Blogger | Social Influencer FAQs
Why should I sign up to Shopping Links?
Are you looking to grow your audience? Reach more followers? Become more influential and create more value from your digital content? If yes, then Shopping Links is for you. Many experienced bloggers have told us that collaborations with brands is what has enabled them to follow their dream of working solely on their blog, dedicating more time and creativity to inspire and engage with their followers. They have also told us how frustrating it can be to source the right collaboration…at Shopping Links we have made it super easy to find the right brand and the right collaboration for you and your audience. It doesn’t cost anything to join or apply for collaborations and you can also create a Digital Media Kit that will automatically update each time your influence level changes on a social network. It really is the best place for bloggers and brands to connect.
Can I sign up if I am an Influencer and don’t have a blog?
Yes, we definitely want to connect those influencers that may be blogging on social media only and don’t necessarily have a website presence. We have lots of brands that want to be connected with a wide range of influencers whether they have a blog or not.
How does Shopping Links differ to my Blogger Agency?
At Shopping Links we have a wide variety of bloggers who either manage their own opportunities or are part of a broader talent management agency. At Shopping Links we see ourselves as a potential ‘feeder’ of blogger opportunities to Talent Managers who are able to evaluate the opportunities on behalf of their bloggers and social influencers. Talent agencies still have full control over the negotiation process with a brand on Shopping Links. For PR agencies we take the headache out of managing multiple spreadsheets and blogger lists that can quickly become out of date. We enable a PR agency to focus on the creative side of a collaboration rather than spending a lot of time on the sourcing and managing the influencers for their clients.
Does Shopping Links work with Agencies?
Yes, we actively work with a number of talent and PR agencies and we welcome agency involvement in our site. Some bloggers may prefer to have their talent agency manage their presence on Shopping Links and respond or negotiate to the collaboration opportunities that are matched to their blog or social feeds. Brands who have a PR agency can also integrate Shopping Links into their overall PR strategy with their agency or alternatively work independently with Shopping Links for their Influencer Marketing requirements.
Is Shopping Links an Affiliate Network?
No, Shopping Links is not an affiliate network however we do work closely with existing affiliate networks to showcase retail brand opportunities and offers. We are integrated with around 12 different affiliate networks globally to enable affiliate marketers the opportunity to offer bloggers and social influencers the benefit of commission on sales as part of their collaboration. This is tracked through Shopping Links via your affiliate marketing network.
Are there any costs involved in registering with Shopping Links?
There are no costs associated with bloggers registering on our site, setting up a profile or applying for and being accepted for a collaboration. bloggers are able to detail the price they expect to be paid for each type of collaboration and brands pay an agreed amount for the collaboration via the site. If a blogger secures a paid opportunity via our network they will be paid for the collaboration, minus a 10% transaction fee that contributes to the cost of processing the payment and securing top brands and opportunities to the site.
Does Shopping Links accept bloggers from all countries?
Yes! We love bloggers, and our network now represents over 103 countries. We welcome registrations worldwide and we work with a number of International brands to source bloggers for their marketing campaigns and events.
What types of blogs do you work with?
At Shopping Links we work with mainly Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle blogs. This includes parenting, travel, fitness, foodie, health and wellness.
Do I have to work exclusively with Shopping Links for my collaborations?
No. We appreciate that collaborations are often the largest revenue stream for a blogger and we therefore encourage and support bloggers to seek out and secure as many suitable collaborations as they can. We want to help you extend the reach of your blog in any way possible.
Who will be able to access my profile?
You decide who has access to your blogger profile (Digital Media Kit) on Shopping Links. As part of our site, you will be required to build a profile that will be used to match your blog with suitable collaboration opportunities. In an update coming soon, you will be able to share your profile on your blog or keep it confidential. If a brand posts an opportunity that matches your requirements, they will be able to access and review your Shopping Links profile (Digital Media Kit) on Shopping Links. They will also be able to invite you to apply to their collaboration if you match their collaboration requirements.
Will other bloggers be able to search for me and see my data?
No, other bloggers will not have access to your blogger Profile (Digital Media Kit).
Do I have to apply for all collaborations I am matched with?
No, you can select the brands and the specific opportunities you want to work on and apply only to them. You decide which opportunities will suit you, your blog and your schedule.
Will brands be able to invite me to collaborate?
Yes, if your blog is matched to a particular collaboration opportunity or you have worked with the brand previously, they will be able to review your profile and invite you to apply for their collaboration. You decide whether to accept the invitation or not.
Are the brands able to contact me directly?
