31.5.12

Facebook's Pay to Promote... Calm Down!!!

"Facebook is now starting to charge money to share my posts with my own fans! Go to my page and click "show in newsfeed" if you want to continue seeing my posts!!" - Every business/blogger on Facebook right now.

For the past couple of days, my Facebook feed has been inundated with posts from businesses and bloggers about Facebook's new "pay to promote" feature that has shown up on Facebook Pages. It's been driving me mad, so I'm here to tell you all to please, calm down!

First of all, Facebook is not trying to be sneaky and greedy by making you pay to reach a fanbase that you spent forever building up. They are not limiting your posts, or ruining your business/blog by any means.

To understand what this new Pay to Promote feature is, you need to understand how Facebook works, and realize that nothing has changed in regards to how your posts are displayed on your fans' newsfeeds.

The average "reach" of any given post by a Page is only 12%. That means that on average, only 12% of your fans actually see your Facebook post. It has always been this way. Facebook has had Page insights in place now for quite some time, which allows you to see how many people actually saw your posts. Now, they've simply brought it out into the open a little more, which seems to be causing a panic. This isn't new.

Why do people only see some of my posts, or not at all?
That depends on a bunch of factors. If you post something at 8am, and I login to Facebook at 9pm, chances are pretty great that I will not see your post. The newsfeed fills up throughout the entire day, and without scrolling through every single post since 8am, your update simply will not be seen. You also have to take into consideration that users may have "hidden" your posts from their newsfeed purposely.  There is absolutely no way that every single one of your fans will see your status update.

Another reason users may not see every post from Pages they like is due to Facebook's algorithm. Facebook, just like Google, uses their own algorithm which tells your newsfeed what to display and what not to display. Again, it has always been like this. They are an extremely high traffic site that needs to limit server usage somehow. If you "like", for example, 100 Pages, you most likely will not see updates from every single one of them. Interacting with Pages you are a fan of increases the likelihood that your will see that Page's posts. Facebook sees that you are interested in that content, so they push it out to you. Why would they want your newsfeed to be cluttered with updates from pages that you are seemingly not interested in?  Last time, this is not new.  It's also been the case for normal friend profiles (ever wonder why you always see the same friend's posts and not others?).  If you want to increase visibility of a Page you like in your newsfeed, stop lurking and start interacting! "Like" some of their posts, leave comments. Easy! 

What is this "Pay to Promote" feature then?
This new feature is simply an option that Facebook has given you. You can pay to have your post seen by even more of your fans. What this means, is that instead of risking your post being lost in your fan's newsfeeds like it normally would be (for reasons discussed above), you can choose to pay a fee to have it visible in their newsfeeds labeled "sponsored post" for 3 days. Basically, Facebook is increasing the visibility for you and making it more visible to friends of those fans who "like" the post or interact with it too. You can watch Facebook's video about this here. This is highly useful if you have something important you want to promote. Once again, it's totally optional. Frankly, I think it's a pretty good idea for businesses should they have something important to share. Should you choose not to utilize this feature, absolutely nothing will change.


Facebook is not making you pay to have your posts show up in the newsfeed as usual. Your posts will still continue to be seen by whoever sees them regularly, and they are not limiting the exposure just to force you to pay for something. So, CALM DOWN, (please)!

Why are they trying to make money from us now? 
Facebook is a business just like any other. They have stockholders, who buy stocks expecting a return for their money spent. Being that Facebook doesn't offer a unique product and hardly offers a paid service, they need to make money somewhere. Every time they introduce a new feature that you have to pay for, people get in an uproar. It's a little bit nuts, to tell you the truth! The thing is, they have always made it optional for you to pay anything. So stick with the free services if you like, but if you feel the desire to support a site that helps get your brand out there, and take advantage of their extra promotional features, then go ahead and try them out. Nobody is forcing you into paying for anything.

Hopefully this cleared up some confusion about this new feature. Now can we please stop encouraging negative status updates and spreading false information around the web?

Visit me on Facebook!

