Published on October 5th, 2017 | by William Charles105
We Need To Have A Serious Talk About Referral Links
I don’t usually get angry, but I’m actually quite upset at the moment. Unlike a lot of other websites we allow our readers to post their referral links in the comments of specific ‘referral only’ posts. Unfortunately it seems that a lot of readers are just treating this as their right rather than a privilege. For example in our recent SPG business post about 20 readers decided it was a good idea to just post their referral links there even though we never said that was allowed. Several readers said things along the lines of “not sure if this is allowed here, just delete it if not”. Other readers can’t seem to even read and follow basic rules when we do post referral specific threads.
We spend a lot of time on this site, finding & compiling deals and data points. We are not your personal servants. I know readers aren’t stupid enough to think that referrals are just allowed where ever they want. What makes things actually worse is that readers were saying that they were actually using these links. You should be shaming this bad behavior and not encouraging it.
The vast majority of readers use and share their referral links appropriately, it’s a shame that a few readers are deciding to ruin it for everybody else. I really love the fact that readers can share their links on this site and I really want other readers to support people who provide useful comments and deals by using their referral links. Unfortunately a lot of readers seem to only contribute/comment when they can share their links (you look at their comment history and it’s nothing but their referral links) and readers who are using referral links seem to be indiscriminately using them rather than trying to pick out a link from somebody that provides helpful comments.
I’m asking readers to do a few things:
- Please only share your referral links when we specifically state they are allowed
- Make sure you read and follow the rules when sharing your links
- When you’re using a referral link, make an effort to find a link from a reader you recognize as providing helpful comments. Also make sure you don’t reward bad behavior by using links shared in the wrong place
The reason I care about having referral only posts is because if we don’t then any discussion about a deal/post just gets drowned out by useful referral link posts “thanks in advance for using my link!!!”. If things don’t improve then we will simply stop allowing referral links on the site at all. I think that would be a real shame because I do think readers that provide helpful insight deserve to be rewarded. Thanks to all the readers who do do the right things and make positive contributions, if it wasn’t for you I’d just stop blogging altogether.