My Experience with Affiliates……………A Lesson In Reality!

Hi Everyone,
In 2015 i underwent a 6 month trial of trying out affiliates on my blog. It was part of a drive forward for my blog in 2015.
I know that as a general rule, affiliates will make very little return unless you are a famous blogger with a few million followers. So my expectations were very low. I just saw it as a way to highlight my blog. As we all want to do. A ‘you scratch my back and i’ll scratch yours’ situation.
I found it to be an interesting experience and quite shocking too.
The Inbox Bombardment. 
First of all, the emails were never ending; offering percentages off, free delivery on all the beauty brands i featured; etc.
Being a busy woman, i should have thought this through a little more. It was a lot of hard work to constantly update my side bar just to give beauty brands free advertising space. (They don’t pay you for this). In fact, i didn’t bother updating sometimes because i would have been doing it on a daily basis, leaving little time to write posts.
They change their banners constantly for you to update all the time. This is to entice your readers to click on the links and buy the company products, in turn giving on average, 8% commission on every sale to the blogger.
Bearing in mind, the programme i was on, wouldn’t pay out on anything less than £50.00 commission earned.
My attitude towards affiliate links were, If it worked out. Great! If not, delete the programme and the banners in my side bar. Nothing ventured! Nothing gained!
A Result!
I managed to get a fair amount of commission over the holiday period from one large US brand. Please feel free to guess who they were in the comments bar below, if you remember the affiliates i used at the time.
My monetary payments from this high end brand suddenly started to increase quite quickly. I was heading right up there to the minimum payment mark and it was only the beginning of the holiday season too.
I was chuffed. Maybe this affiliate business was worth the hype after all!
I couldn’t quite believe my little blog was showing successful results.
The Shock!Shocked Face
Then I got an email from this very famous high end brand to tell me my account had been temporarily suspended. What! Why! I hadn’t broken any of the rules in any way. Oh Yes, i broke the golden one. I wasn’t supposed to be paid!
I couldn’t quite believe it; or, should i say, i should have believed it.
A Lesson in Business.
Please be careful what you sign up for. Nothing is ever what it seems.
For me, it seems a good way for companies to get advertising space at minimal cost, if any, to them.
Don’t get me wrong, it was only one company that did that to me. Ironically, the most successful one in my side bar. This doesn’t mean they will all do that. Some brands do have professional integrity.
I’m not upset though because, i chose to have them on my blog for a few months and the trial didn’t work so, i deleted them.
I’m sure there are great affiliate programmes out there. (Please let me know if you have had a great experience with them).
I hope you are more fortunate if you sign up to any. Me personally, I think they were a waste of time and an unnecessary distraction from writing great posts.
I am more than happy to negotiate with beauty brands if they want to advertise on my blog. though 😉
Take care and i will see you all soon. 😉


  1. January 16, 2016 / 6:44 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Such an eye opener!xo

    • January 17, 2016 / 2:47 am

      No problem Sandy. Ihope others had a more positive experience.

  2. ladyjicky
    January 17, 2016 / 1:54 am

    No wonder companies love YouTube !! I know I go out and buy stuff that people talk about and yet ….. the people who set up their sites get very little $$ or nothing at all !
    Now ….. I cannot think of one company / affiliate advertising on your site !! LOL I guess I am not the person they market for – i.e. – too old.LOL
    I listen to you talk about the products you love or hate … what is displayed (advertised ) down the side – I do not look at!
    I also find the high numbered YouTuber’s are not for me – the flogging of stuff is so boring and makes me mad.
    * What is the lipstick on your hand? Its totally gorgeous !!!!!

    • January 17, 2016 / 2:09 am

      Yes, I agree. The famous bloggers try to make out that
      they buy that stuff themselves however, a new law in UK requires them to now the ell you whether a post is sponsored

    • January 17, 2016 / 2:10 am

      My lipstick is Dior Rouge Baumes Coquette I love that shade

  3. ladyjicky
    January 17, 2016 / 2:28 am

    See your Power !!!
    I am going to look at that Dior Lippie on my next trip to the stores!!!!

