Earner's Guilt?

Since the day I started this blog I've measured ROI not in terms of $$, but rather connections made, new things learned and overall personal fulfillment.  Noah Brier describes it perfectly.

But on Sunday night, during an NCAA basketball game, I saw a commercial for Guitar Hero, featuring Metallica and four legendary college basketball coaches.  I thought it was funny, found the link on YouTube and threw it on my blog [see it here].  I didn't give it much thought.

Over the next 24 hours I saw a 500% increase in my normal daily traffic, nearly all of it driven by some variation on this Google Search [that's me in the top spot]


Which got me thinking ... would it be so bad if I had included an affiliate link along with the video?  Using fairly conservative estimates I'm confident I could have covered the annual costs of running this blog [which are very nominal] from that one post.

I never considered ads on my blog because I never intended to make money from it [and quite honestly never had a large enough audience to make it worth anyone's while].  But I might start experimenting with affiliate links every once in a while.  And if I do, it will drip with transparency - I never want to feel guilty or like I've misled someone for a buck or two. 

Any advice or caveats as I consider this?

Net-net ... I can't help but feel this little guy staring at me as thousands of potential Guitar Hero buyers pass through my humble little blog.