A Day in the Life: When Blogging Is Not Your Average 9 to 5 (+Giveaway)

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogAs promised, I’ve got another day-in-the-life post, this one documenting a hands-on, active blog work day. If you missed my first post, here’s a day of desk-job blogging. For today’s I thought it’d be interesting to tie in one of my current blog partners as well so that you get a peek into what the interaction with product sponsors is like.

Orchard Valley Harvest has two new fruit and nut mixes available as Multi Packs (eight, one-ounce pouches), and as they’re delicious, I was excited to team up with them. As part of the project they sent me a bunch of samples of the Omega-3 and Antioxidant mixes and when you combine edible free gift packages with a work-from-home job, the result is often nonstop snacking. I’ve been on a three-pack-a-day habit, and as I was documenting my day for this post and realized every other picture was me eating a nut mix pack, I decided that this should be the feature. So while, yes, Orchard Valley Harvest is a partner of this blog post, the copious mentions are by no means forced. You try looking at snack-sized portions of nuts all day without going to chow town on them! 😉

This post was my day Wednesday–on the calendar for me was a video shoot and recipe test.

A Day in the Life: When Blogging Is Not Your Average 9 to 5

5 AM | Wake up, flawless

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogHair on fleek, face on fleek, breath on fleek. I had stayed up until 2AM watching election coverage against my better judgement (I couldn’t have slept if I tried) so I wouldn’t exactly say that alarm was welcomed. But one good thing about my late night was that I had the time to brew a big pot of coffee to have in the refrigerator for the morning. A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

I downed a glass of water and my vitamins (MegaFood vitamins can be taken on an empty stomach–score!); poured a little almond milk into my iced coffee; and grabbed a snack to keep me energized through my classes.

6 – 9AM | Teach

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

shirt c/o Fabletics // Booty By Brabants leggings // ToeSox grippy socks

On Wednesdays I teach three classes at Btone’s Back Bay studio. I don’t do the workout while teaching (I demo exercises and then walk around correcting form) so teaching three isn’t as daunting as it may sound.

9 – 9:30AM | “Me” time

I just could not shake the sadness I felt about the election, so as I walked home through the Public Garden and Commons, I decided to take a few minutes to sit on a bench, clear my head and meditate. I’m about to sound like a total weirdo, but I have a favorite bench in the Public Garden (sure, why not) and any time it’s unoccupied on my walk home from teaching in the morning, I take it as a sign I should stop for 5-10 minutes, sit down and meditate. A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

I meditated for about 10 minutes and then continued to sit there calmly, appreciating the beautiful city I call home and the crisp fall weather. In all it was only about 20 minutes out of my morning, but it really helped set the tone for a productive, positive day. Remind me again why I don’t do this every morning?? A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

On the walk home, I ate the Omega-3 Mix that was still in my purse (I surprisingly wasn’t hungry while teaching).

9:30 | Breakfast

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogI had some leftover roasted veggies in the fridge from last night’s dinner so I reheated those and spread them over a piece of toast and a fried egg. Easy, yummy, filling. I had roasted the veggies in cumin, paprika and cayenne so breakfast had a bit of a kick to it which I love.

10 – 1:30 | Shoot three videos (two workouts and a form tutorial)

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogGoing into a shoot, I already have the workouts planned out. I have a notebook that I write them down in along with recipes in the works and any other blog content ideas I come up with throughout the week. I also plan the outfits the night before so that I can be sure to incorporate any new activewear I haven’t yet worn on the blog. There are other little considerations that also need to go into the outfit planning: If it’s a sponsored post, I often need to make sure no other brand labels are visible; if it’s a tutorial on form, I try to wear a tight-fitting top instead of a loose muscle tank so that you can more clearly see my body alignment. I had these three outfits already planned: A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

After almost a year of using Breather room rentals for video shoots, I’m done with the service. At first I had credit with them, but the credit has dried up and their prices have risen so it doesn’t make sense for me to spend $30-60/hour to shoot blog content. Plus, lugging workout equipment to the rooms was buh-ru-tal.

