Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Process of Product Reviews (Nothing is Free.)

I have been doing product reviews for years. And this is a very long and complicated process. I got an email reply to a pitch that kinda irked me because PEOPLE DON’T KNOW that this is my full time job. That when I get a product that’s my payment. I don’t work for free. So I hope this helps you to understand, all of you that when you’re going through the process of getting products for review you’re actually working.

First off you have to build up your content and have the numbers. The google gods are real. Once you work your blog and brand up by posting daily or at least three times a week, getting a social media fan base then you can start to pitch.

So you pick the company you want to work with you and you email with with a message stating that you want to work with them to review their product and in exchange for getting their product you get give an honest review. This means using the product, taking photos and then writing up a detailed honest review for your blog. In the mean time you also have to advertise said blog post on:
Facebook
Facebook Fan Page for your blog
Blogger groups that you may or may not be apart of that will allow you to advertise your blog posts.
Twitter
Instagram with the photo of the product
Often times you’ll have to do an entire YouTube video on the product itself.
Now that periscope is a big thing you’ll have to do that as well.
G+
And on top of all of this depending on the product you may or may not have to do extra write ups for gift guides, more videos more pictures, more advertisements. Plus all of the links above should be broadcast no less than once a day every day. If you’re doing a giveaway then that triples. Then there’s the side bar links or images, and the research on the product itself on how other people use it, what other people thought of it, the good the bad and the ugly and why this product worked or didn’t work for you despite of what everyone else said.
Also you’ve also got the review process on Amazon.com if that’s part of the deal or Etsy.

Now. Let’s go over the anatomy of the blog post itself because everything above is advertising the actual post.
First there’s the picture. And it better be a good picture. No cellphone pictures allowed guys. If you can’t afford a good DSLR camera at least get a good point and shoot and at the very least GIMP or edit your photos on an online website such as PicMonkey. Also you should water mark every single one of your photos so that way someone else doesn’t take them. Photo taking can take upwards of an 1-5 hours at least because your’re going to want to get the product packaging, the product, the product with the packaging (so the brand name shows.) then you using the product. This also includes the editing time.
So now you’re inserting the images into Flickr or your photo hosting site of choice and placing that link into the blog, then you’re writing the blog post. This is the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How much? Where did the product come from, how much it costs, a disclosure that you did get this product IN EXCHANGE for your honest review. IF the company OK’s a giveaway then you add that to the END of the product review. Every single question you could possibly think of will have to be answered.
Then you edit it, take notes, edit again, search the product’s other reviews as stated above and pick one or two key statements or very low 1-3 star reviews and dispute them if the product did prove amazing, and working. If you have problems with shipping which I did just have a problem with one of the products for my gift guide you have to include that, any customer service exchange you have to include that.
So my pretties, nothing is free. We may be getting products but we are also doing a lot of work for the companies we are working for. Even Influenster boxes have To-Do lists that you have to do. Its part of the job. And influenster.com isn’t even as detailed as a blogger’s product reviews. So if you’re going to say to a blogger that “Yes we’d love to work with you, but we aren’t willing to send you the product.” Be prepared to pay. Some bloggers have package deals. Others by the hour. Plus compensation for the monies spent on the product to begin with that you the company could have just sent for the said work written in this blog post.
Until next time my darlings!
XOXO
~ GeekyMamaPlans

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And 2016 starts off pretty good…

I hope I didn’t just jinx myself with that title. Seriously, 2015 was terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for me and I just want 2016 to BE GOOD. And so far it has been. My surgeon signed off on me having to see a home health nurse FINALLY 6 FREAKING MONTHS LATER, and several abscesses, ER visits and hospital stays later. But my original nurse got a new job so I got a new, not as good and basically bitch nurse that was very rough and made my wounds bleed a lot more than they should have been bleeding. So for me to finally having the OK to be discharged is a relief.

DJ is working full time, which means bills are getting paid, slowly and steady they are getting paid. Sometimes its weekly, others its bi weekly. But we are getting caught up. We even treated ourselves to a stereo system through Aaron’s and a new bedroom set (we needed a new bed, I was waking up in pain every day from that bed frame┬ábeing broken.)

My 31st birthday is the 24th. when did I get old? I mean old enough to have my child hood icons start dying off? Robin Williams? David Bowie? ALAN RICKMAN? I just can’t. I’ve been a fan of Rickman since he was the voice of god in Dogma. I fell in love with the tortured character of Severus Snape, and he brought it to life with his velvet voice that no other actor could, I had feels upon feels for the depressed robot in hitchhickers guide through the galaxy.

I woke up the night he died, at midnight and I couldn’t get to sleep until around 2 am. I felt a shift in the universe. A disturbance in the force, that the world would never be the same. First the Goblin King passed away and I’d been watching the Labyrinth with my kids, and listening to Bowie’s soundtracks and treasuring that he embraced the weird and accepted the oddities of life.

Rickman played the Villain. Or the Sarcastic. Or the Depressed. But in real life he was a kind man, he was generous. He was the kind of human being that I hope my sons grow up to be like. Daniel Radcliffe wrote that whenever you needed him (Rickman) he would drop whatever it was that he was doing and he’d be there.

The world lost a truly great man. This week we are all Slytherin.

And Alan Rickman is apparently watching a kickass concert up in heaven with Lenny, Bowie, and Queen’s lead singer… Just saying.

