Affiliate Links: What's The Big Deal?

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Time and time again, there seems to be some kind of controversy when it comes to digital media influencers using affiliate links on their blogs, vlogs and social media channels.


But seriously, what's the big deal?
I'm going to be very honest here: I really don't think that there's anything wrong with using affiliate links on your platform at all. There is nothing wrong with monetising it and wanting to make an income (or revenue - there is a difference). I admit - I use affiliate links on my blog, and I have absolutely no shame. Why? Because I want to (eventually) make a bit of dough from my blog, that's why.

I really can't stand the judgement people give bloggers for affiliate links (and other things like sponsored posts, ad banners, PR trips, freebies, samples, etc.) It's so annoying, dumb and kind of hypocritical. We live in a world where advertising is everywhere, and so many online platforms use affiliate links, including online newspapers and magazines that (quite ironically) criticise such bloggers (yes Daily Mail, I'm looking at you!)

In a way, it's kind of a win-win situation. If you click on a link, the influencer receives a commission based on whether that link is Cost Per Click (CPC) or Cost Per Purchase (CPP). It's not a cost to the person clicking on the link, and the reader/viewer is not obliged to click on the link and buy anything. Also, some bloggers offer discount codes, and depending on the affiliate scheme in question, the influencer may receive a commission every time the code is used. For example, I'm a Coconut Queen with Coconut Lane, and every time you use my discount code (CHICHI20) you get 20% off your purchases. It's a win-win situation for my readers because you get a discount, and I receive commission. Yay!

I read loads of blogs on a regular basis, and I must say, the majority of bloggers (and vloggers, I love watching YouTube) use affiliate links. Some use ad banners and some feature sponsored posts. I have no problem with any of these monetising options because I feel as though I have a choice, I can read an opinion on a product/service and I don't feel as though I'm being sold to or misled into a purchase. To be honest I'd rather view an affiliate link or read a sponsored post, than into a store or walk on a street and find myself being pressured into buying (or signing up to) something by salespeople. It's nice not to have to deal with that kind of pressure, it's nice to have a choice as a consumer and it's lovely to be in a position to just 'take it or leave it' so to speak. After all, I can make up my own mind, I'm not easily influenced and if I really want something then I'll go and buy it anyway (or stick it on my wishlist.)

So overall, I don't think there is anything wrong with using affiliate links on your blog, as long as you are honest (you must declare them according to the ASA) and as long as your posts aren't littered with them (subtlety is important.) If you are an influencer, don't feel ashamed about it. Go ahead, add them to your posts and make money!

Do you use affiliate links on your blog?

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4 comments

  1. Even before I started blogging, I always thought the back and forth about affiliate links didn't make any sense. I still don't understand why people are so pressed about it. People who blog including those who blog for pleasure often spend money to give you some good contents. Why anyone would apppose them earning a fraction is beyond me. It's one think if you know a pparticular blogger perpetually lies about products just to sell them. But to outrightly side eye and have a problem with every single person who uses affiliate links is baffling. Then again, it's hypocritical like you said. I struggled with this well before I decided that I would use affiliate links. I write a beauty blog. I need products and sometimes I have to try products that I otherwise wouldn't have just to be able to recommend things to people who need it. For me, as Long as you're not recommending crap just for the heck of it, it's not costing anyone any more money, I don't see the problem.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. I just don't get it, but I think it's because some people resent bloggers and vloggers for making money through their platforms.

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    2. Definitely true. And considering a lot of bloggers start living so lavishly makes it harder for most people to swallow. But you can't tell people how to spend money to earn. Blogging isn't easy. I thought blogging was a walk in the park until I started blogging and realizing a single blog post can take me an entire day to put together mehn.

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    3. It's definitely jealousy...honestly I don't really care what people think so I refuse to listen to the negative noise - I'll just make money my way and you're right, you can't tell people how to earn and spend their money. As long as it's legal and moral then people should zip it! :)

      Like you said, blogging is hard enough as it is. I love it but it takes a lot of effort and not only that, I expect to turn it into an income stream in the future. It takes a lot of hard work so I deserve to get something out of it.

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