New Nostalgia

Blogging Then and Now + Blogging as a Business Blogging Then and Now + Blogging as a Business
FAMILY Leaving A Legacy

Blogging Then and Now + Blogging as a Business

Blogging Then & Now Plus: Blogging As A Business

When I tell people what my job is, the first question they ask is “how do you make money blogging?” I thought it would be fun to write a post explaining some of the ways this blog provides income for our family, and talk about how blogging has changed over the years.

Blogging Then and Now

The world of blogging has changed so much in the past 10 years. When I first started blogging in 2009, there were very few people actually making a living by writing blogs, and many people instead used it as an online journal of sorts.

When I first started, social media was just beginning to go mainstream–now I can’t imagine NOT having social media, as it is one of the key ways to market a blog.

I started blogging as a fun, easy, creative way to share recipes with friends and family and also show the crafty things I was doing with my 3 girls. It is so funny to look back and read my writing, see my typos and dark, unedited images.

I never dreamed when I started that I would end up connecting with so many people and help support our family financially in the process!

These days my blog keeps me connected to my readers and gives me a creative outlet. Through it, I hope to inspire others to live a purposeful life while I share parts of mine.

Over the years this site has become quite dear to me. The connection I have with my readers, the life memories that are gathered on the pages for my girls to have for years to come, and the opportunity to express my heart and share in a creative way makes this blog very meaningful to me.

Blogging Then & Now Plus: Blogging As A Business

Blogging As A Business

It used to be quite rare that you would hear a blogger talk openly about making money or blogging as a business. Times have changed.

Blogging has become a powerful, well-respected marketing tool for businesses, and has matured into a business in and of itself.

There are many ways to make a living blogging. Most professional bloggers have several different income streams but something they all have in common is eyeballs.

Readers.

YOU!

Without readers, there is no income. You, my dear readers, are the reason I get to do what I love. I am so thankful.

Here are a few income streams that make money for me here at New Nostalgia:

Sponsored Posts

I occasionally write sponsored posts (like this one and this one) for different brands. I’ve written for InStyle magazine, Target, Nokia, Amazon, Bob Mills, Burt Bees, Hallmark, Hefty, McCormick, USA Today, Silk, Shutterfly and more. I am choosy about who I write for and only write for brands and products I use and love.

These sponsored posts have brought in the bulk of my income here at New Nostalgia, and I’m very proud to say that my rate for sponsored post campaigns has almost doubled the last few months.

Ads

I have ads within posts and in my sidebar. Most of them are smart ads that automatically generate according to the person who is reading.

I am paid both for views and clicks of ads. Bloggers often call this “passive” income but it is anything but passive as it takes a lot of work and time to write quality content in order to keep readers coming back over and over, and attract new ones.

Again, a blog must have readers and LOTS of them to make any money using ads.

Ad income is usually a steady income that we can count on each month as my pageviews stay pretty steady, whereas the income from sponsored posts depends on the availability of campaigns and what I choose to accept.

I use and love AdThrive for ad optimization and management. They are awesome…an no, this is not a sponsored post. 🙂

Affiliate Links

When an affiliate link is clicked and a purchase is made, I make a percentage either per purchase or according to the total of what is spent. I use Amazon Affiliate links and also use affiliate links when I talk about my favorite Rocky Mountain Oils.

Examples of affiliate links are when I share favorite oil recipes:

Cozy Blend — 2 drops orange 1 drop cinnamon bark 1 drop vanilla

Warm Hug Scent — Majestic Breeze 

or my favorite Amazon products like these:

Bubba Envy Vacuum Insulated Tumbler

Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 

Salton Mug Warmer

or when I share affiliate links in paragraphs like this:

“Did you know if you shop Amazon Using This Link or click the Amazon ad in my sidebar (if using a computer) or scroll below my posts (if using a mobile device) to do your shopping, I will receive a small percentage of whatever you spend with no extra cost to you.”

As long as you use my link to get to Amazon, I will get some kickback, of which I am truly grateful!

Social Shares

I have been paid to share things on social media. Many times it is part of a sponsored post campaign, and sometimes it is just a single pin.

My over 99,000 followers on Pinterest spark the interest of many businesses, but I am choosy with what I accept and only pin things that I would pin even if I was not getting paid for it.

Future Small Business & Paid Workshops

There are 2 more ways I am pursuing to grow my business and bring in more income (teenagers are expensive ya’ll!). One is creating my own digital download products to sell. This is in the works and you will be hearing about it very soon–join my email list to be the first to hear!

The second way is by doing some local in-person workshops–Instant Pot 101 Workshop, anyone?

As you can see, multiple income streams are used and frankly usually needed. It is not wise to put all eggs in one basket, and varying the ways to make income with a blog is wise and often the most profitable way to make money blogging.

Blogging Then & Now Plus: Blogging As A Business

The Making of a Blog Post — Then and Now

Visuals

The internet has become incredibly visual so creating images is a huge part of being a blogger.

Customized, branded images are inserted into posts in most successful blogs, and also needed for social media sharing and promotion. These can be incredibly time-consuming!

I used to be able to take a quick photo, not care about the lighting or creating different sizes (long and slender for Pinterest, horizontal for Facebook, square for Instagram) or adding graphics.

