Donate by Shopping

The Amazon Associates Program provides the opportunity for you to support my gaming coverage through your normal online shopping on Amazon.com. The program pays a commission to referring web sites, such as this blog, that result in a purchase on the Amazon.com web site.

When you shop at Amazon.com by clicking on the image below, and any purchase you make, regardless what you buy, supports me financially and won’t impact what you pay!

Why I Waited Years to Monetize

I started posting narrated videos on YouTube in 2008 and blogging on WordPress.com in 2009. During the first three years on YouTube, I intentionally opted to not pursue monetization. Why did I wait? The main reason I contribute gaming content is not for the money – I do it because I love MMORPGs and I believe in sharing information with the community.

People have advised me over the years to implement a paid-content model, in which some content would only be available to paying customers, a la the “freemium” subscription model. I’m not comfortable with that idea, given that my intent is to provide widely-available content. That said, I believe it isn’t fair for me to cover all the costs and labor for creating content that others find helpful and valuable.

Monetization I’m Comfortable With

I’ve landed on two methods of monetization that I am comfortable with, from a user experience perspective:

  1. Running the opt-outable 5-sec ads on YouTube
  2. Participating in the Amazon Associates Program

I believe the 5-sec ads on YouTube (TrueView in-stream ads) are a good ad solution because they align the interests of the brand who is advertising with those of the viewer. The viewer has the option to skip the ad after 5 seconds, and this puts pressure on the brand to deliver an engaging and entertaining ad experience.

I’m curious to hear your feedback on this “Donate by Shopping” approach, so let me know what you think.

P.S. if you’re concerned about my violating any terms of use, I already ran this by WordPress.com, and my understanding is that I’m aligned with Amazon Associates Program policies.

Cheers,
Taugrim
September 28, 2012

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23 comments on “Donate by Shopping
  1. tomcrowley says:

    There is no Amazon link that I can click.

  2. Brewed says:

    Is there not a better way to purchase through amazon, like a code or something? I use amazon all the time and I’m just not clear on how we use this link for our accounts.

    I support monetization completely, you seem reserved about it. We are working adults and understand you are offering us a service, and we enjoy your content, it’s a no brainer to support you in these ways.

    Do you know if you get credit if we click the “skip ad” option? I always wondered this and just watch the entire ad to be sure.

    • taugrim says:

      Brewed :

      Is there not a better way to purchase through amazon, like a code or something? I use amazon all the time and I’m just not clear on how we use this link for our accounts.

      Not AFAIK.

      You can get to Amazon by clicking the WoW MoP image link above.

      Once you’re there, Amazon knows that you can there from an associate link (i.e. mine).

      • Brewed says:

        Okay,until they make an easier way to do this. I will be sure to click the pic here. Can you add the linked image to the front page or nav bar for future reference? If not I’ll just bookmark this going forward. Thanks man and look forward to everything you do.

        • taugrim says:

          Brewed :

          Can you add the linked image to the front page or nav bar for future reference? If not I’ll just bookmark this going forward. Thanks man and look forward to everything you do.

          Thanks for the suggestion!

          This “Shop to Donate” page is in the top menu, and I’ve also added the image link to the right rail on every page.

    • taugrim says:

      Brewed :

      Do you know if you get credit if we click the “skip ad” option? I always wondered this and just watch the entire ad to be sure.

      Btw, I know you’ve asked about this before.

      I don’t want for you to feel that I’m not seeing your question, so here’s my response: per the Adsense policies I can’t answer your question.

  3. Phillip S. says:

    Taugrim does an amazing service for the gaming community. I believe his time and effort alone deserve some form of monitary compensation for what he does. I am a firm believer in capitalism and applaud his approach to solving his delema.

  4. Oh look! I just happen to need to do a bit of shopping at Amazon! You could’t have made it any easier for me. I’m glad you think about how intrusive any sort of monetization is on us. Anything I can do to support. Keep up the good work!

