This post is part of the Lifting the Veil on Making Money in Blogging series.
Monetize: to legalize as money; to give character of money to; to convert to currency.
The first time I ever heard this super blogging buzz word was when I set up Sluiter Nation for the very first time on Blogger. There was a tab called “monetize” and it was all about adding adsense to your blog. My first reaction was “yeah right. Who clicks on those? They are just ugly and annoying,” and so I passed.
That was almost five years ago.
Since then, I have moved my blog to wordpress.org, paid for my own hosting, url, blog design, etc., and I have realized that unless I want to shell out money from my pocket, I should at least try to have this blog produce some money.
Seeing friends do reviews…and get PAID…seemed like an AWESOME idea.
Until I tried it.
And realized I am not a product reviewer. And I don’t want to get paid in product. And I don’t want my blog to turn into a place where I have four posts a week about diapers, orange juice, storage containers, and apps for my phone.
Would it be nice to occasionally review something from Whirlpool and get a free dishwasher out of it? Oh my Lawd, yes! But not many people start out with the big stuff. And I just didn’t want to pay my dues with the little stuff.
Or send out email pitches “selling” myself.
It all felt very phony. For me. It just wasn’t ME.
Don’t get me wrong…I read quite a few blogs that do reviews and I have taken their advice on numerous occasions because I trust mom bloggers to tell me the truth (for the most part. there are some who will give a great review to a dog turd for a buck. I don’t so much follow those blogs).
All I wanted was to make enough to cover the overhead of having this blog without turning this blog into anything other than what it was meant to be: an online account of our lives. My words for future generations of Sluiters.
And I really didn’t want the collection to include a bunch of sponsored posts about shopping at CVS or using lip gloss.
If you look through my archives, you’ll see I’ve done a few sponsored posts. I tried to only choose things that seemed natural, but even those just didn’t ring true for me. I always wondered at those bloggers who could make it fit so well…because I just couldn’t.
Currently, the only money I bring in on this blog are from the small biz shops in the right side bar (I TOTALLY support small businesses! Some of them pay a monthly fee of $10 to be there, others have cut deals with me for goods/services that I have needed for some ad space here) and the BlogHer ad network ads you see running in the sidebar (the $$ I get from those is based on pageviews and whatnot. It’s a VERY dinky amount).
Once in a while I will run a review or giveaway over on my sponsor page, but generally that is just for fun and I am not making any money from them.
And I have no desire to do any other monetizing.
I don’t want my blog to be my business.
I want Sluiter Nation to be a journal. A chronicle of what life is like right now.
I feel like paid opportunities and working with brands isn’t what this blog is about. I have had a few offers, but for the most part, I turn them down.
This opinion was always in the back of my head, but was solidified when I went to BlogHer this past August. I went in with the idea that I could find a way to make money with my blog that felt right.
Instead, I left feeling like maybe I didn’t need to go to another large blogging conference like that again. EVERYTHING seemed like schmoozing…from the parties to the expo center to the constant barrage of brands. I didn’t really feel special; I felt like “just another mom blogger.”
And I got on the plane home feeling sort of icky about it.
It took me months to distance myself from the experience enough so that I could look at it objectively. It wasn’t the conference I hated. In fact, I loved meeting people (although I think I came off like a deer in the headlights…which maybe translated into something negative to some people), and I loved the down time to just hang out and giggle with people who felt like old friends already.
It was all the push to make money that I hated.
And I realized that the biggest thing I learned was that I don’t want my blog to be my business.
Would I like to get paid to write? Most definitely.
But not here.
Sluiter Nation is my hobby. It’s my way to give something to my boys and their children and so on.
So many times I stare at the names in the family tree genealogies of my family and wonder about the stories. The people. The words they would have left behind.
Sluiter Nation is a collection of my words.
Sluiter Nation is not my brand. It is not my business.
Even though making money isn’t my thing doesn’t mean it’s not your thing. Read more about ways to make money via blogging by visiting these lovely ladies…
Alex at Late Enough: Writers Teach, Why Can’t Bloggers?
Kristin at What She Said: I Want To Get Paid To Blog–Now What?
Gigi at Kludgy Mom: So You Want to be a Freelancer? What You Need to Know.
Natalie at Mommy of a Monster and Twins: So You Wanna Make Money Blogging? How to Get Sponsored Posts.
Tina at Life Without Pink: Tips for Building Successful Relationships with Brands and Scoring Paying Opportunities.
Devan at Accustomed Chaos: Monetizing Your Blog: The Hows & Whys of Making Money.
Debi at The Truth About Motherhood: What to Charge for a Sponsored Post and Why you need a Media Kit