Weekly Poll: The Reverse Poll #2 | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

28 May, 2014

Weekly Poll: The Reverse Poll #2

WHY IS IT ALREADY WEDNESDAY AGAIN?! Three day weekends are sort of nice because I get to spend more time with Stan, but then I lose track of what day it is and fall into a swirling vortex of uncertain time and "OH SHIT I FORGOT TO DO THAT THING" so yeah. Um, how are you?


Anyway. I've decided to devote most of my Wednesday to catching up on e-mails and cleaning up my incredibly untidy apartment, so rather than write anything complicated today, I'm opening up the floor for another "Ask Me Anything". Want to know something about me or this website? Not sure what color socks to wear tomorrow? Need advice on whether or not you should ask that cute boy to the dance? Ask away in the comments. I'll do my best to answer.

Disclaimer: Answers not guaranteed to be free of silliness.

37 comments:

  1. hmmm when did you start your blog? Also, do you have a part time/full time job or are you a full time blogger?

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  2. I started this blog in June 2013, so just under a year ago. I do freelance work, which means sometimes (depending on my workload) I have a lot of time to blog (but also not a lot of money, sobcrysob). I do earn a bit of income off this blog but it's not comparable to a full-time wage, if that answers your question? I've actually been debating picking up a more traditional part-time job over the summer because I may need the money!

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  3. Thats cool! What kind of freelance work? If you don't mind me asking. Like a makeup artist? I wish I could blog more or make that my full time job. I feel like I need to get a part time job BECAUSE of my blog lol. Too much spending money on things I don't need.

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  4. Oh no, I'm definitely not a makeup artist. I do proofreading and transcription stuff. Which is sort of funny because I'm not always super-careful about proofreading my own posts. :P Is your blog monetized in any way? Ads and affiliate links aren't exactly a "get rich quick" scheme on most blogs, but it can add up if you're linking to online stores and stuff anyway. That might soften the blow of the blogging-inspired beauty buys. :)

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  5. No it isn't..I should look into that. I got contacted a while back but it seemed a little weird. Who do you use?

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  6. I use a variety of different affiliate programs, Google Adsense, and occasionally do sponsored posts. I've been looking into other ad networks lately but haven't applied to any yet.

    If you're brand new to the whole affiliate program thing I highly recommend checking out something called Skimlinks - you install a code on your site and then it automatically turns links to any merchants they're affiliated with into affiliate links. The only downside to that program is that they take a small cut, but if your blog isn't super-duper high traffic that might be better for you because (a) their commission payout threshold is really low - $10 and (b) you may not even qualify for certain programs on your own. I'd recommend turning off the "SkimWords" portion of their program though because it looks spammy as hell.

    I do make money with Adsense, and pretty much anyone can join, but their payout threshold is high ($100) so depending on your traffic it may take a long time to get paid. The first month I had it installed (which was September I think?) I made like three cents, haha.

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  7. hmm interesting. I have heard of adsense and didn't qualify until maybe a few months ago. I will look into both. I def don't have a high traffic rate :/ I have almost 20k views total. So maybe a hundred give or take a day? Maybe less. Thanks for the info!

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  8. I'm jumping in here randomly--that's awesome that you do proofreading! I work in an office of journal editors (well, production managers and copy editors) and I'm so the odd one out. Copyediting and proofreading are so stressful. lol

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  9. What do you do there? Just curious. And yeah, that kind of work can be stressful. If you're proofreading and miss something (especially for print publications) then that's really quite bad! I've done more transcription stuff than proofreading though, which can also be stressful because you need to be FAST and accurate to actually make it worth the money being offered. Click clack click clack. I'm 30 years old so I should probably figure out what my "real" job is going to be, haha.

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  10. Jill of all trades, master of AWESOME! I've had some administrative jobs at small businesses that were also quite varied like that—duties included everything from sewing sequins on the crotch of a spandex bodysuit to making toast to figuring out how to get a massage therapy school accredited in Illinois. They made for amusing stories later, but I found it all a bit difficult to summarize on my CV ...

    I tried Dragon years ago and the results were hilariously terrible. Like it was inserting words into the transcription that don't exist in any language, anywhere. Secret messages from outer space? Anyway, I'm certain it's better now, since most voice-activated things are. I wouldn't rely on something like that for a pro transcription gig, but if you're recording audio notes on your phone or whatever it would probably be fine for grabbing those.

