Thuh Blog: New Look and Linkees

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.