LETS TALK AFFILIATE LINKS! This was a topic we recently discussed on our Instagram Stories and I loved all the amazing conversations that grew from it. I found that a lot of you didn’t understand how these links worked, or that bloggers even made a small commission off people shopping their links. We are working on being better at complete transparency with our audience, so we wanted to take the time to delve deeper into the topic.
First off… what is an “affiliate link”? An affiliate link is a specific URL that contains the affiliate’s ID or username. In affiliate programs, advertisers use these links to record the traffic that is sent to the advertiser’s website. If an item is purchased from an affiliate link AT TIMES that person will receive a kick back or commission from the purchase that was made.
What we are specifically going to be talking about today are the affiliate links where bloggers/influencers/content creators make money. 🙂 These relationships are generally formed from the top two companies that participate in these types of program ShopStyle & RewardStyle. Within the influencer world these are the largest affiliate link programs and the two must used by far. What these companies do are allow you take your everyday links and turn them into affiliate links. Therefore if you are advertising a blouse and someone buys the blouse off your link, you receive a piece of commission off that. There are many differences between the two companies, the first being that anyone can join ShopStyle! RewardStyle you do have to be vetted and approved to use. The other main difference is that ShopStyle allows you make $$ off of clicks and sales, where RewardStyle you can only make $$ off of sales.
A few of you had some great questions as well, that we wanted to dive into!
QUESTION: Do you have an agreement in place for affiliate links? Who reaches out to who?
ANSWER: This is a great question! So as stated above bloggers either use ShopStyle or RewardStyle with their affiliate links. Which means they are pretty much the third party between us (the bloggers) and the brands. These companies all have agreements with brands but not every company on the internet is approved or work with third parties like RewardStyle and co. Such as in recent news when J. Crew parted ways with their affiliate programs. However there are times where companies will run their own affiliate programs. Meaning that the brand will come to you and say here is a unique link and you will make 5-20% commission off each sale. The reason we don’t loveeee these deals is because they can be sketchy. There have been many times we have made sales and never received our cut or the company has lied to us. Therefore we try to not enter into any deals of that nature.
QUESTION: How do you guys split commission? Does Kelly get half and you get half?
ANSWER: Yes! We split commission $$ evenly 50/50!
QUESTION: Do brands dislike it when you promote their competitors as well?
ANSWER: In terms of affiliate links brands don’t really have a say in that. Take our latest blog post on swimwear for the summer… we pulled from all sorts of swim companies that we love! Because those blog posts are not sponsored or promoted by a brand we can pick and choose the brands that we want to feature and promote. Which means we can make commission $ off of SummerSalt Swim and ASOS Swim at the same time. In terms of sponsorship deals… that is a whole different story for another post! (contracts have many exclusivity clauses!!).