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  11. Have you ever had asshole trolls or encounter any other particular pitfalls when it comes to blogging? If so, how do you deal with it?

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  12. You know, I haven't had a single troll-esque comment to date, which frankly kind of amazes me considering how long I've had this blog. Ask again in a few months and I'll let you know if that's changed. :P


    As for other pitfalls... hrmm. The only real problems I've run into are on the technical side, like how I built a template in Wordpress then installed some plugins and then it crashed my whole site, yay! Which is why I'm hesitant to completely move to Wordpress until I'm 100% sure everything is working perfectly.

    I worry sometimes about privacy, but it hasn't become an actual issue yet.

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  13. So I just signed up for Skim Links. Can you pick the companies that would be advertised on your blog? Also, can I have more than one adsite on my blog? Like adsense and skimlinks?

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  14. For Adsense you can't pick which ads are displayed, though I think you can block certain categories. With Skimlinks it just turns whatever links you already have into affiliate links - for example if you link to the Walgreens website, it will turn that into an affiliate link because they have a partnership with Walgreens. With SkimWords I don't think you can control where it links to. I said this before but I would recommend turning SkimWords off.

    FYI, if you have Adsense ads you need to have a privacy policy up somewhere on your site because it uses cookies. You can use a generator like this one if you're not sure what to write: http://www.generateprivacypolicy.com/ I would also recommend adding something to your disclosure/disclaimer policy saying you use Skimlinks to generate affiliate links.

    Yes, you can have Skimlinks and Adsense at the same time! Some ad networks want you to be exclusive (as in you don't display other ads and/or have ads placed higher than theirs) but Adsense doesn't have any such rules. You are limited to three Adsense ads displayed at a time though.

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  15. PS Remember to read the Adsense Terms of Service carefully when you sign up, because they will kick you out if you break the rules!

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  16. Thanks for the info! Maybe I will start with skimlinks and just see where it goes. I have a disclosure policy so maybe I should just add it to the bottom? What do you mean what links I already have? Like on my blog? For example if I post a link to forever 21 or sephora on a post?

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  17. Yes, exactly. If you link (or have ever linked) to a merchant on your blog that Skimlinks has a partnership with, it with automatically turn that link into an affiliate link. So if someone buys something after clicking through your links you'll make a small commission. I'm pretty sure they have partnerships with both Forever 21 and Sephora, so those are good examples. You can look up merchants on the Skimlinks dashboard if you're not sure which ones are eligible.

    Yeah you can add something to the end of your current disclosure policy, or even just paste a short disclosure into your individual posts. Personally I put it in my disclosure policy AND a "contains affiliate" links type disclosure in each post that has them.

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  18. ok cool. I will have to wait and see if I get accepted. If the link is on the main layout you put it on every new post you create too?

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  19. If what link is on the main layout? I'm not sure what you mean. Like a sidebar link going to Sephora or whatever? If that's the case I would put a short disclosure in the sidebar under the links saying that they're affiliate links and commissions from them support your site or something like that.

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  20. Yeah, I thought the ads are added to your layout so side bar, top etc.

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  21. Skimlinks aren't display (banner) ads. They just turn text links to merchants they're partnered with into affiliate links. You can add them anywhere on your site, but normally they'd just be in the context of a post. Like if I'm reviewing a lipstick sold at Sephora and link to it on the Sephora website in my blog post, that would automatically get turned into an affiliate link. That's why I would recommend adding a disclosure to the individual posts, because not every post you make is going to contain those types of links.

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  22. ohhh gotcha

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  23. Just as an example, this is a post I did that definitely would use Skimlinks: http://www.helloprettybird.com/2014/03/review-radical-skincare-age-defying.html

    You can't tell immediately that the link to Sephora is an affiliate link, but I know it is because Skimlinks is installed on my site, which is why I wrote disclosures for the post.

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  24. You're lucky. I've read about other bloggers' nightmares when it comes to trolling and it repelled me from blogging myself. That, and ALL the technical stuff ;)
    Have you still managed to keep your blog a secret from your family? I remember a while ago you said your sister didn't know about it and I was curious how long something can remain a secret on the internet!

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  25. Yeah, I doubt that trolling is a fun thing to deal with. I'm sure it will happen to me at some point—not sure why it happens a lot to some people and not to others. Truthfully though, I'm not sure how much it would bother me. I'm actually willing to listen to constructive criticism, and if people posted stupid/meaningless rude stuff (e.g. "you suck, die") I would either ignore it or delete it. It's also very easy to blacklist certain IP addresses if there are repeat offenders.

