So glad you asked! ;)
Amazon.com has an program where they will pay an associate a small percentage of a sale (4%-15%) if the sale is made through a link on the associate's website (like, say, Your Teacher's Aide).
Here's the idea in pictures:
Sound like something you want to do on your own site? You can sign up to be associate here. It's free! Just one note- you can't purchase anything through your own link....that's against Amazon's policy. Bummer, right?
By clicking on the links on my page, you are allowing me to receive a small commission, without costing you a cent! The commission is paid by Amazon! (Which makes you a super-generous-and-awesome person in my book!)
Have questions? Let's see if I can answer them:
Why are you asking me to use Amazon to help you?
When I decided to resign my teaching position and stay at home with my kids, I knew I would still need some sort of teaching-related outlet so I wouldn't go into withdrawl. I also knew that I wanted to do something that would make me feel like I was still helping my husband contribute to the bottom line of our household (that's just how I'm wired). I looked into a lot of options and decided that these were the two best ways I could do this from home:
- Create high quality, creative classroom resources for Teacher's Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook.
- Share simple, but effective ideas on a teacher-focused site.
Thus, this site was born. In the process of creating Your Teacher's Aide, I looked at many different ways to 'monetize' it. I had a very strong desire to keep the content consistent and high quality. I didn't want a variety of ads and random product reviews to crowd out the focus of this site: providing great teaching tips. No busty Pam Anderson selling her latest push up bra here.
A few options seemed to fit the bill and also kept the integrity of the site in tact.
One of those was using the Amazon Associates program. I could recommend products I would use in my own classroom in good conscious,while earning a few dollars to support my son's Thomas the Train obsession (or you know, my yard sale addiction. Hello. My Name is Kaitlin and I'm addicted to Yard Sales.) ;)
So all I do is click on the Amazon link on your homepage before I make my purchases?
Yup. The beauty of the program is that I get credit for anything you purchase within 24 hours of clicking the link. That means that you can buy your Dunkin' Donuts coffee or your neice's Christmas gift and I will receive a small commission. Come back to Amazon two hours later (as long as you don't click any other Amazon link) and purchase pens- that will count too.
Want to buy something a week from now? Just come back and click the Amazon link on my homepage, then make your purchase.
Eww- You'll know what I'm buying for my niece for Christmas? Creepy!
That would be creepy! But rest assured, Amazon doesn't show me who bought what item. I may see that a Justin Beiber cd was purchased (there's not shame in that!), but I can't see the buyer's name, address, or anything else.
You mentioned 'small commissions.' What exactly do you mean?
Amazon determines my commission percentage based on the number of items that are purchased through my links each month. Here's the pay structure:
Why should I use your link instead of someone else's?
You shouldn't. You should support organizations and individuals that you feel reflect your interests and beliefs. It is my goal to make Your Teachers Aide an informative and positive place for teacher's to find resources that will benefit their classroom. If you benefit from these ideas, I would be honored if you chose to support me by using my Amazon link and subscribing to my site.