Let’s Talk About Affiliate Links

What Are Affiliate Links and How Do They Work? | She Saw Style
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What Are Affiliate Links and How Do They Work? | She Saw Style

Affiliate links. They can help make or break a blogger. But do you know what you can do to help? It’s amazing what one little click can do!

Despite the number of times I’ve brought up LiketoKnow.it, affiliate links, and how the whole process works on my Instagram stories and captions, I am still finding more and more people who aren’t aware of how they function or how using them can benefit bloggers.

I get the confusion!

How does screenshotting a photo make it magically appear in another app with shoppable links?

Does using affiliate links mean I’m spending more money?

Isn’t it a ton more work on my end to use your link?

There are so many questions that I’ve been asked, but I also have some answers that may help you out!

Affiliate links are easy to usefree, and beneficial!

First of all, let me explain what an affiliate link is.

An affiliate link is a unique URL created through an affiliate program (I use RewardStyle) that records the traffic sent to a retailer’s website. It often includes a “code” at the end of the link that is unique to the user (A.K.A. me). This way, when that link is used, I make a small amount of commission through that retailer and the affiliate program’s partnership. The percentage of commission is different for each website, and can even vary on the same item across several retailers. What you need to know is that none of this “extra money” is coming from your wallet. Think of it as the affiliate program paying me for participating and making sales on their behalf.

How do you use these links?

Well, I’ve made it pretty simple for you to shop through my affiliate links. The shop tab on my blog includes a list of popular retailers (like Old Navy, Target, Nordstrom, and more). All you have to do is click on one of those links, and shop to your heart’s content. As long as you make your purchase within the same “visit” to the site, I’ll make commission. However, if you click on different link to the same website (say, on another blog), open a promotional email, or even wait for a couple of days and then come back to your cart, the cookies may be erased, and no commission will be made.

What’s the benefit?

Shocking as it may seem, bloggers can really succeed in their business strictly through their readers utilizing affiliate links. In a similar fashion, some affiliate programs reward bloggers with campaigns and opportunities that they wouldn’t come by if no one used their unique links. Now, that’s just some of the benefit for the blogger – what about the benefit for you? When you click on a link and make a purchase, I know that there’s interest in that item – I see it in the sales results on the affiliate program website (don’t worry, it doesn’t show your name or any of your personal information, just that someone used that link to make a purchase). When that’s the case, I can then determine what I should be talking more about on this blog, or what articles are best serving my readers. It even dictates what I purchase for myself, so that I can share more of what you like!

So what is LiketoKnow.it?

You’ve probably seen this name on Instagram a million times over. Maybe you’re even sick of hearing about it, but let me tell you, it’s an incredibly useful app to have on hand. If you enjoy mobile shopping, ease, and lightening-fast access to information, this app is for you. It was created by RewardStyle (remember, that’s the affiliate program I use) so that you can screenshot a photo on Instagram, and instantly receive the product details within the app. You can also follow your favorite bloggers and content creators on the app, and there’s no algorithm, making it incredibly easy to see all the photos and shop right there. *Helpful tip, if you click on a product in-app and it opens the retailer’s app (such as the Target app or the Amazon app), make sure to be considerate of the blogger and use a web browser instead. We can’t make any commission through retailer apps right now.

Will these links work if I click-through on a particular item but in the end, I buy a different one?

Yep! If you click on a couch from West Elm but you purchase a set of pillows and some placemats instead, I’ll still make the commission.

Will you still make commission if I return the item?

Unfortunately, no. But that’s okay! I never want you to feel like you have to keep something around, just because I might make $0.80 off of it. This isn’t a pushy saleswoman situation. You purchase what makes you the happiest – and if you use my links, just know I’m sending you a serious THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.


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What Are Affiliate Links and How Do They Work? | She Saw Style

Now that you’ve learned a little more about affiliate links, do you have any questions for me about them? Let’s start a conversation in the comment section!


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What Are Affiliate Links and How Do They Work? | She Saw Style

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76 Comments

  • Reply
    Rachel
    July 8, 2019 at 10:24 AM

    Love this breakdown of affiliate links, Stephanie! As a blogger, affiliate links are part of the job but for people who don’t blog they can be SO confusing!

    Rachel
    http://www.hello-her.com

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:48 PM

      Exactly! And I want to erase the “stigma” of sorts that bloggers just want to steal your money or they’re money-hungry haha. These links help us survive in the blogging world, and can even bring more opportunities our way!

  • Reply
    rebecca
    July 8, 2019 at 10:54 AM

    SUCH a great idea for a post — we need to do this lol, because it is so true!!!
    xx reb

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:47 PM

      I find that the more I educate my readers, the more they trust me. And I definitely want them to trust me, because in the end, I’m here for them anyways!

