Let’s Talk Some More About Affiliate Links

Remember when I wrote about the importance of Blogger Transparency back in April?

I was all riled up because there were some fashion bloggers out there who weren’t being very honest with the fact that they were being paid to wear specific items. In the post, I explained exactly how I make money from Pocketful of Joules, as well as how I DON’T make money.

Specifically fashion affiliate links. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, it’s a way that bloggers can make money when they link to a product. I’ve gone back and forth (and back again) about whether to use fashion affiliate links so many times I’ve gotten mental whiplash.

On the Pro’s side:

  • If I post about something that a reader enjoys so much that they want to click through to check it out or purchase it for themselves, it makes sense that I should be able to be rewarded. And by rewarded I mean literally like a few cents per click.
  • If you really like something you see here, it makes it easier for you to find it. For example, if I post about 4 Ways to Style a Patterned Maxi Skirt and then include a few different similar skirts at the end of the post, it might make your life easier that you can just click through to buy something.
  • Eventually, I may earn enough money to pay for some of my blogging bills (hosting fees, web design issue help, conference fees, etc.)
  • I’ve gotten some great reader feedback that you guys wouldn’t totally hate it if I used an affiliate program for fashion links.

On the Con’s side:

  • I really don’t want this blog to be about selling clothes or other items to my readers.
  • I don’t want to alienate any of my readers who may think that I’m “selling out” and only posting about certain things to make money.

Since the pro’s outweigh the con’s, I’ve decided to try affiliate links on a provisional basis. I’ve done a ton of research and there are two main kinds of programs out there: one where the blogger earns money for the click and one where the blogger earns a percentage of the purchase cost.

I feel that ShopStyle’s pay-per-click program will be the best fit for me, because it is based on readers clicking through to check items out and not readers necessarily buying anything. I can get rid of some of that ‘stigma’ of a blogger trying to SELL you something, because I’m not rewarded with a percentage of your purchase (if you make one). The reward per click is very small, but is a little something that will help compensate me for the time I spend finding various options at different price points.

As I said, I’m going to try this out provisionally. Each month on Instagram, I usually do a round-up of my favorite outfits of the month. I’m going to start posting that same thing over here on Pocketful of Joules and include links to each item (or similar items) in case you wanted to check them out.

For example, if I posted this picture as one of my favorites:

Anthro outfit

I’d include a link to Zenne Maxi Skirt because it is still available (and on sale, but selling out fast!). I’d also do some added clicking around to find a couple other options like this striped version and this gorgeous floral print version.

The top I’m wearing in the picture is no longer available, so I found a few similar items: the Sol Angeles Joie de Vivre Tee, the Jolene Foil Dot Tee (on sale, but limited sizes available), and the Star v-neck T from the Gap.

If you guys don’t mind the referral links – or even enjoy the fact that I’m helping you shop – please let me know and I’ll keep it up. If you find it annoying, invasive or if you feel like I’m totally selling out, tell me that too and I’ll kick it to the curb.

This is by no means going to turn into an ‘all fashion all the time’ blog… I’m just looking at my options to help keep Pocketful of Joules on the internet.

Sound fair?

What are your thoughts on fashion affiliate links? Do you think a blogger is “selling out” when they try to monetize their blog?


Disclosure: This post contains ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission. Thank you to anyone who chooses to click through and support my blogging addiction.

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12 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Some More About Affiliate Links”

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If I buy and/or research something because I saw it on your site, I want you to get a piece of that pie. Even if it’s a teeny weenie sliver of metaphorical pie.

  2. I definitely don’t mind you being rewarded for finding something that I might like as well. Especially because you still post about OTHER things, too. There are a few “big blogs” that I’ve stopped following because the only posts of theirs that I see now are “OMG have you seen this?” with an affiliate Amazon link. (cough cough, eighteen25, cough cough) Though that could be because of the whole Facebook not showing all of the posts scam, too…but I’m definitely sick of seeing them.


      I think Jennie’s right. It’s important to share the love and not JUST post about the affiliate stuff, but I also think you do it so organically, that people won’t mind at all.

    2. UGH, me too. There is one fashion/style blogger that I used to love, but now EVERYTHING is all about her affiliate links and it’s just so BORING!

  3. No problem with you getting something. Love to read your blog and I love to share your fashion ideas with others.

  4. What Katie of Words for Worms said 🙂
    Also, I’m going to click on every link you post so you get something for it. I know it’s small, but at least it’s something!

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