Photo by Jarda Brych
First thing’s first: yes, they’re paying me. My good and very smart friends asked me to consult for their startup, Monogram, at a time when I had been woefully neglecting my blog Stylenik. The timing couldn’t have been better, because Monogram is a tool that makes blogging way easier, and now Stylenik is back on track with posts going up almost every day. And anyway I’m honest and don’t say stuff I don’t believe, even when money is involved. I mean obviously. Look at this photo of me with my 1-year-old.
Specifically, here’s why I’m loving using Monogram to blog. First, I can connect my blog with Monogram in about two seconds, so that when I publish a post on Monogram, I can also publish it on Stylenik—I can save it to my drafts first, so I have an opportunity to make sure everything is in order before I publish. Or I can just publish immediately, which I’ve been doing because everything is always totally in order. See below on the right, I can just click and connect with Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress (which I’m on), as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Reward Style (more on that in a sec).
Why would I want to do that? Partly because it’s for real so much easier to create a post in Monogram than in WordPress. Here’s one example: as I write, I am seeing almost exactly what I will see once the post is live. I don’t have to save, preview in a different window, then go back to the previous window to edit. I’m seeing everything, even what the photos will look like, as I write.
If I want to create a link, I highlight the word I want to link to, and a series of wysiwyg icons shows up (including bold, italics and other formatting options) right next to the word. I don’t have to hunt for the icons at the top of the page somewhere. Voila:
And then if I want to upload a photo or embed a YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram or Vine video, there’s another icon I can use right next to where I’m typing:
And this might be the best part: I can upload a photo directly from my Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa or Dropbox account. Check it out:
I just uploaded this photo straight from Instagram: That took two seconds. And yeah those treats were as yummy as they look.
The other reason to use Monogram is because you can add shopping to your blog posts like a boss. Like as if shopping were your job. Literally. If you’re also a style blogger, or are in any way connected to the online content world, you’ve probably heard about affiliate services
bloggers use to make money. Bloggers use a personalized link to products they like, then if their readers use that link to shop, the blogger makes a commission. One of the most popular affiliate services is Reward Style
, which I use, but their search can be a pain in the neck. I have to go to a new browser window, log in, search for products (which can be slow and have weird results), then I have to copy the link, then go back to my blog post and paste the link. But with Monogram, I can link my account up directly, search within Monogram
using a much more efficient interface, populate my post with merchandise with a few clicks, and I’ll still get all my commissions. I don’t even have to leave this page. I just use the “Search & Add Products” field at the bottom—here’s what it looks like:
Say I’m writing a post about maxi skirts. I type “maxi skirts” in Monogram’s search field and get a slew of results from RewardStyle (if you don’t have a RewardStyle account, you can also shop using ShopStyle, another shopping search engine). Then I click on the ones I want my readers to be able to shop from my post, click submit, and they’re added without ever leaving this page. Voila:
Below, you can shop those maxi skirts. Cool, right?
One last thing I want to tell you about is Monogram’s bookmarklet
. Say you do the above search for maxi skirts, but the particular one you had in mind isn’t showing up in the results. Just go to a page where the skirt’s for sale and use the Monogram bookmarklet to upload it to your post. You can download the bookmarklet by clicking on your profile photo at the bottom left of your screen, then clicking “Get the Bookmarklet.”
Just follow the easy and superfast installation instructions (you just drag the icon to your bookmarks menu) from there. Once it’s installed, go shopping (in another browser window) for the item you’re interested in. Say it’s this awesome black David Michael skirt
at Totokaelo. From that page, click on the bookmarklet. You’ll get a choice of images to use in your post that looks like this:
Click on as many images as you’d like your readers to see in your shopping listing (Make sure they’re all the same item. You can only clip one item at a time), then click submit. You’ll get a pop up that lets you add more information, including price:
Make sure to click on which post you’d like to add it to, then click “Clip to Monogram.” The item will join the rest of your shoppable items in that post. Check it out below, it’s totally there.
And on top of all of this awesomeness, you can repost other peoples’ posts, like them, follow people, and just browse all the other super-stylish content on Monogram. And there you have it! Why I’m using Monogram. It’s really cool.