My apartment is not by any means ideal for shooting workouts. The bedroom is the only room with natural light but there’s not a ton of space so I have to push the dresser out of the bedroom and into the living room in order to shoot. Still way more convenient than shooting elsewhere though! Eventually I need to come up with a better solution but my motto with blogging has always been “Do the best you can with what you have,” so this will be a-ok for now. 🙂

Joe and I are messy, so in addition to moving my dresser, I have to spend some time cleaning before I can shoot. And in our defense, there is a big difference between messy and dirty, and we’re just messy. I scrub the bathrooms, do the dishes, dust, vacuum–I have a sanitary home, I promise. I just also happen to throw my clothes all over the place when getting dressed and haven’t made the bed in, oh I don’t know, five years.

I start with ambitious cleaning goals before shooting workouts but usually end up just pushing my heaps of clothing out of the video frame. Here’s the side of the room that’ll be in the shot vs. the side of the room behind the camera: A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

L.O.L.

My least favorite part of days when I have to be in the pictures is making myself look presentable (wow I’m really making myself seem like a slob in this blog post, huh??). I’m unskilled and uninterested when it comes to hair and makeup but I cover the basics before putting on my first outfit. When choosing the order of videos to shoot I usually save the sweatiest workout for last so that I don’t look like a hot mess in the others.  A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

Usually between two and fifteen things don’t go as planned during shoots (another reason it makes sense to do them in my apartment!). The three I did that day went fairly smoothly, but I shot the last workout and as I watched it back realized how obnoxious these cables look: A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

Do I re-shoot it somewhere else? Where? They’re threaded into the wall so I can’t remove the cables. Ughhh. Might just call it a wash and post to YouTube, cables and all. A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

In between shooting, I had two more Orchard Valley Harvest mixes. The first one because I was hungry; the second because, well, you try working four feet from your kitchen. 😉

1:30 – 3 | Recipe testing for lunch

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogI had a baked oatmeal recipe I wanted to test out and planned ahead to have all the ingredients on hand. It’s a recipe I’ve played around with before so I was hoping I’d nail it this time and be able to photograph it for the blog. Success! I shot the pretty oatmeal cups by my bedroom window and enjoyed a couple for lunch.

3-6 PM | Emails, social scheduling, class planning

By now my energy is starting to wane (staying up until 2AM will do that to you), and while I had high hopes of editing all the video material I just shot, I needed to call it a day with that. Instead I spent a couple hours digging myself out of the never-ending email hole I’m in, scheduling posts for Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, and planning the next day’s class.

6PM | Veg Out

img_5849I had plans to get out of the apartment, grocery shop and make a nice dinner but I’m clearly not in my early 20s anymore because that whole three hours of sleep thing knocked me on my ass. How did I used to pull all-nighters in the library (…and club, let’s be honest here) during college and still be fully functional the next day? How?? Oh, to be young again. 😉 A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

I lounged on my couch reading (just finished Still Life, which I’d summarize as a good–not great–murder mystery), and instead of grocery shopping and cooking, Joe brought me home a bowl from Sweetgreen (Earth Bowl, no chicken = my go-to order).

8:30PM | Bedtime

With another 5AM wake up ahead of me, I went to bed early and it was glorious. I’m actually surprised I even managed to stay up that late.

Reader Giveaway

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogOrchard Valley Harvest is giving one reader a prize package of these two mixes AND a $50 Visa gift card. The Antioxidant Mix is a blend of roasted almonds, dried sweetened cranberries, blueberries, roasted cashews and pepitas. The Omega-3 Mix is a blend of walnuts, dried sweetened cranberries and blueberries, almonds and pistachios. Both are delicious, non-GMO and free of artificial ingredients. Score!

Use the widget below to enter the giveaway. I’ll pick a winner Monday evening. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have you tried Orchard Valley Harvest’s fruit and nut mixes?

Did you stay up late to watch the election or wait until the morning to see the results?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Orchard Valley Harvest. The opinions and text are all mine.

A Day in the Life: When Blogging Is a Desk Job

A Day in the Life: When Blogging Is a Desk JobI get frequent requests for day-in-the-life blog posts but I never do them because honestly I feel like they’d be so boring. Anyone remember the MLIA (My Life Is Average) Internet sensation back in 2009/2010? (I think it was a spin-off of My Life Is Awkward.) I feel like my day-in-the-life blog posts would be one long #MLIA tweet. Wake up, teach, blog so hard muhfukkas wanna fine me, work out, make dinner, watch Netflix on the couch with my boyfriend, go to bed. #MLIA

