I have to say, I’m having so much fun with our 25 Days of Winter Fashion series. I’m not ready for it to be over. I really enjoy putting outfits together and getting your feedback. I don’t love them all, but I learn something new with each one, and hopefully we’re all learning together! Maybe now that our winter fashion series is over, we’ll actually get some winter weather. Ha!
I thought I’d follow Cyndi’s lead and do a recap post so you can see all of my outfits in one post, and then I’m going to have a little Q&A at the end, based on questions I get asked a lot. I hope you enjoy getting some insight into the inner workings of the blog.
Phew!!! That took some time. But super fun, yes??
You can also see all of my 25 winter outfits here. Click on the images or the titles to get to the full post.
So now, on to your questions!
#1. Who takes your photos?
Have you seen this video making the rounds? When I saw this, I laughed until I cried.
So yeah, my husband takes my pictures. I used to take my own pictures with a camera timer and occasionally cajoled my kids into taking them, but over the past year, my husband has begun taking a serious interest in photography. We’ve been working together to improve the quality of my blog photographs. He’s done quite a bit of online research and a lot of practicing, and we recently upgraded our camera equipment. Now he’s pretty much doing 100% of my outfit photographs. It’s become a fun way for us to bond, and I’m grateful for his interest. Blogging is largely an isolated job, and having him involved makes it more fun.
The ironic part is, our relationship is pretty much the opposite of the Instagram Husband video. Usually I’m the impatient one, wanting to get it over with, and he’s the one urging me to be patient while he experiments with different angles and camera settings. Ah, the digital age. Ain’t it grand!?
#2. Do you keep all the clothes that you buy?
The short answer is no. I don’t usually order things intending to return them, but reality is that I simply don’t need as many clothes in my closet as I want to feature on the blog. Plus I’m often trying new trends, and they don’t always work for me. The only way to find out is to try them on, and ordering online is much more efficient than going to the mall. Once they’re here, I might as well photograph them, and oftentimes it’s not until I see the pictures that I really know if something is worth keeping or not.
I’m getting better at knowing what works for me and what doesn’t, but I still have a lot to learn, and I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not 25 anymore and can’t wear everything I see on the models. Sometimes it takes the reality check of the photographs to get it through my thick head. I also think it’s helpful to show the less than perfect outfits so we can all learn how fit and proportion work for different body types.
P.S. I sent the red boyfriend sweater back.
#3. Do you really dress like this every day?
Hahaha… No. I used to take pictures each day of what I was truly wearing — back when I was basically just posting what I wear on a daily basis and summarizing my weekly outfits in one weekly blog post. But since I’ve switched to primarily fashion-related content on the blog, my purpose in posting outfits has changed. Rather than showing what I’m actually wearing each day in a meager attempt to stay out of the yoga pant rut, now I’m trying to provide a service to women our age by sharing what is trending and how to wear the current styles in a way that is practical and age appropriate. That means trying a lot more styles and creating a lot more outfits. I’d get worn out if I dressed up and photographed a new outfit every day, so with these daily outfit challenges, I’ve had to become much more strategic about making the most of the days I do get fixed up.
We usually try to get 2 or 3 outfits photographed in each session, and I like to have a few in my draft folder so I don’t get caught one day with nothing to post — especially during these challenges. It’s tricky because my husband does have a day job, and we try to pay attention to the time of day and the lighting to get the best quality pictures. It was easier in the summertime, but now that it gets dark so early, we have to take advantage of weekends and the before-work morning hours. Sometimes I actually get up in the morning, put on makeup and pull my hair back, and take pictures when the light is good before my husband leaves for work. Then I’ll change into workout clothes and go for a run. It’s a pain because then I usually have to redo my makeup after my shower, but we do what we have to do, right!?!
Weekends are also a good time to bang out a few outfits because my husband isn’t working and is available during the “golden hours”. Of course, the “golden hours” change with the seasons, so we’re always adapting to that as well.
I will say this, I am MUCH better about getting fixed up on a daily basis than I was before I started doing these challenges. I was really in a bad yoga pant rut before, despite my weekly daily mom style posts, and this has gotten me in the habit of actually putting some thought into what I wear on a daily basis.
