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In our rundown of the major affiliate networks I mentioned that RewardStyle and ShopStyle Collective are both subaffiliate networks. What this means is that once you join either of these networks you will be able to promote ALL of the advertisers in the network… and believe me, there are a lot! When many lifestyle and fashion bloggers are just starting they usually gravitate toward RewardStyle or ShopStyle. The two programs are very similar. Both RewardStyle and ShopStyle work with pretty much the same advertisers, both primarily target fashion and lifestyle bloggers, and both networks provide quite a few tools to help their publishers succeed (like shopping widgets). They both also have their own systems for monetizing social media (particularly Instagram) – LIKEtoKNOW.it for Rewardstyle and Shopstyle.it for ShopStyle.
The Difference Between RewardStyle and ShopStyle
While these two programs are competitors in the market that have quite a few similarities, there is one big difference between RewardStyle and ShopStyle: RewardStyle pays a commission based on every purchase that originates from your blog, whereas ShopStyle pays on a per click basis.
Theoretically this means that hundreds of people could click your RewardStyle links but you wouldn’t earn a dime unless someone makes a purchase. That said, the average percentage payout at Rewardstyle is approximately 10 percent, so with just one $100 order you could make $10. (The percentage varies by retailer.) While that may sound great, convincing people to make a purchase can be tough, especially for new bloggers, so it could be a while before you start to see any commissions.
On the other hand, with ShopStyle’s per click payout, you will make money anytime someone clicks any ShopStyle links on your site. What’s awesome about this is that you can literally start to make money on day one of your site, especially if you have enthusiastic friends who are interested in your style and love what you’re promoting! The downside to ShopStyle is that you will not earn a commission when someone makes a purchase. HOWEVER, the amount you receive per click increases as those clicks turn into purchases.
Another difference between RewardStyle and ShopStyle is their differing application processes. ShopStyle usually takes all bloggers with no waiting period. All you need to do is sign up for an account and you will be able to start placing the links on your site immediately. RewardStyle, on the other hand, is by invitation or referral only and they do not accept all bloggers. It frequently takes months for them to accept bloggers into the program. They do have requirements that they look for in terms of quality of site and page views. If you’re looking for a RewardStyle referral, check out the bottom of this post.
RewardStyle vs. ShopStyle: Which is the best affiliate network for new bloggers?
Based on the pay per click model, as well as the easier application and approval process, ShopStyle Collective is by far the best affiliate network for new bloggers. You could start putting ShopStyle links on your site from Day 1, including from high-end retailers like Nordstrom and Kate Spade. It’s ONLY through a subaffiliate network that you’d have the opportunity to do this and really only through ShopStyle since the RewardStyle approval process moves at a snail’s pace.
For the best results and to get your affiliate marketing juices flowing, I recommend registering for Amazon Associates and ShopStyle Collective on Day 1. You should be able to start monetizing your blog using both of these sites immediately!
RewardStyle vs. ShopStyle: Which is better?
Honestly, I think both RewardStyle and ShopStyle have their pros and cons. I don’t like that RewardStyle has tried to build up an air of exclusivity around what is essentially just an affiliate network. They position themselves as the only option on the market and I’ve met more than a few bloggers who have been discouraged about their blog monetization prospects because they’ve gotten turned down by RewardStyle and don’t know there are so many other affiliate networks out there. ShopStyle is incredibly easy to join and use, but the prospect of making a few cents per click may seem a bit grim to some.
Ultimately, I do recommend ShopStyle over RewardStyle because of one very key component: ShopStyle is the ONLY affiliate network where you can still use your affiliate links on Pinterest! Nobody seems to know why this is, but hey – we’re not complaining! You can pin items directly from the ShopStyle interface to your Pinterest account using your affiliate links, so in addition to the links on your site, you can potentially make additional money by sharing items on Pinterest!
*** RewardStyle allows bloggers to refer others to the network and that *may* help them approve your site faster. If you’d like me to refer you to RewardStyle please fill out the form below and I will submit your site.
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