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A Brief Note on Ads, Affiliates, Sponsorships, and More

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 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, giveaway, or directly purchased banner ad.

  • 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 Corporette 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 may make an appearance once or twice a month, are always in addition to regular content (instead of replacing it), and 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; Corporette sometimes offers a discount on the fee for a sponsored post if affiliate links can be used.
  • Giveaways are almost always partnered, sponsored posts, as disclosed in each giveaway; these also must pass muster with the editorial vision of this site. This means Corporette was paid a flat fee for the administration of the post; it almost always means the brand had pre-approval of the post as well as the right to give editorial direction. Note that brands are given the choice of how readers enter the giveaway contest; if contest entrance is via comment on Corporette, note that, pursuant to Corporette’s Privacy Policy, brands are not given any back-end information on entry comments such as IP addresses or e-mail addresses.
  • 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 which we have 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 — if you want to help support the blog, please consider buying through those links.
  • 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. Note also that most banner ads are not purchased directly through Corporette 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.

Disclosure history:

In the very beginning of this blog, there were no FTC requirements requiring this disclosure, and when FTC guidelines went into place in 2009, they were very vague as to what was actually required of bloggers. We decided to adopt a brief notation to disclose to readers HOW MANY (and if any) affiliate links were included in every post with a brief notation: “L-3” if there were three such links, “L-0” if there were none, etc. No one else on the planet used this designation, as far as we know, so we abandoned it in 2017, changing our affiliate disclosure to be more prominent.

Note that for any posts from 2010-2017, affiliate disclosures did NOT include any monetized affiliate links via Skimlinks, which converted links on the front end into affiliate links, of which we got a cut.

For a mostly complete list of affiliate relationships, please check out The Corporette Mall — if you want to help support the blog, please consider buying through those links.

 

More specific disclosures

Pages

– Almost all links on our “Shopping” pages include affiliate links.

2017

– 2/7/17 post on t-shirts for layering: An affiliate link to Adea was not available, but note that Adea has been a direct sponsor/advertiser in years past and has gifted Kat with t-shirts for her review.

– 1/31/17 post on workwear for size 16: Affiliate links were not available for Citizen Mark, Pendleton, Hobbs, Nora Gardner, Project Gravitas, Wallis Evera, Campbell & Kate, Meredith Banzhoff, Bravissimo, Betabrand, Full Beauty, Anna Scholz, Universal Standard, Carmakoma, Carrie Hammer, and Dia & Co.

2016

– 11/10/16 eyewear post: Affiliate links were not available for Fetch Eyewear, Bonlook, and Felix & Iris.
– 10/20/16 Halloween at work post: Affiliate links were not available for Hot Topic or Simply Soles.
– 8/8/16 roundup of indie/startup shoe and bag brands: Corporette has had paid, sponsored content in the past from Lo & Sons, M.Gemi, and UKIES and has received press releases from several of the other brands on the list. The only affiliate links used were for M.Gemi shoes, but note that affiliate links may be added automatically through Skimlinks as well (see above).
– 8/4/16 LinkedIn post: No affiliate links were used, but in the interest of full disclosure, please note that Kat owns stock in LinkedIn.
– 7/25/16 roundup of professional totes: While Lo & Sons has been an advertiser in the past, we do not have an affiliate relationship with them.
– 6/14/16 roundup of workwear brands you haven’t heard of: The post was actually published with zero affiliate links, then four were inserted after the fact (to Of Mercer for its pictured dress, and MM.LaFleur for its pictured dress). In the past, Corporette has run sponsored posts by Of Mercer, MM.LaFleur, and Adea.
– 1/28/16 Coffee Break: The Rothy’s link is not an affiliate one.

2015

– 11/12/15 Drinking post: The WW, Etsy, and Amazon links are all monetized, but I have no relationship (or personal experience) with any of the drinking moderation programs mentioned.
– 11/3/15 Busty clothes post: As of the writing of the post, the only affiliated links were eShakti and Lands’ End.
– 6/25/15 CB: Affiliate links were used for all shopping links, but the post was not otherwise monetized. (In other words, we’re not being paid to recommend the email list.)
– 6/22/15 CB: The only affiliate/monetized link is the link to Amazon and the Misfits.
– 6/18/15 TPS: As of June 2015 we have no affiliate relationship with Aritizia; links may be converted after the fact to Skimlinks.
– 6/16/15 Jordana Paige: The company was nice enough to send a bag to Kat, and affiliate links were used, but the post was not otherwise sponsored or monetized. Read more about our review policy here.
– 5/14/15 M.Gemi post: While M.Gemi has sponsored posts in the past, this one just contains affiliate links.
– 5/11/15 Halftees post: The post is sponsored and uses affiliate links; the company has also offered to send product to Kat to try.
– 5/4/15 sheath dress post: Many of the links to boutiques in our “custom sizes” roundup are not affiliate links (although many of the companies have advertised with us in the past).
– 4/30/15 FTD post: The post is sponsored by FTD, and uses affiliate links as well.
– 4/28/15 Dagne Dover post: The company was nice enough to send a bag to Kat, but the post is not otherwise monetized — the company did not pay for coverage and no affiliate links were used.
– 4/22/15 apps post: Amazon link to Bluetooth keyboard is affiliate. All other links are not.
– 4/13/15 Hunt: Non-affiliate links: Lo & Sons (but the brand has done sponsored posts with us in the past), Louis Vuitton, and Chanel.
– 3/23/15 jewelry post: Non-affiliate links: Tiffany’s, Belladora, Doyle & Doyle, Maria Chavez, and Cartier.
– 2/9/15 TPS: Non-affiliate links: Michaela Jedinak. All other suggestions are affiliate links.
– 1/27/15 midi rings post: At the time of this writing, all links were affiliate links except the one to Etsy.
– 1/12/15 personal services post: At the time of this writing, affiliate links were available for Plated, HelloFresh, Freshology, and all Amazon links (P90x, Insanity, etc).

