Why Take Kids Fly Fishing?

The question is not intended to inquire as to why one should take kids fly fishing, but rather why did we launch this website—why Takekidsflyfishing.com?

The question came up recently over the matter of our official launch contest. In order to properly kick-off the website, we reached out to as many manufacturers of kids’ fly fishing gear as we were able. The point of our contest is to draw attention to our website, certainly, but with the goal in mind establish a web presence so as to connect kids with some of the latest gear available on the market.

When we sent out our formal introduction and request letters, most manufacturers enthusiastically jumped on board right away, with a few even asking what they could do to help our site, beyond the contest donation.  This warm reception was exactly what we had hoped for. A few companies never responded even after multiple attempts to establish correspondence. Fewer still opted not to participate.  One company raised some valid questions about the intent of our endeavor:

Why are you doing this?

It seemed like a loaded question, and it was.

What do you hope to gain?

As in how do we plan to benefit monetarily.

It turns out that there are other websites doing similar things to what we’re doing: asking for donations of gear for contests. And apparently, there are people behind such websites seeking to monetize their sites by the use of affiliate links.  What, you may ask, are affiliate links?  I myself had to ask the same thing. Wikipedia says this about affiliate linking:

An affiliate link is an Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. Examples include rewards sites, where users are rewarded with cash or gifts, for the completion of an offer, and the referral of others to the site.

In other words, if a visitor to Take Kids Fly Fishing clicks a link to a retailer listed on our site, and the visitor makes a purchase on the destination site, then Take Kids Fly Fishing receives a percentage of the sale or some sort of monetary kick-back. It’s like a referral fee.  I can see how that would be a valuable practice for a website wanting to earn some money that way.  And I can see why a prospective gear donor would question our motives. If that were the case, which it is not.

If Take Kids Fly Fishing were to ask for free donations with the idea in mind to use these donations to attract participants to our contest and drive traffic to our site, and our intent was to refer that traffic to the sites listed in our many categories in hopes of it resulting in a sale from which we would benefit, then the gear donor is being taken advantage of. In other words, we would be capitalizing, literally, on their generosity. I can see why that would be a conflict of interest for the donor to send us free gear for our contest.

Now, we are not saying that affiliate links are a bad thing. After all, people need to make money and commerce outside of the internet has long offered referral fees. However, that is not what we’re doing here at Take Kids Fly Fishing.

So, if not trying to make money by participating in affiliate marketing tactics, then what ARE we doing?

It’s pretty simple, really: we’re trying to connect parents, families and kids to the best gear that the fly fishing industry has to offer kids. Our mission statement pretty well sums it up. We saw a need for a hub of information to help make it easier to find gear for kids.  We want kids to go fly fishing.  They will enjoy their experience that much more if they have a good rod and reel, waders and boots, and maybe a cool vest like dad’s. We want to promote the companies that make and sell gear; the shops and organizations that hold kids fly fishing classes and fly fishing camps, and the guides that encourage kids to come long for a day on the water.

Yes, we are using the generosity of donor companies to provide an incentive to get kids and families to our site. But our intent is give exposure to those donor companies by introducing an audience to what they have to offer. We hope that parents and families will take the time to look through our category listings and find something beneficial to them. And we hope that once they discover what we have to offer, they’ll be back.

Our goal is to provide a link between the fly fishing industry and the kids market. We feel we can offer an important—and missing—link. But not an affiliate link.

Good fishing,

Sarah Lonigro & Kirk Werner


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