January in Review

At the beginning of each month, I share a recap of the previous month. I donate a portion of each month's profits to a charity; since you are the reason I can make the donation I ask for your vote a week in advance and share the results in this recap.  I also share the top-selling items from the blog and a summary of the month's business/behind the scenes. 

Charity of the Month

In the Weekend Reads I offered five different charities. This was the first month where the results were super close!  But in first place ended up being KIND (Kids in Need of Defense) which received January's donation.  Thank you to all who voted; I will have a similar poll at the end of this month with a different mix of charities.

Top Selling Items for January

I always find the best sellers interesting, especially for a month like January which many use as a time to not buy or start shopping-related resolutions.  I love when other bloggers do this too, it helps me better understand the rest of their audience!

  1. Universal Standard I don't have details because the affiliate program I use most for Universal Standard doesn't break down items, just the number of sales.  And combining that and sales through rewardStyle I sold ten times as many items from Universal Standard as I did any individual product and more than any other individual retailer except Nordstrom.  I did feature Universal Standard a lot as I have a lot in my closet – a blazer in this post, a jumpsuit and turtleneck in this one, and I shared them as a place where you can find suits in size 18/20. This is the first month in review where I have focused more on this other affiliate program than the big ones (rewardStyle, ShopStyle) so I have less data, but to be honest, I make more per sale.  When you click text links for Universal Standard, it's this higher-revenue program, when you click any images in “shop the post” collages or use LikeToKnowIt on Instagram or Facebook, it's a rewardStyle link. For more information on affiliate and commissions, read my post on how blogs make money.
  2. J. Crew Sunburst Pleated Skirt in Rainbow Colorblock.  I rented this skirt from Rent the Runway Unlimited and featured it in this blog post.  It's a fabulous skirt, so cheery and fun, though it's only left now in size 00.  If you're one of the many who bought this skirt I'd love to hear how you styled it!
  3. Reusable Makeup Pads from Green Little Nest.  I've been shopping this Etsy seller since Emerson was an infant.  I mentioned the reusable cotton rounds and wipes I buy from this store in this blog post and am so glad I inspired so many of you to buy a more environmentally-friendly choice for beauty, and doing it while supporting a small business!
  4. Freya ‘Sonic' Sports Bra.  I know this one is because of this blog post.  I have to say it was fun doing that post; this year I'm trying to be smarter with my sponsored posts and make them just as useful as the ones that aren't sponsored.  Nordstrom gave me free rein and I knew there was a lot of discussion of sports bras in my Instagram DMs, comments, and the Facebook Group so I was happy to turn it into a detailed review post!  Many sizes are now sold out at Nordstrom but they also have this bra at Bare Necessities and BN has more color choices!
  5. Talbots ‘Audrey' Cashmere Sweater.  I love this sweater, I owned two and would love even more.  Noticed I wrote owneD and not own and that is because my navy one accidentally went into the wash.  It is now a super fluffy soft cashmere sweater for Emerson.  Sob!  But this is a great classic sweater and Talbots currently has it on sale for $51.99!
  6. Soma Smoothing Fleece Leggings.  I love these leggings so much; I mentioned them in this blog post and also in a few other places.  They aren't fitted, they aren't the kind you wear to the gym, they're more loungewear.  They're cozy and stretchy and not too tight yet on the outside look like normal leggings.  I've washed mine a dozen times and even have put them in the dryer once or twice and they still look fantastic.  Some have said they shed but I haven't had that issue.  If you're between sizes, size down (I have Large and think I could even get away with Medium).
  7. J. Crew Graphic T-Shirts.  There were several hits for specific graphic tees and plenty just for the page of graphic tees so I put them together.  J. Crew continues to be one of my favorite place for graphic tees for grown-ass women.  They're a great cut, have chic designs, plenty of colors, and most have a good size range.  I am partial to this one right now, though the selection right now is slight since we're between seasons. I know they'll have more to choose from in a month.
  8. Bioderma Atoderm Cleansing Oil. This was from my winter skin post but I've raved about this body wash several times prior on the blog.  It's pretty fantastic and many of you have also shared you love it!
  9. Salux Japanese Skin Towel.  Also from my winter skin post, these cheap little scrubby washcloths will exfoliate and lather and help you reach that place on your back you can never touch yet always gets itchy in winter.
  10. NiteWhite Bleaching Gel.  Early in January I updated a post I wrote about bleaching my teeth at home and several of you decided to start the new year with whiter teeth!  I'd love to hear how it is going for you! 

January Blogging Behind the Scenes

January is usually a chill month for bloggers.  Few sponsored campaigns, brands and PR companies catching up and you don't hear much from them except for possible Valentine's Day promotion.  However, this January was NOT chill. 