2014

– 7/16/14 tinted lip balm post: I bought all of the lip balms with my own money. All links are affiliate links except for the links to Etsy (MadisonStreetBeauty).
– 4/2/14 Hukkster: Nordstrom link is an affiliate one; Hukkster links are “refer a friend” links.
– 3/20/14 bra care discussion: The links to the four NYC-based bra shops are not affiliate links; most others are affiliate links.
– 2/27/14 wool allergy sweaters: The Nordstrom link and Brooks Brothers links are affiliate ones, but I have no connections or monetized links to any of the other companies mentioned.
– 2/18/14 drying rack: The Quirky links are referral links (I think if you buy through that, I’ll get a $5 referral credit? Not sure) and the Amazon links are standard affiliate links.
– 2/18/14 Scandal 360 review: The Amazon link to Ghost is an affiliate one. Otherwise, nothing.  (No secret compensation from ABC, promise.)
– 1/15/14 suit of the week: All BB links are affiliate links, but the LV link is not.
– 1/21/14 padfolio: Levenger links are not affiliate links.

2013

-7/29/13 eyeglass post: Some affiliate links were used in the post (e.g., Warby Parker, Coastal, EyeBuyDirect), and Rivet & Sway’s publicist sent me 3 free frames to try on at home a few months before the post was written. I personally bought all of the eyeglasses myself, though.
– 7/24/13 TPS: All BonTon links are not affiliate links.
– 7/11/13 CB: All Apple Store links are non-affiliate. Everything else is an affiliate link.
– 4/15/13 Hunt: Non-affiliate links: Louis Vuitton.
– 3/25/13 Hunt: Non-affiliate links: The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens, Anne Fontaine.

2012
– 12/19/12 Tales from the Wallet: The wallet pictured is an affiliate link, but I have no business/affiliate/etc. relationship with either Vanguard or Schwab.
– 11/27/12 post on tote bags: picture is a Shopstyle link, written mention in paragraph 3 is an affiliate link. Link to the Longchamp bag in leather (3rd-to-last paragraph) is an affiliate link. All others are to blog links or are straight-up regular links.
– 11/21/2012 CB: The link to the designer’s website is not an affiliate one; the referrer link is my “refer a friend” link, not an affiliate link.
– 11/13/2012 CB: The Levenger link is not an affiliate one.
– 8/14/2012 Meesh & Mia post: All links in the post (at least as of 8/14) are “refer a friend” links, not affiliate links.
– 8/9/2012 TPS on Tegan: the Bloomingdale’s links are affiliate links; the direct link to the Tegan website is not an affiliate (or otherwise monetized) link.
– 7/30/2012 The Hunt post on heels under 2″:  All links are affiliate links, except for the 3 links to Aerosoles at the top of the post.
– 6/18/2012 CB: The final link (which goes directly to the necklace) is an affiliate link; all of the other BaubleBar links are just regular “invitation” links, which means I’ll get BaubleBar points if you sign up through me and eventually buy something.
– 6/4/2012 Hunt post: All links are affiliate links except the Aerosoles links.
– 2/9 post on magazines: All Amazon links are affiliate links.
– 1/5 post on day planners: I have two affiliate links in there (to Vistaprint and Snapfish), but all products that I mention were purchased by me without any encouragement from the company. Tiny Prints is an occasional advertiser, but again I’m mentioning the product without any encouragement from the company. Oh: And there’s an Amazon affiliate link to GTD.

2011

– 8/3 notebook post: All links to Amazon are affiliate links.
– 7/13 Pen post: All links are affiliate but the ones to Plasticka.
– 7/1 Weekend Update thread:  All links but the following are affiliate links: Kate Spade, Talbots.
– 3/14 post on sheath dresses: All links but a few are monetized, including the links to Pendleton, the AK Anne Klein dress at Macy’s, and the Brooks Brothers linen dress.
– 3/6 post on plus-sized workwear: All links but Macy’s, Talbots, Lands’ End, and Travelsmith are affiliate links. (They may turn into affiliate links through the Skimlinks software.)

2010

– 10/12 post on office decor: Most links, strictly speaking, aren’t affiliate links except for the Amazon ones near the top, but I do get some compensation for any ShopStyle link (I think they pay based on clicks), as well as the same referral credit everyone gets through One King’s Lane if you purchase after being invited by me.
– 8/18 netbook post: While I do have an affiliate relationship with BestBuy and was able to throw those links in, I purchased the computer with my own money and was not influenced by anyone in that choice aside from those factors described in my review.
– 7/22 vegan shoe post: All links to Endless and Zappos are affiliate links; all other links are not.
– 6/28 watch post: All links to the following retailers are affiliate links: Amazon, eBay, Zappos.
– 6/21/2010 cardigan post: All links to the following retailers are affiliate links: Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdale’s, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Anne Klein, ShopBop, Brooks Brothers, and Smart Bargains.
– 5/5/10 AK Anne Klein post: It was a sponsored post, paid for as part of a package deal, but there are no affiliate links contained in the post itself.
– 1/7/10 shoe post: Everything except Tsubo site link, and links for Manolo, Sacco, Aerosoles, Rockport

2009

– 12/17/09 Deal Alert: Non-affiliate link: Barney’s link.
– 12/16/09 Suits: Non-affiliate link: the Piazza Sempione suit.
– 12/15/09 reader mail: All links but J.Crew, Chelsea Premium.
– 12/8/09 TPS: Affiliate links: Nordstrom, Zappos. Non-affiliate: Tiffany’s.