July Recap and Charity Contribution Recipient

Open notebook with pen in front of open laptop with cup of coffee all on a desk in front of an open window

Per my blog post about taking a summer vacation from blogging, I promised to share how much I made in the month of July and would donate $100 for every $1,000 made.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Results

If you follow a few bloggers, you may realize the month of July is a big one for affiliate revenue. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is a HUGE money maker; I can make more money off this sale than all affiliate sales for November and December combined. Last year, I wrote three blog posts and shared dozens of individual picks in blog posts, social shares, and newsletters. I also made a concerted effort to link to Nordstrom any way possible in blog posts before and after the sale for “last click wins” (read this post about how blogs make money to understand what I mean). I made quadruple in 2018 what I made in 2019 for Nordstrom affiliate revenue.  

Because of this result, I will likely promote the Nordstrom Sale in the future, but as always I'm going to only share what I think is truly worthy of your hard-earned money.  I will share styling tips, honest reviews if I own or have tried the item, and have a good selection of price points and sizes.

Amazon Prime Day: Results

The other moneymaker for July is Amazon Prime Day. Last year I worked all weekend going through these ridiculous workbooks at 3pt font without any useable filtering tools or product descriptions to find the best deals, come to find the morning of Prime Day few of the deals in that workbook were valid. But I updated the post, did dozens of individual posts on social for my picks, had a newsletter, and more to push the special event. Last year I made almost double at Amazon what I did this year.

Honestly, even if I was sharing sales this summer, I wouldn't have shared Prime Day not only because it's not really lucrative for my blog, but because Amazon workers were on strike. Also, I'm not too thrilled with their relationship with the DHS. Next year I likely will use Prime Day as a day to promote other sales around the ‘net taking place (there were some pretty good ones this year and I bet they'll be even better next year).

Sponsored Content: Results

Ouch, I received some pretty cool opportunities that I declined.  A couple of companies I have relationships with said they'd check back in come September which was pretty cool of them.  I'm actually glad I said no, it allowed me to go on our two-week family vacation without having to do any work or have anything looming when I got back.

I did do a free promotion for Universal Standard on Instagram; they did a sample sale with 50% of the profits going to Planned Parenthood and I wanted to support it.  I didn't receive even affiliate revenue for it as they gave me a custom URL for tracking clicks.

I did accept a paid guest-blogging project that will not take place on my blog or social media and I have no requirement to promote or share it.  I photographed it and wrote the copy yesterday and it will go live the end of the month.  I will share it when it's published because I am proud of my work, not because I was paid to do so.

I went to cabi Scoop during the month of July and wrote a recap.  I wasn't paid to go on the trip, and I wrote the recap because I always share my travels. I have a trip next week with Soma; it too is an unpaid trip and there are no requirements for me to share or write about it.  However, I will because I think it's going to be fun.

In general, most brands were really chill about my summer vacation and some even congratulated me on the decision.  It was so freeing to copy my “summer vacation” spiel and paste it into reply emails and to know I didn't have to check my inbox every hour while on vacation.  If August is like July, I think I'll plan to do a similar vacation every summer.  But I will PLAN, so I have saved up to cover what I will lose from the break.

July Ad and Affiliate Income Recap

screenshot from google analytics

No surprise, this was the lowest income month of all year, a close second behind February which is notoriously low and I plan in advance for how dry it is. I didn't plan for this summer vacation from sponsored content so this was a bit painful. My saving grace was ad revenue, which was quite good as my traffic on the site was up 27.45% from last year (see the screenshot above from Google Analytics, comparing July 2018 to July 2019).

Please understand I am sharing the gross profit from the month of July.  This is before taxes, business expenses, and insurance. With the gross income made from affiliate and ad revenue, I was able to donate $800 to the charity of your choice.

July Charitable Donation

pie chart showing the results of the charity poll with Planned Parenthood receiving 48.8% and KIOND receiving 18.1%

 I opened this survey at 6 am ET on Saturday, August 3rd. By 9:30 pm last night, I received 1,447 responses. The overwhelming winner was Planned Parenthood.  

