I thought it might be beneficial to clear the air on a couple issues.
Consider this a PSA to all my friends.
An unfiltered, very real, behind the scenes look at my life.
I am a blogger and there are some things you should know about me.
Why I Blog
I started blogging in 2012. At the time, I was following several homeschooling blogs, a few home decorating blogs, maybe a fashion blog or two. I starting clicking “like” on their facebook pages and enjoyed the daily updates and glimpses into their lives. I began to wonder how they found the time to blog and why they seemed to be devoting so much time to it… and then I discovered their secret.
Yes, I LOVE having a place to share some of the deeper, inner workings of my heart. I want what I post to be intentional and encouraging to others. I want what I post to have substance and I enjoy the satisfaction that comes from blogging as a creative outlet. Part of why I blog is to spread a positive message about motherhood, homeschooling and living a purposeful life.
But there is also money. I know, it sounds so bad! But, I’m a stay at home mom, and though I find GREAT satisfaction in being a wife and mom, homeschooling our kids, keeping the house clean and cooking meals, there is something to be said for the fact that blogging provides me with an outlet, a community, and a pay check. It is very validating to think I could help contribute to my family’s income while staying at home with our kids. And though it’s not much, the money I make is currently going into a separate account that I’ve decided will help pay for things our kids need later in life – such as weddings, braces, college, etc. We don’t live on a huge income, we have very little savings and have only recently started saving for our retirement, so the thought of being able to put money aside for my kid’s future is very motivating.
Maybe the two words on your mind right now are: sell. out.
Friend, let me ask you this; are teachers sell-outs for expecting a paycheck? Are police officers sell-outs for demanding a fair wage? The answer is obvious. What it doesn’t mean is that I’m going to post about anything. I have pretty high personal standards when it comes to things I will endorse or post about. Which is why I’ve TURNED DOWN lots of offers from companies that want to pay me, just to let them post articles on my blog. If I’m not 100% behind a product or organization, I’m not allowing it on my blog.
- Get upset by the amount of instagram pictures I post or the unrealistic filter is casts on my life.
No, my house is not always this clean. No, my kids don’t always wear clothes. Yes, I took a selfie and I look good, but it’s the first time I’ve showered in 4 days and the first time all week I’ve worn makeup. Get this: people on Instagram want to see pretty pictures. It’s the cold hard truth. I’m still trying to find a balance between sharing my reality and sharing pretty stuff, but it’s hard. Every time I share a real life picture, I lose 5 followers. That might not be a big deal, “let them leave” you may say. But money. If I want to run my blog like a business that brings in a paycheck, I have to market myself in a certain way. I’m not saying I’ve found the right way, I’m still struggling with that one. But just know, friend, I’m trying. I really am.
- Take my blog posts personally.
Sometimes I share my heart, sometimes I post about life experiences, sometimes I share lessons I’m personally learning. Did you know that a majority of my heart-to-heart type posts have taken me weeks, maybe months to write and are most likely pre-scheduled to post on a certain day? If something I post rings particularly true for you, please don’t think I’m using you as material. Please don’t think I’m turning a discussion we’ve had into a post – UNLESS I’ve told you it has. I’m very upfront with my friends. As a lifestyle blogger, I blog about life, but I never want to cross a friendship line by using you as the subject.
- Forget that my blog is a business.
Again, a lot of what I write about and post about is the business side of what I do. Maybe you think I’m posting too often on facebook. Did you know that many of the things I post on facebook were actually pre-scheduled posts that I lined up weeks in advance? Bloggers, much like other businesses have marketing tools and programs set up to help us share things on social media that are relevant to our followers, without having to be on-line all. the. time. It actually looks like I’m on facebook more often than I actually am. Did I blow your mind yet?
- Think my life is perfect. Again, this is something I am learning and still trying to figure out! I want to be real and authentic, but I also have to market myself and my content to a certain extent in order to grow my business. Without feeling like a sell-out, how do I share tips and pretty pictures, but also share my heart and my flaws? I am far from perfect and have plenty of my own personal struggles. Please, please, please don’t compare your life to mine or put me on a pedestal.
Remember that I’m just a person who ignored her kids for 7 days and fed them cereal for dinner every night while redoing her kitchen, just so you would have an amazing DIY tutorial to follow. No one can do all the things.
- Compare your life to mine.
Did I just say this? Well, I’m saying it again. You’ve got your thing, I’ve got mine. You are amazing at your thing. You are passionate about your thing. Your thing might not be my thing, but you have. a. thing.
- Try to replicate my life or style.
I am super flattered to know that my tutorials and DIY tips have saved you time, money and sanity along the way. I LOVE helping people create beautiful spaces for their families to live and grow together. But I really, really hope you do what works for you and your family. Don’t do something just because I’m doing it. It might not be what’s best for you. If it is, yay! I hope I’ve helped or inspired you along the way. But please, don’t feel like it’s my way or the high way.
- Read my blog.
Oh man, my own husband doesn’t really read my blog. So I totally get it if it’s not your thing. But when I find out you’ve read something, I feel super honored.
- Share my posts on facebook.
It really helps and it really means a lot when friends and family share my content. Even if it’s not your thing or you haven’t even read the post. You see, facebook is so weird. There have been many books written on how to get your content seen by people on facebook. Just when you think you’re breaking through, they change their algorithm and only 2 people see your stuff. The more people that click “like” and/or comment, or share your post, the more facebook thinks it’s important and shares it with your followers.
- Pin my posts on pinterest.
Again, pinterest is much like facebook. They don’t show people your content unless someone shows interest in it first. When you pin my stuff, my heart leaps for joy!
- Heart my instagram photos and leave encouraging words.
This just makes me feel good. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to post on instagram. I feel like the odd girl out most of the time. Like the kid with no friends at the unpopular table. I just want to post good content that speaks to people and reflects a purposeful life. There is not a time I can remember that I didn’t hit “post” on an instagram photo without feeling my stomach flip flop a bit. #nervouspoop It really does freak me out. Boom. Real talk.
- Click on my affiliate links.
Quite often, I will share links to products that I enjoy or am excited about. Again, I ONLY share things I am 100% in love with. I know that some of my readers and friends want to know what products I use, so it helps them out. But it also helps me. You see, when someone clicks on a link I’ve shared to Amazon for example, I earn commission off anything that person buys on Amazon, that day and for the next several days. You see no difference what-so-ever in your shopping experience or price, but I benefit. It’s a win-win.
- Remember that I’m human.
If you’re my real life friend, you probably know a much more complex side to me than what I share with the world. Remember that I only share part of me with the rest of the world, you get to know the real me. I’m saving the real me for you, friend.
Want to read more about my flaws and things I don’t do well?
Than this post is for you: Something’s Gotta Give
If you want to know more about making money blogging
Start here: How to Start a Blog