As is tradition around here at WaltInPA, I feel like I need to tell you a story in order to tell you a story. I realize this isn’t the best method of writing for the TLDR crowd but its my style – so we’re sticking with it.
This little blog launched back in 2009 as a creative outlet. At the time I was doing a lot of writing for Stogie Review and, while I loved to write, I was getting burned out with one single topic day in and day out. The idea was to put together a personal blog so I could ramble on about whatever subject popped into my mind at any given time.
The early days of my blog were pretty random as I leaped from Beer one day to Reading the next. The following week I might talk about a Movie one day and the next I was trying my hand at Creative Writing. Over the years, this blog has been a lot of things but the one thing it has never been is set up for Affiliate Marketing.
As WaltInPA transitions to a blog with a Motorcycle core, I find myself in a situation where I’ve never been before. This Hobby / Pastime is leaps and bounds more expensive than any I have undertaken to date. Archery doesn’t come close (You’d be amazed how much it can cost to set up a new bow) and Production Division USPSA is a distant second.
In an effort to add the tiniest bit of financial balance to the equation, I’ve had to take a hard look at Affiliate Marketing. This would allow me to make a small commission (2-4% in most cases) in the event that someone made a purchase through my affiliate link. Given my low traffic volume, I could potentially earn tens of dollars by the end of the year. While that may seem sad on the surface, I’m very exciting at the prospect of reinvesting in my Motorcycle Content.
One of the largest and most common Affiliate Marketing Programs is Amazon Associates. The company offers a vast range of products that are all over the spectrum. Regardless of your niche – be it a Beauty Blog or a Vintage Toy Train YouTube Channel, Amazon Associates almost certainly has a product that you can promote. In fact, virtually all of My Favorite Motorcycle Content Creators on YouTube have expansive Gear Lists pointing back to products on Amazon.
In an effort to emulate the content creators that I respect, I signed up for Amazon Associates and began toying with Affiliate Marketing. My plan was to tastefully place some Suggested Product Banners below my posts or use a direct link for specific products like Motorcycle Books. When it came to Motorcycle Gear though, I didn’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling.
You see, in May of 2020 I’ve spent just under $1,000 on gear with the goal of having everything ready to go when it came time to buy my Motorcycle (You can read more about that story here). The catch was that not one single dollar was spent through Amazon. To put it plainly, it felt a little sleezy to recommend you buy a piece of gear through Amazon if that wasn’t where I bought it.
So if not Amazon, then where?
RevZilla Affiliate Program
In a recent Blog Post titled Motorcycle Gear from RevZilla: Boom or Bust – I outlined my experience with the company. Not to spoil the post for you but I came away pleased and have made additional purchases since. This was when a thought occurred to me. If I’m going to be buying all of my gear through RevZilla anyway – do they offer an affiliate program?
I did a little digging and found out that they do actually have an Affiliate Marking Program, however, they don’t run it directly (they partner with a larger network). I read through the information and tried not to get my hopes up. It required applying for the program and going through a manual approval process. A little blog like WaltInPA – what are my chances of being approved, really?
Feeling like I had nothing to lose, I submitted my application and waited. After about a week with my application status as pending, I started to have doubts. Worse case scenario, the application is denied and I would just stick with Amazon Associates – linking to only products I purchased there to keep my morals in tact. It would suck but the intention of this blog has never been to make money – I’d just suck it up and make it work 100% out of pocket.
Then one day, completely out of the blue, I got an alert on my phone that read “Welcome to the RevZilla Affiliate Program”. I was completely floored. My little blog, seriously?
A Peek At Things To Come
Being accepted into the RevZilla Affiliate Program came at an excellent time. With a couple pieces of gear in hand, a few more on the way, and my new (to me) Motorcycle expected next week – I’m going to have a lot to talk about!
Some of the things you can expect to see in the coming weeks are Motorcycle Gear Reviews. I know what you are thinking “So you’re gonna push that RevZilla stuff to make a buck?”. I can see where that line of thinking comes from but one thing I can promise you is that I’ll give you the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – however I see it. If I make a mistake in buying a particular product, I want to make sure you don’t make the same mistake.
Future Gear Reviews
The following is a list of items I’ve purchased from RevZilla in anticipation of buying a motorcycle (each item is an Affiliate Link – for complete disclosure). I’m planning on talking about how I came to select each item and will follow that up with a review after I’ve spent time with it on the bike.
- Helmet: HJC F70 [Choosing My Motorcycle Helmet]
- Jacket: Icon Contra 2 Perforated Leather
- Gloves: Scorpio SGS MKII [Choosing My Motorcycle Gloves]
- Boots: TCX Jupiter 4 Gore-Tex
- Pants: Icon Contra 2 Riding Pants
While this isn’t a product review per-se, I’ve been keeping notes on the buying experience of my new motorcycle. I’ll be sharing with you the process of Buying a Motorcycle from Martin Moto in Boyertown.
The process of getting back on a bike after 10 years away has been difficult. My plan was to start by signing up for a Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Course as a refresher. Unfortunately, the nationwide pandemic has all classes cancelled throughout the state and I was beginning to think it was a lost cause.
To my amazement, an avid rider reached out and offered to provide me with free training (they have a published Motorcycle Book and are trying to develop a training program – I would be the test subject for the material). I am extremely grateful for the offer and hope to be able to tell you all about it when the training is complete.
In addition, I’d also like to take some advanced rider courses later in the year – once I have some miles behind me. At the top of my list are the Pennsylvania Advanced Rider Course and the Ride Like a Pro PA course. If and when I take those classes, I’d like to tell you all about them.
I’ve been going back and forth trying to decide if I want to create a YouTube Channel for the purpose of Product Reviews and Motovlogs. I’m pretty sure that is going to happen but I can’t put a timeframe on it just yet. Between the bike and all the gear, I’m tapped out and camera equipment is going to have to wait. I also don’t intend to motovlog until I’m comfortable on the bike – which gives me a little time cushion anyway
In addition, I’d also like to document getting my father’s old 1970’s Honda CB350 up and running again but that is still very much up in the air and looks to be a process that may take a while. I don’t know the first thing about fixing bikes and will be relying heavily on my brother to teach me the ins and outs of motorcycle repair.
Excited for the Future
Coming up with blog topics these last couple of weeks have been kind of tough. I’ve been spending so much time getting all my ducks in a row that I was beginning to feel like I was running out of things to talk about. Realistically, how much can you really say about Motorcycles until you actually have one?
Now that the bike is pretty much a done deal, I feel like the flood gates are about to open. I have so many ideas that I’d like to test out but everything has hinged on actually having the bike. Taking “but I don’t have a bike yet” out of the equation resolves a lot of potential roadblocks and has me very excited about the future. It is my hope that you find the content I create useful and that you’re willing to drop me a line in the comment section from time to time.