A little about Pretzel the company, the app, the website, the whipped topping...
Pretzel is a company that makes software and content. Our company is called Pretzel. Our app is called Pretzel. Our website is also called Pretzel. We're Pretzel.
We could give you a fancy branding answer about "unwinding the salty twists of financial troubles," but to be honest we just really liked the name. It started as a bit of a "Maybe we'll change it later" sort of situation, but then it stuck.
For questions in general, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If it's a specific question about the content on Pretzel.io, feel free to email Joel@.
We have a pretty unique take on "content marketing," as it's sometimes known in the industry. We pay writers to write stories, which you can read right here on Pretzel.io—essays about personal experiences with money, product recommendations, interviews with notable people about, well, their experiences with money and product recommendations.
Not only do we pay a flat-fee to our contributors for their time, we also encourage them to use their own affiliate links in their content. (Most product recommendation sites pay the flat fee, but keep the affiliate links and revenue themselves.) This way, if contributors have a popular post, they can also potentially make additional money through affiliate links.
(Affiliate links are programs set up by retailers that gives a little kick-back to a person for sending customers their way.)
After the first month, Pretzel then updates those affiliate links to our own to try to recoup some of the money we paid to contributors. Then we take that money and commission more stories.
We're a relatively small company, for one; We just don't have a huge marketing budget yet.
But using what budget we have to create what we hope is useful and entertaining content—stories written by and for real people—seems like a much better way to build an audience that shares our values than handing over a bunch of money to Facebook or Google to buy traffic.
Of course, there will almost certainly be a point where we will use some of our marketing dollars in more traditional ways if that seems like the right move to let the world about Pretzel. But for now? We're trying something that feels a little less off-the-shelf.
It's a mix. It's safe to assume that a link from Pretzel.io to a major retailer like Amazon or Target will have an affiliate code attached. But we still recommend plenty of products and services that we simply like, whether or not there's an affiliate opportunity there.
And in cases where there is a non-link-based affiliate deal set up—say, a company that sells pressure cookers made from decommissioned submarines pays one of our contributors $5 for every new customer who signs up their mailing list—we require that our contributors disclose any such agreement right on their post. Our guideline to contributors is simple: "Don't do anything that feels gross or shady."
Closed beta invites have already been going out to a small group of testers. If you'd like to get on that list, click on "The App" above and join our mailing list.
Our founder is Al Doan, a (sorry here it comes) serial entrepreneur. We're a small team of six, half engineers and half business operations. The company and Al are based in Missouri, but our team is distributed, including people in London, New York, Chicago, Nebraska, and Costa Rica.