    • January 17, 2016 / 2:44 am

      actually, correction. I think its the Diorific, Diva. A beautiful red. I had to use that because the Coquette smudged all over my hand being a balm-like lipstick. Diorific lippies have stronger staying power.

  4. January 17, 2016 / 4:02 pm

    I love the photo! So funny. 🙂
    Also, wow that’s seriously uncool what happened there. You do free advertising and then they don’t pay up in the end, boo.
    I don’t care if other blogs do affiliates and the ones I read are usually good at marking their links. But for me it would simply be too much work, like you noted. I have accepted that my blog is a time-and-money-sink but one that I’m having fun with. Also, should I really start making money with the blog I’d have to start thinking about taxes and stuff and that is such a headache.

    • January 17, 2016 / 4:23 pm

      tbh I can’t be bothered getting the thousands of followers it’s going to take either. My blog really only targets a select audience because I will never review high Street products like the majority of the huge blogs do. I buy what I like and review it. It’s a hobby to me and it was nice to dip my toe into Affiliates; however, if they don’t pay up when they should, it’s not worthy of my limited time. thanks for readingx

      • January 17, 2016 / 4:25 pm

        tbh I can’t be bothered getting the thousands of followers it’s going to take either. My blog really only targets a select audience because I will never review high Street products like the majority of the huge blogs do. I buy what I like and review it. It’s a hobby to me and it was nice to dip my toe into Affiliates; however, if they don’t pay up when they should, it’s not worthy of my limited time. Your right about the tax thing to. thanks for readingx

  5. January 18, 2016 / 2:20 pm

    Unfortunately, there are plenty of companies who want to use what little reach we have as bloggers to the max, without thought to pay us. A few companies have promised huge social media shares if I’ll only write about their products. Then, those shares never happen.

    • January 18, 2016 / 5:31 pm

      I think if they went that far with me, I actually would name and shame them. Thanks for giving me the heads up though xc

  6. January 19, 2016 / 11:47 pm

    aw… sorry to hear that. But I hope other programs work out for you. I know some companies can ask for a lot but pay you a little.

  7. January 26, 2016 / 1:24 pm

    Great post Mandy. Is it Mac or can’t you say? (I’ll email you!)
    I didn’t realise the disclosure policy applied to the UK as well. I know it’s sponsored if you get paid, but does it still count as sponsored if you receive products without payment?
    I think the big money from affiliates lies in advertising on a self hosted site. I do want to tackle that this year, but it seems very complicated. I’d have to get a geek in to move the site over and re-design it to take ads, but where do you go to find one of them? I don’t know how people do it.
    PR companies are a mixed bunch, but I’ve found the cheaper the product, the more they push for a fast review and you never hear from them again.
    I’m being very picky this year and I’m quoting outrageous fees to see if they want an honest review or some free advertising. I’ve had two knock backs already! ‘Our client doesn’t have money in their budget’ means they want free advertising.
    Our blogs should be fun, but I always take a break when I feel it becomes a bit like homework.
    I love that your niche is reviewing luxury products – although my purse doesn’t always agree!

    • January 26, 2016 / 2:58 pm

      I’ll have to look into the paid or unpaid disclosure. It was on TV and the docu. was saying basically that many young girls were being sucked into spending a lot of money on fashion, Beauty etc because they didn’t realise the bloggers weren’t buying them themselves. So, I think it may include goods supplied for review too!! I know what u mean about the hit and run cheaper firms. I don’t believe this brand would have paid up if I was self hosting either tbh. Not MAC. I believe MAC has good relationship with their bloggers though. Thanks for the great comments. I think I’m going to stick with my little niche blog for now. It is a hobby that I enjoy and I love writing about. Wish I could like more high Street brands because my budget is super tight this year xx

  8. January 26, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    Hopefully this is up to date. It’s from wwwDOTcapDOTorgDOTuk
    March 2014
    Q: You state in your guidelines that “It’s perfectly legitimate for a blogger to accept payment in return for promoting something in their blog. Moreover, the rules don’t prohibit PR companies sending free gifts or samples to bloggers in the hope of receiving a positive review.” Do both these situations require disclosure?
    A: The first would require disclosure if, as implied in the question, the content of the blog is effectively controlled by the advertiser. The second does not require disclosure because this kind of activity is not covered by the Code.
    The test for content being “advertorial” has two prongs, payment and control so if there is payment, but no control then it would not need to be labelled as advertising, this guidance has more detailed information on what constitutes “control”.
    There are a few decent budget brands out there Mandy. I was horrified to receive samples from Me Me Me Cosmetics, but the baked eyeshadows and sheer cheek tints are right up there with the big boys.

