Friday, May 1, 2015

I'm a Professional Blogger, dangit.

Those of you with a keen eye will have noticed the appearance of ads in my sidebar and in between posts here and there. You probably also noticed that I popped in with a surprise post a few days ago about a shoe sale for kids, not exactly the usual fare for this blogger, who has been known to stick to stories about running out of coffee, medication or patience.

Or all of the above.

After realizing that I have worked in food service for 20 years (yikes!), it dawned on me that I have had this blog running for just about eight years now and I really have never actually tried to leverage it into anything more than "just a blog." It is an outlet for writing, yes. An easy platform for sharing stories and updates, certainly. But it is also a platform for encouragement, community, and laughter.

And sarcasm. What blog of mine would be complete without sarcasm?

So, I'm putting my stake in the ground, right here and now.

I am a professional blogger, dangit.  

For the record, I really wanted to use a more powerful word there other than "dangit," but I stopped myself when I pictured my pastor reading this. Not that you shouldn't be yourself because you're afraid of what your pastor might think because I promise you that he's a sinner too and most likely lets a whopper or two slip out here and there. And furthermore, read the book of Galatians and you'll see that even the Apostle Paul was not exactly one to avoid strong language. Be warned - it is definitely rated PG-13.

Sounds like a new blog post.

Back to the topic at hand - making an income as a blogger.

I got an email from Zulily this morning congratulating me on my first affiliate sale and I darn near whooped right in my office. I raced over to Share a Sale, one of the affiliate sites I use to set up those darling ads we discussed earlier, to see exactly how much cheddar we were talking about here. Would it be enough to buy a celebratory Starbucks latte? 

LOLs ensued when I saw the amount of my very first commission income as a blogger - TWENTY-FOUR CENTS.


While I'm not quite ready to hand in my written notice at the restaurant, I will tell you that this is still a celebration for me. I am owning those 24 pennies. Huge shout-out to the darling person who bought a pair of kids shoes at a great price and hooked me up with the firs official affiliate commission for me that makes me a professional blogger. Part of me feels like printing this out, framing it, and hanging it up on the wall above my desk, kind of like businesses do when they display their first dollar.

Because that's what I see this as. A beginning. Not the beginning of an income-focused, all advertising, gimme your money kind of blog, but of a opportunity to follow the path that has been laid out before me in faith. This is going to sound hokey, but I know God is in this. I have been this close to quitting this whole blogging thing so many times over the last eight years and I have stuck with it, not because it was making me money, but because I loved it and because there would always be a comment or an email at the perfect time from some stranger to tell me about how much a particular post resonated with them or encouraged them or made them laugh on a particularly hard day.

I can't speak for the blogging community as a whole, but I can tell you that the vast majority of us do this because there is something inside of us that simply has to be shared. For some, it's recipes and ways to help cooking be fun rather than a chore. For others, it's methods to turn chaos into order and bring the peace that comes with a clean home. (I don't understand those people, God bless 'em.) For me, it's sharing the honest pieces of me that bring encouragement and remind us that we are all in this thing together. 

We blog because we must. 

And in this season of life, I am feeling strongly led to give my blog more attention and more of myself. More attention, more focus. I need to pour more into something that is life-giving to others and this is a platform that is already built for that. There are more details that I am dying to share with you as soon as I can, but know that there are going to be some HUGE changes around here, so I'm asking you to stay with me. Please. Stay the course, bring others along for the ride. We're going to get a new address, a new design, and even a new BUSINESS....all that this space is going to help launch. 

It's gonna be awesome. 

Thank you for being here and sharing all this with me. Thank you for every comment, every click, every share. Thank you for choosing to spend some of your valuable time to read what I write and wait patiently when I've gone quiet. Thank you for allowing me to be real with you.

If you are part of this crazy community that we call Blogging, can I just please send you a virtual hug right now? We are surrounded be people who just don't get it. They don't get US. And that's ok. Your words matter and all that work you put into your blog is valuable. If you're making a go of it too, let me be the first to encourage you. Put yourself out there. Commit to the long haul and do the work. 

Get it, girl. 

(Or guy. I guess I shouldn't assume that it's only girls that read my blog, but I do have pink chevron in the header, so I think I'm pretty safe in that assumption.) And when you make that first almost-quarter, CELEBRATE! I'd love to hear about it. 

And you're darn-skippy, that's a referral link up there. Boom.

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