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Fohr Card Reader Testimonials

Earlier this year, I applied for the Sephora Squad.  While I wasn’t accepted into the program, I appreciated every single one of the reviews that you ladies were kind enough to leave for me.  They reminded me why I love being a part of this community.

As you know, I’m extraordinarily selective (and a bit skeptical) about sponsored content.  I never wanted to be in the position of creating sponsored content that felt inauthentic, so it was easier for me to pass on partnered posts.  But the landscape of blogging has changed.

Fast forward 11 years, and with no track record of sponsored content, I’m missing out on the opportunity to partner with brands who I have loved and promoted for over a decade.  It’s difficult for me to explain to potential partners what Capitol Hill Style is and why our community thrives.  So I thought I would let you ladies explain it instead.

Fohr is a digital marketing company that pairs bloggers with brands in order to create sponsored content.  If you visit Fohr’s website, you can leave a testimonial discussing why you read CHS and continue to come back day after day. Your testimonials will help me explain to the brands that I think are a good fit for this blog why they should partner with CHS.

It takes less than five-minutes to leave your review, and I would be so grateful to hear from you directly.  Thank you again for all of the testimonials you posted this spring, and I know that I will learn as much from these reviews as I did from those.

**UPDATE** I headed over to Fohr to read some of the testimonials.  I wish I could hug all of you.  Seriously.  Not only did they make me feel really good about the content I’ve created, they helped me understand what types of content you love.  And that will make it easier to create content you want to read.  Thank you so much for brightening a snowy Monday.

{image by Annie Spratt}

Leave a Reply to Jennifer · cancel comment

    34 comments

  1. AB says:

    Can you tell us a little more about what a partnership will mean for the blog, and how it will effect your content, if at all? I am a huge supporter, and absolutely believe you should be compensated for the amazing work you do, but the lack of sponsored posting is one of the most important things about why I always come back to read. I don’t know of another blog on the whole wide internet that has the quality of content, and the authenticity that you do. I try other blogs, and am so quickly bored or just don’t trust anything they say. I will definitely fill out the survey and make sure that Fohr hears that, but would love some more information about how the partnership works.

    October 28, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I don’t foresee doing many sponsored posts. Essentially, I would just apply for partner opportunities with brands that I already love. So the one I wanted and didn’t get was with a clothing brand that has been on the blog 20+ times, whose sweaters I’ve purchased since the company opened. The post they were looking for was an outfit featuring one of their newer products that I was already planning to write about, so it just felt like kismet that it came up as a sponsor opportunity.

      Essentially, I would be looking at partnering on content that I would have put up without compensation from the brand anyway. Brands that would fit into that category would be Ann Taylor, LOFT, MM. LaFleur, etc.. Things I would be avoiding would be posts for brands that are new to me, or products that I wouldn’t really use — for example, a coffee maker, because y’all know I rarely drink coffee. I can’t imagine there would be more than 10 opportunities a year that fell into the category of brand I love, product I would be proud to endorse, requirements that feel authentic (I would be turning down anything that would dictate what my opinion on the product needed to be).

      October 28, 2019/Reply
      • NS says:

        thanks for clarifying Abra. I’ve submitted a testimonial.

        October 28, 2019/Reply
        • Belle says:

          I appreciate the support.

          October 28, 2019/Reply
      • AB says:

        Thank you so much for the response! I left a testimonial, and wish you luck!

        October 29, 2019/Reply
    • J says:

      Agree! Such a catch 22 for you. One of the absolute best things about your blog is the lack of sponsored content and the authenticity you have established with your followers.

      Have you considered other ways to monetize your “content”? Offering some sort of personal styling? Capsules? Or maybe go in a very direction, like … Rachel Hollis, Jen Sicero, or Megan Hellerer? You have a really unique background, lots of great life experience and you are a fantastic write with a special voice. Share that! Just some thoughts for what they are worth.

      October 28, 2019/Reply
      • Belle says:

        It’s a total catch-22. I appreciate the brainstorm, and I’ve considered a few of these things as well. I don’t really have the time to write a book, and I’m not looking to be in the “thought leader” position that some of the women you reference are in because my life being my brand would be destabilizing to my mental health. Styling was something I did for a short while when I was in D.C., and there wasn’t a market for it, maybe that’s changed.