  • Reply
    Jordyn
    July 8, 2019 at 12:34 PM

    This is a great post and so helpful for your readers. As a blogger I know what affiliate links are and understand how they work so I sometimes forget that non-bloggers don’t.

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:46 PM

      Exactly. I feel like in order for my readers to even WANT to utilize my links, they gotta know how they work first! This way the education is out there for anyone who wants or needs it!

  • Reply
    Anna English
    July 8, 2019 at 12:38 PM

    This is such an informative post, you did a great job breaking it down!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:46 PM

      Thanks so much for the encouragement. I hope it can be helpful for bloggers and readers alike!

  • Reply
    Tabitha Bradley-Raines
    July 8, 2019 at 12:56 PM

    I finally feel like someone explained affiliate links. How does one find affiliate programs that will take them though? Especially if they are a very small blog?

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:45 PM

      That’s really helpful to hear. I’m glad you found this beneficial! I think that most affiliate programs accept bloggers, no matter the following. Personally, RewardStyle accepted me when I had less than 200 blog readers a month + less than 8k on Instagram, and I know Amazon is constantly accepting affiliates. I would go on Pinterest and research the different programs and see which best suits your genre and readership!

  • Reply
    Tanvi Rastogi
    July 8, 2019 at 2:16 PM

    Great post. Well explained. I use these links minimally but they are needed by most bloggers.

    ❥ tanvii.com

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:44 PM

      If it weren’t for the fact that blogging is my full-time job and my primary source of income, I probably wouldn’t find affiliate links to be as beneficial. However, they are incredibly important for me!

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    July 8, 2019 at 3:30 PM

    This is such a helpful breakdown of affiliate links! I feel like affiliate links can be a bit confusing at times, but it so helps to be transparent about it. I have explained something similar before on IG stories, but hadn’t thought to do a blog post about it-such a good idea!
    Caitlin
    http://www.lemonadepressblog.com

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:43 PM

      Yeah! I’ve done so many stories, but I feel like so much of my audience misses those or passes through them, thinking they’re unnecessary. This way I have all the answers in one spot if anyone ever asks again!

  • Reply
    Carolyn Arentson
    July 8, 2019 at 8:46 PM

    This is a great post to bring clarity around links for your readers! It’s helpful for people to know that every little bit counts. Thanks for explaining how this all works!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:42 PM

      That’s for sure! I can only imagine how much better it would be for my business if everyone who read my blog or was a friend of mine utilized my links when they went on a shopping spree hehe.

  • Reply
    Candace Hampton
    July 8, 2019 at 8:52 PM

    Great post! Although I try to stay up to date with all the social media topics, it can get really confusing. I like how explanatory and instructive was this post regarding affiliate links.

    Candace Hampton

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:42 PM

      I appreciate the encouragement. I think it’s really good to be continuously doing research about the different blogging resources out there. Hopefully this will help consumers and bloggers alike!

  • Reply
    Sarah Lindner
    July 8, 2019 at 9:14 PM

    Awesome post – I love knowing I am not the only confused one out here trying to keep up!

    xoxo Sarah

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:41 PM

      Haha well, hopefully this will help with some of the confusion. I don’t think they’re all that scary or confusing once a little research is done 🙂

  • Reply
    Erin
    July 8, 2019 at 9:14 PM

    This is such a great breakdown Stephanie! I love supporting other bloggers through my purchases and sharing things I love.

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:41 PM

      I agree! I try to always ask friends for their links before making a purchase of any kind. Always good to support the fellow blogger!

  • Reply
    Lydia
    July 8, 2019 at 9:55 PM

    I’ve been a member of reward style since practically the beginning, but I still haven’t managed to make much money off it. At least I click my own links, haha!

    Chic on the Cheap

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:40 PM

      Actually, clicking your own links can sometimes be a red-flag on their end! You gotta be careful about that. I’ve found some helpful tips on utilizing affiliate links and making profit, but I’d be the first to tell you, I don’t make a ton either. I want to continue educating my readers so that there’s less fear in using my links and more knowledge instead!

  • Reply
    lee
    July 8, 2019 at 10:05 PM

    this is a great resource!

  • Reply
    grace
    July 8, 2019 at 10:07 PM

    Tried joining reward style a year ago but was not accepted. I think I will be ready to reapply soon since my followers have grown. Do you have a referral link for that? I heard it helps if you get referred.

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:38 PM

      I’d be more than happy to refer you! Feel free to send me an email. And make sure you’re consistently posting on your Instagram and stories, alerting people of sales and products. RS notices that when they’re selecting their members – though it’s definitely not a follower thing. I was accepted at under 8k!

