What should I click?

We've been talking a lot about advertising lately, and this question came in from Jackie:

"I hope you guys can find an advertising solution that works for you, since I want you to stay supported and paid for making such an awesome space!
Maybe you could make a post explaining how the ads work to benefit you, like the actual mechanics? I've found the behind-the-scenes posts pretty interesting, and I'm sure you have some readers out there (like me) who want to help you out. I'm just not sure what helps the most (page views? actual clicks? buying something?)."

I've got answers for ya, Jackie…


Skimlinks: what it is, and how it makes us money

I've mentioned before that the Empire uses a service called Skimlinks is performing on the Empire. Skimlinks is one of those little monetization strategies that isn't going to keep a business (or even a hobby) afloat, but that definitely adds up after a while.

First, some background: Skimlinks is a service that turns any product link in a blog post, comment, or forum post into an affiliate link. If a reader clicks through and buys something, both Skimlinks and the Empire get a cut of the sale. When we do straight-up shopping posts, we use our own affiliate links (no need to give Skimlinks a cut: it's easy for us to do product links in posts like my shoe posts). But Skimlinks provides a great way to monetize links posted by commenters or forum members, and it's also a nice way to make sure no product link goes un-cashed-in-upon.

Here's how it's performing, ranked by site:


"Show It" technology: the non-monetary bonus of an offbeat affiliate account

As you may or may not know, everyone in the Empire has their own Amazon affiliate account, which means, if someone purchases something on Amazon.com through our affiliate links, we not only get a tiny percentage of the purchase, but we also get to see what they have purchased. Now, we can't see WHO purchased WHAT, but that doesn't matter — I really delight in the truly random crap that shows up every now and then. Wanna see some of my favorite things purchased by Offbeat Bride readers?