…or the exorbitant rent here in the Wild West of gentrification (Silicon Valley), where rent control is as rare as a 45-year old woman with graying hair working in tech.
And so I am thinking about changing my site to self-hosted one in order to—among other benefits—add affiliate banner ads to online stores that carry products I would use myself (and thus earn a small commission if readers buy anything).
As a minimalist, I can live with myself if I add affiliate links (many of which you’ll find in this paragraph!) to a store such as Life Without Plastic. I bought my safety razor there (which I love) and I own other products this small, family owned business carries, such as reusable stainless steel lunch containers and Kleen Kanteens. While I sew my own cloth produce bags and cloth napkins—pads even—I realize not everyone wants to make everything themselves (or has the time) and would rather buy them.
Things you won’t find on my blog:
Affiliate or any other links to Amazon. I work for a book publisher. I love books. In its quest for world domination, Amazon sells books at a loss, in the hopes that customers will buy other stuff, like diapers, flat-screen TVs and food-like products. How can independent bookstores compete when Amazon sells books for less than what the indies pay for them? Why doesn’t Amazon find a different loss leader? Why pick on the written word of all things? And how does Amazon get away with predatory pricing? (One caveat: If I write my book, which I intend to do, you’ll find links to Amazon reviews of it on here. At the rate I’m going, that won’t happen for a while.)
Reviews of thneeds. Occasionally a very nice crafty maker type will contact me and ask me if they can send me their wares in minimal, recyclable packaging. If I accept, like what they send and think readers will find their products useful, I may write a post about said products if I have time (I’m awfully busy!). I do not get paid for this.
Sponsored content. I have worked really hard to keep up this blog. I conscientiously buy my food—unpackaged, organic, local and cruelty-free. I shop religiously at the farmer’s market. I cook all sorts of stuff. I capture yeast from the air! On here and on Facebook and Instagram, I have built up a decent following, making these sites prime real estate for content. I won’t pimp them out.
However johns will always ask.
Before I begin my rant, let me say that 95 percent of my emails come from absolutely lovely people…
But occasionally something like the following lands in my email…
Subject line: Exciting opportunity to [prostitute yourself] work together
Dear Anna [or some other abomination of my name],
I was checking out your site [i.e., you checked out my traffic stats on Alexa and know I hardly crash WordPress’ servers so why add to my disaster of an Inbox with your email?] and think your content makes a great fit for our fast-growing, innovative, Palo Alto based, series-A funded startup that’s poised to completely disrupt the vertical space of [more jargon that—as an English major—I have done my best to block out]. We would love to send you one of our [useless gadgets that I would never encourage anyone to buy…did you read even one post on here before contacting me?] and pay you [wages that would waste my time since I have a decent paying job, thank God] to write reviews about it.
Please contact me for more information on getting started [as if].
I hope to hear from you soon [you won’t],
Someone [who has to pay the rent] from some PR firm