The Truth about affiliate links

Let’s talk about affiliate links. One way bloggers get paid is through affiliate links. An affiliate link are basically commission sales. A blogger links up with a brand example Target. Target will give you a code.. example “Shayla-10” when then blogger post something from Target and someone uses the code “Shayla-10” the blogger will get a percent of the sale.

Typically the affiliate gets 10%-20% of the sales. For example if you sell this $100 swimsuit

You get $10! You sell 5.. $50 and so on. sounds great right?

Let’s talk: This was my mistake when I first started blogging. I wanted so badly to be a “Brand Ambassador” I would search in the search bar for opportunities to be an ambassador for things that I truly enjoyed. I figured I loved bathing suits, I had a small audience.. I was seeing $$$$ rolling in my head. I spent $35 on a super cute bikini, the contact wanted 2-3 post a week. 15% commission on suits ranging about $35.. I think the deal was something like sell 5 suits get one free, plus 30% off at check out. I was thrilled. It was my first chance to “make money” with my blog. I made $20 and worked sooo hard. Not only did I have to take photos, edit photos, post the photos, I had to promote this post all over and honestly it was a lot of work for $20 and free bikini. That experience quickly taught me:

You Should NOT have to pay to be an affiliate!

If you have to buy a product that’s not how it works!

Typically a brand will reach out to you and offer you product in exchange for promotion and give you the code etc.

They will let you know there is no fee! Affiliate links are not a sustainable income unless you are selling expensive items for a percentage or a brand pays you prior to posting and gives you a commission of the sale as well.

Affiliate links are not all bad. I don’t make much money from so I really only do them I truly like the product. It’s something I would actually use and buy for myself. I try to stay within my own budget when finding affiliate links. I work with amazon affiliate links a lot and that does bring some passive income but unless you are actively promoting it’s very difficult to make sales and make enough to be sustainable if you are new blogger with a small audience (Like me)

I feel affiliate links will be more beneficial to me in the future when my audience grows. Right now I’m not at 2k so it’s different story than if I was a blogger with 20k followers. For smaller bloggers like myself I recommend negotiating for payment, leverage you social media and offer a couple post to sweeten the deal. For small bloggers the key is to negotiate if a brand reaches out communicate and offer your social media and blog as promotion. That’s what brands are after.. free promotion. They give you a product, you promote and get a portion of the sale. If you have a larger Platform or multiple large platform you are ideal to brands.

Please understand brand that reaches out is NOT a scam.

Do your HOMEWORK! Stalk the brand online. How many followers do they have? Are they a small brand? Do they have quality products? What do their costumers say about them? Would they fit with your audience? Do they have any complaints from other influencers? Google is your friend. Be nosey and check all their social media. They are doing it to you anyway🤷🏾‍♀️ when a brand reaches out before you say “yes” make sure this a brand that you truly like! Do you want a tank top with a goat on it? Or do you just want to be a “working blogger” I lost a lot of money because I wanted the title of “Brand Ambassador” I just don’t want people to feel you have to spend money to be a brand ambassador. You should not have to spend a dime. If you’re doing amazon affiliate you don’t have to purchase anything just embed the links and create content that is meaningful. Affiliate links are purchased based so if you can create content that gets clicks I.E fashion blogger with a lot of clothing, items, makeup to on AMAZON then affiliate links can be beneficial! Also it’s important to know affiliate links don’t last forever some have an expiration of 30-90 days. It’s important to create a lot of content for affiliate links to work for you and be a source of income.

All in all affiliate links are great if you have a large engage audience, you don’t have to buy in but you do have to work hard and promote for only a percentage of a product so keep that in mind but it can be a good source of passive income. I hope this has been helpful let me know what you think below or ask me any questions you may have below!


  1. Peach offers 4 FREE clothing items each new season (theirs 5), your own link and 15 percent back in CASH from sales on those links. Plus mini catalogs.
    *Let me know if you Are interested. We are a newer Fashion Start up but growing rapidly. Peach won Project Runway in 2016.
    **We sell high quality athleisure apparel that is super soft, versatile, on trend and beautifully designed with a feminine touch.
    “Elevate Your everyday”.


  2. You have such great tips! I am not yet at a stage of monetising my blog but this prepares me for when I am ready to make that step! Thank you for being so willing to share your experiences as a blogger!


  3. What an interesting read. A brand just reached out to me asking if I wanted to add an affiliate link to their brand, but as you’ve informed me with this post, I don’t think there’s much point as I don’t have a lot of followers and don’t really see myself promoting the brand much as – again – don’t have a large following yet so won’t be earning anything at all. So I will have to decline. You made it all so simple to understand, thank you! I really didn’t know how affiliate links worked at all!


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