Main Navigation

 photo HiSugarplum-MainNav-Home.png photo HiSugarplum-Projects.png photo HiSugarplum-Organize.png photo HiSugarplum-Holiday.png photo HiSugarplum-Fashion.png photo HiSugarplum-MainNav-travel.png

Ad - Header Leaderboard

Monday, June 11, 2012

{Your Questions} Blog Bidness

Hey, hey! I hope you guys all had a fabulous weekend! We're still trucking along and having a great time on our road trip. So far we've had 11 bathroom breaks, 9 food and snack stops, 3 gas fill-ups, passed 21 McDonald's and stayed in 2 hotels. Oh, and we've crossed a Swampoodle Creek and seen a man carrying a large cross down the freeway. And as long as the DVDs are flowing, there is peace in the backseat. So far, so great! (I'm posting our adventures on InstaGram...I'm CassieSugarplum).

Last month, I opened the blog up to any and all of your questions. The biggest topic, which we addressed last week, was how in the world to "do it all"?! Hopefully I squashed the notion that I do, in this post, 'Doing It All. Who Does?!' The second most popular subject was blogging....tips, making money, scheduling, etc. And while I'm certainly no expert and still feel like a newbie, I'll share my methods.

via

How do you take the jump into accepting ads and making money at blogging? 
I think it's important to say, blogging isn't like starting a small business....you can't go at it from a financial standpoint. That defies the whole point of blogs, and readers will skip right over your agenda-driven content. It really has to be something that you enjoy, and do solely for yourself. Then as it grows, so do the opportunities to make money.

via

Unfortunately, there is no 'Blogging for Dummies' (or maybe there is?!), so I'm feeling my way through this journey just like you (with the help of my circle of blogging friends who I consult regularly). I struggle with how much to charge, uncomfortable with assigning a dollar amount to myself, and I still have no idea how my rates compare to others. You also need to factor in the work involved with having sponsors...adding the graphics and links, maintaining the invoices, etc. I sell my ad spaces in 3, 6 and 12-month increments, with price breaks at the longer terms, so I don't have to mess with changing out the ads constantly.

Once you've established your voice and are blogging consistently, reach out to small companies and Etsy shops you really like, and offer to give them space for a super low rate ($10/month, or even free). This gets things moving, and lets other potential sponsors know you're open for business. As your blog grows, you can slowly increase your rates. How much is too much or too little? I have no idea. I still struggle with charging people to have a spot on my dingbat blog, but I have to remind myself that I work hard to keep the content original and engaging.... and that has value!

via
You could also run affiliate ads (ShareASale and Commission Junction are two I'm familiar with), where you receive a portion of sales generated from links on your blog. I'm not a big fan of them, so I only ran them for a short time. Google Ad Sense is easy to install and pays you for page views, as do the ad networks like BlogHer, Izea and Rivit. And lastly, Social Spark pays you to write review posts on assorted products and services. It's difficult to turn down financial offers, but remember you're only getting them because of the fresh and original content on your blog, so don't veer too far from that. (Read more about that here.)

So how much time do you actually spend blogging -- editing photos, drafting the post, etc?
I tend to blog in spurts and group the tasks together. For instance, I'll create and photograph a few projects over the weekend, then edit all the photos (using picmonkey) one evening during the week. Then during work down-time and lunch breaks, I'll write the shell of several posts, finishing them up the day or so before they post. But if I were to calculate the total time spent per post, I'd say about an hour to select and edit the photos, and another hour to write the post. Some more, some less. And of course this doesn't include the actual project time!

via

Do you plan your posts in advance or do you write them the night before?
I'm reeeeally Type A and an expert list maker (I choked out my dark secrets here), so I don't usually blog spontaneously and off-the-cuff. Sometimes ideas pop up and I'll throw a post together, but the majority of my posts are pre-planned and scheduled (in pencil) in my pocket calendar. I also keep a running list of ideas and projects to draw from.