The charity in 2nd place was Kids in Need of Defense (KIND); I will include that charity in August’s list of possible recipients, along with four new charities. With the domestic terrorist shootings that have taken place recently, many of you have already requested August's charity list to include organizations that support gun control.  I definitely want to include such organizations; continue to share your favorite charities and I will use them to create the list.  The past couple of years have been terrifying, upsetting, and eye-opening.  It's easy to go numb from it all.  We cannot ignore what is going on.  I must admit, it has felt at times a bit ridiculous to have this job with the current state of this country.  But fashion is a form of armor, and right now we all need every tool possible to gather strength to get through tragedy, fight for what is right, and protect those we love.  I love being able to provide a contribution to organizations who are fighting for our freedoms, protecting the vulnerable, and making positive change.

screenshot of the thank you page at planned parenthood after making a donation

I will continue this tradition past my summer vacation – each month I will offer charities for you to vote on and will donate a portion of my profits to it.  I'm thrilled this has received such a positive response and love to have you as a part of the process.  Thank you so much for your support, I am so honored that such a amazing community of people visit Wardrobe Oxygen, participate on social media, and support this endeavor.  I know this summer is a bit light on content, but I plan after Labor Day to get back into the swing and provide the best content possible.  As always, let me know what you'd like to see, what questions you have, and how I can make Wardrobe Oxygen the best for you!

49 Comments

  1. Sue G
    August 8, 2019 / 3:50 pm

    I read and enjoy every post you make, but this may be my favorite post ever. Thank you for your transparency. You earn our trust in so many ways, and I make an effort to do all of my fashion shopping through your links. I don’t often buy the actual item you have linked, but I believe you get credit for whatever we buy at a shop if we access them through you links, correct?

    I appreciate you hard work being an inspirational blogger in the fashion sphere, rather than settling for being simply a fashion-aspirational blogger.

  2. Alison
    August 8, 2019 / 2:44 pm

    I love how you are always transparent, I really value that. I do agree with most of your views and I appreciate how respectful yet honest you are in expressing them. Like others, you are the only blogger who I intentionally try to link purchases from and I am glad to read in comments above that the links usually stay valid because everytime a IRL or social media friend says “I need help with bras, or a wardrobe for this new stage of life” I send a link to one of your posts.

  3. Anne Gillies
    August 8, 2019 / 11:10 am

    I have followed your blog for a long time and it’s my favorite. Honestly, it is the only one I seek out with my limited time (full time work and 2 kids under 5) I admire and respect you as a blogger and a person, and I greatly appreciate and enjoy all of your content.

  4. Susan
    August 8, 2019 / 8:14 am

    I don’t think of you as an “influencer “ because of the depth of information you provide. You are more of an educator. I actually find the concept of influencer to be somewhat condescending. Thank you for opening my eyes and ears to both big and little issues in fashion, beauty, music, travel, and social issues. Keep up the great work!

  5. Claire May
    August 8, 2019 / 6:11 am

    Brilliant result and a worthy charity.
    I am very pleased that your “gamble” of a summer holiday paid off.

  6. NICOLE KOWALSKI
    August 8, 2019 / 2:01 am

    I am almost in tears reading these comments for you Alison! You have attracted an amazing group of intelligent, thoughtful , and (probably because of you) well dressed women!

    I am proud to be a follower. Purchased Universal Standard and Colleen Rothschild because of you and look forward to EVERY post.

    I want you to have a talk show! So much gratitude.

  7. Rebecca Gibson
    August 7, 2019 / 10:13 pm

    Love this – insightful, transparent, authentic. Your blog is about waayyyyy more than the clothes.

  8. RoseAG
    August 7, 2019 / 10:06 pm

    I’m very pleased that you’ve supported Planned Parenthood.

  9. August 7, 2019 / 8:38 pm

    Because we do not depend on our blog for income, I admire all of you who do this successfully for your living. The few times we have been contacted to use affiliates, the process is so time consuming that we give up. The time you took off for your family will come back ten fold!
    https://littleblackdomicile.com

  10. Lael Arrington
    August 7, 2019 / 8:19 pm

    I just found your blog and have been enjoying it. So today I was discouraged to find that you support both PP and the SPLC. Especially the SPLC. The SPLC is not the fair organization they once were. Mainstream criticism is growing. I wish you well. You have great styling sense. But I am deleting your bookmark and will not be back.