    If my sister knows about it, she hasn't mentioned it. I write under an assumed name (in case you didn't know) so it's not like my family can Google it THAT easily. I'm pretty sure my boyfriend's brother found me because he followed me on Twitter, but whether or not he actually reads the site is unknown to me. Who knows, maybe he's developed an interest in indie perfume. :) Beyond that, I'm not sure!

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  26. okay, questions:
    1. why did you start your blog?
    2. what's the best thing you've gotten in a subscription box?

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  27. Where in the world would you travel if money and safety were not a concern?

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  28. How do manage your time between blogging and reading and networking with other bloggers. Since I have started my blog, I find this to be a challenge!!

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  29. Hmmmm.

    #1. I don't have a great answer for that. I actually had another blog for a long time (from 1999-2007ish) but that consisted mostly of weird mind dumps and observations about strange people I met in the world. I'm amazed that other people actually read it. Anyway, sometime last year I decided I was going to write product reviews of random stuff I got or bought on a blog, because that seemed like it could potentially be helpful to other people. Since then I've realized that I would rather write about a wider variety of stuff, but that's my not-so-interesting reason for getting started, I guess. I knew about maintaining a blog because I used to have one, but a lot of the social media stuff didn't exist when I first started so that's taken some getting used to, haha.

    #2. Oh man, choosing one "best" thing from all the subscription boxes. I think Memebox has been the most interesting for me so far, and I especially like it when they slip lip tints into the boxes because those are AWESOME. I loved the orange Peripera tint that came in box #4 (I think.) This is really boring but Ipsy sent out a Pixi primer a few months ago and I probably ended up using that more than anything else I got from Ipsy, so that probably deserves a mention. Second runner up is the Vero Pica Goma candies from Mexican Candy Box, because they made me realize I don't hate tamarind after all.

    I haven't subscribed to very many fashion/accessories boxes, but I'd like to give more of them a try in the future because some of them seem fun.

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  30. I have such a long list of places I'd like to travel. Back when I was staying in New Zealand, I read a bunch of books in the Auckland library about Samoa and got really interested in visiting there. Unfortunately it never happened due to budgetary constraints, and it's rather far afield (i.e. NOT CHEAP TO GET TO) if you're traveling from North America...

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  31. It can definitely be a challenge. I follow a ton of blogs, so I physically can't read every single post every person makes. I do try to go through my feed and read as many as I can in a day, or if I'm short on time I'll skim and read posts that sound most interesting or that come from bloggers I have an affinity with. Moral of the story: Work on your own content first, and then when you're done take the time to visit and comment on other people's blogs! If you can't read every single post that's OK. I certainly don't expect every person who follows me to read every single thing I write.

    I find it helpful to schedule Twitter posts (which I totally forget to do sometimes, lol) throughout the day and then check in a few times per day to respond to people. That way it's not a constant distraction. Twitter chats are also a good way to network with new bloggers, and since those usually only last for an hour or so it's not too difficult to work them in.

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  32. your #1 answer and mine are pretty similar. i decided i didn't really love doing product reviews though, so i phased it out and only review the things i really enjoy (birchbox, julep, and soon to be ipsy - finally got off the waitlist!) and started doing outfit posts because i enjoy seeing what others wear.

    for fashion/accessories, i like rocksbox for jewelry, golden tote is fun (if you like boho/west coast style fashion) and i like the concept of stitchfix though it seems pretty hit or miss. some of my favorite reviews are for fashion boxes though so if you do go that direction i will definitely read them! ;)

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  33. Thank you so much for the helpful tips!

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  34. Hey, I just added skimlinks on my blog. I am going to look into google adsense next. Thank you for your help with this. I really appreciate it. Do you mind checking out my disclamier and see if it sounds ok? My policy isn't nearly as detailed as yours. I also noted on my main layout about the skimlinks so that I don't have to do it on every post.

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  35. The lines you added to your disclosure policy look fine, though I would take out the bit at the beginning of the policy that says you don't accept cash advertising because I think affiliate links would technically be a form of cash advertising.

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  36. oh yes,I will have to redo that part. Thanks!

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  37. LOL--master-of-not-the-one-I-trained-in ahahhaha. sigh


    Oh the Dragon app was terrible--the desktop version can be trained amazingly. It literally learns your voice and macros--I had student-clients who guarded their Dragon voice training files with their lives. I wish the software were free--urhghghhg.

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