One of the main ways that influencers and bloggers make a living, is through affiliate revenue. By being a part of affiliate marketing programs, you can earn a small commission on any sales you generate. The more traffic you have, can convert in more sales and revenue over time.
There are a handful of great affiliate programs for bloggers to consider joining to help you generate passive income. These are the best blogging affiliate platforms for bloggers and influencers to consider joining to grow their revenue.
Best Blogging Affiliate Platforms
rewardStyle or LTK
Originally rewardStyle, but now called LTK, or LikeToKnow.it, this is probably the most popular affiliate programs and well known to your audience. They’ve done a really good job of creating an app to make your images shoppable.
rewardStyle was truly the originator in taking the affiliate programs individual stores and brands would have, and putting them into one spot for bloggers and influencers.
This made it really easy for influencers because back in the day (I’m talking OG blogging days) you would sign up with each retailer you wanted to possibly generate commission from. This became cumbersome as the influencer.
Basically, you needed text links from various sites, and typically a minimum amount was earned before you could cash out. rewardStyle (LTK) pioneered this new affiliate platform concept making everything else a thing of the past.
LTK allows you to create widgets, which are those little sliders you often see at the bottom of blog posts with products to shop, as well as text links and making your images shoppable for the LTK app. They have a few other features like Money Spot, however, this is a bulky code and can slow down your site. Personally, I avoid this feature and just make a collage in Canva and create a widget below the collage in a blog post.
LTK also allows you to include those shoppable images on your site. This is great if you want to create a landing page of all your looks from Instagram which you can then share with your audience to shop. This will allow you to convert better so your audience isn’t having to download an app and follow you there as well.
ShopStyle Collective (Collective Voice)
Hands down my favorite affiliate platform. If you’re not using ShopStyle Collective (SSC, or now known as Collective Voice) now’s the time. While the concept is still the same as rewardStyle/LTK in that all your retailers are in one spot, you can create widgets AND make your images shoppable.
The thing we love the most about ShopStyle Collective (now known as Collective Voice) is the overall user experience on the backend and other features blow rS out of the water. Period.
SSC allows you to create a widget without having ANYTHING saved to a folder. You can search their catalog of products and it actually WORKS. Anyone who has ever used the rewardStyle search function knows that it is basically rendered useless.
In SSC, you can filter by retailer, brand, price and even color. Sure it’s not 100% perfect, but if you’re looking to create a widget on skinny jeans, or boots by Marc Fisher, you can do this in a matter of seconds without having to visit a retailer site to save the product.
There are a slew of other features from naming and starring widgets, the sold out feature (GAME CHANGER) and so much more. Utilizing this platform over LTK when it comes to your blog posts will save you so much time in the long run, and result in more conversions thanks to their features.
If you’d like to learn more about how to use ShopStyle Collective to grow your affiliate earnings while saving you time, sign up for The Affiliate Academy Course.
The Amazon Associates program is a great way to earn money online directly through Amazon. While you can link to Amazon on SSC and LTK, Amazon gives you greater visibility into purchases and a higher commission rate. Plus, the Amazon Associates program often works with influencers in gifting and other incentives.
When you sign up with Amazon Associates, you can also create an Amazon storefront. You can curate a storefront by category saving all your favorite Amazon finds to different lists. You can see what this looks like here.
In addition to creating categories to shop, you can also monetize your photos. These all live in your Amazon storefront under “photos” and you can even do videos (great for TikTok and Reels). You can see this in action here.
If Amazon is something you share on your IG Stories a lot, I’d highly suggest checking out our post on what deep linking is here. This turns your Amazon link into a deep link. Meaning it forces Instagram to offer the user to open the Amazon app, versus staying in the IG browser. Deep linking will result in more conversions as people prefer to shop from the Amazon app that they’re logged into with their credit card info.
This is a newer platform and has only been around for a short amount of time. It was previously Narrativ, but has pivoted to focus on affiliates and changed to Howl. They work directly with the brands to get them on the platform, which in turn, results in a higher commission rate.
rewardStyle, LTK and ShopStyle Collective are all going through other platforms that the advertisers are on (like CJ or ShareASale) so they are kind of just acting as a middle man. Howl has cut that out and you can tell because their rates are significantly higher.
Since this is all done directly via Howl, they also have post-click attribution for conversions. Meaning that your affiliate links win over others basically. This then results in higher conversions. You stop losing out to coupon sites, and start generating more income.
What sets Howl apart are the rates (as in 2-8% for Target which is unheard of) and 30-75% for some other brands on their platform. Yes, you read that right. Plus, MANY brands (these are noted as Select brands) do not take commission out for returns. So you keep what you convert, instantly.
