2.12.2015

getting cent-sible

oonaballoona | a sewing blog

I'm a junkie. It's really the only way to describe it. I'm a junkie with an addiction. 

addiction |əˈdik sh ən|
noun
the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity

junkie |ˈjə ng kē| (also junky)
noun informal
a drug addict.
[with adj. ] a person with a compulsive habit or obsessive dependency on something : power junkies.

Oooooooh hold up scratch that-- I'M A POWER JUNKIE. Whaaat! Have you ever heard that term in your life? Man, that chick sews 24/7. She's a power junkie, yo. YES!!! I LOVE IT! I CACKLE WITH GLEE!!!!!

I spent the last few months of 2014 obsessing over irons. As a sewing power junkie does. My third Black & Decker Classic bit the dust in September, and my ditzy Panasonic backup choked on me after two days, obviously offended by its time spent in the back of the closet. I scoured blogs and Instagram and Amazon reviews, and went down rabbitholes of links. And I bought an iron based solely on my fellow power junkies' advice. No commercials, no visits to brand websites. Just your opinions.

Yeah, you know where this is going. DON'T RUN SCREAMING YET HEAR ME OUT.

Ads, Affiliate Links, and Sponsors. We already know what makes us twitchy about that trifecta. Hell, it's one letter off from the delightful acronym of ASS. But we also get super ornery about bloggers being used as free testers, free reviewers, bloggers giving up that most valuable thing, time, for free. I know the sewing blogisphere is the moral conscience of the internet, we tend to stay behind the curve of questionable activity for longer than most...but in this case, erm, maybe our high horse is...just an ass...

I would love for the people who freely gave their time and advice, leading me down the path to my new iron, to see some coinage. Is it their job? No. Do they deserve it? In this actress's opinion, hell yes they do. I'm in a unionized industry that pays people to advertise. We don't do it for free. You better believe companies are over the moon thrilled with the no-strings-attached constant stream of free advertising that is Social Media. And whether a person is reaching ten people or ten thousand-- free advertising is free advertising. If the thing you're shouting about is something I want, and you can get a kickback, I want you to have it. I want me to have it. I want US to use those kickbacks to buy MOAR SEWING STUFF to create MOAR WONDERFUL THINGS.

So here's the drill!  I'm not into paid ads and sponsors myself (and more power to you if that's your bag, hell, I'm obviously down with receiving products from companies I love, sans cash). But, in the next few weeks I'm looking at joining the Amazon and Burdastyle affiliate programs (ETA 03-16-2015: I've joined Amazon, and am still pondering Burdastyle...). That means things I normally link to, not suddenly shilling crock pots and kiddie pools. You already know I don't happily holler unless I truly love what I'm talking about. You don't hear about things I don't love because critiques are not how I prefer to spend my time. I like to spend my time creating, and as I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, the fourth most expensive city, to be exact*, I have to spend my money living. If a few affiliate links provide a little mad money to support this power junkie habit and keep the sewing on this blog looking snazzy, then I hope you'll forgive the inclusion. 

So far that's it, and when I pull the trigger you'll see that list on my "story" page. Any post that includes an affiliate link will also include a little orange colored disclaimer note at the end (I've added these notes to MSN posts, and book/pattern freebies as well). You'll also still see ordinary, non-affiliate links to everything from pattern companies to gin mills, and all manner of things for which I'm happy to not earn a red cent.

Why is it a red cent?

*Disclaimer: Not an affiliate link. Though, if you have the money to buy New York, please be my friend. 
And PS, ETA: if you've been on the fence about this for as long as I have, I invite you to join me. After all, there are so many other real things to be worried about, y'know?

61 comments:

  1. Since when has making a living become something to apologize for? Whatever you do with YOUR site, you will do it with style!

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    1. thankya, and oof! the making a living route is a little above my head...but if i can snag a roll or two of swedish tracing paper i'll be happy;).

