Thuh Blog: New Look and Linkees

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I wanted to write about some changes I’ve been making to my blog and kind of ‘splain myself.

The Theme – I was rockin’ that WordPress “Albeo” theme for quite a while and I was really bored with it. I look at the darn thing every day and it just got old, ya know? It’s hard to find a format what will work with my content, mainly the larger photos I like to post…the better to see those scrapbook products with, my dear. I road tested a few new formats and have settled on this one.

The Header – This is my first theme with a customizable header and I finally figured out how to make one, LOL! The photo I have up there now is one I took of the Colosseum when I visited Rome in October 2006. I hope to occasionally change up the header photo.

The Memory Works Stuff – This is the main change I wanted to talk about. I’ve been a Memory Works consultant since February 2007 and I’ve had this blog since January 2007. So for the last 2+ years, I’ve kind of made it a point not to mix the two. My blog is about my scrapbook obsession, period. In almost 470 posts, I haven’t really talked about Memory Works or the products I sell. I’ve mentioned that I host crops, my “customers,” etc. but I think I’ve been pretty good about keeping this an obsessed scrapbooker’s blog vs. a Memory Works blog.

In all honesty, part of the reason I did it at the beginning was that they would’ve kicked me off of CKMB (Creating Keepsakes Message Board) if this was an MW blog. Their rule was that if you linked to your blog in your siggie, the blog’s primary purpose could not be to promote your biz. One time I had a close call when the CK tech people sent me a warning that I would be banned if I didn’t get rid of my blog link in my siggie. I politely explained that, while I was a consultant, the blog was a personal blog not a Memory Works blog. Then my people called their people and – badda bing – we came to an understanding. Nah, but that little episode did make me ultra paranoid about keeping it un-MW because I didn’t want to be sent packing from CKMB.

Well, since then, I’ve chosen to go packing on my own so CKMB has not been the issue for some time. I guess I just always felt weird about self-promoting, or coming off as a salesperson instead of as your scrapbooking friend who just wants to talk about the cute new stuff, ya know? But I guess the time has finally come where I can reconcile it all. This is my damn blog and if I want to talk about Memory Works and share a link or publicize my products, I’m going to! For shizzle. I figure after all the free publicity I’ve given, what, hundreds (?) of other companies over the years, it’s my turn. When I share products with you, I always make a point to provide a link where you can see more (even though some of them make it difficult or impossible to do so, something I just don’t get). My policy was to, if possible, link to the product manufacturer or however I could get you closest to the source of something. For instance, when I wrote about the Share and Tell system, I linked directly to the Pebbles Inc. website, not to an online store who sells it, or to another blogger that wrote about it. I mean, I might do all those other links in addition to, but I have always tried to drive traffic to the manufacturer.

But from now on, you will see me linking to product listings on my Memory Works site. I truly hope that doesn’t offend anyone. Why? Because I love you! I don’t want to ever become a ‘shove it down your throat’ salesperson. Heck, I can’t stand people like that (an example…a school mom I know wears her Pampered Chef polo to every. single. school event. I mean, seriously??). But I figure if I’m taking the time, love, and devotion to write up a product I love, and MW happens to carry said product, I’m going to link to my own site. Maybe you will never, ever, in a million years place an order with me and that is totally fine. But a girl can try, can’t she? {As it happens, the link to my Memory Works site is currently the “top click” on my blog and yet only one online friend has placed an order with me so far.}

This is kind of a side note but one thing that amazes me is that for all the free product endorsements I’ve provided for two years, with linkees to the manufacturer, I can probably count on one hand the number of times they have thanked me for the link. Either they are ungrateful, or they don’t know how to check their stats or run a Google check, which are basics I’d think scrapbook companies would possess. Anyway, I just don’t want you to think that all those manufacturers will be sorry to see my links go, LOL. They never even noticed them in the first place.

