So the Federal Trade Commission has this rule that means I'm legally obligated to tell you every single solitary time I get anything, material or financial, that is in any way related to this blog. As Tim Ferriss so eloquently puts it:
Per the FTC rules, if I interview someone and they grab the bill for lunch, I would need to disclose this. Ditto if I use an Amazon link that gets me 8 cents instead of an Amazon link that gets me 0 cents. If someone gives me a comfy t-shirt with a logo and I wear it in a photo, same deal. Disclaimers all over the place.
I don't know about you, but I'd find that distracting as hell. I'd probably stop reading after the first paragraph because the disclaimers would be constantly yanking me out of reader-space.
Fuck that noise. I can't help you if my posts are so full of caveats that you quit reading after a sentence or two. I'm putting all my disclosures right up front here so that you can see, loud & clear, what I'm up to.
The Rebel Lux Design Blog is about building community before it's ever about making money
As such, you'll never see me recommend a product unless it's something I've personally tried & tested. I'm here because I want to help you reach for your goals and achieve them. That requires me - both practically and ethically - to be absolutely honest about what I've tried, what's worked, and what hasn't. Yes, you'll occasionally see me discuss products that I haven't liked: this is actually really important, because everybody's planner journey is different. Things that work for me might not work for you, and conversely, things that didn't work for me may be exactly what you need. For this reason I will sometimes talk about items that I didn't find useful. But you'll always see me talk about why I didn't find it useful, so that you have the information you need to decide for yourself if it's something you want to try.
An affiliate link means that I have an account with that company, and if you choose to purchase your product through my affiliate link, I may earn a small commission. That's it. There's NEVER any additional cost to you - and in the case of Erin Condren, it'll actually save you money because buying through an affiliate link like this one gets you $10 off.
Most of my affiliate links are to Amazon, simply because that's where I do most of my own shopping so that tends to be where I find the things I want to share here on the blog. However, if I'm talking about a particular product, I usually prefer to link directly to the manufacturer's site instead of using an affiliate link. I want you to be able to get your information straight from the source. The only times I'll use an Amazon affiliate link instead of a non-affiliate manufacturer link is if 1) the product is difficult or impossible to locate/buy on the manufacturer's site, or 2) the manufacturer is charging more for an item than Amazon does. You'll find that a lot of my link choices revolve around making sure that my readers are getting the best possible deal; I am here to support you, not the other way around!
Since I'm a graphic designer, one of the biggest ways I can help my readers is by custom-designing the printable products that they want but can't find elsewhere. This is time- and energy-intensive work. I deserve to be paid a living wage for the effort I'm putting in, but I don't want to have to charge any patron $200 just for a set of printable inserts. That would be absurd! But if I had to charge my hourly rate for the value of the work I'm putting in, that's what these products would cost.
By listing items in my online shops, I can spread that $200 out across multiple purchases, so that I am still paid for my time but I never have to charge a single person for the entire cost of the piece. My work gets respected, and you get a steal of a deal on products that you're already shopping for. Everyone wins!
I don't currently sell advertising space on Rebel Lux, but I hope to in the future. The reason that I don't currently sell advertising space is because... (drumroll please)... I don't have relationships with any products or companies that I think are worth your attention. I'm not interested in spamming you with content that isn't going to help you in some measurable, practical way. If / when I offer ads in the future, you can be confident that it's for a product or service I've personally used, and that I honestly believe it'll make your planning journey better.
Sponsored posts are essentially infomercials. It means that a company has paid a blogger (whether with money, goods, or services) to talk up their product to the blog's audience, and to link back to their site so that the company can make money off that blog's audience. It's one giant post-long advertisement.
There are plenty of bloggers out there who manage to do this in ethical ways. For myself, however, writing sponsored posts would make me feel unforgivably skeezy, even if it was a product or company I genuinely liked. I want my reviews to stay genuine. I never, ever want to feel like my influence has been bought & paid for. As such, you will NEVER see sponsored posts on Rebel Lux. I just plain don't like 'em.
Free goods in exchange for reviews
You will, however, probably see occasional reviews of products I've received for free in exchange for my opinion. These feel very different to me than sponsored posts because there's no contractual obligation to put a positive spin on the product - I'm absolutely free to verbally eviscerate the item and/or company if I believe it's warranted. (I'm a painfully positive person, so it's pretty unlikely that I'd ever do that. The point is merely that I could.)
If someone wants to help me generate more useful content for my readers by sending me a product to review, I'll take it. And I will be 100% honest about my opinion of it.
That's all there is!
There you have it. These are the ways in which I am materially compensated for the work I put into Rebel Lux. But all of this stuff is pretty take-it-or-leave-it: the real reward for what I do is the community of amazing people who've been brought together by our shared love of this wacky little hobby called planning.
Won't you join us?