Please share and spread the positivity:

30.5.12

pouch love!

Recently I added some new things to my shop! These cute little zip pouches that can attach right to your bag! They are perfect for makeup, cash and debit cards, your phone, or other little findings. Personally I keep one inside my purse for easy access to stuff!






I made little cute coin pouches too as shown above! They are all fully lined with matching fabrics and limited edition (usually one of a kind!). Check them out in my shop now! I'll be adding some more shortly!

29.5.12

free woman









Remember yesterday when I mentioned how one of my top secret weapons is Hautelook? This outfit is an example of some of my recent purchases from there. Free People top and wide leg pants, both half price. They just arrived in the mail yesterday, and I am in LOVE!

A little story about yesterday's post as well. I spent two days putting it together. In the morning before I put the finishing touches on it, my card reader on my computer stopped working, so I was unable to upload the photos I took. After about an hour and a half of messing around with my computer, I got it to work again and was able to put them in my post. Just as I was about to publish, I hit CTRL+Z to undo something I had just typed and Blogger wiped out my whole post. Frantically, I hit the back button to go back to the previous untouched version. As I did that, however, Blogger freakin' auto-saved it. Yep, it auto-saved my now-blank post. Post was totally gone. I tried to recover it to no avail. I might have cried a little. Frustrating mornings will do that to you. After I pulled myself together I started re-writing the entire thing from what I remembered. It's not the same, but it's pretty close. So, I really hope that post can be at least a little useful to some of you.

Today has been a little better. It's finally raining out after a way-too-long dry spell. Thankfully I got these outfit pics done just in time!

Happy Tuesday, friends!
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28.5.12

How to save money. Tips from a shopaholic.

I have to admit that I am kind of a shopaholic. That doesn't mean that I'm in debt because of it though. Far from it. I'm definitely not rich and I don't live the life of luxury, I simply am pretty dang good at saving money and following a few simple rules, which I wanted to share with you today!


My number one tip for saving money is to stop paying retail. Yep, I said it. Shop sales and discounts. Shop online.

Shopping online is probably one of the best ways to save money. Online stores constantly offer incentives to purchase in the form of deals and coupons. You can Google "(store name) coupon" to find discount codes to pretty much every online shop. My favourite coupon finding site is Retail Me Not. You just type in the store URL and *boom*, coupons! Another socially responsible alternative coupon site called Save1 provides a healthy meal to a malnourished child each time you shop through their site. This just doesn't happen with brick & mortar stores, where you wait months for a sale of 20% off or more to pop up... and how often have you had an actual coupon to shop in-store?!  A lot of online stores also offer free shipping codes, or free shipping on orders of "X" amount of dollars.  You also save on some taxes if the online store is not located in your state/province, and ALL taxes if the store is not located in your own country!  Online stores also offer a greater selection of items! You can sign up to your fave store's mailing list to be notified of sales... believe me, they happen often! Pretty much 70% of everything in my home has been a result of online shopping. I haven't set foot inside a retail clothing store with intentions to shop for about 5 years, unless I absolutely needed to do some last-minute gift shopping... and I have saved SO much!

Tip #2: Shop private sale sites. Private sale sites, or "popup" sale sites, are my secret weapon. They are sites that host amazing sales of up to 90% off retail clothing, home decor, kids stuff, and even travel, for a limited number of days.  They're completely free to join too!  My absolute favourite member's only sale site is Hautelook. I've been a member of the site pretty much since they launched, and have saved SO much money. I'm talking $200 jackets for $30. Or $800 pieces of furniture for $150. There is only one catch: you have to be quick to grab things!  Here is a sample screenshot from yesterday's Hautelook sale:


Check out those prices! If you're not shopping these types of stores, you're missing out on huge savings. Here are some others that I shop at as well: Gilt, Beyond The Rack, and Rue La La.

