The Guide to Affiliate Companies Every Fashion Blogger Must Know

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You probably already know that affiliate programs are one of the easiest ways to monetize fashion related traffic. Even if you only participate in affiliate programs to answer your own questions: how many clicks does it take before someone buys something? is one type of affiliate program faster to pay out than another? what can I do to make more money from affiliate programs?  – there are lots of benefits to affiliate programs. The patterns of clicks, conversions and sales can tell you more about your site traffic, and give valuable data to prepare for dealing with advertisers directly. Whether you're new to affiliate marketing, just considering it for tests, or wondering if there's a better option than something you're already using, here's a list of (almost) every fashion or beauty related affiliate network available. Almost isn't everything, so if you see one missing, add it in the comments!

The Networks

Each of the networks generally works in the same way – apply directly with retailers you're interested in. If you're accepted, you'll get access to banners, links and other tools. Payout times and terms vary by program, but if you make sales with different advertisers on the same network, those commissions will be consolidated into a single check.

Almost all of the networks offer an email contact to the program manager. If your site is initially rejected, but you think that your blog and audience would be a good fit for the advertiser, send an email to the program manager outlining your traffic, popular posts that relate to the products or brands they carry, and ask them to reconsider. Most of the time, this will turn any initial “no”s into acceptance. If it doesn't, you'll usually at least get a more detailed explanation on the reason your site wasn't improved, which can be valuable for improving your blog.

LinkShare

Prominent fashion brands and retailers:

Department Stores: Nordstrom, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Saks

High End and Luxury: Net-a-Porter, the Outnet, Alexander Wang

High Street and Fast Fashion: ASOS, Topshop, J.Crew, Forever21

Beauty: Sephora, Clinique

Commission Junction

Prominent fashion brands and retailers:

Department Stores:  Zappos

High End and Luxury: Ferragamo, Luisa via Roma, Shopbop, Brooks Brothers, Bluefly, Yoox

High Street and Fast Fashion:  Banana Republic, Gap, Free People, Ann Taylor, Old Navy, Nasty Gal

Beauty:  StrawberryNet, Stila

Ebay Affiliate Network (formerly Pepperjam)

Prominent fashion brands and retailers:

Department Stores: Lord & Taylor, Target

High End and Luxury:  Forward by Elise Walker, Proenza Schouler

High Street and Fast Fashion: C.Wonder, Aeropostale, Alternative Apparel, Forever21, John Varvatos, Levi's

Beauty: NARS, Shu Uemura

The Aggregators

Chances are you see retailers in a lot of different networks that you'd like to promote. Unless you have a large amount of traffic, or do very well with one program on each, chances are the time it takes to build links, keep up with promotions, and even research specific products to link to will start to take a significant amount of time.

Aggregators can be a real time saver, since they bring multiple programs from multiple networks together in one place, with one set of tools. Also, due to the larger amount of combined traffic they send to affiliate networks, they usually negotiate higher rates, so that there's no loss of money in terms of what you make if your visitors do turn into buyers. An added bonus? For many programs you don't have to deal with multiple approval requests. Once you're accepted by the aggregator, you have access to all of the programs for which they've been approved. For bloggers, this means you don't have to worry about going through a long approval process when you see a single product you'd like to promote, at a retailer you may not link to again.

There are exceptions – some programs, like Net-a-Porter, require approval of all affiliates whether aggregated or direct to their program, but if you are approved, aggregators can still bring those links together in one place for you.

Beso

Payments are based on a CPC (cost-per-click) model

Fashion Traffic

Operates across payment types, and offers publishers CPC, CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and CPS (cost per sale) payments from multiple advertisers in one program.

ShopSense by ShopStyle

Payments are based on a CPC model, relative to website traffic quality. Specifics aren't issued in terms of website quality, but ratio of visitors who click to visitors who go on to make a purchase probably plays a role.

Prominent publishers using ShopSense/ShopStyle: the Popsugar group of sites, The Fashion Bomb

Reward Style

Payments are on a CPS basis, meaning publishers are paid only if visitors purchase something after clicking an affiliate link.

Prominent publishers using RewardStyle: Vogue.com, Man Repeller, Fashionista, Gabi Fresh

SkimLinks

Once used by Pinterest to test affiliate earning potential, SkimLinks is one of the aggregators that definitely falls into the time saving category. Affiliate links don't have to be generated, instead SkimLinks uses a small piece of code to find domains that match affiliate advertisers, and inserts affiliate links on the fly. While the programs aren't specific to fashion, there are tools that narrow the possibilities by topic – of which fashion is one (tech is another).

