30 January 2013

Linked Up

Thanks for all your feedback on Monday re: blog marketing. Granted most of us are just blogging for the fun of it, but it's interesting for me to learn a bit about how you ladies "run" your blogs.

utility  utility

To continue the conversation, I'd like the turn the topic a bit towards blog monetizing. Monetizing a blog refers to many things, such as taking on sponsors, advertisers and pretty much anything a blogger does on their site to make some moola, but I'd like to concentrate on affiliate linking.

I use affiliate links on my blog - which most of you know, means that when you click on a link for an item on one of my posts, I make a few cents off your click-through. So if you click a link on my outfits details on the bottom of most of my posts, it'll take you to that item via an affiliate (I use ShopSense) first instead of going directly to the site. I make tens of dollars a month doing that, which is just about enough to buy myself something cute on sale and a pizza dinner (ham and pineapple, please).

utility  utility

But it's still more money than I started out blogging with and I personally don't find a problem with using affiliates or clicking through other blogs' affiliate links. Blogging takes a lot of time and work, and my free pizza is a nice bit of compensation. Plus I like to shop, I may want the same shoes I see you wearing, and I am sometimes too lazy to go to Google to find them myself. (I think it can be a hard line to walk for a blogger, though, to find that balance between something that can benefit themselves monetarily without necessarily turning off their readership or becoming too intrusive).

Where I admittedly have a double standard on is when I notice people using affiliate links in places like on Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter. I know there's really no difference if I were to click on an affiliate link through a person's blog post or so their Facebook page, but it bothers me a bit and I can't quite put my finger on why exactly.

I know a lot of your ladies have very specific opinions on the use of affiliate links so I'd love to hear from you. What do you ladies think about blogs that monetize? 

utility

utility

Vest: F21 hooded utility (sim, sim, longer)
Sweater: J.Crew tippi (worn here - same cashmere, sim, sim)
Top: J.Crew perfect stripe (worn here - sim, sim, sim)
Jeans: BR classic skinny (worn here - sim, sim, steal)
Necklaces: J.Crew factory chandelier (sim, sim) & C.Wonder square stone bling (sim)
Bracelets: J.Crew, Asos, C.Wonder pave initial (sim enamel)
Bag: Coach legacy penny (studded, sim, luxe)
Shoes: Frye jane stitch (worn here - suede, sim, buckled)

78 comments:

  1. I use affiliate links on my blog but the majority of money I make blogging is from sponsors. I do find it annoying when bloggers try to sneak in affiliate links on Facebook/Twitter...it seems like a deliberate attempt to make money, whereas on the blog, it's a helpful way to find the clothes they're wearing.

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    Sephora Giveaway!

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  2. I love this orange and brown with the pop of color on your necklace! I have affiliates too, but it's only pay per purchase. I just started this month, so I'll see what I think in a few months.
    Ginny
    mynewfavoriteoutfit.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. I've never tried the pay per purchase deal before - please let us know how that works out, I'm curious!

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  3. Lovely outfit :) I don't know what to say on this subject as I still don't fully understand how it works lol. The ads down the side of your blog don't bother me though :)

    One of my favourite bloggers (not going to name the person) has started taking on too many adverts and it now means her blog post is framed with adverts and her words and photos only fill about 40% of the page making it hard to read and also some of the adverts pop up into the text and then for some reason wont budge so I can't read all of her text, not THAT annoys me. I think I might send her a gentle email as I am sure if she realised the ads were functioning like this she would do something about it (she is all for her readers - I understand why she has the ads though as blogging is her occupation and it has to earn money)

    Well to say I dont really understand this stuff I definitely had a lot to say on the subject lol.

    Janine xx
    BakeGlueandTrend
    Giveaway Post >>> bakeglueandtrend.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/love-dress-giveaway.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. meant to say *now* that annoys me not 'not that annoys me' lol

      Delete
    2. I think it is a turn off from reading a blog when it becomes inundated with advertising - it makes a blogger seem less genuine somehow, I think, because it makes it more apparent they are there for the money. And honestly with so many blogs out there, if one isn't going to easy for me to view because of pop-up ads getting in the way and stuff, I may just jump ship!