Now I have no choice but to care, as social media marketing is a large part of a blogger’s job and you need images to do it well!

Over the years I have had to learn how to use a DSLR camera, how to edit photos and optimize them for different platforms and add graphics to them as post headers and pins.

I now spend at least one workday a week taking photos and optimizing them for different platforms.

Video is quickly becoming almost as important as images. As an introvert blogger who is most comfortable behind a keyboard tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, this rise if video popularity also causes a rise in my anxiety!

Video is also quite time-consuming. I have dabbled in video just a bit for a sponsored post because honestly, the price was right and the product was one I wanted to share with you. It ended up being quite fun and captured a fun memory with my guy.

I truly enjoy giving video glimpses of our life on Instagram, but I am often much more comfortable with the camera focused on food instead of me! I plan on growing in the area of camera shyness. Maybe. 😉

Quality Content

Google likes content that is over at least 300 words (I think this post is at least triple that…whew!) Readers want content that is more in-depth and worth their time, but also easy to scan as there is so much more to consume online now.

Bloggers must make both their readers and Google happy, or they might as well be writing to themselves! There is pressure to provide quality content, all the while staying authentic.

Speaking of Google, bloggers MUST play nice with Google. There are little Google bots (no joke) that scan our content and decide if it is worthy of being seen.

Not only do we need to be seen on Google, but we aim for those top few posts that Google shows when people are searching for what they want to see.

How many of you scroll past the first or second page of results when you search Google for something? Yeah, me neither.

Google is so great at what it does that we often find exactly what we need in the first page results. This is why we covet those first few spots in Google search results.

Bloggers must make their content SEO (search engine optimization) friendly in order to play nice with Google. Oh boy, we as bloggers do much talking amongst ourselves about keeping Google happy!

We think we have it all figured out, then Google has a mood swing and makes updates/changes. We have no choice but to change with it.

Those bots detect broken links, unorganized backend code and all sorts of other things, so optimizing blogs (especially ones with over 1,000 posts like mine!) can be quite a job in and of itself.

I must admit I have fallen behind on some of this and will use some of my increased income from sponsored posts to outsource help and get this taken care of!

SEO and good ranking in google involve keywords in our titles and headlines. Those little phrases you use when searching Google? Those are always at the forefront of my mind when writing titles for posts. I am constantly thinking “what words would people use to search for this post?”

Blogging Then & Now Plus: Blogging As A Business

Example, my “30 Minute Sloppy Joes” recipe title has the 2 keywords in it to cover for when people search “30 Minute Meals” or “Sloppy Joes.”

I was very purposeful about using the keywords all throughout the post and in the backend of the images. It paid off and my 30 Minute Sloppy Joes post has done very well.

I honestly miss the days of throwing up a cutesy title, typing out my unedited thoughts (with no headers or thoughts about keywords) and pushing publish; but if I did that none of you would see any of what I write, and I would be out of a job.

I still share my thoughts–you all are stuck with me and my thoughts– but my titles are no longer cutesy because making Google frown is not so cute, and I really like my job!

Content Promotion

Back in the day when there were very few bloggers and the web was still small, getting your content out to the world was easier. Not anymore.  It is no longer “build it and they will come.”  Like I said before, a blogger must be a skilled social media marketer.

Social media has changed the game. It gives us bloggers a great way to promote, but it also gives us more time-consuming work to do with more content to create both with visuals and our words.

I love the connection and creative outlet social media brings. My 3 favorite social platforms by far are Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

My success on Pinterest has been transforming to this blog. Thanks to several posts going viral, (like this one and this one), my site has grown leaps and bounds over the years.

Growing An Email List

Oh, the list. Growing an email list of readers is so important and here is why. You can have a huge Facebook following, with thousands of followers saying they want to see your content, but it is up to Facebook to show them your content in their feeds.

Facebook has become a “pay to play” platform, so for my followers to see my postings, I would have to pay quite a bit in advertising fees.

I have almost 8,000 followers on Facebook but often only a few hundred followers see my postings thanks to Facebook’s algorithm, and that is considered a good day.

It has not always been that way and the change was jarring. Pinterest had a similar change in their algorithms, and just recently so did Instagram.

This creates a very insecure feeling as a blogger. It is so frustrating to have people sign on to your social media channels in order to follow you and see your content, but then not see it because it is not being shown in their feeds.

An email list is a great way to make sure your content reaches those who say they want to follow you and see your content.

You are able to connect with them and send them content and know that whether they see it or not depends on them opening the email, not some random social media algorithm!

Continuous Change in Blogging

As you can see, there has been much, much change in blogging over the years, and really this post is just touching on some of that change. There is much more, and will continue to be as that is just the nature of the internet!

Thank you for reading this far and caring about me and this corner of the web that I call New Nostalgia! Thank you for being a great audience and always encouraging me to continue on in sharing with you!

To make sure you see and receive all of my content, you can sign up for my email list here.

Blogging Then & Now Plus: Blogging As A Business

{For Your Pinning Pleasure}


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  • Andrea March 3, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Great post! I’m going to use it for my social media class.

    • AmyNewNostalgia March 4, 2018 at 10:24 am

      I love knowing that! Let me know how it goes.<3

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