Question #1: Have you ever had to convince your husband regarding the reason behind your blogging? Does he feel affected by the blog? Does it cause arguments?
Hey Brooke! I actually laughed out loud when I saw this question. I can imagine that issues like this probably come up a lot between us bloggers and our significant others (:
I don't ever have to convince Ryan that I should be a blogger (per say). Ryan has been supportive of my blog from day one. When I started it, we were living in the middle of nowhere. I was lonely and had nothing to do during the day. Then I started meeting a ton of wonderful friends. Ryan saw that the blog made me really happy and he loved that I was so passionate about something. Then, eventually, I started bringing in income from my blog. Once that started happening, my blog turned into my "job" as well as my hobby. Because we keep moving due to the Army, Ryan doesn't really want me to go back to work. If I wanted a full time job again, he would totally support me! But I love being at home and he LOVES having his laundry done and dinner on the table when he comes home (: Because I am happy, I'm contributing to our income, and I've met so many friends through Wifessionals, Ryan never really questions my blogging or the time I invest in it.
Now - Ryan believes that I have a motive behind every single picture I take, meal I create, adventure I plan...His most common phrase is, "Are you doing that just because you need a new blog post?!" He doesn't actually get mad, but he will make negative comments if I only put pictures on my blog Instagram and neglect our personal one. He also hates that I keep part of dinner set aside so I can take pictures the next day. Many a time I have come to the kitchen to find he has completely polished off any remains from dinner. His rebuttal: "I am not going to starve for a blog post!" I make him PLENTY of food, but he can seriously eat a horse some nights.
The only arguments or hurt feelings we have experienced is when I used to play around on my computer, tweet or text AFTER he got home. I do have from 5am-6pm to take care of all blog related work, so there wasn't an excuse. I had to make the conscious effort to put all technology away once he walks through the door. We don't have very much time together during the week, so I knew my priority needed to be Ryan (not the blog) once he came home. I think that's important for us all to remember - it's so easy to get wrapped up in our phones and computers, but it should never cut into time with the people we care about most!
Question #2: What are some tips for a good review? I have 3 "on deck" & I want to make sure the people I am representing are satisfied with what I write (not willing to sacrifice honesty though...)?
Hi Melissa! So a couple of things...I ALWAYS review an item honestly. If it is going to be a negative review, I always contact the company and let them know how I felt before I do the post. They were kind enough to send me the free product, so out of respect, I give them the chance to ask that I not review the item if I wasn't satisfied. Surprisingly, the 2-3 companies that I had this issue with, still wanted me to post the review so readers could see a well rounded representation of their product. I feel that by doing reviews this way, I maintain good relationships with companies. I never bash the product, but rather find a tasteful way to point out BOTH the things I liked and didn't like about the product. Secondly, take quality pictures for your review. I hate when bloggers just use pictures from a company's website. I have to do this now and then, but for the most part, I use all my own photography. Companies LOVE this and they will even ask you if they can use your photography sometimes (with credits, of course)! Lastly, don't write 3 sentences. This is especially true for valuable items. If you write short, poor quality reviews, other companies will see this and won't want to work with you. If you want to do reviews, take the time to do them above and beyond. The better they are, the more companies will come knocking at your door.
Question #3: I want to do a giveaway to thank my readers, but I don't want to "buy" followers (ie, make them follow me to participate). How would I go about this and still gain a lot of entries?
Hello Samantha! So I do giveaways for two main reasons: In conjunction with product reviews or my monthly giveaway for my sponsors. Those are typical and happen every month. Now I have done separate ones as a thank you to my readers, they just aren't as frequent as the two groups above. I want to address your "buy followers" comment. Usually for giveaways, some sort of money is invested to host them. Now if you are doing one on your own as a thank you, that may look like a $30 gift card to Starbucks. If you are doing a larger one (for, say, a Michael Kors watch) that takes quite an investment. The girls chipping in to bring you that prize do so to gain some exposure. In exchange, you have the option to follow them. I don't see giveaways as buying followers, but rather as a way to get your blog's name out there. If you were Target or Cover Girl, and you never spent any money on advertisement, chances are you wouldn't stay competitive in your market. The same goes for bloggers - if you just sit and type your heart out, but never go out trying to find new blog friends, very few people will "stumble upon" your blog. That's just my personal view on it (: As far as your specific question about gaining entries without readers having to follow you, there are a few options. They could leave a comment stating their favorite past post of yours, they could tweet out about the giveaway, they could instagram about the giveaway, etc...All those things can be done to gain entries, but none of them require readers to follow you in any way. There are plenty of creative options for entries that don't involve "following".
Question #4: What is the one accessory you can't live without?
Well besides my totally GORGEOUS wedding bands that Ryan so kindly gave me....I would say that I just can't live without a good pair of big pearl earrings. Something about them can just polish off a look. They make you look 10 times cuter when you are bumming around in sweats as well. I always keep 2-3 pairs on hand as my go to earrings. I love wearing different accessories whenever I can, but I will wear big pearl earrings at least a couple times a week until the day I die!
Question #5: What is your favorite thing to do with Ryan?
Hi Ashley! I could literally do ANYTHING with Ryan and have a good time. We seriously find the strangest adventures. One time I took him to Walmart, handed him a $20 bill, and we each had 20 minutes to run through the store finding items to make a fun night at home. It's just a perk of being married to your best friend. But one of my most favorite things is Saturday mornings. Ryan wakes up anywhere from 4-5am during the week to head to PT with the Army. Unless I can't sleep, I never see him until night time. So Saturdays we wake up and I ALWAYS make some kind of big breakfast. Our favorites are some kind of flavored pancakes, biscuits & gravy, chocolate chip waffles or french toast. He always makes pressed coffee and hangs out in the kitchen with me while I whip up whatever we are having. We just talk and laugh and spend time together. Then we curl up on the couch and watch at least an hour of something on the DVR while we eat. It's so relaxing and just a way we spend some quality time together. I love snuggling up with him after we are done eating and just "being". It's the best (:
I hope you guys enjoyed seeing some of your questions answered! I'll be back next Tuesday with more!
I'd love for you to submit a question for me to answer & for you to be featured next week!!!