    • January 26, 2016 / 8:15 pm

      That would make sense because one famous You Tuber I watch is part of a company of famous UK bloggers and she advertisers advertorials, however, she also mentions what she’s been sent to her while a few of the others don’t.
      This is why I watch her vids. I get sick of bloggers who think people are stupid enough to believe that their almost daily hauls have been bought by them. I mean they would have to be earning 50k plus to be buying that amount and just to say they were earning this amount. They would never have the time to blog and film vids constantly after working 12 hour plus shifts lol.
      The great thing about ‘real’ bloggers is they all usually have the same opinion about products be it good or bad, so I know what to avoid.

      • January 28, 2016 / 1:32 pm

        The big bloggers are hit and miss, I think some tend to lose their integrity when they start earning big money.
        I’m less keen when they develop their own product., because they all know each other and have such huge influence, I never really trust that the product’s any good. I think, are they all just scratching each other’s back?
        There was a big thing a couple of years ago when one beauty (& fashion, I think) blogger was found to have bought her twitter followers (at least 20k of them) All the big name bloggers went ballistic, saying they wouldn’t have followed her or spoken to her at events if they knew she was a ‘fraud’ etc.
        They all seemed to have missed the point (oh the irony), that they wouldn’t have given her the time of day if she only had a few hundred followers. In the blogging world, it’s all about numbers!
        I like Ruth Crilly’s early reviews, – outrageously, she’s actually become younger looking since having her baby! I also rate Caroline Hirons, who really knows her stuff, her Xmas giveaways are LEGEND!

      • January 28, 2016 / 2:20 pm

        I like Ruth and I like Ch but I’m not paying those prices for face creams. Her Vlog is great though. I Don’t watch any others and have unsubsidised to a few this year because they are full of it.

  9. Mary B
    February 2, 2016 / 10:53 pm

    Hey thanks for sharing your experience, never tried anything like that and def wont after reading your post..sorry to hear that they suspended your account just when you started earning some money /Mary

    • February 2, 2016 / 10:57 pm

      I am glad that i got rid of them TBH. No money in it and lots of free advertising for them but not on my blog lol . Thanks Mary x

      • Mary B
        February 2, 2016 / 10:59 pm

        Hey I also heard that to make money you have to be on 5000 plus visitors per month:/

        • February 2, 2016 / 11:02 pm

          Not necessarily. They just have to order from the affiliate link, which i had a few people order. If no one orders, no money and many followers does not mean they are going to buy from your affiliate links.

          • Mary B
            February 2, 2016 / 11:04 pm

            ah ok thats how it works..honestly dont know much about this business:(

          • February 2, 2016 / 11:09 pm

            I think If you have thousands of followers you have more chance with PA’s in getting free products/paid etc. This is probably the best way to go if you want to write posts the way they ask you to. Basically, then it becomes a job. I like being honest on my blog and me buying my products affords that. You have to be carefull you don’t sell yourself out. I do follow some bloggers who get paid but they do do honest writing and will also let you know the downfall’s of the products as well. I don’t bother with the ones who just love every single product they review and ‘you have to have it’. They wind me up and i have questioned a few of them if they have been supplied with the product. Surprisingly, none answer.

          • Mary B
            February 2, 2016 / 11:28 pm

            Yes you are right, I stop reading blogs if they just cant stop talking about their love for all things one can buy:( But I understand it too since many people actually work as professional bloggers thats how they earn their money. I like make-up alley, people tend to be pretty honest there:)

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