Amazon.com Widgets Ethical financing questions (and how we pay for this blog) - A Round-the-World Travel Blog: Devil May Care

Ethical financing questions (and how we pay for this blog)

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As some of you know, I used to write a law school blog several years ago. It still gets a little bit of traffic and has kept a respectable Google PageRank (the measure that Google uses to assess the importance of a page). Search engine optimization specialists (who try to get their clients' pages towards the top of a search engine's results) like sites like my old one, because they can help move other pages up in the rankings. I frequently receive offers from legal publishers to "exchange links," which I routinely turn down because I don't need a link from a textbook publisher. But last month I got a new and interesting offer: $300 cash on the barrelhead for a link from my old site. I don't know how I feel about the ethics of such a transaction: certainly no one who used to read or link to my site expected that I'd use it for profit in that way.

While Devil May Care has a zero Pagerank, it did get me thinking that I should make a brief note of how we're "monetizing" this site. Of course, we don't come close to making a profit, as it costs more to keep the site running than we've taken in thus far. As with my old blog, the revenue-generating portions of DMC mostly allow me to play around with web technologies that I used before I was a lawyer. But in theory, this is how the site could subsidize the trip:

  • Amazon Associates: If you read Instapundit, you may have wondered why he obsessively links to every Amazon.com sale on cutlery, lawn and garden equipment, or assorted piece of tomfoolery that the nation's premier online merchant decides to hawk. Like DMC, Instapundit is an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you click through one of his Amazon links, he gets a small cut of whatever you buy from Amazon within a set period of time (usually 24 hours).

    Amazon provides an easy source for product links when we want to review equipment or travel guides, and they have a nifty storefront application that was fun to mess about with.

  • Google Ads: I had never used Google Ads prior to DMC. Google provides an interesting suite of tools useful for analyzing site traffic, and the ads play into that. And surprisingly, some of you have clicked through on these ads, putting a total of about $4 worth of cash in our pockets. Thank you, and I hope you found what you were looking for.

That's about it. Hopefully the quasi-mercenary nature of the site doesn't change your opinion of our blog. And if you're in the market for some particularly expensive piece of kit from Amazon and feel like helping us out... well, please click through here before you order!

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