Affiliate Program, Sponsorship and Gifting Disclosure Post

This morning, I opened myself up to share where this blog is going for Fall and my goal to improve transparency on this blog. To that end, this post is dedicated to explaining Effortlessly with Roxy’s relationships to affiliate networks and programs; sponsorship and gifting. This article also discusses my commenting policy.

Let’s begin with the more official disclosures and then move on to a more conversational tone about the relevant topics.

Disclaimer and Privacy Policy
Please note that Effortlessly with Roxy has financial relationships with some of the merchants mentioned on this blog. Effortlessly with Roxy may be compensated if consumers choose to utilize the links located throughout the content on this site and generate sales for the said merchant. Effortlessly with Roxy is compensated for certain paid links and advertisements on this blog. You are not obligated to click on any link or buy any products that are advertised.

Per FTC guidelines, this website and its social channels may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs, or otherwise. Any references to third party products, rates, or websites are subject to change without notice. Please do the appropriate research before participating in any third party offers.

Effortlessly with Roxy is a participant in several affiliate advertising programs including but not limited to Shopstyle Collective, RewardStyle, Rakuten LinkShare, Pepperjam, Commission Junction, FlexOffers and Amazon Associates.


Privacy Policy
Effortlessly with Roxy takes your privacy seriously. This privacy policy describes what personal information we collect and how we use it.

Routine Information Collection
All web servers track basic information about their visitors. This information includes, but is not limited to, IP addresses, browser details, time stamps and referring pages. None of this information can personally identify specific visitors to this site. The information is tracked for routine administration and maintenance purposes.

Cookies and Web Beacons
Where necessary, Effortlessly with Roxy uses cookies to store information about a visitor’s preferences and history in order to better serve the visitor and/or present the visitor with customized content. Advertising partners and other third parties may also use cookies, scripts and/or web beacons to track visitors to our site in order to display advertisements and other useful information. Such tracking is done directly by the third parties through their own servers and is subject to their own privacy policies.

Controlling Your Privacy
Note that you can change your browser settings to disable cookies if you have privacy concerns. Disabling cookies for all sites is not recommended as it may interfere with your use of some sites. The best option is to disable or enable cookies on a per-site basis. Consult your browser documentation for instructions on how to block cookies and other tracking mechanisms.

Special Note About Google Advertising
Any advertisements served by Google, Inc., and affiliated companies may be controlled using cookies. These cookies allow Google to display ads based on your visits to this site and other sites that use Google advertising services. Learn how to opt out of Google’s cookie usage. As mentioned above, any tracking done by Google through cookies and other mechanisms is subject to Google’s own privacy policies.

Unsubscribe or Opt-Out
All users and/or visitors to our website have the option to discontinue receiving communication from us and/or reserve the right to discontinue receiving communications by way of email or newsletters. To discontinue or unsubscribe to our website please send an email that you wish to the email on our website. If you wish to unsubscribe or opt-out from any third party websites, you must go to that specific website to unsubscribe and/or opt-out.

Links to Other Web Sites
Our website does contain links to affiliate and other websites. Effortlessly with Roxy does not claim nor accept responsibility for any privacy policies, practices and/or procedures of other such websites. Therefore, we encourage all users and visitors to be aware when they leave our website and to read the privacy statements of each and every website that collects personally identifiable information. The aforementioned Privacy Policy agreement applies only and solely to the information collected by our website.

Security
Effortlessly with Roxy shall endeavor and shall take every precaution to maintain adequate physical, procedural and technical security with respect to its offices and information storage facilities so as to prevent any loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure or modification of the user’s personal information under our control.

Acceptance of Terms
Through the use of this website, you are hereby accepting the terms and conditions stipulated within the aforementioned Privacy Policy agreement. If you are not in agreement with our terms and conditions, then you should refrain from further use of our sites. In addition, your continued use of our website following the posting of any updates or changes to our terms and conditions shall mean that you are in agreement and acceptance of such changes.

For affiliate programs, by accepting Effortlessly with Roxy into the program you agree not to change commission rates or terminate participation in the program without severance, negotiation of terms or a thorough explanation of changes to the program.

How to Contact Me
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Privacy Policy Agreement related to this website, please feel free to contact me at the following email address.

Email: contact@effortlesslywithroxy.com

Disclosure
Information presented on Effortlessly with Roxy is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not meant to be taken as financial advice. The views expressed on this website are personal opinions only and should not be construed as financial advice for your given situation. While all attempts are made to present accurate information, it may not be appropriate for your specific circumstances and information may become outdated over time. I am not a finance expert and you should seek out a professional before making any financial decisions.  Please make sure to do your own due diligence and seek a trusted financial professional before making any financial decisions of your own.