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    2. "making a living" is done many ways, you don't have to choose just one.

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    3. ain't that the truth. in my mind, i'm a designer, a choreographer, an actor, and the female version of bruno mars.

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    4. You are the female version of Bruno Mars! I can't decide which of you is more adorable!

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  2. In this city every single cotton pickin' penny counts. We don't pick up pennies on the ground for good luck-we use them for rent. Well, either rent or Time Warner Cable. :)

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    1. RIGHT?! i dropped a whole quarter in a grate yesterday and i was all NOOOOO! asparagus is ten dollars a bunch, yo!

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    2. Wait, what?! $10 for asparagus?!
      You do what ya gotta to to bring home the bacon (maybe skip the asparagus).

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    3. or maybe wrap that asparagus in bacon. now THAT is worthy of a ten dollar price tag.

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  3. I'd focus on affiliate URLs in your blog post URLs (you weren't inspired by the WSJ's article on "She Looks Like a Million Clicks" btw?). Skip sidebar affiliate links. Think about how people read your content - on feedly smartphone apps, etc. Those peeps are not going to see your sidebars. Go you sewing style blogger you!

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    1. no, but i just looked at it! interesting-- i'm surprised they didn't mention that you have to put disclaimers in for affiliate links. i don't mind links, but i do want to know when they're there. otherwise it seems shady! and yeah, sidebar links aren't my bag (lie those little amazon ads? HATE those) but i could see having, say, a burdastyle button. plus i'm too OCD about my blog to have un-pretty sidebar stuff!

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  4. I'm all about the pennies. Go for it. So...what iron was it you chose??? Mine is starting down the slippery slope...

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    1. oooo just wait! i'm working on the post now for next week, i've been using it for about 5 months so i feel safe in recommending it. spoiler: it is a maytag.

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    2. eta: 3 months! time is optional in kalkatroona.

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  5. YOU DO YOU! And good luck with the affiliate links!

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    1. thankya, and may i say you have a lovely blog!

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  6. I am 100% on board with affiliate links (I use them myself) as long as they're relevant to the content of the post. I hate those key word ads on sites where you click the underlined word "kitten" and it takes you to some website for cheap Pampers or diet pills or something (I swear, it's happened lol). You should definitely get a finders fee for leading us to awesome stuff. If you're talking about your new iron, I wanna know which one! Link away! I'd love to hear your recommendations, and Gods know I'm browsing Amazon like EVERY DAY. You'd make a ton of money off me lol

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    1. hahahaa rochelle!!! and um, WHUT. underlined keywords?! that exists?! that would drive me batshit! i'm hollering about the new iron next week, get your shopping cart ready ;)

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    2. I agree with Rochelle--though what drives me the most crazy is when a pop-up box appears on the screen next to the underlined word, and the product may or may not be relevant to the content of the post. And they're so bloody hard to get rid of!

      That being said, I don't think you have anything to apologize for. There's nothing wrong with promoting a product you really believe in, and I really can't see you pushing crock pots anyway! Who knows...it may be something I decide to try out myself somewhere down the road, now that I'm going to have to start thinking about increasing the grocery budget and keeping a kid from running around naked.

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    3. yeah, that's so not happening. ruggy even installed an ad blocker on his computer and sees ZILCH because of those pop ups.

      go for it! we link to this stuff anyway, right? i think it'll just be a question of keeping to the things you'd normally do anyway, and just putting possible dinero out of your head. it'll just be a nice surprise :)

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  7. Wonderful! I trust the opinion of another sewist before anyone else online and I am THRILLED you are starting with an iron!!!!!

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    1. this iron is so good!!! wait'll you see the trick it can do ;)

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  8. Are affiliate links to gin mills possible? Shouldn't they be? Because I could make you rich (well, asparagus-stocked, anyway) off a percentage of my gin bills :)

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    1. apparently THEY ARE. but you can't earn cents on alcohol. (found that out whilst crossing my i's and dotting my t's.) i mean. cocktail recipes alone....i should call this a sewing and drinking blog...