  • I hired an employee!  I've had virtual assistants and interns before, but I was looking for someone to go beyond admin tasks so this blog can grow in the right direction. Her name is Insana and she has written for Wardrobe Oxygen before.  I've known Insana since high school.  She's stylish, adventurous, smart, and has a different yet compatible perspective. She only works a few hours a month now but will be helping to improve current processes and look for ways to grow (for example, I hope to have the newsletter up and running soon!).
  • I had my second piece for The Plum published.  I've enjoyed writing for a different publication, it pushes me in a different way creatively and I'd like to do more in 2020.
  • I attended cabi's conference, The Scoop in San Diego, for the third time.  This time was extra awesome as I was a model for their spring campaign
  • I had two sponsored posts, this one for Soma and this one for Nordstrom.  
  • I was picked to be a speaker at the Mediavine conference this June.  I will be speaking about building trust to increase income as a blogger. This is a conference I have wanted to attend for a while as it's known to be one of the more useful and informative blogging conferences out there.  So it's doubly exciting to be chosen!

In January I secured nine different paid campaigns that either already were published or will be published by the end of spring.  At this time last year, I only had four so that's pretty exciting. Financially, I made more this January than last January and any January in Wardrobe Oxygen's history.  The increase was a mix of affiliate and ad revenue, with 80% of the increase being affiliate.  I'm proud to see the increase is in affiliate  Sponsored posts are bread and butter for keeping the lights on, ad revenue shows people are visiting the site, but affiliate means you're reading and liking what you're reading and trusting what I'm writing enough to click and purchase.

February is looking to be an exciting month.  I'll be heading up to NYC for a few days, have a cool shoot with a few other influencers, will be guesting on a podcast, and a few other items that aren't yet confirmed.  This month got me pumped up for Wardrobe Oxygen in 2020.  It's my 15th year writing this blog, I've not only survived but thrived two years doing it full-time, and have a lot of cool ideas for upcoming content.  Thank you so much for your support, your feedback, sharing Wardrobe Oxygen with your friends, and keeping me honest and inspired!

16 Comments

  1. Jacqueline
    February 4, 2020 / 8:59 pm

    Great piece on The Plum! How exciting to be able to expand your audience and explorations into the Writing Game. Fingers crossed for continued success!

  2. Maureen
    February 4, 2020 / 11:01 am

    Omg are you going to be on Bad on Paper?!?

    • February 4, 2020 / 6:19 pm

      No, it’s a local podcast. But I love Bad on Paper!

  3. Kim
    February 4, 2020 / 9:23 am

    I am one of your loyal followers who bought the Bioderma body wash and scrubby wash cloth. I used them for the first time last night and holy crap, they are a game changer! I have never felt more alive coming out of the shower! Thanks again for another fabulous recommendation. 🙂

    • February 4, 2020 / 6:19 pm

      Yessssss I am so glad Kim! Enjoy your baby soft happy skin!

  4. Lee
    February 4, 2020 / 8:51 am

    Congratulations on such a great January! I have a cashmere question: how do you wash your Everlane cashmere sweater? I got one for Christmas & haven’t washed it yet. Your story about the Talbots sweater makes me nervous! I have a few cashmere sweaters from J Crew, and I will confess, I’ve washed them in sweater bags on the delicate cycle in my washing machine. It’s bad, I know, but they’ve been ok, although, I do notice they are a bit fluffier. Ahhh, I’m having a moment here—I probably need to quit being lazy & hand wash them all, yes?

    On a lighter note, I agree that J Crew has such good graphic tees! I just received the “Love” one on the navy background with red letters. I still have one from a few years back that is a washed navy with “Love” in white. It’s still a favorite! Have a fantastic day!

    • February 4, 2020 / 6:21 pm

      Hi Lee! I wash them inside out in a lingerie bag on the gentle cycle and line dry. It does make them fluffier, but I don’t have the patience for hand washing and rolling to squeeze out moisture and I have nowhere in my house to dry flat. If my sweater has any embellishment, I’ll hand wash. But yeah, I’m lazy too 🙂

      • Lee
        February 4, 2020 / 9:26 pm

        Hi again! Thank you for taking the time to reply & for being real with me!

  5. LynninRI
    February 4, 2020 / 8:35 am

    Looking forward to seeing extended sizes from Cabi – I always love your stylings but have been unable to purchase…

    • February 4, 2020 / 6:22 pm

      It’s been something that has bothered me for a while and I am so glad they extended to 20 and XXL. It’s not the whole collection but if this does well I think they’ll keep adding looks!

  6. Sara
    February 4, 2020 / 8:06 am

    Congratulations! Are you planning to do a spring Cabi wardrobe capsule? I always get great ideas from you about what to purchase!

    • February 4, 2020 / 6:22 pm

      Yep! I hope to have it up before the month is through!

  7. Book Goddess
    February 4, 2020 / 7:57 am

    What a great month you’ve had, and so well-deserved! Your blog is smart, entertaining, and I have learned so much from you. Thank you especially for being a woman of integrity!

  8. karen
    February 4, 2020 / 6:42 am

    Congratulations on a sucessful Jan…looking forward to seeing how your hard work in Jan plays out as the rest of the year rolls out

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