Neither Effortlessly with Roxy nor its members make any representations as to the validity, accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any claims made here. Neither Effortlessly with Roxy nor its members assume any liability with regard to financial results based on the use of the information provided here. Furthermore, advertisers, commenters, and linked sites are solely responsible for their views and content – which do not necessarily represent the views of Effortlessly with Roxy or its members.

 

 

All of the content below is unofficial and meant as informational only. Neither Effortlessly with Roxy nor its members make any representations as to the validity, accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any claims made here on out.

Moving forward, I will be linking to this post on all sponsored posts and posts with affiliate links. So almost every post.

How Affiliate Links Work on This Blog — An Unofficial Description
An affiliate link is a link in a post from this blog or its social media channels to a retailer, advertiser or services firm. Affiliate links all lead to third party websites. Nearly every post on this blog has at least one affiliate link in it, and most have many (20+). For any blog posts that end with photo collages (which I usually refer to as boutiques), those photos are all affiliate links. Nearly all blog posts start with a photo, and if you click on that photo it is nearly always an affiliate link.

Here on this blog, I am a participant in several different affiliate programs. The affiliate links in the content here and on my social channels mostly work one of two ways.

1 – You click on an affiliate link. I earn a small commission for your click. If you make a purchase from the retailer during the same visit, I make a bit more in commission. If you make a return or get a price adjustment, I lose the entire commission.

2 – You click on an affiliate link. The affiliate network deposits a cookie (what’s a cookie?) for that specific retailer that remains on your laptop/computer/mobile device for up to 30 days. I do not earn anything for the click. If you purchase anything from that retailer while the cookie is active, I earn a small commission. Your purchase does not have to be the product you originally linked to from my blog. If you make a return or get a price adjustment, I lose the entire commission.

Additionally, for some affiliate networks, if you have clicked on my affiliate link in this second method, even if you make a purchase using a different blogger’s affiliate link for the same retailer, I still earn a small commission so long as the cookie from my link is still active on your device. If you make a return or get a price adjustment, I lose that entire commission.

Note: These cookies do not work in apps, only on websites. So for instance let’s say that you click on an affiliate link on my blog that’s part of Method 2, and it takes you to a product on XYZ store’s website. Later on you use store XYZ’s app to make the purchase instead of their website. In that case, I do not make commission.

Some networks use both methods 1 & 2 above depending on the advertiser.

It has also been my experience that some of these networks may have technical problems that cause their tracking to fail, resulting in me getting zero commissions for a certain time period. Sometimes a brand or retailer updates their sites and forgets to tie in commission-tracking coding so I lose commissions for that too. When these ‘technical issues’ happen it seems to always be a big sale day…curious…but unfortunately as the end user it’s nearly impossible for bloggers to go after the lost commissions. I mostly accept it as a cost of doing business, however in some cases I have pursued action against networks or retailers when I can show actual lost commission. Most times they work with me to make it right.

By the way, Method 2 is how many businesses and industries work. For a very brief point in my career I worked in sales, and I received a commission on every new client I signed — but I also shared that commission with the lead sales guys and our sales director, even if they had no direct hand in the sale. Another example — if you go to a fast food joint that sells fries and burgers, the burger and the fries company may pay the fast food joint a small commission even if a customer orders just a burger simply for getting the customer in the door. This kind of commission is called active-passive commission.

Sponsored Posts — An Unofficial Description

A sponsored post is a post that I have been compensated to write and publish on this blog. In addition to money my compensation may include a gift card, products that I get to keep or borrow (such as clothing, accessories, shoes or beauty), services (such as haircuts or makeup), logistics (such as car rides, hotel stays or excursions), and/or meals.

Nearly all of the sponsored posts on this blog are done with brands that I already know and enjoy. On rare occasions a brand (usually a small business) that I’m not familiar with is so compelling that I will learn as much as I can about them in a short time to do a sponsored post.

I do not do sponsored posts:

Solely for the money. That’s not how I roll.
 That I’ve never heard of and have no interest in.
 That promote unhealthy body or beauty values.
 That are outside the scope of this blog.
 That trade free products for coverage. Bloggers deserve to be compensated for their work.

Sponsored posts will be denoted by the tag “Sponsored.” Sponsored social media posts will have “Ad” or “Sponsored” in the content or prefacing the post according to the rules of each social network.