      Delete
  4. I'm afraid I don't contribute to your pizza fund, I don't usually click on any links on blogs. But I'm not opposed to them either, unless they're incredibly intrusive. Yours are not, to be honest I didn't even know they were there... :P

    Really love the bright orange...great colour on you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean - with ads, you should click on them if you want to, not because they make it feel like you have to!

      Delete
  5. Loving your outfit today Lisa....and those boots are fabulous. I checked out the link to get more details about the boots and I seriously don't mind if you get a little money from my clicks. I don't think that there is anything wrong with using affiliate links on blogs. I guess because I use an affiliate link on my blog as well. I started using it to support the random giveaways that I have on my blog, support my impulse shopping habits and to get my blog out there a little more. However, the money that I make is similar to you - about "tens" of dollars a month. I don't think that I've paid attention to the affiliate links on Pinterest, FB or Twitter, so at this moment it doesn't bother me.

    Moody Girl In Style

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  6. Sadly as of late I can tell you that I hardly ever even visit Facebook because it has become one huge ad campaign. I've liked too many companies and literally that is all that I see there now. I could go and "hide" everything but I'm just turned off by it now and can't even be bothered. I spent 90% of my time online looking at blogs or fashion.

    I hate pop-up ads. Otherwise I kind of feel it is all fair game. If someone wants what you have why shouldn't you make a couple of cents? You really are a walking advertisement for that company.

    Very striking colour combo here.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  7. First of all, I love this outfit today - the utility jacket over the layering is perfect and something I now want to try out. You're always great for inspiration (probably why you're all over my pinterest board haha).

    As far as monitization goes, I completely agree with you on the blog versus facebook/twitter/pinterest. I always cringe hard when I see that rstyle or shopstyle link on twitter and I can't really put my finger on it either. Maybe because it's kind of like "LOOK CLICK ON ME AND GIVE ME MONEY" versus on a blog where you are giving your readers options or telling a story about what you bought/want to buy? Like you said, I can't really figure it out either but I'm not a fan. That being said, I don't have any problem with affiliate linking on blogs. I also do it. I try not to over do it but like you have said, blogging does take a lot of time and it's nice to get a bit of money for your hobby!

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  8. you look so cute today. i love that jacket and will check it out via your link of course. ;)

    i use affiliate links too and i don't think can get a pizza quite yet.. maybe a coffee. if they're done in a reasonable way like a link to what you're wearing and such. i don't like the posts where all it is are links though i can't put a finger on why that is.

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  9. You look so cozy! I love your boots, too. As for affiliate links, they don't bother me at all as long as the blogger discloses someplace on their site that they use them, and as long as it doesn't feel like a blogger is just linking really expensive stuff for the sole purpose of getting more money if it's purchased.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree - it kind of bugs me a bit when someone carries a $20 bag or something and all her affiliate links to sim items that are hundreds or thousands of dollars in cost.

      Delete
  10. I've been considering using affiliate links - like you, I figure a little extra something a month is kind of nice. I do want to keep it simple though and not have my blog be all about that. Yours is good, it's simple and I think that's what I'd want. I do have a site specific ad on my blog and I haven't really found much luck with that though.

    Can I just say I love your orange sweater?

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  11. I really find monetizing in any form a turnoff. I will deliberately not click on a link that I know is making the blogger money, and do a google search for the item instead or go directly to the manufacturer's website. I don't blame you or any other blogger for using affiliate links, though. Go for it, if it earns you a few bucks! I am sure that the majority of people don't even notice, or if they do, don't care. Ads are a different story, I have stopped reading many blogs who took the stop of adding ads into their blogs. But then, I do not read any of the "big" blogs out there, by "professional bloggers" (whatever that means), because I prefer bloggers who are "normal people" like me!