And thanks to the post-click attribution window for conversions, there are so many conversions that I’ve never been able to see before with the other platforms. The recurring commissions from the same links is crazy higher than LTK and SSC.
Benefits Of Using Howl
Plus, you can see what they’re purchasing which is just an interesting look into shopping habits. They also do product seeding, where brands will list out any product seeding they’re offering and you can sign up directly.
The one flaw of this newer platform is the inability to create widgets. So for my affiliate strategy, I use HOWL for text links mostly in my IG Stories and newsletters, and occasionally in my blog posts depending on the retailer.
If you want to create a storefront of your favorite products, you can easily do that in Howl which is a great alternative to widgets. You can check out an example of that here.
However, I do use the EmPress Themes Shop The Post plugin to create my own widgets with Howl links. This is a really easy solution and a way to use any affiliate link and image no matter what platform they’re on.
Using Target Links From Howl vs LTK
A personal note on my own experience with Howl and Target links. I have several blog posts that include links to products at Target as well as widgets, and I swapped all the text links to Howl. To do this, I just went through my last 6 months of sales on LTK and SSC and could easily tell which posts were converting.
After updating those, I made more money in 2 weeks from those links than I had in 6 months on SSC and LTK combined. Mind you, the widgets are still there. This is solely from text links — which tend to get clicked less than a widget from my experience.
Using Sephora Links From Howl vs LTK
And if you want a really mind blowing before and after. I was consistently making about $250 in affiliate revenue at Sephora every month there would be a VIB Sephora sale. I thought, why not try Howl links this time for my stories and newsletter.
Thanks to the post click attribution, and the deep linking feature they have with Sephora (opens in the app!) I converted WAY more than I ever have before. As in, I made EIGHT times than what I had made in the past.
If you want a step by step tutorial on how to use Howl and the other platforms here, enroll in The Affiliate Academy today!
ShopMy is a newer platform that allows you to create “shelves” of your favorite products. Just like LTK or CV, you use a bookmarklet to add items from your favorite retailers to your shelf. You can also make images shoppable
In the ShopMy platform, you can also reach out to brands and propose collaborations or request gifting. This can be a new way to reach brands you can’t seem to connect with elsewhere.
CJ – Commission Junction
CJ is another platform you can join to generate affiliate revenue. Many of these brands are going to probably be on LTK or SSC. If you’re unable to get an account on these platforms, CJ would be a good place to start.
ShareASale is similar to Commission Junction with many brands on this platform to pull links and banner ads from. Some brands may have you sign up for their programs on these platforms as they will be a higher commission (they don’t have to pay LTK or SSC an annual fee or cut).
Brand Affiliate Platforms
Sometimes you may work with a brand that is on its own affiliate platform. Lots of different platforms like Dovetale, Affilae, Impact, ShareASale and CJ (Commission Junction), and so on. While I think it can be a waste of time to sign up for various platforms and brands, sometimes it does make sense.
I think these are worth signing up for if it’s a brand you already know converts well for you. Or a brand that you share often but are not on any other platform. With a minimum affiliate revenue payout, and only being limited to one single brand to link, joining a bunch of these can be hit or miss. Choose wisely. But sometimes this can be a great option to grow your affiliate revenue.
As I mentioned earlier, LTK and ShopStyle Collective are mostly using an affiliate platform as the middleman. So they may not pay out the highest commission than a brand can directly.
I think this works on a case by case basis and will be different from influencer to influencer. I would highly recommend joining a brand’s affiliate platform when you know you will share the brand often and convert.
Creating Widgets With Platforms That Don’t Have The Technology
You may be sticking to LTK because you like that there’s an app and that you can create widgets for your blog. While this is a great feature, don’t overlook other platforms just because they don’t offer these things.
The LTK app is designed for a very specific user and not everyone who follows you is going to enjoy the app, or even download it. And that’s why it’s important to also have a blog as a way for people shop from you.
But one of the most common things we hear is, I don’t want to use XYZ platform because they don’t have widgets. Well, that is now solved!
We use the EmPress Themes Shop The Post plugin that allows us to create our very own widgets. All you need is an image, and an affiliate link. And voila! You have a widget! You can see this in action in this blog post. Learn more about EmPress Themes and their products in our EmPress Themes Review.
How To Make More Money Online With Affiliates
There are many ways to make more money for your online business with these best blogging affiliate platforms. Choosing the right platform for your business is a good start. But then maximizing your strategy is key.
You can grow your affiliate earnings by writing better SEO blog posts (we talk about this A LOT in the Ultimate SEO Course For Bloggers which you can learn more about here). Or by sharing more content through your email lists since email converts higher than social.
There’s a lot that goes into an affiliate strategy to grow your revenue. And you can definitely set yourself up for success so you can take time off and still see earnings coming in.