Prominent publishers that use SkimLinks: Gawker sites (including Jezebel), the Cut (New York Magazine)

VigLink

Almost identical in concept to SkimLinks, VigLink doesn't require you to generate links for programs, or to join any individually. Having tested the code, one thing I've found is that the VigLink code goes beyond affiliate links and even tracks links to social profiles and other sites. For those interested in more data about where visitors click, this could be a plus. If you already get that information from any type of analytics program, it might be unnecessary and fall into the negative column.

The Network as a Platform

While there are characteristics of aggregators here, there's an emerging affiliate option that is part network aggregator, part layout or ad presentation tool, with heavy doses of social activity through feeds, followers and more .

Fancy

Lyst

Monogram

Do you have pros or cons to add to any of the affiliate options listed? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

 

[Image Credit: Shutterstock.com]

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79 Responses

  1. Moe a.k.a. @biggirlblue

    If you are a smaller site and are going to try something like skim links be sure to watch your ranking. I used Kontera for just over six months and noticed a considerable drop in my rank. When I dropped them my rank rose back up within three weeks. The payout was not worth the drop.

    Reply
    • My Linh

      Hi @biggirlblue, I’m really new to this blogging and wondering what did you mean by ranking drops, there’s a way you can check?

      Thanks so much for your time,

      Reply
  2. Erin

    Has anyone done a comparison in revenue between Shopsense and Besos? I currently use Shopsense since my readers prefer to look and not buy but am curious about whether or not Besos would increase my revenue since my Shopsense clicks might not be generating me as much $$ since my readers don’t typically purchase.

    Reply
    • YM Ousley

      I think that’s one of those things you’d have to test for yourself. Even though it takes more than a few clicks to happen, I’ve found that when affiliate traffic from my site does buy from a retailer the total revenue is a lot more than I would have received in clicks. So whenever possible, I usually go directly through one of the networks.

      Any of the aggregators who pay on clicks are likely still taking sales into consideration, but they may have a longer cookie length, or better terms with the merchant that mean they can afford to pay out earlier (for clicks) instead of waiting for the sale payout (that can be anywhere from 30-90 days later).

      The only way to know for sure is to give each one a try though. At least a few times a year, test the different options out to see if one may start performing better, or if you’re better off with a certain kind of ad.

      Reply
    • Chelsey

      I use both Shopsense and beso. I find that Shopsense works best for my blog, but I have a good amount of success with Beso when I use it for Pinterest.

      Reply
  3. The Glamorous Housewife

    As one of the top vintage lifestyle bloggers, I have found Reward Style to be my number one affiliate network, mainly because they have both Ruche and ModCloth as customers. However I think their “link ninja” is an amazing time saver and is one of the few networks approved by Pinterest so you can make money on your Pins! I also just learned they have some really amazing apps you can add to your blog, such as a “shop the post”, and a “lookbook”. If you are going to try one network I would start with Reward Style.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

    ps: I just wish someone would get Etsy on an affiliate program. Then I could be rich! LOL!

    Reply
    • YM Ousley

      I haven’t signed up for Reward Style (though everyone and their fashion loving cat has), but I think the biggest advantage in any of the aggregators is the time savings. Since RewardStyle is only fashion programs, I’d imagine that makes it even easier.

      I think there are a lot of people who would be all over an Etsy program, but from everything they announced, it seems like that’s one area where you’re always going to have a better shot contacting sellers directly.

      Reply
      • Janet

        Etsy is on an affiliate program (both US and Canada). Sign up at http://www.newspapergrl.com/AffiliateWindow – this is the only network that charges you to join. It’s $5 but they refund it once you make $5. They have a lot of travel type programs but for fashion bloggers Etsy is the best.

        Blog on
        Janet

    • Sharelle D. Lowery

      I am not sure what Fashion Great that I upset, but Reward Style will NOT approve me. What gives with that? How much traffic do I have to have to be relevant to them?

      Reply
    • csjg

      Hi Glamorous Housewife,

      I was wondering if you tried contacting Etsy and partnering directly with them if you post so many of their items…

      Thanks GH!

      Reply
  4. Caitlin

    FYI – Many programs have dual affiliate programs in different networks. If you are rejected from one, check and see if that program is in another network. Another tip – don’t forget about Impact Radius! With GAN’s closure last month, many programs that were in GAN made the switch to IR.