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    Replies
    1. ^ I totally agree with J.CrewJD. I can't put my finger on why exactly, but affiliate links and monetizing rubs me the wrong way. I also will search for an item on Google or do the extra work myself rather than click on the link. I think it's one thing if you're using affiliate links on OOTD items, but there are MANY bloggers who will make a post that just has link after link of items, all using affiliate links. It's so obvious that putting those links out there is the only purpose for the post. Most of said bloggers also do not disclose that they are using affiliate links, which is sneaky. At least you are being honest about it, Lisa!

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    2. I started using affiliate links on OOTD items and on reviews. Otherwise, I try to be very careful. I might occasionally use them when talking about new products that I like, as a convenient way to find it. I, like Lisa might make 10's of dollars, which I try to use as a giveaway. (Working towards one right now.) I'm on the fence. I don't love "big" blogs that pack their posts with links. I find it a turn off, and I try to keep mine natural. However, reading your response AG, I realize that I haven't disclosed it, and that is important too. I will be sure to correct that. Great discussion.

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    3. I forgot to add that I love your outfit in this post, Lisa. It is so put together and if I saw you on the street I would probably do a double take and be jealous. Ha!

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    4. I know where you ladies are coming from - it is such a fine line between having a few relevant links on a blog to turning a blog into an advertising machine. I think once you start monetizing and see actual dollars start coming in, it is easy to be tempted into pushing the envelope and find more ways to make money - which may end up affecting how readers perceive a blog.

      Delete
  12. How do you know if a link is an affiliate link? I usually only click on links if I'm really interested in a piece a blogger is wearing and I want to see how much it might be for me. I have to say I've never actually bought anything directly from a link though. I don't have any problem with ladies (or gentlemen, I suppose) are making money off of their blogs. However, if I feel a blog has too many sponsored posts, particularly if the opinions don't seem like that of the blogger, I will usually avoid those blogs after a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe if you hover over a link with your mouse pointer, on the bottom of the page you'll be able to see the link URL (at least that's how it works on Firefox). If I list a J.Crew item for example, and you hover over the link, you can see that the URL starts with "Shopstyle" versus the direct link "JCrew". I only know of "Shopstyle..." and "Rstyle..." as affiliate programs, am not aware of others.

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  13. I haven't started a fb page for my blog At this time I don't feel like it's necessary. I do like doing swap sponsors just to get a little more traffic. I'm looking into doing an affiliate link with Shabby Apple but I seriously doubt I'll get any payback from doing that. And the commenter above says she doesn't click on affiliate links. I wonder if most blog readers feel that way.
    Method Clothe

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    Replies
    1. I tried doing the SA affiliate thing for a few months but got nothing out of it. I think it may have worked better if my personal style was more in line with the SA aesthetic, meaning more of readers would be of that aesthetic as well.

      Delete
  14. Those boots! Eeek! So pretty. And I have been wanting to try out using affiliate links - to me it just makes sense for fashion blogs. If we're looking into an item just because of the way YOU styled it, then you should get some credit for it IMO! :)

    Morgan
    seemomogo.blogspot.com

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  15. I'll be interested to come back and read the comments on this one. I don't do any sort of monetizing on my blog, and haven't really considered it. I'm not quite sure what kinds of ads would even show up since I blog mostly about my life and certainly not about fashion ;)

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    Replies
    1. You could add ads through Google on your blog, but have no control over what ads they are - I've never done that because I've always been afraid the ads would be too random then and look weird.

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  16. I really like that necklace, and the yellow and orange look great together.

