Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

June 16, 2020

Blogging FAQ: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About + rewardStyle.

     You've seen it tagged in Instagram captions for years now, you've heard about the app and maybe even downloaded it yourself...but what exactly is! If you're not a blogger yourself or don't follow a ton of bloggers on Instagram, I can imagine that you might be kind of confused on what exactly is, how it works, and what it means for you as an Instagram follower or online shopper. I'm going to try to to break it all down and explain it as simply as I can.

Photos by H. Marie Photography

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training!

Dress // Sneakers // Headband // 

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about, rewardStyle and How Bloggers Use Affiliate Links: 

Before we talk about what is, first you need to know about its parent company rewardStyle. So- what is rewardStyle?
     rewardStyle was founded in 2011 by husband and wife team Amber and Baxter Box. It's a digital monetization platform that connects brands with influencers. Influencers that apply to and gain access to the rewardStyle platform are given the ability to create unique affiliate links on retail websites, which track their sales upon being clicked on and gives the influencers the chance to make commission. For many years, rewardStyle only accepted members that had active blogs or Youtube channels as their main content platform. Nowadays it's a lot easier to be accepted, and many people that just have the desire to monetizer their Instagram account but don't have blogs or channels are also given access to rS.
     rewardStyle also provides its members with lots of educational content and resources for maximizing their earnings potential, and lots of tools- most notably the use of, which is another way to make commissions other than just using your rS links on your blog or channel! They are also known for their annual conference, which is a very exclusive and fancy few-day long event held each year in Dallas for the top earning content creators of the past year.
     While most rS content creators do make use of LTK links on their Instagram and app page, some choose note to use LTK at all! You can use rS links directly on your blog, which is what I do every time that I link a product on here- whether that's a fashion, beauty, home decor, book or other miscellaneous product.

What companies are partners of rewardStyle for affiliate links?
     Thousands of companies and stores! Yes- it really is thousands! Everything from big box stores, department stores, popular mall brands, trendy online boutiques, beauty retailers, travel websites... the list goes on and on. Despite the fact Amazon has their own affiliate program, they are also very present on rewardStyle! I would guess that by 2020 there are only a few well-known retailers that aren't on there. One notable one is Zara- they aren't part or any affiliate programs. But for the most part, most other popular retailers these days are!

What is (LTK)? 
     LTK is a service of rewardStyle, which allows rS content creators to monetize their Instagram accounts, and also have a profile on the LTK app for more monetization opportunities.
     Let's start with the Instagram part of it. A few years ago, this worked a little differently. Bloggers would enable their Instagram photos with LTK and link to the products in the photos. Instagram followers of bloggers could sign up to receive LTK emails. When you liked a blogger's photo, you would immediately receive an email with links to the products in their photo.
     Instagram changed something with their API 2-3 years ago, so LTK was no longer allowed to email users based on their photo likes. This is when the LTK app was born, and content creators started directing their followers to also follow them on the app!
     The LTK app is a multipurpose tool. You can follow your favorite Instagram influencers on their and get updates on their posts and products linked, or you can also put in random search terms to discover new products and influencers! For examples, I could search "Lilly Pulitzer dress" under the product search feature, and the LTK app would bring up all of the recent uploaded photos that had Lilly dresses linked.
    When content creators make commission on LTK, these earnings are mixed in for payments with their rS earnings from their website or channel, if they have one! There is no LTK without parent company rS.

Should I get the LTK app?
     While I still am a bit old school and generally prefer online shopping on my computer vs. mobile, I do still have, like and use the LTK app! Even though I am a blogger myself, I still follow many other style bloggers and content creators, and I like seeing what they're up to with posting on the app. It truly does make it so easy to find out product details for something you saw on Instagram. You can also easily shop your Instagram screenshots which I think is so cool! I find the app to be very user friendly.
    However- if you aren't into having additional apps on your phone or don't really want to bother with using LTK, I totally get that! I never like to pressure my followers into using it or downloading it. If it's not something you're into, I get it! There are still other ways to support your favorite content creator via rS links, which we will get into next.

Are there other affiliate link companies similar to rS? 
     Yes! Shopstyle is the other big one that's also popular with bloggers. It works very similarly. There are also tons of smaller affiliate programs, and Amazon has their own big one for websites. Most bloggers however choose to use rS because of the huge array of retailers associated with it, and the use of the LTK app!
     Have you ever seen those style round-up or gift guide type articles on websites like Buzzfeed or your favorite magazine's website? All of the products they're sharing are affiliate links, just like bloggers use on our websites! Affiliate marketing is a huge thing these days.