When considering sponsored ads I usually think about whether a brand fits into what I talk about here and whether the community would be interested in it, even if I don’t talk about it much. For example I get facials done regularly at the Red Door Spa in Union Square (NYC) and if they came to me wanting to a sponsored posts about their facials or massage services, I’d happily collaborate with them even though beauty is a less-talked about topic here.

One more area of sponsorship is banner advertisements. I’ve gotten rid of ads on the blog homepage, but my post pages have a sidebar that runs display ads. Many of these are served through Google, whose advertising network I am a member of, or buy brands that have purchased ad space on the blog.

Let’s talk about outfit posts (OOTD posts specifically) a bit now. When working with clothing brands for sponsored posts, in addition to paying me and covering my photography costs, brands will often allow me to keep some or all of the clothes I use in the post(s). Sometimes the clothing is offered to me at a discount, sometimes it’s gifted to me entirely, sometimes I pay full price for it.

Personally I try to avoid scenarios where brands gift me clothing. I would rather pay to buy it or borrow it. In cases where I am gifted clothing, I never re-sell gifted items, only items that I’ve purchased. You may have seen posts on this blog where I give away clothing I was gifted that I no longer wear. Occasionally I win contests or gift cards through my affiliate programs or a specific retailer contest and this is one scenario where I can’t get around being “gifted” clothing, accessories, etc.

Another scenario is that retailers may lend me the clothing specifically for the shoot, and then I return it with all tags still attached in new condition. Before you say “ewwwwww” you should know that most retailers allow their employees to borrow outfits for their shifts, and then at the end of their shifts that clothing goes right back out on the floor for sale! I do my best in these cases to keep the clothing in perfect condition. I’d be responsible for buying any damaged clothing. Some brands have me purchase the clothing for the shoot and then return it, which I find incredibly awkward but haven’t found a better solution for yet.

Borrowing clothing allows me to showcase more items than my closet could ever fit. It’s a true joy for me to get to play dress up sometimes and illustrate outfit combinations that I’d love to own if budget and space allowed. I do not pick items I don’t like, and I don’t work with brands that want me to use a specific item unless I like that specific item.

The point of this blog is not for you to purchase everything you see. I do want to unveil more than any person can reasonably own or wear to show all the possibilities. It’s about inspiration, not instigation. As I’ve mentioned many times here I love shopping and hunting, and for me making huge wishlists of outfit possibilities is just as much fun as buying and owning the stuff I talk about and admire.

Also as a blogger I’m sure I do many more closet purges than most non-bloggers do. It would be fair to say that each season I get rid of 10-25% of my closet to make room for new items. However, I would probably do this even if I wasn’t a blogger, because I find the power of new clothing and the way it makes me feel to be quite pleasant. It’s part of my shopping hobby (and fodder for a different post).

Gifting Policy — An Unofficial Description

I am often approached by brands looking to send me free items in exchange for posts on the blog or my social media channels, or getting mentioned in posts. No additional compensation is offered.

In general, I say no to these offers. Often they are brands I’ve never heard of or I’ve heard of and don’t think the quality is all that great. It’s a bad deal for the community here, a bad deal for the brand and an awful deal for me. Brands that know their value buy sponsored posts, and bloggers that know their value don’t trade gifts for coverage.

Exceptions to this policy include situations mentioned in the Sponsored Posts section above, when in addition to compensation I am offered clothing, accessories, etc. for an outfit post. Another exception is when small businesses approach me I am more likely to say yes if I try and love the product and can help them grow their business by giving their brand positive exposure. Even with small businesses though I’m more likely to ask to buy something from them than accept gifts.

Note: Brands often pitch these gifts to me as “free” but they really aren’t, because I have to pay taxes on the full value of the item(s) I’m gifted.

Commenting Policies — An Unofficial Description
We live in a very strange world, this Internet Age. One of the top factors brands consider when choosing bloggers to collaborate with is a statistic called Engagement.

For blogging purposes, Engagement is the proportion of commenters to visitors. The larger your proportion of Engagement, the more appealing you are to brands. You can have a smaller audience than the big-time bloggers, but if your Engagement is high you are just as or even more appealing than that big-time blogger is to brands. (More appealing because you probably charge less and have a more dedicated following.)

To that end, for the last year I have been experimenting with ways to grow the Engagement here on Effortlessly on Roxy. I always wondered how some bloggers would have 4-6 comments on some posts and over 100 on others. (And thanks to a messy comment import, I currently have triplicate comments on all my pre-May 1, 2017 posts. Le sigh. It’ll get cleaned up eventually.) I wondered how bloggers would grow by thousands of Instagram followers or Facebook likes quickly.

