A way to say "thank you" to a blogger via Amazon purchases...
As you've possibly noticed, occasionally I review a book or two here on my blog.
In each review, there's a link back to Amazon where the book is listed. And if you look at the URL format, you'll see the string "duffbertsrand-20" at the end. Chris Miller has (I think) a string of "idonotes-20" at the end. So what's that mean, and why do I do that?
Well, I'm enrolled in the Amazon Associate program. It's a free referral program run by Amazon whereby I get a small commission on any sale from their site if the purchase was made after clicking through one of my links. The most common type of purchase would be where you see a review that looks interesting, you click the link, and you decide to purchase the book. In addition to that, anything else you buy during that session also earns a commission. You can even click through one of my links, immediately go to some other item on Amazon to buy it, and I *still* get a commission.
There are a couple different fee structures, but the most common one is called the Performance Structure. Each quarter, you get a percentage of the total sales based on the number of items purchased. If I drive 1 to 6 sales for the quarter, I get 4% of the purchase price. If the number goes up to between 6 and 20, the percentage increases on all items to 6%. Then the ranges start getting larger, and the percentage jumps get smaller. I'm happy if I get over 20 items for the month and get up to 6.5%.
The associate site allows you to track what items have been purchased, and it's always fun to check out what the account might hold for you each day. I can't track *who* purchased any particular item (unless you tell me you did it), but I can see what was purchased. For instance, a fellow blogger asked me about my Amazon links because he wanted to say thanks for some help I gave him. He clicked through a link to a particular book he wanted to buy, and also bought an iPod while there. *That* was a nice thank you! Recently, someone bought three copies of a particular book, which I assume they are giving to fellow staff members. Granted, not a lot of money, but it all adds up.
In my case, we're not talking thousands of dollars each quarter. Nor hundreds... $50 would be good... I won't be quitting my day job any time soon.
So... If you're out on a web site that you enjoy and they have a link to something on Amazon, there's a good chance they're part of the associate program. Instead of going to Amazon to buy whatever via the normal Amazon link, use their site link to start your session. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's an easy way to express appreciation for their work.
(P.S. - Don't read that last paragraph as a plea to use my links to buy stuff from Amazon. I was really trying to speak in the general sense of showing appreciation. But don't let me stop you, either....)