It’s no secret that I make a few bucks off running Punny Money. Most of it comes through unobtrusive means that nobody really objects to, like advertising
and stealing your bank account information. But there is one slightly evil way that many websites, including this one, line their e-pockets with iGold—affiliate marketing.
Webster’s defines affiliate marketing as “scamming silly internet people into buying all sorts of worthless garbage so that you can make a few extra pennies while helping to drive the country into the poorhouse.” It’s really simple to set up, and today I’m going to share the secrets of affiliate marketing with you:
- Get a website. There are websites on the internet. They are sort of like carrots in a field; you harvest one, but you add your own spices before you serve it. Unlike carrots, however, orange websites are not very popular.
- Sign up for an affiliate marketer thingy. There are a lot of affiliate marketing services around. We’ll talk about one in particular in a minute.
- Retire. Congratulations! You just made 50 million dollars with no work.
I may have left out a step and any sense of reality, but you get the picture.
The only affiliate marketing program you’ll find on Punny Money belongs to Amazon.com, seller of virtually anything that can be shipped in little brown packages. Amazon’s affiliate program lets you link to its products catalog, and every time someone makes a purchase from Amazon.com through one of your links, you’ll receive a small commission. For example, if you purchase this $400 needlepoint kit, I’ll make $16. But that $16 of mine comes at a grave price—your $400. Sure, you get a lovely needlepoint kit, but it’s really not lovely at all—it’s $400 you don’t have anymore. Now Amazon has $386, I have $16, and you have a needlepoint kit you’ll work on for a few hours and then throw in the closet.
Amazon also lets you sell its products with fancy 21st-century internet picture links like the one you see on the right for its top-selling Badonkadonk Land Cruiser Tank. If you had a website and your visitors bought just 25 of these babies, you’d have enough money to buy all sorts of stuff, like a better life for your family or a Badonkadonk Land Cruiser Tank.
Partly because I don’t want the monetary basis of this website to influence its content, and partly because I feel a bit guilty trying to con random internet people into buying stuff, I don’t really use that many Amazon affiliate links around here. In fact, I’ve only used them two or three times in the last year and about a dozen times total during the entire life of Punny Money. But since lots of visitors to this website arrive here through links to older articles, there are still plenty of people who end up clicking through those rare Amazon affiliate links, and occasionally someone will make a purchase. Sadly, nobody’s ponied up for a Badonkadonk Land Cruiser Tank, but I’ve referred plenty of other sales for smaller items.
The best thing about Amazon affiliate links is that, even if someone clicks through your link for a Badonkadonk Land Cruiser Tank and they end up wandering around Amazon.com and buying a $400 needlepoint kit instead, you still get credit. In fact, about 90% of the product sales I’ve referred have been for items to which I’ve never linked. For instance, when I linked to this Toro Electric Leaf Blower/Vac (an item I actually own and love and highly recommend), two people bought the blower/vac, but someone else bought a cordless drill instead because it was featured as a “recommended item” on the same page as the blower/vac.
Remember when I said that 90% of my Amazon.com sales are for items I didn’t suggest myself? No? I just said it in the last paragraph. Are you skimming articles again??? Anyway, since Amazon provides detailed reports on every single item someone purchases from my referral account, I can see just what you crazy people are buying (but don’t worry, I can’t tell who’s buying what). And I have to say, you guys are buying some weird stuff. Here’s just a sample of the wacky crap that people have bought from Amazon.com who visited via Punny Money over the years.
High School Musical 2 (Extended Edition) Not satisfied with the regular, unextended edition of this movie, somebody shelled out 16 bucks to see a bunch of high school kids dance around and sing about serious issues like why Disney is stomping on Walt’s grave with crappy sequel after crappy sequel. I made 96 cents!
Seventh Generation Baby Wipes Refills, Chlorine Free and Unscented, 80-Count Packs (Pack of 12) (960 Wipes) What ever happened to the old days when people would just take their babies out back and hose them down after a diaper change? At least the person who purchased this product is giving some consideration to the environment as it is made only from natural ingredients like Polysorbate 20, tocopherol acetate, and other things with totally natural-sounding names. Now baby will be clean and less toxic than the other children on the playground.
Motomco #33475 Black Rodent Station Great, now I’m an accessory to animal murder, even if it is of the creepy crawly hairy variety. At least I can rest at night knowing that the purchaser got a pretty good deal on this—and I even managed to make 46 cents in the process.
Lg Chocolate Vx8500 Chocolate, Vx9900 Env, Vx8600, Ax8600, Lx150, Vx9400, Vx8700, Ax275, Vx8550, Vx8350, Rumor, Cu575 Trax, Lx160, Lx570 Muziq, Vx5400, Vx8800 Venus, Cu515, CU720 Shine Accessory Bundle Kit- Rapid Car Charger with Ic Chip + USB Data Cable I’m not even sure what this is. From the title, it’s either cell phone accessories, candy, or a hard math problem. Strangely enough, Amazon sells all three.
25 Opera Favorites I guess I shouldn’t say anything bad about opera music or I’ll come off as an uncultured jerk. Still, five bucks would’ve made for a great down payment on a Badonkadonk Land Cruiser Tank.
Shen Min Advanced Formula for Woman, 60 Tabs Apparently this product features “vital co-factor hair growth nutrients” which is industry code for “easy money from bald people.” Sadly, if my hairline and heredity have their way, I’ll one day be joining the ranks of the shiny-domes; but I’ll be employing a much more practical measure to deal with it—traffic cones hats.
Hopefully my exposé of people’s bizarre Amazon purchases won’t discourage you from shopping there in the future. And if you’re planning to take a stroll over there anytime soon—say, to pick up a Badonkadonk Land Cruiser Tank with your massive tax refund or rebate—don’t hesitate to do so through one of the many blatant affiliate links scattered throughout this article.
This post sponsored by the Badonkadonk Land Cruiser Tank: the most fun you can have driving around the desert of a foreign planet for under $20,000.