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  17. I've never clicked on a link b/c I mainly read US blogs so they aren't relevant. I've stopped reading blogs that are so over-saturated with adverts they take an age to load. Basically if a giveaway or sponsored post or (for the love of god stop it) gift guide posts appear in my reader I don't read those posts. They just don't interest me. I like normal, down to earth blogs that are honest & a good read. Me not reading/clicking won't make a difference so I just ignore them :-)

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  18. Amazing job on layering!!
    The boots are so awesome, wish I had a pair like those <33


    Have a lovely day
    xo

    Stylejourneys

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  19. i've clicked on links before and have them on mine but i don't think i've seen anything come of it. i'd much rather click on their direct pinterest link or something of that sort though. ;)

    i really like the orange with the blue here - i bought an orange cardigan back in october and have been trying to think of a way to wear it without looking like a jackolantern.

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    Replies
    1. I'm afraid I can't help with the orange thing, because I've totally doing the whole orange, black and white look before! ;o)

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  20. I think bloggers should benefit monetarily from all the hard work they put into their blogs. They've come up with a format, tone, and content blend that entices people, so why shouldn't they be rewarded in some way? To me, it's no different than someone inventing a product that people want to buy.

    I know this is an unpopular opinion. Many seem to feel that when blogging mixes with profit it's commercialized and corrupted. But for the most part, I don't find that to be true. That said, I've absolutely gone to blogs where it's obvious the writer is just trying to win sponsors and freebies and that's a turn-off. But if I can see the blogger put time and energy into their content and I like reading it, I'm happy to click on a link so they enjoy a few pizza dinners :)

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you - and agree that it becomes a turn-off when it looks like someone is doing something solely for clicks.

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  21. I recently started linking my OOTD posts using Shopsense. I also include similar items at different price points, because I actually find those useful when reading other blogs - sometimes an item is sold out or is more than I'd like to pay, so similar options save me the trouble of tracking down said items. I do posts on new arrivals at my favorite stores as well, and I link those too, but that's more for the ease of the reader...and for days when I haven't taken OOTD pics, or life is to crazy to dress myself decently. I have yet to buy even a cup of Joe from any earnings...ha. I made the choice, however, not to clog up my page with ads, and I also don't like it when people link affiliates via twitter & Facebook.

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  22. I just started monetizing my blog using RewardStyle. I made $7.58 last month, but like you, I think I work hard on my blog and earned that $7.58. And, obviously, it doesn't bother me when other bloggers do the same thing.

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  23. First off, I'd just like to say that I really enjoy how thoughtful your posts always are.

    Secondly, I am just starting out with blogging and even before that, when I was just reading style blogs, I noticed the affiliate links thing. I didn't care, I just noticed. I wasn't even sure what it was at first. But honestly, soooo many people do it. I'm not now, but I'm not saying I won't. I sorta feel like I'm doing it wrong that I don't. We all know how much work and time it takes to keep up a blog, and I don't think there's anything wrong with getting a little $$ back.

    Inge
    thisevolvinglife.blogspot.com

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  24. i love your outfit! it looks comfy and chic and i totally agree with how you feel about monetizing the blog. I am slowly doing the same but I am staying true to the purpose and feel of my blog. I never want to lose my integrity or exploit my readers.

    Chioma
    C's Evolution of Style

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  25. I never monetized ~ and don't think I would. I have received merchandise from companies in exchange for writing a post about it whether negative or positive. Then there are many that I turn down simply because I have no interest in the product and don't have time to waste.
    99.9% of the time that I link to something on my blog it is to direct my readers to something I think is cool and feel passionate about. No perks or $ involved!

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  26. You are the undisputed queen of layering. I have no issue with blogs that monetize. If I like the blog content, I usually don't even notice.

