Affiliate Marketing Rabbithole

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Affiliate Marketing Rabbithole

Affiliate marketing creates an opportunity for marketers to gain a commission by promoting a product or service. Cookies are typically used for tracking and the advertiser whose product or service is being featured pays the marketing only on transactions. Today’s episode covers those approaches and is also a story of conflict between two large companies and how one affiliate marketer got caught in the middle.

Our guest is Brian Dunning, the host of the Skeptoid podcast. Skeptoid podcast is a weekly podcast focused on conversations around skepticism and pseudoscience. Today, Brian shares his personal story about affiliate marketing and the case he had with eBay between 2008 and 2014.

Brian began with a background about himself and how he started podcasting. He was involved in affiliate marketing from 2002 to 2006. Brian explained how affiliate marketing works in simple terms, and how people make money off it. He talked about his time of work with Commission Junction and eBay. At the time, he built widgets — WhoLinked and Profile Maps — to increase the reach of affiliate links.

Brian discussed the conflict of interest between eBay and Commission Junction at the time and how he ended up in the center of it.


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Science writer Brian Dunning is the host and producer of the Skeptoid podcast ( and the author of seven books on scientific skepticism. Skeptoid is one of the longest running and consistently most popular independent podcasts, having surpassed 100 million downloads in January 2017. He is the writer and presenter of the documentary films Here Be Dragons ( and Principles of Curiosity ( He has appeared on numerous radio shows and television documentaries, and also hosts the science video series inFact with Brian Dunning ( A computer scientist by trade, Brian uses new media to showcase the rewards of science and critical thinking. He is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and lives in central Oregon.