Shopstyle vs. Rewardstyle Affiliate Links

March 9, 2013 in Monetize: Rewardstyle vs Shopstyle

Like most style bloggers, I use blogging solely as a creative outlet. I have a completely unrelated job and don’t ever anticipate making any substantial amount of money from blogging. That said, if there are ways to make a few extra bucks in the month, I’m all in (it can pay for 0.025% of my $250,000 school loan… ouch, that hurts to write).

I’ve been using Rewardstyle and Shopstyle for a while now. I initially started out using only Shopstyle links about 6 months ago and signed up for Rewardstyle about 3 months ago. There are good and bad things about each of these. First I’ll talk about Rewardstyle.

Rewardstyle Basics

Rewardstyle pays you for the sales you make. After you make a sale, a few things have to happen before you get paid:

  • Any sale commission goes into an “open commission” category for the next 90-ish days
  • That commission gets subtracted if the item is returned
  • After 90 days or so, the commission goes into a new category called “closed commission”
  • Once your “closed commission” totals at least $100, you will get paid at the next payout date (monthly, I believe)

Above is the February analysis from my Rewardstyle account. If you look at the graph, you can see that the blue line signifies the daily clicks, whereas the red line (yeah, that one that is usually right along the x-axis, aka 0) signifies sales.  By analyzing my sold items, I can make the following conclusions:

  • Rewardstyle links will likely be more profitable during the biggest months of holiday shopping (October-December). Buyers looking for holiday gifts are are much more likely to make purchases at these times vs. clicking on links “just to look.” Also, big retailers are running tons of sales themselves, so you don’t have to do too much to help convince people to make purchases. And if you’re only suggesting products that you actually recommend, people are much more likely to not make returns, meaning you keep the commission.
  • If your blog has sidebar space, you can make pretty customized widgets for gift ideas, recent purchases, wishlist items, etc. This is especially helpful during holiday times as well. Its a good idea to start out with a items in a few different price ranges and see what sells best for you.
  • If you title a post “…Review…blah blah blah…” it’s probably more profitable to use Rewardstyle links for it. That post will likely generate increased views from Google searches, as well as your regular reader base. That means that people clicking on that post are more likely to be in the market for said product. Even if you think that your review is negative, a “negative” to you might be a “positive” in the eyes of the reader.

Shopstyle Basics

Shopstyle is a great alternative to Rewardstyle, and in many cases, it may be more profitable. Shopstyle pays on a per click basis. Nobody knows how much any click is going to generate. The nice thing is that any money you make is yours and will never get subtracted from your account. All you have to do is reach $100 to get paid (monthly payouts, I believe).

I haven’t been using Shopstyle much recently, and the commission graph above is pretty low. The difficult thing about Shopstyle is that you don’t know what is being clicked on, so there is no good way to tailor your links.  But here are my general thoughts on when to use this affiliate:

  • Below many bloggers outfit pictures is a short list of what they’re wearing and/or similar products. This is a great place to use Shopstyle links. Many times readers are curious about item prices and just want to “click to see.” Our readers are really smart and will (usually) shop around vs. buying that item then and there. Its nice to at least get a few cents from that click, if possible.
  • If a retailer is having a sale and there are items that you’re dying to share/ recommend, Shopstyle is probably the way to go, unless its a holiday season (for the same reason as above).
  • High-price item reviews will usually generate more profit with a pay-per-click link. People are obviously less likely to buy this item because of the price, but are willing to “check it out.” Sometimes just looking at pretty items can be amusing! I’m guilty of this myself.

Hopefully this post is helpful for you!! I’m trying these tips myself and will update at the end of March 🙂