But I get it. I have an unconventional job and even my family members don’t quite understand what it is I do all day. With blogging, I have hands-on, active days where I’m shooting workout videos or making recipes and then I have “computer days” where I sit at my desk all day editing/writing/scheduling/answering emails/etc. Some days are a mix of both, but I’m definitely more productive if I just focus on one at a time. For this day-in-the-life mini series, I decided to document one of each type of day and we’re starting with the boring one so that it can only go up (in entertainment) from here. 😉

This was my day yesterday …

A Day in the Life: When Blogging Is a Desk Job

5AM | Wake up

img_5706I wake up at 5AM on days I teach at Btone‘s Back Bay studio. I throw on some workout clothes, drink a glass of water, grab a snack in case I get hungry teaching, brush my teeth and am tiptoeing out the door twenty minutes later. I’m a Dunks fan (stereotypical New Englander), but unfortunately the only coffee shop open on my quick walk to the studio is Starbucks so I stop in for a cold brew with almond milk. It has to be below 40 degrees outside for me to order a hot coffee. pre-breakfast

I’m at the studio no later than 5:40AM which gives me enough time to open up, get the music going, and test out any crazy exercise ideas that seem good in my head but probably won’t work in class. Some mornings I don’t eat until after teaching, but I was hungry yesterday and ate a banana on the walk over.

6-8AM | Teach

teavhing-athletaOn Thursdays I teach two classes back-to-back, which feels like nothing compared to my usual three in a row. I swear I blink and boom–done teaching for the day. I’m obsessed with these new Athleta leggings–cute cutout detail on the back, high waist and super comfy. Scarf is CALIA and sweater is from my latest Stitch Fix delivery (brand is RD Style).

8:30 | Breakfast

rainy-fall-boston-public-gardenMy walk home from teaching always puts me in the best mood. It was a rainy fall morning but the Public Garden still looked gorgeous.

oatmealBreakfast was this big, boring (but delicious) bowl of oatmeal. Usually I’d top with fruit but we didn’t have any at home so I went with quick oats + unsweetened vanilla almond milk + cinnamon + a drizzle of maple syrup. I drank another big glass of water and took my daily vitamins (yesterday it was multi for women, multi for healthy bones, turmeric and blood builder all from MegaFood). I’m weirdly obsessed with that grapefruit vitamin dispenser I found on Amazon. As a side note, I’m a MegaFood ambassador, but this post is in no way sponsored by them. Their supplements are rad. I love them and take them daily even when I’m not being paid to blog about them. 😉

9AM – 12:30 PM | Prepare and publish the week’s workout video/post

start-workAfter breakfast, it’s time to werk. My desk is in a little corner of the bedroom by a big window and I love my tiny, sun-filled workspace (it needs some decorating still or else I’d post a pic). Each day I take a second to determine what priority #1 is and then I don’t even let myself think of anything else until its done. When I try to multitask, nothing gets accomplished. Yesterday’s top priority was finishing up, publishing and promoting the biceps and triceps workout. I kept my email inbox closed (screenshot of my browser tabs below as proof haha) so that I could focus.

These workout posts are BY FAR the most time-consuming thing I do for the blog. On Wednesday I filmed the workout and edited the video so yesterday I just had to … do a million more things for it.

  • Upload video to YouTube. It takes about 90 minutes to upload a 20-minute long video so while that does its thang, I work on everything else.
  • Edit video thumbnail. If I had fancy lighting for filming, I might be able to just use a still as the video thumbnail, but since I don’t I take a photograph of one of the exercises, edit it in Lightroom and then add text to it in Photoshop for a bright, eye-catching image.
  • Write the blog post. I have a word doc with written explanations of exercises so if a post contains moves I’ve already blogged about, I can just copy and paste the description. This saves a ton of time!
    • Add links. The only links I typically need to add to workout posts are to equipment and outfit details. I then make sure they’re “nofollow” links if affiliate and specify that they should open in a new tab.
  • Make the pictorial. Even though I do YouTube for workouts now, I still make the pictorials for Pinterest traffic and those readers who don’t want to watch a video.
    • Take screen grabs from video. Instead of taking pictures of each step of the exercise, I just use screen grabs from the YouTube video. The quality isn’t as good though so I may have to go back to self-timer pics.
    • Edit screen grabs. Crop, adjust brightness and contrast, etc. etc.
    • Assemble in Photoshop. I have a template I use already saved so  I just drag in the pictures, assemble nicely and edit the text. I then match the color scheme to whatever I’m wearing in the workout (has anyone ever noticed this or am I just a huge loser?? haha).
  • Make videos for social. Once I have the full-length YouTube video edited and assembled, it doesn’t take too much time to go in and cut it down to short clips of each exercise with written explanation for a 1 or 2-minute long Facebook preview video. I export that and then cut it down even more for Instagram (typically just a montage of the exercises–no longer than 45 seconds).
  • Promote post on social. Once the blog post and YouTube video are live, I share the links on all my social networks.