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  27. such a chic look!! i LOVE your necklace :)

    katslovefashion.blogspot.com

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  28. this is funny because the affliate links on pinterest bother me too, even though on blogs i have no problem with it! as a fellow blogger that also makes about a pizza a month through links, maybe that's why it doesn't bother me. anyway, i thought i was just being snooty or something. :)

    dash dot dotty

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  29. I started using affiliate links on my blog. I just thought it was a natural thing to do. Why not? I'm not expecting to make any money off of it. I think I've made $8.50 since I started a couple months ago (but I won't get that money until I reach $100 in sales. SO maybe in a couple years I'll see that money! haha...) But if I do the work of finding items online why not make a few cents? I don't mind clicking on affiliate links either. If I'm going to make a purchase online I'd like to know that a fellow blogger is making some money off of it! And I don't see the difference between using them on a blog and using them on fb/twitter. As long as it has something to do with the content you are talking about and not just random links to try to make money. But even if that is the case, so what? No one is making you click on that link or buy something!
    Anyway, I love your J.Crew necklace! I have the same one in teal! Love all the layers too!
    ~Jessica
    Jeans and a Teacup

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  30. I didn't reply on the first post (meant to!). I've been blogging in various places for many years, but I don't think I'll ever be a successful or popular blogger, which I'm fine with. I tried to do a blog giveaway to increase readership once, and it didn't work at all. I don't use affiliate links, but on a blog I don't really take issue with them (though I do like to mouse over a link to see where an item is from, if it's not specified--that's the one time it gets on my nerves--usually on Cup of Jo's Friday link posts.) I agree that affiliate links on Pinterest are a problem, though. Anyway, I love your blog - your outfits are great, and I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my posts : ) You are so sweet!

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    Replies
    1. I've done some giveaways in the past where I've got the prize was really cool but apparently not a lot of other ladies had agreed, hehe. Ah well, it's all in learning.

      Delete
  31. I don't use affiliate links on my blog and I don't really mind if other bloggers have them but when they have links to places where it doesn't relate - that eeps me. As for ads, esp on facebook they do get annoying!
    I love what you are wearing :) The orange and blue work well together :)

    katattack2000.wordpress.com

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  32. Gorgeous Lisa! Simply Gorgeous! I love the way you layer! I've always wondered about this topic! I use affiliate links, but really haven't made much (at all). How do people go about monetizing their blogs? I've been approached by random sponsors, but have not accepted any offers (as of yet) because I do not feel they are the right fit for my blog. I love how you're asking such great questions:)!

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    Replies
    1. I think some other ways of doing it involve selling blog space to advertisers or sponsors by way of sponsored posts or doing ads on the side columns, etc. I think Google also has a program where you can place ads on your blog, though you have no control over the type of ad. Kudos to you for being selective about the types of companies you band together with!

      Delete
  33. Looking adorable....loving that necklace & bracelets!

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  34. The name of your blog is so funny : ) love this look, casual and chic at the same time. : )

    Ali of

    www.dressingken.com

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  35. Wow nice shoe collection awesome.. you deserve to wear it..
    visit my blog @ shoes

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  36. Love your sweater! I think affiliate links are great for bloggers, but it does get tricky when using them on other sites. I think, as long as you are promoting products you like, it is alright to use affiliate links on Pinterest, etc.

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    Replies
    1. I think when it gets to the point where your readers may be questioning whether or not you actually like an item or if you're just promoting it to make $, that makes things really difficult.

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  37. Love the orange sweater!
    I use affiliates too, I think its easier to monitor your ads in one affiliate program rather than deal with individual advertisers. less effort to maintain it, and you can apply to advertise for brands you like :)

    http://anmari-ish.blogspot.com

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  38. I love this entire look! Orange is so gorgeous on you! xoxo

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  39. Love the whole look on you!
    I think if bloggers are able to monetize their blog, I say kudos to them. I know it takes a lot of work and effort in blogging so I think if bloggers are able to reap the rewards I think they earned it. However, I think it should be natural and not forced...personally for me when it seems like items are being pushed on you, the posts come off sounding forced and it kind of turns me away.
    xoxo, Phoebe

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  40. love how practical and chic this entire look is!! the layering, boots, the bag!!! all so amazing! :D

    Click me for my NEW BLOG

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  41. I'm all for affiliates - Lar and I only have one currently. I don't like it when bloggers seem to be consumed by affiliates and I ignore them when they're on Facebook or Pinterest.

