Amazon has recently made some changes to their affiliate program that are going to have a negative impact on some bloggers. Here are a couple of articles about the change, from The Verge and The Digital Reader.
I’ve been using Amazon affiliate links here on my blog for a long time. And I’ve never earned a penny from them. And that’s fine. I used to use SiteStripe to generate fancy image links, but I’ve had problems with those since I switched from Blogger to WordPress. So lately I’ve just been using SiteStripe’s short URL links. For me, it’s really just a way to get a short URL that might (but probably won’t) make me a buck or two at some point. But there are some sites that have based their “business model” on Amazon affiliate links, and they’re going to be in a bit of trouble. The Wirecutter and The Sweethome used to be in that category, but since they’ve been acquired by the NY Times, maybe they don’t have to rely so much on Amazon.
Either way, relying on something as fragile as affiliate links for anything other than a little extra coffee money has always seemed a bit daft to me. On the other hand, online advertising is a mess too, with so many people using ad blockers, and getting people to pay for content doesn’t usually work out too well either. I’m glad I have a good day job!