June 5, 2018

Why Affiliate Links, Posts, Ads?

This is slightly off the topic of shoeboxes, more of a personal note to my readers.  You may have noticed on this blog, the Simply Shoebox Facebook page, and/or Youtube channel affiliate disclaimers or ads on this blog.  I know some people may be wondering, "Why are you trying to make money off helping children?"  So, I thought I'd explain.

First, a little about me.  I'm the media director at my church.  I also organize the packing of shoeboxes with extended family and help from friends-over 100 a year, also most years of late I've organized my church's church-wide drive and one or more packing parties at my church.  So, all that eats into my available time to volunteer (Media Director alone requires 4 hours on-campus on Sundays plus a few more from home throughout the week).  While I could probably find a little time to share an occasional post, last year there were 112 posts on the blog, a half dozen videos on the new YouTube Channel, plus countless Facebook posts.  I just don't have enough free time to do all of that...but...if I can make a little bit of money (& trust me it's not a lot) while doing it, I can dedicate more time to it.  Plus, based on passages like 1 Corinthians 9, I believe it is fine for me to get compensation while working on ministry.

Second, a little bit of the history of the blog.  This blog started to share our journey of packing shoeboxes.   A Facebook page was started to share posts, and has grown to share other ideas, photos, links, etc.  The YouTube channel was started, in part, because many videos I stumbled on there seemed to have outdated, confusing, or even, on occasion, wrong info.  At the time we started the blog we were running the Simply CVS blog to make a little money on the side. Recently I had to close Simply CVS for a couple reasons, which means I needed a little more money, but also had some more time, so am trying to dedicate it to this blog.

I try very hard to not just post something because it could be lucrative, but because I feel it could be helpful, inspiring, etc, to other shoebox packers.

If you're interested these are the different ways I "monetize"  this blog.
  • Since it's very easy to add Google Ads to a blog, and isn't a trouble to anyone, and we had them on our other blog we added them here, too.   It should be pretty easy to see what's an ad.  I don't control which ones they show (although I have blocked a few objectionable ones).
  • I have a couple of companies I have an affiliate relationships with.  That means if you go through a link on my blog to the company and then make a purchase, I will   Whenever I post an affiliate link, I'll add a disclosure to the post so you know and also to comply with FTC regulations.  The two main ones at the moment are:
    • Dollar Tree
    • MD Supplies & Services
  • Also, while it's not really monetizing, but sometimes I'll be given free product to right a review post from, this will also be disclosed, but most the time the items just go into shoeboxes after I look at them.
  • Sometimes there will be a printable coupon that would be good for a shoebox deal, I will be compensated only if you think it'll be a helpful coupon for you and you print it.
  • There are some places we use to make a little bit extra money online or as an app, and these often have programs to be rewarded if someone signs up under you.  So, if I share them, I'll use the link they offer (with disclosure) so if you decide to try it, I'll get what they're offering to give me-often this is only if it actually works out for you and you've gotten rewarded, too.
  • Occasionally there will be a sponsored post.  This will be disclosed in the post, and what it means is they're paying me a set amount to post about a certain topic at a certain time.  But I'll only do this if I feel it can be an interest/good/inspiring/helpful, etc. post. The post may also include a link I'd be compensated if you took an action after going through, which will also be disclosed.
So, I hope this helps you understand what ways I may make a little money from this blog, and why I choose to do that.  I thankful for these opportunities to get money from doing this blog as it enables me to share my passion for it even more!

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