    Love the outfit! I can't believe that vest is from Forever 21 - it looks much more expensive!

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    Replies
    1. I'm all for affiliate linking but I agree, when making money seems to just drive the blog though, it becomes too pushy and a bit of a turn-off.

      Delete
  42. First of all-love the outfit! So cute!

    Second-with regards to monetizing...I think people should absolutely monetize if they want to. Wherever they want to. If you can make some money and save people time-sounds like a double win to me.

    Blogs like Atlantic-Pacific and Cupcakes and Cashmere do it and are top earning blogs from affiliate linking...and I've bought quite a few items from both of them via affiliate linking. It really does save me a lot of time and effort looking for things I like...and it helps them make a couple dollars. It's kind of like giving back to the blogs you read and gather inspiration from.

    xx

    Erin @ http://www.truffles-ruffles.com/

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    Replies
    1. I do like to think of it as "giving back" to the blog community - it's all about us helping each other out here, isn't it?
      And I like the way those blogs you mentioned go about their monetizing - nothing too pushy or in-your-face. If you want to click on something, please do - if you don't, that's OK too.

      Delete
  43. Nice outfit :)

    Http://Fashioneiric.Blogspot.Com

    Coline !

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  44. I must be totally oblivious! I don't do any monetizing (does that make me a fool too!?) This discussion was great - I learned a lot and may look into this... I do agree that all the work that gets put in does deserve a slice of pizza - but I always want to keep my love for the game ;)

    XO
    Pearls & Paws

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    Replies
    1. Not at all! A lot of people choose not to monetize at all and I had not done it for a long time. It doesn't cost anything to try it and you could always stop using it anytime if you chose.

      Delete
  45. I recently started monetizing but I don't make much more than a few dollars here and there. I like to be as transparent as possible and say what I am linking to so my reader has the choice to do so or not. If I get enough to buy myself a cute top after a while, then great!

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  46. I'm all for affiliate marketing or people making money on their blogs. Blogging is a lot of time and effort on the bloggers part and they are providing styling services through their blogs...why shouldn't they be paid for it? I find it so helpful to be able to be linked directly to a product through someone elses blog.
    xoAmy
    www.dreamingincashmere.com

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  47. My feeling on this is that it's an individual choice and does no harm; live and let live. The only time I find it annoying is when there are WAY too much advert on the page - as in, the margins are truly filled, and sometimes I find animated ads too distracting. But then, as a reader I have a choice as well, which is to not visit that particular blog.

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  48. Hi Lisa, I thought about this question a lot before replying, but basically, if I really enjoy reading someone's blog, I'm doing it for free, right? So I think it's nice that the blogger gets a little something back, even if it is "just" the price of a pizza. In fact, I think I would want to deliberately click on the link on the person's blog if I wanted to buy something they had shown, to show my support as it were. :) Also, cool outfit! :)

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  49. I don't understand people that have blogs that *don't* try and make a bit of revenue if they can. I have started/discarded a number of blogs of my own, and right from the very beginning I was using affiliate links whether or not they made me any revenue. It just seemed silly not to take the extra step for a potential payout.

    I have absolutely no problem with any blogger being compensated, and I've yet to read (maybe I've been lucky) a blog that I felt was pushing an item just to get clickthroughs...

    Hopefully you'll soon be earning more revenue and you can add a side salad to your ham and pineapple pizza order.

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  50. very interesting to read about affiliate linking, as i'm a newbie blogger and not sure how exactly that works! i do have links on my page that would allow someone interested in a particular item in my outfit to find that item, but i don't think that's really affiliate linking? i guess i'm just providing basically free advertising to them at this point!

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  51. I've toyed with the idea of using affiliate links but I just never got around to reading up on it. I have nothing against making a little bit of extra money but I do find it annoying when some blogs throw nothing but links and advertisements all over the place just to get those clicks.

    Maggie
    lovestylehappiness.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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