What is Kit.com?
Kit.com is a new website that’s similar to Pinterest, but more shoppable, and focused on expert recommendations. They describe themselves as “a community to discover, discuss and get interesting products.”
It’s a fun, well designed site, and I think there’s unique potential for bloggers and influencers to make money on Kit through affiliate marketing. Read on to find out how.
For example, maybe you’re a fan of YouTube star Casey Neistat, and wondering what filmmaking gear he uses. Here’s his current gear kit, neatly organized, with Casey’s comments on each item, all linked to Amazon for easy purchase.
If Casey has added his Amazon affiliate code to his Kit account (and I’m sure he has), he’ll get 100% of the commission from any sales made through his kit. Imagine if Pinterest let you do this! You can already see where this is going in terms of money making potential.
Below is an example, a kit I recently created, full of favorite international condiments (actually borrowed from this blog post).
Kits are easy to embed on your blog or website; just copy and paste the code generated by Kit, and bam, you have an attractive, easily shoppable collection.
Click on one of the items below, and it will bring up details, AND let you click to go directly to Amazon to purchase — I really like that Kit doesn’t unnecessarily route your readers through their website!
Kit.com Review: My Verdict
While it’s clear that Kit doesn’t currently have a huge user base, they’ve already attracted a number of influencers, and seem to be growing.
For the average user, it’s a potential new social site, and an opportunity to browse expert recommendations while sharing their own expertise or current favorites.
You don’t need to be a tech expert to make a list! Share your must-have supplies and secrets for your famous Saturday morning pancakes, or your commute playlist.
Kit’s focus is on shoppable lists, but not everything has to be directly linked to an e-commerce site. It’s easy to see the creative potential in kits like the Dog Days of Summer Beers.
Likewise, Kit is currently leaning towards tech in the creators and kits they feature, but there’s plenty of other categories to explore, and users are already creating quirky, interesting lists.
Because Kit lets influencers input their affiliate tracking codes for a handful of merchants (currently Amazon, B&H Photo, eBay, Newegg, and Flipkart), and offers additional monetization opportunities through their Viglinks partnership, there’s a lot of potential for bloggers and other online influencers.
If you sign up as a partner, you’ll get 100% of the Viglink affiliate revenue generated from sales of items in your kit. Kit doesn’t take a cut, though Viglinks takes 20% of the commissions earned as part of the integration (this is actually a better deal than you get when signing up for Viglinks directly).
For items purchased through merchants that you’re entered an affiliate code for (like Amazon), you’ll always receive 100% of the commissions as usual, through your account with that merchant’s affiliate program. This holds true even when you’re a Kit partner, your affiliate codes will take precedence over Viglinks.
I love that Kit isn’t greedy when it comes to commissions, instead letting creators keep the money earned from their expertise and creativity.
Not much (granted, it’s been less than a month)– but that’s ok, as I’m not expecting a big windfall soon. I’ll keep this post updated as the site grows.
Right now, Kit is more of a way to for you to create shoppable lists that you’ll need to promote in order to make money.
However, that could change as Kit grows and develops a built-in audience. Ever wished you were one of the early adopters of Pinterest? It’s worth investing a little time in a new, well designed social shopping site.
Kit launched in November of 2015, and for a website that’s not much over a year old, they’re surprisingly smooth and glitch-free. While I’ve experienced some very minor hiccups, pages load quickly and the site is very well designed. It’s intuitive and easy to use, and I love how simple it is for anyone to monetize.
There’s some small areas where I’d like to see improvement:
Ultimately, it’s up to Kit, but it would be nice to see a little more variety in featured kits. All the tech and photography kits aren’t taking advantage of the full breadth of creativity on their site, and won’t keep a wide audience engaged.
However, this initial tech-heavy focus does present an opportunity for influencers to find a niche on the site. You might not be able to compete in electronics, but more creative, lifestyle-specific kits will stand out from the crowd.
I’d also like to see a different design for kit detail pages. The site design is simple and attractive up until this point. Once you click through to a specific kit (like the example on the right), items are presented in a list, with description and comments to the right of the photo. This is fine for short lists, but makes for a lot of scrolling with longer lists. A grid layout might make it easier to peruse larger kits.
Finally, while the Viglinks integration (and the fact that Kit doesn’t take a cut of the commission) is great, I’d really love to see more direct affiliate program integrations –as with Amazon, where you just need to input your tracking ID. I’m a big fan of Etsy (affiliate link!), and there’s so much on Etsy that would fit into the home and DIY categories on Kit.