If you apply for a collaboration, the brand will have your blog and associated contact details. They may choose to contact you directly to discuss the collaboration opportunity further. Please note that it is against the terms of service to agree to any form of payment for a collaboration outside the Shopping Links platform. All payments, tracking and reporting for collaborations secured via the site must be completed within the platform itself.
What if I have an existing established relationship with a brand who has posted a collaboration? Am I able to contact them directly?
We ask that you connect with brands about collaborations posted on Shopping Links directly through the Shopping Links platform. (As this is a requirement, brands will redirect all inquiries back to Shopping Links.) This not only allows brands to more easily track the results of their campaign, but it can help them contact you more easily for their next collaboration since they can keep track of bloggers they have worked with previously on Shopping Links. Moreover, it helps us ensure the entire campaign goes smoothly, including your payments, which are processed directly through our system.
Do I need a media kit to apply and work with brands on a collaboration?
No. Our platform provides a Digital Media Kit (blogger Profile) that will be made available to those brands that have a collaboration opportunity that suits your requirements. You are required to establish this profile when you join, linking your key social accounts, Google Analytics etc. and we will automatically keep it updated as your data and information changes.
How do I join?
It’s really easy. Just click on ‘SIGN UP’ and share with us a little bit about your blog and/or social influence. Once we have reviewed your application, we will contact you with instructions on how to complete the application process. The first step will involve setting up your blogger profile so you can start applying for collaborations. We look forward to working with you and seeing your blog and social influence go from strength to strength.
My Application to join has been placed “on hold”. What does that mean?
We are still learning about the capacity of our site and closely monitoring the volume of users and the types of bloggers we have represented. Unfortunately in some instances we may have been required to place your application ‘on hold’. This is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of your blog or social influence, but may be due to some constraints we have on the volume and type of blogs, content or level of influence we have represented on the site. We may also not have enough detail about your blog or social influence to be able to make a decision. We are continually reviewing the status of all applications and will be trying to get you up and running as quickly as possible.
Why is it Important to connect your Google Analytics to your Shopping Links Profile?
With social Influencers becoming more and more popular we find brands are receiving a bigger pool of bloggers to select from. We find Bloggers that are being transparent with the brand and have connected their Google Analytics to their Shopping Links Profile, have instantly increased their chances of working with the brand. Remembering that brands are not only interested in the amount of traffic bloggers receive, but are keener to learn about the Demographics and Regions of the bloggers audiences to ensure it aligns with their own targeted audience. Another important thing to remember is that Bloggers that have connected their Google Analytics will appear ahead of other Blogger Profiles.
Connecting your Google Analytics:
- Log in to your Shopping Links account and click on your name.
- Click on edit your profile.
- Proceed to section 3 - Build your Profile.
- Click on ‘Connect your Google Analytics’ button.
- Select the email account that your Google Analytics is connected to.
- Click on the allow button to authorize Shopping Links to have offline access.
- Preview your profile to ensure you have successfully connected your Google Analytics to your profile.
If your Demographics are appearing blank, you will need to enable your Demographics in your Google Analytics account. Please refer to the steps in the below link. Once enabled, your Shopping Links Profile should update within 24-48 hours.
If you experience any issues connecting your Google Analytics please try re connecting in a private browser or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further support.
Bloggers that have basic versions of Blog providers such as WordPress and ‘Blogger’, may not be able to connect their Google Analytics. We recommend bloggers review the option of a business version of these platforms, especially for those who plan to grow their blogs and work with brands in the long term.
What payment methods are available to bank my blogger payments and commissions?
At this stage we only offer our bloggers and social influencers the option to bank their payments via PayPal. You will be required to submit and verify your PayPal address in your Shopping Links account prior to banking.
Are there any minimum payment amounts required to be able to bank my blogger payments and commissions?
Yes, there are minimum amounts required to be reached in your Shopping Links account before you have the option to bank the amounts into your PayPal account. The option to bank your payments will be available once you meet the minimum payout for each currency. Please see the list below for the minimum amount required for each currency:
Are there any fees associated with using PayPal to bank my blogger payments and commissions?
Shopping Links charges a 10% blogger transaction fee on all blogger payments processed through the site. Shopping Links absorb the PayPal fees that apply when receiving your funds. Please note that PayPal may charge you a fee to convert the amount received from Shopping Links into your local currency. This fee is not included in the 10% Shopping Links transaction fee. Shopping Links has no control over the exchange rate used by PayPal on the day the payment is processed.
As a blogger, how do I make sure I'm following disclosure laws?
