Big Volcano Art Shop

We’ve got a new affiliate link programame

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link and purchase an item, we will receive an affiliate commission/payment.  Links open in a new tab or window.

There’s been talk on the interwebs for years about the value of diversifying income streams and “monitising” web assets.

Many web sites do this by joining “affiliate” programmes (or if you’re from the USA, “program”.)


Margaret Olley Paddington Studio, Tweed Regional Gallery, 2015

Some people do it to cover the cost of running their online hobby or passion, others do it to build and “flip” the web site or business within as little as a few months, and move onto the next opportunity or challenge.

There’s a whole online industry niche devoted to providing people with tutorials, courses and a mind boggling array of third party management tools.

But we’re not going there right now.  (Although we might do some posts down the track to let you know about interesting developments, providers, trends and cool tools, if we feel like it.)

Our current affiliate programs

So what are affiliate links? Basically, they tell a merchant that a customer came from Big Volcano.  And if there’s a confirmed sale or booking, we get a cut of the commission.

Here’s a potted history of our forays into affiliates over the years.

Amazon Associates

We actually started with Amazon Associates waaaay back in 1998.  We only use it in the Ecotourism Resource Centre (aka ERC, which is embarrassingly, also in need of a make over.  Sigh…).

As we started the Big Volcano Visitor Guide so early – we went live in 1997, books were the only option on Amazon at the time.  And being control freaks, titles were selected personally and added along side the appropriate ERC category links.  (A rod for the webmaster’s back, as the link addresses and titles change regularly.)

Google Adsense

Most people though, start with Google Adsense.  It’s pretty much a no brainer, and as we generally like “no brainer” solutions, anyone who visited Big Volcano from late August 2009, would have started seeing Google Adwords.

We haven’t got ad units plastered all over the site pages, and some of our 300 plus content pages, don’t have any Adsense units at all.


Then we decided that if you couldn’t beat ’em, join ’em.


Mount Warning / Wollumbin across the Tweed River.

We’re talking OTAs – also known as Online Travel Agents.

If you’ve ever travelled anywhere, you’ve probably done some online research, and chances are you landed on TripAdvisor,, or any one of their stable of online travel channels, at some point in your “journey”.

We wrestled with this one for a while, as from day one, our vision was to support local operators, and have people book with them as directly as possible.

But 15 years was already a long time on the internet.  Tastes, trends, and the technology was also changing fast.

With the overdue arrival of affordable web based Reservation Management Systems (RMS) providing direct real-time availability and bookings, most hospitality and accommodation operators also quickly learned about paying commissions to global OTAs.

They also became more comfortable with a PPC advertising model (Pay Per Click via the likes of Google Adwords, Bing Ads etc.), than investing directly in display advertising links on locally owned destination web sites like Big Volcano.

So in 2012, we began slowly linking directly to selected local accommodation operators pages on

Again, we’re control freaks, and we prefer to display and link to properties that are properly licensed and registered businesses.  (Although there’s nothing to stop people from making a reservation with any property they want to, once they reach the web site.)

We’ve also experimented with, for tours and cruises since 2016.

Which brings us to our latest foray into affiliate marketing.

Product on Demand


Fingal Head Public School students showing off their shore birds awareness posters in 2015.

Product on Demand (aka POD) providers and their associated affiliate programmes have mushroomed over the last 5 to ten years, and are a boon for creative producers.

Makers web sites like Etsy, and POD web sites like RedBubble means that artists, artisans and crafts people can market and sell their product directly to the general public and collectors.

Our new affiliate programme

Over the years, we’ve received a few email enquiries asking if we could sell product on behalf of producers, and as the idea of being retailer wasn’t really our thing, we did what all good one track mind geeks do; said “sorry, no”, ignored it and kept doing what we were doing.

But we’d also noticed over the years, that many accommodation operators we visited had no local artists works, or locally themed work on display.

The Northern Rivers and Gold Coast hinterland has so many talented artists and photographers whose works could, and should, grace the walls of local properties, that it became another no brainer for us to join a POD programme, to compliment our current affiliate lineup, and add selecting and curating the work of local artists, to get wider coverage and more sales.

Of course, if you’re not a local, but you like it, you’re still welcome to buy it!

So please let us introduce to you, a new feature on the Big Volcano Visitor Guide.

The Big Volcano Art Shop.

Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or souvenir, want to fill that empty space on the wall, update your art collection, home decor, wardrobe, or stationery, then check out our carefully curated selection of art works from RedBubble artists.

Are you creative? Then check out RedBubble, where you can exhibit and sell your art to the world – for FREE!

In case you missed it.  Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, we will receive an affiliate commission/payment.  Links open in a new tab or window.

P.S.  Please follow us if you want to get notified when we post new art works we’ve selected.

#PinItForwardUK with Pinterest The Design Sheppard

I discovered this post about Pinterest on my good mate – Ron Mader’s Weekly at, which I subscribe to for daily update notices.

It’s a very readable introduction to Pinterest for people who haven’t discovered it yet.  (You’re in for a treat if you’re the kind of person who can’t live without Stumbleupon or Delicious.)

#PinItForwardUK with Pinterest The Design Sheppard.

I’ve been using Pinterest for as long as I can remember so I was pretty shocked to find out recently that it is only officially launching in the UK this month.

And, in the spirit of  the “Pin It Forward” campaign, here are a few of Big Volcano’s favourite Pinterest people (Pinteresters?);