  11. Lee
    August 7, 2019 / 5:28 pm

    Yay Alison! That donation to PP is awesome—thank you for doing that & for your continued commitment to social justice issues. The horrors of this past weekend are just too much…

    I didn’t buy from Amazon on Prime Day but ended up getting 2 Tippi sweaters from J Crew for $25 each! Plus a pair of white jeans on sale (I’ve bought 3 pairs of J Crew jeans in the past year & love them). So your idea of promoting other sales on that day is one I certainly like.

    I thought the Nordstrom sale was rather blah overall but did end up ordering a few items: my favorite Zella sports bra, another J Crew Tippi sweater (the navy with stripes), my new favorite bra from True & Company, a blazer, & Zella leggings. I’m fairly certain a majority of my items went through your links; just hoping I did it correctly! I went with mostly items I’d already owned & loved—as a wise blogger often recommends. The Zella leggings are new to me; I’ve never exercised in leggings and am not totally sure about these. They are comfortable but I’m not used to how form fitting they are.

    As for your blog content in the summer—it’s been good & I loved knowing you were spending time with your family. Can’t wait to read more about your trip!

  12. Monica
    August 7, 2019 / 3:46 pm

    I too have stopped following most fashion blogs, but always come back to yours. The honesty, transparency, and efforts you make to cut through the bullsh*t out there are huge factors. I now go out of my way to click through your posts before I buy from brands that you support to make sure you get the $! Just doing my part to keep you here doing what you do!

    • Jacquie
      August 7, 2019 / 4:27 pm

      I do this too, I even go back and search for old links to products that were first introduced to me by Alison. Sometimes the search for old links is fruitful, and sometimes not. So my question for Ali is this… how long are those links good for? Example – I first learned on your blog about Beltaway flat belts sold on Amazon. If I were able to search and find your link to that product would it still be productive for you? Thanks!

      • August 7, 2019 / 4:28 pm

        Yep, if the link works and isn’t broken, it should still provide me with a commission. Thank you so much!!

  13. Bette
    August 7, 2019 / 2:20 pm

    I’m in my early 60s, so when I say “my mom worked for Planned Parenthood for 30 years,” you’ll know how forward-thinking she was for her time — PP is still my charity of choice and I am thrilled you and your readers voted to contribute to it.

  14. Claire
    August 7, 2019 / 2:06 pm

    I admire your transparency and moral courage, as well as your excellent taste in fashion.

  15. Karen
    August 7, 2019 / 12:55 pm

    I often read your posts and think to myself, “she’s such an admirable person. I wish there were more people like her in the world” but I never actually leave a comment like that as I quickly move on to some other task I have to do in my day. “I’ll
    comment on the next post” I say. Well, after reading this post I said I’m going to make myself take 2 minutes before starting my next task and tell you that I admire your ethics and appreciate all that you do. Your blog is only one of a half dozen I regularly read and I will continue to do so. Also, I voted for Planned Parenthood and just made a donation to them myself. Keep up the excellent work!

    • August 7, 2019 / 4:29 pm

      Oh gosh, thank you so much Karen, that means a lot! And thank you for making a donation!

  16. Jenn
    August 7, 2019 / 12:48 pm

    I really admire your transparency and how honest you are with your readers!

    I have found so many clothing brands, good music, thought-provoking articles through your posts. Thank you.

  17. Patty
    August 7, 2019 / 12:01 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog a long time! Thank you for all that you share.
    You know what I would really like and would help me enormously would be a monthly calendar with fashion inspiration for each day–so that I can get inspired to use the wardrobe I already have in new ways. You may have seen these where they have a little inspiration for each day–like “Wear black with a pop of color” or “Belt it” or something like that. That’s a lot of work, so many even wardrobe challenge each week. I have so many “rules” for myself about what I wear that I need inspiration to branch out and use color in new ways, pair up things, etc. I wonder if you would consider doing a challenge like that daily or weekly…or even do a small monthly charge for those of us who want a calendar each month with a little challenge each day that we can download and hang in our closet. Just an idea about something I’ve been wanting for a long time. Please keep up the great work!!