    PS – CJ has oodles of high end brands including Tory Burch. They also have Ulta for all you beauty addicts. Check out Kate Spade in Pepperjam/Ebay, too!

    Reply
  5. Emmie

    Great roundup and explanation. I have affiliate accounts with the major networks listed, but because of the time involved to generate links, it doesn’t have the desired payoff. I love aggregator RewardStyle – they have become a very large portion of my blog income simply by using their Link Ninja tool to pin or link certain fashion or accessory items I like. Really easy to use, and they’re adding new advertisers all the time.

    Reply
  6. New Found Lust

    Loved this post. I mostly use Lyst, I like it especially for linking to other items from the designer or brand and not necessarily to their shop. That way, a reader can browse other options from the same designer, it works great!

    Reply
  7. Tall Snob

    Most of my visitors can online find tall clothes online, so I mainly use The Networks and Rewardstyle. Thanks for sharing some of the other options.

    Reply
  8. Mallory

    I noticed you didn’t mention Sharasale (which includes Lulus, Modcloth, Plasticland and others as far as fashion sites) or Amazon.com Associates (which isn’t available for every state in the US, but is great for those who can use it). Those are the main 2 that I use personally.

    Overall a really great detailed list though!!

    Reply
    • YM Ousley

      Share-a-Sale does have some good programs, but the other 3 tend to have a larger number of programs. I believe ModCloth is also available on Commission Junction, and I do recall seeing Lulu’s on one of the sites as well. In the UK, Affiliate Window is a site that offers some overlap to Linkshare with programs for department stores like Harrod’s, and sites like MyWardrobe. I couldn’t list every fashion affiliate program available, but the 3 networks on there cover probably 90% of what’s available. Since Google close their affiliate network, you’ll probably start to see more programs open on those networks also.

      Reply
    • Jackie

      Great advice for a new blogger! Gonna check these out!

      Does anyone have any advice for home & decor affiliates?

      Thanks so much!!

      Reply
      • YM Ousley

        Try a few of the department stores – almost all will have a home section with everything from furniture to flatwear. ShopStyle also has a home section, so they might be the aggregator to go with if decor products will be a big part of your site.

  9. Clothes Medley

    I recently started using Shopsense for my blog, and found this article very helpful in highlighting other options as well. I’ll be sure to refer back to this if Shopsense isn’t the right fit. So far, I’ve found that it’s easy to use and has a broad list of products and options (such as widgets or just direct links).

    Reply
    • YM Ousley

      Depending on what type of fashion you cover, I’ve also find that they sometimes have options that aren’t even publicly listed on the larger affiliate networks. I haven’t done a comparison of them with Beso or RewardStyle as far as available programs, but Shopstyle definitely has a large selection.

      Reply
  10. Sophia

    Great article on how to monetize product recommendations! I would like to add our new startup, Crowduru.com to the list for monetizing product recommendations. The way it works is buyers come into our site and describe their buying needs (along with their style, sizes, age group, etc). And anyone can recommend a product (with their own affiliate link) directly to the buyer. An example can be seen here: http://crowduru.com/questions/14-i-want-to-look-great-for-the-first-day-of-a-new-job?s=t . And of course this is all free to use.

    Reply
  11. Amanda Teague

    My blog is hosted by wordpress.com and it appears wordpress.com blogs can not use affilate links. Does anyone know if this is true and/or programs that work with wordpress.com blogs?

    Reply
    • Mary King

      According to their support page, they do not allow “many” affiliate links. They break down what they define as affiliate linking, but basically it comes down to that they don’t allow what is being discussed here. You risk the blog being suspended if they catch you. They do go on to say that select affiliate linking is permitted as long as it is not the primary content of the blog, but the only affiliate link program they mention by name is Amazon (it also mentions some are made on a case by case basis) However, I notice fashion blogs that use affiliate linking do use them heavily, I doubt that wordpress would make an exception as they’d like see it as primary content.

      Reply
  12. Broderick

    Thanks for the info! I’m just now making the plunge into style blogging and this article really breaks it down. I’ve got it bookmarked!

