MerchantCircle Highlights: Ann Arbor Golfing

In my value-influenced opinion, Rolling Meadows is the benchmark for great Ann Arbor area golf. It is a sprawling beautiful course about 10-15 minutes from North Campus. It’s moderately difficult because of its length but the fairways are generously wide and they grounds are fairly well kept. Congestion is hit or miss here because they run a lot of tournaments.

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The art of the sellout

Is my website going to be the road to ultimate Internet riches? Probably not. In an ongoing experiment I have been seeking residual income by trying to whore out Happy Boredom into a revenue-generating machine. I’m going to chronicle my membership in ad and affiliate programs to see where it takes me and see if I get spammed into oblivion.


Of course you already see the Google Ads peppered throughout this website. Unfortunately in approximately 18 months of running ads I’ve collected approximately $18. That’s $1/month which doesn’t come anywhere close to the $3/month I pay for web-hosting.

Once upon a time from about 1997 until maybe 2000 I had a website. Searching for riches, I put a banner ad that got 5-10 cents per click. I can’t remember what company that was but they definitely went out of business a few years ago. In the 3 years of its existence I think my website earned about $8 but I’m pretty sure at least $5 worth of those clicks were from me logging onto university computers to click my own ads. They call that click-fraud nowadays and Google knows how to prevent that more effectively than my primitive fraud methods.


One of the more interesting things that has come about in the Internet age is the Affiliate program. Big websites offer incentives for bloggers and website owners to send their viewers to the retailer to buy products and services. I think it’s pretty cool to get paid for doing nothing and I’m sure readers don’t mind it because usually it’s a click-through for a coupon, discount codes, or whatever.

The first affiliate program I ever joined was for It paid $1 for every resume I could get from classmates. They even sent me posters, t-shirts, buttons, and business cards. I tried handing that crap out but I think I managed to get $12 from it because I forced all my roommates to put their resumes on the website. While I was working at the Michigan League Buffet I dropped the business card ads on every table as an advertising method. However my manager discovered those cards — she didn’t know I put them there — and complained to the regional JobDirect manager about solicitations on the tables. Apparently that wasn’t allowed. JobDirect has since gone out of business — duh.

I joined the Amazon affiliate program because I used to buy a lot of stuff from Amazon and it guaranteed me a 3%-5% commission on anything that I purchased through it. It’s a bit of a chore to get the proper links and if I were a better programmer I should have written a way to generate the product links more efficiently. But I’m not a good programmer so I haven’t done that. Hence my Amazon affiliate has not gotten me a check in the mail yet.

I’m currently investigating the affiliate programs for travel sites like Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and They offer some decent incentives that I may take advantage when I reserve my hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I haven’t signed up for one yet because I got sidetracked by investigating the companies that actually run the programs for those websites. It appears that Orbitz goes through a company called LinkShare. I thought Expedia went through a company called Commission Junction (CJ) but after joining CJ I have discovered that only the European arms (UK, France, Germany) of Expedia go through CJ.

That brings me to CJ(Commission Junction). My work uses CJ to get customers so I figured it may not be a full 100% scam. I signed up for it through my LLC and am in the process of filling Happy Boredom with plenty of CJ related material.

As a note to you, the reader, the various links are not meant to be a scam and they shouldn’t take you to phishing sites. I’m just a testing out some of the promotions and maybe I can make a buck while you save a buck. It’s win-win!

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