    • August 7, 2019 / 4:30 pm

      Oh that’s such a cool idea! I don’t think I have time for that kind of project now but I’ll keep the idea I’d love to try it!

  18. Marsha
    August 7, 2019 / 11:46 am

    I am so happy to hear of your plans to promote the sales of other businesses instead of Amazon next year on their prime day.

    I know convenience is such a big factor in shopping now, but Amazon is becoming so large and so powerful that coupled with the fact that brick and mortar stores are struggling, we made find ourselves shopping primarily in a virtual world.

    And reading about the stresses and impossibly high performance marks Amazon’s order fulfillment employees have makes buying from Amazon even more unpalateable to me. My husband points out that he orders some small hardware types of things on Amazon because he can’t find them elsewhere, and I know that Amazon has given some small scale, home based sellers more exposure than they could get otherwise, but I still think it is a very slippery slope to allow Amazon to become the go-to source for so many products.

    I admire your thoughtful approach to the choices of content in your blog. Like others have said, your candidness sets you apart from so many other fashion bloggers. I have stopped following so many other bloggers because the sheer volume of their new purchases just became absurd especially considering their quite apparent wealth.

    Keep on being your generous and helpful self. It truly is a pleasure to open the email with your blog.

    • b
      August 7, 2019 / 6:40 pm

      I too am an amazon shopper and worry about losing small stores to the giant machine Amazon has become. I am trying to offset this purchasing by shopping through their “smile ” program portal which donates an amount of the sale to a charity I chose (a planned parenthood branch).

  19. Tori
    August 7, 2019 / 11:46 am

    I love your sense of fashion Allison, but I will no longer be following your blog. I just can’t stomach the pro choice views portrayed here so adamantly. This is what a baby looks like at eight weeks. Just eight weeks. https://www. liveaction. org/news/midwife- thought-miscarried-baby-tissue-cried-photo/ No matter what the circumstances, killing these babies is wrong, and I can’t watch our so called “right” to do so being celebrated

    I appreciate your good intentions, but I can’t stand behind the issues you so strongly support.

    I’ve appreciated your body confidence and outfit posts. Thank you for the inspiration I’ve gleaned from you.

    Sincerely,
    Tori

    • Susan
      August 7, 2019 / 1:08 pm

      Tori, while I do not agree with your personal view, I admire you chose to stand by your beliefs and (like Alison) make such a decision.

      What I admire most however, is that you chose to do so in an articulate and thoughtful way. You explained your belief and provided evidence behind it. Most importantly, you thanked Alison for her advocacy on body image. I only wish more people on our country and the world would enter into polite debate rather than the unhealthy discourse so prevalent today

      Alison, thank you for standing up for what you believe in, promoting image, making fashion and beauty accessible and fun for so many that used to dread it.

      Your 10% contribution is generous. I hope you use the various charity review sites (such as Charity Navigator) to vet the charities and ensure they make the most use of your donation

      Thanks for all you do!

      • August 7, 2019 / 4:33 pm

        Thank you Susan, and thank you for the respectful dialogue with Tori. And yes, all charities will be vetted through Charity Navigator.

      • Tori
        August 7, 2019 / 9:03 pm

        Thank you Susan

    • August 7, 2019 / 4:32 pm

      I understand Tori, and I thank you for your suppport thus far and respect your decision to stand by what you believe. <3

      • Tori
        August 7, 2019 / 9:04 pm

        Thank you Alison

  20. Mary Lu Redden
    August 7, 2019 / 11:10 am

    Alison: Like another of your commentators, I no longer follow any fashion bloggers but you. You always keep the bigger picture of social issues in mind when commenting on fashion and I appreciate that. As a Canadian, I never purchase anything through the links you provide as I would end up spending a fortune on duties and shipping fees, but I do like to see what choices you make. Fortunately there is a Talbot’s in my city and (there are very few in Canada) and it is my go to for pieces that I know will fit and last a while, so I really enjoy your blogs on Talbot’s purchases.

