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bloggers

How to Land More Collaborations in 2021!

Gosh, it’s been nearly two years since I wrote this post about how bloggers make money, and already I have so much to add.

At the time I was knee-deep in affiliate programs and blog sponsorships. Since then and after joining many platforms that bring brands and influencers together, my opportunities (and cash) have multiplied month after month.

“It has always been my goal to either inspire, educate, or entertain with Chicks and Salsa.”

Many collaborations come through to my email. MOST I hustle for. The rest I get matched for on one of the platforms I am going to highlight below. Just as I did before I wanted to share all the platforms on which I have successfully landed paid and gifted collaborations with companies I love.

Here is a list of platforms that I highly recommend creating profiles on to get matched with companies looking for people JUST LIKE YOU. No audience is too small, engagement numbers are equally as important.

Once you have created your profile, it is easy! You just apply to campaigns you are eligible for or interested in and wait to hear from the brand.

NORDSTROM.com

Here they are:

I have worked with L’Oreal, Aveeno, Coola, GUIDE Beauty, Spa Science, KRIS Wines, and more via Aspire IQ.

I have worked with Hand in Hand, Hollywood Browzer, CVS, SIJO, Good To Go, and more via Cohley.

I can’t say enough about how much Fohr has taught me! They have excellent influencer-forward education that they share on a weekly basis on their YouTube channel. I also suspect that many of the emails that come to me with opportunities, come via Fohr.

I am new to this platform but they recently ran a campaign with BVLGARI and I was part of their KISS Nails campaign.

CLEVER has many awesome opportunities and works with many big names and familiar brands, however, I have been unable to land an opportunity with anyone yet (here’s to 2021!)

I discovered Shopping Links when we met with the founder at ThinkTank in Chicago in 2019. Since then they have partnered up with high-end brands like INTERMIX, NYDJ Jeans, Double Icon, and more!

MAVRCK recently partnered up with Express for their Winter Campaign, sadly, I was not part of this.

To learn more about affililate programs, please refer to my earlier post.

Denim Collaboration

For a referral to RewardStyle (it will help you get in), please email me chicksandsalsa2@gmail.com

NORDSTROM.com

As always, Your chick,

Rina

Chick Picks:

Quest VS. Atkins VS. Built Bar – Which Low Carb Snack is the Best?

Since starting Chicks and Salsa I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with several companies who have helped me along in my Keto Journey. Quest, Atkins, and Built Bar, and Splenda are among them. After trying a variety of snacks from these companies I have a few thoughts about where the strengths and weaknesses lie for each.

This post is in no way sponsored and please note that I am not a nutritionist. This is simply a personal review based on my experience with these companies over the past few years. If you have a bias towards a low carb or keto-friendly diet, read on.

QUEST NUTRITION

In my opinion, Quest wins on a variety of flavors that favor people who love super savory foods. From their dessert bars to their chips, and shakes, everything tastes great. HOWEVER, there is a noticeable ‘protein-y’ taste similar to the one that you would expect from a traditional protein shake detectable in everything they have. I don’t mind it, but my husband and friends don’t all love it. To try my favorites from QUEST, click below.

ATKINS

When my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and I started to learn about carbohydrates and seeking out carb-conscious snacks, Atkins was my first stop. They really have a delicious collection of snacks, these Sweet and Salty clusters are a favorite as are these ‘peanut m&m’ candies. I quickly realized, however, that I have a sensitivity to sugar alcohols that upsets my stomach. Atkins uses a sugar alternative called Maltilol which is known to cause gastrointestinal issues. Atkins is great but needs to be eaten in moderation. Also of all three companies, I am reviewing today, their ingredient list is the longest- which I don’t love.

BUILT BARS

I remember when I first tried these, I was convinced I had found the best bars out there. Built Bars truly taste like a candy bar with the texture of a Milky Way. Even though the flavors are great, after a while the texture kind of starts to ‘get old.’ I keep a few of my favorite flavors around but only indulge in these once every week or two.

