Sunday, January 1, 2012

In the Interest of Full Disclosure: How NOT to Make Money Blogging

You may have noticed a scarcity of blog posts lately (if you are one of my very loyal followers... thanks, mom).  Just for the sake of transparency, I thought I'd share why I haven't been posting lately.

I'll be honest, against all advice to the contrary, I started this blog partly to see if I could make any money with it (I say "advice to the contrary" because everyone says that's a bad reason to start a're supposed to start it because you are passionate about your content and want to share it with the world, and you are just so stinking excited to write a post everyday, etc., etc.).

Since then, I have decided that it takes one of two things to make decent money from online content: impressive hard work and dedication, or absolute lack of scruples.  Judicious use of bold-face text helps too...just kidding.

Situation 1: There are some blogs and sites out there that are just amazingly fantastic.  They have awesome, valuable content, and it's obvious that their creators put blood, sweat, and tears into them to make them what they are.

Situation 2: I think we are all familiar with these: the sites or blogs that just copy links or crappy content from other sources, don't create anything original, yet probably make quite a bit of money because their search engine rankings are high and they are plastered with tons of obnoxious ads.  Clearly not an option if you have high ethical values and want to be able to sleep well at night.

I guess there is also Situation 1b, where the blogger/site owner creates actual product to sell online, like e-books, print books, video courses, and the like.  Then, the actual blog is not the heart of the site, but more of a complement to the true product available.

Well, I thought maybe I'd fit into Situation 1 and be fairly successful at growing the blog, attracting loyal readers, and maybe making a little bit of money on the side.  But it turns out, blogging to make money is really, really bad for me and my family!  We started noticing that on the weeks when I'd do really well at blogging (like a few posts a week), for some mysterious reason, the laundry would be piled up, our dinners would be late, and the kids would be waaay extra grumpy.  What?  Toddlers don't do well when mommy is working on the computer instead of playing with them?

So (to my husband's huge relief...he missed having clean underwear), I decided at the beginning of December that it's time to give up the dream of being an amazing, world famous blogger who changes the world with my thought-provoking content.  It's just not worth it right now.  Instead of blogging about all the things I think I should be doing, I've been actually doing things!  Okay, admittedly, the laundry is still piled up, and I made my easiest, quickest recipe for dinner last night.  But I am not spending valuable time checking stats to see what blog posts are most popular, trying to decide what people would like to read about, and trying to make my content comment-provoking, when I should be doing puzzles with the kids and hacking the Himalayan blackberries out of the garden.

So, that's my full disclosure statement.  I am done trying to make money at this thing, and from now on, I'm just going to blog about what I really want to share, not what I think will generate revenue.  I guess that's how it should have been from the very beginning.  But I will still use bold-faced type, hopefully judiciously.


  1. I hear ya! My kids are older, so that makes my time a little more flexible, but it's no cakewalk. My goal for this year is to organize my time so I can be firmly in group #1. I bought my own domain name ( and am moving to WordPress. Yikes! Wish me luck and much patience.

  2. You forgot freaky good luck! A reader referred me to a friend who was hiring for large website. They hired me to do a weekly post for them for eight weeks and paid me $200 a week. Pretty cool, but freaky lucky. I don't think it will happen again, but getting paid $$$ at Christmas time was pretty cool. How someone keeps that going? No idea.

  3. That is fantastic! I'm not sure how to conjure up that kind of good luck, but it would sure have helped! That is so nice that it was right around Christmas!

  4. Laurie, that's so exciting! I think you do a fantastic job keeping up, especially with your facebook community. Best of luck this year!


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