Tip #3: Lower your bills. This is a lot easier than you think. Reevaluating your bills can save you tons of money in the long run. I find cell phone bills to be the biggest culprit here (at least in Canada!).  I've had friends who were paying $200 a month for their cell phone bills and thought it was normal. That is insane, it is definitely not normal! Take a look at your plan and see what you can condense. Go on your service provider's website and check out their latest plan prices (they do change you know!).  I was paying $80 a month for a while for a phone that doesn't even work in my area. After a couple phone calls, reorganizing and removing my data plan, I'm down to $25 a month. I work from home and use WIFI constantly, there was absolutely no need for a data plan, so why pay for it? I helped my mom save $100 a month on her cable bill just by condensing her services a bit. Also, always check out your service provider's latest promos!  You can call them up and simply ask them how you can lower your bill! Tell them what you want to pay and see what they can do for you. If you find an equal service for less money at a different provider, don't be afraid to switch!

Tip #4:  Stop putting everything on credit cards.  This tip is already pretty much known, but it is seriously so important. Only use your credit card if you have the cash in your bank account to cover it... unless it's an emergency of course. I have three credit cards but I only use one of them, and it's mostly used for online purchases because you need a credit card to buy.  I never buy anything with my credit card that I can't pay back almost immediately. Interest is a money saving killer. If you bought a handbag for $300 six months ago and just let it sit there, you've instantly paid more than you should have for that handbag just because of interest. Technically, you don't own any items on your credit card, the bank does. So own up to your purchases and pay for them! Also it's great to always pay more than your minimum payment. I always try to do multiple larger payments throughout the month to pay it off, so I might make three credit card payments per month instead of just one. You don't' have to wait for that bill to come in you know!


Before I decide to go on a shopping spree for new clothing, I always do one thing first. I go through all of the clothes I no longer wear and see if I can either make them work or sell them on Ebay or my Closet Sale site. It's like recycling almost!  The money I make from selling off old clothes goes straight back into funding a new wardrobe, so I hardly end up paying anything for new stuff!

Tip #5: Restyle or make something. I'm kind of guilty of always wanting new things... clothing, furniture.... but I'm not a fan of the prices. I spent months looking for a large enough coffee table for our living room and couldn't find anything under $500. I got crafty and created the DIY Rustic Pallet Coffee Table from this post... and it was FREE!


Before you splurge on something you might not be able to afford, see if you can find a DIY alternative! You might be surprised!

Tip #6: Get knowledgeable about your purchases. The trick to shopping is to do some price comparisons. Whenever I shop online, I always look for the site that has the best deal on the product. You can do the same thing in store too!  Research what you're looking for a little bit and you'll become a pro at this. Learning about your purchases and knowing how much they're supposed to cost (or what is a good deal and what isn't) is super helpful! 

So there you have it. Six money-saving tips that work for me like a charm!  How do you save money??

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27.5.12

slacker sunday: would you rather...

Would you rather...
Be stuck in a fully stocked bomb shelter alone for five years
or 
Lose your entire voice and sight for five years?

24.5.12

colour confident: yellow jeans.

Can I tell you a secret? I pretty much never ever wear yellow. I think I only have maybe three yellow pieces of clothing in my closet. I absolutely love yellow as a colour, but I feel like wearing it on my upper half clashes with my skin tone. It simply does not look good on me.

Enter: yellow jeans. Being frightened of wearing this colour, I took a chance and got myself some yellow jeans. I figured that it would be on the bottom half of me anyways, which meant less of a chance it would make me look sickly... and you know what? I think it works.




Shirt: c/o Oasap



Yellow is a tricky colour to compliment when it comes to clothing, so why not turn to our trusty friend the colour wheel like in my last post!?  Blue is yellow's perfect match. It just brightens up your whole look when you pair these two. Instead of a blue top, why not try a denim jacket with a simple white tank or chambray shirt? Perfection!

Don't be afraid of colour in your wardrobe. It's there to experiment and play with! Sure, basic neutrals, black, and white can pretty much go with anything, but they just lack that touch of fun!

Have you taken a dive into the pool of coloured denim yet? What is your fav colour combo, or what colours are you afraid to wear???

