Published on April 19th, 2017 | by William Charles68
The Problems With Letting Readers Share Referral Links
We regularly let readers share their referral links. The aim is to give readers that provide helpful comments and alert us of deals a way of getting some extra points/miles/cash back from other readers. For the most part it works well. I’ve been noticing a few issues recently and I thought I’d address them in the hopes of getting some feedback and possible way to combat these issues:
- A lot of people that either aren’t regular readers or aren’t active readers share their links. I try to encourage readers to use links from other readers that they recognize as providing useful content/comments but often people will just come across the first link they see.
- People lie, cheat & steal. Unfortunately some people take advantage of the fact we allow this type of referral sharing and will lie to try and get more sign ups (my link does ZYX when it doesn’t for example). We used to allow people to offer small rewards (like an extra Amazon gift card) for using their link but it ended up with people just yelling at each other and lies all over the place so we had to discontinue that.
- Posting multiple links. A lot of people will post their link multiple times, it’s usually fairly obvious but sometimes they go to great lengths to hide this fact.
- It’s time consuming to moderate. It takes time to enforce the rules we try to put in place, find comments in spam and a variety of other issues.
Ideally we’d have a more robust commenting system where you can tag users that provide helpful comments (that way you can find their referral links later) but realistically that isn’t something we’re going to add in the short term if at all. I’m not sure if I’m just venting or looking for a possible solution.
Readers sharing and using each other’s referral links is a good thing, don’t ruin it by being greedy.