I’ve discovered that they get those 100+ comments et al through participation in social media groups. I myself am now a member of several of these groups, mostly through Facebook but also through paid memberships to a couple. The paid membership groups offer other services like blog critiques, brand meetups and collaboration opportunities, and resources for pitching brands and such. In addition to resources on organic growth, we members in these groups can support each other by commenting on each other’s posts. There are blogging groups, there are creative groups and small business groups and social media groups and ALL of these groups have similar opportunities to support each other through likes, comments, follows, etc. I enjoy it quite a bit! I’ve discovered so many fun new blogs this way which I now follow for fun, not out of obligation. I do not participate in any posts or trades where a person is asked to click on my or other people’s links. This is click fraud and not something I want to go anywhere near.

I mostly use these resources for my OOTD posts. Higher engagement on those posts helps me to land sponsorships with brands I want to work with. I can’t call this growth organic because it’s not. I’ve sought it out, but I have found some awesome new blogs to follow because of my participating in these handshakes. And likewise, I’ve gotten new followers and people who organically love my blog because of this promotional work. I also use these groups for Instagram follows and likes or comments on certain posts. I love these groups because I’ve noticed the more comments I have, especially on blog posts, the more likely lurkers are to come out of the woodwork and start commenting too. So if you’re wondering why my OOTD posts have so many comments these days, this is why. A combination of organic comments from regular followers, traded comments, and lurkers coming out of the woodwork. I have found this method of trading comments very effective for the blog. Many bloggers have been doing this for years. I feel very late to the game for this successful method.

Additionally, this past Spring (2017) I experimented with joining two comment pods for my Instagram account. A comment pod has about 10 members, and we’d each be responsible for commenting on up to 2 posts per day on each other’s accounts. However, I found that comment pods crossed from the murky grey area to totally inauthentic for me. I found that the comments often were by blogger’s virtual assistants instead of the bloggers themselves, and often had NOTHING to do with what was actually going on in my post. I found myself commenting on posts that I wasn’t truly interested in. So I quit both pods I was in early May. It was not effective. These days, having had the experience it’s very easy for me to recognize which bloggers have comment pods (often multiple pods) and which are actually doing the work of growing their followings organically. The answer: most every large to big-time blogger has comment pods. Just About. Every. Single. One.

While brands seem to understand trades of comments and likes, most brands I have talked to through my day job or blog conferences or meetups are adamantly against comment pods or click trades. Similarly, this is where I draw the line as well.

Beyond these methods, I’ve also considerably improved my Pinterest skills and devoted some of my revenues here to buying sponsored posts on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. These tools have also helped me to grow the audience and Engagement here. I also experimented with loop giveaways on Instagram, but they left me feeling pretty icky and I think I’m done with those too.

We can debate whether this is healthy or unhealthy, but I’d rather not. We can debate where the line is but I’d rather not. In the marketing world hiring people to comment on your ads, help promote your products in exchange for pay and participating in forums, on blogs, in groups is pervasive. I think it’s more important to know that it happens everywhere and as a consumer you have the chance to make an educated buying decision knowing that there are plenty of stuffed, paid or traded comments happening to make you feel more positive about a brand, service, product, whatever.

Like it or not, comment trading and yes comment pods are ways to grow exposure for blogs and social channels. People wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work. I have become much more visible to brands in the last year because of these tools. The bloggers who best use these tools make them the spark that ignites their organic growth too. Just like a good marketing or PR company would.

The Banhammer
Another topic I want to mention here is the banhammer. I am very liberal with the banhammer on the blog and on my social media channels. I go by the ethos that if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all; and if you know that (does anyone not know that?) and still say something mean you will be banned.

Unnecessary stuff includes political commentary, questions or comments that insinuate that bloggers shouldn’t make money, ‘helpful’ backhanded suggestions about how you think my clothes fit or look on me or anyone else on this blog, direct mean comments. Ban, ban, ban, ban. If you really must debate the validity of blogging or how an outfit looks, email me. I’d rather you didn’t though. There are plenty of other forums to spew your hate if you must. You don’t belong here.

I also have a tendency to take things personally, probably because this blog is some combination of a hobby and a business that’s very dear to me. It is too easy for me to take words as an attack. Although it’s something I’m working on, I can’t promise that short fuse will ever fully heal — it just continues to get longer and slowly more healthy. So if you feel you have been banned in error feel free in that case to email me. I don’t claim to be perfect but I certainly have a perfectionist streak in me. 😜

What you can do as a reader
As a reader you may be wondering about some topics now.

