To sponsor something is to support an event, activity, person, or organization financially or through the provision of products or services as part of brand identification and marketing. A sponsor is the individual or group that provides the support.
Commonly, sites explain their advertising, affiliate, or sponsorship policies with some variant of the following line:
“This site costs money to run, and without the revenue from advertising, we wouldn’t be able to do it.”
While there is some truth to that, it’s a fairly dramatized interpretation of the reality.1 Other sites propose that advertising “keeps things free“, which is a bit more reasonable. By selling adverts, or promoting partnered products, they don’t have a need to charge for other things, like content. All that makes sense, when we’re strictly talking business.
This site has been online since March 2007 at olstrom.com, and on a different domain for at least three years before that. It costs me money to do it2, but so does any hobby. You don’t hear (most) amateur photographers saying they couldn’t keep creating photographs if nobody supported their hobby. That simply isn’t what drives them.
I would like this site to profit, or even sustain itself, but it is not strictly required. Like most things, I do this because I enjoy it.
Then… What Is All This?
What you see below is a list of products and services. I have arrangements with each that amount to “if you buy their product through link on this site, I derive some benefit from the transaction”. What that benefit actually is varies with the site: some pay me for any referrals that result in a sale, others give me perks or discounts on my accounts with them, and so on. As this fits the earlier definition of a sponsor, I’ll use that as a catch-all term to describe these.
I share this list because I believe strongly in full disclosure. You need understand which entities I have commercial relationships with, to accurately judge my editorial motives.
Transparency begets trust.
- As it applies to this site, at least. [↩]
- $2,000+ annually, excluding licensing fees, incidental expenses, and my time. [↩]