So, to start this off I just want to say thank you to anyone and everyone who has ever subscribed to the blog! You guys truly saved my life this year. The blog did so well that I was actually able to get ahead for a little while and though it was short lived, having that little bit of a breather allowed me to give attention to some things in my personal life that I had been neglecting so, my mental health thanks you greatly. I would also like to give an even bigger thank you to those who were subscribed to multiple months and who also gave me the green light to continue out this year by removing the subscriptions completely and allowing the blog to be free for anyone to read! Now, to dive into the blog. If you were subscribed before, you’ll notice some of the blog posts are no longer visible. I took some of the old posts down that I felt were acting like fillers and weren’t really quality reading material. With the subscriptions I felt more pressure to put out a blog post each week because that’s what I had originally stated, but then I would get over worked or some of the posts I was doing would take a lot longer than I had planned so, to scrape by I would just throw up whatever I could come up with. Those felt like wasted space so, I took those down. I also went back through to proofread the older posts and realized there were a lot of things that needed to be changed because I myself as well as many things in my life have changed just in the few short months since those posts were first written so, I didn’t feel like what I had published was relevant anymore. Especially with the Q&As. I’m still going back through those and re-working some answers, but I’m also trying to dig up some old pictures to put with them so that these posts aren’t too boring and I admittedly plugged some affiliate links in where they were relevant. These will be posted as they are finished, but since they are already done for the most part and only minor changes need to be made, they should be reposted by the end of this week. Ha I guess that’s one of the perks of the subscription if you did have one. You basically got a glimpse of the “Rough draft” of the website/blog posts. There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with the way I originally set it up, but this new way will be better for you guys. It will ultimately be more work for me, but I do think it will be a little more successful this way. This is the first year I’ve ever even had a website so, it’s all still a learning process! The new way I plan to go about it will (hopefully) be much more efficient for everyone! So, what’s changing besides it being free?
For starters, I’ve enabled the adds that come with WordPress. I disabled them as part of the perks of it being subscription only, but thankfully they aren’t too obnoxious. I always try to be as transparent as I possibly can with you guys so, that’s what I plan to do in this post, but that’s it. I don’t want this to come across as me being pushy or something you feel obligated to do, or like a sales pitch, it’s simply explaining how I will still generate revenue while also making the blog public. After only doing this for just a few months, I 100% believe people who put real time and effort into blog posts that benefit others in some way, should be getting paid for their work. A LOT of work goes into these. I’ve written more in 8 months than I did in my entire 7.5 years of high school and college combined. It is WORK and having a license in esthetics also makes me a little more qualified to give advice because I have the proper education to do so in that field. My education and license certainly were not free, but on the other hand it sucks not being able to share those kind of self-help topics with everyone. It was one thing when the topics were super personal, but I feel like things that can benefit others shouldn’t be held hostage or at a price. I also completely understand not being able to spend an extra $5 on something because that’s where I’m at too and it’s especially risky to spend it on a blog where you never know what the topic is going to be about or if it is even worth your money. So, I promise, I get it! The way the blog will be set up now, will kind of be a way of combining all of the things you guys have asked for. Over the years the most common questions I’ve gotten are “Where did you get this outfit or house decoration, etc.” or “what products do you recommend for this, this, and this” and I’ve now been shown a way I can answer those questions while potentially making a commission off of any of the products I promote that are purchased from that post by using affiliate codes. Affiliate codes (or at least the ones I know of/have) come in two different formats: one is an actual code that you will type in at checkout that not only gives you a discount on your total or some other type of exclusive reward, but in return it also gives me a small commission from that purchase (at no extra cost to you because again, it gives you a discount!). Unfortunately, these are harder to come by because they aren’t something you can typically apply for. You usually have to be randomly scouted by companies that even offer them and for that to happen, your channel usually has to appeal to a certain niche. Mine is kind of all over the place so, I doubt I’m on people’s list of top influencers haha. The second one is a special link that I can add to my posts that will take you to a specific website or item and if you purchase that item from that link, I will make a small commission off of that sale at no extra cost to you. While this way doesn’t give you a discount, it is no different than you buying the item directly from the website. Me linking the item from my profile acts as a way of third-party promotion for that site so, I would earn a commission for promoting, not necessarily from the item itself if that makes sense. These kind of affiliate programs are much easier to find (not every website will have them) and apply for. Please do note that just because I am doing this now does not mean that I am going to start promoting any website or company that does not operate by my own personal moral code. All of the companies/products I write about or mention in posts will be ones that I trust and personally use or have used. That means all cosmetic companies will be cruelty-free and general companies will be unproblematic (to my knowledge) however, I am no saint and will be plugging items from Amazon. Jeff Bezos may not be my ideal example of a role model, but I’m not even going to pretend like Amazon Prime hasn’t been one of the greatest things to ever happen to me. 99.9% of my shopping comes from Amazon, but that’s also why I don’t mind being a plug for their products. Amazon is a bigggg place and it’s very easy to get scammed with products that look nothing like what was pictured or you can even end up with unsafe products (though I have had some success, I am still VERY cautious about ordering any kind of beauty/cosmetic products from Amazon) so, this way you can feel safer about ordering the products I link because they will be things I’ve already ordered and know to be as described! The blog isn’t only going to only be me pitching you guys products, though. If I’m talking about something where I use a product I have a link for, I’ll probably slip it in, but I’m not going to revolve the whole blog around just promoting a bunch of different stuff for you guys to buy. I’m still going to discuss personal things, general topics about life, relationships, careers, etc. so that part isn’t changing, but the quality of those topics will. Because the blog is free now, I don’t feel as pressured to get one out every single week and instead, will be posting about topics I feel are worth reading about as they get completed. They will still be fairly frequent though!