By the time I’ve done all this, my eyes are starting to cross. Time to take a break for food.

12:30PM | Lunch

roasted-veggies-pestoI kept lunch simple, but not quite as boring as breakfast. I roasted some veggies I had on hand simply in olive oil, salt and pepper (375 degrees F for about 30 minutes). I had cooked quinoa and some leftover pesto in the refrigerator so once the veggies were fully roasted, I just mixed everything together in a big bowl (I microwaved the quinoa for a few seconds first to warm it up). Delicious, easy meal and I washed it down with another big glass of water.

1-3PM | Emails and client reporting

My email inbox is a constant catastrophe. I just can never seem to get on top of it. I spent a little over an hour working through it and then took care of some performance reporting I had to submit to a client.

3:30PM | Hair cut & a snack

hair-cut-marc-harrisIt had been almost a YEAR since my last hair cut and I was in desperate need of this appointment. My hair was so long it was just constantly in the way and the ends were completely dead. My girl Christine at Marc Harris saved my hot mess of a mop. It’s still long (every time I’ve gone short I’ve regretted it) but a million times healthier. Yay! cashew-cookie-larabar

On my walk home I stopped into CVS and grabbed a Larabar for a lil’ snack.

4:30-7PM | Plan tomorrow’s class and write post draft content for a client

I don’t normally teach on Fridays but I subbed for another instructor this morning and spent about 20 minutes planning the class. I then spent the rest of my work day on a post draft I have due next week for a client.

7:30PM | Dig Inn for Dinner

Dig Inn Boston DinnerWhen Joe got home from work we decided to go out to dinner. We always start out with the intention of trying out a new restaurant and then without fail just end up at one of our go-to fast-casual spots (Sweetgreen, bgood, Dig Inn, etc.).

10PM | Bedtime

I try to go to bed at 9pm when I’m teaching the next day but it rarely happens (oh boy do I feel glorious the next morning when it does though!). I don’t see Joe in the mornings because I’m out the door early so the evenings are the only time I see him during the week.

No workout …

Yesterday wasn’t an intentional rest day. I had a lot of blog work to do and as it got later and later in the day I just got tired and lost motivation–something that’s uncharacteristic of me as I truly love working out and typically prioritize it. Honestly, I’ve been in a bit of a workout rut the past few weeks. I’ve still been working out 5-6 days a week but just haven’t been excited about my routine at all.

I think the issue is that I actually want more of a routine. I’m all over the place because there are tons of different classes in Boston I truly do love but–and I never thought I’d say this–I think I’m over the whole studio-hopping thing and my days with ClassPass are probably coming to an end. The time-consuming scheduling of available classes (often at weird times), the trekking across the city to studios, the uncertainty of if a new class is even going to be worth my 45 minutes–I’m feeling unenthused by it all lately. But at the same time, I don’t want to give up access to this variety of classes. Do I keep ClassPass and also join a gym? That’d be expensive AF. Do I just do Btone and then workout from home? Will I have the self-motivation to actually do that after teaching all morning? Maybe it’s just that I need a goal to work towards like a half marathon? Gahhhh I don’t know. Bottom line: Not sure what the change will be, but a change is needed and coming. TBD …

Anyone else feeling blah about their current workout routine?
ClassPass users–will you be dropping the service now that the Unlimited plans are being taken away?
Bloggers–how do you divvy up your work days? Multi-tasker or do you focus on one thing each day like I (try to) do? 

If you like day-to-day stuff like this post, follow me on Snapchat (nicoleperr)! I’m always snapping the video editing process so that we can all laugh with/at me in the outtakes (I’m so awkward on film). If you thought reading this post was like watching paint dry, don’t you worry–just one more to go next Friday. 😉

Enjoy your weekend!

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Links to outfit details are affiliate.

Understanding Blogging: What Are Affiliate Links?

A Guide to Understanding Affiliate LInks

I don’t often blog about blogging, but I’m in the process of revamping my “About” section on the site (it’s painfully outdated–don’t even bother clicking on it haha) and want to have a mini resource section that explains how the content on this blog is or isn’t affected by the business of this blog. I’m all about that transparency, yo! My hope is that this post will be useful for readers confused about affiliate links.

