Monday, 13 March 2017

Bloggers: Let's Talk About Affiliate Income

You probably didn't notice affiliate links, nor care about them until you became a blogger. Or if you're not a blogger, you likely had no clue what they were until a popular 'gossip' channel on youtube started to call out huge names such as NikkiTutorials and Jaclyn Hill for using affiliate links in their descriptions to earn an income from each click and purchase. Affiliate income is 5%-8%, on average. Someone utilising them, will make around £1-4 from someone clicking on their link and buying something, unless they go on a crazy shopping spree on that day. To put that into context, if someone buys a £20 top that a blogger has featured through their affiliate link, they'll earn £1.60 - that's if they have linked to a generous retailer that offers 8% commission!

Let's break that down.

£1.60. That's not even a latte.
Or a chicken fajita wrap at your local Boots. 

Bloggers, ultimately, do this because it's an outlet and a passion. I know for sure that I never started a blog to make money or to use affiliate links; I have only just personally started to monetise my blog - over a year and a half later from when I first started out.

When you read a blog post, or just scroll through photos for inspiration, it's easy to forget the work that goes into creating these photos. Blogs aren't 'casual' anymore. As a blogger, if you want people to read your blog, it needs to look damn near a magazine spread before someone even clicks on your post or pays any attention - which puts an enormous amount of pressure on bloggers. Photos in your back garden don't cut it anymore, you need to find location to take photos, like a cute looking street or cafe; Some actually pay photographers to take photos for them - not everyone has a boyfriend or sister to take photos. People will often spend hours perfecting shoots, editing photos and actually writing posts for the people that read their posts. It's fun, but blogging can become a mini job for a lot of people. It can be a nice little side income, but there is a reason that most people throw in the towel after a few months - it's hard work to keep a quality blog alongside full time work or university.

At the end of the day, bloggers have a right to make money from their blogs. Nobody has villanized magazine websites for using affiliate links for years and years - why bloggers? Those 'Top 10 Things To Buy From Amazon!!' lists on Buzzfeed, and top ten picks from Topshop lists on Cosmopolitan website are affiliate links. Why? Because editorial staff, web developers for those websites and at the end of the day, also 'normal' working people expect to be paid every month. They're not villanized by readers and other editorial staff for earning an income from their talent and hard work.. so why are bloggers? It's almost embarrassing how attacking some bloggers will be to one another over a ilnk that almost all established bloggers are using to earn something from their sites.

People want bloggers to provide inspiration, create content, upload cool Instagram photos, but expect them to be completely impartial when it comes to earning a living for themselves. People are happy to google swatches for a product and click on someones blog to see them, but forget that that person has created that content and spent time curating those photos, words and ideas into something that will show up on Google when you want to see what a lipstick will look like on someone thats NW15, or how a Colourpop lipstick shows up on darker skin tones.

If you like someones content - support them. 
Clicking on an affiliate link does not cost you anything extra, it doesn't take longer to load the website, or ruin your day, it just gives someone whom spends 2 hours posing down a pretty side street for nice photos, some money to buy new clothes - to inspire their readers every week.

Of course, like everything ASA, affiliate/sponsored/money-making related to blogs, there is just too much to argue over and say on the matter. What I do think though, is that there are a lot of big fish in the blogging and Youtube pond, that simply do not care to disclose advertorials or their affiliate links in description bars. These women will relish in the delight of buying a Mulberry handbag from the affiliate income they have pooled together from their 13 year old fans buying a £10 jumper because they told them it was 'so cute'..... So why are people attacking each other, when there are much more pressing issues within the community?


You can also find me at:

Natasha Kendall Blog
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38 comments

  1. Great informative post...well done you hun :) x

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  2. I think you have covered this really well, I had no understanding of this when I started blogging but now I think its a great way for bloggers to turn their passion into a part time job if they can. We do put lots of effort into our blogs and its a small perk that some avail off. x

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  3. Great post, I had no idea on any of this before I started blogging, everyone blogs for different reasons, some to make money from the start and some who get the opportunity to. But no matter why you blog it is a lot harder than some people think it is x

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  4. It seems like everyone is out to criticise influencers / bloggers for trying to make a living, doesn't it. I have absolutely no problem clicking an affiliate link or even using a discount code because it's a win/win situation for me. Are people really that blindsided that they will buy anything someone tells them? If you're buying something it's because they want to, and if you can even save some money with an affiliate discount code then that's a bonus.
    I think you covered the topic perfectly xx

    Rhi | www.rinkydinkyrhi.com

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  5. I complete agree with you! It's shocking that magazines don't get pulled up on this but us bloggers do. I'll always choose to buy something from an affiliate link if I can so that I can help a fellow blogger out x

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  6. This was great! Bloggers have the right to earn money too and they also work a lot! xxx
    http://fallingforablog.blogspot.com.es/2017/03/instagram-inspiration-february.html

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  7. i totally agree were over looked and people dont realise how much work goes into the work we do x

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  8. I sooo agree with this! My blog is my full-time job, and there really is so much work that goes into it. Every little bit helps!

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  9. Well said, I have been blogging a year and a half and started using affiliates in November. In four months I have made about £7 from affiliate links which is not even enough to cover my travel. Your right, rather than attacking we should support other bloggers x

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  10. This is such a great post! I've been blogging full-time for the past year and it's amazing how often I have to explain to a brand why I need to be paid. I stopped doing affiliate links last year because of how little return I get on them. Whether or not someone purchases an item through my link should be irrelevant considering how much brand awareness the brand is getting from my website. It's ridiculous!

