It is our policy to be transparent about our business model so that you can make informed judgments about the objectivity of the information we present.
YLF has three main sources of revenue: Advertising, Affiliate Programs and Sponsored Posts. We have taken an approach that is (1) transparent through disclosure and (2) minimizes the potential for real or perceived conflict of interest.
We belong to several ad networks and occasionally we will also run ad campaigns for specific clients. It will be obvious from the content of the advertising banners that they are advertising and not editorial content.
YLF is an affiliate partner to many retailers and fashion brands. When one of our readers follows an affiliate link to one of these partners and then makes a purchase, YLF receives a small commission. There are three types of affiliate link:
- Mentioned Products: Sometimes the links to products that we mention in the YLF blog are affiliate links. We always display or link to the products we think best reflects the point we are making in the blog post.
- YLF Picks: Think of YLF Picks as Angie’s boutique and Inge’s bookstore — they stock the things they love and YLF makes a profit when people buy these items. Angie bases her picks on products that she or her clients have experienced. Note that this used to be called “YLF Finds”, but these days everyone can add finds and Angie’s picks are a subset of these.
- Automatic Affiliate Links: We currently use a service that in some cases will automatically add the affiliate code to links on YLF. These could be links that we create ourselves, or links that our members create in the forum.
Almost every available mainstream product is available to us through one affiliate program or another. In footwear, for example, our affiliate partners include Zappos.com, 6pm.com, Nordstrom and many other retailers.
Readers can also support YLF by using the list of links in the sidebar labeled “Partners” to go to online stores. When they make a purchase after following these links, YLF receives a commission.
In addition to banner advertising, companies can get exposure on YLF by sponsoring a post. This means that they pay us to be mentioned as the sponsor of the post and (sometimes) to have their advertising on the page where the post is published. Sponsorship does not in itself represent an implicit or explicit endorsement.
Sponsored posts are always disclosed in the post itself, in a message that appears at the top or the bottom of the post.
Companies that sponsor posts do not control our editorial — this is one of our pre-conditions for doing a sponsored post. Sometimes a company will have their own conditions for sponsorship, and in that case we will note it explicitly in the sponsorship notice or in the post itself. For example, in this post sponsored by Zappos.com, Angie illustrated her points using examples drawn from Zappos.com. It was a condition from Zappos that she draw her examples from products available from their store, so we note that in the disclosure.
Prior to October 2011 we occasionally did product reviews. The client provided the product(s) under review free of charge, and we charged the client a fee for the production of the review. This was clearly disclosed in the post. We no longer do paid product reviews because although we trust ourselves to stay true to our principles and to always give an honest review, some readers will always have a nagging doubt. We were also worried about the inevitable situation where a company providing the product would be unhappy with negative statements in our review.
We are always learning, so it is likely that we will make changes in the way we make money over time. For one thing, we would love to simplify and streamline our approach as we figure out which models work best. When we do make changes, we will update this page to reflect them.