It also helps that I post my daily outfits on Instagram — usually just a quick top-down selfie shot as I’m running out the door. So even if I don’t do a full out photo shoot for the blog, I make an attempt to put on a cute outfit. That said, I am a HUGE proponent of a “grace day” once a week. I usually spend one day a week in sweatpants with no makeup. It is refreshing if you allow yourself a day like that every so often, as long as it doesn’t become a habit.
#4. How do you make money doing this?
Ah, the million dollar question! I make money on this blog in three main ways — ads, affiliates, and sponsored posts.
Ads are what you see on the sidebar and at the top of my site. With these ads, I’m paid based on impressions — basically how many times my blog is viewed. So the more people who visit, the more ad revenue I make. That means that in addition to researching, shopping, putting outfits together, taking pictures, editing pictures, and writing posts, I also have to spend time on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, making sure my posts get out there where people can find them.
I am a part of an ad network that manages my ads. I don’t sell ads directly to the brands, therefore, I don’t have a lot of control over what is advertised. In fact, a lot of what you see in the ads on my site is based on what you are shopping for and searching for — that is because Google runs the ads and they tailor the ads you see to your search habits. Pretty clever, huh? And a little bit creepy, I’ll admit, but that’s the way ads work in this digital age.
Affiliates are basically a commissions-based revenue model. When I link to products that I’m wearing at Nordstrom and other websites, I get a small percentage of the sales made when you click on those links — anywhere from 2% – 15%. Rest assured, you don’t pay a penny more when you shop through my affiliate links than you would otherwise, and I also cannot see what you actually purchase; I only see what products are purchased. This is very helpful to me because (besides helping to support my website) it shows me what types of products resonate with my readers and what I should show more of.
I also use the LIKEtoKNOW.it app, which allows you to shop through my affiliate links on Instagram. If you sign up with them, every time you “like” one of my Instagram posts with a LIKEtoKNOW.it link, you will get an email with affiliate links to the products on the website where I found them. Pretty nifty!
Sponsored posts are when I partner with a brand and write a post about their product or service — or sometimes just a related topic. I am paid a flat rate that we agree upon. I always tell you within the post that I am partnering with a brand, and I try to tell you towards the beginning so no one feels duped. Not that you should, because I only partner with brands that I actually use and trust, but I do understand that feeling and try to be up-front so I don’t lose your trust.
Besides the time that I put into my blog posts and the behind-the-scenes running of the website, it is very costly to run a site the size of mine. There are hosting costs and apps and plugins that I need to keep it running smoothly. Plus it’s necessary to redesign every few years to keep it current. All of these expenses add up quickly, and without revenue from ads, affiliates, and sponsored posts, I wouldn’t be able to provide all of this for free. I do try to keep my ads from over-powering my content, and I only take on affiliate partners and sponsors that I can wholeheartedly endorse, but they are necessary to keeping everything running smoothly.
I hope this helps unveil a bit of the mystery around the running of ye olde blawg! I’m always happy to answer any questions, or hear your suggestions. My email is always open. Haha!!
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Well, now that our 25 days of winter fashion are over, WHAT ever will we do with ourselves??
Just kidding. Cyndi and I still have a few tricks up our sleeves, so stay tuned for another fun challenge after the holidays. Meanwhile, stop over and see Cyndi’s 25 Days of Winter Fashion Recap. And to make sure you don’t miss anything, sign up to get my blog in your email. Stay stylish!
52 thoughts on “25 Days of Winter Fashion Recap”
Sharing your posts on facebook totally works to get me to click over to the site! You’re in my feed reader, but I usually check facebook first in the morning, and if I see your post I click over instead of reading in my reader.
That is good to hear because Facebook’s algorithm is very difficult and only shows my posts to about 10-20% of my followers. SO annoying! Glad to hear my posts are getting seen by some!
Thank you, thank you! Your posts are great!!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Jo-Lynne! What a great post and very informative. I too have started trying to look a little better each day, even though I am retired. I’ve learned that my complexion is not what it used to be, so I do apply my moisturizer, foundation, and concealer just about every day. That way I do feel better if my husband wants to run errands. Allergies keep me from wearing eye makeup every day, but with my progressive lenses in my eye glasses, that is not quite as important.
