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Would anybody object …?

… if I ran some Amazon ads at the bottoms of blog posts in November? Amazon is offering a 12% commission (i.e. big; really whopping big) on purchases made from “native ads” during the month.

The ads would look like the two below (which are just screenshots, not functional ads). Each is based on a single keyword chosen by me (in the first case “SHTF” and the second “tech”) and receives product feeds from categories I know are popular with blog readers. Ads would display anywhere from four to eight products.

If you’re using an ad blocker, you’d only see the ads if you clicked to allow them on this page, which I hope you’d do if you’re an Amazon shopper. But that would be up to you. Right now I’m just asking if having Amazon ads here for Christmas shopping and perhaps occasionally thereafter would bother anybody or make anybody think I’d sold my soul to Jeff Bezos.




  1. Comrade X
    Comrade X October 22, 2016 12:32 pm


  2. DEB fro Maine
    DEB fro Maine October 22, 2016 12:35 pm

    If it helps you, by all means do it. Love the new blog.

  3. jed
    jed October 22, 2016 12:54 pm

    Hey, go for it. TANSTAAFL eh? And wasn’t one of the points in leaving BHM so that you could monetize your website?

  4. AG
    AG October 22, 2016 1:05 pm

    I think you should do it ALL the time.

  5. He Who Fakes It Well
    He Who Fakes It Well October 22, 2016 1:06 pm

    And if anyone does object, they may voice that objection with tip jar donations.

  6. Claire
    Claire October 22, 2016 1:14 pm

    You know, there are times when I love v*ting. 🙂 Thank you, guys.

  7. pyrrhus
    pyrrhus October 22, 2016 1:14 pm

    Fine with me…

  8. Mike Jordan
    Mike Jordan October 22, 2016 1:18 pm

    1st – I don’t mind, in fact a good thing
    2nd – Your blog, your rules

  9. Sam in Oregon
    Sam in Oregon October 22, 2016 3:40 pm

    I don’t mind as long as I don’t see ads popping up for things I’ve bought or looked at. I HATE IT when that happens.

  10. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair October 22, 2016 3:53 pm

    I have no problem with it. I’m just wondering if it would be a better choice for me than the Google ad I just put at the top of every page on I know YOUR answer to that, hating Google as you do. But “better” for me in this case means more revenue, nothing else.

  11. Claire
    Claire October 22, 2016 5:49 pm

    Sam — I would absolutely hate that, too. Would give me the screaming meemies. No, these are not “tracking” type ads. They’re ads that either I create or Amazon creates based on terms and product categories I specify. Now IF I had product links in a post, the ads might also use those for input. But they do not use anyone’s browsing or buying habits. I wouldn’t have that here.

    Bill — I can’t say whether Amazon ads would bring you more money. But I can tell you they’re labor intensive. These aren’t something you can just post and forget. You have to have an Amazon Associates account, then you either have to have other Amazon product links around them or you have to constantly re-create the ads and tinker with them to ensure that the feeds stay fresh and active. One of the ads I created yesterday, for instance, didn’t work properly this afternoon. Where it originally listed eight products, today it would only list one, and that one completely unrelated to anything. Had to throw it out and build new ad code.

  12. LarryA
    LarryA October 22, 2016 5:54 pm

    Go for it. Free Enterprise!

  13. M Ryan
    M Ryan October 22, 2016 6:11 pm

    Oh you capitalist… :^) I was wondering when you would do this, I’m just surprised it took so long. As for my permission, don’t be silly of course you can and should do this and you should do this year round to help support the site. As luck would have it I’m doing most of my Christmas shopping online this year in November. I’m glad you left up the link.

  14. trying2b-amused
    trying2b-amused October 22, 2016 6:14 pm

    Go for it – I have no problem with ads, so long as they don’t chew up inordinate CPU cycles, and aren’t blatantly in your face, like those intensely annoying “floater” things, which ooze back to a fixed location in the window whenever you scroll the page. AFAIK (I do almost all my web surfing with Javascript turned off) the Amazon ads you propose are OK on both counts.

  15. Sam in Oregon
    Sam in Oregon October 22, 2016 6:55 pm

    Thanks for the clarification, Claire. In that case, I agree with other comments that suggest you go for it year round – especially if it will benefit you. 🙂

  16. Daylan
    Daylan October 22, 2016 8:40 pm

    Dang it. I’m interested in one of the things in the screen shot and now have to go find it rather than click. 😎

    PS. Your house your rules. However, as others have noted, I (try to) avoid sites that show me stuff I’ve already purchased (or decided not to).

  17. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair October 22, 2016 8:43 pm

    Claire said, ” I can’t say whether Amazon ads would bring you more money. But I can tell you they’re labor intensive.”

    Good to know. I don’t have the energy for that now. I’ll stick with the one I don’t have to do anything with. Just displaying it on every page load will bring me money, as soon as I start getting page loads again, which won’t happen unless I write more often.