And just for the record, I have never received any sort of compensation for writing this dang blog. It has all been on my own time, for no financial gain. The few times I’ve received a free demo product in the mail, I’ve disclosed that in the review (the only ones coming to mind are the Ribbon Ring and the Angel Baby scrapbooking kit). I could have chosen to make some money off my blog with ads or some such, but I never did do that. I hope this MW thang is a happy medium that doesn’t bug you too much.

I guess that’s it. If I get out of hand with the Memory Works stuff, to the point where it’s so overdone that you run from the room screaming…tell me. A good smack upside the head usually works. Then in your best New York accent, say, “Snap out of it!” just like Cher said to Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck. I mean it.

If you have any thoughts on the whole matter, please share. Even if you hate everything I just said. Seriously.

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12 Comments on Thuh Blog: New Look and Linkees

  1. Junglewife
    June 10, 2009 at 2:53 am (5 years ago)

    I think you are right on the money. It is your business and you are fine to promote it. I see no problem with that, as opposed to those who plug their business every chance they get (it seems like some of these businesses are more prone to that than others… Shaklee comes to mind! :-)) I have NO problem with you linking to your own business rather than the manufacturer. too bad more of them have not recognized the linkees you are sending them!!! Good luck with your business as you get it started back up again. :-)

    Reply
  2. Diana Fisher
    June 10, 2009 at 5:52 am (5 years ago)

    All I can say is, “You go girl!” Nicely put.

    Reply
  3. bonnierose
    June 10, 2009 at 6:41 am (5 years ago)

    I wholeheartedly agree with u Erika.. I really do. I’m like you cuz I blog cuz I like to blog. Period. I share all kinds of links and things on my blog too daily.. and ur right… never get any compensation for any of it.. why not promote yourself, what you’re doing – what you believe in??
    from one MW gal to another.. I say go for it!!
    Reach for the moon!
    I’ll be doing the same thing eventually.. just getting my feet wet into MW right now… so I hear ya!
    I think ur doing totally the right thing!
    Way to go.. I wish you all the success in the world!

    hugs bonnierose

    Reply
  4. Lucinda
    June 10, 2009 at 6:57 am (5 years ago)

    You know – who does the work? Your blog, your rules :)

    If you want to talk about/link to your biz – you sure should.

    Love it!

    Reply
  5. Mustangkayla
    June 10, 2009 at 8:46 am (5 years ago)

    I completely agree. I advertise my Memory Works on my blog for the same reason…it’s my blog, I’ll do with it what I want!

    Reply
  6. Jen M
    June 10, 2009 at 8:57 am (5 years ago)

    Well I think that you are right, it is your blog and you have every right to post what ever you want when ever you want to!! So go for it and good luck!!! :)

    Reply
  7. scrappysuzz
    June 10, 2009 at 10:39 am (5 years ago)

    Erika – please don’t feel bad for linking your business and talking about it. I’ve enjoyed your blog for a long time now. Too bad the other manufacturers didn’t give you your props, you totally deserve it girl! I also linked you to my blog last week. Thanks for keeping me amused and informed! :)

    Reply
  8. Denisewalks
    June 10, 2009 at 2:13 pm (5 years ago)

    I think it’s your blog and you should do whatever the &*^% you want to with it. Why not make money with it?
    I think CKMB is circling the drain (my opinion) and they are trying desperately to cling on to whatever business they have left. Putting your business information in your blog isn’t going to hurt them, lousy customer service and thinner magazines is.

    Reply
  9. Jill T
    June 11, 2009 at 7:51 am (5 years ago)

    Love your blog and have for a long time. It’s always the first scrapbook blog I check each day and that’s not going to change. It’s your blog, do what you want.

    On another note, I rented “New in Town” this weekend and LOVED it. Very cute rom-com. I never would have picked it up were it not for your post about it. Thanks!

    Reply
  10. CKReader
    June 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm (5 years ago)

    I, for one, have always wondered why you DIDN’T have ads on your site.

    Love your blog….and you know it! It’s always good to find a really long post from you….some of my favorite reading is on this blog!

    Reply

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