Leggi questo post in: Italiano
Why do I have affiliate links on cucicucicoo.com?
I love blogging and writing about things that I love, however in order to continue doing it, I have turned down work opportunities outside the home, in addition to regularly paying various fees for the maintenance of a website and spending a considerable amount of time creating free tutorials in two languages. In order to make this blog possible, I sell my products, offer advertising space to sponsors and publicize specific vendors and/or products.
When I write on this blog, it’s as if I were talking to a friend. (Just ask any of my real-life friends; they often tell me that reading my posts is like having a conversation with me!) Just as I would never suggest a product that I don’t believe in to a friend, I would never do so on my blog either. Each and every time I mention a product and/or vendor, it is (unless otherwise specified) because I myself love it and think that you would too. Most of the time, I don’t earn anything from them, but at times the links to these things are affiliate links. What does that mean? Basically, if a reader clicks that link and ends up purchasing something from that website, I earn a small percentage. It’s not much, but it helps make it possible for me to continue creating useful quality content that any and everyone can access for free.
My amazing affiliates
The following is a list of the companies who I have chosen to affiliate myself with. Let me tell you a little about why I love them so much.
Amazon.com: I love amazon and have ordered from them for many years in various countries. They supply pretty much anything you could want at great prices, ship quickly and often for free (if you purchase at least $35 of eligible products. What I do is save up products I need and order only when I’ve reached that amount.). Their customer service is beyond compare. I also own a Kindle Paperwhite and download loads of inexpensive or free e-books (I am currently catching up on all the classic literature from the 1800s that I’d never read, all downloaded for free). I also use my Kindle to read generic e-books in PDF form. As I live in Italy, I also have had an account on Amazon.it pretty much since the day the website opened.
Craftsy: How awesome is Craftsy?! A point of reference for all DIY enthusiasts, it has an incredible number and variety of online classes and patterns (many of which are free!) running the gamut of crafts. I’m naturally drawn to the sewing patterns and courses, but there are also resources for knitting and crochet, jewelry making, cake design… you name it and they’ve got it! Craftsy makes it easy to learn something new no matter how old or where you live… yah!
WordPress Multilingual plugin: When I decided to make the jump to a more professional-looking blog, I knew I needed to get the two languages I write in separated. When I contacted a web designer about doing this, he gave me an astronomical quote, far beyond my budget. Then I discovered WPML, which saved me. There are three different versions and various add-ons, but I just paid $29 for the most basic version and I’ve loved it ever since. You can translate posts, pages, titles, etc into 40 different languages (and you can add more with the WPML editor). Categories and tags need be translated only once and they get carried directly over into the other languages when you translate a post. I only use English and Italian, but you can use as many languages as you want. It changes the WordPress dashboard a little so that you can navigate the various parts of your website in the different languages, but it’s still really easy to use. Read here for more information on how to create a completely bilingual or multilingual blog. (coming soon!)
rtCamp: All the great things I was able to do with my blog were only possible after switching from the Blogger platform to self-hosted WordPress. I searched around for ways to transfer my entire blog, then with 300 posts and over 2,000 images, over to WordPress. However I am not a techo-savvy coding person and the instructions I found were totally incomprehensible to me. And the more I read in forums, the more people I found who’d had absolute disasters migrating their blogs, losing images and content. Then I found an actual plugin for Blogger to WordPress migration, but after reading more in depth, I found that a lot of people had difficulty with that too. If you have a blog or website, you know how much effort goes into creating content, and at that point I was absolutely terrified of the move. But then I discovered that the developers of that plugin, rtCamp, also offered a Blogger to WordPress migration service. We wrote back and forth, they responded to my never-ending inexperienced questions, always in a timely, polite and helpful manner, and I took the plunge. For an incredibly low rate, they set up my WordPress dashboard, moved all my content, widgets, links and images over to it, and set it up so that every single page of my old blog redirected automatically to the corresponding page of my new WordPress blog. They offered to update my blog feed details, too, but instead I opted for them just telling me how to update it myself and I got that taken care of in a minute. It seems that many Blogger to WordPress migrations actually leave images hosted on the Blogger server, which apparently doesn’t matter in terms of how the blog looks, but Google has been known to suddenly delete accounts and they have total power over your content there. With my rtCamp migration, my images got moved over to WordPress so that I didn’t have to fear anything happening to them. The rtCamp team also offers web design, plugin development, web hosting and other services too, though I haven’t actually used any of those services. But from my experience with them, I can say that I 100% recommend and trust them. Read here for more information on how to create a completely bilingual or multilingual blog. (coming soon!)
