Some of you may wonder how this site is monetized. Obviously, we have banner ads running on the site. We also have “affiliate relationships” with different companies, which is something a lot of blogs do — it means we get a commission (generally 2-25%) if you buy something we’ve recommended or buy from a store we’ve recommended. We don’t always use affiliate links, and affiliate links are not a prerequisite for editorial inclusion, but at this point, we have an affiliate relationship with the larger, mass-market stores that are preferred both by us and the readers for online shopping purposes because a) they carry a wide range of sizes, b) have enough pieces in stock that items aren’t frequently sold out, and c) have favorable shipping and return policies. (If you’re interested in smaller, independent boutiques, please check out this series of posts of workwear stores off the beaten path. Kat’s discussed her favorite stores for online shopping as a consumer in more detail as well.)
Here’s some more detail on the different types of monetization available to us. Note that the only way for a brand to guarantee coverage on the blog is through a direct partnership such as a sponsored post or giveaway.
- Sponsored posts are only accepted from brands, stores, and products that align with the editorial vision of this blog and its editors as well as with reader interest. A sponsored post means CorporetteMoms was paid a flat fee for the writing of the post; it almost always means the brand had pre-approval of the post as well as the right to give editorial direction, whether it’s the designation of a certain line of clothing to focus on, or the inclusion of particular phrases (such as the description of a sale as “the sale of the season”), or other elements. A brief list of copy points are negotiated, and the rest of the post is written in the usual style of the blog. Sponsored posts are clearly marked in the headline of the post, as well as the first and last line of the post. Sponsored posts may or may not include affiliate links; CorporetteMoms sometimes offers a discount on the fee for a sponsored post if affiliate links can be used.
- Affiliate links, where available, are used to monetize otherwise uncompensated links to products, brands, and stores the editors recommend in the normal course of writing content for the blog. Brands do not have pre-approval or any editorial input into which products are chosen for recommendation, but note that brands may occasionally offer incentives for certain product lines (20% commission on junior prom dresses, for example) which may influence editorial direction if the incentive fits with the editorial vision. Affiliate links also result in a ton of data — number of links clicked, products bought, commissions generated — and that data is generally interpreted as reader interest, and as such may influence editorial direction. As with everything else, though, if a product, brand, or store does not fit with the editorial vision of this site, it will not be featured. If readers don’t click certain products or stores, we may feature them less often.
In more detail: As noted above, an affiliate link means that this site will get a cut of purchases made through affiliate links. For example, if we recommend a sweater and you click our link and then buy lipstick at the site, we will get a portion of the sale of lipstick, even if you do not buy the sweater. The potential to earn commission may stay open for an extended period of time (7-60 days, depending on the relationship); if products are returned within a certain window of time (14-60 days, usually) we may lose the commission. Brands may decide to deactivate the relationship or incentivize it further, such as by raising commissions. One kind of incentive is offering a flat fee in exchange for a guaranteed number of affiliate links on the site for a certain time period; as of Feb. 2017 the only brand from Corporette and CorporetteMoms has accepted that incentive is from Amazon. (Some bigger bloggers negotiate all of these terms — commission, cookie duration, return window, guaranteed number of links per month — but as of Feb. 2017 we have no such negotiated relationships other than the one mentioned with Amazon.) If coverage of a specific sale or product has done well in the past in terms of reader interest (as gauged by clicks and commissions) we may promote the same sale next year. For a mostly complete list of affiliate relationships, please check out The Corporette Mall and The CorporetteMoms Guide to Kids’ Shopping and The CorporetteMoms Guide to Maternity Shopping — if you want to help support the blog, please consider buying through those links.
Note that in addition to links in the content, software (such as Skimlinks) may be running in the background which would convert non-affiliate links to affiliate links, where available. We have no way of knowing which links will be converted into affiliate links, and in fact they may change from time to time depending on these third party companies’ relationship with different advertisers. I do get commissions, but I don’t get a specific report of which links are being clicked by readers. Note that the software affects the entire blog, so a commenter-posted link may be converted to an affiliate link which may result in commission to CorporetteMoms.
- Banner ads, aka CPM marketing: Note that for the most part, banner ads seen on the site are running on the CPM model, and are priced for every 1000 pageviews (“cost per mille”). Most banner ads are not purchased directly through CorporetteMoms but rather through ad networks like Style Coalition, AdSense, or others. While we can set broad rules, and we have, such as “no autoplay video or audio ads” and “no political ads” — we’ve noticed that a number of advertising companies seem to be ignoring them/blatantly lying to skirt those broad rules we’ve set. Removing an ad may require that we filter through hundreds of pages of AdSense ads or receive one-on-one attention from a third-party ad network; both of those endeavors can take time. We make best efforts to remove offensive or inappropriate ads as soon as we can. (Trust us, we don’t like them any more than you do.)
- ShopStyle links and other CPC marketing: We may from time to time use a ShopStyle link instead of an affiliate link; Shopstyle works on the “cost-per-click” model, meaning that for every click on the link, we would get a flat fee instead of a commission (which is only awarded in the event of a purchase). Some other blogs may have banner ads that are also on the CPC model; for the most part we prefer our banner ads to be CPM.
- Products received for review purposes: As per our Product Review Policy, we only write about products received for review if we love them. If we received that product from the brand or another source (such as a blogging conference giveaway), that relationship will be noted in the individual post.
- Stock disclosures: Kat owns stock in Google, Apple, LinkedIn, and Facebook. All other investments in companies are in mutual funds or index funds.
- On social media, we will disclose a) a link that goes directly to a store site via an affiliate link, and b) a link that was part of a “sponsored” package. (Corporette may sell, and sponsoring partners may purchase, “social media promotion” ensuring the partner a certain number of Tweets, Pins, Instagram posts, or more.) A link that directs users to a Corporette page (whether it includes affiliate links or not) will not bear any special hashtag or other note.
Any (L-_) numbers do NOT include Skimlinks. You may notice that Skimlinks links take a bit longer to load, and the address bar will briefly say something like “http://go2.” at the top before it goes to site.
If there are any other sort of sponsorship relationships — such as a sponsor-written post or tweet or whatnot — those will be clearly marked as such. Similarly, if we have received any review copies or press samples, we will disclose those as well. Thank you for supporting the blog!