How to Advertise on Your Blog With Class

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In working with my brand mentoring clients, I keep hearing a fear about seeming smarmy when it comes to advertising on your blog. And in sessions with my style clients I often get asked for recomendations of which stores I shop at. Today I’m combing the two for a look at how I use affiliate links & advertising here on Dean Street Society.

Affiliate Links

Beneath each Monday style post is a “shop this style” section where I link to the items I’m wearing or similar items.

The first reason style bloggers do this is what’s known as affiliate links. For 50% of the links, where someone clicks through to check out an item, I receive about 17 cents. Yes, really. Cents. It ads up over time to help cover the cost of hosting the blog, but it’s not a true revenue stream that would be worth the time invested. Plus, not every link is an affiliate as not all stores provide that, so it's only a portion of those links to begin with.

So the real reason is to be helpful in providing shopping resources. Next to each item I wear I first list where I purchased it so you know where I shop. Because I don’t shop too often, many of the pieces I wear aren't in the store any longer, so I link to a similar piece. Here instead of simply choosing the most similar, I choose what I would want to purchase if I were buying {i.e. the skirt that looks the closest might not be cute, but there’s a shorter style that’s darling}. I’m never recommend something that I wouldn’t want to own myself, or would pay the listed pricetag for.

Sidebar Advertising

When deciding who can advertise on the side of the blog, I use this same criteria: Would I buy this myself? If I don’t love the product, I won’t accept the ad. Here’s why: If you click through this month’s ads or the link’s in this week’s post & just find lackluster items, next time you won’t click. Which means the great Etsy seller or darling clutch I spotted at Target, won’t get seen. It’s a lose/lose for everyone. Admittedly, this takes me more time each week as I gather links for the style post & it means I’ve lost income in turning down advertisers. But in the end, it maintains my integrity & your trust in me as a resource.

At the moment my advertisers include Squarespace {who I used to create my website}, Bethany Michaela {who I shoot with for Monday style posts}, Rachel Downing {my personal hairstylist}, Kristen Ball {one of the smartest people I know} & Keep {who really impresses me with the way they run their business}.

So if you’re on the hunt for style, check out the “shop this style” beneath the post each Monday. Whether for style or business recommends, see who I'm linking to on the sidebar advertising buttons. And if you’re a fellow blogger wondering if you should embrace things like advertisers & affiliate links, just do so first & foremost with your reader in mind. That way you stay of service & in integrity. In the words of Charlie Sheen, “winning”!

Speaking of style, what new brands, online or Etsy shops can you introduce ME to? Who are you loving? I’m always keeping an ear open for great new finds, specifically at an affordable price.

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P.S. This week's IFB post has some additional tips & examples for doing sponsored posts well.

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