I have previously wrote why I didn’t use LTK. I had been accepted to the program but really didn’t dig deep into it. We all have seen the captions that end in “Here are the steps to shop my look”. For the longest time I REBELLED against using these platforms. I even wrote a blog post about “Why I Don’t LTK”. But the truth is I was still fascinated by it. Not so much for making money but I constantly was hearing Influencer say “I only make pennies off these” or “Its more about making it easier for you to shop my looks” and I honestly didn’t believe it for a second. So what better way then to do an experiment to really dive in and see how these programs work. I decided to try both LTK and 21Buttons at the same time. To be honest, I was waiting to get kicked off of both for using them both at the same time.
LTK makes it extremely difficult to connect items to your account. I had to log on to a web browser use the “Link Ninja” app to see if the items were available for LTK. Once I did this I would need to either copy the link or save it to my favorite to then link it later on my phone app.
21 Buttons is extremely simple and easy. Search for the brand and if they don’t have it a google search will pop up and you just search for the website and items and tag them.
Growing An Audience
LTK I think I now have 3 followers (HA). They make it extremely difficult to get a following. LTK makes you WORK for you money. I now understand why people spam us with the captions and the IG stories about how to follow them.
I have 9.4k. 21 buttons makes it much easier to find new people to follow through sources like hashtags and also by the type of items you are tagging in your post (Ex: Sweaters, Pants, Dress, Etc). This also increases the chances of someone buying something.
Pennies vs Dollars
While looking through their recently bought items the average commission was between $2.75 – $12.00 depending on the cost of the actual trending items. LTK also constantly sends you email regarding extra/bonus commissions certain brands are giving out. This is why you will suddenly see everyone promoting a brand like Princess Polly Boutique. With LTK they make it easier to make money by letting you know what items will make you the most money. The catch is to get a payout from LTK you must make $100 before you can withdrawal.
There is no way to know what the commission of items are or if some of your items even give you a commission. They never send you emails about promoting a brand or getting bonuses. If anything they send you emails about contest where you can win money for posting to themes like “Show us your best fall look”. The payout for 21Buttons is at $10 making it much easier to withdrawal more often.
“Trying” to make money
I knew I was kind of half assing this experiment so I started to find ways to really try to make money. I did one Try- On Haul and it made me feel dirty so that was not the route I wanted to go. So I decided to make fashion mood boards. I simply used the website/app Canva and shopped popular online stores that had high commission rates according to LTK. I would post them on both and see which site would get more attention. Though this took a lot of effort for little pay off.
I made $45.00 during my 3 month of LTK. I think I made more money from LTK due to the fact my post were mostly lead by the items that LTK told me would have high commissions. But the downfall is I feel like I was more pressured to buy more things to get commission which in the end would make it the money I earn go right back into buying new items.
I made $25.00 during my 3 month of 21 buttons. I think though I was able to tag all items I think some items even if the person purchased I possibly didn’t get any commission. Which i was more than okay with. I also felt less pressure to try and buy new things or find items that would make me a commission.
There are pros and cons to both. Personally I prefer 21 Buttons. It feels more honest unlike LTK which pressures their users to use certain brands to get commission. They also often get collabs through these and get even high commissions from them. How they get away with them not being labeled as sponsored or ad is because the brands don’t give them the items for free they give them a extremely high discount code and then a high commission rate which then balances out to them making money (if their followers buy). This often why you see the trend of a lot of influencer posting about the same items or stores. The new trend seems to be the “Me and some blogger friends have gotten together to show you different ways to wear (Insert Item). Follow us to see how we style this (insert item) from (insert brand). So I wanted to dig deeper into how these two work. Overall I really disliked this experience it made me feel very unauthentic. I felt like I just blended in with my feed. Since starting this process 21 buttons did announce they are no longer allow commissions in the US but you can still link your looks.