How to Support Our Work
Here at 99Boulders, we don’t:
- Sell gear
- Ask for donations
- Offer subscriptions
- Accept money from gear companies
- Have piles of money just magically appear in our bank account
How the Heck Do We Make Money?
We do run display ads, but the bulk of our revenue comes from affiliate marketing.
What is affiliate marketing exactly?
Let me explain:
We oftentimes make gear recommendations in our articles. When we do, we link to sites, such as Amazon, where you can buy the gear. Many of these links are affiliate links. This means if you click one of them and then make a purchase on that site, the site — at no extra cost to you — sends us a small commission for having referred you.
For example, let’s say you read our article on the best beginner climbing shoes and decide you want to buy a pair of shoes mentioned in the article. You click on the link in the article that takes you to where you can buy the shoes on Amazon, and then you buy them.
Amazon receives your order and then looks and sees that 99Boulders (that’s us!) was the site that referred you. They then send us a percentage of the sale as a commission.
You aren’t charged anything extra for having been referred by us. The price you pay is not any higher than normal. The commission comes out of Amazon’s pockets, not yours.
These commissions, and these commissions alone, are how we make money and how we are able to continue doing our work.
So, to support us, simply click on one of our affiliate links and then buy your outdoor gear.
The commissions are also, for obvious reason, retracted if you decide to return what you buy, so we are incentivized to recommend only the things we truly think will help you.
And don’t worry about buying exactly what we recommend. If you click through one of our affiliate links and then purchase something else, we still usually make a commission.
If you read one of our articles and then go to a brick-and-mortar store to buy your gear, that’s totally fine, too. We won’t make any commission from the purchase, but we’re okay with that. We’d rather you buy from where you prefer. And we’d be happy to have helped you decide what gear to get.
The Exact 1-Step Process for How to Support Our Work
If you’re still a little confused about how to support our work, here is an 8-second video showing you exactly how to do it when you’re reading an article on the site:
In case you didn’t catch that, simply click on a product link on our site.
And that’s it!
Once you arrive on Amazon.com (or REI.com or Backcountry.com), simply continue with your purchase like you normally would.
If you decide to make a purchase, the site you buy from will send us a commission for having referred you. It will cost you nothing extra, and we’ll be able to use that money to continue making great gear reviews.
What Is an Affiliate Link?
So, a few times now I’ve used the phrase “affiliate link.”
You might be wondering… what is an affiliate link exactly?
An affiliate link is a link that does two things:
- Takes you a site (e.g. Amazon) where you can buy the product we recommend
- Lets the site know that you came from 99Boulders
Because affiliate links let the site know where you came from, if you purchase something after having clicked an affiliate link of ours, the site you buy from will know to send 99Boulders a commission for having referred you.
How Can I Tell if a Link on 99Boulders Is an Affiliate Link?
On 99Boulders, if we link to a product on REI.com, Amazon.com, or Backcountry.com, we almost always use an affiliate link.
So if you click on a link and end up on a product page on any of those three sites, continue with your purchase and you’ll have supported our work!
If you can’t find any affiliate links, here are three which you can use:
Then, once you’re on any of the above three sites, just purchase your gear! The site you purchase from will send us a commission if you do.
I Don’t See Any Affiliate Links… What Gives?
If you still can’t find any affiliate links in our articles, try turning off your ad blocker or select the option to allow ads from 99Boulders.com. Ad blockers sometimes block affiliate links, so this might let you see our affiliate links if they aren’t showing up.
If this doesn’t work and you still want to support the site (we’re flattered!), then send us a quick message and we’ll help you out.
How Does an Affiliate Link Let Another Website Know I Came from 99Boulders?
We completely understand if you’re worried about your online privacy. Who isn’t?
You might be concerned that an affiliate link lets the other site know you came from 99Boulders.
If you are, we want to explain exactly how the sites we link to with affiliate links know you came from our site. The answer is actually quite simple:
Here is an example of an affiliate link on 99Boulders:
See the part at the end that reads “tag=99boulders-20”? This tag lets Amazon know that you came from 99Boulders. That way, if you decide to make a purchase, Amazon knows to send us a commission.
Most of our affiliate links currently point to Amazon.com. On rare occasion we link to REI.com or Backcountry.com. All of the URLs we use to link to these sites have some tag in them like the one above.