  • Reply
    Laura S
    July 8, 2019 at 10:58 PM

    Love this breakdown! Definitely a resource I will be using to send to my own readers!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:37 PM

      That’s awesome to hear. I hope it can help loads of people answer any questions they might have!

  • Reply
    Kileen
    July 9, 2019 at 1:19 AM

    Such a helpful post babe!! It can be a little confusing to some, so I love that you explained it here!

    Kileen
    cute & little

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:37 PM

      I’m glad you found this to be helpful. I worked really hard to articulate what I was trying to say!

  • Reply
    Taylor Aube
    July 9, 2019 at 1:28 AM

    Such a good post about a confusing topic. I feel like most people don’t know how it works and are always unsure of clicking on them or having to download another app on their phones!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:36 PM

      I definitely find that to be the case with the app, specifically. I know some of my friends will use a link I send them, but are wary of the LTK app, and I’m like “but it makes it ALL easier if you just use the app” haha!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Prince
    July 9, 2019 at 7:56 AM

    I use them but not with a huge amount of success. I really need to ramp it up in this department!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:36 PM

      I think “success” is relative! It depends on what you’re hoping to achieve with the links 🙂 Just keep at it, and you may notice a difference. Plus, I find that educating your audience can help a lot too!

  • Reply
    Becky
    July 9, 2019 at 9:18 AM

    Thank you for explaining this! There definitely is some confusion but it’s really a win-win. Our blog readers don’t spend any extra money on stuff they want and bloggers get money to help keep the blog going.

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:34 PM

      Exactly! And for me, personally, blogging is my full-time job and the primary source of income, so any commission from those affiliate links is insanely helpful!

  • Reply
    Em
    July 9, 2019 at 9:31 AM

    This is such a great, informative post for those who don’t know how it all works!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:34 PM

      That’s what I was hoping for. I know in the blogosphere, we have a lot of information on-hand, but non-bloggers are typically more unaware!

  • Reply
    Monica
    July 9, 2019 at 9:43 AM

    This is such a helpful post! Even as a blogger, I still find confusion around explaining what an affiliate link is! This sums it up perfectly and makes them feel less intrusive. I need to start using my affiliate links more strategically. I usually use them for holiday gift guides, but I always let it fall off with the start of the new year…. hmm, better get on that!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:33 PM

      They’re awesome to use for holiday gift guides, but they’re also awesome all year round! I feel like you could even benefit from the Amazon affiliate program because of the different craft and recipe ideas you share – that way you could provide resources straight from the post itself! 🙂

  • Reply
    Deborah
    July 9, 2019 at 10:35 AM

    This is such a great breakdown! As a blogger but also as a conscientious person, I know there’s a lot of side eye going on when influencers talk about affiliate links and such but this is a good post addressing the potential “hazards” (cookies) but also the benefits that most readers may not even think about!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:32 PM

      There definitely is, but I want to help break that “stigma.” Affiliate links aren’t a bad thing, they help us make money – it’s just a different way of making money than the typical job!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    July 9, 2019 at 12:12 PM

    This is so good, so many non-bloggers don’t understand how affiliates work. Thanks for posting!

    XOXO
    Cathy

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:31 PM

      That’s what I figured, and I want to provide as much education as I can. Plus, I felt like I personally learned a lot by researching what to add to this post!

  • Reply
    Ashley Rollins
    July 9, 2019 at 12:28 PM

    This post was super helpful. As a blogger, sometimes I feel like I’m ALWAYS reminding my followers of this but so many don’t know!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:31 PM

      It’s true! I feel the same way on a regular basis, but it’s incredible how many readers get missed or how many stories go unseen. Sometimes it’s just good to have all the information in one convenient place!

  • Reply
    Kim
    July 9, 2019 at 3:37 PM

    This is such an informative post to explain how affiliate links work! I feel like most people don’t understand how they work.

    xoxo,
    Kim

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:30 PM

      I agree, which is why I decided to write this up. I felt like it was necessary for those who wanted the information 🙂

  • Reply
    Delia Atenea
    July 9, 2019 at 3:52 PM

    Love this breakdown Stephanie! Answers a lot of questions! I need to share this!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 9, 2019 at 4:30 PM

      I’m so glad to hear you found it beneficial. I really want to share as much about this as I possibly can, because I know so many need to hear it!

  • Reply
    Kait | Slumber & Scones
    July 9, 2019 at 8:22 PM

    I love affiliate links. They are such an easy way for people to support their favorite blogger friends! This was a great breakdown for anyone unfamiliar.

