Keeping It Transparent

| Change is a sign of growth

You may or may not have noticed that things look a little bit different around here. There is an entirely new section to the blog, new scrolling features and a bit of a different look. If you follow me on Instagram, you are well aware of this new blog-related announcement…I’ve started monetizing my blog! This is a major step in my blogging career and what it means for the future of this little slice of the internet. But often the perception of what it means to monetize is largely negative, so I wanted to discuss today what this means for the Lady Out Loud brand.

If you remember my “Why I did not Celebrate my Blogiversary” post, I discussed that my disappointment in where my blog had taken me to that point. And in realizing I was not in the place I wanted to be, I was going to shape up my vision and take actionable steps to get there. Monetizing is one of them.

Monetizing the blog can come in many shapes and forms, and one that is most common are ads. For me, it just was not my route. When looking for an answer to a question, shopping my blogger’s favorite looks or reading a helpful listacle, I do not enjoy ads overtaking my screen. I would not implement something I would not enjoy as a consumer. So because traditional Ad revenue is not an avenue I wanted to pursue, I applied and was accepted into an affiliate program: Shopstyle Collective. To keep a long story short, Shopstyle essentially allows me to look up and link the clothing I am already wearing in my blog and social posts, and should my audience purchase and item using that link, I earn a very small commission. That’s it. Nothing crazy, nothing earth shattering and nothing that’s going to make me a millionaire.

What affiliate links will allow me to do, is essentially receive small compensation for the time, money and effort it takes to run this blog. In examining what I want from the blog and from this space now and in the future, is to continue to be able to uplift and inspire all of you through fashion, insights, wit, and social commentary.

A major part of what keeps us going in any direction we decide to purse is to eventually see the return on our investment. It does not matter what avenue that may be: a difficult or taxing work project, a passion project/side hustle, making sacrifices to stock pile a massive savings…what gives us the motivation to keep up our efforts is to see progress, and feel (at least at some point) gratification. And to be completely transparent, at first, building a community of diligent readers and social followers was all I needed. But as this is growing and the demands are greater, the necessity for a greater return is needed. Blogging is expensive, time consuming, sacrificial of time I could be giving to others. And even though I did not (and still do not) make money a priority in this space, I have reached a point in which growth and demand has grown high enough that it needs to move toward a self-sustaining entity. Enter affiliate links.

What does this change mean for content? In all honesty, not too terribly much. My blog posts, type of content, voice, point of view and even my social channels will not change much. The largest change you will see is the addition of the “Shop My Looks” tab here on the blog. That’s a collection of all of my looks I post on my social channels with shoppable links. I will continue to link my looks in my blog posts as I have always done, but when possible, I will be using affiliate links. You may also see a few more shopping focused posts around the major shopping holidays (Christmas, Valentine’s day, Mother’s Day, etc). I can’t and won’t make promises about what those blog types of posts will look like, but I do not plan to post a collection of images and leave it there. No L.O.L. post is complete without some random whit and commentary. With this new chapter of the blog, I absolutely do not plan to be any more “salesy”, pushy or annoying than you may already find me. What this program affords me is the ability to shop and find more of what you (my audience) are interested in. And that is the aspect I am most excited to explore.

Blogging as a business was not an avenue I planned to pursue when this all began, and it is a passion first and foremost. With that in mind, I thoroughly appreciate all of the support thus far and going forward. If there are ever questions of my integrity, I welcome the conversation with a true open door policy. Send me a message, leave a comment, or slide right into my DMs on a social channel. Again, I appreciate you all so, so much!

It’s only up from here.

Love Loudly. Live Loudly.