Firstly, I sometimes get asked (or ‘told’ via comment) that people want to read this blog without clicking on affiliate links. If you are reading this blog you are going to encounter affiliate links in over 99% of the posts. Affiliate links, sponsorships and advertising are how I support this blog’s costs — hosting (now that I’m on WordPress I pay to host my site), fees related to the URL of this blog, tech costs and so on. The rest of the income from this blog goes into a contest fund, an outfit fund, and then fun stuff for me like the investments I am part of and trips, and so on. Right now a lot of the blog revenue is going into my boyfriend’s and my house fund. We recently sold our starter apartment, invested the profit, and are saving up to buy a larger condo or a house in Brooklyn.

So, if you don’t want to click on affiliate links you don’t have to, but if you want to avoid affiliate links altogether this is not the blog for you. They are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of other blogs to choose from these days.

Another topic you may be wondering about is how to support the blogs out there that are working, totally organically, to grow themselves and their audience. I suggest searching Pinterest for street style or outfit posts to discover more bloggers and then judge for yourself whether they are growing themselves organically or not. I personally tend to avoid bloggers where every post or every other post is sponsored — it’s too much for my taste. I like bloggers that mix their content up and give us a peek into their lives in addition to all the outfit and shopping fun.

Finally, if you want to help this blog continue to grow I encourage you to comment on posts. Every positive comment is extremely helpful for me when pitching brands, and also very motivating to me in those times when I’m feeling stuck or not so great.

 


The Purpose of This Post
When I first started blogging, it was for fun. There weren’t really affiliate networks back then for fashion. I had no idea that blogging could become a regular income for me or that it could become another reason to love my life. As a money-motivated person it brings me joy to be able to discuss a topic daily that I love (shopping and fashion!) and make enough money from it that I don’t have to suffer through a 9 to 5 job that I hate.

Life is great being a blogger. Sure it has its ups and downs like any lifestyle, but it’s very freeing for me as a creative person to be my own blogging boss. I wake up many days feeling great and free. That freedom is a feeling I can’t truly explain the totality and joy of.

I’ve always striven for a balance on this blog between the joys of shopping, the perils of overdoing it and talking about the behind the scenes work so that I’m not just some blogger behind the curtain. I wanted to write this post to make it clear how I earn money from it, what your clicks on the links mean and how they work. I also wanted to talk about some of the methods I am using to grow this blog.

I am continuing to experiment on this blog and I’m sure I’ll make more mistakes along the way. I will do good things and I may do not-so-good things (never intentionally, usually only recognized in hindsight).

Thank you for being here and following along in my blogging journey.

48 Comments

  1. Simone
    July 31, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    Roxy, thank you for sharing this detailed insight into the world of blogging. Years ago I was one of the people who thought bloggers should not be compensated much, if at all. I have changed my opinion after realizing over the years how much work goes into this "hobby". I don't buy a ton anymore these days (working from home, such a waste of my beautiful closet!), but I enjoy your blog and I hope my clicks are contributing. Wishing you all the best with your endeavors! And again, I very much appreciate the information you are sharing here. Some of of the details were new to me.

    • July 31, 2017 / 2:44 pm

      Thank you Simone! Your last sentence is exactly why I wanted to write the post — I had seen feedback in my blogging groups that readers didn't know how affiliate links especially work, and were getting upset when they didn't realize cookies were being used.

      To me it's like second nature but I work in technology…and I realized that I too would be upset if I didn't understand how my clicks were being followed or tracked. So this post attempts to clear that up.

  2. Natasha
    July 31, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    Wow – this was so interesting! Thanks for sharing. I'm curious about the social media groups you found for helping with commenting and things. How'd you find them? How'd you find out about them? And how much time do you spend on your blog? It's hard to balance your non-blogging life and blogging life so I'm just curious how do you split your time or manager your time! It's gotta be tough!

    I've been following/reading you for a long time (years) though I mostly remain silent! But I totally appreciate all you do. Thanks so much!

    • July 31, 2017 / 2:47 pm

      I found them once I started joining groups on Facebook. For example I'm in a group for my college sorority, other alumnae like me, and on the side of the group page Facebook shows a box with other groups I might be interested in. I guess because I'm a blogger (and it's listed on my personal FB profile because FB and Instagram are linked now that FB owns both), Facebook started showing me blogger groups. I joined a whole bunch, probably more than 20, and have whittled it down as I figure out which groups help me and which are clogging up my timeline.

      As far as time on the blog, these days I can only devote about 10-15 hours to it per week on average, and some weeks I can give up to 25.