How does Kit.com work?
Signing up is fast and easy via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail.
Once you’ve signed up, be sure to fill out your profile, add a website link if applicable, and add a profile and cover image:
Don’t forget to add your affiliate codes by going to “Edit Profile”, then the “Monetize” tab.
Once you’ve added your affiliate codes, you won’t have to do anything more to earn commission on products for those merchants. Any time you add an item for those merchants to a kit, Kit will automatically turn the product link into an affiliate link with your tracking code.
I should also clarify that this works retroactively as well. If I sign up, go crazy creating kits, then go back to “Monetize” after a month, and add my Amazon tracking code, any Amazon items in those kits will include my tracking code going forward.
If you’d like to sign up for Kit’s partner program and earn money through Viglinks, there’s not currently a form to sign up on the website, but you can request to join the program by e-mailing [email protected] with your Kit account name and Paypal e-mail address.
Requirements to join the program are basic at this point, you just need to be an adult with a Paypal account, and an online audience. It’s possible that they’ll tighten requirements in the future, but most users with an online presence shouldn’t have any problem being approved.
Now you’re ready to get started making kits! Click on the little green plus sign in the top right corner:
You’ll get a pop up box that gives you the option to create a new kit (or add to existing kits if you already have them):
From there, you can paste in a link to the item you want to add, or search for items in Kit’s database. Photos of the most recent items that you’ve added to the list will show at the bottom.
Don’t worry about pasting in your affiliate links; because you’ve already entered the merchant tracking code earlier, Kit will automatically convert the URL to an affiliate link.
By the same token, don’t bother trying to paste in your affiliate links for other programs that aren’t currently supported on Kit. The affiliate code will be stripped, and may be overwritten with Kit’s affiliate code. If you’re not cool with this, apply to be a partner, so you’re getting the Viglinks revenue, or steer clear of items that aren’t sold by merchants you’ve added your tracking code for.
Pasting in a link also lets you add photos from any site, even if there’s not an item available for purchase on the page. This is nice if you’d like to link to something on your blog, or just want to make a fun list, like the beer recommendations kit mentioned earlier.
You can add to, or delete items from your kits at any time, and re-arrange the order of items by clicking on the “Edit Kit” button from the kit page (this is something Pinterest still doesn’t let you do, and it makes me crazy!):
Their category hashtag suggestions will pop up as you type. You want to make sure to use one of these category hashtags if it applies to your kit. In the example below, “skincare” is one of Kit’s categories, while “french” and “beauty” are extras I’ve added. They won’t hurt–but they don’t correspond to a category page.
And that pretty cover photo that’s not from any of the products on my list? If you mouse over the top right corner of your kit, you’ll see the option to add a different cover photo. This is great if you think the grid preview of your kit doesn’t pop enough, or you just want to help it stand out from the competition.
Suggestions for making money with Kit
- Get creative, and make kits based on your niche. Think seasonal picks, items you can’t live without, accompaniments to posts (what are the supplies needed to make your most popular recipes?), how-tos, current events, etc.
- If you’re drawing a blank, look at what other creators are doing on Kit, and try to identify gaps in content, or kit types that you could do better.
- Have an Etsy shop or other online store? Kit doesn’t mind you promoting your own items as long as you’re not doing it in a spammy way. Just spread the love around, and include some kits and items that aren’t all about your store.
- Remember, this is a visual medium! Make your kits attractive, and take advantage of the option to upload your own item images or cover image to create an eye-catching collection.
- Be sure to embed some of your kits on your blog or website. Remember, at this point, you shouldn’t rely only on traffic from Kit to make sales.
- Play around with embedded kits vs long list blog posts, OR embed your kit at the beginning of a long list. While embedding your kit alone in a post may not be great for SEO, I’m finding that I have higher conversion when I advertise posts that include easy to browse embedded kits (like Japanese Snacks, and Cameras for Travelers), rather than lists that require scrolling.
Thinking about giving Kit a try? Here’s some inspiration to get you started!
This kit on getting your Hygge on in the summer is a great example of creating a kit in a niche theme (and also demonstrates how great their embedding is, even for longer lists).
It would be nice to have some options to customize embedding (set a larger image size, for example), but this is a nice, clean design as-is.
And this historic preservation non-profit is using the eBay affiliate integration to showcase architectural salvage for home decor — another great example of working within your niche: