Here at Machine Learning Mindset, our goal is to do our best to help our audience to gain a better understanding of AI & Machine Learning concepts by providing tutorials, courses, books, etc. For doing so, (1) we seek the ways to get paid for this effort and (2) minimize the costs that our audience may go through.
Affiliate links as part of affiliate marketing, are one the best approaches for the goals mentioned above. Technically, consider the scenario that (1) we found a product useful, (2) provide a link of it on our blog, (3) you click on that link and go to that vendor's website, and (4) buy their products. As gratitude (or part of the business whichever makes more sense!), that vendor pays us a small portion (usually small) of the price as a commission.
The commission might be a one-time commission, or a portion of the monthly subscription fee, or for each qualifying purchase, or etc. It depends on the contract. Noted that such an approach from our side does NOT cost you anything! It is paid in full by the vendor.
We usually refer you to third-party products for information purposes. NOT always they are affiliate links. A vendor is an affiliate only and only if, we declare it as an affiliate below this page.
The affiliate links are much better than regular and potentially irrelevant ads! Assume we are talking about the concept and something pops up as an ad! How someone, even us, can control the appearance, relevancy, and quality of the product that the random ad is advertising?
For sure, by using affiliate links, we can control that outcome and only offer the products that we believe are useful to our audience. Furthermore, the products MUST be relevant as well. Let's assume you read a post in our blog and it is related to Natural Language Processing, that you are interested in. Why we should recommend a product talking about object recognition on that page? How it is relevant? AND WE DON'T!
Let's first talk about being biased toward something. The answer is NO. Our audience is much more important for us compared to some affiliate links. This blog is NOT about advertising; advertising is only part of the story to help this blog running. Our goal is to provide our audience with the best! Of course, profit is part of the business but without having a happy audience, there will be no profit and this effort will be forgotten soon! In fact, if you believe a product that we are suggesting is not useful, you are more than welcome to contact us and share your thoughts.
Let's talk about being biased against something. We are not biased against anything, not even the competitors! In case we do not recommend something is either because (1) we do not believe it is something very useful and (2) we might have simply missed it! There are tons of great products and resources there and of course, we are not able to track all of them, unfortunately. If you believe there is a great product out there that we missed, please kindly contact us so we can investigate and promote it if we find it useful.
There are two common approaches to disclose affiliate links for clarification.
- 1Using a link with some indication. Assume we are talking about a product such as a book published by one of our affiliates. The indication can be as follows: Deep Learning Book by Bengio (affiliate link).
- 2Disclose all the affiliates with no assumption.
The issue with the first approach is that it is not only visually disturbing but it might be misleading. Assuming Amazon is an affiliate program and we desire to link to some of its products just for information purposes that may not even be qualified an affiliate link. In that situation using approach (1), we do not use the indicator and the reader may become confused and ask: If that specific product on Amazon was an affiliate link, why this one is NOT and both are Amazon?!
For simpler understanding, we disclose all our affiliates (approach (2)) and you should assume any link that refers you to that vendor is an affiliate link even if it is NOT. That way you can assure that no one is secretly sending you to a link just for their profit!
Amazon Associates Program