Hello my dears!
The other day I did a short survey on my Instastories about how people perceive affiliate links. Basically asking, Do You Support Content Creators by using their Affiliate Links? I had this subject on my mind for quite some time now and after seeing the results and people’s opinions, I thought there’s not better time than the present.
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What are Affiliate Links?
An affiliate link is a specific URL to a product or store that contains the affiliate’s ID or username. In affiliate programs, advertisers use affiliate links to record the traffic that is sent to the advertiser’s website. This action is all part of an affiliate program.
Reward Style is one of the most popular affiliate programs used by the majority of content creators (myself included) in the beauty industry. Reward Style connects with hundreds of department stores, online shops, individual businesses.
Thanks to Reward Style I can use affiliate links from different retailers such as Nordstrom, Sephora.com or Sephora.fr, Beautylish, Selfridges, Harrods, Chanel, Pat McGrath, Escentual, Cult Beauty and the examples may go on.
How Do Affiliate Links Work?
The customer or consumer, in this case my readers, are the ones who make the affiliate system go ’round. Without them clicking on my affiliate links every time they make a purchase, I wouldn’t get any revenue. So, let me pause right here and say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who’s supporting Chicprofile.
Everytime you (the reader) click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, the content creator, known as the publisher of the affiliate receives a small commission. Each retailer (online shop /brand) offers a fix % from the final purchase to the affiliate program. On average, this % is around 10% of the price of the product.
Keep in mind that affiliate programs like RewardStyle take a cut from this % before the blogger, Youtuber or Influencer receives his/ her share. In practical terms, if a reader/customer buys a £14.00 MAC Eyeshadow on Asos, the blogger/affiliate gets less than £1.00.
The use of affiliate links must always be disclosed, just like products received in PR or paid collaborations.
I’ll get into details about how Reward Style works in a different post because there is thick information. If you want to start a blog, an online business or you are just a new content creator who’s building her audience and is looking forward to joining an affiliate program, make sure to subscribe to my VIP Newsletter so you won’t miss out on that post! The form to join the newsletter is in the footer.
Where Do You Find Affiliate Links?
That’s an easy one. 🙂 It depends on the platform used by the content creator, but they should be easy to spot and access.
Bloggers usually include Affiliate Links in the sidebar where they list Top Retailers they recommend shopping from. You may just have to scroll down a bit! Mines look like this in the sidebar. 🙂
You will also find affiliate links in every article they post, as well as widgets like SHOP THE POST, which will show icons of products to shop from just by clicking the image.
While in the sidebar you’ll see their most popular retailers, inside the article you may notice different retailers based on the products’ availability. I personally add different retailers in every article, depending on where you can buy them from.
Youtubers post affiliate links in the description box, so all you have to do is click on the SHOW MORE button and read the entire description. They also like to link to all the products they used to create makeup looks, so there are plenty ways to spot them.
Depending on how many followers an Instagrammer has, affiliate links appear in different place. The most popular is LINK IN BIO which can be found on the profile page, underneath the description.
It won’t always be an affiliate link in bio, as they may choose to link to their blogs, YouTube channels or something else. LINK IN BIO can change every day or every few hours if the Instagrammer is famous and posts several times a day linking to different retailers. So don’t be surprised if you go back on their LINK IN BIO after a few hours when you want to make that purchase and see that it takes you to another page.
Once you reach 10K followers, you can add links in Instastories. Basically that’s when I consider you can use Instagram properly after you worked hard to get 10K people to follow you and enjoy your content. It will be easier to direct your followers to a certain blog post, video or product’s page. You’ve all seen the SWIPE UP, right? Keep in mind that some content creators take years before they reach 10K and LINK IN BIO is all they have so make sure to check it out and support them.
How Do You Support Your Favorite Content Creators?
There are many ways to support content creators, especially your favorites, the ones you benefit from their FREE content everyday. The question is, WILL YOU?
I was surprised to see that 40% of my Instagram followers don’t shop through affiliate links. Therefore, I asked their reason for not using affiliate links when they shop online.
