Sunday, 16 February 2014

DISCUSSION: Pros and Cons of Affiliate Links

For those of you unfamiliar with the term 'affiliate link', it is a link which includes an ID unique to you. The link will usually lead to a product - for example, my affiliate links go to Waterstones and The Book Depository - and if anyone buys something through your link, you get a small minuscule percentage of the profit.


  • If someone does happen to bother clicking your link, it makes your affiliate stats look good. Yay!
  • ...and if they bother to buy something through your link, you get a few pence. Not pounds. Pence. (Unless they buy a lot. In which case, cha-ching, although it's still a tiny amount in comparison to what they've spent. For example, someone spent £99 on Amazon through me the other day and I got a fiver. Not bad, but not great, either...)


  • With most affiliate programs, you will have to pay some money to actually join in the first place. For example, I had to pay Waterstones £5 before I could join their program. 
  • You won't get that money back until you have made a high amount of money through your link. As I said before, you get a couple of pence for each purchase, and most people don't bother to buy things on affiliate links. Unless you're like Zoella, it'll take you a looooong time to build up enough money in your account to actually withdraw some.
  • People might get the wrong idea about your blog/website suddenly having affiliate links and adverts. I introduced affiliate links on to my blog before I got a job when I had absolutely no income. Each year I have to buy a ton of school books and this usually comes to over £100, so that's why I started with affiliate links.
  • Affiliate links aren't likely to make you a lot of money. 


My mother's blog is in the art niche, and she actually makes quite a nice amount of money through her affiliate links each month. Then again, she's affiliated with lots of different programs. I'm thinking the reason book blogs don't make much money from being affiliates is because book blogs aren't a typical niche to be in, and, let's face it: they're not as popular. I bet people in well-known niches make much more money through affiliate links! 


Affiliate links won't bring in loads of cash, and definitely not in book blogging. Personally I am going to keep the links because even though I don't make much money through them, they do get a lot of clicks so they must be pretty useful to some people, and there's no chance of earning any money through affiliate links if you don't actually have any, right?

How successful are affiliate links for you? If you don't use them, would you want to?


  1. I have never and probably will never get any of these affiliate linkymebob things because as you rightly said, you get a few PENCE.
    aint nobody got time for that. :P

    Mehehe also all the book blogger's I know don't go on someone's blog and click the link to, for example, The Book Depo, they just search it in google!
    But yes, book blogs aren't the majority, SADLY ENOUGH.

    Thank you for reinstating my thoughts on this subject, I appreciate it very much. goodbye. :P

  2. I went to do it but do not how to join Amber can help mee what is Affliate link anywere.

  3. It is possible in some niches to make money using affiliate links - some affiliates earn enough to live off (more than enough in fact).

    But you're right, book blogging is really not the best niche to try - you'd need to be able to sell loads and loads and loads to make it worthwhile.

    Add to that - Google isn't a massive fan of affiliates in general - so I personally prefer to stay clear :)

    Side note - you had to pay to join the Waterstones program? Is it on Affiliate Window by any chance? If so you'll get the £5 back if you reach the minimum payment threshold (it's a validation payment - there is no cost to join any affiliate program)

    1. Yep. I used Zoella (the biggest beauty blogger on YouTube) as an example for living off affiliate links. On that subject, maybe affiliate links are only properly effective on YouTube...

      Yes, it's on Affiliate Window. I know you have to reach the minimum payment threshold before you can withdraw the money but I'm pretty sure I'll never reach that amount which is why I don't think I'll get it back. :)

      You said Google isn't a big fan of affiliates. Why? I hadn't heard of that but if it's that bad I might consider taking mine off.

    2. lol, you might eventually ;)

      Re Google - it's not absolutely certain - more a suspicion that a lot of full time affiliates suspect (I used to do affiliate marketing part time which is how I found out the suspicions) It has a lot to do with content (so I'm sure your blog would be fine) but Google's not a fan of thin affiliate sites - websites where the primary purpose is to get people to click the affiliate link (it's why so many affiliates try to hide the link behind a more friendly looking URL as they worry if Google sees every post they write has an affiliate link Google will think it's all about getting people to click those links).

      If that makes any sense?

  4. I am affiliated with the Book Depo, but nah I don't think it's worth it either. Us book bloggers won't make a lot of money using those links - unfortunately. It would be helpful for schoolbooks and my study quite indeed.

  5. I don't have the links just because I feel like it would clog up my posts and I don't normally click on them anyway haha! Great post though, it's interesting to see how they work :)

  6. Yeah, I'm not so sure about affiliate links. It's something that is worth considering though and I enjoyed your pros and cons. Perhaps one day I'll decide either way on it! :)

  7. Thank you for this post, it was so helpful. I wasnt sure if i should join, and I now I know that I shouldnt.

  8. I always tell myself to use someone's affiliate link to you know, help a buddy out but I never remember to! I think these things are always worth a try but one shouldn't get their hopes up.