        The math on sponsorships would look something like this. In an average year, I post 360 posts. Right now <1 post is sponsored. If that went to 6, that would still make less than 2% of the content partner generated. I would consider one post peer month the Rubicon. But at current compensation rates, those 6 posts could represent a 15% increase in revenue. I feel like I've generated enough trust and goodwill through years of honest, unbiased content to be able to promote the brands I already love fewer than a dozen times per year.

        That being said, if we try it, and it's a total bust, I'll stop.

        October 28, 2019/Reply
        • V says:

          What I would love is outfits from items that you might feature anyway. It is so nice to have someone do my thinking for me. Buying at item is easy. Integrating it into your closet and your existing items: not so much. If sponsored posts could include a lot of items from with a sponsor’s offerings, I think it’s a win-win. If we have closet holes to fill, this would help the average reader.

          Or where, b/c of my rewards card lifestyle, 75% of my closet is Banana-Athleta-Gap-Old Navy, it is helpful if I could just concentrate my items among purchases.

          October 29, 2019/Reply
  2. Jenny says:

    I think we all love that the blog doesn’t have sponsored content, but I wouldn’t object to the occasional sponsored post, especially if that’s what you need to do to make all the work you do here more financially feasible. I feel there’s a way to do sponsored content with integrity. I’m sure you would handle it fine.

    October 29, 2019/Reply
  3. Amanda says:

    While I do think you’ll get extra negative feedback once you start doing the occassional sponsored post, I absolutely think you should do it. You’ve been providing us readers so many years of wonderful content for free, and I am confident that you will only take partnerships with brands you already use and love. I left a testimonial on FOHR and would love many more if I could. You’ve been a trusted resource to your readers, and the least we can do is tolerate some sponsored posts (and click and buy via your links!). Thank you for all the wonderful posts, Abra!

    October 29, 2019/Reply
  4. Amanda says:

    I wonder if there would be enough reader interest here to be “Styled by Belle.” Meaning, readers pay you a fee to buy clothing and send clothing to their home for a certain event (wedding/date night/home office work) and the stylee(?) agrees to submit the pics of the result for the blog. If the reader doesn’t like, they are free to return, but you keep the styling fee regardless. Could be fun, dunno???

    October 29, 2019/Reply
    • POMPOM says:

      Oh, I love this vein of an idea!

      October 29, 2019/Reply
    • Emma says:

      This is an interesting idea and while I don’t have any upcoming events for which I need styling help, if I ever did I would certainly want to turn to Abra/Belle! I’m sure I’m not alone in that. But it also sounds like it would be a lot of extra work for her.

      October 29, 2019/Reply
    • kelly says:

      Or even updates from readers who took your advice. With pics. I asked Belle to help complete an outfit last year and her advice was spot on.

      October 30, 2019/Reply
  5. michelle says:

    I left you a Fohr review. I was a little skeptical looking at their website at first, but then I saw their section on FTC compliance and reporting. FINALLY someone who puts the fact that disclosures are required up front and center and wants to educate their clients about the fact that they must disclose sponsored posts. I get tired of wondering if something was c/o or not on Instagram. Obviously I don’t know the company well, but the fact that they have a section on this lends them some legitimacy in my book. I hope that a partnership with them works out well with you and I can’t wait to see what sponsorships you are able to secure. XOXOXO.

    October 29, 2019/Reply
  6. Jennifer says:

    “I feel like I’ve generated enough trust and goodwill through years of honest, unbiased content to be able to promote the brands I already love fewer than a dozen times per year.”

    To me, this is key. I’m leaving a testimonial. You are great and I would do what I could to support you. I also would be happy to pay a small community fee (i.e., special sections for subscriber access – $5 / month) or something similar if it enabled you to generate revenue but also not worry about sponsored content.

    I often times recall the products that you post about and could easily buy from the websites directly but I try to go back and shop through your affiliate links because I want you to get credit. I do that for no other blogger and to me that speaks volumes about the trust and integrity that you have built with your readership for the better part of the last decade.

    October 29, 2019/Reply
    • AB says:

      Another vote for community fee! Not necessarily as an alternative to the Fohr partnership, but just something you might consider. There are not very many things I would pay for, but I would most definitely pay a subscription fee or make a donation to ensure you could keep this up. It is that valuable to me, as a working professional and parent. I’ve been here for a decade, and want to keep it up for another decade!