How am I affected by clicking this? Is she being paid to place this link? Does this mean the post is being sponsored by a brand?

I hope there’s also some useful information in it for fellow bloggers who may be new to blogging as a business and in need of some monetization guidance. I’m by no means an expert here (so far from it!), but I’m going to share what I’ve learned so far in this bizarre blogging adventure I’ve been on for the past few years.

If you’re just here for the health and fitness fun, then this will admittedly be a boring post for you and you might want to skip it. 🙂

What’s an affiliate link?

An affiliate link is essentially a link to a page or, most commonly, a product that has a little tracking code on it. The tracking code gives credit to whomever sent over the traffic. So let’s say I’m part of the XYZ Sweet Potato affiliate program and my ID is PUMPS123. If I mention XYZ Sweet Potatoes on the blog and say “hey guys, I used XYZ for this recipe” with a link to the XYZ website, the link will have my ID info attached to it (XYZSweetPotatoes.com?/refID=PUMPS123 instead of just XYZSweetPotatoes.com)*. The tracked link still brings you to the exact same web page though.

*For the record, not all affiliate links are structured that way or even remotely close to that, I’m just giving an example.

Affiliate programs all have different terms, but let’s say with good ol’ XYZ that I get 2% of sales. If you visit their website by clicking my affiliate link and then make a sweet potato purchase from them (right then or, in most cases, within a longer specified time frame), XYZ would pay me 2% of whatever you spent. It’s essentially a referral fee.

Again, all programs vary as far as compensation structure, but basically affiliate links allow bloggers to get a small monetary kickback from purchases their followers make because of them.

Now let’s talk about why the hell you’re ordering sweet potatoes online … 😉

So basically I can’t trust anything bloggers recommend if they link to it with an affiliate link?

That’s not the case at all! There’s a big difference between a sponsored post and a reference to a favorite product using an affiliate link (although sponsored posts may very well include affiliate links).

Let me use Amazon as an example. Amazon has an affiliate program. Amazon also sells everything under the sun. So let’s say I fall in love with ABC Nail Polish after a friend recommended it to me and I want to include it in my monthly roundup post of favorite things. When putting together the post, I’ll see if you can buy ABC on Amazon. If you can, I’ll link to the product page on Amazon using an affiliate link; if you can’t, I’ll link to the product page on ABCNailPolish.com. So I don’t see that as disingenuous; I see it as a viable way to turn a passion into a career. Hopefully you agree! 🙂

Remember, with affiliate links, the brand isn’t paying a blogger to mention them (that’s a sponsored post). They are providing financial incentive by giving a percentage of sales (or flat fee), but to be honest here, the financial kickback from the majority of affiliate links isn’t big enough to motivate even the most corrupt of bloggers to recommend a product that they don’t genuinely like. I can’t speak for the entire blogging community, but I know what I would NEVER promote a product I disliked, regardless of monetary incentive. Period.

How much do bloggers make from affiliate links?

Totally depends on the size of the blog and social media following. For the average blogger, I don’t think you should expect affiliate links to be your biggest revenue stream by any means. They’re certainly not for me anyway. I do still think it’s a worthwhile monetization strategy, however, for top-trafficked posts and in the event a blog post goes viral. For example, if I use a sneaker affiliate link in the outfit details of one of my workout posts, that one link will probably generate me 10 cents over time. No literally. Ten pennies.

Now let’s say I use a Stitch Fix affiliate link in a review post on my latest delivery and that post goes viral on Pinterest. Now the reach of that link goes beyond my immediate following to all the non-Pumps & Iron readers who stumble upon the post via Pinterest. That affiliate link has the potential to generate a more significant amount.

My best advice for bloggers is to start by making a list of the products you absolutely love, use all the time in real life, and mention frequently on the blog. Research if the brand has an affiliate program. Apply to it if they do. Those are the affiliate links that are going to perform the best because they’re associated with products you constantly use and would be talking about anyway.

How does clicking an affiliate link affect me?

The most important thing to know is that purchasing via affiliate link does not cost you anything. There’s no added referral fee or hidden charges or anything like that. In some cases, affiliate programs actually allow bloggers to offer their referrals a discount. So from a monetary standpoint, you’re either positively affected or not affected at all.

