Which affiliate platform should you use?
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If you’re new to the world of affiliate marketing, getting into it can feel pretty overwhelming at the beginning. With so many programmes on offer, how can you decide which ones are right for you?
The truth is, most platforms have their merits and, if you had all the time in the world, we’d recommend joining as many as you could. But you don’t have all the time in the world, right? Luckily for you though, we’ve put in the legwork.
We’ve tested out our fair share of affiliate programmes over the years and, naturally, are happy to share everything we’ve learnt along the way. In this post, to help you kick start your journey, we’ve rounded up the top four programmes that we’d recommend for content creators: Amazon Associates, Awin, RewardStyle and ShopStyle Collective.
These are the platforms that we suggest you get started with. Below we’ve outlined the key features and characteristics of each programme, so that you can compare them all and decide which ones are best suited to you.
Our top 4 affiliate programmes for UK bloggers and content creators
Overview of Amazon Associates:
There are two major benefits to Amazon Associates. For one, on Amazon you can buy pretty much, well, anything! That means that there are a wealth of opportunities to monetise your blog or social platforms, no matter what your niche is.
On top of this, the programme is ridiculously easy to use. In fact, it’s probably the most simple one that we’ve found. Just go through the signup process and then, once accepted, search through Associates for any item on Amazon that you want to recommend to your followers.
A link will then be created for you and tracked.
Commission and Cookies on Amazon Associates:
In terms of commission, you will make a percentage of any sale that is made. This can vary anywhere between 1% for things like games consoles, to 10% for luxury makeup products.
Win for any beauty bloggers reading!
Cookies from the links remain active for 24 hours. That means that if somebody uses your link to a product and buys it within a day, the sale will be attributed to you and you will make a commission on it.
Payments are made approximately 60 days after the end of each calendar month.
Joining requirements of Amazon Associates:
Amazon Associates is open to anyone: There are no requirements and you don’t need to deposit any money in order to be able to create an account. However, if you want to apply for the slightly more extensive Amazon Influencer programme, you must have a certain online reach, as well as having either a YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter account to qualify.
Amazon are vague about what exact number they’re looking for here, but outline that this is a programme for those with a larger presence. As well as the benefits of Amazon Associates, the programme allows you to create a “storefront” that your followers can shop directly from.
Unlike Amazon Associates, AWIN is a platform for brands to promote their affiliate opportunities within.
Awin has quickly become a well known affiliate platform, with over 13,000 active users. The platform boasts over 1,600 brands in 11 territories. And the best part is that the brands span across 77 sectors, meaning that, no matter your niche, you’re bound to find something that suits you.
They even offer an Etsy affiliate programme! Find the full list of advertisers here.
On top of adverts for affiliate opportunities, AWIN also has an “Opportunity Marketplace”. Here you can pitch to brands to work together. For example, on a sponsored post.
Whilst perhaps not quite as easy to understand as the likes of Amazon, they are very user-friendly and you can pick up how to use the platform quickly. It also has a WordPress plugin that makes it really easy to integrate affiliate links into your blog.
Commission and Cookies on AWIN
Commission rates and how long links are tracked for depends solely on the campaign that you are looking at. It is all decided by the advertiser, not AWIN itself. This means that finding the right campaign for you may take a little more time, but also that you can find yourself some killer commission rates if you look hard enough!
Payouts are made twice a month (which is a huge bonus!), with a minimum amount of $20 necessary for the withdrawal to be completed.
Joining requirements of AWIN
To join AWIN as a publisher (someone wanting to promote affiliate links), you have to fill out an application form. Whilst there are no analytic restrictions to influencers that can join, your application can be rejected at their discretion. Though, we haven’t personally ever heard of this happening!
Whilst going through the application process, there is also a $5 fee. This will be refunded to you if you are approved, but will not be returned if your application is denied. The process is in place for security reasons, to ensure that you’re not a scammer or spam account.
We’re sure you’ve already heard of this one but, in case you haven’t, RewardStyle is a sub affiliate network. This means that, once a part of the community, you can literally promote any of the advertisers that are a part of their platform.
Excitingly, RewardStyle have some pretty huge names within their programme, some of which are completely exclusive to them and do not offer affiliate opportunities anywhere else. These include ASOS (!), Kate Spade and even J.Crew.
Most conveniently though, RewardStyle allow you to make your content completely shoppable, through the LIKEtoKNOW.it app/links. This is true even within closed platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Your followers can use the app to “shop” your posts directly, with affiliate links straight to the items in your photos.
Plus, when they like a picture within Instagram, LIKEtoKNOW.it will email them links to the items that you have tagged. This means that the app offers particularly great earning potential.
Whilst the programme is best known for its fashion affiliates, RewardStyle now offer a range of brands across different sectors.
Commission and Cookies for RewardStyle
Commission rates depend on the retailer that you are working with, as is the case with most of these types of platform! Generally, the cookies from your LIKEtoKNOW.it links will remain active for 30 days (unless cleared by the user), meaning that you have a month-long opportunity for a follower to make a purchase.
Payments are made through PayPal every two weeks. However, you have to reach a $100 earning threshold before your first payout is made.
Joining requirements of RewardStyle
Due to the incredible opportunities that RewardStyle provides, it is a little more tricky to join. In order to become a member, you either have to make an application or be invited, so that the RewardStyle team can assess whether you are a good fit for the platform.
Good news, though! If you’re a Grow & Glow member and will be attending our January event in collaboration with RewardStyle (more info to follow), you will get an exclusive opportunity to apply to become a member.
Much like RewardStyle and Awin, ShopStyle Collective is a “sub affiliate” programme. That means that it is a central hub for a variety of different affiliate opportunities. Again, once accepted into the community you can choose from a range of different advertisers and add affiliate links on your blog and social media channels.
As you may have guessed by the name, the platform is very fashion-focused, hosting brands including Forever 21, Net-A-Porter, Glossier and even Gucci!
Commission and Cookies on ShopStyle Collective
Commission rates and how long links are tracked for depends on the campaign that you are looking at. It is all decided by the advertiser, not ShopStyle Collective itself.
Payouts are made once a month. Generally, any money you make in one month will get paid into your account the next month.
Joining Requirements of ShopStyle Collective
Applying for and getting accepted into the ShopStyle Collective programme is relatively easy and it is not an “invite only” platform, which we love!
This means that it’s a great starting point for many bloggers, particularly if you have a fashion or beauty-based niche.
ShopStyle Collective were kind enough to give us a complete guide to the platform in 2020! To access it and the other “Glow Your Affiliate Marketing Basics” resources, become a Grow & Glow member.
Like we said, getting started with affiliate marketing can feel pretty overwhelming. That’s why we wanted to get resources straight from the horse’s mouth with our “Glow Your Affiliate Marketing Basics” bundle. In it, we’ve got guides to using both ShopStyle Collective and RewardStyle, with more resources coming soon!
For more resources, including a guide to some of the other best affiliate programmes specifically for bloggers, be sure to check out our free library and enter your details to gain access.
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