I am exploring the use of affiliate links on my blog and website

I don’t get paid by anybody to produce all the content that I generate for this blog of mine, indeed one could argue that aside from occasionally trying to highlight the little bit of guiding work that I do on here, me doing this blog makes little to no business sense at all! But should life be all about hard nosed business decisions? Well I wouldn’t work in fishing if it was! The simple fact is though that I absolutely love writing this blog and I thrive on the feedback I get and the hope that a number of you get something meaningful from it - please, please feel free to leave comments in the comments section below, they mean so much…………..

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OK, so people I know within the fishing tackle trade are kind enough to get me access to various bits and pieces of fishing tackle to try, and whilst I really enjoy writing tackle reviews and some of these people/companies are kind enough to let me keep hold of a few bits and pieces, at the end of the day a bit of free tackle doesn’t actually pay the bills or help look after my family. I also choose not to review all the gear that passes through my hands for various reasons, with the main one being that because I am doing all this on my own time, if I say pick up a lure rod and simply don’t like it, I am not about to waste my own fishing time using something that I don’t have at least some desire to actually use. If I was a paid reviewer then perhaps I would be spending more time with more items that didn’t float my boat very much, but I’m not, and I don’t want to.

So why this blog post? Well I happen to follow a number of photography, filming, fishing, music etc. blogs from around the world via the excellent and free Feedly RSS reader software thing, plus various YouTube channels, and on a number of these blogs and videos I see these highlighted links which are called “affiliate links”. A mate suggested to me the other day that I should explore the use of them on this blog and my website, so I did a bit of digging around to see what I could find out.

Well my understanding is that if you are reading a blog or watching a video on YouTube, there might be links to the various products that are mentioned, and that if you wanted to buy said product and clicked on that particular link to do so, then the person who owns the blog or puts the video out will receive some sort of commission from the company that the link clicks through to - whether that be the might of Amazon or some smaller company who has got involved with an affiliate scheme. I know I have clicked on links like this before to buy gear, and my understanding is that you should be seeing some sort of disclaimer say at the end of the blog post or below the video - which basically discloses the fact that by clicking on a link and buying the product, a small commission might end up being paid to the blogger or vlogger etc.

I have had an up and down relationship with linking to items of fishing tackle on this blog and throughout my website, but I started to do it a bit more primarily because it saves me from answering emails and messages on where to buy the stuff - there has never, ever been any form of financial kickback on this blog or website through me linking to tackle shops or websites, but that is going to change as I start to include some affiliate links on here and on the Fishing Tackle pages. Why? Well as I said, I love doing this blog, but I can only really do it because I tend to wake up very early, and in reality I should try and do something about it earning me a little bit of income. I am in the same boat as other lure anglers - I am looking for help and info on the right gear to get for my fishing, and whilst my sense of English reserve wants to hold me back, another side of me thinks why the hell not? If by doing what I do on this blog an angler goes and buys an item of fishing tackle which helps somebody in the trade to earn a bit of profit, should I be entitled to a small commission as the vehicle which helped to produce the sale in the first place?

So is anything going to change? No, not at all. Hell, I don’t even know if me trying this affiliate links thing out is going to work anyway, but I’ll still produce the sort of blog posts I have always produced, and when I yap about items of fishing tackle (like I do already), if I have an affiliate set up with a company or website or whatever that sells the item(s) then I will link to it (as I tend to do already) and put a disclaimer at the bottom of the blog post along the lines of this: “Disclosure - If you buy anything using links found in this blog post or around my website, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you anymore to buy via these affiliate links - and please feel entirely free not to do so of course - but it will help me to continue producing content. Thank you.”

Nothing’s going to change and from my side there is the perennial problem that the UK lure fishing tackle trade is often not exactly “modern” when it comes to websites etc., indeed the onus is on me here talking to various people in the trade that I know and asking them if they will implement an affiliate programme for me - and as I am finding out, too many people in the trade know nothing about affiliate marketing anyway! Is this down to our inherent English cynicism, or is it a simple lack of knowing about more modern marketing techniques?

So I am going to try using affiliate links on this blog and website when it’s applicable, and I am in the very early days of getting into it. Look at the Fishing Tackle pages and you will find some, with that disclaimer at the bottom of the main index page. I don’t expect to earn anything from it to be honest, but I feel I must give it a go and I will be interested to see what might or might not happen. I also expect that some of you are going to hate the idea of all this, to which my reply has to be oh well, my blog has always been free, it continues to be free, and if you want to buy an item of fishing tackle because you heard about it here, it’s very easy not to use any of my affiliate links and go buy it elsewhere. Nobody is ever charged any more money for buying through an affiliate link, so it’s a choice you the consumer makes. If you do come across affiliate links on here in the future and end up buying something through them, thank you very much for helping me out with producing the content that I do.