When I started this blog, I was young and foolish. We are going to ignore the fact that this was only last year. My thoughts on the whole blogging concept was that I would eventually hope to monetize it. A blog all about me should be easy to market, right?
[I highly recommend a vacation to my little fantasy world. Stay as long as you like!]
Anyway, now that I’m rolling along and have a wee bit of momentum going (more than 150 unique visitors last month!), I have been presented with some opportunities. Some were for sponsored posts, some were the opportunity to receive free product, and then there were options of affiliate links.
What’s a girl to do? (It feels so wrong to describe myself as a “woman”. Hillary and I discussed this over breakfast and both agreed that we need another word because it just feels too “grown up” for us.) I know: I’ll ask my legions of adoring fans!
My goal now is to earn enough to cover my domain name and hosting fees. While I can afford this (hello, I just gave up an incredibly expensive hobby in ballroom dance – once again, we’ll ignore January’s expensive medical bills!), if it were to pay its own way, that would be so cool!
When I go to a website and there is a link to buy something from another site, I automatically assume it is an affiliate link. Those don’t bother me. If the initial site got me interested enough in a product to want to buy it, I think they’ve earned their 4-10% commission on it. (On that song I just bought, that’s a dime!). So far, I’ve linked to lots of products on Amazon – and some of those links have even been followed! – but until this past weekend, I have not been an affiliate. I hope all of you will bear with me as I include these sources of (literally) pocket change.
Also, I’d previously mentioned how much I love my web host, FatCow. Their prices are incredible, their technical support is fantastic, and other than an isolated incident when their servers went down for about a half hour after everyone switched at once away from GoDaddy as a result of SOPA, their product has been top notch. They aren’t paying me to say this, but they would pay me if you clicked on the new link that appears on the right side bar and sign up with them.
These decisions seemed like no brainers. They mean I continue doing things exactly the way I have been, just I might break even if everyone continues to do what they have been doing… only more so!
The hard part to me came from the quid pro quo ones. I have had offers to receive free products. No legal strings attached. Initially those seemed weird to me considering I am easily influenced (an upcoming blog post will discuss this!), and I thought I might feel guilty if I didn’t write about the product. I’m over that. How would you feel if I wrote about something that had been sent to me for free with no obligation to blog about it?
Sponsored posts are a whole other kettle of fish. If it is a product that I love that I have written about in this blog, I might consider it. [Attention Hostess: I know you are struggling, and I LOVE ding dongs!] This is the one I’d most like your opinions on.
Please don’t leave me hanging: What do you think of fully disclosed sponsored posts? Also, do you think I’m tarting up my blog with the occasional affiliate link? Is that (“tarting up”) even American English? Does anyone care (about my earning money from my blog, not the potential Britishism)? Thanks for your feedback!