Forewarning: long post, long question.
First, the purpose of my blog is to write about... writing. I also have some gaming posts, a few other posts that might be vaguely related to my own pursuit of a career as a published author... and the occasional random "has nothing to do with anything" stream-of-consciousness post.
This question, coincidentally enough, would relate mainly to the gaming posts and occasionally to the ones about writing.
I've recently been making some edits to my site, including researching the use of affiliate links for monetization purposes.
When I first started making these edits, and even just a few weeks back when I was looking into my options, I could've sworn that one of your policies indicated that, while you denied MOST affiliate links, Amazon was among the list of those that were permitted, provided these links were not the purpose of the blog.
And yet now I cannot find any mention of that, except on older posts from other bloggers who have made the same assumption.
My first question first is, has this changed, even in the few weeks since I had last seen mention of it? Are Amazon affiliate links, even the occasional link on a single post, no longer permitted?
My second question, assuming this has NOT changed, is: how many links are considered acceptable? And can the "permitted" ones be used in widgets, provided those widgets are text/html only and kept to a certain minimum?
And the third, I am also a member of two other sites that appear to use affiliate links, according to the first part of your definition: one is the ebook site Smashwords, and the other is the "rebate" site uPromise (a site I've joined via the bank that handles my student loan).
To clarify the third question, I am simply curious if it is allowable to include a link to these sites or (in the case of Smashwords) any products they sell that I would like to recommend.
I've BEEN using uPromise and its "guest shopping link" for as long as I've had a website here, and nobody's told me different....
Now to clarify the second question, my plans (if I am permitted) include doing one or more of the following:
Editing some of my other posts to include a relevant Amazon affiliate link (in my "I broke Skyrim" post, I might include a link for anyone interested in purchasing Skyrim or the Elder Scrolls Anthology) These edits would mostly occur in posts which legitimately have an Amazon product linked via the "Recommended links" that WordPress already provides, and would create very few links. Exceptions would be for such posts as my "Reference Library" page, in which I might link to each of the particular books I have listed, producing quite a few more links than my other posts and pages would have.
Editing my posts to include a LIST (if applicable) at the bottom, clearly marked as affiliate links, to such products as are relevant to the post (such as the Skyrim example, or those on the Reference Library page).
Implementing either practice when I write new posts, of course.
And creating a widget that includes a short list of recommended items (such as ebooks on Smashwords) that happen to qualify as affiliate links. This list, also, would be clearly marked as affiliate links; in addition, I would set it to only display a small number of items at a time (ten, for instance) and to sort itself randomly, so as to give each product an equal chance at being displayed without bombarding anyone with links.
Actually, that last one isn't a "plan," it's already been done... back a few weeks ago when I was under the impression that Amazon affiliate links were permitted.
I need to know if I should take that widget (a simple "links" widget) DOWN, or if I can keep it up and even add to it.
and on one of my "random" posts http://sidequestpublications.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/bugging-me-monetizing-my-site/
The site I need help with is sidequestpublications.wordpress.com
I might also have this same question about pioneersoftheshatteredwaters.wordpress.com , but as that site is EXCLUSIVELY about my writing, I would rarely need to create a link except to my own published work... which wouldn't need an affiliate link, anyway.
The blog I need help with is sidequestpublications.wordpress.com.