SPLENDA

I truly prefer Splenda ten out of ten times to Stevia. Above all, for coffee drinkers, their creamers are literally the best. They are not available for sale in my local grocery store so I shop them on Amazon.

For other low carb and Keto tips, check out my posts below!

Your Chick,

Rina

Keto Banner

The Jeans You Need for Spring are On Sale Now!

I live in jeans! I don’t wear skirts or shorts much, but jeans – yes! Over the years I have also crept my way up in price points out of curiosity to test out if when you spend more you get more.

Comparing Jeans
Shop This Image Here

In comparing the three brands I am going to share with you I wanted to judge them on: quality of denim, variety within the collection, price point, and durability.

It is a pet peeve of mine when denim stretches and lose their overall shape. I also don’t love it when denim loses its ‘luster’ after a few washes.  NONE of the brands I have shared here do that. They have all been tried and tested by me.

That being said I wanted to share three brands at three different price points that I love and why.

NORDSTROM.com

Articles of Society -Under $50

Let’s start with the most affordable and impressive brand in this category.  Articles of Society denim is available at Nordstrom (so for those of you who are cardholders, your money goes a lot further).  With the average cost of these jeans coming in at $50, you can get 4 pairs of these when compared to higher-end designer jeans.

These jeans are true to size, have a lot of style choices in their collection and are a good buy!  I gravitate to Articles of Society for more playful denim.  These are great for a unique pair of jeans that you won’t necessarily wear every day.  For daily wear, jeans keep reading.

Shop This Image Here

NYDJ Jeans– Under $100

Also available at Nordstrom (but on a steeper sale here), I describe NYDJ jeans as Mom Perfect.  There is truly a practical cut that feels great for ANY woman out there in this collection.  They tend to deliver the most classic and clean-cut looks that I would call “Mom-friendly.’  Because of this, they are perfect for finding a great pair of daily wear denim. 

NYDJ jeans have the perfect stretch and they’re high-quality denim that holds up.  There is a reason these are priced at a little under $100 (so many styles are on sale now). 

If you are just looking for a great pair of jeans that you can count on day after day ( I wear them around town and for playdates often) and look good and feel great, these are it!

Shop this Look Here

Good American – Over $100

Khloe Kardashian really did a great job with this brand.  I have several pairs of Good American jeans because they are ‘stylish.’ They offer an extra edge to help justify the price point which sometimes is worth it.  Ten out of ten times if I am on a Date Night or GNO, I am wearing my Good American jeans. They are stretchy, comfortable, and edgy.  In my opinion, totally worth the splurge (I have had mine for over two years).    She has added so much to the collection that I have not checked out yet, so stay tuned for a haul on that soon.

Hopefully, if you are looking to shop some new denim, this post was helpful.  Finding the right pair of jeans can be totally worth the effort when you wear them all the time.

Your Chick,

Rina

NORDSTROM.com

My NYDJ jeans were gifted in exchange for this post.

So How DO Bloggers Make Money?

This post has been a long time coming for two reasons:

  1. It was the question we were trying to answer when we started Chicks And Salsa.
  2. It is the number one question we get asked. 
How Do Bloggers Make Money

When we started this journey, it was more about curiosity and what was behind influence and what that meant.  In a very small part of the internet where Chicks And Salsa has lived for three years, we are starting to reflect and put the pieces of the puzzle together for people who may just now be thinking about starting a blog

So lets get right into the knitty gritty of how Chicks And Salsa has managed to stay out of the red since we started.

Sponsored Posts

Once we gathered a small, but meaningful audience, we were starting to get some interest from brands who were interested in our niche.  When I say small, I mean about 300 followers on Facebook and nearly 2000 followers on Instagram.  We developed a media kit based on industry standards as set by FOHR and moved forward.  Here is a look at our very first sponsored post, . We are so grateful to all of the brands who have taken a chance on Chicks And Salsa. We  have learned a lot along the way and could not have done it without those opportunities.

