This is where the magic happens, my friends. There I am, perfectly groomed and coiffed, writing my blog.
Don took a series of photos of me the other morning as I was writing a blog post. Coffee on the table, drawer open – most likely because I was transferring photos from camera to computer and I needed the card reader, Scout in the ‘tunnel,’ unfinished throw in a box, flannel pajamas and warm, though somewhat dirty, slippers. Now you can say you’ve seen me in my flannel pajamas. A definite reality shot.
I love blogging – you know that. I fell for it as soon as I started this blog in 2008. It has brought so much joy and satisfaction, this virtual world of writing and photography. I get the opportunity to share my passions, my humor, my joys and my sorrows. Writing is great therapy for me. And, of course, I’ve met so many wonderful friends. My world has been enriched beyond measure.
I’m a woman of strong opinions. Ask my husband. My dear friend Joe used to say, “You don’t want to mess with the Hill girls.” He wasn’t kidding. Some of these opinions have been shared with you on this blog, though I keep away from politics and religion. I consider that my private business; I’ve never been comfortable proselytizing in life or here in blogland. Just my personal opinion, but I don’t think it’s appropriate on my DIY/Nesting/Collecting/Vintagey type blog.
Sometimes these oft-expressed opinions come back to bite me in the butt. Like ads on blogs, for instance. I’ve written in the past about ads. I didn’t like them, they were too slick, blogs lost their intimacy when ads began appearing, yadda, yadda, yadda. My pal Brenda and I often spoke about this subject in our long phone conversations.
Then the economy crashed. Harsh reality has reared its ugly head in our lives. Both Don and I freelance and work opportunities have been few and far between. Don has had to take a job that pays very little in order for us to have a steady paycheck. I have an opportunity to coach in April and May but nothing else is on the horizon. I am also looking for a job. We are really struggling. And, like many of you, we bought our house at the height of the housing market and now it is worth much, much less than we paid for it, yet we have a hefty mortgage payment every month.
Brenda found herself in the midst of a divorce.
Things change and opinions change. Suddenly, I understand this idea of trying to make an income from your blog. Why not? I spend a great deal of time taking photographs, thinking of ideas for posts, writing and editing. I try to return visits, address comments, and reach out to other bloggers. As you all know, this takes a lot of time. Why shouldn’t I garner a modest income to help compensate for all the time I spend on blogging?
I found myself looking at “those” blogs with fresh eyes. Yes, some are still way too slick for me but most bloggers are finding a way to insert ads and stay true to their personal blogging vision. Brenda took the leap first. I held back. Now Brenda has a much larger readership than I do. I’m just a modest little blog, so I hesitated. “Cautious Claudia” was my nickname as a child and it still holds true. Eventually, I jumped into the cold water and I’m glad I did. I’m still experimenting with placement and choices. I’m well aware that the essence of my blog is me: my passions, my personality, my daily musings, my life here at MHC – all of which are written in my unique voice. That voice is what brought readers to this blog. I can’t be anything other than the same Claudia who has written this blog since February 2008. I’m comfortable in my blog skin. So that won’t change.
BlogHer, especially, has been wonderful. This organization truly supports women bloggers – big, medium and small. And the customer service is excellent. I truly feel supported by this community. The decision to become part of BlogHer’s Advertising Network has resulted in some of my posts being highlighted and even syndicated. That affirmation of my writing means a great deal to me.
I’ve earned a very, very modest amount of money so far. Enough to buy some groceries. Or pay a bill. In our little cottage, that is very welcome indeed.
I wanted to talk about this because some of you are long-time readers of this blog and have been with me through all the changes – both major and minor – in Mockingbird Hill Cottage. And if you’ve been with me a long time, you most likely have read the opinions I have expressed on this subject in the past. I feel you deserve an honest explanation. And you know I’m nothing if not honest.
There you go.