1. I don’t get free lipstick and I am not PR friendly (I don’t work with any brands).
2. I have never published a paid post on my blog.
3. I write about whatever the damn hell I please. My remit is joy and understanding, these are the purpose of my blog; sometimes other stuff for variety.
4. When that meshes with talking about a product I bought that actually worked to solve a problem I had, I drop an Amazon link so I can get a commission for matching people’s problems with solutions. It doesn’t affect the price you pay and comes from their profit. I am a member of Amazon Associates USA, as I have stated in both my “about me” and “contact me” pages, and referred to in a number of posts. I have been using Amazon Associates for 21 days so far, since about 11pm (my time) on New Year’s Eve, and so far it’s netted me about $10 which is about £6. At the end of February I will re-evaluate whether I feel this has been a successful venture or whether I’m keeping my association with Amazon.
5. I currently ONLY have links to Amazon Associates USA on my four most popular blog posts. All other links to Amazon (e.g. pictures of rabbit hutches) are just normal links and I don’t earn money from them. I felt this was ethical. I never link to a product I haven’t paid for and found useful. If it doesn’t meet both of these criteria, I don’t link to it.
6. Amazon and Amazon Associates have literally no control over my creative content (I’m not sure they’ve ever seen it) and I do not now, nor have I ever, written posts with the sole purpose of making money from affiliate links. All the articles that currently have links in them are articles that I wrote many months ago, I wrote them to help people, and they have been here on my site for all that time with NO AFFILIATE LINKS. Then one day I decided to run an experiment to see how well Amazon Associates USA worked with my current traffic compared to how well it had worked over a sample time period about six months ago (when there were zero clickthroughs i.e. I made absolutely no money) when I had significantly less traffic.
7. I will write an article with my recommendations/otherwise about Amazon Associates USA when I have had enough time to fully evaluate it. I have no British affiliate links or links for any other country because 97% of my traffic comes from America, from search engine queries (I did some math today).
8. I am planning on charging people to post their links or infographics on my site as of next month, because quite frankly I don’t want to post 99% of the links and infographics people email me about, and I thought this would make people think about whether their link was really appropriate to my blog before contacting me. I have made this clear on my contact me page. All links currently on my blog are ones I found myself and I will make it clear if/when I accept payment for any link or infographic. I will also still be just as selective.
9. I also make money whenever anyone buys a copy of any of my books, although I do not use Amazon Associates affiliate links to promote these as I feel that would be a conflict of interest. I make money from book sales via royalties paid by my publishers. As far as I am aware, none of my blog readers have bought copies of any of my books and it doesn’t bother me one bit.
The whole point of yesterday’s article was to try to tell new bloggers, particularly those wanting to start a beauty blog, that there’s another way to blog. That they don’t have to copy what everyone else does, they don’t have to accept free products in exchange for their integrity.
I want the internet to shift it’s balance in favour of talented and thoughtful content creators instead of people writing any old crap to make a quick buck or get a free lipstick, and I was trying to say that, if you’re creative, you can find other ways to monetize your site, and you can find other definitions of success beyond how much money/how many followers/how much free stuff you get. The success of helping people or explaining something they didn’t know, or bringing joy to someone else’s life, were specific examples I can think of.
I have since yesterday been contacted by several individuals asking me how I work with PR people, do they tell me what to say etc etc. I will reiterate:
I have never worked with a PR company or written a post about a product in exchange for either a free product or any sort of payment or discounted product. I do not let PR companies draw my attention to products either. I wrote before about why I don’t do this and how I feel it biases the sample (of products being reviewed online) unfairly in favour of companies with the biggest promotional budget.
I hope that clears things up so we can get back to normal because I got a new bunny last night and he is awesome and I wanted to post bunny pictures today but felt I needed to clear this up first.
I would like to also assert that I do not get paid by my rabbits to talk about them.