Following last week’s rant about my frustrations concerning the struggle bloggers face when they deserve to be paid, today’s blog tip is all about how to make some money on your own. If you’re not having your posts sponsored by a brand each time you post, then this is a great way to get some extra change in your pocket. At the end of the day, your efforts to construct a resourceful post are recognized and appreciated; therefore the embedding of affiliate links to make a profit from your hard work is nothing to be ashamed about.
When I first began blogging, I had no idea I could make it a business let alone make money off of the products and content I choose to incorporate within my posts. It wasn’t until last year when my posting became sponsored Monday through Friday but still today, I incorporate affiliate links within the text of my blog posts for two important reasons. These links allow my readers the benefit of having a direct source to the items I’m wearing (or similar versions) without having to search at all, plus embedding a coded link to an item allows me to make an extra dollar – sort of a compensation for putting the customized shopping list of my post together.
There are many programs out there that allow you to make “commission” from embedding a link that only profits you if the item is purchased. However, not all these sites hold true to the value of the item versus the commission you make from its sale. Instead you can get sucked into earning “credits” for sales as opposed to the monetary value which I find a waste of time, honestly.
Only two affiliate sites are used within my blog posts that direct my readers to the items I’m wearing, as well as display similar variations that are shoppable with a simple click. These sites are ShopStyle Collective and RewardStyle. Here’s why both are important to incorporate when monetizing your blog, from my personal experience of using the two sites for 2+ years:
There was a great article about this refined & sophisticated click-conversion site on WWD that positioned this affiliate program as one of the pioneers of influencer networks. Today’s society see blogs as both a source of information and an essential part of the online shopping process – I mean real life advertisement is the best seller, right? So to contribute to the “shopping guide” I embed affiliate links to the text describing my outfit details that lead the reader to shop the exact or similar version of what I’m wearing in my post of the day.
^ underlined & italicized words are embedded links to products worn in the featured post
ShopStyle Collective is free to sign up and very simple to use – there’s no application or selective process to receive access to using its affiliate links. The best part is the monetization process: you can receive payment for a click alone! A reader simply clicking on your link that you choose to embed has granted you a very small profit (like 25 cents) which overtime grows exponentially the more readers you have visiting and clicking your links.
Personally, I’m guilty of making a lot of phantom shopping carts online – where you fill it heavily and then abandon it at checkout. I’m sure many online shoppers do the same more often than committing to purchase. That being said, you can beat people like me to the punch by embedding those links that still profit you with a simple click rather than a purchase.
The second affiliate site is the most coveted membership to have if you’re blogging as a business. RewardStyle is an invite or apply program that allows you to monetize from a great variety of designer and ready-to-wear brands, ranging from clothing to home/interior. One of my favorite perks of RewardStyle is access to the LiketoKnow.it program that makes monetizing my Instagram feed possible!
For those of you that see the bizarre NOT CLICKABLE links in an Instagram caption for an image (Instagram come on now, we all know you know how to make that a thing..) those are the affiliate codes of LiketoKnow.it. After you sign up for L2Kit, you can shop your favorite Instagrams from your go-to bloggers whenever you “like” the picture they add those links to.
From your simple like, you get an email sent to you with the links to the products of that image that you can shop directly from! Talk about a win-win. The blogger makes money from Instagram and you don’t have to search the Internet until 2am or when your eyes bleed to find that killer pair of heels that blogger ‘grammed.
These links show up clickable on Twitter/Facebook when you share the image but in terms of Instagram alone, simply “liking the picture” is all you need to do once you sign up.
Another perk of RS I like to use is the Shop The Look widget bar that physically shows the images of the outfit pieces in a slider that makes clicking and shopping easier for everyone reading. Plus, you can add more variations of the outfit you’re wearing by including cheaper versions of the same piece kinda like “the look for less” along with the original products (if available.)
^ clickable images that link to direct/similar products that are featured in a styled post
The ONLY thing RewardStyle poses against an up-and-coming blogger is the exclusivity with the affiliate program. If you’re just starting out or switching over to monetizing your outfits, I would wait until you have a good month of quality images & posting under your belt before applying. The team is very selective of the types of blogs they admit acceptance to RewardStyle because they want to keep the quality of blog types consistent with the monetization they are using it for.
If you’ve applied and never heard back, keep trying to shoot a message over and see where your application status is. If you’re not accepted into RS the first time around, don’t stress! They usually give you tips on how to improve your content so you can apply again in a short while, so there’s never lost hope in applying again.
So to recap, both affiliate programs serve a very important monetization purpose when it comes to making a profit from your blogging efforts. ShopStyle Collective is open to everyone and allows your to monetize your products with a pay-per-click benefit rather than a purchase alone. RewardStyle is more exclusive to apply for but the range of brands available to embed links from and the ability to monetize your Instagram with LiketoKnow.it makes the membership very worth it.
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