If you noticed alwaysampersand last year, you would have seen a bunch of posts about real things, and even tomorrow- I’m going to talk about the reality of the ampersand and how it actually chose my blog beyond what I knew… Here’s the issue with that: blogging about my sucky life doesn’t always benefit my wallet. In fact, it hasn’t yet- at all.
Some day, freelance would be a dream. Writing is where my heart is, and even when doing things promotionally at work, I love the writing side, the opinion side and the talking side- giving my ideas and opinions and stances on things that interest me. I’ve always been like that though, further pushing me away from teaching and into a communications based career.
My blog though, can not grow on just my stories. It can’t just be a collection of shitty relationship tales, my inability to lose weight and my annoying neighbors. I can have those things, but it can’t just “be” those things anymore.
Introduce: Influencer + Affiliate Marketing + Advertising
The beginning of this year posed a big option for alwaysampersand: “Take the jump and host your own site or continue to let your views go into the wallet of a big company”. I spent a lot of money taking full control of my blog. I’ve spent the last three months learning how to advertise to benefit me, find groups on Facebook who are also trying to grow, finding companies to send me free product in exchange for social media posts and trying to get my “foot in the door”. This isn’t easy, but this is how growth occurs.
I felt like it was important to be open with you, because I don’t want to be that blog plastered with 100s of click-through ads to get to the content. In fact, I’ve thrown out having an email list (it used to sit at the top of my page) because I just feel like sending bulk emails (for now) doesn’t align with my brand. Every single post featuring brands has a disclaimer that I received the products for free, or I’m doing affiliate marketing, or such and such reason I’m posting about it.
Even though these are advertisements and reviews, these are still me.
I will never show you guys a company I don’t believe in. (Thanks but no thanks to the 42 skinny tea, coffee, hot chocolate companies & the waist trainers that have been in my email box) I also have not asked you to buy something, sign up for something, or do something that will in turn put money in my pocket directly. As of right now, all I am receiving is free product, in exchange for posting. I’m also doing affiliate marketing where I post ads on my blog, and if people click- it records my sites traffic. That’s it- I am not getting paid per clicks. I promise.
While it’s not my responsibility to say this, I want you to know that I’m “still me”. I won’t “sell out” for lack of a better word, to make money. I will though, support small businesses and display their products. I like to help companies talk about things they’re doing, selling or changing. I’ll give my readers the chance to experience the things that I use, receive or buy. That doesn’t mean that I’m opening my blog to a giant advertisement. I can’t. I still want to talk about fitness- and a post might include “so & so sent me these yoga pants, they suck”. I still want to talk about Ellie- and a post might include “thanks to blank blank for welcoming Ellie into our lives with their product”. I still want to talk about my life, but may add clothes I’m wearing, products I’m eating, places I’m going and things that I didn’t pay for.
It’s just the direction my blog is growing, and I don’t want anyone to leave because it feels “unauthentic”. It’s not. The authenticity is there, and Jen Salisbury will always be there. I promise I won’t ever take you down a road I wouldn’t want to go down. I will not sell out. (Also, I can’t pretend I’m a fashion blog… so there’s that)