Frequently Asked Questions

Please use the links below to navigate each question. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Leave a comment, send me an email, or fill out my contact form.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. To learn more about my affiliations, please see my Disclosure Statement.

About Your Blog and Your Content

Advertising

Comments

Food

Networking

Social Media

Answers

About Your Blog and Your Content

Q: Where did you get your blog theme?
A: Here! It’s the free version of the Sugar & Spice theme. I’ve obviously done some MAJOR edits to it. You can figure out how I did many of them by going to my “Search” bar (in the sidebar under “Posts You Might Also Enjoy”) and searching “sugar & spice.” 

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Q: How do you come up with content for your blog?
A: Sometimes Pinterest. Sometimes they happen by accident. Sometimes I’m inspired by someone else, but I wonder, “How can I make this healthier/cheaper/easier?” Sometimes they’re family recipes. It varies from post to post. And I often forget many of the posts I come up with. Which is why I recommend the app Evernote. It’s free and available on PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, and tablets. The best thing is that you can sync your account between devices. So if you write something on your phone, you can then access it on your computer. 

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Q: Can I post your content on my website?
A: You can use ONE picture, as long as you link back to my website. (Please read my policy page.)

You are free, however, to try the recipe, post your own pictures (by that I mean pictures you TOOK, not pictures you FOUND. Remember to blog legally), and share your thoughts on the recipe as well as any changes you made. In fact, I encourage you to do so!

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Q: What camera do you use?
A: The photos on this site are taken with either a Nikon Coolpix S6300 (which is a simple point and shoot) or a Canon Rebel T3i. I use two different lenses for the Canon–a 50 mm and an 18-55 mm. 

However, the secret isn’t in the camera, it’s in the photographer. I know our society has had it beaten into our heads that you can fix any problem by throwing money at it…but no. Unless you’re willing to buy some super expensive classes to go with your super expensive camera, your photos are not going to automatically look better. I know plenty of people who have expensive cameras, but they still take absolutely terrible pictures because they never bothered to learn basic things, like how lighting works.

There is a blogger who wrote a post called How I Hacked Food Gawker and Tastespotting with an iPhone who proves this point nicely.

If you can’t take the time to learn enough about your point and shoot to take awesome pictures, then I suggest not wasting your money on something even more complicated just yet. Learn to utilize what you have before going shopping. That would be Budget Rule Number One.

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Advertising

Q: I would like to advertise on your blog. How can I make this happen?
A: I am currently not accepting new advertisement requests. Thanks, though!

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Q: I would like for you to promote/review/do a giveaway for my product on your blog. How can I make this happen?
A:  I am happy to discuss this with you as long as you understand the following:

    • I will follow FTC guidelines, meaning I will disclose our arrangement
    • I will use no-follow links
    • I will need to know the value of the product for tax purposes

This is not up for negotiation. If any of this is a problem, don’t bother contacting me. If you want to understand why I insist on these guidelines, please read my post on How to Blog Legally

If this all sounds reasonable to you, please contact me! (Especially if it’s a giveaway relevant to my content. I do really love giving my readers free stuff.)

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Q: I’ve been sending you emails about guest posting / advertising / promoting / etc. Why haven’t you answered me?
A: Go back over your email and make sure you didn’t do any of these things:

  1. Address it to, “To Whom It May Concern” instead of “Chelsey.” Seriously, my name is all over this blog and it’s the ONLY WORD in the email address you just used to contact me. If you can’t figure out my name, you’re either a spam bot, an idiot, or you don’t have enough common courtesy to look at my blog before contacting me. It’s amazing how many emails I get like this. Either way, I assumed you were a bot and I ignored your email.
  2. You sent me an attachment. That might work on my grandmother, but I grew up using the Internet. I know not to open attachments from strangers (or strange attachments from people I know, for that matter). Wait until I’ve agreed to look at your attachment before you send me one.
  3. You’re a blogger, but you didn’t include a link to your blog. I get this from a lot of bloggers looking to guest post. I’m not going to even consider you if I can’t see your blog. I need to see YOUR name on the blog (in the About section or something). Reading your blog is how I figure whether or not you know what you’re doing. If you don’t include that, you don’t get to guest post. There are a lot of spammers who pretend to be bloggers. Seeing the blog you send me will help me decide if you’re one of those. Read my guest posting policy for more info.
  4. You’re a blogger who wants to guest post, but doesn’t have a basic grasp of the English language. And the email you sent me reflected that. You can’t ask to write for me while also using “u” instead of “you” in your email and never capitalizing the first word of a sentence. I don’t expect you to be an expert writer, but I am a stickler for basic elementary school grammar rules, sorry.
  5. You didn’t sound like a real person. I’m not a fan of formalities and if I feel like I need to be all “business professional formal” with you, the chances of me responding dwindle. (Often because I stress out about my response, put it off, and wind up forgetting about it altogether.) Also, formal and overly polite emails sound a lot like spam bots. (Seriously, read the spam emails you get and compare your email to them.) It’s possible you went to my junk folder. 