      October 29, 2019/Reply
      • Belle says:

        What if I did two extra posts per week? One styling, one a reader question, and it was $3 a month. So the blog would stay the same, but subscribers would get something extra?

        October 29, 2019/Reply
        • MK says:

          I would far rather see an occasional sponsored post than have to pay a monthly fee for the blog. I would consider something less than $5 because this is one of my favorite blogs, but it would give me pause. There are already so many subscriptions out there to keep up with. I have no problem with sponsored content, especially as I trust that you’ll be honest. What I hate are blogs where 50 percent of the content or more is sponsored, and you get the feeling that most of the sponsored posts feature products that the blogger would not otherwise be using. I completely trust you to only feature products/companies you’re already a fan of or would genuinely want to try, and only when you could be frank about your experience. I have no problem with a couple of sponsored posts here and there or even a partnership with a brand (surely M.M. LaFleur would want you!) as long as there continue to be a lot of unsponsored posts.

          October 29, 2019/Reply
        • meghan says:

          Just wanted to add that I’m another reader who would absolutely pay for this content. It’s a bright spot in my day, and the honesty, integrity and depth is good for my mental health! <3

          October 29, 2019/Reply
          • Jennifer says:

            I’m the OG community fee poster. You could also consider a post where you ask for a voluntary contribution. Those would either can afford or want to make a contribution can but it wouldn’t necessarily require people to do so.

            I’ve thought about offering to Venmo something in the past but was afraid to be viewed as a total creeper. But when I think about the value I get from your blog compared to a contribution – it is well worth it. When I go out to dinner I drop a random $60 I don’t think twice about (recognizing the privilege that comes with that ability). Would I pay that for yearly content? In a heartbeat.

            October 29, 2019/Reply
            • Michelle says:

              Have you thought about patreon?

              October 29, 2019/Reply
        • AB says:

          On board with the small fee for extra context. Or voluntary contribution. So happy to throw money at you if it means I still have you in my life! 😂

          October 29, 2019/Reply
          • AB says:

            *content

            October 29, 2019/Reply
    • Kate says:

      I follow another blog that uses the platform Patreon to offer extra content to people who choose to pay a small subscription fee. You can offer different perks for different levels of patronage (e.g. everyone gets to vote on a topic for you to address each month, a higher level gets a guaranteed Ask Belle question answered, etc.) The blog itself remains free and open, but people who want to support can and get a bit more. Might be something to consider!

      October 29, 2019/Reply
      • Belle says:

        That sounds interesting. What site?

        October 29, 2019/Reply
        • LauRel says:

          Love the Patreon idea! I would definitely pay for extra content.

          October 29, 2019/Reply
      • SC says:

        I would 100% be on board with a Patreon page for CHS!

        October 30, 2019/Reply
    • Kelly says:

      Add me in as one who would totally pay. I’ll do the Fohr review after work.

      October 30, 2019/Reply
  7. Sarah says:

    Happy to do a testimonial. You deserve it. I’m fine with the occasional sponsored blog post, especially if it’s disclosed, and I trust your judgment on how to handle it.

    October 29, 2019/Reply
  8. J says:

    Did a testimonial! I’m probably one who wouldn’t pay for additional content; gotta love a budget! I’ve noticed that a lot of the fitness YouTubers have Patreon, and it’s been successful for them to the point where they left YT and became their own service! So I would look into Patreon if you’re looking for additional revenue.
    However, I don’t mind sponsored posts, especially if it’s brands that you already love. Since your rare sponsored posts are clearly marked, if I’m not interested, I don’t read. If I am, I’m also likely to click through from here to get you additional revenue. It sounds like you have a sensible business plan in mind for the sponcon, so I support you!

    October 30, 2019/Reply
  9. Xiobhan says:

    Done and done. Also, I bought the camel colored J Crew blazer! I love it. You showed me what I was missing, and how it would be amazing with pieces I already had. Super excited to wear it! (And I bought the tall. I may have to have the sleeves hemmed, but I never wear blazers because I have really broad shoulders (aka man back) and nothing fits me right.

    October 30, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Glad it worked for you.

      October 30, 2019/Reply
  10. Shanghai says:

    Done!

    November 2, 2019/Reply

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