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?
Happily linking up with the lovely Patti over at Visible Monday and the gals at TrendSetters