Note: All the pics are from my first blogs. You can find them chronologically in the sidebar in the Monthly Archives (scroll down on your computer). You can also follow me via email from a spot in the sidebar!
I’ve been noodling how to make money from my blog. Apparently, lots of people make six figures on their blogs with topics ranging from raising urban chickens to how to live full-time in an RV. One young couple has traveled the country in an RV and paid off all of their student loans with proceeds from their blog that details how to live full-time in an RV and pay off your student loans. Other young people have made fortunes writing blogs about how to find a job you are passionate about and even personal blogs like mine.
I would love to make a fortune off writing this blog. I love doing it, and I can’t seem to stop doing it, so it would be a great fit. So, I started researching HOW people make money off them. You can sell ads, write blogs advertising products and sell links to advertiser’s websites. One weekend, I looked up all the ways to make money and started applying to get some of those dollars. In less than 24 hours, I got a note back from Google Adsense that I needed to have more text in my blog in order to run their ads. I grimaced. I’m not going to change my writing in order to put ads on my page. Then I started looking at some of these bloggers’ sites, and the ads were all over the place. They were irritating. Some had pop-ups where you couldn’t find the X to exit. Videos blared. Many were placed in the content, and I kept clicking on the ad instead of the article content. Ugh….
I write my blog for the writing. I’ve been doing this for 3 years and have posted almost 800 blogs. I am an avid blogger. Yesterday, I happened to be looking at my stats, and I noticed that I had exactly 100 email followers. Some people follow me on FaceBook, some on Twitter and some find me during a Google search. Other WordPress bloggers can subscribe to my blog in their reader. But, my most avid readers are those who get my blogs via email. They never miss a post because they receive an email in their inbox. Some of my followers have followed me for over 3 years! That means they have received every one of my almost 800 blogs in their inbox. They read it or delete it, but it’s right there in their face.
Since 100 followers is sort of a momentous number in my book, I sent them all an email thanking them for following my ins and outs and reading my blog. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to read about my little solitary adventure, but people are always confessing that they read my blog. I giggle a little because I can’t imagine that I’m that interesting. And maybe that’s the point. Maybe I’m pretty normal, and it’s just interesting to read about a normal person’s life. If you feel like sharing WHY you find this blog interesting, I’d love to hear about it! It’ll probably make me giggle just a little.
Anyway, I sent them an email thanking them for their loyal following. One by one I got emails back that blew me away. Some of them I know in my personal life. Others I’ve only met once. And then there was one that I’ve never even met. She is friends of an old co-worker and was having some of the same issues that I have. She told me that she was so grateful that I share about my life so that she can learn from it. Giggle, giggle…. Another reader told me that she’s started going to 12-step meetings because of my blog. Others mentioned that they love reading about my adventures with Ashok, and several mentioned the word courageous. I saved them all. I want to read them on those days after I hit send, and the silence is deafening. I’ll know that Midlife Moments is sitting in their inbox waiting for them if they need it.
When I first started writing, people would send me private messages and tell me that I was really helping them. One of my friends stood in a coffee shop with tears in her eyes and said, “You are helping people. You are helping me.” That was the reason I started this blog. If you read my first blog “You Can Create Something Different”, I put forth this intention:
For me, the past 10 years or so has been about learning to pray, learning to surrender to God’s plan for me, learning to ask for help and connecting to that little curly haired girl who was ignored and silenced by my own and others vision of what a “successful” life looked like. I want to share the work I’ve done. I also want to share with you the day to day struggles that I still battle in order to stay grounded in this life that changes every moment. I want to share resources that were helpful to me as I’ve gone through divorce, addiction recovery, financial upheaval and various other life struggles. I hope that you will find it helpful. If not, I hope you will find it funny and hopeful. If nothing else, I have learned to laugh as I move through this.
My life is nothing special. I still have issues in relationships. I’m still scared. I still feel lonely. But I’ve found that by sharing with others and being authentic I’ve developed a strength that I didn’t know I had. It’s the strength and bond of community. I’ve made new friends that I’ve never even met. I’ve rekindled relationships with old friends. I’ve deepened friendships that already existed and, yes, I’ve culled relationships that couldn’t weather the authenticity. I don’t tell you everything, but I do tell you a lot. The writing has changed my life, deepened my relationship with myself and helped me get closure on a lot of things. I would not be in Baton Rouge if I hadn’t blogged.
When I thought about cluttering up this sacred space – and it has become that for me – it seemed so inauthentic. A business asked me to blog about how I make myself warm and cozy in the fall and to link to their bedding website. They didn’t want to pay me or send me any product. I didn’t like that deal, but what I really couldn’t do was subject my readers that follow me on this intimate journey to an advertisement of something I’d never used. Would I want my readers to start questioning if this was real, or if this was something that was generating income? Maybe I could start a different blog for that purpose one day, but I don’t think I can do that to Midlife Moments. It would be like prostituting my soul for a few bucks.
So, I won’t be writing blogs for money here. You can always be assured that what I write is real and sometimes raw and always genuine. I promise the blog site will always be clean and adorned with my stuff. I know WordPress runs a few ads through there, but, hopefully it’s not a lot. I don’t want to ever irritate you unless I mention something that convicts you of a change you want to make in your life. I do want you to know how much this space means to me. My first words to you were “You can create something different”, and those words ended up being insanely prophetic for me.