Check out my other Colour Confident posts:

23.5.12

Blogging Wonderfully

When I first began this blogging journey, I had absolutely no intentions of making my online space what it is today.  I started the Wonder Forest blog solely for the purpose of sharing my handmade creations with whoever happened to stop by.  I did not want to be a "blogger", and really wasn't too keen on letting the world know about my personal life.


I don't know what changed inside of me. I started reading other blogs and admiring others who had made theirs a part of who they were.  I felt a connection. I thought that maybe my own experiences could resonate with others in some way. I thought, "hey, I have a voice too, why not use it?".  Suddenly, I felt comfortable enough to open up and draw attention to my little place on the web.

June 2012 will mark the one year anniversary of the birth of Wonder Forest as a lifestyle blog. I've never really counted anything before that as "blogging" because I wasn't doing that. June is when I decided to take this thing seriously and opened my heart up to you guys.

Launching my Blog Wonderful eBook recently was a little nerve-racking and exciting all at the same time. I hadn't been around for as long as some of those other bloggers had, and wasn't sure anyone would want to listen to what I had to say. Maybe that gives me a different angle? Being newer to blogging and documenting things that worked for me while traveling along this road.  Thankfully, I have been reassured by some of the lovely ladies who have taken the time to read my ramblings and because of them, I feel accomplished.

Here's what some of them had to say:


"I absolutely love Dana’s e-book, Blog Wonderful! Even though I’ve been blogging for awhile now, there were still so many great tips that I found extremely helpful. Everything from little design tips to how important it is to connect with your readers. The last chapter about making money with your blog has been a huge help! And I love that Dana points out that you need to build an audience before asking someone to pay you for advertising. I’ve recently started a sponsorship program on my blog, and the tips I’ve found in Blog Wonderful have really helped to make sure I’m moving in the right direction. I’d definitely recommend this e-book to any new blogger!"

Sarah
www.simplydove.com



"As a brand new blogger, I found Blog Wonderful to be a lifesaver! I learned SO much from design to commenting to advertising to things I never would have thought about or known before! This eBook is VERY well organized, so it’s easy to navigate and also very easy to read. It has so many little details that only an experienced blogger could know and is willing to share. I felt like Dana was talking to me as a friend and helping my blog become more successful like hers. You can really tell that Dana put a lot of time and thought into this eBook. I really can’t say enough good things about Blog Wonderful! I just finished the eBook today and I already feel like a more knowledgeable and confident blogger. Blog Wonderful is a great resource and I plan on revisiting it regularly!"

Michelle
sewingrocks.blogspot.com



"Thank you so much for your E-Book for Bloggers!! I'm only half way through it but I'm already understanding how to do so much more with my blog :o) And my blog has been getting frequent facelifts as I go - so it thanks you!! I've fallen back in love with blogging now. Looking forward to reading through the rest of my E-Book :o)"

Mel
www.misstango2.com



"Blog Wonderful has been an excellent resource for me and my fledgling little blog. From post layout tips to how to utilize social networking to planning your posts properly. She holds your hand through every step, and makes it easy to understand. Formatted like a blog itself, you have the option to ask questions and comment, which makes the tools truly interactive. I think the best part for me was the gentle reminder to just be yourself and share your life (or your business or whatever you're blogging about). Good things will come when you're genuine. And Dana, the Wonder Forest, and Blog Wonderful are truly genuine. A killer investment that you won't regret."

Jackie
perchedup.blogspot.com



"I wasn't sure if I wanted to buy this ebook or not when I first came across it... But I am SOO glad that I did! Not only has it given me a lot of awesome tips but it has really inspired me to be a better blogger and best of all.. to be MYSELF. I think that Dana is such a real person, I love her blog, her style and her shop so I knew that she would have intriguing and useful info to share, and she definitely did! What I have enjoyed most about Blog Wonderful so far is Dana's urge to not just follow the crowd of bloggers but to do what feels right to you. Since I started reading this, I've been more inspired to write which has led to more views and followers. I love the blog format and I find myself reading through Blog Wonderful daily. Thank you Dana!"

