First off, no disrespect to my fellow bloggers and blogger friends. Blogging professionally is HARD and so much work - maintaining a following, meeting deadlines, constantly creating and promoting content, and so much more. So many people work tirelessly on their blogs every single day in order to grow it and provide income for their families - and I absolutely applaud that. However, there are a lot of common aspects of blogging that I am personally not okay with… and while it holds me back from making this blog lucrative, I’m more than okay with it - and here’s why…
I Don’t Overshare
Most blogs with a dedicated following tend to share everything about their daily lives - what they’re wearing that day, what they did, what they ate, what silly thing their kids did, what personal roadblock they’re encountering, etc. And I like my personal life, well - personal. I won’t be constantly on Instastories narrating my life, sharing all the details throughout my day. And I confess, some of my favorite blogs to follow do just that - I’m guilty of enjoying their stories and living their life vicariously through them. It’s interesting and fun and a great way to get an engaged following - but I could never do that myself. I personally find it too intrusive and creepy to have so many people know so much about our personal life.
I Won’t Sell Out My Kids
Promoting kid and baby items/gear is a huge market in the blogging industry. So many brands seek out bloggers with kids and growing families and hire them to help promote their products. In turn, bloggers share tons of photos of their children wearing or using the products, along with personal stories to make it more interesting. For example, a blogger may choose to take a sponsored post about a potty seat. In doing so, she may choose to share photos and stories of her kids potty training… now can you imagine being that child and having that digital footprint/history when they grow up? It would come back to haunt him in high school or if he ever ran for Congress.
Now, I do work with some select kids brands and products - however I’m particular with who and how I work with them. I only share about products and brands we honestly love or use, and I limit the photos I post of our children. Typically when I share photos of our kids on the blog they are carefully cropped or edited to help protect their anonymity - this is super important to me but definitely limits the brands that want to work with me, as most brands want tons of personable photos.
I Follow the Rules
I always do my best to follow the rules regarding sponsored content and outbound links. There are a lot of guidelines out there from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on how sponsored content and affiliate links need to always be disclosed and outbound sponsored/affiliate links should be formatted as “no-follow” (in order to not falsely inflate a product or brand’s Google-ranking). Unfortunately there are a lot of unscrupulous companies out there that will solicit bloggers to create posts or add back-links that completely go against these rules. I have been solicited several times (and a few times by large companies that should know far better), asking me to add “do-follow” links or mention product without disclosures in exchange for compensation. I always turn these shady offers down (and scold them for being unethical). Many bloggers also add affiliate links as a “swipe up” on Instastories but most fail to disclose these as such. If I didn’t hold myself to these standards I could be making far money on my blog, illegally and unethically, and that’s something I will not do.
I Have Standards
I will ONLY accept sponsored posts from products and brands we honestly use or are interested in. I will never accept a sponsored post from something that doesn’t fit my blog, my beliefs, or me. I have turned down many sponsored posts for products that do not fit my aesthetic or would have me promote a product we do not like or would never use.
I Don’t Live in an Instagram-Worthy House
We live in a very average house with very average finishes and furniture. Our kitchen is still sporting it’s laminate green (yes, green) counter tops and linoleum floor and our living room still has the very bold (and ugly) burgundy wall-to-wall carpet that were installed when our house was originally built. Would I love to renovate and re-do these things? Absolutely. But it’s not in our budget right now and not a priority, so we’re going to continue to live with these less-than-beautiful finishes. Many bloggers completely re-renovate or re-decorate the same rooms in their home over and over in order to keep up with the latest trends and to continue to land partnerships. And as fun as that might be, it’s also very wasteful and encourages a “throw-away society” that values consumerism and disposable items over value and longevity.
I Don’t Stick to a Content Schedule
Sticking to a content schedule is something I really should be better about. I already keep a blog calendar over my desk and pencil in a few blog topics or content I want to create over the course of each month. However, I’m terrible at sticking to it… life gets busy. Lately we’ve been keeping busy with family, sports, appointments, and school. Keeping up with the kids is most important and so I try to be flexible (arguably far too flexible) with the blog. Sometimes I don’t do a blog post or Instagram post for a week… or three! That’s as good as a death sentence for engagement, which is already SO hard to achieve these days with Instagram’s increasingly difficult algorithms.
So in conclusion, if you want your blog to be lucrative - consider doing the opposite of all I do. I’ll be over here, not making much money but content in my principles ;)