Love it!! Anything to clean up the unethical crap on the internet. Yes, want knowledge not a sales pitch. Keep ethical and honest, your reputation will carry you over all the bumps.The first rule of this forum forbids using affiliate links. Today I had to delete 4 members and all of their past posts for this reason. And a senior member is going through his past posts right now and removing them.
If you see someone using an affiliate link, be sure to use the report feature of a post to let me know. It helps a lot!
I would love for members to post affiliate links, but it is a bad idea. I have considered the idea, and I would love for members to get paid with affiliate links... but as I have seen on other forums, it usually does not work out nicely for these reasons:
Some folks may say "Wait! People are posting your affiliate links here on the forum to support you Will! Is that allowed?": The affiliate link posting rules applies to me as well. And when people post my links, I ensure that this website is NOT listed under my associate account. So I will not get a commission. I really do appreciate people willing to support the forum, but I would prefer taking a pay cut so that I am on level ground with everyone here. I know of another forum where the only person allowed to post affiliate links is the owner. And I dislike that.
- If an affiliate program operating agreement is breached by posting on forums/ social media, the account can be terminated. This is true with amazon associates.
- Each affiliate link needs to be labeled to FTC guidelines. Check out my youtube description to see what I mean. I have a disclosure statement and each link states "sponsored link" next to it. If you do not do this, you can run into legal trouble.
- If we were allowed to post affiliate links, we would have more traffic from marketers trying to push cheap products. I am tired of the shill sales people in the solar energy market. I would rather not contribute to this problem.
- Google search "solar forum" and have a look around. They are filled to the rim with ads and shills. I do not want this forum to ever turn into this.
I want this forum to be for educational use only. Not a billboard for shills and goofy youtubers trying to milk their audience. I think it is fair for me to post my links on my website and on my videos, but not here. How I support this forum is with the single link "diy solar blueprints". If even a few people trickle in and purchase a couple products, this website is fully funded. So it is not an issue. The link does not get clicked very often, and the website is filled with free information, so I think that it is fair.
I also included the amazon associates disclosure to our forum just in case someone posted a link, and I was not aware. It is best to comply to FTC laws when possible.
I also think that it is fine and dandy to post self-promotion and advertisements to the corporate section. Post away! If you want me to expand on this section with new forum categories, let me know.
What do you guys think? If you disagree, let me know why.