Friday, September 25, 2009

JoyStar Handmade Originals

My best friend, Candace Crawford, has this killer handmade purse business. I am so proud of her and want to share her talent with all of you.

With the holidays coming up and budgets being tight...this is a great opportunity to get a one of a kind piece for a REALLY great price.

I have 4 of her bags and I get compliments all the time. I will never carry a bag that has not been made by her. She is a real artist. Please check her site out...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Andy updated his blog!

Andy is out at Interbike in Las Vegas this week. This is the coolest bike show EVER.

The first 2 days are the "dirt demo" Andy gets to ride any bike he wants and put it through the ringer. He said the last time he went he totally demolished a cross bike and kindly handed it back to the rep without flinching. The rep said thanks and handed him another one!

The third day of the show is at the Expo (I think this year it is at the Sands convention center). Also on the third day is Cross Vegas. One of the most exciting and popular Cyclo-cross races.

The rest of the week is a regular expo. Andy is much better at loading pictures. So his blog is full of them. Warning: Vegas in September will make you jealous! (hint: it is not raining there).

PS-Andy has not set up the "instant e-mail" thing I did. So you actually have to click on the link. I would save it to your favorites or bookmark it or something.

later taters, H

Chattanooga, TN -- RAIN RAIN RAIN

Bloomington, IL -- I don't care 'cuz it there is a monsoon in Chattanooga

Aurora, IL -- see entry for Bloomington, IL

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I finally know what my J-O-B is!

Yeah! After 2 weeks at my new job I have finally discovered what Affiliate Marketing is. Well, sorta...

Affiliate Marketing is an Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's marketing efforts.

There are 4 core players at it’s heart:

1. The Advertisers ( /
2. The Network (LinkShare / Commission Junction)
3. The Affiliates (the person with the blog/website)
4. The Consumer (the person buying stuff from Amazon/Zappos)

Affiliate marketing—using one website to drive traffic to another—is a form of online marketing, which is frequently overlooked by advertisers. While search engines, e-mail, and website syndication capture much of the attention of online retailers, affiliate marketing carries a much lower profile. Still, affiliates continue to play a significant role in e-retailers' marketing strategies.

I know that was a little technical. Here is another way to put it... If I wanted to make a little extra money I would put up "advertising banners" on our blog here. Most likely they would be put out to the side bar. I would pick companies that would reflect our blog, like REI or Performance Bicycles. When "guests" visit our blog; you have immediate access to REI or Performance directly from our blog. You buy something from REI, on that visit (from our blog), and REI gives me money. It is a free investment on my part and there is no added expense to my "guests." If you were going to buy something from Performance Bicycles anyway, then you just come to my blog first before googling "Performance Bicycles" and using a search engine. Win-Win.

Now my specific job does not involve super cool companies like REI or Performance. My company works with Pay Day Loans. I know what you are thinking...Ewwww. But after some thought and research, I am not making these people take out a pay day loan. They are doing it on their own. Therefore making their own poor investments and making the company I work for wealthy and able to pay my salary. Who am I to financially advise people not to make poor financial decisions? They should know better, but when you are in a jam and need money, pay day loans are there.

After I sat in the call center listening to people take out loans and then on the collections side our company trying to get our money back, I realized no one should EVER take out a pay day loan. They are intended for a 2 week small loan (no more than $1000). The people that need small loans typically can't pay them back in 2 weeks. There is not an APR, per se, because the interest is incurred daily. So the interest works out annually to be almost 400%!!!!! I repeat do not take out a pay day loan. But let's keep that between you and me ;-)

So as the Affiliate Marketing Coordinator for Logic Marketing (our new web-site will be launched next week :)) I track how many affiliates (people with financial blogs/websites that host our ads) have gotten traffic from their sites to our the pay day loan site. There is a lot more involved with what I do exactly, but I won't bore you with the details. ;-) I will say it is FUN and innovative.

I am so excited to be working in the area of advertising and marketing. The Internet is the way people are shopping, connecting, researching, and living. Affiliate marketing is so new they don't even teach it in college when you get a degree in marketing (right Meredith?) At least that is what I have been told. My degree is in Psychology. If I had to do it all over again, I would have picked a different major. My advice to all the fresh new college students, pick one of these majors and you will be sure to be marketable and have a job when you get out of school.
  • Computers IT (Building / software development)
  • Advertising / PR / Marketing
  • Teaching
  • Accounting
  • Finance (Banking/Investments)
  • Computer assisted design/Art
  • Law
  • Foreign Language
If you pick something vague and intangible like Psychology, be prepared to be in school for a very long time. One degree after another will be the only way to be on the upper echelon of your field. Because a bachelor's degree in Psychology, Biology, Math, History, or Philosophy will get you no where. Skills are required. Tangible functioning practical life skills.

Ok, I am done with my soap box. :-) Just wish I had someone tell me exactly what I should do in school.

Love ya all, Heather

Weather: @ 10:30 am Eastern time 9:30 am Central time
Chattanooga, TN 69* feels like 69* partly sunny-- 90% humidity -- Wind "CALM" (not sure what that means)

Bloomington, IL 65* feels like 65* sunny -- 87% humidity -- Wind "CALM" (I think the peeps are smoking some grass)

Aurora, IL 65* feels like 65* FOG -- 94% humidity -- Wind NE at 2 mph

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ah the Midwest...

I knew at some point I would miss the Midwest. Last summer on almost every bike ride I tried to soak in as much of the big sky flatlands as I could. I almost got misty eyed knowing the majestic fields were no longer going to be my "home." I kept telling myself how much I was going to enjoy the mountains and the rivers. I knew I would enjoy the Tennessee Valley just as much as I had enjoyed the heartland. Truth be told, I have. Today my sister Heidi and I drove to the Ocoee River and was amazed that I actually get to live here in Tennessee. Gorgeous. Truly beautiful (post pictures soon). And then our friend Brad Weaver posted these amazing pictures of Bloomington, IL on his blog and I got all kinds of homesick...

Can you blame me? Even if you have lived in the Midwest your entire life and HATE corn and soybean fields and can't wait to get out of the Midwest, you have to admit these pictures are truly amazing. (Thanks Brad ;-))
I will post more tomorrow about the rafting on the Ocoee River today. I will say one little thing first, it was A-W-E-S-O-M-E. I am totally ready to lean how to kayak. =)