Have a blessed day!
Thanks, Ginger. I’m so glad it’s been helpful. I can’t imagine the rut I’d be in if it weren’t for my blog. 🙂 You all keep me honest! HA!
Really enjoyed the Q and A with insight into the process! Thanks!
Oh, good! 🙂
I’ve been reading your blog for over 5 years now, and it’s been so fun to watch it evolve. I’m also a “work from home” mom, and I totally get how it’s so easy to fall into clothing and makeup ruts, especially when I have the excuse of two small children. I love your outfit ideas because they are pieces that are accessible but you put them together in ways that I haven’t thought of. Thanks for all the hard work you do!
That’s so awesome to hear. Thanks, Sarah!
WOW! thanks for giving the inside scoop on blogging. you and cyndi make it look like a breeze. i follow you on twitter too. i may need to get an instram account so i can be all in. haha
Love the recap there are some great idea for friday work outfits .
I’m glad you enjoy it! Thank you!!!
Interesting read on the life of a blogger! You do a fantastic job!
Thank you! It’s fun, but it’s definitely work. 🙂
I have really enjoyed this series, and appreciate all the work that goes into it. I also enjoyed reading your explanation of all the work behind the scene and how the affiliate links all work. You’re doing a good job, and I look forward to continuing to follow you.
Thanks, Sherri!!! xo
Where did you get that adorable plaid top from your Sunday IG post?
It was from Stitch Fix. 🙂
Enjoy your blog very much! I’ve gotten great ideas for outfits, as well as leads on some snazzy clothes. Thanks for all of your hard work. I also liked reading about how a blog works and appreciate your transparency.
That’s great to hear! Thanks, Ellen.
Love your blog and your style. I’ve been wondering something for a while now. All of these outfits look so great, and the shoes/boots add so much to the outfit. However, most people have a “no shoes” policy in their houses ( including my own) and I find that many of my outfits look so frumpy and unfinished without wearing shoes ( especially outfits with skinny jeans). Does anyone else have this issue? Skinny jeans, especially, just look so goofy with socks and no shoes/ boot. Any advice?
Interesting!!! We do wear shoes in the house, but I think about this sometimes when I go to friends’ houses. I will often bring slippers along with me. I have the moccasin kind. I also wear those around the house a lot. Does that help at all?
I really enjoy your posts and outfits. Thanks for sharing this info, questions I have actually had!! 🙂
Happy Holidays to you and your family:-)
Awesome! I’m so glad.
Yes, slippers is a good idea.
Thank you! Maybe I can find some fashionable boot slippers to wear with my skinny jeans. Thanks!!!
I love these. They have built-in orthotics. http://bit.ly/1NBuyC1
And here is a cheaper version. 🙂 http://bit.ly/1m8hPMt
Hope that helps!
Thanks so much for this service! It hits the PERFECT note for me. It encourages me to better use what I already own and alert me to what I might need to add. I love your perspective and tone. Just what this over 40 year old needed!
That’s awesome!! So glad to hear it.
I’ve enjoyed the 25 days of winter fashion. Thanks for doing it. I appreciate the time you put into researching and trying things out. It’s been quite an education for many of us. Your ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate things are always done so well, that it never seems “commercial.” It’s just fun & educational at the same time.
And you should thank your husband from all of us! We appreciate the time he puts into it, too.
Thank you, Anna! That means a lot. 🙂
First, that video had me laughing SO hard! Very funny! Second, I have loved watching your blog evolve. When I find things that make me connect with a blogger, it keeps me checking back. You do a good job of being personal without the TMI aspect. That being said, your coffee talk posts are some of my favorite…so I do like the personal stuff too! 🙂 You’re keeping it classy…keep up the good work!
Thanks so much, Melissa. I know my blog has changed over the years, and had a few different focuses as my interests also evolve, so it means a lot to hear from people who have stuck around through all of its twists and turns. 🙂
I love everything about your blog! I wore outfit #3 today. It’s out of my comfort zone, but I felt so cute and trendy all day, thank you????
YAY, that’s awesome!!
