I participate in a variety of affiliate programs.
Affiliate programs use other people's websites to advertise. If you "click" through that ad and buy something, the website owner gets paid.
I use these monies to defer some of my expenses for operating this website.
My site is not, primarily, a commercial website. The minimal additional income to offset some of the expenses is nice, but it is not the primary reason for this site. For that reason, I have created my Affiliate Program Policy which I posted on my Disclaimers, Copyrights and Legal page. It says:
Whenever I provide a link to an affiliate program that pays me, I attempt to also provide an alternate link which omits the referral information. These alternate links will not result in payment to me. If you object to affiliate programs, you can use these alternate links to buy and I won't get any money.
The reasons I do this are simple. First, my site is not primarily a commercial site. It is not about making money. Affiliate payments are nice, but if they all went away, I'd still have my site. Second, I link to some affiliate sites because they are good, not because I'd get paid. Getting a small dividend is an extra; it is not the motivation. Third, I link to other affiliate sites (those with which I do not have personal buying experience), because my research indicates that they might be of interest to my visitors and that they offer a quality product or service.
For all of these reasons I fully disclose my affiliate relationship and offer a choice. I let the buyer choose to support my site because they like my site, instead of forcing them to support my site because my relationship with the vendor is secret. My site is not about advertising and making money. Never has been. Never will be.
Each of these Affiliate Pages, also includes a link to the vendor that will not result in a payment to me.
If you want to visit the vendor but object to my participation in an affiliate program, use that link instead.
I also request, as part of my Affiliate Program Policy, that everyone help me to monitor my affiliates. The policy continues:
In addition, if you experience anything negative, in any way, about any affiliate I have, I want to know about it. Please email me and tell me all the details. I am proud of the affiliates I have and like to monitor them to ensure that they remain appropriate for listing on my website. Because making money is not the primary reason for their listing, I will not hesitate to remove any affiliate program that does not meet my personal standards. I appreciate your help in monitoring their performance.
Again, I encourage you to help monitor all affiliates. I would like to know of any negative experience you have.
If you click these links to buy something, the company is supposed to pay me a little money for the "referral". But please don't think that buying something is necessary or even expected. I am not trying to "convince you". I provide my website "just 'cause". Please feel no obligation at all to use these links. Only buy if you want to.