Tia
sewcalmama.blogspot.com



"As someone who has been blogging for just over a year now, I couldn't help but wonder what Dana's secret to (seemingly) overnight blogging success was. So when Dana announced the release of her new Blog Wonderful eBook I just had to grab myself a copy.. and I'm so glad that I did. Whilst I have to admit that there was some info in there that I was already aware of, there is just something about Dana's online voice that makes you want to put that knowledge into action. My favourite chapters were definitely the last 3 chapters as I just couldn't stop jotting down all of the awesome points that Dana made into my bloggy notebook. Oh, and did I happen to mention how wonderful the design of the eBook is? Blog Wonderful indeed! :)"

Felicity
www.pursuitoffelicity.com



"Blog Wonderful is by far my favorite e-book about blogging. The information is very well written and the design and colors are just plain amazing. If you've got a question about blogging, this e-book covers it, without a doubt. Loved it!"

Laura
www.lauratoeniskoetter.com



You can also check out this interview and mini-review of my eBook over at Holding on to The Little Things.



Thank you all for making this blogging journey so enjoyable so far.

I'm curious, if you are a blogger, what made you decide to start blogging? 

22.5.12

leather and lace




The top in the photos is c/o Oasap and is one of my new favs. Perfectly flowy and accented with gorgeous lace. It's the same one I wore in my Self Portrait Saturday shots. Which, by the way, I have enjoyed looking through all the linkups!! You can get it here if you like, it comes in black too!

I'm sad that the weekend is over. It was such a great one and we had amazing weather to top it all off. Bonfires and a long time friend. I tried my first s'more (it was just okay...). I started a new garden. We yard sale hunted. I got a bit of a tan. We stayed away from the incredibly busy beach and miles of traffic leading towards it. I enjoyed the sun for the first time in a year. Can I just take my own 2-week vacation now please?

Do you like s'mores? I wasn't too fond of mine.

shirt: oasap
stretchy slick look leggings:  by silence & noise. from urban outfitters a long time ago.

19.5.12

self portrait saturday!

Happy long weekend! It's a long weekend here, is it where you are? This is the weekend when our touristy town starts to get really busy!!  Our population grows from just 16,000 to around 200,000 over the summer. It's nuts!

Anyways, today is special because it's another Self Portrait Saturday!!!  Grab your cameras and get ready to link up your own shots! I didn't pick a theme this time because I wasn't sure if there was enough notice. But if you'd like to try a theme, how about "something white"?

I'm hosting this shindig with my favourite American, Heather of Just Lovely Things, so head on over there to check out her shots too!

I wanted to try something I haven't done before. I'm not sure why I've never tried it, but I wanted to capture some "birds eye view" shots by positioning my tripod directly above me and aiming the camera straight down. I set myself near some bright windows for natural light. My idea originally consisted of white flowers in my hair to pull of a certain look, but sadly, no white flowers in my house. Oh well, here are my two fav ones that I took:


I really think this type of pose would work for someone with nice long wavy hair. You should try it and link up if you're one of those lucky ones with beautiful hair! I'd love to see!


I got this top c/o oasap. I am in love with it, but am saving it for another outfit post!

JOIN US!
- Grab your camera and take some awesome self portraits!
- Create your blog post and insert the Self Portrait Saturday banner into it so others can join in
- Link up your post below!
*Enter your blog post URL not your actual blog URL.
Anyone linking up their actual blogs and not a Self Portrait Saturday post will be removed.*

Don't forget to visit the other participants!


18.5.12

instalife friday


bow finger // bye bye healthy diet
mr. benny // struggles with strapless
wholesale order // draw something obsessed


For some reason after visiting my mom, she always sends me home with terribly delicious treats. I'm not just talking one cupcake... I'm talking four of them, plus butter tarts, nanaimo bars, and strawberry pie. Let's just say that this week my diet hasn't been all that great. Seriously, who can even resist all of that stuff... somebody HAS to eat it!

