘youtube’ and can then choose the settings to style the code how you would like it.
Now it is time for me to say thank you to those that have got to the end of this blog post and thank you to all of you who support not only me but others in this online community. I must admit to being nervous to publish this post, putting my head above the parapet is not something I do often, but this is a subject I feel strongly about and so again, thank you.
If you are shopping online this weekend or anytime moving forward, please click an affiliate link and put a smile on the face of a small business person. And if you are a content creator, please make sure your affiliate game is strong so that we can thank and support you.
Finally, if you have found this style of post useful and would like to see more posts sharing information on blogging and business then please drop a comment below or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.
I’d love if you pinned this image for future reference and called by on Pinterest to say hi :D