100_2160

How do you balance your blog time...do you have a set schedule for when you write a post, how long you'll spend on it, how long you spend answering comments and commenting on other blogs?
This is where keeping a calendar helps me manage my blog time. On the weekend, I'm able to look at the upcoming post ideas, then focus on completing and photographing those projects. After editing the photos, I'll place them in blank posts until ready to write. If the writing doesn't come easy or I'm not feeling it, I'll just come back to it later. The 'deadlines' are only my own, so I don't stress about completing a post. Which means some days I have no post, and that's okay. (Well, maybe I stress it a little. But that's when I remind myself that this is my hobby and supposed to be fun.)

via


As for comments and emails, I address those throughout the day when I get a break from work. Having an iPhone makes it easier to stay on top of my inbox, and connected with social media, too. I am an avid fan of blogs, but they can suck up all my free time if I'm not careful. So instead of reading them all every day, I read a few at a time, catching up on a week's worth of posts.

Did your blog improve over time? Most of the time I think mine sucks and wonder if I should scrap the whole thing.
I hope it's improved, after two years of doing it! But you guys would be the judge of that. When I first started, writing was my favorite aspect of blogging and where I spent most of my time (I was an English minor). So the structure and visuals were sorely lacking. Over time, and with practice through trial and error, I've come to love the full process....from seeing a project come to life, to photographing and sharing it with you all. I love blogging, and creating a post from start to finish is one of my favorite things to do. I'm thrilled to have followers and subscribers, but I'd still be blogging from my little corner of the internet even if you weren't reading. (But you're not allowed to leave me now!) So if you enjoy it, keep going! If you're doing it only for followers and money, or you feel pressure and stress from it, then maybe it's time to re-evaluate.

via

What tips do you have for us blogging newbies?
I think readers are drawn to blogs for the personal connections and real-life experiences. At least that's why I prefer blogs over straight editorial writing. That, and I'm a total voyeur, and blogs give me a glimpse in to other people's lives. And I believe if you love what you're blogging, that will come across and attract readers.

My other tips are the same ones repeated throughout Blogland...read and comment on other blogs (check to be sure you're not a dreaded No Reply Blogger first), make connections with bloggers and your readers by responding to comments and questions, turn the flash off your camera and post large, bright images, be nice and have fun! I know, totally lame. You hoped for some golden nugget to blogging success....but sorry, I don't have one.

via

I know it's frustrating to watch other blogs explode with popularity, especially if for no known reason. But comparing yourself will just kill the fun. As tempting as it may be, don't stray from your voice and who you are. I remind myself constantly that this fun, this is my hobby, and I do it for the joy and creative outlet.

via


Ack, that is enough of my blabbering for one day! I hope this has been helpful, and we'll tackle another round of questions next week. Do you have the Holy Grail to blogging? Share your tips and secrets!

29 comments:

  1. well we all just love all of your blabbering! Your blog is always full of fresh content and that is truly why you stand out! xoxox

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love this Cassie! Wish I could be more organized about my blogging. I'm getting there. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are definitely my favorite in my blog list and I always look forward to your posts. I think blogging gives that little kick in the pants to complete projects. Once you post that you will, you kind of have to. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Keep on rockin' it, Cassie. So happy that our blogs brought us together. All great advice here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you so much for sharing, this is really helpful. I just started blogging again. The first time was just so my family could keep up with my life since I moved away from them, but now I want to do more. I too majored in writing (journalism) so it's a great creative outlet for me. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the tips! You make it seem very doable for the rest of us. I'm not expert but I love the writing and I'm just gonna keep doing what I do and work on the technical stuff little by little. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such great advice! I always love reading your posts :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. These are such great tips Cassie!! Thanks a ton for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great advice and good reminders! I am desperately trying to catch up on my comments...hello maternity leave! But it's always a process! Learning to balance that out!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great advice! I've been blogging for 4 yrs. I have 2 blogs.