To date sponsored posts make up 75% of our annual income.  Since our Instagram following has grown (thank you so much for 20K) we have also started getting Instagram exclusive sponsorships, like this one

We have landed successful sponsorships from the following platforms: Influence.co, CLEVER, Artemis Digital, AspireIQ, and Palm.

Affiliate Marketing

This topic is very complicated and if there are some specifics that you would like from us, please feel free to leave a question in the comments below.  Generally speaking, Chicks and Salsa started out with two affiliate platforms, Amazon Associates, and RewardStyle (aka LikeToKnow.it).  There is a wealth of information about both of these available on YouTube and if you are interested in a referral to RewardStyle, shoot us a DM and we will be happy to put that in. 

Amazon Associates generally has VERY low commissions, but since everyone shops on Amazon it is a quick way to capture data about what your audience likes and what price points are most effective. 

Rewardstyle is the GO-TO destination for all your favorite bloggers. Also known as LikeToKnow.It, affiliates can create links for most top brands, and commissions can be up to 20% during peak seasons. They have many tools that make posting looks to Instagram and your blog (and Pinterest!) super easy. Inserting affiliate links into pins on Pinterest, is a pro tip to getting more likes on the app and hits to your website. Since joining RewardStyle I have made over $2000 in commissions- that definitely helps me offset some of the expenses associated with running the blog.

If you are looking for something easier for your followers to shop, consider joining RewardStyle. Referrals can help you get in the first time, so email me at chicksandsalsa@gmail.com for a referral!

Via Share A Sale, Chicks and Salsa has become affiliates for a lot of amazing brands which basically means that we have been vetted and approved for high commissions from these brands in particular. We will be attending Think Tank next month to learn more about the affiliate marketing space and what is next for influencers.

We make about 25% of our income from affiliate links which is kind of crazy in retrospect when I think about all the time I have spent chasing down commissions. 

Note: I just wanted to add a personal note about commissions; bloggers in all content areas work very hard to give you ideas that are of value to you.  So if you like something you see on a friend/blogger, given them credit for that idea or purchase, it does not cost you ANYTHING to be supportive.  I recently wrote a post about my favorite work out gear and rightfully credited a fellow blogger for the introduction.

Free Stuff

This is the fun part right? Truthfully, Sonia and I do not have boxes flooding our doorstep, but over the years we have had dozens of companies ask for feedback and shares of new products that have been fun to check out.  As our platform continues to grow so do the opportunities. Lately it seems like we are being approached by more companies which feels great after creating thousands of pieces of content over the past three years week after week.

Trip Advisor

Also we are in the top 1% of reviewers in Chicago for TripAdvisor, so we have found ways to convert that into what I call ‘elevated’ restaurant experiences. I never ask a restaurant for anything, but I do let them know who we are and that we are coming to check them out and sometimes that translates into little goodies- why not!?!?

The Costs

The time it takes to create content is the true cost of blogging.  The cost of hosting my site costs me less than $300/year, business registration for Chicks And Salsa LLC is $390/year, and I do use about $600 for Facebook Ads per year. 

Answering What and Why?

In my case, I left my full time job to go all in on Chicks and Salsa and in doing so realized some things that I was missing.  Last year, I started a social media management company, Digital Chicks Media, and have been fortunate to help out small businesses and brands deliver consistent content on their channels.  Most recently, Sonia and I have also launched an e-commerce store , ChicksAndSalsaStore, to help get our followers good deals on practical fashion finds. 

I hope you found this post to be interesting a thorough, I know I have wondered what all of this was really about and even though the money is important and feels good, the connections and friendships are why we blog. 

I have shared before that I live in a small town, but thanks to social media, my reach is so much greater and I can learn so much from my phone every day. 

Thanks for checking out this post!

Your Chick,

Rina

**These are all observations made purely by me and there are so many ways to ‘blog’ so everyone’s hustle may vary. The bottom line is, share what you love on ANY platform and you will get out of it what you put in.**