August 31, 2011

Let Me Explain . . .

Those of you that have been around since the beginning (really January of 2010) will know that I never intended to start a blog. At the request of some friends and then some of their friends, I started sending out the deals I was doing at the grocery store or online. Then the email server started shutting me out for sending too many emails a day, and I moved everything over to what had previously been my personal family blog.

Since then the blog has grown and I have done all kinds of reviews, giveaways, sponsored posts, etc. There is a whole world to blogging that is not evident from the readers viewpoint, and I knew nothing about it when I started posting my scrawny posts. In fact, I violated a whole host of blogger etiquette before some helpful fellow bloggers stepped in to help me out with that.

I’m still not up on the latest, greatest blog fads and rules. I don’t have the time or the patience really. If MelissaStuff works, that’s great. If it’s just me and my original group of friends, that’s just fine too. There’s a lot of life going on over here in the Carlisle house – I don’t think there would be many complaints if the computer just vanished one day.

But what I do want to explain is something that my RL friends have been asking about. If you took the hours I put into blogging and the pay I get from referrals and the occasional sponsored post, I would make nowhere near the minimum wage. Full disclosure, there are some great perks which are nice and I get much more profit from the product that I receive from sponsors than I do in cash.

At the end of the day though, there end up being some costs associated with running a blog like this. There is a hosting fee for the website. There is a designer fee for the look. There are various costs associated with the networking, event attendances and trying out deals in order to make sure I know what I’m talking about. In order to cover those costs, I will do a straight up sponsored post from time to time. Basically a company will tell me I’ll pay you X for writing a post announcing that we are running this giveaway or we are having this sale. I don’t give personal experiences if I don’t have them, and I sure don’t make up nice things to say just because they are giving me a few dollars to cover my time and expenses. (If you even thought that last one was a possibility, you don’t know me in real life. Ha!!)

I also post deals with referral links in them. These are the same referral links you can share with your friends and receive the same compensation I do – $10 for SaveMore, $5 for Plum District, $10 at BuyWithMe, $10 at Groupon and more. If it’s your first time to make a purchase at one of these website, I will get credit at that site. But that only happens the first time you make a purchase.

You may have noticed that there is generally a new link at the bottom of my daily deal recommendation posts. They generally say something like, ”If you are a returning customer of XYZ, you can support MelissaStuff by using this link to place your order.” When you click on that link, it uses my affiliate link and I will receive on average about 6% of what you spend on that transaction. Many times, because these are deals you are not spending much and the commission I receive is really nothing but change. However, every little bit helps and you don’t know how much I appreciate your loyalty to MelissaStuff and your support when you make purchases through our links.

Okay, that is all. I know some of you wanted to know and others are laughing at me, the overexplainer.