    I blog about My Life in Scotland as an expat and I blog about reading and all things bookish. I have so much fun that I'd do it if nobody read it, but I'm grateful for my readership. Even if it is small. Connecting with other readers is my favorite part! It is nice to find other people excited about books and travel like I am. I'm at a point where publishers and authors send me books now, but that is about as good as it gets. I won't be making any money on my blog. And that's OK.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Precisely why I love your blog because you stay true to yourself and don't "sell out." Great tips. I hope you are enjoying your vacay, I have loved the pics on instagram!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love that you shared this. I have been feeling so insecure about my blog lately which is so wierd since I started it just as a fun thing for myself. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the numbers game. And knowing what to do next is really hard. Do I put ads, or not? Will my readers like this, or not? Ahhhh!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love that you shared this. I have been feeling so insecure about my blog lately which is so wierd since I started it just as a fun thing for myself. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the numbers game. And knowing what to do next is really hard. Do I put ads, or not? Will my readers like this, or not? Ahhhh!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love this! I totally dont blog for money, but my time is definitely worth something! Keep on doing what you're doing and we'll keep reading!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Such great tips for a newbie like me, so thanks for sharing what you've learned! I can't seem to figure out if I'm a "no reply blogger" but am sort of afraid now ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. good tips - thanks so much.. I enjoy doing it but haven't much lately.. the best part is not feeling the pressure. (found you on Instagram today, too)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh you drove through my neck of the woods if you passed Swampoodle Creek. Hope you are having a great road trip and thanks for all of the great tips!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I want that calendar from where can i print that? :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's nice to be able to read other bloggers struggles and thought process. It makes me feel better that I'm not alone in not really knowing what I'm doing and just learning as I go!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I really enjoy blogging.....when I have time! I have some goals for myself and blogging more frequently is one of them. My little man will be 1 next week so maybe (???) I will have a little more time. Hahaha right! I like your idea of blogging on your lunch break. I may have to do that. It's not allowed from my work computer, but I can blog from my phone or bring in a computer from home :).

    Where did you get/print your calendar? It's nice and simple and I like that. Also, are the Greek key print items calendars too? I love that print and those colors so I would love something like that! I have a Life Planner from Erin Condren but it's too bulky for my handbag to carry around all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This was a really great post and I needed it for a kick in the butt to keep going! It is definitely a fun creative outlet. Your blog is fantastic inspiration and your sense of humor is great!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Excellent post, Cassie! Thanks for sharing all your bloggy wisdom!
    Heidi :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for all the great advice Cassie! I am a long time reader of blogs, but a very NEW blogger myself so I love the tips! Enjoy your trip!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. These are really good tips! I know I haven't commented much lately much I do check in to see what you are up too! Love your blog! Wedding is in 25 days so when its done and dusted I'll be back commenting with avengence!!
    Hope you are well sweetie!
    Rachie xo

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Cassie,
    This is a great post for us newbie bloggers! I've been personal blogging since 2007, but recently decided to launch an education blog for moms (and all parents) to share my knowledge of public schools as an insider. It's been fun but it's a lot of work! I like your blog alot. Clean, engaging, and great content! Thanks! Molly

    ReplyDelete
  26. I do the same thing- make a calendar and schedule all my posts! It makes things so much easier to stay on top of. Great tips, friend!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Loved this! I think I pinned nearly every picture. ;-) I am horrible at scheduling out my posts. I really need to focus more on that. Thanks for all the reminders and congratulations on such a wonderful blog! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  28. Good tips and words of wisdom. I guess that is why I like your blog - you have a great "voice!" Wish I was as organized with my posts as you - I am more "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" kind of gal!

    ReplyDelete
  29. How is it I only just found your lovely blog? Wonderful tips, thanks!

    I'm off to explore the rest of your blog!

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are like popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. Thanks for taking the time to share your positive thoughts! xoxo, cass

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

rS tracking code

 

design + development by fabulous k