Tuesday, October 14, 2008

With Whom Are You Affiliated?

What do you think of affiliate programs? Are they worth it?Don’t worry. I ain’t talkin’ ’bout Democrats or Republicans. Or Libertarians or the Green Party or any of that.

A long while back -- nearly two years ago -- I wrote a post titled “Unaffiliated” in which I talked about why I wasn’t going to try to pursue any affiliate programs anymore on this here blog. There I mentioned a few different reasons why I’d decided against trying to “monetize” (as the kids say) the site in that way.

One reason was it wasn’t working. No cabbage.

Also, at the time we were just a couple of months past the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 having been signed into law, and there was some scuttlebutt going around then that perhaps affiliates were going to be negatively affected -- not just in terms of the bottom line, but perhaps legally as well.

You can read the old post, if yr interested, where I quote folks like I. Nelson Rose, the professor of law and expert in gambling-related issues, saying how affiliates “can easily be grabbed” by the feds enforcing the UIGEA.

Anyhow, all of that was discouraging enough for me to forgo the affiliate route entirely. I began selling the text ads you see under “Shamus Plugs” and at the bottom of the page, but never once pursued any of them affiliate avenues.

Found myself mulling it over again here lately, though, thanks to the confluence of a few different events.

One was the UIGEA having reached its second birthday without the regulations being finalized and, therefore, without having been enforced a single time. I suppose it is possible that, as Rose suggests, the Act might be interpreted in such a way as to find the affiliates guilty of something or another (“aiding and abetting” is how Rose puts it). But as the months pass this possibility is starting to appear increasingly unlikely.

Another was a nice email I received from a reader the other day -- a new poker blogger -- asking me about selling ads, affiliate programs, and the like. In my response I talked about how I didn’t do the affiliate thing, and how at this point it seemed like it might be more trouble than it is worth. I opined that for some of the folks who got in on poker blogging right at the beginning -- the ones at the center of the poker-blog solar system about whom the rest of us revolve -- my impression was that being affiliates might well have been a fairly lucrative enterprise. But it didn’t look as though it were as easy for new folks to get in on that action.

Meanwhile, I have been receiving offers quite frequently from various sites to become affiliates. I sometimes ignore them, or, if the message appears to have been written by a fellow human, I’ll write back to explain that I don’t do any affiliate programs.

I suppose I’m wondering whether I should perhaps go ahead and add a few, though. Still seems to me like a bit of a hassle with limited prospects for success. But I’m newly curious. I know many of you reading keep blogs yrselves, and so thought I’d ask: Anybody have any experiences and/or ideers along these lines to share?

Then again, if it turns out Kentucky gets to keep all them domains tomorrow, maybe we’ll just put this one on the back burner once again.

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Blogger Gadzooks64 said...

I never tried to monetize my blog.

I did get approached a couple of times but only one was truly legitimate.

It was a cash up front deal and I figured what do I have to lose? He didn't even mind that I had a link to my own rake back site on my site.

Check it out here.

10/14/2008 10:23 AM  
Blogger Erwin Blonk said...

I never got approached, I guess I scare off potential investors :>

I sign up for the affiliate stuff for the banners etc, the fun things you get with pokersites and Amazon. I don't expect any return and you know what? So far I'm right in my expectations ;)

10/14/2008 3:13 PM  

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