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Over the past couple of years, RewardStyle has become the go-to site for new fashion bloggers wanting to make money from their sites, but what many don’t realize is that there are alternatives to RewardStyle. Don’t get me wrong: There are many pros to using RewardStyle for monetization, including:
- Easy to find products
- Hundreds of advertisers are listed in one easy-to-use interface
- Easy implementation of widgets on your website make it easy to link to all of the items in a photo
- Tweet or post your favorite items to Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest (with affiliate links attached) at the click of a button
While there are quite a few pros to RewardStyle, there are also quite a few negatives – and I say this as a RewardStyle publisher myself. Some of the negatives include:
- They don’t accept everyone into the network – and I’m sure RewardStyle rejects far more applications than they accept
- The network frequently touts “best” practices, which can lead to homogenization of blog content (seriously – RewardStyle must receive a million dollar bonus for every blogger they get to post about any sale at Nordstrom)
- Percentage earned from each brand is often unclear
- The most attention is paid to the highest-earning publishers
One of my main issues with RewardStyle is the first bullet point in the list of negatives: They don’t accept everyone. Granted, that’s their prerogative, but it worries me that new bloggers will get rejected from RewardStyle and then think they can’t monetize their blogs. Nothing could be further from the truth, but with all of the chatter about RewardStyle, it might seem like that’s the only way to monetize.
Overall, I generally don’t recommend RewardStyle for new bloggers and I personally use it sparingly. I use it on the rare occasion when I want to talk about brands I don’t have other affiliate relationships with and I also use some of their widgets. Thankfully, I don’t have to depend on RewardStyle as my sole source of affiliate income and here’s the thing: You don’t have to either!
There are many alternatives to RewardStyle! I encourage EVERYONE to check out other affiliate marketing options, even if you are very active with RewardStyle.
As with most things, it’s best to diversify. What if RewardStyle shut its doors tomorrow? This wouldn’t be unprecedented, as affiliate networks (like the one Google once ran) and even supposedly stable ad and influencer networks (like Mode) shut down. I’m certainly not saying that’s going to happen to RewardStyle, but I’d hate for anyone to suddenly be unable to make money from their blogs. As I’ve said before, if blogging is your business, you should always have a backup plan. And then a back-up plan to the back-up plan because this is a constantly evolving business. Working with a range of affiliate marketing networks, instead of just one, can only help your business.
RewardStyle did NOT start the affiliate marketing movement. Whether you were rejected from RewardStyle or are just looking for alternatives to RewardStyle, I promise that there are many other companies that will help you make money from your blog.
Alternatives to RewardStyle
Awin has one HUGE draw that I many fashion bloggers are going to love and that’s the Etsy affiliate program! If you regularly write about products that you find on Etsy then you will want to join Affiliate Window ASAP!
Amazon Associates is easily one of the easiest affiliate networks to get started using and since they pretty much sell everything and anything it’s an easy alternative to RewardStyle. When anyone clicks on the link for an Amazon product you recommend and then purchases that item, you will earn a commission! Not to mention, you will also earn commission on that person’s entire Amazon order!
AvantLink is mostly geared toward outdoor activities, so it makes sense that you will find companies like REI, Moosejaw, and Patagonia here, but browsing through I also found companies like Current/Elliott.
CJ, formerly Commission Junction, is one of the largest affiliate networks and represents some of the largest stores out there. Just a sample of the companies you will find listed on CJ include the Gap brands (Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy), 6pm.com & Zappos.com, American Eagle Outfitters, Bluefly, and many, many more! If you want to make money from your travel blog, I cannot more highly recommend joining the TripAdvisor affiliate program via CJ. I’m not a travel blogger, yet I make a good amount of money from this program!
eBay wants to pay you to encourage people to shop on their site! True story! Once you get savvy using eBay Partner Network you can even make money by driving people to your own eBay sales! I should note that eBay is pretty strict about the sites they accept into their network, and do not have the open-door policy that some of the other affiliate companies have.
The biggest company you will find in Impact Radius’ interface is TARGET!
At Pepperjam you will find a diverse range of stores, including Levi’s, BaubleBar, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Torrid, and many more.
Rakuten Linkshare is one of the biggest affiliate networks and they represent hundreds – if not thousands – of stores/companies. Some of the stores you will find within the Rakuten Linkshare interface include Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, DKNY, Joie, Lane Bryant, Sephora, and more!
This is one of my favorite affiliate networks, and I think they’re one of the most blogger-friendly networks, too! ShareASale represents many different stores and companies that you won’t find on other affiliate networks. Wine companies, magazine companies, stationery companies, and hundreds of other retail outlets all call ShareASale home. ShareASale is popular with smaller independent companies like Craftsy, but some big names you’ll find here include brands like Warby Parker and Reebok. Here’s a list of the best ShareaSale merchants for bloggers, also known as companies that send out free items for review and frequently offer bonuses.
ShopStyle Collective is part of the PopSugar family and while you can go on there and search for pretty much anything in the world, it is also an affiliate site! When you use their links you will receive money anytime anyone clicks those links. (Unlike most affiliate sites, ShopStyle does not offer a percentage of the sale.) For those that are new to fashion blogging, ShopStyle Collective is one of the easiest sites to use as it lets you easily grab links and find items to post about. ShopStyle is a major competitor of RewardStyle, but here are some ways ShopStyle and RewardStyle differ.
Most affiliate networks work with hundreds, if not thousands, of different companies and brands. The brands listed above are just very small examples of what you might find at each affiliate network.
What other alternatives to RewardStyle do you use?
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