By definition, affiliate programs are arrangements in which an online merchant Web site pays affiliate Web sites a commission to send them traffic. When I started my own personal backyard rink blog in the fall of 2008, which subsequently evolved into Backyard-Hockey.com in early 2010, I never intended to turn this into a money-making venure. But as interest in the site grew, and as more and more people visited each day, I decided that I could take Backyard-Hockey.com to the next level without compromising my core values or the goal of this website. I am doing this by partnering with companies that share those same values and provide goods and services that align with our readership’s needs.
I want to be completely up front with you – when you click affiliate links on this site and make a purchase, I make a percentage back as commission. I have selectively chosen the merchants I link to because I personally do business with them. I trust them with my own business, and feel comfortable sharing them with my audience. There may be posts on this blog that will include links to products on these merchant sites. If I create a link to a product or service in a review, I may get paid a commission if you purchase the product or service.
Monetizing this website was, and remains, a scary step for me. I struggled with the decision before making the leap, and still hope that my inclusion of selective partner links will not deter you from feeling, experiencing, and drinking in all of the hockey passion this site contains.
My promises to you, the reader:
- I will never refer you to a merchant or link you to a product that I do not fully endorse or believe in myself.
- I will never take free or reduced-price products in exchange for favorable reviews. Regardless of how I obtain a product, any reviews I post will be 100% honest, unbiased, and real.
- I will never accept money to review a product.
- I will never refer you to my affiliate partners without making you aware of my relationship with them.
Just as I cherish the fact that you take time out of your day to read my written words, I honor and value your trust when it comes to my opinions. I would love to see this site make a few bucks – find me a site owner or blogger who wouldn’t. But these relationships will NEVER compromise the unique relationship that I have with you.
The commissions I earn will help pay for hosting, design, enhancements, products for review, gear and apparel giveaways, and anything else that will help or entertain you, the reader. Having a site-based revenue source makes the growth of this site possible.
So what can you do?
My goal for this site is to cater to the different needs of the hockey community: to entertain, to teach, to expose, and to make you think about aspects of the game and its community that you might never have thought of otherwise. My hope is that if this site has served any of those needs for you, that you’ll think about starting your online shopping by clicking these links the next time you want to make a hockey-based online purchase. I carefully select my partners because they offer complementary products that align with the shopping needs of you, the Backyard-Hockey.com reader.
I cannot thank you enough for reading this site and for patronizing our affiliate partners. With your help, we can grow this site to become the premiere grassroots hockey site on the web!