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Comments

Q: I commented on your blog post, but it’s not showing up. Why?
A: That depends! If you’re commenting for the first time, then it’s because your comment is in moderation. As soon as I make sure you’re not a spam bot, I will approve your comment and respond. From then on, all of your comments should go through automatically (unless Akismet screws up, which it sometimes does). If, however, you added a link to your comment, it’s probably been marked as spam. This post will explain why. Note that if it’s your first time commenting and you commented on a lot of things, all of them will be sent into moderation.

If you sent me a message/comment with ONLY a link that didn’t explain what it was supposed to be, then I assumed it was a virus, deleted the comment, and probably blocked/blacklisted you. (You can email me to find out if that happened to you and get your name removed from the blacklist.)

If you have commented before, then it’s possible Akismet lost it. You are welcome to try your comment again (if I find a duplicate, I’ll just delete it. No worries). You may also leave a comment on one of my social media sites or send your comments to me via email.

If you have commented before, but your comment was harassing or abusive, then I have blocked/blacklisted you permanently. Congrats. You are free to openly disagree with me in a civil manner. I don’t believe in censoring opposing opinions in the blogging world. But if you do it in a way that can be seen as threatening, I won’t tolerate it. I will also not tolerate you attacking my other readers.

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Q: You approved my comment, but the link I put in it is gone. Why?
A: Again…read this post. I will only allow links if they are not to your blog (if you’ve been blogging more than a day, you should know that your name links to your blog when you leave a comment using the kind of form I use). If the link does NOT go to your own blog, please make sure it has a no follow tag on it. I mean, if I see that the link isn’t for your blog, I’ll probably do it myself. But it would save me a lot of hassle if you could do it and it’s greatly appreciated! (I won’t bother writing a tutorial for no follow, because that’s easy to Google.)

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Q: I’m trying to comment on a post, but your site won’t let me. Why?
A: Um, I have no idea. You can send me a message on Facebook, email me, or fill out this comment form to let me know what you wanted to say. In the meantime, I’ll need to have this problem looked into. Sorry about that! 

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Food

Q: Can I substitute ingredients in your recipes?
A: You can do whatever you want, it’s your kitchen. But if you leave me an angry comment because you substituted something I did not recommend, my response will not be very kind. Only substitute ingredients if you’re willing to accept the consequences. 

Of course, there are instances where I wouldn’t recommend substitutions, like with baking. Unless you know what you’re doing or you’ve read somewhere that this substitution is OK, don’t do it. (Or do and tell me how it went. I’ll make a note of it in my blog post and I’ll link back to your blog if you have one.) But some of my favorite recipes are the result of me changing ingredients, so I’m always a proponent of experimentation.

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Q: Can I use one of your recipes on my blog?
A: You may not copy and paste my recipes, no. You may try one of my recipes and review it on your blog (follow copyright by posting only the ingredients and linking back to my page for the directions, unless you altered them). For SEO purposes, you may not use large excerpts of my posts. If you are writing a recipe round-up, you may use ONE photo as long as you leave a clear link back to my blog.

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Q: I’m looking for a certain recipe, but I can’t find it on your blog. Why?
A: Because it’s not there, probably. I update this blog as much as I can with new recipes, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find everything under the sun. I’m open to new ideas, though, and you are free to contact me if you have something you really want to see here. Better yet, is there something missing that you have a recipe for? Are you good with photography? Contact me and we’ll discuss a guest post! I’m always open for ideas!

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Q: Have you considered making your recipes sugar free / gluten free / vegan / paleo / etc.?
A: Not really, no. This blog is not a place for dishing out dietary advice (I’m not qualified for that) or recipes for dietary restrictions. I post what I eat, and since I’m on a budget—hence the name—strict diet foods that require expensive ingredients are not at the top of my list. As I said above, I am open to ideas…as long as those ideas don’t cause my grocery bill to skyrocket. If you really need certain types of recipes, your best bet is to look for blogs that explicitly say they cater to those needs.

Or why not become one of those bloggers? Not seeing enough [insert diet] blogs out there? Then it’s clearly a niche that needs filled. If starting a food blog is something that interests you, I am perfectly happy to talk to you about it. (In case you haven’t noticed, I love talking about blogging. So it’s not a problem at all. Email me!)

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Networking

Q: Will you participate in my link party?
A: I participate in almost all link parties sent to me, so sure! Send the link to me through one of my social media accounts or email me, but please don’t leave it in the comments section of my blog if you’re not familiar with no follow tags (again, refer to this post to understand why).

However, if your link party rules require me to jump through a bunch of hoops (following 20 different blogs, putting the party button in my blog post, or forcing me to repin material that I don’t find interesting) or it is meant for a niche I don’t belong to (despite being very clear about not having children, I get invited to a lot of parenting events), then no, I probably won’t participate.

