For the non-bloggers among you, affiliate linking is when a blogger says "click here" for a certain item, which redirects through ShopStyle or a similar company to various retailers. The referring blogger then gets a small percentage of the sale, or subsequent sales on the retailer's website while the cookie is still in place. The Instagram version is LIKEtoKNOWit.
In theory, I think the idea is wonderful- the blog reader can easily purchase an item they like, without any extra cost, and the blogger makes some moolah for passing along their good taste.
That's the theory.
The reality? I didn't even open Blogger during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I'm (unfortunately for my bank account) quite familiar with the ins and outs of online shopping. I don't want to see a bunch of stuff tried on in dressing rooms and closets, only to be returned once clicks are clicked and referral money made. The dress that was "JUST SOOO CUTE" and a "MUST HAVE!!", then is never to be seen again? Returned, I'm sure.
My issue is with the transformation of blogs that I formerly enjoyed to advertisements for whoever pays the most for affiliate links. Blogs that used to have a shopping post once a week are now links, links, links all the time. And it's all the same retailers! (Nordstrom, Shopbop- I'm looking at you!).
I have no objection to bloggers making money. If I was making mad cash from this blog, I'd be thrilled! However, I fear the transformation from a reflection of my actual life to endless Anthropologie dressing room selfies. It just gets old, and makes me bummed to stop reading another blog that's lost its charm to the lure of Rstyle.
So what's your take? Best thing for blogging or one of the worst? I see both sides, but am coming down on annoying due the side effects of endless schilling.
Linking up with East Coast Chic and Home of Malones for Thoughts on Thursday.