Hey friends! Happy Tuesday! Today I want to talk about a little topic called affiliate links - what they are, where you might see them, and what it means for you as a reader or follower as you shop with Mix & Match Design Company. If the concept of affiliate links is brand new to you or you may have heard the term, but have no idea what it actually means or why they exist, don't worry! You'll be getting a full explanation today and we'll start with the definition!
An affiliate link is a unique, trackable URL assigned to a specific person (the "affiliate") by a company for the purposes of providing a small commission for the sales they drive on behalf of that company.
In other words, as an affiliate, I earn a small commission whenever you make a purchase using my unique link. It works by attaching a tracking "cookie" (you may have seen that word floating around on the Internet and it doesn't involve chocolate chips!) to your browser/device for a set period of time - usually something like 30 or 60 days. So, for example, if you click on a link that takes you to a sofa on West Elm's website and then make anytime within the defined cookie window, I would earn a commission from your purchase. It doesn't matter if you purchase that exact sofa or not - if you make any purchase, West Elm will give me credit for that sale.
There are two important things you need to know about this whole affiliate link process:
- Your personal information is safe and is not shared with the company - cookies are anonymous.
- Using affiliate links does not cost you anything (and you can still use coupons and discount codes!).
All that to say, don't be nervous about clicking through on them - whether it's here at Mix & Match or anywhere else! By using those links, you're actually supporting the businesses you follow and love, which helps them continue to create excellent free content that serves you well, inspires you, and helps you find solutions to your pain points.
I absolutely love sharing design content and tips here on the blog and on social media, and affiliate links are one of the ways for me to keep that content free for you to read and learn from anytime you want. Of course there's no obligation to click through those links, but if you are going to make a purchase from something that inspired you here, I would love it if you would!
So where exactly do you see these affiliate links pop up?
Several places! First of all, you're already in one of those spots right now - on the blog. I share them in many of my posts, and there's always a disclosure that lets you know they're there. My Get the Look series is a great example. For those posts, I'll design a room from inspiration I've found from various sources, and then provide the links to the pieces for you to shop for your own home. Those are affiliate links!
Another spot you'll see them is on social media, particularly Instagram and Facebook. With Instagram, I use an app called LIKEtoKNOW.it to share product sources you see in the image. If you download that app, you can follow Mix & Match Design Company to get the product links. You can also screenshot any image that's enabled with LIKEtoKNOW.it to get the sources. (How do you know if an image is LIKEtoKNOW.it enabled? The caption of the post will tell you! If you see the @liketoknow.it tag, you're good to screenshot it!)
Facebook is much more straightforward - I simply share links directly in my posts! I'll often do this if there's a good sale going on that you won't want to miss or if there's a particularly awesome product that caught my eye.
Finally, I've got a couple of pages on my website that contain affiliate links: Favorite Furniture and Decor Resource, Shop Chaney's House, and Shop the Instagram Feed (that one's actually a link to my LIKEtoKNOW.it page!).
When I use affiliate links, my goal is for them to be both helpful and for it to feel like it flows naturally - the last thing I want is for you to feel like you're getting a sales pitch all the time! I do my best to research and share products that I've either tried personally or that have good reviews so that you're getting quality recommendations. I hold myself to a pretty high standard over here! :)
As I mentioned earlier, affiliate links cost you nothing, keep your info private, and help support Mix & Match in a super user-friendly and easy way. I absolutely love my little corner of the Internet and the small commissions I earn through these helps keep the content coming every week!
If you made it to the end of this post, thank you! I'm thrilled you're here and following along. If there's anything I can do to make this spot more helpful, you have a design dilemma you think would make a great post, or you simply have questions, you can always reach out to me - I'm here to help!