The Mail: An exchange about how I make money
Published: May 10, 2011
If I got all my income from HeadButler.com, my family would live in the park. Could the site be a serious moneymaker? Maybe. I could slather the screens with ads for penis extenders. I could review porn. I could get you bargain prices on shit that’s not worth owning. But I don’t. ‘Admire a large village, cultivate a small one,’ Virgil says, and that’s my motto. Not that you’re entitled to know this, but when people ask, ‘Do you make money?’ I respond, ‘Butler pays the maid.’ Okay, a little more. But nothing that would make you quit your day job to take the site over from me.
So I get pissed off when someone writes to suggest that I put no BUY links in my reviews. He writes: ‘Makes me think you’re getting a kickback and I have you on a higher pedestal than that.’
Let’s clear this up, once and for all.
Kickback? It’s called a COMMISSION, and it’s not huge. You click on a BUY link on Butler, buy the thing from Amazon.com, and I get a commission that varies between 7% and 8.5%. [Put a selection in your shopping cart, let 24 hours elapse, and I get nothing. Cool move, Amazon.]
Yes, I could put links to BN.com, so those of you with Nooks can make your purchases effortless. But go back to paragraph one: Butler is not my sole activity. Servicing Barnes & Noble customers is a chore I don’t need. Just type BN.com into your browser, type in the name of the book you want to buy, and you’re there. Five seconds work for you would be a pain in the ass for me.
There are two alternatives to my modest effort at commerce. Twice a year, like many other bloggers, I could put out a "tip jar" and you could send me some green love via Paypal. Or Butler could become subscription-only. Would you pay $25 a year? If these ideas appeal to you — they don’t thrill me — please write me.
Make of this what you want. Here’s my takeaway: There’s always more money, you only have one name. Mine is pretty clean, considering how filthy the media business has become. So don’t, please, use ‘kickback’ if we’re ever in a room together, because I will be tempted to bloody your fucking face.