They really, r e a l l y do. I have never understood why so many people got their knickers in a twist over the FTC guidelines a few years back. Ethics SHOULD matter and folks shouldn't have to be told to adhere to them. But you know, we were all raised differently.. I suppose the policies put into place were adopted to keep the honest, honest. Note: That is one of many, many opinions I hold - and am not paid to have. However, I am perfectly willing to accept payment for that opinion, just sayin'.
Actually, I am not paid to form any opinion (am i doing something wrong?) - any and all opinions expressed on this site are my own unless I state otherwise.
So, If I recommend something that I may make a few cents in affiliate change on - or I rant, rave and ramble about a product I was given - you are still reading MY opinion. The good, the bad... the indifferent. More on that in a bit. At the end of the day, I do my very best not to let that influence my opinion - and I will always, always let you know when I have been given or paid for something.
MY PRODUCT REVIEW POLICIES:
... are simple ones.
This blog was a labor of love from the beginning, long before I could find ways to offset the cost or sample products that I probably would have bought anyway. It is driven by passion, not dollars - and I don't see that ever changing.
I share my honest thoughts and processes throughout this blog - regardless if I am given a product or if I have purchased it. I value the trust each of you has placed in me and plan to keep it. I worked incredibly hard to build a large following and I am slowly learning just how powerful and significant that is - I don't ever want to be the girl that abuses that. I want you to be as excited as I am about the things I love and I want to help you avoid the frustrations I have encountered along the way. I will show you what I find to be the pros + cons of whatever it is I am into at the time to help you make informed decisions on what you spend your hard earned money on. There are no perfect people, no perfect products and I don't want to be the person that pretends there are.
I believe in transparency and will always note when I have been compensated in any form for a post.
As much as I discuss my love of Starbucks, they sadly have NOT compensated me in any way, shape or form. (Though frankly, I wish they would.)
I'M AN OPEN BOOK:
Well, ok not literally... but below is a list (that i try to keep updated) of the products I have been given, compensation I have received or the affiliate programs I am a part of. If you need clarification about any of my professional relationships - just shoot me a note. In an effort to remain transparent, I go into a bit of (probably boring) detail on each of them.
I Participate In Amazon's Affiliate Program:
Within months of Amazon opening, I was smitten - long before the affiliate program began. This led to a lifetime addiction of ordering anything I could from Amazon. When they began the Prime program, I jumped on it - almost instant gratification at a fraction of the price I could get locally. Eventually, after realizing the affiliate program wasn't as intimidating as it seemed - I signed up to help offset the costs of running this site. It was a natural fit. I already shopped there, was already head-over-six-inch-heels in love with their speed, service and pricing - and already linked to products I loved without receiving any sort of commission.
So now, I get a very small percentage of any products I link to on Amazon's site - should you choose to buy them.
However - I only link to products I believe in, want or already use. Within my posts, I always let you know the context of why I am linking to it. I am always, always grateful for those that make their Amazon purchases through my site and it should be noted, I often use a portion of those percentages to host giveaways. Giving back? Totally rocks.
I Sell My Work Online:
And if you purchase it, I may receive profits from it and/or donate some of those profits to my favorite charities. Selling my work and services is just one facet of my career. I'm so-very-fortunate to work doing what I love. I link to my shops throughout my site and genuinely hope you'll purchase from them, but would never pressure you into doing so - unless of course, you want me to.
I Get Paid To Travel:
I know, don't hate on me. I usually disclose this clearly by stating it directly in a message at the bottom of a post in addition to referring to my clients within my posts and through hashtags on social media. The beautiful thing is that at least up until March 2016, I am not usually required to blog about my trips - just to share them on Instagram. So the content I am adding is genuinely because I loved it THAT much. The views I share are totally mine, unless of course the hubby has something to add as well. I share the good, the great, the mediocre and sometimes the bad - because let's face it, every situation has a bit of it all.
If I have a beyond horrible experience, I may choose to omit talking about that trip all together as I don't like to just bash things - but I won't sing its praises either. Fortunately, that is a rare occurrence. Like everything else - I try not to let the job shape the opinions I share.
I Work On Marketing Campaigns:
I have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing marketing agencies and brands over the last few years. I provide services like photography and promotion in exchange for payment and/or promotional products. It is a big part of my job, and I absolutely love it. I am still selective about which brands I work with though, I'm odd like that. I want to like what I talk about. I've never been good at faking it. (The hubby will vouch for that...)
I Get Paid To Write Articles (and books!):
It probably goes without saying - but the majority of the articles I write for print magazines or books - I get compensated for. Compensation ranges from a free copy of the publication or monetary payment - each situation is different. I am probably a bit biased when it comes to my work - but I try to tell you my honest thoughts on the things I contribute to.
AlwaysChrysti.com Paid Advertisements:
If and when I choose to ever accept paid ads on my sidebar - they will be noted as sponsors. I have chosen to currently not accept paid advertisements on my site, should this change I will update this blurb accordingly.
Dude - let's face it - free stuff is pretty darn awesome! From time to time I work with various companies and hold contests so that y'all can win some amazing stuff. I now also ask for a copy of the prizes offered for myself, as I want to be sure what I am promoting is a good thing. In addition I personally purchase prizes for giveaways too- either way, I let you know in the applicable posts.
If and when I use products I have been given - it'll be noted within the post. When time permits, I plan to update this page (or add another) with a master list containing all of them. The pages where I list the stuff I use also have notations stating which products I was asked to try.
I Write Books:
My first book - coauthored with Susan Tuttle - came out in October 2012. I receive royalties on sales of that book and am not shy in trying to sell it. I worked my tush off on that thing!
I am currently entertaining a few invitations to become a brand ambassador. If/when this happens - it is because I genuinely enjoy the product or service said company has to offer, not just because I get a paycheck. Though, a paycheck is a nice thing to have - but seriously, this isn't a partnership I enter into lightly, it needs to be a good fit.
In Closing, (You made it this far? Congratulations!)
I will continually work at earning the trust and respect you have so kindly instilled in me. I know just how delicate that trust can be - and want you to know just how much I value it.