      Hope that explains it Natasha. And thank you for the lovely comment-ending compliment! ♥️♥️

  3. Lindinha
    July 31, 2017 / 4:33 pm

    Wowers Roxy! You're giving us such incredible insight. I attended a workshop last year led by a pretty big name blogger and it wasn't even half as informative.

    You're transparency reminds me of a time I belonged to an Anthro enthusiast group. It was all fun and games for a long time until I realized about half the participants worked there. Gah, I felt so naive! Then it lost its luster for me because you start to wonder how much of these comments are "genuine" especially during the time Anthro's offerings fell off a cliff. I kept reading comments whilst thinking of the fable, "The Emperors New Clothes."

    Anyhow I know how challenging the business since 90% of my favorite blog sites have retired. You are truly one tough cookie 😉 and inspirational and talented!! Keep up the amazing work.

    • July 31, 2017 / 6:03 pm

      Thanks Lindinha! I had a similar experience where I thought I was in a group that was just fans of a particular author but it turns out there were paid marketing people in there too. When a new book came out it was very clear who was a fan and who was a marketing person.

  4. Nam
    July 31, 2017 / 4:39 pm

    Only thing I wanna say is Wow and Thanks Roxy!!! Ur amazing

  5. Michelle
    July 31, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Very interesting post! I noticed your instagram following grew by a crazy amount very quickly. Does that have to do with the comment pods or paid FB groups?

    • July 31, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      In part yes. Also, once I started working with a professional photographer I got regrammed by brands often and that brings a lot of new followers. There was one large spike that I can't account for — it was before I joined the groups or hired a photographer.

      The FB groups are not paid. The paid blogger collectives I joined are their own sites and mostly focus on classes, critiques and workshops.

  6. Eina
    July 31, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to explain things so clearly, Roxy. And than you to all the great commenters here on the blog.

    • July 31, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      Yes! Thank you community! ❤️💜💛💖

  7. Anthropolitan
    July 31, 2017 / 9:01 pm

    Wow – I had no idea how much went into blogging! My mind is still spinning. Thank you for filling us in on the technical side of things. I now have even more appreciation for all that you do – thanks, Roxy! 🙂

    • July 31, 2017 / 9:36 pm

      It is a lot of work! But most times it hardly feels like it because I enjoy it so much…when it feels like work I know I need a break.

  8. A fan
    July 31, 2017 / 11:08 pm

    Thank you for this refreshingly honest post and detailed explanation of how affiliate links and such work! I have a lot of respect for you for posting this.

  9. Sara
    August 1, 2017 / 1:22 am

    Talk about eye opening! I really had no idea about most of the details in your 2 posts today Roxy, but I very much appreciate your openness, your honesty, & your integrity. I've been reading, clicking, purchasing, commenting (occasionally!) for many years now. Your transparency just makes me admire & respect even more.

    A few of the other blogs I started reading years ago are now full of sponsored posts and it has left a bad taste in my mouth. It shocked me to realize a local blogger's "home tour" was paid for with her blogging revenue! But now every single post from that individual is sponsored. There is no way to know what her taste is anymore or what she genuinely wants or is interested in. But I do know who's paying her!

    I would much rather come here and see what you're up to. What you're buying and wearing and where you are finding good deals. Like you, I really enjoy shopping and hunting for the perfect piece to add to my wardrobe. Thank you for providing a platform for me to further enjoy this hobby of mine. I really appreciate the time & effort you spend here!!

    • August 1, 2017 / 12:25 pm

      Thanks Sara!

      There is a balance to be struck between making money off the blog and losing your voice in the process. It's strange because some of the bloggers I see most adamant about things like authenticity seem to be the most sharklike in their pursuit of sponsorship. In my experience it feels bad to lose myself to the whims of a brand. I don't hold it against anyone for wanting to make money — as far as admiration goes, I admire bloggers who mix sponsored content in well with content that tells me a little bit about them.

  10. barrbara
    August 1, 2017 / 1:23 am

    WOW! it must have taken a lot of time to write that up…so detailed and much appreciated! I've always loved your blog and you too. My closet is happy from the earlier years of learning to 'stalk" items, late night pre-sale posts. And several items are in my closet thanks to someone telling me it was on hold for me or where they saw it, etc. thank you so much!

    • August 1, 2017 / 12:25 pm

      Yay barrbara! High fives. Love it.