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  9. Makes sense (cents?) to me! Looking forward to your iron report!

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  10. As long as it is disclosed, I have no problem with advertising. We women undervalue our time too often. Get your money girl!

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  11. Sooooo...which iron did you decide on?

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  12. This is an interesting point. I have no problem with affiliate links and the like, as long as they are signposted (although how would I know if they are not!?). And why not take the opportunity to make a little more cash? God, I'm sure we all need that! I guess though, once a blogger uses the affiliate link system, a little voice in my head does question if that's *really* their honest opinion. Are they only recommending *that* particular brand because it's on Amazon and they get paid for it, when really they might think another product (not available on Amazon, for example) is actually better. Not sure it matters much, but I guess it's just a thought. Anyway, if it works for you, go for it!

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    1. i thought the same thing. like with burdastyle affiliate-- i'd cry foul at myself if suddenly i was only sewing burdastyle, as obviously i adore BHL & vintage patterns, etc. luckily amazon carries sooo many brands, i really will only link to something i love and not another option. and, if it's not there, i'll link to where it exists, affiliate program or no!

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  13. Good for you babe, I have though about it myself and when i move my site to Wordpress Im thing to join burdastyle affiliate it too

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    1. the funny thing is, we get all stressed about it, but don't some wordpress sites force ads on their users? maybe the free versions? you post about so many great tools!

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  14. Yeah girl! Count those pennies. When I started doing affiliate links I included a disclaimer at the bottom of each post but it just felt weird... like I was pointing to it and were giving people reason to doubt that the post/link was genuine. Maybe over-thinking it? I only ever link to stuff that I think is awesome so I just added my affiliate policy in my sidebar and wrote a more in depth policy if people wanted to read it. I did some research on disclosure and that seemed the best way to be honest and upfront about it.

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    1. i do cringe at adding one every time! if the post is 99% information/story and 1% link, that disclaimer does makes it seem like it's all about the item linked. a bit overkill. but, the FTC guidelines say you should disclose in the post/tweet/etc itself... i feel like that guideline is more of a necessity for "pro" bloggers making a living off of it, and those of us linking to products we already love are kind of thrown in the bag.

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  15. Oohhhhh my iron died last week. Would love to hear about your new one. If you truly love something enough to recommend it, then by all means get some moula for it!

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    1. i swear i think they build irons to die. i went through 3 before landing on this one!

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  16. YES! Thank you for posting this! Make those cents, lady. Irons are expensive! And, so is life in NYC!

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  17. I totally agree with you!! If it's already something you use and love and talk about, why not get a kick back! This is an expensive hobby!

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    1. YEAH it is! it really hit me when i looked at my thread drawer the other day and realized i was saving spools with inches of thread left. HA!

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  18. Oooooh I just had to do the new iron thing too! I hope your reveal doesn't make me kick my own ass at my choice...I'm already on the fence about it. It's such an important part of our sewing arsenal, and I have yet to be thrilled with any iron purchase...

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    1. my vintage tendencies had me luck into a great iron right off the bat, before i knew how important they were. and this one has steam for days!

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  19. You are always so considerate towards your followers Oona! Not just a quick one liner, but a lovely, thoughtful post about your reasons for adding affiliate links. Nicely done girl!

    I'm surprised Vancouver isn't on 'the list', LOL. And the red cent...weren't pennies originally almost all copper and a lovely shade of red? Rare now I bet.

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    1. sue, thank you, i was thinking i made too much out of it and should've just tacked it onto the end of a post so that's good to hear!!!

      those are pennies i'd like to see. and ones i might actually save...

