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Affiliate Marketing Monetization

RewardStyle vs. Amazon Associates: Which Is Best for Fashion Bloggers?

This is a detailed comparison of Amazon Associates vs. RewardStyle (or rStyle) based on my experience using both programs for the past few years.

Affiliate programs are one of the best ways for fashion bloggers to make money. Most bloggers earn at least some revenue every month from affiliate programs.

For me, affiliate marketing makes up a little over 25% of my monthly revenue from The Modest Man (my style blog and main source of income right now).

So it’s not my number one source of revenue, but it’s definitely important. Affiliate programs bring in $2-3k per month, and closer to $5 per month during the holiday season.

If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, I’ll give you a very quick definition:

When you join an affiliate program, you’re acting as a commission-only salesperson for a brand (or multiple brands).

So if you write about a product and link to that product, then someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you’ll earn a percentage of that purchase.

The commission percentage varies widely, but for fashion bloggers, it’s usually between 4-15%.

Now, there are hundreds of affiliate programs that blogger can join, from small independent brands to huge international retailers.

But your best bet is joining what’s called an affiliate network. These host multiple affiliate programs for many different brands, all under one software platform and website.

The biggest affiliate networks are ShareASale, Rakuten LinkShare, Commission Junction, RewardStyle and Amazon Associates (among others).

For fashion bloggers who tend to promote products from many different brands (like clothing, accessories and grooming supplies), the best affiliate networks are Amazon and RewardStyle.

Between these two networks, most of the product you write about and link to are covered, which means you’ll get credit for all of your hard work and promotion, even if you don’t have an individual relationship with a brand.

Using Amazon and RewardStyle is much easier than tracking down individual affiliate programs for every brand you’d like to promote.

Plus, you only have to go through one approval process (for the network itself), rather than an individual approval process for each brand.

But which is better: Amazon Associates or RewardStyle?

After using both networks regularly for over three years, here’s what I’ve learned:

Bottom Line: Amazon generates more income than RewardStyle.

Let’s look at the numbers…

2016 Monthly IncomeBest MonthWorst MonthMonthly Avg.
RewardStyle$569$144$360
Amazon$2,098$331$1,055

This means the average monthly income from Amazon was almost 3x higher than the average monthly income from rStyle. Crazy, huh?

Both programs had some “outlier” months, but here’s the thing I’ve noticed about each program over the past few years:

Amazon revenue continues to grow steadily each month. Even with some ups and downs, the general trend is upward.

RewardStyle grows very slowly. Revenue is increasing over time, but at a much slower rate than Amazon.

rStyle Q3 2016
rStyle Q3 2016

I think this has to do with one very simple fact: Amazon converts higher than any other online retailer (including all of the shops available through rStyle).

Amazon Associates Q3 2016
Amazon Associates Q3 2016

This means that, even though Amazon’s tracking cookie only lasts 24 hours, it’ll still perform better than, say, Nordstrom or J. Crew.

Why? Because Amazon sells everything. Chances are, right now, you have something in your Amazon shopping cart or on your Wishlist. At the very least, there’s probably something you need – big or small – that’s available on Amazon.com.

So if you send someone to Amazon by linking to a pair of socks, they might end up buying a pack of batteries. Or a new laptop. Either way, you get a share of their purchase.

Amazon.com is a conversion machine. If someone visits Amazon, there’s about a 5% chance they’ll buy something.

That’s like grocery store level conversion! For that reason, if a product is available on Amazon and another vendor (like Allen Edmonds shoes), I always link to Amazon.

Of course, there’s one important thing I have to mention:

You can participate in Amazon’s affiliate program through RewardStyle. In fact, they have a slightly better commission structure for certain product categories (like fashion and beauty).

My recommendation…

If you have one website, and you want all of your affiliate analytics and payments in one place, I recommend just using rStyle.

If you have multiple sites and need to track them separately, I recommend using Amazon Associates separately.

Or, if you’ve been rejected by rStyle, you can just use Amazon Associates for now. On that note, drop me a line if you need a referral for rStyle.

Given the choice, it’s almost always a safe bet to send people to Amazon over other merchants.

Read Next: On-Page SEO Checklist for Fashion Bloggers

11 replies on “RewardStyle vs. Amazon Associates: Which Is Best for Fashion Bloggers?”

Great post, thanks for sharing your numbers! Does rewardstyle cookie for Amazon also expire in 24 hrs?
Also, I know that in order for rewardstyle link to earn commission, user must add the item to cart After using the link or the sale doesn’t count. So if you have something sitting in the cart, then you click on an affiliate link and then you make a purchase, that influencer makes no commission. Is the same true for Amazon affiliates also?

Love the read, very insightful.

I wanted to add, from a source, RewardStyle as company is doing pretty badly, they shutdown their Nor Cal office and let go off all their engineers there.

For the long run amazon all the way!

Hi,

Such an insightful post!

Wondering what the value of joining amazon associates is, if amazon is already covered in rStyle? Are there different benefits?

There may be slight differences in fee structures between the two programs, but there really isn’t a need to join both programs. It does offer a bit of security (in case you get booted from one of them).

I recently joined rewardStyle and couldn’t link from amazon. After a little while amazon showed up on linkninja and I was able to start linking from there.

I also have an amazon affiliate account. Should I link (maybe on linktree?) to amazon stuff with the amazon links? Or use the rewardStyle links?

I recommend using Amazon directly, rather than using it through rStyle or any other 3rd party. Amazon is increasingly unpredictable when it comes to their relationships with other networks.

My advice is to stick with Amazon when possible.

I recently joined both amazon affiliate and reward style. I am unable to link the majority of amazon purchases I have made in reward style. On link ninja only amazon Brazil is coming up? What am I doing wronf

I’m having the same problem except none of my amazon purchases have allowed me to link to reward style. I have not reached out to them but plan to. It is very difficult to direct viewers to two different places when they want to shop a photo but half the items are amazon and half are non amazon.

Hey Lizzy, were you ever able to resolve the Amazon BR issue? Mine is doing that too. Amazon for Brazil is the only Amazon that will yield in the search.

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