Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Huge Timesaver: Ask a Question!

Today I'm sharing information about a new addition to this blog, a little insight that I have learned about the blogging process, and an observation about a tool that can save everyone tons of time in many situations in life!


The frequent visitors to this blog may have noticed a cute little ladybug banner has been added to the homepage. Today I am going to explain why it is there - and the important life skill I was reminded of in the process of placing it there.

Blogging can be just a hobby, or a source of income, but either way it involves quite a bit of work, and there are some costs associated with owning a blog. While I never want the main focus of this blog to be advertising, I have decided it is time for this blog to participate in a few programs to earn its keep!

I love to share products I enjoy with my readers, and I frequently write about them without any sort of compensation. Yesterday's post is a perfect example. However, if a company wants to pay me to write about, review, or advertise a product I already love; I have decided I will sometimes do so.  I would probably tell you about it anyway! I will NEVER promote anything, though, unless I can honestly tell you I like it. I will never sacrifice quality of content for a monetary opportunity.  I promise you that!

Back to the Ladybug banner.  I was recently contacted by a manager of the Affiliate Program of PartyPail, an online party supply retailer.  She asked if I would be interested in supplying information about their products to my readers, with the possibility of earning a small commission from any sales my promotions generate.  PartyPail has a wide variety of party items, and as I write quite a bit about entertaining, informing my readers about these products seems like it could be helpful.  

I'm sort of partial to ladybugs, as my daughter absolutely loved them when she was small, so I chose that theme of banner to display. They have some really fun ladybug party supplies!

A photo of our little ladybug girl!
PartyPail uses ShareaSale as a third party affiliate to manage this program.  In order to set up an account with them and verify my blog, the instructions explained that I would need to alter the html code of my blog template. GULP! I was really nervous about doing this, and had a bunch of questions as to how to do it.  After hours of reading tutorials and trying to figure it out on my own, I finally decided to call the company and ask for help.

When I did, I learned two things.  
ShareASale has amazing customer service, and the person I spoke with was actually able to verify my blog for me.  She fixed it for me in less than a minute - while I was on the phone!  She also told me that “If something is going to take you hours to figure out, you really just should call us and we will help you.”

This experience was a good reminder to me that sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to ask for help - and help may only be a phone call away! This lesson was reinforced, minutes later, when the link to the banner didn't work after I installed it on my blog.  One email to the PartyPail representative, and just a short time later, it was fixed.  Again - excellent company service.

I hope you will check out PartyPail, and I'd love it if you used my link to click over to their site.*  But, my purpose for writing this post is not really to promote their products (although I think they have cool stuff). Nor am I trying to drum up business for ShareASale (although so far, as a blogger I have found them really helpful, and I suspect Merchants think so too.)  The point I am really trying to make, is that sometimes the best way to get something done is to ask a question.  We often are reluctant or forget to use this valuable tool! Whether we are blogging; lost and needing directions; confused by something being taught in a class; or worried about a health issue - the best thing to do is to just ask!


Can you think of a situation that would have been easier if you had just asked a question?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!  
This post contains affiliate links.

* 9/9/15 update: The PartyPail online store and affiliate program will be shutting down this month, and as instructed, I have removed any links to their website from my blog.

16 comments :

  1. I can't tell you how many times I've had issues with my website and I've been so frustrated that I finally called GoDaddy and just ASKED. And usually there is SUCH a simple answer and they walk you right through it! I'm right there with you on that one. Especially when it comes to tweaking the code to your blog, sometimes that can be a technical nightmare! I think it's great that you're starting to do affiliate marketing! I do it every so often on my blog too but I'm certainly no expert. I hope you'll share how it all works out for you and your blog! :) Have a great Wednesday!

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    1. Thanks for leaving a comment, Monique. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who struggles with this - although I wouldn't wish the frustration on anyone! You have written some interesting posts - I especially like your viewpoint on "having phases!"

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  2. I get this way too. I am always afraid to ask a question for help on something because I worry that it is something I should figure out on my own. Like there is something wrong with me for not being able to do it. Usually, I arrive at the same conclusion that you did which is it's much easier just to ask :-)

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    1. You voiced exactly my concern! Thanks for commenting - and I hope you enjoyed your SITS day today!

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  3. I ask lots of questions - and should ask more. About blogging - and about life.

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    1. I don't always ask as many as I should - but I'm learning to!

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  4. Super cool Susan! I will definitely check out PartyPail. I'm the same as you - I agonize over something forever, when just asking for help would probably be quicker and easier.

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    1. Yes Lana - Way too much time on too many things .... ! I think PartyPail has pretty cool stuff. I will be interested to hear what you think!

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  5. In my life....every.single.day! Only the phone just rings off the hook on the other end haha! I love this for you! They picked a terrific person for the job! My go to spot for all of MY party needs! I feel like I haven't seen much of you lately anything exciting going on other than dealing with html code that can make your eyes bleed? If you ever need any help with it I'm no expert but I've learned a few tricks here and there!

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    1. Thanks for the compliments and offer for advice Rena! I know you have your hands full right now though! And yes - I know the sound of a phone ringing with-out an answer! I was really impressed by the rapid response I received by all three companies mentioned though!

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  6. OMG, I am the question queen! As far as website tech goes, I have a web consultant because I would totally mess it up. I mean it. I do love ladybugs and they are such good luck!

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    1. I would be interested to know if your web consultant is local to you Carol, or if you work together over the internet? How did you go about finding the right person? (So far I'm managing, but I think a consult would be really helpful at some point!)

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  7. Great post Susan! As a new blogger also, I have wondered about ways to help my blog earn its keep. As for asking questions, sometimes I probably ask too many, sometimes I don't ask enough ;-)

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    1. I thought from your blog that you had been doing this for a while!

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  8. No, I just started blogging in August. Noticed you now have Amazon ads...I need to start making a little $ from this blogging fun...any advice?

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    1. Your photos are really beautiful! Thank you for paying enough attention to notice that I now have Amazon ads on my blog. Amazon affiliates was really easy to sign up for, and I just did so last week. It seems really user friendly - time will tell if I make any money :) I joined Share-a-Sale so I could advertise about PartyPail - and there are lots of other companies they work with too. I really don't have a lot of advice, as I have also just started to think about monetizing my blog. I have pinned a bunch of posts about jt on my BLOG! Pinterest board. Perhaps those would be of help. Wish we lived closer and could brainstorm about this over coffee!

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Many thanks to everyone who leaves a comment here!