In the top right corner of my site I've had an 'Insta Shop' page for quite some time. If you've clicked on it recently you would have noticed that it hasn't been updated in a while. I recently switched platforms to make shopping my Instagram feed much easier so, I hope you'll start to check it out more often as I will be updating it more often.

All you have to do is click 'Insta Shop' on the top bar of my home page. Once you reach the page, you'll see a tiled images, much like Instagram. Click on the photo you want to shop and images with shop links will appear.

Until next time, you can shop the looks right here first...

Make sure to check back often to shop your favorite looks before they sell out!

Switching gears a little bit... I want to chat about the two most popular affiliate programs for fashion and lifestyle bloggers.

If you're a blogger or wanting to get into this space, there are so many tools at your disposal and being able to use them to generate income is an amazing benefit.

First thing, if you aren't using affiliate links you are SERIOUSLY missing the boat. This is just one of the many ways to make money as a blogger. For some big bloggers, this is a 6 figure income ON TOP of everything else. I honestly thought every blogger had their affiliate game dialed in, but I meet a lot of girls that don't which is why I wanted to share this info.

Remember my post on blogging being a numbers game? If you missed it, click here to catch up. I used the very real number of 3.2 billion people having access to the internet. Which means, there is a potential for your blog to reach 3.2 billion readers.

So, if you write a post about your favorite sweaters and use a ShopStyleCollective link (which pays you a few cents every time someone clicks it) think about the earning potential if you have a high number of visitors! I'm no mathematician but that can equate to a fuck load of money.

Bottom line... you need to be using affiliate links like... yesterday.

There are a million affiliate websites & each company can create their own affiliate program. When I first started out, I had an excel spreadsheet with all the different companies I had signed up for, it was madness. It was so inefficient. It can be overwhelming and time consuming to gather links from many different sources every time you post.

Now, I use RewardStyle and ShopStyle because they have huge catalogues of relevant products to my blog, they're generally easy to use & make your content look pretty by providing beautiful widgets, image links, shop enables instagram tiles, etc.

Oh! And it's a major way to turn blogging into a business.

At the same time, there are pros and cons to both affiliate programs.

For example, the reason I didn't update my Insta Shop page is because I find the RewardStyle app has limited search engine capabilities... which means I can't find the clothes I need to tag without getting on the computer. Now, I've switched to the ShopStyleCollective widget which is easier to search on. Plus, I think it's user friendly, so my readers can shop easier.

I am often asked which affiliate I prefer and both have their benefits. I made a pro and con list to compare. Hopefully this helps you decide which one you should choose.

Font and aesthetic are prettier in the 'shop the post' widget. Looks professional & detailed.  Amazon is a RewardStyle retailer. This is especially useful when talking about lifestyle products. You can buy everything on there & can provide your audience with many more options.    There is a shop enabled ‘Boutique’ & 'Look Book’ widget that can be used to show outfits, inspiration, wish lists etc.  The like Liketoknow.it app is really popular & a great way to generate income on Instagram.  Etsy is a RewarStyle Retailer. This make it easy to work with smaller brands. Many small brands won’t be affiliated with major programs but have Etsy stores that you can link to.  Pays commission on purchases not clicks.  Analytics are amazing. They tell you what product was purchased, where, when & how much you get paid.   Cons  Search engine is archaic. limited and irrelevant items appear in the search within the app and website. Their ‘Link Ninja’ tool simplifies this but requires you to search outside of the website.  The Liketoknow.it widget for shopping Instagram within websites takes the reader away from the website onto another page. This can cause people to leave your site prematurely.  You have to be invited, referred or approved to become a member. Not everyone is accepted.  Once a widget is created it isn’t saved for future use. If you need to edit your widget, you have to start from scratch each time.  Pros  The search engine is amazing & takes 1/4 of the time to search products for a widget. It allows you to filter the search to narrow down results as well.  Using ‘Collections’ is a great way for readers to shop your Instagram photos. It tiles the photos and populates the shop links within your website so the readers never have to leave prematurely to shop.  Everyone is accepted that applies, as long as you have a website.  Once a widget is created, it is saved for future use. You can update the products without having to rebuild. They can be used as text links, sliding image links and saved for use in ‘My Collections” to build an Instagram shop. It’s extremely efficient and saves time.  Cons  Very vague analytics. You can’t see what, when or where the purchase was made. Analytics are so important for growing your blog & learn what converts with your audience.  The product widgets aren’t very attractive. The font is basic and sort of looks like it was thrown together.  The product catalogue is very fashion & beauty centered, which is great for some bloggers. Linking lifestyle products is harder on this site without major retailers like Amazon.

The main difference is the way the commission structure works and it can be good or bad depending on your specific audience's habits. It's super important to pay attention to your analytics to determine which program will work best. For me in the beginning, I had more purchasers so RewardStyle worked better for me because they pay per sale. Now, I have a lot of lookee-loos so getting paid per click with ShopStyleCollective works better for me.

I still use both platforms but I always go to ShopStyle first. I only use RewardStyle if the product I'm mentioning isn't available in their catalogue. I would recommend getting on both and then deciding which one you prefer from there.

Between all the pros and cons, the one factor I care about the most is efficiency and ShopStyle is much more time efficient than RewardStyle. Anything that can save me time outweighs aesthetics and catalogue options. I feel there are ways to get creative with their shortcomings to make everything work.

I hope this helps guide you or give you some insight on affiliate programs. If you have questions, send me an email, I'd love to chat! If you want to apply to RewardStyle, let me know & I'll refer you!

xo

photos by Hristiana Stoynova