The simplest step you can take is to make sure you include #ad or #sponsored in every post, even for Twitter. It is not enough to tag once for a collaboration and reference that the rest of your posts for that brand are sponsored. You must tag every post. A simple litmus test is to ask yourself, "If I glanced at this single post on its own, could I tell it was sponsored?" Even in a hurry, you should be able to answer, “Yes.” Read more about disclosure requirements on our blog.
Brand | PR Agency FAQs
How will Shopping Links benefit my Brand or PR Agency?
Shopping Links takes the guess work out of finding the influencers that will make an impact on your brand, and we do it in a way that inspires genuine relationships with bloggers and sparks real conversations among consumers. Through our extensive experience and vast blogger network of more than 10,000 carefully selected influencers, we help you to speak to your consumers through the voices of their trusted peers.
When should I post a collaboration?
There is no optimal time to post a collaboration, it really depends on the type of collaboration and your specific requirements. For a majority of gifting collaborations, we recommend posting around 4-6 weeks ahead of when you would like your content to be shared. For niche brands or products we suggest you allow for some extra time to search and appoint your bloggers. For those that are looking for more editorial type content and reviews you can post at any time you’re looking for the content to be created.
How much does it cost to post a collaboration?
A collaboration costs just $79 USD ($89 AUD) to appoint up to 5 bloggers for 15 days. You can ‘Amplify’ your campaign by adding an additional 10 bloggers for $40 USD, or you can appoint unlimited bloggers for $109 USD. Payments are accepted in USD, AUD, GBP and EUR. Payments to bloggers can be negotiated directly with the blogger based on your budget but must be processed through the Shopping Links platform. A 10% service fee is charged on top of any agreed blogger payment.
How long will my collaboration be advertised for?
We will run your collaboration opportunity on the site for 15 days with the initial fee of $79USD ($89 AUD). You may double your time with a “Long Listing” (30 days) for an additional $50 USD. You may pay in USD, AUD, GBP and EUR.
What response can I expect from bloggers?
The more you think about the ideal influencer for your brand and their target audience, the better response you will get. Your blogger response will depend on many factors, including the parameters you set (i.e. location, influence level, interests, etc.), the compensation you offer, and the type of product you are looking to promote, but ultimately, the best bloggers for your campaign will respond if they feel the collaboration is a personal fit for them and their audience. You can always contact us if you feel you are not reaching the right influencer audience. We are always happy to help.
Do I pay bloggers through your site?
Yes! Our simple payment process allows you to make all payment types, including commission, through a single, secure system. There is no need to set up bloggers as individual vendors or arrange separate payments for different bloggers. Please note it is against our terms of service to arrange payment for collaborations posted on Shopping Links outside the Shopping Links platform.
Can I get bloggers to promote my brand for no cost?
Absolutely, you can promote unpaid collaborations, and depending on the experience and product you are promoting, they can be quite successful. An invitation to an influencer event, for example, or an official post on your brand’s social channels, can be a great way to elicit a response from bloggers without payment. You can always feel free to contact us for more ideas.
How can I be sure a blogger is being honest about their level of influence?
We are all about transparency at Shopping Links and have implemented a number of tools and processes to help you verify a bloggers level of influence. Firstly, we individually audit every blogger before allowing them into our network. We look beyond their follower level to engagement, content quality and consistency across each channel. We also encourage all bloggers to connect their Google Analytics to their blogger Profile, which brands can access once they post an opportunity on the site. Meanwhile, we encourage brands to look thoroughly at a blogger’s analytics and other details such as engagement level versus following, before working with an influencer. Please flag us with any concerns by contacting: email@example.com if you feel a blogger in our network does not have a genuine audience.
Is there any guarantee I will get a blogger if I advertise a collaboration on your site?
Although we cannot guarantee the type or number of bloggers who respond, we have never had a collaboration that has not received application -- even for the most niche products and audience requirements. With 10,000+ bloggers from over 103 countries, we have always been able to find great influencers for a given collaboration. If you are not getting the right applicants, you can always contact us for advice and insight on how to receive a better response.
Can I try it before I post a collaboration?
Although we don’t offer a free trial (we have instead tried to make the service affordable and flexible for all budgets), we are always happy to help you to create the right opportunity and find the best influencers. If you need assistance to get started or some ideas on what to post, you will find some great resources on our blog including the types of bloggers and social influencers in our network.
Can I export blogger details to use at a later date?
You cannot export blogger details, but you have access to blogger data as long as you have an active collaboration. You are also able to invite bloggers you have worked with previously so you can maintain and grow the relationships you have established as part of the platform. You will always have access to the blogger results page from a collaboration that has been posted on the site.
