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Letter From the Editor: Hey 2016, You Can Go Shave Your Back Now

Letter From the Editor: Hey 2016, You Can Go Shave Your Back Now
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As 2016 finally comes to a close (and it’s about damn time, amirite?), I feel the need to take a minute (or a few) to reflect on all of the changes Earn Spend Live has gone through over the past year — as well as keep all of you in the loop about what’s coming up in the new year.

It’s been one crazy year, and if you’re in the publishing industry you know that everything around you — your job description, the people you work with, Instagram’s never-ending updates — can (and will) change in the blink of an eye. The only real constant is that the Kardashians will keep reproducing and giving their kids names like ~*~DrEaM~*~.

Planners, Planners, and More Planners…Oh, and Subscription Boxes

In case you haven’t noticed (and if you haven’t, have you visited our homepage recently…?), Earn Spend Live has looked a little more like a blog devoted to reviewing planners and subscription boxes over the last couple of months. In the spirit of honesty, which is what we’re all about here at Earn Spend Live, I’ll clue you into the number one reason for this: Money. Talking about money is uncomfortable and no one wants to be labeled as money-hungry, but we’re running a business—and a business cannot, under any circumstance, run without financial stability. So while we love planners and subscription boxes, (and our readers REALLY love them), the more we write about planners and subscription boxes (and the more our readers buy said planners and subscription boxes and we make commission), the more we get to talk about what we truly want to talk about — like the importance of diversity at the office, parental leave, and building up an emergency fund.

When we first launched the site, we had zero idea what it would take to make our dream successful. We wrote the articles we wanted to write with the advice we wanted to share, and we honestly expected to go viral (so young and naive, I know) and have the overnight success Betches had (which, like, you go, Glen Coco). Long story short, it didn’t happen. So we researched. We enlisted help. We googled shit.

Meleah is like a sponge; she soaked up everything possible about affiliate marketing, sponsored content, display advertising — you name it, she can figure out how to make money from it. Some of her knowledge has rubbed off on me, and we’ve worked together to try to make Earn Spend Live the success we know it can be. I like to say she’s the producer and I’m the director. (And of course, Terra, Christine, and our contributors are the talent.)

The other reason we review so many planners and subscription boxes: We’ve gotten good at it. We know what we’re talking about — especially Terra, who’s reviewed more than 30 planners. People know that we know what we’re talking about. We’ve established strong relationships with companies like Erin Condren, Day Designer, Beauty Box 5, Emily Ley, etc. When there’s a new planner on the market, we’re the ones you want to review it. We’re 20-something professional women navigating the workplace, managing our finances, balancing our personal lives with our professional lives — all with the help of a good planner.

Why do we love subscription boxes? Because we’re busy. We don’t have time to shop around and read every review of a product we’re maybe-sort-of considering buying. We like to have monthly little gifts delivered to our door, in the hopes that we’ll find a new favorite product — and hello, just because it’s fun.

The difference between us and the contoured, beauty vloggers of the world: We’re real girls. We have 9-5 office jobs, so we don’t want sparkly shit on our eyelids and neon pink lipstick on our lips. We have real shit to do, like film our unboxing videos literally in our office.

When you come to Earn Spend Live, you get honesty. You get imperfection. You get realness. We don’t pretend to like products for the sake of getting on an affiliate partner’s good side. You can check out our reviews of Le Tote or FabFitFun if you want proof.

The Earn Spend Live Shop

When you come to Earn Spend Live, you also get the basics of what you need to survive your 20-something life. That’s why we created our online shop. We believe in keeping it simple and covering the basics: The beauty essentials for looking like you got your full eight hours of sleep (even though we know you didn’t), basic tees and blazers to complete your office casual look, and productivity tools you need on your desk to get through the workday.

As we do whenever we add a new feature to our site, we stalked other websites to see what’s hip and cool — and featuring products we love that link out to the sites we love seemed like a perfect fit, especially because most of the products we feature in the shop are products we’ve actually reviewed on the site (and our faves are marked with a little heart icon).

We currently feature products exclusively from our affiliate partners, which means when you buy one of our recommendations, we get a buck or two for recommending it. We also have a few of our own products created by our wonderful designers and are constantly working to add more.

Our New Year Resolution Goal

I would like to see Earn Spend Live become the one-stop destination for 20-something women getting started in their career — both their professional career and their adulting career, because that ish is a full-time job. I’m a little biased, but I think each member of our team has something individual to contribute: Meleah leads by example on how to be a bad-ass feminist, Terra teaches us how to get our shit together and be functioning adults, Christine shows us it’s okay to take pride in being a basic bitch (and how to budget because that’s important I guess), and I like to think that I demonstrate that your mess-ups make your best stories and you should always laugh at yourself and embrace being a haute mess — and whatever we lack, our contributors more than make up for with their advice and stories. On Earn Spend Live, there’s room for every voice.

When you go to Refinery29, you know you’re going to find trustworthy (albeit pricey) products; when you visit Betches, you know you’re going to find an abundance of Mean Girls jokes; when you read an article on The Muse or Career Contessa, you know you’re getting tangible career advice. On Earn Spend Live, we do our best to combine all of these aspects. We know your time is quite literally money (because same), so we strive to give you to-the-point advice and stories — from 20-something women like you, who are trying to squeeze in an article while they hold their rosé in one hand and their TV remote in the other.

How You Can Contribute

At Earn Spend Live, we believe everyone has a unique voice and a story to tell. We recently began a new series, “20-Somethings On…” where we feature stories and advice from our contributors on topics like emergency funds and long-distance relationships. Want your voice heard? Email me at and I’ll add you to the list!

If you want more than just a couple of paragraphs, shoot me an email with a pitch and a couple of writing samples — we’re always looking for new contributing writers!

Love Us? (Mean It!)

Other ways you can get involved: Subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we review planners, unbox subscription boxes, and interview local businesspeople; subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on our content; listen to our podcast, EVEsdropping (on iTunes and Podbean) for our sage business advice; follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest; and, duh, buy and rep our official ESL merch!

Cheers to the new year! What do you want to see from us in 2017?

Follow Elise on Twitter: @elisewillrikard | Instagram: @elisewillrikard

Last modified on November 18th, 2019

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