  11. Maggie
    August 1, 2017 / 11:20 am

    Ditto to all the comments about how fascinating this post is and how it answers questions that I could never quite formulate. I have followed your blog for many (many) years and now that I know that commenting is so important, I certainly feel more like participating; I just didn't know how important it is to the health and future of your blog. I love your blog not only because of fashion (of course) but because of your business insights and your meta-posts about your life or finances or just non-specific fashion posts. I would love to hear about blogs you like (miss the blogroll for its convenience in that regard) because there are a million out there and I only read/check in with 6 regularly. I stopped reading a few because of sponsored posts: I just thought: hey you are a fun writer, in a city I don't know, with tastes different than mine, can't you just keep showcasing your city, your tastes, etc. in ways that see authentic? If every post is overtly sponsored (not links etc) then my attention drifts because it is boring (not her taste any more maybe) and her voice changes. So I really appreciate understanding how you monetize and understanding that allows me to see how I can support a blog like yours!

    • August 1, 2017 / 12:26 pm

      The blogroll is number 2 on the priority list for this new home. As of now, I haven't been able to find a plug-in that displays photos and snippets like my old blogroll on Blogger did (when it was working anyway). I think a link list is a little too abstract. I'm working on it, just so you know, but no specific ETA.

  12. Soleil
    August 1, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    Thanks for the insights, Roxy! And thanks for giving this community a forum to share their love (and frustration) of Anthro and beyond. Looking forward to watching the blog continue to evolve.

    • August 1, 2017 / 6:10 pm

      So glad you enjoyed the post Soleil!

  13. Jess
    August 1, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    Roxy, thank you so very much for this most insightful and detailed look into the world of blogging, it's so incredibly informative on all levels and it's much appreciated. I love following you and everything you come up with on your amazing blog. I love how you keep things real!

    Btw, that top in the Medium from Tiny is a perfect fit, thank you!!

    • August 1, 2017 / 6:10 pm

      Yay!! On all counts. So glad the medium was good.

  14. LaurenSophie
    August 1, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to write this! The fact that you've found a source of income that is also a source of joy is wonderful and I'm very happy for you. You're living the dream!

    I also wanted to say that I noticed in the past on various sites that blog readers seemed to express a great deal of disdain for bloggers who made money from their blogs (this is a separate issue from posts criticizing a blogger's personal issues, hypocrisy, or other faults. Also, I'm not talking about a blogger spreading lies or misinformation in order to get free stuff. That's clearly wrong). The argument seemed to be that it was somehow either morally wrong or simply uncool for bloggers to profit from posting. Although I don't blog, I do make a living from writing web copy, so this criticism always seemed odd and unfair to me. Why shouldn't bloggers get compensated in some way for creating content people want to read? If the content is no longer something people want to read, or if the blogger comes up with ways to profit that readers reject (like, say, charging people to post a comment) then the blogger will have to adjust if they want to continue to stay in business.

    I bring this up because I think your post stands as an excellent rebuttal to those who say bloggers shouldn't profit from their blogs. It's clearly a lot of work and a balancing act to stay on top of everything. And you do an excellent job!

    • August 1, 2017 / 6:14 pm

      Personally I think this is a strange form of sexism that lives in fashion. I have a male friend who is a successful finance blogger, and no one ever tells him he shouldn't be making money from his blog. I have friends who are nature photographers (also male) who take on sponsorships to fund their trips, and no one seems to mind. Yet in fashion, only a certain type of girl should be seen, GASP, not regular people! Not people without editorial skills (please) or making money.

      Luckily, those weird opinions seem to be in the minority. Blogging has been accepted by fashion, brands, and retailers. That's all I need.

      • Ann
        August 2, 2017 / 1:09 am

        Amen sisters.
        Your time is valuable.
        I'm self employed and enjoy my work. On occasion clients assume that I'll help them as a friend or because I know 'stuff'. But at this point, after letting myself get taken advantage of a little bit and not respecting the effort that goes into the work, I value myself, my work and my time more.

        We want to read a quality blog? Hell yes, it takes time and effort. Hell yes, it's ok to make income off this. Roxy, if you weren't producing content worth reading, we wouldn't even be discussing this!

        Umm, so yes, keep up the good work. I need the escapism 🙂

      • LaurenSophie
        August 2, 2017 / 9:31 am

        Great point about the sexist aspect. Absolutely spot-on.

  15. Christina N.
    August 1, 2017 / 6:25 pm

    Thank you, Roxy, for this most informative post but also for your commitment to transparency and authenticity. This is the reason why I read your blog regularly over all others (well, and the fact that you have great style!). I am a longtime lurker who didn't realize the importance of commenting. Now that I know, I will try to comment more often. Thanks again!

