A friend of mine, who is just about to start a blog, asked me some interesting questions:
1. You think promoting your own links on Social Networks is fair?
How many links do we Re-Tweet on Twitter? Links that you have no relation with, sometimes we do retweet them even before reading the page. Some of them might be utter useless links, that’s fair?
When you write something on your blog, your intention is to pass on your knowledge to the community and create value. Are you not proud of what you write? Don’t you honestly think it would help someone?
We are proud of our own posts than anything else and we are more definite of them. You can be at least sure that your pages would never infect a computer. When you believe what you write is good, it’s not a sin to share them.
But, if you start spamming around with tons of promotional links, sending them to all your friends, forcing people to read them, then you are already sinning. Share them; let the peeps decide to read them or to comment on them. If what you write is good, rest will take care of itself.
2. What about affiliate links? Is it ok to include affiliate links in your posts?
When you are genuinely writing about a product, not because they have an affiliate option, but because you think the product would be useful to someone, it’s not a sin.
If you use Adsense, are you sure of the quality of the ads that appear? You don’t even know what ads are going to come on your pages, but we trust Google and believe that Google wouldn’t be evil. Still, you haven’t seen the products.
But, when you have seen the product, have felt the quality of it yourself, you are going to write about it anyway. I don’t think your readers would mind if you keep the referral fees.
Affiliate links become evil when you start using them in your posts just because the product gives you a good share of the profits, and you haven’t known the product at all.
I have included affiliate links in some of my posts, mostly those about WordPress themes, and in all cases I have personally known the product. I can be sure that, no one would come back to me complaining that a product I referred is good for nothing.
Some might say, both these are sins and cannot be explained in any form, but if you are trying to please everyone, you are making a big mistake. If 5% of the internet loves you, you are a millionaire already!