Affiliate networks use anonymous info of yours to make sure your activity is credited to the correct referrer. Don’t freak out! We’re not talking about SSN, the names of your children, the passcode to unlock your iPhone or anything like that. When your computer uses the Internet, it has it’s own unique IP address. As far as it relates to affiliate links, the affiliate network can see that a certain IP address went from pumpsandiron.com over to Amazon.com using my tracked link and then completed a purchase.

A friend of mine was worried I’d be able to see how much she spent shopping online if she used an affiliate link of mine, but there’s no personally identifying information shared with me at all. I can see a purchase of X dollars was made and my kickback from it was X dollars but I can’t see anything about who placed the order. Fear not, your secret Amazon Prime addiction is safe. 😉

How does using an affiliate link on my blog affect SEO?

I’m not an SEO expert by any means, but if you’re a blogger using affiliate links, you should make sure they’re nofollow. This website is a really good resource if you’re new to the whole nofollow vs. dofollow thing. To really oversimplify things (because that’s about as deep as my understanding of it goes haha), if a company is paying you to link to them, Google doesn’t want to give them credit for traffic from that link. Even if the website is reputable and awesome, this is a good policy! Think about it: If crappy, unauthoritative websites can just pay for traffic to increase their ranking then your Google searches would be super frustrating.

By adding the nofollow tag to sponsored/affiliate links, you’re telling Google, “hey there Googz, don’t count the traffic from this link towards the site’s ranking–it’s a paid link.” If you don’t do this, Google might ding your website’s SEO ranking. Better safe than sorry!

Affiliate Networks & Programs I Use

Most brands use a third party to manage their affiliate programs. These third party networks act as a manager, streamlining the connection between brand and influencer. There are a ton–CJ, Impact Radius, ShareASale, the list goes on. Here are ones I personally focus on and utilize most frequently on the blog:

Amazon Associates

Because you can buy almost anything via Amazon these days, I use this affiliate linking program for general products (fitness equipment, beauty products, books, etc.).

Shopstyle

I use this for activewear and general clothing items. In workout posts, for example, I’ll always list my outfit details and sometimes even include a widget with items to recreate a similar look. Shopstyle is like a one-stop-shop when it comes to fashion. You can search a database of TONS of brands all within the same interface so it really helps streamline things. Instead of joining a separate affiliate program for each individual clothing brand you wear, you can use Shopstyle for (almost) all of them.

A little tip for new bloggers–while Shopstyle makes things convenient, if there’s a particular brand you wear all the time, it may be worthwhile to see if they have a separate affiliate program. I’ve found that the commissions are usually higher going directly with an individual brand than through Shopstyle or rewardStyle (<–same idea as Shopstyle but it’s invite only and really more for fashion bloggers).

Commission Junction

I first joined Commission Junction specifically for Stitch Fix. I had done a blogger trip with Stitch Fix and shortly after they invited me to join their affiliate program via CJ. Once I joined CJ, I then had access to the countless other brands using their platform so I applied to programs with those that were a good fit for my blog. The two I utilize most frequently on Pumps & Iron (in addition to Stitch Fix) are Shopbop and Revolve. I’ve been a loyal (“obsessive” is probably the better word choice haha) online shopper with Shopbop and Revolve for years and years–long before I ever started blogging–which makes the promotion of these brands so natural and fitting.

What’s made CJ a favorite over other affiliate platforms is that they really go beyond just links and banner ads. I’ve had the opportunity to do some fun campaigns and post sponsorships because of them

One Offs

The other affiliate networks I use are really just one-offs that I’ll join specifically for a brand that I’m obsessed with who uses that platform. One example would be Fabletics. I have a ton of their workout clothing and wear it frequently on the blog so it made sense to join their affiliate program when they invited me via AvantLink. Is AvantLink ever going to be one of my major sources of blog income? Probably not unless a blog post about Fabletics happens to go viral. Is it worth the hassle of managing yet another affiliate network for one brand? In some cases my answer is no, but again, I wear Fabletics gear all the time. In this case, I think it is.

Some other affiliate platforms I’ve either used in the past or currently use:

And I’m sure there are another 100 out there that I haven’t heard of. This, my friends, is why filing taxes is such a disaster for bloggers (ha!).

Phew, ok, long post. And kinda boring. But it’s important to me to have all this information out there as I build up a resource section for my blog.

Any questions? Leave a comment! Have some info to add? Please do!

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