You are one eloquent and talented lady! I figured this was a hard job or everyone would be doing it! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you doing all the ground work. Everything I have purchased after discovery thru your site , has been of good quality and very tasteful. I have gotten many compliments on the things I wear. Believe me, I am very picky and you have captured the styles which keep me current but appropriate for my age. Keep up the great work and have a wonderful holiday!
That means so much to hear that, Debbie. Thank you!!!
Thanks so much for all of great posts. Great series. Hope to see more in the future. My favorite is the bom
We definitely have more plans for the future! 🙂
I have been reading your blog a few years now and love it! Also, Thank you for your hard work and always answering my fashion questions.
You are so welcome!! That’s the fun part. 🙂
I love your blog Jo-Lynne. I also love your involvement with your followers. I notice and am impressed that you almost always take the time to respond to posts and also make comments on our private FB group. I’m sure that takes time and effort to do but it really shows me your concern for us and what you do. Thank you for that! ????
It’s the conversations with you all that make blogging so much fun, and that’s what has kept me at it for so long! I love our FB group. I wish we’d started one years ago! xo
You are an incredibly beautiful lady. You were the personification of elegance in your office Christmas Party dress.
I just want to let you know how much I loved this series you and Cyndi did a stellar job!!
Thank you!! So glad you enjoyed it.
Everything you wear looks nice!! You do an excellent job of styling each outfit!! That video was sooo funny! Thanks for posting it!!
Thank you. And hilarious, right!?! I died when I saw that. Of course, my husband was not so amused. In his defense, he is my biggest supporters — we are pretty much the opposite of those couples, but it still cracked me up.
About a year ago I found your blog while reading Cyndi’s “Grace & Beauty” blog. I love both your blog’s and you both have help my style!!!
I’m so glad!!
Great work, Jo-Lynne! I am a very active, 50 “something”, who is constantly running from work (where I have to wear scrubs all day…Boo!) to get to some event, or just meeting up with friends. I find your outfits to be very Hip, Classy, and Fun, as well as easy to throw in a bag and carry to work to change into later. I feel like I have a personal Shopper! I’ve bought several outfits this month, and saved a ton of money doing it. BTW: The DL 1961 Jeans are Amazing!!!
Thank you so much for doing all the research! I look forward to looking in my email box now:)
Girlfriend, your blog has truly evolved and arrived. Your photographs are gorgeous, yay for husbands who take a serious interest in photography. I appreciate that you are concentrated your efforts on fashion for us over 40 gals. Hope you will still give us recipes, peeks into your travel and home life. Thank you for answering the very questions you might have heard me muttering as I visited your blog.
I really appreciate your blog – and this post was helpful as usual. Fashion has never been an interest or strength for me but about a year ago i decided I was done with ill-fitted, unflattering boring clothes. You’r blog and Cyndi’s have been very helpful. I am basically trying to build my wardrobe from the ground up. I don’t need many clothes but want to be more intentional about feeling good in the things I do have. What attracted me to your blog at first was the daily mom style since my life is either spent at home doing homeschool or running the kids to their various activities and lots of grocery shopping:) It was helpful for me to see the repeat items as I felt like I needed to re-learn how to put together simple, classic, cute outfits. As your focus has changed I feel myself wanting too many clothes – more than I could possibly wear and definitely more than my budget allows. I am really looking forward to the capsule wardrobe posts because I think it will be really helpful in trying to teach myself how to have a few things that can go a long way! I love your taste in clothes and never seem to be able to pick anything out myself so I eagerly await your advice and recommendations:)
P.S. Although I have yet to post, I enjoy the Facebook group. Thank you!
Hey Kimberly, this feedback is helpful! I have been contemplating how to feature the capsule wardrobe b/c repeats will be inevitable. I’m glad to hear that it’s actually helpful to see the repeats. 🙂 I’m still figuring out how to make the fashion blogging work for me and my audience b/c I don’t need a ton of clothes either, and I actually just donated a lot of the new stuff I’ve bought to feature this fall/winter. That’s okay, as it’s sort of “my job” and yet I also want to make sure I keep my blog relatable to the average woman. It’s a balancing act I’m still trying to figure out. 🙂 Thanks for your feedback!