    • August 1, 2017 / 6:30 pm

      Thank you Christina, for your kind words and for delurking to say hi! 😊

  16. Becky
    August 2, 2017 / 1:32 am

    Thank you for taking the time to write this out and explain everything. I have a couple questions, first I always browse on my phone and I have the Anthro app, whenever I click on an Anthro item it pulls it up in the app…hope you are still getting clicks for this

    Second, that sucks that you lose commission if an item is returned, but how would they know?

    • August 2, 2017 / 8:21 am

      Hi Becky, to your first question no I don't get any click commission when your phone pulls up items in the app. But that's OK — there was certainly a point where I was concerned about making as much money as possible, but these days I'm relaxed into making money. So continue using the app! You don't have to change your preferences to suit me.

      Likewise, if people use ebates or any other similar kind of rewards program where they have to visit that site before making a purchase, I don't get any commission for Method 1 in that, and my commission % may actually get lowered if my conversions go down in Method 1. For that reason I tend not to mention rewards sites here on the blog, though I did do a big article on ebates recently because I think it's such a cool program!

      On to your second question. When you place an order online, there are variables you can see and variables you can't see (but the retailer can). For example, you placed the order for a certain item number and a certain size and color. Those are all variables. On the backend — which is visible to the retailer but not to you — they can see variables like whether the item(s) you ordered were featured in an email blast, what warehouse the item(s) shipped from, and whether the order originated with a click from my blog.

      When the order barcode is scanned or the order number manually plugged in to do a return or PA, the retailer's system can see all those variables and knows to take away my commissions. Losing commissions on PAs is especially lame. But the way most retailers have their systems set up is to do a return-repurchase to credit a customer the price adjustment. So I lose.

  17. Christy
    August 3, 2017 / 1:50 pm

    This was very interesting Roxy! Thanks for being so open and honest!

    • August 4, 2017 / 9:28 am

      I'm glad you enjoyed it Christy!

  18. MahoganyQT
    August 3, 2017 / 2:49 pm

    Great honest and detailed post. Thanks Roxy.

  19. Sasha
    August 5, 2017 / 5:37 pm

    I'd love a series checking in with anthropologie bloggers of past – wonder what so many people are up- You, Me and Anthropologie, Gnome Lover, Anthro Tan Po Po, Anthromollogies, Little Girl Big Closet (Really want to know what she's up to) & Goldnemeans (Same)

    Do they still love anthropologie, thoughts on modern blogging, general life update.

    • Sherry
      August 5, 2017 / 6:03 pm

      Omigosh, I would LOVE that too Sasha!!

    • August 7, 2017 / 10:44 am

      I can't speak for them, but I know several bloggers in our sphere who decided to stop did so in part because they either felt like:
      1 – blogging was getting too competitive, or too far away from the initial "having fun" goal
      2 – they wanted to maintain some privacy (hence using nicknames to blog as I do) and found people were digging too deeply into their personal lives

      I keep in touch with some of the names you've listed above, and you've inspired me to reach out to the rest! I can tell you for sure that Goldenmeans is doing very well for example, I met up with her on a trip last Spring!

      • Bronzi
        August 12, 2017 / 12:02 pm

        OMG– I could love to know how those ladies are doing from past Anthro blogs. I really miss Gnome Lover and Goldenmeans. I felt they were very authentic and real woman I could sit and chat with, despite our ages, but because of our love of Anthro and fashion.

        Great article Roxy! Very informative

  20. Laura
    August 7, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    Thanks for your transparency, Roxy! I've been following your blog for years, and it's one of the few I check in with regularly, even though I don't shop at Anthro much lately. I've enjoyed your writing style and am glad that you are able to make a living off of the blog. I'm in the digital marketing space and deal with retail/conversions/engagement on a daily basis, but social media "pods" were news to me.

    I would also love a recap post of Anthro bloggers of yore!

    • August 15, 2017 / 6:53 pm

      I'll see what I can do! Happy to reach out to those ladies and see if they'd like to give an update.

  21. Rosa
    August 15, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    Really enjoyed this post, your transparency is refreshing! I've been a long time follower, and I know how much work you've put in over the years. I miss blogging and kind of wish I didn't quit before it got more monetized, but I think that ship has sailed for me.

    I rarely comment on blog posts but now I'm going to make an effort to comment on posts I genuinely like!

    • August 15, 2017 / 6:54 pm

      Very lovely to see you here Rosa, and yes, your comments are very valuable! Besides helping with brands, they also help us feel good and like our work is worth it.

      I miss seeing your outfits! You do have a wonderful way of matching colors and patterns. But I totally get that it's taken a backseat to family life.

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