January 2018 Q&A | Part 1

Hello, Donnas!

I am so excited to do my first Q&A ever! I attempted to write a Q&A a few months back but didn’t have the interest needed to write a complete post about it! I am so happy that this time around, I actually got a good amount of questions from you guys and even better, they are questions that I am excited to answer!! Since I started posting every day, I have grown so much with my blog and really enjoy devoting time to creating content for all of you! Without further ado, here are the answers to all of your questions!

Q: Do you have any tips on Influenster and what to do? I’m kinda new to it and was wondering how you got a voxbox!!

A: Okay, so for any of you who do not know what Influenster is, it’s an influencer marketing company that connects brands with individuals. Two other similar companies I have used and enjoyed are Crowdtap and Bzz Agent. The best part about these companies is that you do not have to be a blogger to join these! You simply create an account and connect your social media (blog or personal accounts) and start taking surveys or answering questions! It’s also important to completely fill out your profile for each account. They’ll ask you what your income range is, how large your household is, how many pets you own, etc! When it comes to surveys and reviews, each site is set up differently.

For Influenster specifically, the surveys are called “snaps” the more snaps you answer, the better your chances are at getting a product to sample! You can also search for products you use and review them or answer users questions about them. Basically, the more active you are completing tasks on this site, the more likely you are to get something in the mail! Using Influenster, I haven’t personally gotten any of their mixed Vox Boxes. Every box I have gotten has been one specific full sized product to try out. My most recent product was the Garnier Smoothing Treat 1 Minute Hair Mask. From what I have seen, most people receive similar products but I have heard of a few people receiving high end makeup products! My biggest piece of advice is to review as many high end products as you can that you’ve used. I think they use your snaps and reviews to determine what products most closely fit your taste. The products that Influenster sends are most often health and beauty products.

In contrast, Bzz Agent has a basic set of surveys then campaign qualifier surveys will show on your account to determine your eligibility to test a certain product. This company has quickly become my favorite because they recently sent me a pair of Reebok sneakers that retail for $130! What?! I know it’s unreal! I have gotten a lot of products from Bzz Agent in the past but the sneakers definitely took the cake. Other products were a lot lower in price range and similar to things you would get with the other two companies.

Crowdtap is the most different between the three. Crowdtap has a list of companies that they partner with and you have to choose which companies you want to do activities, called missions, for. The more activities you complete, the more points you will get and after you earn so many points, they’ll email you a code for a free $5 Amazon gift card! In addition to those rewards, brands will have missions where you will receive a sample and complete surveys about your thoughts of the product. I have received dog food, cleaning product and hair care products from Crowdtap in the past as well as a few Amazon gift cards!

All of these companies have their benefits and downfalls but I definitely recommend you try out each of them to see which one fits your tastes!

Q: What made you want to start a blog?

A: Honestly, I think I originally started my blog for all of the wrong reasons. Christmas break of 2016, I was watching YouTube videos with my boyfriend, Brian, and his brother of people reviewing all sorts of crazy items. I thought it was awesome that these people were getting all sorts of free stuff and wanted to try to be a product reviewer. I created the blog Monogrammed Pineapples because I really enjoyed watching Kelly Prepster’s videos at the time and liked her preppy style. I thought it would be awesome to receive Preppy styled items and review them for others to read. The blog was pretty successful and I was receiving all sorts of items but I started getting over my head with all of the products I was receiving and couldn’t keep up with writing genuine in depth reviews like I wanted to and was constantly taking trips to the mail room at my college (which is quite a walk in the Buffalo winters from where my dorm was. I also learned that when I had to write about a certain thing, I didn’t have any real creativity in the process. It became a sort of mundane process and I quickly lost interest. I also felt like I created the blog about something that I admired, Preppy style, instead of what described me.

That’s when I decided to brainstorm a name that fit me and my idea of what I wanted my blog to look like better. I was moving down to NYC after graduation and absolutely adore the city and have since I was a kid, therefore I wanted that to be a part of my blog name. I also am very proud of the fact that my family has Italian roots and felt so connected to that part of my life when I traveled to Italy in 2011. That is where the second half of my blog name, Donna came from. In Italian, it is the equivalent to Madame and indicates respect. I strive to be a respectable and kind person who has a positive impact on those around me and I wanted to attract other lovely ladies to my blog who were similar to myself.

Looking back, it was a tad bit of a mistake including a word that could be mistaken for a name because I have been addressed as “Donna” by a lot of brands, other bloggers and friends on Instagram. Although this is true, I still love the name and will keep it for the foreseeable future.

Although this is a long answer to the question, I created this blog, my second try at the blogging world because I wanted to make a creative difference. I didn’t know what that difference was going to be until recently, when I decided I want to spread positivity and kindness throughout my blog and onto all of you. You can read more about that in this post.

My blog is my own little piece of the internet where people can go if they want to hear more about what I have to say and honestly, it’s really cool to see my stats increase and read all of your comments because it shows me that you all enjoy the content I’m creating. Although this blog is completely different from my first go round, I enjoy MD way more than I ever would have imagined and it has become such a fulfilling part of my life!

Q: How do you manage to find time to blog? Do you keep a schedule to set aside time?

A: I honestly am not the greatest at managing time to blog. I wish I could give you my perfect system to planning ahead content and schedule of when I write posts but since I have started to post every day, it has been a little tough. Every day, I write the post that is going to go up that night. That is why some posts go up at 8-9pm ish and others don’t make it up until closer to 11pm like this one. The only planning I do is brainstorming 1-2 Days before about which posts I want to write within the next few days.

I didn’t know that I was going to jump in feet first to post everyday until January 1st. November of last year was a really great month for blog traffic and also the month where I created the most content. This was proof to me that my blog had potential and I wasn’t dedicating enough time for it to be the best that it can be. Since I wasn’t planning this big change ahead of time, I didn’t have time to plan my first few posts, which threw me for a loop trying to catch up.

That being said, my goal for this weekend and next is to make a plan for posts for February and write a few ahead of time in my spare time to get ahead of the game! Once I find a happy medium of planning, I will dedicate a post solely to that and share my process with you.

I think this month I learned the best way to increase your traffic is to share a picture on Instagram that corresponds with your post immediately after you publish it and share the blog post title on your story as well and link the post in your bio. Instagram has been my #1 tool for promoting my blog and I always make sure I set aside time to create a blog post, insta post, and insta story/ Snapchat post to go up simultaneously!

But with all that said, I scramble every night after my day is over to get my planned post up on the blog!

This post is getting quite long so I am going to cut it off here and label it as a part one. I have 4 other questions that I wasn’t able to answer in this post, but will be in a part two post that I will publish tomorrow! Keep an eye out for that one because it will be full of in depth answers to great questions as well.

QOTD: “You are what you do and not what you say you will do.”

Until next time,

Chelsea

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