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  11. It's so difficult - I hate it when I see bloggers promoting things and not disclosing, but I certainly don't mind them making money. I use them but don't make much!

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  12. Blogging really does take a lot of time and effort and even a money investment. As long as a blogger is following the rules regarding affiliates, there is no reason to bash on them for trying to recoup some of their time/money spent in blogging. I agree with your prospective here completely x

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  13. I've been trying to read this post since like 12pm but people kept distracting me! but now at 1am I have had the time and I couldn't agree more! people are acting as if affiliate links are something but its not, its just used more now than ever because brands are reaching out to influencers for this kind of stuff. Keep up the good work hun! really enjoyed reading it.

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  14. Love your article! Thank you! and it's TRUE! If you love a blogger, support her/him!

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  15. I'm so glad this is being said. Being a content creator is very hard work and it takes a great deal of time and energy to generate more and more content for people. At the end the f the day, blogging costs money, lots of it: the clothes and shoes for lookbooks and ootds, the makeup to review and try on, the cameras to film/take pictures, not to mention necessities like bills and groceries and other needs. It's unfair to expect someone to put so much into a hobby without getting anything worth while back.

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  16. This is a really informative post. As a blogger myself i don't really know much about affliate links (sounds really bad) x

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  17. It's incredible to see that a lot of the companies/magazines that don't really need the extra affiliate income don't get villainized like bloggers do. Blogging may be a passion to a lot of us, but it also takes time and a lot of work. Affiliate links don't pay much, but if you appreciate someone's work then supporting them in such a simple way should be common practice. x

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  18. I think it's absolutely fine to use affiliate links if you want to but I think it should be disclosed as some bloggers don't and it can feel like they're hiding something x

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  19. Totally agree with you if we all bloggers were to click our affiliate links it would be helpful for all of us. Also when we buy anything on line we should look for a blogger and buy through their link. Great post.

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  20. As a beauty youtuber and blogger myself I have no problem with people making some $$ off their hard work. Making these videos is lots of work and a hole production in itself. After taping, all kinds of other work comes into play that viewers don't see. The big names makes a nice income from this and I am not one to knock them since it's right up my alley. Great post to shed some light on this. Yassss!

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  21. You've got it right -- blogging sure is hard work! Thanks for sharing this info. I need to work harder at using affiliate links. Cheers!

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  22. This is right on point. I totally agree. Thank you for the encouragement. It helps me to understand my worth as a writer.

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  23. Blogging really is hard work & it's annoying when people don't realize our worth. Affiliate links take practice but I think I'm getting the hang of them. Thank you for sharing!

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  24. I have given up on affiliate links for now because it is just not worth the hassle for me but I support those who use them if I can. I don't see why there people have an issue with it but many do.

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  25. I like this!! I haven't started to monetise my blog just yet but its something I'm looking into after a year of blogging so far!

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  26. Oh, good write-up. I agree to you, I think most bloggers do write because its their passion and they love it. Not because of earning money. However, it's good that there are affiliations to let bloggers earn as well. Its the cheapest way to advertise I guess.

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  27. I couldn't agree with you more. I've been blogging for 4 years now and it's a real hard work. You always have to keep up and perfect your style - anything from writing skills to magazine style photographs, photo retouch and content creation. I don't really earn anything from affiliate links, but I still add them sometimes into my posts. I think the most I've earned was something like £15-17 over the course of 3 months.

    I wrote some articles on why it matters who paid for the lipstick (did I pay it with my money or a PR send me a press sample), when the views I'm sharing are my own. And you're right - no one blames magazines for getting paid to publish their Editor's picks for Spring, or using affiliate links on the website, so why bloggers should be condemned.

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  28. Nicely said, prior to me blogging I had no clue what affiliate marketing. When I learnt about I started seeing how I too could benefit but was too lazy so I stopped.

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  29. This is all so try. Magazines and big websites, even Daily Mail online all use affiliate links, but it is easier to knock the little person.

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  30. Great post, I'm all for supporting Affiliate links. It's not like it's costing the consumer any money! xo

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  31. great post! i think that affiliate links are great, so long as you disclose them and you don't go against your own values then crack on. money makes the world go around and you can't host a blog on magic beans!

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  32. I really don't care how much a blogger is earning and how as long as I get an honest review (and maybe a discount for some products if they're offering for example)... If they can get money out of it, great, why not...

    xo Honey - blog Royal Lifestyle - Twitter - Instagram

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  33. Yes to all of this! People have no idea how much hard work goes in to blogging.

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  34. Great post! I had no idea about affiliate links until I started blogging but I believe that there's nothing wrong with bloggers making money in that way x

    http://emmaboughtwhat.blogspot.co.uk

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  35. Fab post and totally agree with everything you have said and i love your blog photography! L x

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  36. I 100% agree with everything you've very confidently written in this post, if i see one of my favourite bloggers share something that I think i'll like, i will ALWAYS click their link, or use there code while sitting there like yesssss girl get that moneyyyy! I've never understood the drama surronding affiliate links and codes but I will continue supporting those who have them <3

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  37. This was a great post to read, I agree with you. I don't monetize my blogs because I've just started blogging but I don't have anything against it.

    xx, Kris
    https://dreamingofpink.wordpress.com

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  38. So true ! I don't see why people started paying so much attention to it right now . Let support each other and enjoy it . Hate when people become bitter about things like that x

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