  5. Fred says:

    Taugrim, you work is amazing and you definitly could earn money. I would love if you could make enough money to produce more content. I agree with your reasoning here it’s great to respect your own beleif that’s what make a great personnality and develop trust with you audience.

  6. Fred says:

    Brewed :
    We are working adults and understand you are offering us a service, and we enjoy your content, it’s a no brainer to support you in these ways.

    That is so totally true.

  7. Andy says:

    Brewed :
    Okay,until they make an easier way to do this. I will be sure to click the pic here. Can you add the linked image to the front page or nav bar for future reference? If not I’ll just bookmark this going forward. Thanks man and look forward to everything you do.

    You could just save the image link as a bookmark and always use that to open amazon.com

  8. Andy says:

    Hah! Maybe I should have read all of your post before making mine.

  9. Sho'Nuff says:

    If I can get my wife to consistently use this link, you’ll be SWIMMING in the bucks Taug! :)

    Echoing everyone else’s sentiment here that your efforts should definitely be supported and that I for one and a big fan of this particularly non-obtrusive method.

    All I can say is continue to diversify, diversify, diversify!! Offering multiple ways for those to want to support you different methods to do so in the methods THEY are comfortable with not only makes sense, but is the way to do “business” in the modern social media (translation “Me! Me! ME!”) era.

    I for one think it shows a level of sophistication and dedication to your “customers” who consume your content.

    • Sho'Nuff says:

      Okay, now just a technical/procedural clarification. I see that the image links above link to the Mists of Panderia Amazon item. However, once accessing Amazon through this link, I can browse to any other item, add to cart, and purchase and you will get credited for that, correct? I’m seeing no difference in the URL, etc for things I access after clicking your link or going direct, so want to make sure you get what you should.

      • taugrim says:

        Sho’Nuff :

        Okay, now just a technical/procedural clarification. I see that the image links above link to the Mists of Panderia Amazon item. However, once accessing Amazon through this link, I can browse to any other item, add to cart, and purchase and you will get credited for that, correct? I’m seeing no difference in the URL, etc for things I access after clicking your link or going direct, so want to make sure you get what you should.

        Correct, I get a commission for anything you buy after you access amazon.com through my link.

        Thanks for the support :)

    • taugrim says:

      Sho’Nuff :

      If I can get my wife to consistently use this link, you’ll be SWIMMING in the bucks Taug! :)

      Echoing everyone else’s sentiment here that your efforts should definitely be supported and that I for one and a big fan of this particularly non-obtrusive method.

      I’m trying to find a way of avoiding a conflict of interest – i.e. I don’t want to do something which is beneficial to me financially but creates an unpleasant or annoying experience for the people consuming my content.

      Tell your wife I said thanks :)

  10. Ironbrute-swtor-POTF says:

    Even better, if you’re one not to bookmark pages you can click and drag the image link to your desktop as a shortcut. Good luck with the extra bucks taugrim.

  11. Hey taugrim,

    As a UK reader of your blog, I pretty much do not shop at amazon.com but at amazon.co.uk!

    Perhaps you could add affiliate links for amazon websites in other countries such as the UK, Canada, Germany and France to name a few.

    • taugrim says:

      Black Lions Profit :

      Hey taugrim,

      As a UK reader of your blog, I pretty much do not shop at amazon.com but at amazon.co.uk!

      Perhaps you could add affiliate links for amazon websites in other countries such as the UK, Canada, Germany and France to name a few.

      Until you posted, I didn’t realize how Amazon worked with respect to localization – you have to sign up for each locale’s program separately:

      https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/t22/a13

      Looks like I have to register in each country/locale. Ideally I’d like to only show the relevant link for a particular user’s locale (UK link when IP is in the UK, US link when IP is in the US, etc), but I can’t change the code on WordPress.com.

      Thanks for the note. If I get registered with the UK, I’ll post a link.

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