A few months ago, one of my long-time readers reached out to me with a sort of tentative offer to write some guest posts on a website she works for. That hasn't ended up working out, but it did lead to an unrelated gig writing guest posts for a website called Credit Card Insider. I've now written a couple posts for them (above), and while no one has asked, I thought I would preemptively answer a couple potential questions my readers might have if they stumbled across one of those posts.
I have no idea what Credit Card Insider's business model is
A cursory examination of the way they insert application links into my posts suggests it probably has something to do with credit card affiliate links. But that has never entered into any discussion I have had with anyone at the site.
I get no cut of affiliate revenue (if any)
As I explained last month, I have no affiliate links here on the site (although many of the signup links for cash back portals, useful services like Venmo, Plink, and Uber, etc., do give me some nominal referral bonus – and thanks for using those links if you're so inclined!), and 100% of my remaining revenue comes from subscriptions, one-time gratuities (thanks Thomas!), and book sales.
In other words, people who like my work and want to see me continue cover my expenses, and I only answer to my readers.
Credit Card Insider pays me a flat fee per post. I find it fair and I consider it good publicity for this site.
And hey, if anybody else wants to sponsor blog posts, you know how to reach me!
Credit Card Insider exercises no editorial control over my content
There's a small group of folks at the site who come up with general post topics and assign them to writers. But no one at any time has implied that there are certain cards that need to be included in any given post, or that some cards need to be pushed harder than others. Frankly I suspect they had never even heard of the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card, which offers a healthy 3% cash back at gas stations. Good card!
Of course that could change at any time, and I'd certainly stop writing for them if my voice was ever compromised in that way.
Further, my feelings about cards like the Sapphire Preferred are well-known, so I'm not going to write a post on some other website praising its value or flexibility or whatever.
Credit Card Insider comes up with the headlines
The one piece of "editorial control" they do exercise is over the headlines. For example, my column "Best Travel Credit Cards for Airlines, Hotels, and Gas" is about thinking about your spending patterns and travel needs before deciding on the credit card that's right for you. In fact, I probably would have titled it "think about your spending patterns and travel needs before deciding on the credit card that's right for you."
But that's why they get paid the big bucks.
I suspect our audiences are very different
When my reader first suggested I write some guest posts, I worried about diluting my web presence by writing in bits and pieces in various places all over the web.
But if you visit Credit Card Insider you'll see that broadly speaking they're aimed at a very different audience than I am here. My blog has, over time, grown increasingly focused on a fairly niche subset of travelers: those who are seeking to maximize their value and minimize their costs when traveling — and who are willing to put in some serious work to do so.
While I try to write without the jargon and codes so many people in our hobby use, the techniques I describe are frankly inaccessible to the vast majority of the population, whether it's from lack of interest or lack of time. So I don't think I'm cannibalizing any content that I would post here by writing guest spots for Credit Card Insider. That is an issue I'm sensitive to, however.
With all that out of the way:
Those are the answers to the questions I had before I started writing for them. But if you have any specific questions about the situation (or anything else), the comments, as always, are open.