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Toxic Drums mostly pays its way in the world with affiliate marketing. There are many affiliate marketing models and two common ones are pay per click and pay per sale.
A good example of pay per click that still exists is the Google AdSense program. You have almost certainly seen these adverts as they are splattered all over the internet (including this page). Google run a complex biding system behind the scenes but essentially an advertiser pays Google each time someone clicks through to their web site and Google pay affiliates (like Toxic Drums) a part of that revenue if the click came from their web site.
Pay per sale schemes work by an affiliate providing links to the merchants web site and when a visitor clicks through to the merchants web site the affiliate site (e.g. Toxic Drums) is noted. If a sale is made a small percentage is given to the affiliate. This does not affect the price of the goods or services but does provide a targeted advertising budget for the merchant.
There are many independent affiliate programs such as the one at Sente Limited for labelling software where they keep their own log of sales and pay the affiliate from that. Another one is Handy Candy where they coordinate all the information and payments in house. It can get rather complicated and time consuming to run your own affiliate program and so affiliate marketing companies have evolved. These companies specialise in handling all the back room stuff such that merchants can join the network and their adverts are available to affiliates. Affiliates join the network and use these adverts where appropriate on their web sites. The Affiliate Network company handles all the tracking and payments.
Toxic Drums belongs to a number of these networks and independent programs as well as providing some adverts for free just because we like the products. An example of a free advert is Apple Taxis in Boston because a friend of a friend runs the company.
Here is a list of the affiliate networks that Toxic Drums belongs to. Each one clicks through to a list of all the merchants that Toxic Drums has an affiliate relationship with in that network. It includes the categories of independent affiliate programs and adverts with no affiliate connection for completeness.