To import or not to import….

I was digging around my external hard drive getting rid of all my ‘free’ printables for the 2015 calendar year for my planner addiction. (Seriously they may be a free download but the Pretty Pretty Planner literally cost me $60 in printer ink and paper because it kept screwing up. I’m taking that bitch to staples next time.)

Well I was searching “2015” and I found my export of mama-uncensored.com’s database from WordPress which means that karyn.nu’s database is also there. THREE YEARS worth of posts. My son’s birth story… memories that I want to keep.

And some I don’t. Some I don’t want to remember, posts about my alleged step son’s behavioral issues, his assault on my son, him calling me a F*ing B*tch, dealing with his psychopathic lying mother…

I could important and go through and delete those posts, but that would be time consuming. Or I could import them and immediately archive them right?

I dunno. I’ve been struggling with this for a few days. I mean three years is a lot of work, a lot of memories, a lot of stuff to just store on a hard drive collecting dust. I mean I know that this is a free blog and that one day when we are more financially sound I will get my domain back again and I will get back in the swing of things- I mean I already am. I’ve collected a few vendors that’s apart of my gift guides. I’m planning pitches to various cruelty free companies, and even have a blog planner in an arc mini (8×5) that I keep at my desk. I’m also getting a desk put upstairs so that way I can work while the children are sleeping at night. Which will be awesome.

There’s a lot that I decided I want for the year 2016. Planning my wedding for one, and for two.. just being happy and healing with the memories of surgeries up surgeries and medical emergencies.

I’m also doing the #resetgirlslistersgottalistchallenge and that’s been incredibly amazing. Getting back into crafts in general has been one of the best things for my mental health and healing. I just wish I could get rid of this writer’s block for fictional writing.

I used to write fanfiction and had a pretty good fan base. But its Chapter 13 and I just can’t continue with the story I mean, its been several years since I’ve even tried to read the story let alone type it up. I may have to fix that at some point.

My Simple Stories, Carpe Diem planner is finally all set up. It took forever to get the final order from the etsy shop. It was sent to the wrong post office over an hour away and then it was lost for like two days in the mail, but it finally came over three days late, but I love every bit of it. I won’t be ordering from that etsy seller again but instead the Reset Girl team, but I love the Simple stories line. YAY!

365 Blog Challenge… So far so good.

Geek Powered So I blogged yesterday in the midst of child wrangling and doing house work (read:Dishes.) and making sure that things were taken out for dinner so I didn’t actually get a chance to link the blog post. I’ll do that after this post.
My goal is to do several gift guides this year, Mother’s day, Father’s Day, and of course next Christmas. I have one product on its way here that I and DJ are reviewing as a team which is super exciting. I’m also going to be adding the Simple Stories Carpe Diem Planner to the gift guide as well because even thought I purchased it 100% out of pocket I absolutely love this product and the rumors are that there is a new line coming this year.
All in all things are pretty quiet around here. Between not feeling well and just all around child shenanigans nothing really of report is going on.
I did go to Target and over spent just a tad so I’m going to have to wait on the planner society kits that I wanted for my birthday. Which is fine because bills do come first. That’s my big goal this year is to pay bills first before play and to set up a savings account. I really want to get a good amount going for my surgery this coming summer and for our wedding next year.

I’ve been working really hard to declutter and purdge what we do not use and what we do not need around here as well, and while its going fine, its also hard to do this with out DJ being here to make sure I’m not getting rid of something that he may want or need.

Such is life.

 

2015 a year in review.

Geek PoweredWhat can I say about 2015. To go month by month would be tedious and rather boring. I mean come on. I’m a stay at home mother that until very recently had a very big problem and very long story that plagued a lot of my blog posts. And since that issues has thus been resolved on our end, I’d rather not talk about it here. This is my safe haven from the world. My voice and I won’t let that part of my real world life tarnish here. So moving on.

2015 broke me. I was completely destroyed this year. I felt like I had failed repeatedly as a mother, because I was too sick to care for my children. I was scared of being put back into the hospital after spending 7 weeks, and having 8 surgeries to save my life thanks to a complication rare as it was for an RNY gastric bypass patient to have. (2% of RNY gastric bypass patients have had this issues over all.)

I almost died 4 times had several emergency surgeries to fix what was going on with my body and here it is January 1st and I am still in daily agony thanks to a strangulated and encased hernia. I am facing another surgery to repair said hernia this summer and because the loose skin was part of the issue with the hernia happening in the first place, it will be removed.

After almost dying so many times I finally stood up for myself. Granted a lot of terrible things had to happen first but once the last straw fell and the camel’s back broke it was very clear to me that it was time to move on wards and upwards with out looking back.

The gas industry in my area never did pick up the way it was promised over and over again so DJ had no choice but to go back over the road. Thankfully the company he’s working with is very good about home time and if he needs to get home he needs to get home. I’m very thankful for this in many ways because I can talk to him daily on the cell phone and I know that we have steady income coming in. We are still in debt pretty good which is why I gave up my domains and have cut down on a lot of ‘wants’ vs ‘needs’. I did get a little bit nuts over Christmas but that’s a given considering the season.

But I am setting goals both personal, financial, and physical. DJ is working with me wholeheartedly on this and we are as always a team. I am forever grateful for this man.