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 10, 2019 at 9:40 AM

      That’s right! I always try to utilize friends links when making a purchase 🙂

  • Reply
    Maria
    July 9, 2019 at 8:37 PM

    What a great resource. I have been researching affiliate links and what would fit best for my brand and blog. This gave me some ideas. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 10, 2019 at 9:40 AM

      There’s a lot of awesome programs out there, but I definitely applaud you for doing your research first. That’s super important!

  • Reply
    Lecy | A Simpler Grace
    July 9, 2019 at 9:51 PM

    This is great information! I like the opportunity that affiliate links provide, but some people go way overboard with how many links they use. If they are tastefully done, I can totally get behind them! 🙂

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 10, 2019 at 9:42 AM

      I see both sides to this! I think affiliate links should definitely be tastefully done, but I also understand why some people utilize them as often as possible. They’re a benefit to bloggers – especially full time bloggers who really need help with the income! It’s good to find a balance though 🙂

  • Reply
    Mandi
    July 10, 2019 at 1:28 AM

    This was a great idea for a blog post, really breaking down what an affiliate link means with full transparency. I personally love to use an affiliate link to be able to give some commission to the person who has promoted and shared a good product. I truly hope others understand they aren’t paying extra for their purchase when using and affiliate link, just giving credit to the person who referred them.

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 10, 2019 at 9:43 AM

      I’m glad that’s something that you do! It’s an awesome way to support the fellow blogger. I just think a lot of people who don’t blog get lost on the meaning and how these links function. So I was happy to provide some insight!

  • Reply
    Nataly
    July 10, 2019 at 7:17 AM

    Such a good read! I am love how you put this post to together. It is very informative!

    • Reply
      Stephanie Whitman
      July 10, 2019 at 9:43 AM

      That’s what I was hoping for! So thank you for the encouragement!

  • Reply
    Kenzi - Life of a Sister
    July 10, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    This is truly a great read! I love that you break it down and show anyone who isn’t a blogger how affiliate links work. Thank you girl!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burke
    July 10, 2019 at 10:51 AM

    This is such a great Blog Post! I get asked all of the time and everyone assumes it costs them! Thanks for sharing! I will definitely share this with my audience! Have a great day gf!

  • Reply
    Lily
    July 10, 2019 at 10:59 AM

    Such a good breakdown! I recently polled my followers and a majority of them want to know how they work and how we make money, etc.

  • Reply
    Jasmine Vargas
    July 10, 2019 at 12:07 PM

    Sharing this to my Facebook account because I think it’s great for everyone to know why it’s important to shop using affiliate links.

  • Reply
    Laura Adney
    July 10, 2019 at 1:39 PM

    Such a great post and way of explaining affiliate links especially for those people who may not understand it or really know how they can support us.

    xo, Laura

  • Reply
    Helena Marz
    July 10, 2019 at 8:21 PM

    This is such a great post and very organized with each tips explaining every detail of how it works with LIKEtoKNOW. It and how bloggers make money. I will definitely have to use some of these tips to educate my followers to be able to make consistent sales and hopefully this will be a better understanding for them on how to use these affiliate links. Thank you for sharing this❤️

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    July 10, 2019 at 9:00 PM

    Such a great post fr anyone who doesn’t understand affiliate links!

  • Reply
    Azanique S Rawl
    July 10, 2019 at 10:02 PM

    This is such a helpful post! Even though I use affiliate links, I have such a hard time explaining them to people + why they are so important to bloggers/influencers! Thank you for putting this together, Stephanie 🙂

    -xo, Azanique | https://www.lotsofsass.com

  • Reply
    Ashley Hargrove
    July 12, 2019 at 11:46 AM

    This is such a great and informative post. I feel like all of these affiliate links and platforms get so confusing and no one knows what to even do half the time!!

  • Reply
    Denise Kokinis
    July 12, 2019 at 12:19 PM

    Loved reading this. I try and explain affiliate links to different people, but can never accurately get the information across. I will need to share this with other people the next time I need to give them a more in-depth explanation.

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

  • Reply
    Marlene
    July 12, 2019 at 5:56 PM

    What a great guide, so helpful for everyone who is new to affiliate links! Way to break it down in an easy-to-understand way

  • Reply
    Kristina
    July 15, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    Okay, this post is SO helpful!! You broke it down perfectly and there should definitely be more transparency about affiliate links but I also feel like most people by know should also have a clue- from blogs to facebook and google, ads and affiliate links are literally everywhere!

  • Reply
    Annette
    July 15, 2019 at 8:56 AM

    Such a great and informative post!

  • Reply
    Lauryn Hock
    July 15, 2019 at 1:33 PM

    STEPH! I love how informative this post is! I definitely will reference it to people when they ask about affiliate links.

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