The Anatomy of A Money-Making Personal Style Post
By: Taylor Davies

MONEYmakingpost
Follow on Bloglovin
Pinterest

I’ve been a personal style blogger for just over three years. When I first began, I had no idea about the potential for my blog to be not only a fun and rewarding hobby, but a potentially lucrative outlet for my love of sharing my style and shopping adventures. As I gained more experience, grew my network and then started working here at IFB, I became more and more interested in how I could monetize my site. I’m not a full-time style blogger, nor do I frequently garner high-paying sponsored content or paid hosting or brand ambassador opportunities. For me, and I’m sure for many of you as well, blogging is currently a side project, so my monetizing channels are mostly self-realized – meaning I create, implement and manage them myself.

So, what goes into a money-making blog post? The tool that makes commissions possible is obviously crucial, but it’s not just the links that actually monetize – it’s each element of the post working together to create a composite that inspires sales. From personal experience, reading other blogs and the research I’ve done through IFB, I’ve nailed down five elements that make up a money-making personal style post.

The Ingredients:

  • Clear images that showcase the full look and highlight key items
  • Easy-to-find affiliate links to items currently available for purchase online
  • Engaging copy
  • A search engine-friendly headline
  • Social media promotion

 

1. Images

We’ve talked at length about what makes up a great blog photograph, and you can find a detailed archive of our best tips right here. For an example, let’s use this picture of me during New York Fashion Week. It’s a full-body shot, it’s in focus and clearly shows everything I’m wearing. This would work well for a personal style post.

On my personal blog as well as Eat, Sleep, Denim, I also like to include detail shots that highlight the shoes, the bag or anything else unique or cool about my outfit (especially if I’m going to link out to it with an affiliate).

2. Affiliate Links

We broke down the basics of choosing affilate networks yesterday, so once you’ve applied and gotten set up with one (or many), it’s time to start embedding those links in your content (put them in archived posts, too). Below, I’ve broken down my outfit literally from head to toe, listing out all the items I could use as potential commission-earning affiliate links (I am a member of both Fashion Traffic and rewardStyle). With each post and look you create, you’ll have to decide how many items you want to link, and what your readers might actually buy. The key to successful use of affiliate links is to make their precence feel both natural and helpful to your readers.

The Head-to-Toe Break-Down:

  • Topshop petites military shirt: $68
    • $4.76 potential commission from Topshop.com via rewardStyle
  • James Jeans ‘Twiggy’ legging in Vanilla: $167
    • $17.54 potential commission from BlueFly.com via rewardStyle
  • Coach Legacy iPad clutch: $178
    • No affiliate links found
  • Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses: $145
    • $18.27 potential commission from zappos.com via rewardStyle
  • Michael Kors watch (similar): $250
    • $26.25 potential commission from Nordstrom.com via rewardStyle
  • Kenneth Jay Lane bracelet (similar): $112
    • $3.62 potential commission from rewardStyle
  • NARS ‘Heat Wave’ lipstick: $24
    • $3.60 potential commission from sephora.com via FashionTraffic
Total potential commission with one purchase of each item: $74.04

 

With each piece, I searched both of the affiliate networks to which I belong, looking for the highest commission rate both within that network as well as among the different merchants (sometimes the difference can be as much as double). For example, the highest commission possible for the jeans was found on rewardStyle, but the options varied greatly:

 

As a blogger you want to set yourself up for the highest potential earnings. You can see above that Piperlime has these jeans on sale, which might encourage more sales, but with much lower earnings per sale. Which way you go is up to you, and how you believe your readers shop. (If you wear a lot of vintage or thrifted items at once, this kind of monetization is going to be a bit trickier, but you can always search for similar items to yours and link out to those as an alternative option for your readers.)

3. Engaging Copy

True, some successful bloggers like Blair of Atlantic-Pacific and Andy of Style Scrapbook rely much more heavily on images than text in their posts – but many of us really enjoy (and gain readers with) our written content. Personally, I love the combination of show and tell that style blogging allows. Explaining to your readers why you like something, what else you might wear it with, an anecdote from your shopping experience – these elements create a more personal bond with your readers, one that will earn their trust and hopefully inspire them to shop right from your post.

