I use affiliate links on this blog from time to time. You as a customer do not pay more because I have used an affiliate link and it does not affect you in any way. A small commission through an affiliate link will go to the person who generated the link, just like a sales rep would receive commission if they sell you an item in store. However, you as the customer pay no more, no less for buying.
You as a reader do not need to use my links if you don’t want to, it’s completely up to you. However, I greatly appreciate it when you do! It enables me to continue doing what I’m doing at the moment and I’m forever grateful for that.
Regarding sponsorships: I receive a lot of e-mails offering collaborations, but only agree to less than 20% of them. I never work with a brand who I’m not proud to represent – this is why I never remove sponsored posts from my blog or Instagram even after the campaign has ended. My audience is more important to me than earning a quick buck.