Is affiliate marketing on instructables possible???

So as I've cruised the ibles you've all made, I've seen some impressive ones I've delved into. Of these I've noticed on the part list section some of you have added your recommendations on where to go to get such items required for the product. Often these items can be found online and a link is provided to go there. Not bad for the company being advertised, can't complain about free marketing. My question, is affiliate marketing on instructables possible? Go to SFHandyman's ible, "LeGummies brick shaped gummy candies", you will notice a link that takes you to an online store that will provide you with the necessary ingredient (so long as you email them) found on his ible. I'm guessing they're making a bit more in profits since this popular ible has surfaced, shouldn't he be making a commission on this? I dont know the details involved, so if anyone knows anything on this and how it can be done, I'm sure others would like to know as well.

Kiteman8 years ago
There's nothing stopping you contacting suppliers of materials for your projects and offering to exchange links to their site for discounted or free materials.
Nando_Kommando (author)  Kiteman8 years ago
Nice, I haven't thought about it that way. Thanks for the insight.
SFHandyman8 years ago
Some retailers have have already established a process to obtain affiliate links. I could have used an affiliate link for Soda Club, in my How to Make Soda Instructable. I might have earned some credits towards my service from folks who clicked through and purchased from the site. I never did install the affiliate link though. I'm not really very motivated by money and tend to skip over little opportunities like this. I do tell retailers when I'm providing a link for a couple of reasons: 1. So they can understand the uptick in interest if there is one. If they read my Instructable it could let them know what kinds of questions to expect from customers and how to best answer them. 2. So I can get good service and information when I need help working up something new with their products. If I were a retailer, I'd offer a discount to a person like me, but that hasn't happened yet with the few that I've shown my projects to. I'm not chasing after it though and I've never asked for a discount. I asked the guys at the store where I bought the silicone if they would be willing to come and put up a display and give advice on other casting mediums if I ever schedule a class at Instructables in making the Gummi Lego mold and candies. They thought it was a great idea and I'm sure they'd be there. It would be a benefit for them and for the attendees, so it's sensible for them to make the effort. For me it almost guarantees that they will take extra time to address my myriad of questions when I'm working on a new project. For them it could help build some local foot traffic to keep the store open which is another plus for me. Losing a great store like that is a sad event for me. I also told them they should consider putting a direct link up to the food safe silicone but that didn't happen. The larger part of the business is through their warehouse in Oakland and that is where the web orders go. They don't go through the retail store where I buy products in San Francisco. The company does not seem focus on web traffic. Running a web business for their product line would be difficult for several reasons. Many of their products are liquid, powdered, or granular - leading to a danger of spillage during shipping. Some are very heavy and dense. Some have shipping and handling restrictions. Many have to be freshly mixed because of a limited shelf life. All of this would make shipping products difficult. Instructables itself has been very cool about this. I posted one Instructable that they thought was cool, and it got some good traffic right away. It didn't fit into any contest, but they surprised me and sent me some schwag just for the heck of it. It was good advertising for them (patches, a t-shirt and stickers) and I certainly told all my friends about it. It also encouraged me to post new Instructables. They don't say this will happen, and I'm sure it's unusual. They already offer so much in prizes, they probably can't do that kind of thing often. I also provide links as retail is very tough, especially now with internet competition, and I want to keep local stores open so I can browse through actual products while dreaming up new projects. I want to support the retail stores for that reason alone. When I buy from a web site, I also like to give links if I think they will give good service and prices. It helps me avoid lots of questions better answered by the supplier and also benefits the readers. If you could monetize something a little bit, I'm sure it would be ok. I think any Instructables that seemed to be built to make money, would not be welcomed by the community, voted down, and harshly critiqued. That just isn't the way we work on Instructables. I've seen that happen before, when someone posted about a product that they sell. It was something crafty folk would use. He got a thorough thrashing in the comments, even though it was a cool product. I probably won't pursue profits on my Instructables but don't see anything wrong with adding an affiliate link.
Nando_Kommando (author)  SFHandyman8 years ago
Thanks for your thorough response. I always appreciate when authors of projects list the sources for materials. I figure if there's a way to receive a any kind of return (including discounted or free products) then why not. I've also seen a few ibles featuring a product for sale. I agree, they're very annoying on this site.