Well, I had planned to give you my keeping it real post next week and to have a different topic for you, but as life would have it, I need to do this post today. Will you join me this month for my post where I keep things real and let it all hang out?
Why on earth do I need to give you this post today? I'm tired and I'm super behind. Writing this type of post is easier and faster than trying to give you another craft or project all of which I have had issue with lately. Which leads me to a discussion of craft fails and exactly how much time does it take to blog?
While blogging might seem easy on the surface, it isn't. Enjoyable? Absolutely! Quick and easy and the road to riches? Nope!
It takes so much more time than most people think it does. I put up 3 posts with my own new content each week. Doesn't sound too bad, right? I host a link party and I personally view all of the 90-100 posts that link up. I also comment on at least one post on each blog. Still not too bad right? Add to that a features post. Now I am up to 5 posts per week. Then add in about 30-50 email message per day times my 4 email accounts, that is roughly 120-200 email messages to deal with on a daily basis. Don't forget that I personally reply to each comment that is made on my blog. Now add in time for additional guest post and their projects. Oh and don't forget social media….you know getting the word out about all this work I am doing. And we absolutely can not forget the time it takes to link up at link parties everyday. Those are part of how I grow my audience and get more pageviews. Whew…I'm getting tired, how about you?
What I think most people, who aren't bloggers, don't realize is just how much time running a blog can take. Now, I am 100% not complaining. I have chosen this blog and I really enjoy it. Most of the time. It does take an unbelievable amount of work. I talk to people all the time who tell me they have thought about and/or want to start a blog. That is the main thing I tell them, “If you want to do this with the goal of building and audience and making some money, it will take a lot of time.” How much time?
I think I am embarrassed to tell you how much time. Especially if I were to tell you exactly how little I am actually making from this blog. My husband and my best friend joke that I make about 10 cents per hour. They aren't too far off, either.
So, if I get over my embarrassment of how much time vs how much money I make. I spend about 3 to 5 hours every day Monday through Friday working on this blog. I spend at least another 7 hours on the weekends. It can be more if I am working on a project that takes a little more time. That means I am spending between 22 and 32 hours every week pulling this blog together. Does that surprise you?
OK, so I'm just gonna do it…I'm gonna tell you how much I made last month. I made a whopping $45.45. Ummm…Yeah….so totally not worth it if you look at the number of hours I put in versus the pay. The sad thing for me is that just 3 months ago, my income was much greater. Three months ago, with about the same number of pageviews per month (50,000), my income was $123. Now that still isn't a lot, I know. The thing that was great, I was seeing an upward trend in my income. I was believing that all my hard work was beginning to pay off. That if I just kept going, I was headed in the right direction. I know it takes time. It takes time for brands to want to work with me and for me to get paid sponsor posts and such. I'm fine with putting in my due time, but to see the numbers diving bombing in the wrong direction has been a little depressing. (BTW: if you are a blogger and you can see I am doing something totally wrong in the arena…I'm all ears!) It has made me question, why in the hell I am spending so much time and taking so much time away from my family.
I'm not entirely sure I can answer that, even right now. I know that I want to keep going. I know that I believe that this blog has potential. No, I'm not going to become a millionaire, but I really believe that I could earn some income from home and still be here at home with my kids. Still homeschool, etc. I also know that I really enjoy blogging. I enjoy the things I have learned. I enjoy the bloggers, with whom I had started friendships. I love all the variety and the ways blogging causes me to need to learn and stretch myself. I enjoy knowing that I have tons of creativity and that coming up with new ideas doesn't intimidate me. I totally thought I would have no clue what to blog about month after starting. Currently, I have so many ideas there is no way I have the hours to get to them all. Nice problem, right?
Anyway, this post comes from the fact that I have been working really hard lately and I have had one thing after the other that has just taken soo much more time than it was supposed to take. Both things in my personal life and getting things ready to post. I have projects that were supposed to be quick and simple that have taken hours and hours to get the right. I've needed a lot of time for our family and all our end of year activities. I've also started training for my next half marathon, which takes a chunk of time. So, it leads me to my post today.
There just wasn't enough time in the day to get one of my project posts pulled together. I have a bunch in the works….not one of them has gone like it was supposed to go. Let me show you a couple:
I'm working on my apothecary jars and showing them all ready for the 4th of July. However, I haven't been able to find 4th of July M&M's anywhere. Don't they sell those? Or am I crazy?
I finally bought a huge bag of M&M's and sorted out all the red and blue thinking that would look fine. It does, but it doesn't scream 4th of July to me. How about you? Now I have spent time running around to stores that usually sell the M&M's by color to get some white M&M's…guess what? All gone or sold out! I guess everyone else had my idea?! I've come up with a solution, which I will show you soon, but the whole thing took tons longer than it was supposed to take.
My next craft fail, which I am now in the process of remaking, is a pair of shorts for our American Girl Dolls. It all started innocently enough with making a 4th of July dress for our dolls. Only the dress turned out to be way too small…it turned out to be a top rather than a dress. Our dolls don't have any shorts and hardly any pants, so now I needed to add another part to this project. I found a pattern to make shorts. Got them almost all made and realized, as you can see above, I made them wrong. I can't sew those together into shorts can I?
I pinned them together to show you what they would look like…not quite right, is it?
So, I'm hoping you enjoyed my latest keeping it real post. This was definitely real and I'm a little nervous to hit publish on this one, but I have promised you and myself that I will keep this space real…so I'm letting it all hang out this month and hope you enjoyed the ride.
Any of you more seasoned bloggers have tips for me? on making more money? and spending less time? Or does this sound totally normal?