Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve had a few friends and family members ask some great questions about the logistics of blogging and about my blog specifically. In the interest of being organized, I’m putting them all here.
What is an affiliate link?
Affiliate links will refer you to a website with which I have signed up under their affiliate program. Ultimately, what that means is that if you click my link and purchase within a specified amount of time – I get a tiny commission off that sale. This does not impact the prices you would pay. Think of it as me being compensated for directing your attention to their website.
How will I know if a link is an affiliate link?
By law, I am required to disclose when I have affiliate links in a post. If its there, you’ll be aware.
I’ve heard other bloggers get stuff for free or get paid to write posts. Are you doing that?
No, not yet. I’m not big enough to attract attention and haven’t found any entities (companies, tourism boards, etc…) that I want to pitch to. Once I do, I’ll update this. Typically, the progression as I see it is: affiliate programs, potentially seeking trade (posts/social media exposure for a discount), products to review, and then global domination. If any of those opportunities pop up for me I will always disclose (1/2 because I’m required to and 1/2 because I don’t want to be dishonest). Further, all reviews will be honest.
But I see some reviews up with no disclosure about sponsorship….
Right. Those are places I just liked, loved, or generally had something to say about.
So should I be suspicious of things you recommending stuff in posts?
Nah. I hate when people try to pack posts with affiliate links just because they can. I don’t want to be one of those people.
Why are you concerned with making money? Don’t you have a real job?
Well, two actually. Blogging started off as a way to kill some time writing about things I already knew or was good at. I was also having a mighty hard time repatriating and needed a passion project to keep me from falling deep down the rabbit hole that is Youtube on a nightly basis. Once I realized that there is a great community around travel blogging (and both travel and blogging as their own categories), I decided I wanted to keep at it. Then I got my first “that was really helpful comment” and I knew I was in it for the long-haul. It started with a few small things that I would purchase here and there – things like a domain, or items to test out – and then I wanted to take it to another level, so I started spending to go on frequent trips.
I’d be happy if I can make $250/year off this thing – that covers the cost of the site, domain, and any potential other things I want to do (I need a developer and a graphic designer by the end of 2017!)
Sounds pretty easy.
Ok, not a question, but still relevant. It’s not easy. Putting words and pictures on a website is, in theory, quite simple. I have opted to not use a different type of website (I use wordpress.org, not wordpress.com or squarespace). Also putting your heart into a piece then seeing that it has 3 hits is crappy – so putting work into promoting content.
Anything you don’t like so far?
Uh yeah. I don’t like having to learn html and web development stuff (though I do know it’s important, which is why I press on). I don’t love the idea that my business is now other people’s business. It’ a little scary.