Can I search your entire blogger database?
You can search among all bloggers who fit your collaboration parameters. With such a broad network of influencers (10,000+ and counting), having to sift through irrelevant profiles or bloggers who simply don’t meet your criteria yields very little value. We find that brands who really think through their parameters and further refine their matches through the search function to target the best influencers for their campaign are the most satisfied with their results and the time taken to execute their influencer campaign.
Will other brands be able to see my collaborations?
No. If you choose to be visible on the site, brands can see that you use Shopping Links, but they can never see your active collaborations.
Will bloggers be able to see my brand name when I post collaborations?
You can choose to remain completely anonymous throughout your collaboration, only revealing your brand name to the bloggers you choose to work with, but we recommend transparency. Many bloggers are selective about who they choose to work with and may not respond to an anonymous post, which can affect the number and quality of responses you receive.
Can I report on the success of a collaboration?
Soon you will have even greater insight into your collaboration's success with enhanced reporting functionality to measure the impact of each influencer you collaborate with. With our next planned enhancement, you'll be provided with an interactive results page that will show page views, clicks, total sales, and the average order value per sale over the duration of your collab, along with views and engagement for each influencer across all major social platforms. Please note data points included in the results will depend on the type of collaboration you post.
Can I purchase a subscription to Shopping Links?
Please get in touch to discuss your requirements, and we will be delighted to come up with a solution that best fits your needs. We are always happy to hear from PR Agencies who are looking for an enterprise wide solution to manage their influencer campaigns.
What additional services do you provide in the area of product promotion and advertising?
We pride ourselves in offering full-service support to brands who may not have the time or resources to review or appoint influencers. Utilizing our deep personal knowledge of the influencers in our network and past experience with events for leading International brands, we offer a range of opportunities to help you find the best way for your brand to connect with influencers.
From custom influencer events and branded newsletters to multi-brand events like our STORY series (link to Fashion Week STORY post), we can manage your campaign from start to finish, complete with a results summary and management-level reports to help you interpret the results.
How private can I make my collaboration?
We highly value the privacy of brands who post on Shopping Links and allow you to remain completely anonymous until you appoint a blogger. To remain anonymous, remember to leave your brand name OFF the title of the collaboration when you post on the site.
Do I have to pay bloggers via Shopping Links or can I pay them via PayPal directly?
Per our terms and conditions, you must pay bloggers via the Shopping Links platform. For your ease and security, we do not allow any payments to be processed outside the system.
Do I have to make contact with everyone that applies?
No, you do not need to make contact with every blogger who applies. In some instances you may get in excess of 100 bloggers wanting to work on your collaboration. You only need to contact the bloggers you wish to engage further in the appointment process.
Why do posts for Shopping Links need to be tagged as advertisements?
Simply put, disclosure is the ethical thing to do. Not only that, it’s the law and the consequences are getting much higher for brands and bloggers who choose to take the risk of not disclosing their relationship. Regulators in many countries are making disclosure a priority, and cracking down on brands who fail to follow the law. To prevent fines or heavy regulations -- not to mention the negative impact on your reputation -- it is important to understand and follow the advertising laws of your region.
As a brand, what can I do to make it easier for bloggers to comply with disclosure laws?
The easiest way is to simply make disclosure part of your blogger requirements, and to make sure you check for disclosure when you review work for the collaboration. Remember that regulators view compliance as your responsibility -- no immediate campaign is worth a costly lawsuit with regulators or the potential hit to your reputation.
How do I make contact with the bloggers that apply to my collaboration?
Click on the 'CONTACT BLOGGER' button in the action section to display their phone number, email and postal address. You will be provided with the most up to date detail that the blogger has entered in their blogger profile within Shopping Links.
What does Shopping Links to do ensure disclosure requirements are met?
In addition to our requirements for each post, which mandate that bloggers tag @shoppinglinks and include the hashtags #ad and #shoppinglinks for social media posts, while including language in blog posts that specify the content was supported by Shopping Links (read more here). We have also implemented the following procedures to protect our bloggers and to ensure that disclosure laws are met:
- We audit our Influencers quarterly. Each quarter we randomly select a number of Influencers who have been appointed to a collaboration and check for proper disclosures in the content they have shared about the brand.
- If an influencer does not meet the criteria, we send them an email requesting compliance or we will remove them from the platform.
- We log all the audit results for record keeping.
- We also remind all Influencers in our network to include disclosures in their blog posts, social posts, etc. via our newsletters, collaboration appointment emails and in our Terms and Conditions.