A wonderful era of blogging is coming to an end. So, thanks for reading my blog. When I started this blog a few years ago it was something to do on bedrest with the twins. Then people started reading it. Then my friend Erin encouraged me to get more people to read it by doing a little promotion. Then I put some money into it and Jenn and Jeremy made it look nicer. Then I gingerly, and abashedly hosted one little ad to test the waters of monetization.
Then I got completely sidetracked from all my lofty blog goals by last year’s upheavals. But I kept on writing. A few months ago I did an inventory of my life to see whether it made sense to keep blogging at this pace. Putting That On Your Blog takes a lot of time. In fact, I think about my blog constantly. I plan things around it, not just the time I need to write and take pictures and upload and process them, but the time I need to do things that might be of interest. A problem emerges in blogging where the blogging takes so much time you have no time left to do anything blogworthy. I’m definitely not there, but I do have to keep asking, “Is it worth it?” If I consider only the money I make directly from blogging, the answer is definitely not! I make an infinitestimal hourly wage. But if I include all the opportunities it has given me, all the indirect sources of income, all the satisfaction I get from doing it, all the friends I’ve made, and the constant motivation to try to live a more interesting life so that I don’t bore people, then suddenly it looks like a much more worthwhile endeavor. Would I have unpacked my house so well and so quickly if I didn’t have a blog on which to brag about my mad unpacking skills? Probably not.
So I decided to keep blogging, but on a whim I also put in about 8 times as many ads. And you know what? My ad revenue increased by well over 8 times. No joke! So in case my very bad little hint that I was going to stop blogging had you grasping the monitor with both hands and calling, “Stay with me! Don’t die!”, let me assure you that the “blogging era” that is ending is the one wherein my blog made virtually no money. Woohoo!
I just wanted to say thanks for reading my blog and clicking on the ads. I use that money exclusively for DIY stuff for my house, so thanks for being part of that.
Here’s the deal. I’d still rather be forked in the eye than spend hours self-promoting my blog by commenting all over the web every day, so maybe I’ll never get that coveted viral moment that turns me from popular local blogger into niche web star. I guess if I didn’t have so many other irons in the fire generating reliable income and sucking up my time, I might be able to persuade myself to try to blog big by promoting big. I still flirt with the idea, but I can’t tell whether it’s flirting back with me. Keeps sending me mixed signals.
Regardless of how much money it makes me, I really love blogging. And not just for the love–although I’m always so flattered and incredulous when people say they read me every day. I love that I will always have this really honest, sometimes brutally honest, portrait of what it was like in the trenches of raising my twins. I love that I have taken thousands of pictures of my family–almost 2 thousand. I love that I’ve become a better writer, and that blogging doesn’t tax me mentally the way it used to. I’m nimbler and quicker, and yeah, sometimes I even make me laugh. I love that I feel justified in taking some time to think through the things I read about parenting or whatever else and formulate an opinion because it might turn into a blog post.
I also love that people who don’t know me actually do know me. I’ll be the first to admit that it is unnerving when friendships start with this major imbalance of you knowing a ton of information about me and me knowing nothing about you. It’s like playing chess with a mind reader. You know every dumb thought in my head, and if you don’t, you can read about it tomorrow. On the super upside, being really scarily forthcoming in a public forum takes the pressure off. I love it when people say, “In real life, you’re exactly like you are on your blog.” That’s my main goal. It also means, I can’t possibly fool anybody, so I don’t have to try. Weee! Pretense takes so much energy that I’d rather employ elsewise. For instance, I have some drawer pulls to install and furniture to paint and children to potty train and efficacy of breast feeding to reexamine in light of recent studies.