The quickest way to your blogging dreams probably depends at least a little on income. Generating an income from your blog can be both challenging and time-consuming. This is why one of the best ways to earn a paycheck through your blog is affiliate marketing!
If you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing and you’d like an in-depth look, check out our blog post, here. But essentially, affiliate marketing is when you back a product on your blog and create engaging content surrounding it. The post(s) then include a special link that alerts affiliate programs when you generate a buyer’s interest. Then, when someone purchases the product or follows the link, you earn a commission! This is a great way to develop passive income while you continue your blogging journey.
ShopStyle and LikeToKnowIt (LTK) are two of the most popular affiliate marketing platforms among bloggers. Believe it or not, choosing the right affiliate platform can make all the difference in your business. So, what do these platforms offer that makes them so great? Below, we’ll explain the benefits and drawbacks of each of these popular platforms to help you decide which one is right for you. Let’s dive right in!
ShopStyle vs LikeToKnowIt (LTK)
ShopStyle and LikeToKnowIt (LTK) are both trusted platforms that are well-suited for almost any blog. They have a variety of products to choose from and an intuitive, user-friendly interface to track your income and progression. But, they differ on a few key features. So, let’s break down each one!
What is ShopStyle?
ShopStyle is a massive online shopping platform where users can browse products from over 1,400 retailers. They’ve got millions of products featured from home goods to clothing and they have a ton of global traffic through their website and mobile app.
The ShopStyle Collective is an affiliate marketing network of bloggers and influencers who select products to market for a commission. We’ll be focusing on the affiliate side for our breakdown.
How ShopStyle Works
On ShopStyle, you select products from a wide variety of brands. That’s right, you choose what you want to market! Then, you create quality content on your blog informing people about the product or instructing them how to use it.
ShopStyle provides you with a special affiliate link and when a reader travels to the website using that link, you get a commission! It does this through cookies on users’ web browsers. ShopStyle is a pay-per-click commission structure, so you receive 5 cents every time someone uses the link you posted, no purchase is necessary.
Advanced membership on ShopStyle also has a product widget creation system where you can display several products in a pleasing gallery style. With this membership, you can also open a “ShopStyle Shop” where you showcase your curated products and earn commission rate increases!
How to Use ShopStyle
Make Your Account
First things first, make your account on ShopStyle Collective. This is where bloggers and influencers go to manage their affiliate marketing. So, make sure you don’t get that confused with the standard ShopStyle website. (Though there’s nothing wrong with heading there to do a little shopping to reward yourself for all your hard work!)
Search for Products
Using the search function on your account, browse all the products and select the ones best for your brand! Remember, you still want to create desirable content for your readers, so not just any product will do.
Then, use the lists feature to organize all the products and brands you select, so you can plan your content accordingly. Believe us when we say, this is a much better organization system than a bunch of bookmarked pages!
Use LinkIt to Create Your Affiliate Link
Next, add the “LinkIt” tool to your toolbar. This way, when you’re browsing the products, you can simply click it to generate your unique affiliate link. This link is what’s going to connect your customers to the products and connect the profits to you!
Build Your ShopStyle Shop
Now it’s time to build your shop collection. Collections are like your own personal boutique where your readers will access all the products you market in one location. First, you create a look, which shows you wearing or displaying the products, and then you link everything featured!
You can then take your Collection and add it to your post, Pinterest, website, or any other social media platform!
Study Your Analytics
The analytics page not only shows you how much you’re earning but also tells you what tools, social networks, and brands are working the best for you!
Do you sell more through text links or widgets? Is your Instagram post working as hard as your Pinterest post? Which brands do your readers really love and just keep buying from? Your analytics will include all of this in the generated data.
Read Their Blog and Newsletter
ShopStyle really wants you to succeed, because when you succeed, so do their brands! ShopStyle offers tons of great tips and tricks to develop your affiliate marketing and boost it to its maximum potential. Their blog and newsletter are definitely worth keeping up on!
Make Commission Per Click
ShopStyle, unlike some affiliate platforms, does not rely on sales. This might be better for you and your content to ensure your posts don’t come off too desperate or spammy. On ShopStyle, you receive a commission on every click from your readers, even if there is no sale. You start at 5 cents per click, which is great for guaranteed profit, albeit the few cents will barely feel like a drop in the bucket in the beginning.
How to Get Approved for ShopStyle
In order to be approved for ShopStyle’s affiliate program, you’ll need to have the following qualifications:
ShopStyle wants to know that you have buyers, so they’re looking for an audience that is consistently engaging with your content. Knowing you have loyal readers gives the platform confidence you’ll be able to generate clicks.
Consistent posting ensures your audience will not lose interest in your content or the products you’re marketing. Regular postings will also grow your blog and produce larger and larger audiences.
Original Shoppable Content
Original Shoppable Content is an asset that readers click that directs them to the website for purchase. You’ll need to be the one curating the original content the products can fit inside. ShopStyle wants to see you can easily craft these social media posts, blogs, or images to interest readers and lead them to the site.
ShopStyle is mostly clothing, kid’s items, and home goods. If your niche doesn’t include any of these categories, you may have a hard time incorporating ShopStyle’s products into your content. The good news is, that there are lots of affiliate marketing platforms. To make sure you select the right one – here are over 20 affiliate marketing platforms to choose from.
What is LikeToKnowIt (LTK)?
LikeToKnowIt (LTK) is the largest influencer shopping platform designed to help users discover new products. Their products include fashion, fitness, beauty, and more and they offer these products to shoppers through influencers and content creators.
With global reach, they have over 1 million brands from over 5,000 retailers. Over 8 million users visit their app monthly, and it’s all driven by bloggers and influencers like you!