All of the affiliate codes I have or the websites I have affiliate codes with are linked under my “Affiliate Links” tab on this website! Feel free to check out all of the companies I stand behind and please feel free to inform me of any that you may know to be not-so-good if I have them listed so, I no longer promote their products!
Lastly (and again just to be transparent), I am going to list and describe each way you can help support me!
- Hire me for my photography.
- IF you are somehow involved with live music or large events. I don’t take portrait clients anymore, nor do I do weddings or kid’s birthday parties or anything like that. Also, all of my clients must be 18+ so they can sign their own documents. I’m not dealing with your parents.
- Buy my art.
- Use my affiliate codes // Purchase items using my codes.
- What this whole blog was about. In addition to that, if you REALLY wanted to go out of your way (and I mean that, I don’t actually expect anyone to do this, but the option is there if you really want) on the more expensive items -ie: anything from Serta or LELO or anything on Amazon over $100- that you might already be wanting to buy, but haven’t seen me make a post for or I haven’t linked that particular product and you don’t want to wait around for me to post about it, but still want to help, you can DM me the items you are trying to purchase and I can send you my specific link to purchase it from. This way your purchase can help make a contribution to my bank account, but again, this is going completely and totally out of your way and I in no way expect anyone to do this frequently, if ever.
- Interacting with and sharing my posts.
- If you’re like me and money is super tight, I promise there are ways you can help that don’t cost you a dime! Sharing my work that you like on your own social media channels is one of the easiest and best ways of networking. This allows for organic growth instead of me having to do posts like “RT this and I’ll DM you!” I hate those kinds of posts and I don’t ever want to have to be that way so, another way to make sure I don’t have to do that, is liking and commenting on my instagram posts. This also means showing my photographs I take as much love as the ones of myself. I know it’s much easier to spot my face on your timeline or maybe you just don’t care about those pictures. Instead of saying to yourself “I don’t care about this DJ” you could think “she probably worked hard on this photo” or at the least “this will help her” as you double tap on that picture of an artist you’ve never heard of before. Me sharing my work is me giving a piece of myself to you guys. It may not be of me, but I took it. It’s a part of me. Of my art. My vision. All it takes is a double tap or even a single emoji comment to get that activity up so it has a better chance of showing up on people’s timelines.
- Watch my YouTube videos
- I know I haven’t posted in almost a year, but you can still watch my old videos and even some videos that are of my vines or some that my YouTube people are running ads on I guess? I’m not sure how it works, but if you go to my YouTube channel you’ll find a playlist titled “Paylist” that you can watch that includes all of the videos that I somehow make money from. You can even play this playlist in another tab on mute if you want. Either way, the plays pay. Not much, but any little bit helps haha
- Now, please don’t think this is something I implemented just cause. I don’t ever expect anyone to use this, but I do actually have a valid reason for having it on the site. Because I am so open about my life and I don’t hold back when I’m going through rougher times, people have found my Venmo and randomly sent me money before. I am not a fan of this. My entire family has been audited before and the IRS is not something to mess with so, instead of having random people send me money on the DL, I have the donate button there for anyone who just randomly feels compelled to send me money. This way everything can properly be filed with my taxes and it doesn’t look like I’m being sneaky about anything. Being self-employed is very complex and it’s taken me years to learn the ins and outs and I’m still very much learning, but getting paid via the internet is still a fairly new concept so, it’s also heavily monitored.
Thank you guys so much for taking the time to read this! I know it was a bit long, but I wanted to be completely thorough! Also feel free to send me any blog topic suggestions you have or want me to investigate!