  18. Brad R
    Brad R October 23, 2016 4:42 am

    Claire – great idea. I vote yes.

    Bill – I wish you better luck than we had, actually getting paid for your Google ads. We ran them once. When we finally reached the threshold for them to send a check — nothing happened. I finally had to jump through their hoops to reissue a “lost” check — and still nothing. Wait the required time, and request reissue again — still nothing. If memory serves, on the third or fourth request — six months after we hit the threshold — Google finally sent a check. Needless to say, once that check cleared we yanked down the Google ad and resolved never, ever, to run them again. (And I count us lucky — search the web and you’ll find lots of stories of people who were disqualified for spurious reasons, just as they reached the payout threshold.)

    Amazon, I gather, is prompt about payment, with no hassles. I’d say it’s worth the extra effort up front, to avoid the extra effort down the road.

  19. Ruth
    Ruth October 23, 2016 6:51 am

    As long as its not a popup type in any form, including the “not really a popup but technically part of the same page that scrolls across the page and blocks text” which seems to be popular on a lot of blogs, I don’t care.

  20. FishOrMan
    FishOrMan October 23, 2016 8:38 am

    I don’t mind the ad, just so long as I don’t have to scroll down any further to find your Amazon link. (I know I could create an easier way, but I need more excuse to stop by and slow down, watching ferocious little dogs attacking leaf blowers). Loved the twin mattress so much, (for the kid’s bed), had to order one up for us. You should have seen both pass through, (Zinus memory foam stuff). Funny, you ask us about putting up an ad, but go full political without a warning or nothing… 🙂

  21. feralfae
    feralfae October 23, 2016 10:30 am

    Do as you want, you own the place. I don’t think we have a lot of codes and covenants around here to prohibit your actions.

    Free markets rule!

  22. Laird
    Laird October 23, 2016 2:28 pm

    Fine with me.

  23. Karen
    Karen October 23, 2016 4:57 pm

    Go for it! Will we click on the ad, or go find things thru your link?

  24. Claire
    Claire October 23, 2016 8:06 pm

    Karen — Good question. By all means, if you see something in the ad you want, click on the item in the ad. Only when people do that will I get the 12% commission on the particular item. Otherwise, feel free to use my link as usual.

  25. Iwoots
    Iwoots October 23, 2016 8:35 pm

    First off, I’ve got an Amazon list I have been compiling for future purchasing, so I can wait until November if it gets you a bigger commission.

    But I am confused (maybe its just me), do you get the 12% commission on all purchases via these “native ads”, or on just the particular items in the “native ads”? (been fighting a head cold, so maybe I missed it)

    Secondly, since this is my first post on the new site – nice site.
    Thirdly, enjoyed my purchase of “Hardyville Tales” in the print edition via the blog ad Sept 7,’16 – as did my wife. Thank you for helping her down the path to Hardyville as you helped me when I left Statismville many (it seems) years ago.>

  26. John
    John October 23, 2016 11:12 pm

    “Would anybody object …?”
    Trick question yes?

  27. Claire
    Claire October 24, 2016 4:59 am

    “But I am confused (maybe its just me), do you get the 12% commission on all purchases via these “native ads”, or on just the particular items in the “native ads”? (been fighting a head cold, so maybe I missed it)”

    Only the specific items in the ads earn the 12%, and only when you purchase them by clicking through to them on the ad itself. Other purchases made during your visit to Amazon will earn their usual commissions (2%-7.5%, depending on the individual item and/or the number of items that sell via my links in a given month).

    And thanks for the good word, lwoots. I appreciate it.

  28. jc2k
    jc2k October 24, 2016 1:14 pm

    I don’t mind ads in general (gotta keep the lights on), I just hate the obnoxious ones. The industry shot themselves in the foot when they started to engineer ads to punch us in the face.
    I’ve disabled my ad-blocker for your site.

  29. Claire
    Claire October 24, 2016 2:35 pm

    “I’ve disabled my ad-blocker for your site.”

    Thank you, jc2k. 🙂 I’ll start the ads around Nov 1 and for others who want to unblock, I’ll probably give some screenshots showing how to do it with a couple of the most popular blockers.

    I hate intrusive ads, too. Jumping, vibrating, following you up and down the page, showing you products just like ones you already bought and couldn’t possibly want again just now, creeping you out be making it clear they’re spying on you.

    I think a lot more people would be a lot more ad-tolerant if advertisers weren’t so sneaky, vulgar, and intrusive.

  30. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty October 26, 2016 9:22 am

    For some weird reason, I missed this when it was first posted. I don’t mind at all if you have ads, of course. I may need the tutorial on unblocking them for your site, however. Right now, I have no idea at all how to do that. 🙂 I’ve been ad blocked for years.

    Edit: I found it!! Adblock is disabled for

  31. Roberta X
    Roberta X October 29, 2016 8:47 am

    Run ’em.

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