    Reply
  13. Sarmistha Goswami

    Thanks a million! This is an amazing post full of information. I haven’t yet started monetizing my blog and have definitely considered doing so after reading this post and the comments from the fellow IFB members 🙂
    Please visit me sometimes : http://littlebookoffashion.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  14. Suzanne Amlin

    I’m still fairly new to this stuff but what I’d like to know is, say a company has multiple platforms for being an affiliate. Can you be in both? I don’t know if their policies will be the same for every affiliate company, but I know you get different percentages back and for some of them you can’t use direct linking. I didn’t know if there would be advantages to using banner ads from one company and then using direct links from another company. Has this worked in any scenario for anybody? Is it legal? Let me know, I’m really curious, but I don’t want to step on any toes if I’m bound to one thing!

    Suzanne

    Reply
  15. Paula Holmes

    I’ve just recently started using Shopsense and find it great, no waiting for people to actually buy. Skimlinks I also think decreased my ranking and have seen improvements after removing this. Also I started using RewardStyle but the £100 payout will not be reached for a long time unless you make lots of sales, and even then there is a waiting period for the transactions to be approved which is particularly long.

    Reply
  16. Kendell Linh

    This is a wonderful blog. We just started incorporating LinkShare into our workflow – so far we are pleased. We might look into RewardStyle after reading all of the positive comments and feedback.

    Wax Ecstatic Magazine LLC

    Reply
  17. Sayani Chanda

    This article did help me get a lot of information but the main problem is many affiliate program’s don’t support other countries except the US.

    Reply
  18. Style Vulture

    I’m signed up for many of these but am still not sure which will perform best, though I really like CJ. 🙂 We’ll have to wait and see!

    Reply
  19. Chetan

    Hello Guys I trying many affiliate for my education blog but there are no more satisfaction please suggest me any good affiliate for education niche blog. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  20. Bronwyn

    Hi,
    Does anyone know if you can apply for affiliate marketing before you start posting on you blog ( as in brand new blog no posts ) so you have them ready for when you start posting? Of should I just put up a few outfits with no links to websites. Then apply after I have posted a few times. So when you start off your blog just suppose to put up outfits with no links to websites? Sorry for strange questions I’m new and have no idea what I am doing. Thanks

    Reply
  21. Seph Style

    Hi Bronwyn, you are best to post some content before applying for affiliate programmes. Networks such as ShareaSale review your website before accepting.

    Also as to my previous post, Shopsense is not working for me! Flash ads is not good for SEO!

    Reply
  22. Tina

    Hi YM! I’m launching my very first (fashion) blog this Sunday 6/29/2014! I just started researching about affiliate programs and was wondering if I should/need to generate traffic before applying to affiliate programs. I’m not sure what the requirements are for acceptance. Do you have any advice around that? Thanks so much in advance! 🙂

    Reply
  23. Jesse

    Great article! I would like to add that CPATrend is another great affiliate network to check out! They are very speedy in their delivery and provide a lot of flexibility. I will link their website here. http://www.cpatrend.com/

    Reply
  24. Fei

    Thank you for this article, really helpful for amateur bloggers like me! I did some research on the highest paying affiliate programs and the best one I found so far seems to be the one offered by picvpic.com – http://picvpic.com/partnership/overview They’re said to give you 100% commission on all purchases. Maybe you can do a comparative review on them and other programs? Again, thanks for the information!

    Reply
  25. Jessica

    Wow, so much useful tips, thank you! I actually found another affiliate program for fashion bloggers: picvpic.com partnership program http://picvpic.com/partnership/overview . They’re said to promise 100% commission on sales and from what I heard it really is so, no hidden fees or anything. Can you do a review on them or a comparison on them and other popular options? Thanks again for the article!

    Reply
  26. dacy

    I’ve been meaning to figure out affiliate links for a while now, and this post was really helpful – thank you! I just signed up with Shopsense and I like how user-friendly it is.

    Reply
  27. Dara

    Thank you for the article. I tried different affiliate programs, some were great, others not so much, the best one for me so far is picVpic partnership program. Very easy to set up, pays a lot, creates good content. Really recommend it.

    Reply
  28. Daniel Joseph

    Hello! I simply would like to give a huge thumbs up for the nice information you’ve here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

    Reply
  29. Jen

    I think you’re missing picVpic- that’s another cool agregator i’ve been using lately. It’s very handy, and you might want to check it out and include in the list to complete the article : )
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge! that was verrrry helpful. I am an amateur blogger and articles like this one save me hours of research!

    Reply
  30. SR

    Quick question – Can you use affiliate marketing if you’re extremely new and just about to launch, like integrate it from the beginning? I’m thinking mostly for my outfit/beauty posts; If so, which ones?

