OK, maybe not ALL. But a lot.
A few weeks ago, I was having lunch with a long time friend, Angie Johnson, the designer behind Norwegian Wood. Years ago, her label was a favorite amongst bloggers. Her iconic designs at affordable prices made any outfit a statement. In our conversation, I noted how well her label was doing and how impressive her collaborations had become. Then she said something interesting in that her business has grown tremendously, but bloggers don't write about it as much.
[Norwegian Wood's] business has grown tremendously, but bloggers don't write about it as much.
I wondered how that had happened. Granted, I took a hiatus from my fashion blog to work on IFB, so that was my reason for not writing about Norwegian Wood. Her collections have that editorial quality that makes good fodder for post content. So how did the blogosphere change where the most popular blogs used to feature emerging designers (i.e.,. Style Bubble, A Shaded View on Fashion, Style Rookie back in the day) to now the most popular blogs featuring brands solely carried by retailers large enough to have affiliate programs.
“You'll be hard pressed to find a fashion blogger who doesn't use rewardStyle.”
Ruthie Friedlander, Deputy Director of Elle.com, told Texas Monthly in an 11-page feature on popular affiliate marketing company, rewardStyle, “You'll be hard pressed to find a fashion blogger who doesn't use rewardStyle.” You know that's good news for rewardStyle, but as a fashion blogging community, that means that you'll also be hard pressed to find a blogger who doesn't feature brands also working with rewardStyle.
What's more, is that rewardStyle has interesting requirements of bloggers participating in their program. Recently Kristen Philipkoski of Stylenik found out her account with rewardStyle was “Currently Disabled.” Why? Because she hadn't made a sale in three months. In an email from rewardStyle, to become, I'm guessing… Currently Abled, one of the suggestions was “Consistent posting at least 3x a week — about monetizable products.”
Most fashion bloggers post about three times a week anyway, and to make a living off of affiliate links, you do have to post consistently. However, affiliate marketing being one of the most popular ways for bloggers to get their foot in the door to making a living with their respective sites, bloggers eager to start making money look at ways to incorporate these links.
If given a choice between a brand I could use an affiliate for, and a similar brand that I couldn't use affiliates for, I would always go for the one I could make money off of…
I know this because affiliate links affect my content as well. In my blog's resurrection, I wanted to monetize using affiliates and found that it required me to find new ways to talk about the same brands that everyone else was talking about. If given a choice between a brand I could use an affiliate for, and a similar brand that I couldn't use affiliates for, I would always go for the one I could make money off of, even if I liked the similar (and non-monetizable) one better.
Bloggers say they only link to brands love and use themselves, and I believe them. However, I can't help but to think that if monetized links could affect MY editorial choices, then who else is being swayed by the dollar billz?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]