It was a perfect storm of circumstances for Amanda Ritter, who bought the clothing and accessories for her fashion blog, “Cosmo,” for $250 on April 5.
In the weeks since, the blogger has seen her brand’s revenue drop by nearly 30 percent.
“We were on a steady upward trajectory, but the downward trend started on May 15 when I bought the Cosmo ad, which I thought would help us build momentum,” she told TheWrap.
“I didn’t realize how big it was going to be.
The day we opened, it was selling for $300 a pop, and that’s when I got worried.
By that point, I had spent nearly $800 in order to get the ad.”
The sales dip came as no surprise.
After all, Ritter said, the brand had grown in the months since the purchase, and she had been trying to sell some of her own stuff for about six months.
“But I was really surprised to find out it had actually dropped by nearly 20 percent,” she said.
“And that was totally unexpected.”
It took Ritter months to get her “Cosmofash” ad on the web.
That’s when she realized the ad’s $200 price tag was an overstatement.
“At first I was like, ‘Oh my god, it’s $250 a pop,'” she said, adding that she did not realize the ad would actually end up costing her so much money.
“My original goal was to make $250, but I just never had the confidence to actually make that,” she recalled.
“Once we got the ads, it became very clear to me that I wasn’t going to make any money off of it.”
When she finally managed to make some money, she found out she’d been spending more on clothes than the ads she was selling.
“Honestly, I was just so surprised,” Ritter told Thewrap.
In a post on the Cosmopolitan site, she explained that her business was getting in the way of her personal growth.
“It’s been a tough time for me, and I’ve lost sight of my goal,” she wrote.
“However, I did see an opportunity to get more money out of my brand, and this was exactly what I needed to do.
I made a conscious decision to not just make money off the brand, but to use the brand as a platform to reach out to a wider audience, and to make a difference.”
Ritter also posted a video on YouTube showing her shopping for the Cosmofare products on Cosmo.com.
While her sales jumped, Ritters was still making $60 a week, and her blog saw a 30 percent drop in revenue.
“That was pretty scary,” she remembered.
“There’s so much pressure on me.
I have to meet the same standards that other bloggers are.
That makes it so much easier to take my brand down.”
Despite her losses, Ritchie said she was not disappointed.
“Cosmopolitan is not the worst place to start looking for business,” she explained.
“Just being on the same page as everyone else makes me feel really good about my brand.
It’s a way to give back to the community, and it gives me the chance to give people hope and a sense of purpose.”
Ritchie also hopes the ads will encourage others to take a page out of her book.
“A lot of people are going to see it as just a ‘cosmo coupon’ because it’s all about the money, but it’s not,” she concluded.
“You need to do your research and make sure you know the people who are going in there.
You’re not going to find the best deals, but you’ll find a lot of great things.”
Ritchi’s advice: “Be yourself and keep your eyes open for opportunities.”