It's been so nice here weather-wise lately. I decided to pull out a little strapless dress. Strapless has to possibly be one of the worst ideas ever. Does this really actually work for anybody? I'm pulling it up about a thousand times a day.  If somebody has some secrets, please spill them!

I've been working on a wholesale order. My little DIY Cupcake Keychain Kits (sold in our Fawn & Flora shop) are going to be sold at Dots Cupcakes in California!  I'm pretty excited about this! If anybody knows the place be sure to check them out... whenever I finish putting 100 of them together that is.

My most recent obsession is Draw Something. For reals, I cannot stop. If nobody is around to play with me I'm continuously grabbing random partners.  If you play this, find me! My username is wonderforest of course!

Finally, tomorrow will be another Self Portrait Saturday linkup! So get ready!!

17.5.12

Cupcake Topper DIY {by Krista} + a Giveaway!

The lovely Krista from Saturated Canary is taking over my blog today with this sooo cute cupcake topper tutorial! I'm seriously in love with her artwork! Without further ado, take the reins, Krista!

saturated canary digis

Hello!  My name is Krista.  I am a mama, artist, and blogger.  You can read about my art, adventures, crafts, and love of fashion over at Saturated Canary.  I love green tea lattes and diet cokes.  (Sometimes together, but mostly not:)...I love Jesus and my babies.  I married my blind date.  I have a particular attraction to amazing tattoos, vintage pinup girls, colorful nail polish, and ball hats.  I'd love if you stopped over, say 'hello' and check me out.  (Yup.  Go ahead and check me out;).  
I am so excited to post a tutorial on Dana's blog today.  I love visiting her niche of cyber space.  It is so lovely...like scrolling through a dream in rose colored glasses.  I'm always smitten with her photos!  

Okay!  Onwards!  Here is a quick and easy tutorial using my digital stamps to make pretty cupcake toppers.  Having a little girl myself, I know the need for some amazing, pretty, and girly party eats...and these are perfect for any girly shindig!  

saturated canary digis

First, I color in a few of my digital stamps.
Then I added a pretty little bow to each one.
I took a photo of each colored stamp with my iPhone. 
(Totally lazy. But, it works!)
I use Instagram.  The 'Earlybird' affect.
Then I save them to my computer and print them out tiny, four to a sheet.  
Easy. Peasy.

saturated canary digis

I cut them out with some fancy scrapbooking equipment.

saturated canary digis

Here is all you need:  two sided tape, toothpicks, and scissors.
(I forgot to add the scissors to my photo:)...

saturated canary digis

Take two matching faces and flip them over; keep the character upright. 
Place a small piece of the tape at the bottom of each topper.
Put your toothpick in place.
Then place the toppers on top of each other, closing your toothpick in the middle.

saturated canary digis

TADA!

saturated canary digis

Push 'em into your cupcakes.  Or muffins.  (My grocery store is super low on cupcake choices...so we went with banana nut muffins and strawberry yogurt.)

My boy thought they were delicious, even with the girly toppers:).
My daughter thought they were gross (she doesn't like bananas)...but super cute:).
So, I think it still counts as two thumbs up!

saturated canary digis
saturated canary digis
saturated canary digis

I hope you liked my cupcake toppers!  They can be customized for so many different occasions.  Super unique and perfect to spice up a party!

saturated canary digis

I'd love for you to stop by my shop and check out my artwork.  It is kind of like digital coloring book pages, for those of you who aren't stampers.  You can print my artwork and color it however you like:).  Use it for projects, crafts, parties, and of course card making and scrapbooking!  It's pretty fun.  And kids like them, too!

And I'd love to offer you something as well!  I'm giving away a featured ad spot on my blog for the month of June ($30) and two Smash Journals!  Don't know what Smashing is?  You can check out one of my pages here:).  Please stop over, say hello, and let's be friends!  

Thank you Dana...It's been a pleasure, friend! xx

* * * 

Thanks Krista! That was so easy and adorable! Be sure to check out her blog and shop, friends!! You won't regret it! Enter to win below!:

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