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Q: I’m interested in guest posting for you. What should I do?
A: Read through my guest posting policy and then email me! I’d be more than happy to discuss the details of guest posting with you! Please include the following information:

Name:
Blog URL:
Topic (if you have one in mind):

If you’ve guest posted for someone else in the past, I would love to see the post. So please include that.

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Q: I’m interested in having you guest post for me. What should I do?
A: Again, email me! Let me know what will be required from me in order to guest post for you. If there is something specific you want me to talk about, let me know. We’ll get it figured out. 🙂

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Social Media

Q: Can I share your posts on Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / etc.?
A: Of course! You NEVER have to ask if you can share my posts with other people!

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Q: I followed you on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/etc. Will you follow me back?
A: I really appreciate you following me! To know you have been enjoying my content and that you want more of it means a lot. I hope you didn’t follow me just to get your name seen and get obligatory follow backs…because I don’t play that game. (Especially on Facebook. Please see Why I Am Deleting My Facebook Followers to get a better idea of why.)

If you follow my blog, please feel free to leave a message on whatever social media site you followed me on and let me know what your website is. That way, I can look at it and see if it aligns with my interests.

If it doesn’t, it’s nothing personal, but I won’t be following your blog. 

If you run a parenting blog, I probably won’t follow you. There are a ton of parenting bloggers following me. Which is nice! However, I do not have children, so I don’t relate to their content. So, I’m sorry, but I will not follow you if your primary topic has anything to do with being a parent.

So please do not follow me expecting a follow back.

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Q: How did you get so many followers?
A: OK, so I don’t actually have a TON of followers, but I do still get asked this from time to time.

I actually wrote a whole post about How I Doubled My Page Views, which explains it a little. 

To put it simply, I participate in link parties/blog hops/pin it parties every day. I network. I initiate conversations with people. I reblog people’s content on sites like Tumblr (and give them full credit when I do so). If something I post was inspired by something someone else posted, I give them a shout out by linking to it. I do guest posts for other blogs, I let other bloggers guest post for me. I leave sincere comments (not comments asking someone to follow me). I spend hours every day improving my blog, improving my relationships, and working on promoting myself and others on social media sites. 

Even though blogging is mainly solo work, it does require a level of give and take. Meaning if you give someone else a little exposure, they’re likely to remember it and return the favor. You can’t expect your blog to magically grow without the support of a community. Most of my big blogging opportunities have happened because I commented on the right blog at the right time or because I linked to someone else’s blog post and they decided to check me out. They’re the result of real networking and building relationships.

I also attempt to make sure my blogs are written clearly and concisely so no one has to try to figure out what it is I’m trying to say.

I also put a lot of effort into my photos and I edit them in PicMonkey to optimize them for Pinterest and Tumblr.

So it’s a complicated question to answer, but I hope this helps!

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Q: Why did you unfollow/unfriend me on [insert social media site here]?
A: Probably because I didn’t like/wasn’t interested in your content, you irritated me by saying something stupid or proselytizing, you posted too often and were basically spamming my page. It could really be for any number of reasons. 

An important thing to learn in life, especially if you want to be a blogger and you intend to put your life and opinions out there for the whole world to see, is that not everyone is going to like you. I get my fair share of rejections, rude messages, and unfollows and I’ve had to teach myself to not care. If I let it bother me, I wouldn’t be able to get anything done because I would never stop crying. But I am not entitled to affection and praise just because I’m silly enough to put my opinions out there on the Internet (though that doesn’t mean anyone else has the right to harass or verbally abuse me…but they don’t have to agree with me and they don’t have to like me). Just accept it and find someone who does like you. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there and one unfollow from me isn’t going to change that.

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Q: You changed the source link on a thing you reblogged/shared from me. Why?
A: Probably because you didn’t link to the original source. Further, you most likely changed the original source to your website. As a blogger, it really pisses me off when people use another blogger’s content to get more traffic to their own site. Much of the content on my website takes me upwards of 6-8 hours to create (that’s for each post). Sometimes more, if it’s a DIY! That includes creating the subject, taking photos, editing photos, writing and editing the post (if writing and photography aren’t taking very long, you’re probably half-assing it), and ultimately bringing it all together to form something coherent for my readers to enjoy.

And then I spend more time on multiple social networking sites attempting to promote that post and get traffic to my own blog, with varying rates of success. And you think you have the right to come in, steal that content, and make money off of the two seconds it took you to snag my image (an image that probably took me at least an hour to stage and create, by the way)…without even giving me a nod? Hell no. I don’t want it done to me, so when I see it done to another blogger, I’m going to do something about it. Period.

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Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Leave a comment, send me an email, or fill out my contact form.


3 comments

  1. rebecca says:

    Hey Chelsey,

    Thanks for the link back to my article on iPhone food photography. I agree with you, 100% – Although it would be nice to have a dslr, I have improved so much with my little old iPhone camera. It has pushed me in the best way possible to learn how to take photos and I’m a better blogger because if it!

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