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Sugar Inc. lets bloggers make money off shopaholics

New affiliate marketing program gives bloggers an additional revenue stream. The downside: who the heck is buying Louis Vuitton handbags these days, anyway?

Girly blog company Sugar Inc. has announced a new affiliate marketing program for bloggers, based on ShopStyle, the social-shopping and product-search site that it acquired last year. It's called ShopSense.

Here's how it works: if style, culture, or shopping bloggers write about a given product that's in the ShopStyle directory, they can add a ShopStyle widget so that readers can actually buy the product or can use the ShopStyle API to further customize the app. The blogger gets a cut of the revenue.

Sugar started as a content company, with an inaugural celebrity gossip brand called PopSugar, but has recently expanded significantly into services for other bloggers--furthering the comparisons with Glam Media, the ad network and blogger services company that started with fashion and celebrity news sites but has since moved into more diverse cultural niches.

Sugar recently started allowing bloggers to use its own platform, OnSugar but has said that the affiliate program is open to anyone regardless of how they host their blogs. It is, however, directly integrated into OnSugar.

"Given the current state of the economy, and with the holiday season fast approaching, we are excited to open up a new revenue stream for fashion bloggers and developers alike," said Sugar vice president Andy Moss, who's in charge of ShopStyle. "With ShopStyle's breadth of products and beautiful images, ShopSense has the ability to provide significant income for its participants."

One snag: Given the current state of the economy, is anybody going to cough up the cash for that pair of Louboutin heels?