As you have guessed from the title, it looks like I’ll be making a commission on cards other than Barclay’s from now on. As always, you don’t have to use my link, I’m just letting you know about it.
The whole thing made me think how not even one of my readers has ever expressed an outrage about the credit card links. In fact, the only ones who were upset about my site being monetized pretty much from the start were some of my fellow bloggers. Apparently, there is a protocol to follow. You are supposed to blog for X amount of months (or years) to prove that you are not in it for the money, only to try to make money later.
Honestly, my stand on it is and always has been that how or when a blogger chooses to monetize is none of my business. It’s between him/her and the readers. If the site starts to revolve around nothing but affiliate links, the readers will pick up on it and won’t reward the blogger. I certainly work very hard to keep my content balanced and non-spammy.
I’ve said before that my main motivation with this blog has never been the money, but I won’t turn it down either, especially since it comes at no cost to my readers. I’ll be honest, I don’t think badly of those who are in this industry mostly for the money. In fact, I would have no problem admitting it myself if that was the case.
Blogging takes a huge commitment of time, energy and even financial resources for some. Personally, I don’t care what the blogger’s motives are, as long as they are honest and provide good value. This may come as a shock to some in the hobby, but writing about miles and points does NOT cure cancer or solve poverty problems. Nope, not even the posts about Kiva.
Once I saw a blogger include a public link to a good credit card offer, even though he had one that paid him commission. I fail to see the logic. It’s not like the money ends up in the pocket of a reader. You are basically trying to prove that you are not in it for the money by essentially giving the money back to the bank. Last time I checked, the bank is not a charity, but a for-profit business just like… affiliate blogs!
Yes, the current system is deeply flawed. Is there a solution? Well, the affiliate links are not going away, not in the short term, at least. The big guys sure are not gonna give them up. You can bet your Gold Passport points on that one. IMHO, the best antidote to the barrage of sleaze and “used car salesman” tactics overtaking this industry are not the haters spewing nasty garbage in the comments section or on their blogs. It’s the honest, well-meaning affiliate bloggers. And there are quite a few of us, you can bet your IHG points on that one.