I used to link to stores where I purchased the items when I started blogging as a personal style blogger.
I did that because I thought the stores would thank me for all the free marketing by offering merchandise, discounts or simply outright pay me for the advertising.
When that never happened I stopped linking to the stores.
After I stopped linking I had one of said companies contact me and bluntly suggest that I was in fact short-changing my readers because I didn't offer links to their store anymore.
They never offered anything in exchange for the free advertising.
I wrote them a response suggesting that they needed to offer something for the free marketing.
They didn't get back to me.
I won an illustration contest for a popular online clothing company a while back.
What did I win you might ask? The right for them to use my image online and give it to their readers for free. The only thing I "won" was the free exposure of my artwork.
I remember thinking that at the time but also believing that since the artwork was there, and I wasn't using it…maybe this would somehow help me to gain exposure.
That profitable company with a huge marketing budget got a bunch of original artwork for free.
I see this strategy all the time with contests online.
I've come to learn that if I don't value my blog, my time, my talents then no one else will.
Now there are link programs that offer to pay-per-click.
Do you use any? Are you finding they are worth your time?
Do you yourself click on links on other bloggers sites? ( I often do if I'm curious about the item or price.)
Do you offer links to stores on your blog without remuneration?