Technology is tricky. When you find the “right technology” life becomes easier. But buying the wrong technology is like stepping on a land mine: productivity explodes, leaving a smoldering crate of frustration.

When I discover a great tool, book, app, or service that’s reliable and unexpectedly valuable, I like to recommend it. If I see land mines I point those out too.

Some of the tools I recommend are for sale on Amazon. I like to link to Amazon because they have great reviews, which help buyers make informed decisions based on people who’ve used the product. They also make it easy to return things you’re dissatisfied with.

When I link to a product on Amazon I use an affiliate link, which means if you buy the product after clicking on the link I’ll get a small affiliate commission. You don’t pay any more to Amazon than you otherwise would. They just give me a cut (usually about 4%) of the total.

The revenue from affiliate sales is paltry, but it covers some of the costs of my web hosting. Actually, that’s not true. I spend the money that Amazon gives me on impulse purchases of e-books. Some of those books help me learn how to run my website better, but mostly I just like to read.

Now, other places like Ruby Receptionist have a different deal. They give me a gift card for a small amount of money, but they also give the person I refer to them a better deal than if that person just called them out of the blue. I use that money to buy books too. And gadgets, of course.

So here’s the bottom line with my affiliate deals:

  1. You never pay more when you click on an affiliate link or provide my name as a referral.
  2. You sometimes will pay less, or get more options
  3. Little of the money or credit goes to cover my website expenses, at least not directly.
  4. But all of the money is greatly appreciated, and some of it is returned in the form of knowledge I derive from reading too many books and spending too much time on the Internet.