    • August 7, 2019 / 4:33 pm

      I am happy to provide you with advice to make purchases on your own. I am getting more and more Canadian readers and am trying to find more retailers that will ship to you without making you pay and arm and a leg. US retailers need to get on this! 🙂

      • Mary Lu Redden
        August 7, 2019 / 8:41 pm

        Thanks Allison. It is frustrating for Canadians to know of great US brands but not be able to access them. Next time I see something on your blog that I might want to purchase, I will let you know.

  21. Michelle
    August 7, 2019 / 10:32 am

    This is amazing, thank you so much for sharing your experience and this insight into your business decisions. Also, I know that there is a chance you will get negative feedback on your political/social views or the choices of charities, and I really admire the hell out of your bravery in publicly standing up for what you believe in and putting your income and efforts toward it.

    And do not feel bad about working in fashion “at a time like this.” I worked as a temp in a large fashion company during 9/11 and I remember one of the VPs talking about how strange she felt about selling “stupid sweaters to women who don’t need them anyway.” But you know what? I work in public health/health policy nonprofit and I need to dress well too! Your work is incredibly helpful and meaningful to so many of us out there, it helps us do our work, and it provides some color and fun to what can sometimes be a tough field. So thank you for that, and for using your platform to also promote social responsibility, awareness, and kindness.

    • August 7, 2019 / 4:34 pm

      Thank you Michelle, for sharing your story. You’re right, we all do need to get dressed and for many of us it is for jobs that are helping to make this world better in some manner. Thank you!

  22. Trystan
    August 7, 2019 / 10:03 am

    Thank you. I stopped reading / following every fashion blogger except you for a wide variety of reasons, & posts like this remind me why.

    • August 7, 2019 / 10:10 am

      I’m honored you continue to read here. Thank you Trystan.

  23. Leu2500
    August 7, 2019 / 9:39 am

    I’m having a hard time coming up with words that adequately, sincerely express how I feel about this. So I’m going to fall back on “thank you for being the change you believe in.”

    Changing the subject, WO2 is only the 2nd blog I’ve ever bought something from using an affiliate link. And it’s the only blog where I’ve bought something using an affiliate link more than once. I think. The thing is, even after reading your post How do Blogs Make Money, I’m not sure I did it right. The thing is, you have great content in your archive. In my case it was your review of white jeans & your discussion of Chico’s no stain white jeans. They actually inspired me to try white jeans. I can only hope the link I clicked was still active.

    Another example I came across today is your refined t-shirt post. (1) I had no idea such a thing existed and (2) it might be something I’d like to try. But that post is over a year old. Luckily you just posted on Universal Standard in mid July so I guess that link is still active in August, but I don’t know? I have no idea how long affiliate links live. Might be an idea for another “business of blogging” post.

    • August 7, 2019 / 9:48 am

      Thank you!

      And great question! Links don’t go inactive unless A. they’re broken (they don’t go anywhere) or B. that affiliate program is no more. I have a virtual assistant who I have help me with links – if a company tells me they have moved their affiliate program, she will go to posts I know perform well and update them. She also will go into old posts that get a lot of traffic and replace broken links and create new widgets (those carousels of images you can click to buy). I make quite a lot of money from old posts, and I love companies like Universal Standard that keep items for a long time without changing the permalink so I don’t have to keep updating. I’m glad you liked those clothes, they’re truly great!

  24. Allison
    August 7, 2019 / 9:39 am

    This just ANOTHER amazing reason why we all love to follow and support you!

  25. Patricia
    August 7, 2019 / 9:09 am

    Wow! That’s real money out of your pocket. You’re really walking the talk. Proud to be a reader.

  26. Becky
    August 7, 2019 / 8:30 am

    Well done, well said and great job.
    Fashion bloggers are a dime a dozen.
    You have made it a stepping stone to the real you which I think most of us “average women” love and appreciate the most…. fashion is great but just the tip of your life story.
    We see thru you that we are all in this together whether it’s fashion or what’s happening out there in the world.
    Thanks for a fun AND thoughtful blog.
    You made the right decision doing this full time

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