While I’m keeping their names confidential, the majority of answers were “because it’s easier to go directly on the brand’s website” or “the majority are U.S. or UK retailers and they don’t ship to my country”. I can definitely relate to these answers as I know how frustrating it is not to be able to shop from certain websites. That’s why I’m spending a lot more when I’m buying certain products as I’m paying an extra fee to a personal shopper who can get me the product delivered to my house.
Some answers revealed that a lot of people were genuinely unaware of how affiliate links work, how can they spot them and how to use them to support their favorite content creators. This post is also for you! 🙂
There were challenging answers (very few though) from those saying they refuse to shop from affiliate links. They see the advantage going only one way (to the content creator) while the reader / follower doesn’t get anything extra (no discounts, no free shipping).
I’m cooking an article on this topic as well where I’ll explain more widely my opinion. But so we can keep it short, I’ll just say this: The content creator provides a FREE service for you, FREE content from which you benefit in making a smart purchase, learning a useful information or enjoying a good read.
By taking less than 30 seconds to click on an affiliate link when you shop products/ services recommended in the article, you give something back without actually spending 1 penny, just a bit of time.
OTHER WAYS TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT TO A CONTENT CREATOR
Using one’s affiliate links is not the only way you can support a content creator. There are many ways to do it which involve of course a bit of your time but no cash, I promise. 🙂 Everytime you are leaving a feedback, a comment on the article or social media post, answering his questionnaire from the newsletter or polls on Instagram, you are basically interacting with that person and show her not only that you dedicated a bit of your time but also that you care.
Do You Support Content Creators by using their Affiliate Links?
We finally arrived at the last question which started this entire article. Do You Support Content Creators by using their Affiliate Links? Content creators earn commission everytime you shop online from their affiliate links.
HOW MUCH IT WILL COST YOU?
Not 1 penny, as the price of your purchase won’t be affected. You will pay the same price the website asks you, while you can still benefit of promo codes, discount codes, sales or free shipping, depending on what the online shop offers. Affiliate links are not seen by any retailer as an extra promo code that you can’t use together, so basically it won’t affect you in any way.
WHAT WILL YOU GAIN?
The eternal gratitude of your content creator and the joy to keep reading your fave, independent (from brands) beauty blogs. While reading a blog is free, writing one is not. Even though most people think you can start a blog for free, once your blog attracts a considerable audience, you start having expenses like your hosting provider, social media schedulers, photography equipment, paid editing apps and programs (Photoshop), blog theme, plugins… Not to mention all the products that content creators buy with their own money so they can bring your genuine reviews. It all adds up pretty fast.
By buying through affiliate links, you help your fave blogs stay open and keep providing you with the information and fun you’ve come to love and expect. Truly, the amount of money content creators make from affiliate links is not much, but it also keeps the blog going. Without this help, your fave blogs will die and you would be left with only sponsored content (and I think you agree with me there’s too much of that already).
Nobody asks you to support 30 content creators at a time and try clicking on everyone’s links. I personally don’t support more than a handful of content creators whose information, recommendations and advice I trust and whose articles/ videos I enjoy. As much as I’d love to support everyone, I know is not possible and I have to choose whose content is more valuable for me.
I divided my content creators in different sections so I know I can use his/her affiliate links when I’m making a certain purchase. If it’s professional, luxury or high end makeup brand I’m looking to buy then I have a blogger in mind, if it’s skincare I’m looking for then I know my gal, but if I want fragrance of some luxury makeup in natural, wearable and classy shades, few YouTubers come to mind. 🙂 As long as I’m making sure to give something back to the people whose content I enjoy and find it valuable, I don’t mind spending a lil time searching for that link.
This article raised so many intriguing and interesting blogging subjects that I will start to cover pretty soon! Do keep in mind there are independent content creators out there who are not working with brands on daily basis to ensure their monthly revenue and all they have to keep them going is their readers support! I’m thanking anyone who has ever shown support to a content creator!