How exactly do rS/LTK commissions work?
     When you click on a content creator's rS enabled link (whether from their blog or channel, their page on the LTK app, or a direct link someone sent you) there are tracking cookies embedded in the link that follow to your device. If you choose to make a purchase from that retailer, the content creator who had the affiliate link will make commission! Let me clear up a big misunderstanding that I've heard a few times from friends who don't blog. If you make a purchase on someone's affiliate link, they will make commission no matter what you bought! Let's say I link a Lilly Pulitzer dress and you clicked on my link on my blog, but ended up buying a Lilly top instead of the same dress I linked. I'll still make commission on your top purchase, even though that wasn't the exact item I shared!
     The tracking cookies in these links do not have access to any of your personal information- there is no way for the content creator or rS to see stuff like your credit card information. It's simply to track the website traffic of how someone was referred to the retailer website, for commission purposes. You the consumer are not charged for the person's commission, rS the company is and they pay that! Hopefully this makes sense.
     The tracking cookies I believe stay active for 30 days on most websites. However, if you click on another blogger's link from the same device to the same retailer, it will void out the previous one. Let's say you click on that same Lilly Pulitzer dress that we used as an earlier example from my blog. You didn't buy anything that day. The next day, you read someone else's blog post about Lilly Pulitzer, and you click on their link in their post. You remember the dress you saw yesterday and want to purchase it. Unfortunately- I wouldn't get credit! The blogger whose post you can last visited and clicked through would.
Why should I buy from my favorite bloggers' links? 
     A lot of different types of companies will offer their salespeople commission when they close a deal- it seems to be very commonplace in the business world. It happens not only with lots of fashion brands and department stores, but also tons of other industries- such as automotive sales. Heck- even the radio salespeople at my company for my day job make commissions on the deals they close.
     If you are drawn to purchase something that one of your favorite bloggers shared about and you discovered the item through them- I think it is the most polite and easy thing in the world to make the sale off their LTK or a link on their blog, or you can DM them for a direct link to the item! If you enjoy this person's content enough to try out something they're recommending, why not give them the commission and credit, right? 😊 It costs you nothing additional, and the more that bloggers make in commissions each month the more opportunities that they have for future collaborations with their favorite brands!

How can I best support a blogger who uses rS or LTK? 
     It is literally the easiest thing in the world to support a blogger friend with your online purchases. Let's start with the easy tips. If you're buying something that a blogger has just shared on their website or LTK page, just click through the direct links and get it! It's that easy!!
     You can also choose to support your favorite blogger(s) in all of your online shopping endeavors, even if you're buying something that they haven't posted. I want to give a shout-out to two of my girlfriends here- Mercedes and Emily. These two girls are the best at doing this and I truly appreciate it so much! Very often when either of them online shop for anything from fashion to beauty to home decor, they ask me to DM them a link to the retailer they're going to be buying from so I can make commission. It's such a small and easy gesture that always means the world!
     If you're planning to do any online shopping soon, think about DMing one of your favorite bloggers (whether me or someone else!) and ask them if the retailer you're buying from is on rS. Chances are - it is! It is so easy for a blogger to quickly DM or email one of our links for this retailer, and then you'll be on your way to buying whatever it is you'd like, and we make commission.
    If you have Amazon Prime and shop there often (or another similar retailer that you make multiple purchases from each month) consider bookmarking your favorite blogger's link on your computer for easy shopping that'll always guarantee your friend commission!

I'm a blogger/Instagrammer/Youtuber and I'd like to use rS and LTK! Can you refer me?
     Yes- rewardStyle does take referrals for new content creators! It actually took me two and a half years of applying to get in- I first applied in 2013 and then was finally accepted in 2016. Nowadays it is much easier to get in (not as many requirements), but there are still a few pointers that everyone should make sure they're already doing with their content before applying. Shoot me a DM or email if you'd like to use rS, and I'm happy to look at your accounts and hopefully refer you!

How I'll be using affiliate earnings going forward: 
     I'll be transparent with you- affiliate earnings from rS and LTK have never been my main form of income with blogging. Each year it breaks down that I make more money from sponsored content directly with brands. But, affiliate links are a still a unique part of my blogging income that I am thankful for, and I do usually earn a little more with them each year than the year prior, which is awesome!
     For the rest of 2020, I'm committing to setting aside 10% of each paycheck I receive from rS to be donated to charity! I'll put everything monthly in a savings account, and making a large donation to an organization at the end of 2020 with all of them. If you so choose to shop through my affiliate links this year, 1) THANK YOU!! and 2) know that part of the commission I'm making will be given to a great cause. I haven't picked what charity yet (maybe I'll split it between a few?), but I'm really excited for this!

     And it would only be fitting to conclude this post with some affiliate links, right? 😉 Shop today's outfit below. And please let me know if you have any additional questions on this topic! Looking forward to tackling more Blogging FAQs this summer.

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese

1 comment

  1. This post is so helpful! I know I was very confused about Rewardstyle in the beginning and I didn't use it forever because it was intimidating.
    You nailed it in the paragraph about supporting your favorite bloggers/creators! (and what great friends you have!)


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