Testing Amazon Affiliate Links

This is yet another Steem Blockchain test, this time related to affiliate links and how they propagate to Steem from a WordPress blog. In this post, I am using Amazon affiliate links specifically.

At this point I’m obliged to inform you that these are real Amazon affiliate links that I am using in this test. What that means is if you click a linked product, it will take you to Amazon. If you then purchase an item, and a bunch of other Amazon affiliate link requirements are met, then I may receive a tiny commission from Amazon for referring you to their website. This is all at no extra cost to you.

That’s pretty much how most affiliate links work. Each link contains an affiliate ID of sorts which identifies the affiliate (me). From the moment the link is clicked, a countdown timer is triggered. If the item is purchased within the required window of time, then the commission is applied to the affiliate’s account at some point.

There are strict rules and requirements that have to be adhered to otherwise the transaction is voided and no commission is paid. One of such rules, at least with Amazon, is that I inform my audience/readers that I am using such a link, and the results of clicking.

The aim is transparency. Amazon want’s to avoid shilling of products for shilling sake. I mean, you can still shill for shilling sake, but transparently. It’s thus up to the consumer to decide if or not to trust the content creator’s opinion of the product being shilled.

The product I’m shilling in this post is the Kodak ColorPlus 200 35mm film. For those that don’t know what this is, it’s a roll of photographic film with 36 exposures – which means it allows you to take 36 photos when loaded into a film camera. It’s one of, and the most common, format of photographic film. It’s also one of the few films that are still being manufactured today, so it is widely available and is relatively cheap to buy.

This film is the one I now use the most following the discontinuation of the AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200. Below is an example image I shot on this film.

In terms of the propagation of the affiliate linked photo, and text, to the Steem Blockchain, I can’t envisage any issues. After all, these are just standard URLs even if they contain custom IDs. The processing is done on Amazon’s servers, not locally on the user’s computer.

The type of Amazon affiliate linking I’ve used in this post is the most basic type. I have used my own image, grabbed a link to the product on Amazon.com and linked it manually. Since I used Amazon.com, I will only get commissions from customers in the United States of America. If I want commissions from other regions, I’d have to also provide links to the required specific Amazon stores such as Amazon.co.uk for the UK, Amazon.ca for Canada, e.t.c.

This is a royal pain in the butt, and is how a lot of affiliates had done it for many years. Some clever folk have written scripts or plugins to make the process easier, but it’s always a little cumbersome nonetheless. Amazon has since stepped in to help with the process by providing various tools including one that tries to automatically route your link to the correct store.

In future I will try out these more complex forms of linking to see how the blockchain interfaces like Steemit.com and Busy.org respond.

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