4. A Search Engine-friendly Headline

Oh, SEO. It’s a beautifull thing, isn’t it? When you’re hoping to make money from your personal style posts, incorperating keywords into your headline can be a crucial step for drawing in potential new readers (who may make purchases). Organic search is a key traffic-driver – so don’t miss out on this opportunity. Whether you’re exemplifying a key fall trend or showing how to wear a black dress three ways, be sure your headline says as much.

5. Social Media Promotion

Once your post goes live, sharing it on your social media channels is pretty par-for-the-course for us bloggers. For added monetization potential, you can use your same affiliate links in tweets (and Instagrams you push out to Twitter) and don’t forget to pin them on Pinterest as well. (On Pinterest, be sure to mention that the item you’re pinning is one you’re wearing on your blog.)

So there you have it, that’s how I monetize my personal style posts. What about you? Are there other elements you use to encourage purchasing and earn money through your blog? 

Comments

  1. Avatar of Kate Heimann
    Kate Heimann says:

    Super helpful! :) Thank you for breaking it down – it all seems so simple now!

  2. Marguerite/Chicspace says:

    Very, very good post, both in terms of actual mechanics and the whole thought process. Thanks!

  3. Lisa says:

    Oops! Step #1 of blogging…proofread for spelling errors before you publish a post. The word “incorperating” is spelled wrong. Otherwise, such a helpful and smart post!

    As far as monetizing, it’s very wise to use affiliate links to similar items because items on Reward Style can very often sell out or be unavailable. Also, the Pose app just linked to Reward Style, so if you have a presence/following on Pose, it would be to your advantage to start posting content there with affiliate links. It’s user friendly and in one month, it has quadrupled my referral clicks.

    Another tip that’s missing here is to alt tag your images. This is key for driving image search traffic to your site. People looking to buy an item may not be regular blog readers, but they want to see what an item looks like on someone. So they’ll do an image search for it, and as a blogger, you’ll increase your traffic and your potential revenue if you take the time to alt tag each image with a specific description.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Avatar of moiminnie
    moiminnie says:

    Wow this is all rocket science to me! I don’t work with companies and monetize my blog because I write it out of pure love for fashion, art and photography. I like it that way for now, and I hope it stays like that! And if I did that, I can see I’d do a lousy job haha, although you wrote a great post.

    http://www.moiminnie.blogspot.com

    xx

  5. Avatar of Frugal Flirty N Fab!

    Luv this super informative post!! Learned alot that I will incorporate in my own blog!! Thanks!!

  6. Avatar of Rhythm and Ruffle

    This is great! SUPER helpful information. Thanks Taylor! xo

    http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

  7. Avatar of Lauren Rambo
    Lauren says:

    All the affiliate help posts have been super helpful, especially to a newbie like me. So cheers! However, this post rubs me the wrong way a little bit. It seems like this could be easily devolve into putting together the most lucrative outfit rather than outfits that showcase your genuine style and/or inspire your readers.

    Just my two cents. :) By the way, I do truly want to buy every single thing you’re wearing.

    • Avatar of taylordavies
      taylordavies says:

      Hi Lauren,

      I definitely see what you’re saying. For the benefit of our readers I wanted to show ALL the potential commission earning links for something like this – but it’s absolutely key to make your personal style and genuine interests take top priority. It’s all about the mix, and what works best for you and your readers. If making money becomes your ultimate end-goal your authenticity will probably suffer. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

    • Linda says:

      I agree that these strategies can be used in ways that are bad for your readers. In the image of the jeans, she chose the most expensive pair because it was the highest commission for her, even though they were available for less than half the price at another site.

      Consider two scenarios:
      1) The reader buys the jeans for $167 not knowing that they could have got them for $73. Well that just sucks for the reader. But who cares! You got a big commission! That seems cruel.
      2) The reader sees you linking to the $167 pair but they shop around first and find and buy the $73 pair. Now the blogger gets no commission. Sometimes doing what’s best for your readers is also best for you.