How LikeToKnowIt Works
LikeToKnowIt focuses on your LTK shop, where you curate your special product collection. You can link your shop to your social media pages, so your readers always have access to your recommended brands.
You’ll use another app called “Reward Style,” which is the backend of LTK and allows you to post and manage your shop. LTK users browse influencer shops and follow those who curate content they enjoy.
When users buy products from the LTK app, the influencer gets a commission between 10% – 20% on that sale. You’ll also get helpful analytics to see what users like to see most.
How to Use LikeToKnowIt
Download LTK and RewardStyle
You’ll need to download both LTK and RewardStyle, so you can view products as well as manage your shop. Both apps are required for you, the affiliate, to utilize all the features. You can also use your desktop if that’s your preferred method.
Search for Products
Next, on RewardStyle, you will search for products you like and save them to your favorites. They’ve got products from thousands of retailers, and you can even link Amazon items. Once you choose an item, the app will produce a unique link for you.
Upload Your Photo
LTK relies on photos to attract users to the content. So, you’ll upload a picture featuring the products chosen and then use RewardStyle to link all the products from your favorites. The photos should be aesthetically pleasing and really showcase the items!
You can then take these photos and link them to your LTK shop on your blog or other social media channels. You’ll want to drive all your traffic to your unique shop and get your readers to follow you on the LTK platform as well.
Create Your Widget and Link
RewardStyle offers a unique collection of widgets and affiliate links to add to any social media post. Affiliate links are simple, but widgets add an aesthetic element to your post that will immediately grab your reader’s attention and encourage them to browse.
Study Your Analytics
Your analytics are the key to your success in affiliate marketing! LTK will show you what products and brands are selling the best. In turn, this will help you determine what to promote in the future.
Utilize their Webinars and Consulting
LikeToKnowIt thrives on your success! The more you sell, the more their brands sell. To cultivate success, they provide tons of helpful webinars, and they even offer one-on-one consulting to help grow your business.
Make Commission Per Sale
Commission on LTK comes from sales. You receive between 10% – 20% on each item sold from your affiliate tools. What’s great about LTK is that if a user travels to a store through your shop and fills a whole cart of items, you get a commission on the total, not just the product you endorsed!
Be prepared for long wait times. Some commissions from companies take up to 90 days to complete. Each brand has its own system of processing these, so expect some inconsistencies in the beginning.
How to Join LikeToKnowIt?
One of the easiest ways to get on LikeToKnowIt is through a referral from someone already on the platform. If you know anyone or follow anyone who is on LTK, shoot them a message and see if they’ll provide a good reference for you.
Significant Engagement on One Platform
LTK requires that you have a large and engaged audience on at least one social media platform. They want to see that you have readers that are already following you, so it’ll be no feat for them to follow you on your LTK shop as well!
So, how many is a “significant” amount? Users report being accepted with as few as 2,000 followers. You can achieve those numbers in no time if you haven’t already hit that goal!
Quality Shoppable Content
Your content must be high-quality and original, so it can easily house your affiliate links and your LTK shop link. This will confirm your posts on LTK or other platforms and will help drive sales.
Daily Posting Schedules
LTK wants committed, active users. They recommend posts at least daily to be accepted, and they expect those posts to keep on coming once you’re in the program
ShopStyle vs LikeToKnowIt: Which is Better?
There is a lot to consider when selecting an affiliate network, but here are a few key ways LTK and ShopStyle differ that may sway you one way or the other. Finding the right fit will confirm your acceptance to the program as well as guarantee a good return.
Consider these differences:
Products and Your Niche
Both ShopStyle and LTK have loads of quality brands, but ShopStyle is a little more niche. If you’re a brand that’s not really into fashion or beauty you may not find much that will engage your audience.
On the other hand, LTK allows you to link Amazon products too. This means you have access to pretty much any type of item. If you have a niche that doesn’t fit within the usual “lifestyle” brand look, think about using LTK instead.
LTK offers one membership option for all creators, whereas ShopStyle has two tiers. The first tier limits your ability to create widgets and collections that might be necessary for you to generate your needed traction.
With each option, you earn your passive income differently. With ShopStyle, you earn a commission on every click, which is great to have guaranteed income. LTK only provides commission on sales. That being said, it’s a bigger cut than the 5 cents you’ll get from a click, but making a sale might be harder than you think.
Consider which model feels more exciting to you and which would work best for your needs and content. Each one has its benefits when it comes to commission style.
Management and User-Friendliness
ShopStyle offers one platform for all of your management needs and a super user-friendly analytics page. LTK has a clunkier experience, requiring users to have two separate apps. Additionally, some users complain about the functionality of the app, so they opt for the desktop version instead.
Both options have content assistance tools to give you the information you need to start making money fast. From webinars to blogs, each platform has you covered. That being said, LTK does offer one-on-one consulting to all users, which is a huge plus for someone just starting out.
Each platform provides analytics, but each is a bit different. ShopStyle lets you know what brands are working best for you, which LTK does not. Conversely, LTK tells the exact minute someone purchased a product from your link, which can be a really helpful analytic for scheduling posts.
What is the verdict on the better affiliate marketing platform?
In the end, they’re both great. It’s up to you now, brave blogger, to decide which one is best for your affiliate marketing journey! If ShopStyle and LTK aren’t the ones for you, check out other affiliate platforms for bloggers like Amazon Affiliates and ShareASale.
Getting your blog monetized can be the next step to taking your blog to the next level. Or, even better, it can be the next step in making your side business a career. Study these affiliate marketing platforms and decide which is best for your content.
If you have any additional questions or comments, feel free to drop us a line below. And, for more blogs like this one, head on over to the Influencer SEO Blog. There, you will find all the best tips and tricks to help you make your blogging dream and reality!