Pippity: One issue I had with my multilingual website was getting my post and newsletter subscription forms (which are each available in English and Italian) to pop up in the right language. I searched and searched for a popup plugin that would make the right language be displayed when I wanted it, and then I finally found Pippity. There are different plans available but, again, I bought the base plan for $49 and I’ve loved it! I created different popups for the different subscription forms and languages and, with some incredibly helpful advice from the software’s developer, I programmed them to popup for the right language when I wanted them to and as often as I wanted. Don’t you hate visiting websites when a subscription popup blocks the screen every single time you visit, every page, even if you’ve already subscribed?! It doesn’t have to be that way with Pippity. Technical support is quick and incredibly helpful and you can consult Pippity analytics to find out how often your popups have been visualized and clicked. I’ve gotten lots more feed subscriptions since investing in Pippity. Read here for more information on how to create a completely bilingual or multilingual blog. (coming soon!)
Sticker Kid: These customized name labels really shocked me with their quality and durability! The stickers are fantastic on kids’ objects so that they don’t lose them at school, day care, summer camp, etc, but companies could also use them to label and keep track of their property (such as in a gym or pool. Did I mention that they’re waterproof?). The no-sew iron-on labels are also a wonderful quality, great for keeping track of kids’ clothing items or for labelling your home-sewn creations without having to sew on an itchy tag. I wrote a full review about these personalized labels and there is an exclusive 10% discount for Cucicucicoo readers only using the coupon code “CUCICUCICOO” (as of date, valid until the end of September 2014 in any regional version of the Sticker Kid website).
Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Biz and Life Academy: I love what I do, but it hasn’t been easy for me to work towards my goal of working at home blogging and pattern writing because of inexperience, lack of time and fear. I discovered Leonie Dawson with her wonderful outlook and inspiring resources for women entrepreneurs, who she calls “Goddesses.” Her overflowing, love-filled style may not be for everyone, but I find that reading her articles and watching her videos always give me a boost, makes me feel stronger and more able to do what I need to do. So I decided to take the plunge and become an Academy member to have full access to all of her materials, as well as access to the Academy forums. What sort of materials? Numerous business- and/or life-related e-courses, yearly workbooks, meditations, kits, posters, business references. Inspiring material that will make you think, analyze and get to where you want to be in your life, feeling great about yourself! You can join the Academy, like I did, to have full access to everything, or just purchase the resources you’re most interested in separately. Not sure you want to spend anything quite yet? Go check out some of Leonie’s free goodies! (Her Cowgirl’s Guide to Riding Wild Donkeys was helpful in helping me get things done and the 12 Zen Daily Zen Habits has been my desktop image for months!)
Etsy: I’ve been using Etsy as a consumer and seller since 2009. This is the ultimate online marketplace for unique handmade, hand crafted pieces. I still remember the first time I saw Etsy and how amazed I was at what gorgeous and incredible things people were able to make by hand. Any time I need a gift for someone and am not making it myself or buying it from a local vendor, I turn to Etsy. It’s great for gifts for people who live far away, too. Often, when I want to give a gift to a loved one in the United States (where I’m from) I look for the perfect item in a US-based Etsy shop and just check before purchasing that it is possible to send the item to the recipient, perhaps even with gift wrap and a little note. This way I am supporting small scale artisans without spending extra and polluting for overseas shipping. Etsy is continually becoming more international. I was thrilled when it became possible for Italian users to view and use the website in Italian and to use the Euro currency because it became even more easy to use for them to use the platform.
I also have a shop on Etsy, where I sell my washable cloth products. It is a pretty inexpensive way to sell products and it is super easy to create item listings. If you have a bunch of items that are similar, you can copy a listing and change what needs to be changed instead of having to recreate it from scratch. And again, now that the website is more international, you get an incredible visibility all over the world. Etsy doesn’t actually have an affiliate program but if you’re interested in opening shop on Etsy, click here first and we both get 40 free listings! This is a great way to try Etsy out with nothing to lose! (Please note: this only works if you are still unregistered on Etsy or are registered only as a buyer. Also you have to open up your shop immediately after clicking the above link, without navigating away from the site or changing browser.)
Edit 16/06/14: Etsy now also offers a €5 discount on new users’ first Etsy purchase! All you have to do is click this link!