      • Toni says:

        Linda I agree with you! Being someone who wears a lot of.vintage and shops at lower end stores, I find it to betray my stance on blogging if I include affiliate links that would cost my readers hundreds of dollars. If I wouldn’t spend the money myself, then I wouldn’t expect my readers to either. If I am wearing a designer piece that I found, I will link to that designer item but also include a similar, more inexpensive version. It seems to be a good compromise.

  8. Avatar of The Glamorous Housewife

    This might be the most informative post I have read on IFB ever. I include the affiliate post linked. Amazing. Thank you so much for the information.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  9. Avatar of Rachel
    Rachel says:

    This post is so helpful, especially being a new blogger.

    http://www.glitzyblues.com

  10. Amazing- sooo helpful! I have so much to learn :) I can’t wait!
    -AK-

  11. This is just a great post. I’ve gained even more for this one post than from some of the other items I’ve researched, on my own. Especially because I’m a bit more than tentative about embarking on the journey of making money via my blog in the wrong way. Thanks Thanks and more Thanks, for this post.
    Oby~
    http://www.fashionartcrafts-etc.com

  12. Avatar of Style Societe

    wow this is really helpful! thank you!
    http://style-societe.com

  13. I’m really surprised at how many different price points there are on the Internet for the same pair of jeans. Do you ever follow up with readers to find out their feelings on the purchase process?

  14. Theresa Roth says:

    Hi Taylor,
    I am not a blogger, but I found your article to be completely fascinating! Very thoughtful (and generous) information sharing! Best to you, Theresa

  15. Borjana says:

    This is sooo helpful,I was always wondering how could I start earning money from blogging:-)Affiliate links sound perfect for me,I’m gonna try it for sure!
    xx
    B.

  16. Very helpful and useful information. Thanks for always sharing such great insight!!
    http://beautymovesme.com/

  17. Avatar of Ascending Butterfly

    I have a love/hate thing with affiliate marketing, I prefer selling ad space directly, but maybe it’s because I already have a strong sales background. Great Post!

  18. Aves says:

    The post is very informative and helpful for the new bloggers. I did learn a lot.

  19. Adeola Naomi says:

    Thank you so so much!!!

  20. Brandon says:

    I really liked this article and shared with my partners. Our goal is to make you blog the best around. Thank u so much!

  21. Avatar of tany
    tany says:

    What an useful article as I am just starting with my blog, but in time I would love to make it more then just a hobby to also as a career to be able to work on my own.

    http://www.fashiondelights.net

  22. Kris says:

    saving this onto my favorites rrriiiiiight now :]

    -K from loveyouduh.com

  23. HommeStyler says:

    I own a menswear blog and want to see how effective you think style posts like these would be?

  24. Avatar of Fashion HotBox
    Emma says:

    Thank you so much for this post!! Seriously so helpful (especially as I am pretty new to fashion blogging!).

  25. Emma says:

    Really great tips on earning money through blogging. Thanks for share this information.

  26. I am obsessed with you, IFB! Your articles are so helpful – they answer all of my questions, even ones I didn’t know I needed to be asking! Thank you, thank you, thank you is all I can say about this post!

    XOXO

    http://www.foxyoxiesupernova.blogspot.com
    http://www.facebook.com/FoxyOxieSupernova
    http://www.twitter.com/FoxyOxie

  27. Vkool says:

    I feel quite easy to monetize my blog but it is very difficult to do affilitate related work. Very nice tips, thanks!!!!!

  28. Oh my god, I literally cannot thank you enough for posting about this! This post was SO informative and the timing of me finding it really could not have been better, as I am finally in the right stage to start considering this. You explained everything is such detail and in an easy to understand and smart way. I guess what I’m trying to say is, thank you again!!

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Blogging Business - How to Make Money From Your Blogging Business | IFB

What do you think?