Funding Miss Thrifty: a note on this blog and advertising

Miss Thrifty0 May 28, 2010

advertising on miss  thrifty When this blog launched, it had no advertising. It now carries two advertisements: one to your right (Woolwich mortgages) and one to  your left (Halifax savings accounts).

Truth be told, I’m not all that big on advertising. This is partly because Miss Thrifty was never intended to make megabucks; if it was, I probably would have called it Miss Spendy! But also because I’m a fussy sort. While I’m flattered that this blog receives as much attention from would-be advertisers as it does, a lot of them want to run credit card ads or promote products that cause at least one of my eyebrows to rise in an archly disapproving manner.

So these two ads have been carefully selected. I have also been experimenting, on and off, with affiliate links. These are the links that you see on websites and blogs, often accompanying product reviews and often with lots of strange letters and numbers in the URLs, that take you straight to the “buy it now” page on the retailer’s site. If you purchase the item, the blogger receives a small commission from the retailer.

I believe that most affiliate programmes simply aren’t suitable for Miss Thrifty because, like credit card ads, they would compromise this blog’s editorial values. Again, this is me being fussy: affiliate ads work fine for many blogs, without any of this this hand-wringing.  However I feel very strongly that when I recommend a bargain, a discount or an unmissable sale item, it should be because that product or deal stands on its own merits – not because I’ve been swayed by the promise of, say, 40p every time a reader goes and buys one.

The one affiliate programme that does seem to match Miss Thrifty, and which is now in use on the blog, is Skimlinks. It’s a different sort of network, because I don’t scrabble around for link from affiliate partner sites, as is necessary elsewhere. Instead I go about my business, linking out to the best sales and offers that I can find. Later, if a reader goes and clicks on one of these links and it just so happens that the retailer in question is a Skimlinks partner, the link is automatically converted into an affiliate link. It’s very clever – and enchantingly random. For example, last summer I blogged about gorgeous, leather-bound Penguin classics reduced to £20 apiece on the Penguin website. A few months later, somebody clicked through to the Penguin website and bought one. Miss Thrifty earned the princely sum of £1.20. Result! At the time of writing, affiliate earnings from this site tend to be pennies rather than pounds – as you’d expect from a website that exhorts readers to save cash. But this virtual equivalent of a change jar sits well with me.

I suppose you are wondering what I am planning to do with all this largesse… Ha! I was wondering when you were going to ask.

Do you remember back in January, when I boldly announced those New Year’s Resolutions? One of them went as follows:

This site is also going to get a new design as, although this one has a certain homespun flavour that lends itself well to the Make Do and Mend theme, it’s time for a change.

As ever, I value your opinions and comments. So you have any views about these ideas and plans, please let me know.

Image credit: Madonovan.

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