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  20. DO IT!!! Yes, I'm all for it! This is something I might actually look into myself as well. So many people IRL look at me like I'm batshit crazy when I tell them that I don't monetize the blog in any way, and my noble excuses of 'keeping it real' are just sounding flimsier and flimsier. It's time to get with the program! Ain't no one getting rich off this shit! But an occasional roll of swedish tracing paper never hurt anybody! And I think this is a totally classy, upfront way to do it - doesn't adjust your content at all. Go for it, girl! Let me know how it goes!

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    1. thanks sallie!! yeah, i feel like this is a nice balance of controlling my own content. cut to six months later, pop up ads of walmart and dollar stores. at which point i will pay for you to come to NY (using my monetized blog dollars) to knock some sense into me.

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  21. Personally, I hang on your every word, and want to know where you buy things. I am eager to hear which iron you decided on, because I am looking for a new one myself. I appreciate how much time it must take to put together a blog post, and do not expect you to do it solely out of the generosity of your heart. If you furnish links on your blog to the things you use, it will actually enhance my experience, rather than diminish it. I confess that I fast forward through the ads on television, but any ads on your blog would be sewing-related, and therefore of great interest. I hope you make a tidy sum in the process of illuminating your devoted followers.

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    1. yikes! then i will do my level best to ef hutton that shizz, when i do use them, that is. i wondered aloud last weekend why there wasn't a 24 hour commercial channel. you know, like superbowl ad quality. maybe it's the actress in me but my head swivels to TV when ads appear. thank god for netflix!

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  22. As we say in the uk every penny counts (I guess that's cent for you) it's kinda like pocket money that you can use to fund being a power junkie or wherever else it's need! Personally I think it's a great idea and if companies are willing to pay out, then why not! You go girl :)

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    1. thanks sarah! yes, pocket change is the way to go--i'm thinking of it as power junkie mad money, if any comes of it. that way it's a nice surprise of a prize, rather then OH MY GOD WE GOTTA PAY BILLZ MUST HAZ ALL TEH LINKS

      (i think in caps a lot.)

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  23. Always glad when affiliate links are spelled out. That way I can avoid them--and I do.

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    1. it'll always be in the orange colored note if there are any! and if a link on the web has you raising an eyebrow, you can always control click it, copy & paste the address into a text edit program, and check it that way. of course, the way the web is going, that'll be a whole lotta checkin.

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  24. I think that a MAKER, has such a different approach to "money" than let's say, a fashion blogger. I feel that because you "make" stuff you've earned it, you deserve it. And because you make things and you share with people like yourself, your success makes us happy! because we know how hard it is to make stuff and to get rewarded somehow. I live in Brooklyn and believe me, I know how expensive NY is….and I make clothes too, so believe me…I'm a junkie and would work for fabric, hahahahaha!
    Fashion bloggers, I feel, are more into the pretentious box, in the me-me-me/selfie/i'm gorgeous box. They wear the clothes they don't make and you know all the unfairness behind the mass produced fashion. By any mean think that I have anything against fashion bloggers, I don't!
    I just state a difference.
    I love success stories and I'm happy for you! Besides, I've heard a couple interviews with you on The Sewing Affair and Thread Cult and you seam to be a sweet soul. Who knows?! Maybe we run in to each other in Mood one of these day! xoxox

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    1. i was telling ruggy about your comment this morning, such an interesting take! it does feel empty to click on a link to forever 21. and thank you for the beautiful compliment-- i'd wager that meetup is an inevitability :)

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    2. I'm glad you liked my comment Oona ;)
      And I almost forget to invite you to read my blog! Hope you dig it! https://thecoatchecktales.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/a-stitch-at-a-time/
      See you at Mood! ;)

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  25. Don't apologize for being paid for product endorsements. LeBron James (or any other athlete) does not apologize for wearing Nike. Readers will make of it what they will.

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  26. So, the city I live in is number one on that list, so I hear you on wanting to earn some. ;) I actually try to actively go through affiliate links when buying stuff, if I know a blogger who has one, just to try and give back to the community in one way or another. Keep up the good work!

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!