learn the business of blogging – always free
Interested in learning about my experience making money with RewardStyle/LTK? Good because I’m about to tell all!
Quick note: RewardStyle recently rebranded as “LTK” so you might see some references to both names on my site. Know that they are the same company!
Because RewardStyle is a relatively new affiliate network and fairly exclusive, there isn’t a ton of in-depth information about this amazing affiliate network around the web. I had a ton of questions when I first started using the program, so I thought I’d share my personal experience using RewardStyle in the hopes of helping other bloggers navigate this profitable platform.
For context, I run an interior design and home decor blog which I started in 2014.
If you don’t have a blog already, then please read how I started my blog!
I didn’t work on my blog continuously though, so the first time I applied to RewardStyle I was actually denied! I gave up for a while and then started to work on my blog again this past October 2016, after letting it go stale for the previous 18 months or so.
Getting Accepted to RewardStyle/LTK
I sent in an application to RewardStyle/LTK at the beginning of February this year (2017). A few days later on February 10, I received an email that my application had been approved!
I immediately got to work on updating my links from ShopStyle over to RewardStyle and adding widgets where I could. I started to familiarize myself with the platform and the various tools it offers. It took me a couple weeks to update all my links so they passed through RewardStyle, as well as add product widgets to posts that didn’t have them before.
My first sale came through on March 9. I’ll never forget it because I was standing on the sidewalk in New Orleans on a super hot day when I got the email from RewardStyle:
Congrats – you’re making sales!
Congratulations, you’ve made a sale. We will send you payment via Paypal once you’ve closed over $100 USD in commissions.
The rewardStyle Team
A Wayfair sale I had generated came out to a $23.45 commission to me. It was music to my ears (eyes?), that’s all I can say! And how nice of them is it to notify you by email of your first sale? Brilliant.
I didn’t make another sale for another two weeks after the initial sale, but it didn’t matter – I was hooked! After those two weeks passed, sales started to roll in pretty regularly every few days.
Waiting for Sales to Close
Sadly, it wasn’t only up from there though. On April 19, I experienced my first “Return,” which meant one of my readers returned a product to the merchant. Luckily it was only a measly $4, so I wasn’t too bummed about it. What’s nice is that you can see which product the Return came from, so I matched it up to a sale that was made 9 days prior for $40. This likely means the consumer purchased several items and returned 1. Not too bad!
Sales have continued to roll in the past few months, but I’m still owed far more money than I’ve been paid by RewardStyle, which is typical in the early stages of a blog. Most affiliate programs have a standard waiting period before commissions are paid out. This typically encompasses the time the merchant allows consumers to return the product (varies by retailer), in addition to the time it takes the merchant to pay RewardStyle.
When I emailed RewardStyle about this, my account manager responded:
Happy to clarify:
It takes between 60-120 days for sales to close, depending on the retailer!
In my experience with Wayfair, that first sale didn’t move into the “Closed” phase until Thursday May 19, 71 days from the purchase date, or just over 2 months later. The second and third sales (from March 25 and 27 respectively) “Closed” on Thursday June 15, or 82 days from the earlier sale. Surprisingly, just two days later on June 17, the next sale from April 3 was marked “Closed” 75 days later.
RewardStyle Commission Rates
RewardStyle doesn’t publicly share their commission rates, but I can say that they are extremely competitive. Depending on the retailer, you could receive anywhere from 7-20% of the sale commission for the most popular retailers. Some brands offer more commission, but they are generally less popular and thus, you’ll have a harder time bringing them sales. I personally have found the most success linking to high-volume retailers (as opposed to high-commission rate) through the RewardStyle platform. Here are some of the commission rates you can earn from RewardStyle right now:
- Wayfair: 7%
- Serena & Lily: up to 21%
- Nordstrom: 7%
- Shopbop: 7-11%
- Sephora: 7-11%
- Ulta: up to 15%
Thanks to their huge sales volumes, Wayfair rand Nordstrom are two retailers that convert really well, despite their relatively low commission rates.
Amazon vs. RewardStyle
Can I link to Amazon through RewardStyle? Yes! Amazon is a part of the RewardStyle platform and you can link to any Amazon product using RewardStyle’s LinkNinja tool. However, I don’t go through RewardStyle when linking to Amazon as the commission is higher if you work directly with Amazon without the “middle man.”
You can join the Amazon Affiliate program here.
Receiving RewardStyle Payments
RewardStyle only makes payments via Paypal once you reach a $25 threshold. Be sure to sign up for an account because this is the only payment processor they allow you to use. At that point, payments are made on Friday every two weeks, and a $1 charge is incurred for each payout.
Check out the RewardStyle payment schedule if you’re currently waiting on your payment.
On Friday June 30, I finally received my first RewardStyle payment! Paypal sent me the following email:
Between the day I was accepted to RewardStyle and the day I got my first payment, 140 days had passed, or 4 months and 20 days. The wait was totally worth it though!
So there you have it. That’s my experience earning money with RewardStyle. I hope this inspires you to apply to their network!
Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions!
9/9/2017 Update: My first West Elm sale from the spring has finally been marked “Closed.” It was made on April 13, and marked closed on September 9, 150 days later. Obviously waiting 5 months to be paid is a huge letdown, but there isn’t much I can do. My commissions from West Elm have been quite large happily so I will continue linking to them. I’m still waiting on Serena & Lily sales to close as well so I’ll be sure to write an update when they do.
9/11/2017 Update: My Serena & Lily sale from May 4 has finally closed, just over 4 months later.
It’s been a while since I wrote this post and I still get lots of questions regarding sales closing through RewardStyle! I thought I would give a quick update to let you know of a few changes since I joined the RewardStyle platform.
The major change is that RewardStyle takes longer to pay out than it used to. I’m not sure why that is, and the team did not even notify publishers that this was happening. You might be waiting 6-7 months for sales to pay out that previously took 3-4 months. So just be aware of that!
West Elm and Pottery Barn are still really bad about paying out affiliates in a timely manner. I have sales with them that have been open for more than 6 months right now.
Do you need to pay taxes on RewardStyle income? Yes! PayPal will send you a 1099-NEC form at the beginning of the following tax year, which you can use to determine how much tax you owe on your LTK income. It’s a good idea to work with a licensed CPA to assist in paying blogger taxes on your RewardStyle income.