    Also, does anyone know which affiliate marketing companies WP is okay with? Finally, I have my own domain and a WP platform -does that change anything?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  31. Maria

    Hi all,
    Thanks for the post, and the comments. Really helpful. Talking about aggregators, I recently find one with a user friendly interface and most of Reward Style’s merchants are available there too…it is called zocko.com, the good point is that they don’t require approval as rs does and you don’t need to have accounts on the different affiliate networks, you just create you zocko account and all commissions (rewards as they call it) are aggregated there. They also do kinda curation of products so that you don’t need to identify the latest stuff, they do it for you. Definitely worths a try.

    Reply
  32. Jen

    Hey – this was really useful, thanks!
    Just wondering if anyone knows what conditions an affiliate program would consider before approving an application. I’m concerned as my site is pretty new, and I’ve had a few knock backs…

    Reply
  33. Steven Nefdt

    Hey guys, I’m an affiliate for a free to play game called marketglory. It is a marketing simulator game that lets you live the life of an entrepreneur and you work with other people in your country to build up the economy. Its a browser based game so no download necessary, and the thing that gets most interesting after a while is that you actually can start generating revenue from it in euros 🙂 I have played this for 3 months now and I am starting to get somewhere with it now. There is a member that withdraws 2500 Euros every 5 days and I consider him as my inspiration 🙂

    So if you want to give it a try then heres my link: http://www.marketglory.com/strategygame/StevenNefdt

    Reply
  34. sweetsimpleday

    Such a great article!! Just what I was looking for.. My only concern is that I’m using WordPress platform.. Installed by myself.. Hope it is ok to do affiliate program.. From my understanding, they say that if I installed it by myself which means I have my own domain.. It is ok to do so. Let me double check if anyone’s know about it for sure. Thanks in advance.
    Visit my blog sometimes!!
    http://www.sweetsimpleday.com

    Reply
  35. Erkan

    There seems to be a lot of different options. I think for sites like http://www.dapperness.com where there is a variety of brands you need to use a number of different affiliate companies. Try not to put all your eggs in one basket.

    Reply
  36. Stylenrich

    This article has given me in depth knowledge, but my concern is that My most of the visitors from India, slowly USA and Uk visitors are also showing their interest so How I use affiliate programs for my website http://stylenrich.com which is fashion and beauty oriented!

    Reply
  37. yanyi

    Hi Everyone,
    My name is Yanyi , I’m super new at this blogging thing but I have been vlogging for a while on Youtube my channel is MISS YANYI. Now I am trying to grow my blog and monetize it using affiliate links and advertisements. Can someone share some tips on which is the effective of all these affiliate sites? and how do you get companies to advertise on your blog and provide widgets , etc?
    Any help is greatly appreciated !thanks

    Reply
  38. Arshiya Fakih

    Fantastic article, and amazingly insightful!
    I was really hoping though someone can answer if there are any good affiliate programs for newer bloggers or those that don’t have a major approval process for bloggers like myself who are relatively knee and hence do not have major traffic?

    Thanks for this blog and in advance for your reply:).

    Arshiya

    Reply
  39. Katya

    Thank you so much for such a great article. I will try some of them to see what is works best for me. Does anybody knows how many traffic do you need to have before they can accept you?
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  40. Janet

    Yes, Modcloth and other fashion brands are at ShareASale and I think it’s easier to use than any of the other networks.

    Blog on
    Janet

    Reply
  41. Rosalyn

    Hi there! I love everything about this topic. I am new in this blogging world and is thinking whether or not purchase or create my own webpage if that’s what you call it and explore to some affliate programs too. Anyone can give me a piece of friendly advice? Greatly appreciate it.

    Reply
  42. Hillary

    Does anyone know if Skimlinks can be used to generate on the fly links? On Pinterest for example, or is it just for entire websites?

    Reply
  43. EQUILLA BLACK

    I’m a new fashion blogger and I get so confused about how many following do I have to have in order to be able to sign up for affiliate links, can anyone answer that for me please confused fashion bloggers;))

    Reply
  44. tracy

    I like your article about blogging for cash with affiliates. All of you can see a example of how to diy with your blog or website with affiliates by going to Grapplenetwork.com. This site is huge with affiliates, it will give you ideas on how to create your site.Check it out.

    Affiliate program: Grapplenetworktravel.com is on the site to.
    .

    Reply
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