Is there a blog host that won't bogart my Amazon links?
August 18, 2008 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Book-blog hosting: Is there a free and easy blog host that allows me to use my own Amazon affiliate links?

I am thinking of starting a personal book and movie blog. It should make it easy to add books (ideally with a cover image and an Amazon link) to my posts – I'm quite enamored of Vox's super-easy interface for this, but they use their own Amazon affiliate links and forbid you to substitute your own. It seems like all the big free blog hosts do this, in fact (or at least Blogger, Wordpress, and Vox), unless I'm missing something.

I would really rather not have to host my own blog, or use a paid blog host like Typepad, just to avoid giving away the three to five bucks a year my blog will probably make off Amazon referrals. Is there a free blog host or social networking site, or whatever else, out there that will do this?
posted by RogerB to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
I'm not sure what your other requirements/wishes are, so I'll leave you with a list of over 40 blog hosts.

Another option would be to get free hosting somewhere and run your own blog that way. Just remember that you get what you pay for a lot of times, so I'd recommend finding a host that has pay plans. They hope that you'll move up from the free hosting, so they've been better for me in the past when I've set stuff up.
posted by theichibun at 6:31 PM on August 18, 2008

Are you sure Blogger won't let you?

Here's where I did it: Check the link on the Clinton reference.
posted by Toekneesan at 7:00 PM on August 18, 2008

Best answer: Wordpress (the free version) seems like they should let you (I think it wouldn't hurt to contact somewhere there and ask, anyway). They just seem to frown upon blogs where the only purpose is to drive traffic to other sites -- if you were just posting Amazon links, that's a problem. If you write a book review and then link to the book, that seems like it's OK.

Read more here.
posted by darksong at 7:18 PM on August 18, 2008

Response by poster: darksong, thanks for that clarification – there's some contradictory, or at least confusing, discussion of this in Wordpress's forums and FAQ ("one discreet Amazon link per blog"?), but that page seems unambiguous enough. Other ideas are still welcome.
posted by RogerB at 7:32 PM on August 18, 2008

Yeah, Blogger let's you add your own Amazon affiliate links. And "three to five bucks a year" is a good estimate of what I make from it.
posted by Knappster at 7:40 PM on August 18, 2008

Also note that doesn't allow javascript or inline CSS styling, so if you do go with Wordpress it may be difficult to get cover images to display. As I understand it,'s policy on Amazon affiliate links used to be stricter, but as darksong mentioned, they're now allowed as long as they're not the main purpose of the blog.
posted by xchmp at 7:43 PM on August 18, 2008

selfhosted wordpress isn't that tough, hosts like dreamhost are cheap, and you can do whatever you want. Amazon links, check me if I'm wrong, but are generally just a few extra characters on the end of a regular link which shouldn't run you into too many restrictions...
posted by tychoish at 7:29 AM on August 19, 2008

To clarify the policy, your proposed usage of Amazon links to your own book would be fine.
posted by saxmatt at 2:41 PM on August 19, 2008

Response by poster: That wasn't the question, but thanks anyway, maybe it'll help someone else who comes across this. I do wonder why it's seemingly so hard to find a clear answer to a relatively simple terms-of-service question like this about free blog hosts.
posted by RogerB at 4:37 PM on August 19, 2008

My amazon links from blogger go to my amazon account just fine.
posted by Melsky at 8:12 PM on August 20, 2008

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