My Blog Story Part 3

If you missed the beginning of “My Blog Story”

Click here for Part 1

Click here for part 2

So after two years of blogging “just for fun” I decided to go for it. It was July of 2009 when I made this decision. At this point I had right around 1000 subscribers (500 Google Connect followers).   I thought if I had this many people following with not trying whatsoever maybe if I actually tried I could get more. Maybe there was room in blogland for me.   Maybe people will think I am creative. Maybe I can make money doing what I love.   Maybe…maybe…maybe.

Image Credit: Sodahead.com

So I hopped on the roller coaster.

BUT…one thing I have always maintained is my love for the creative process. There have been hugely discouraging moments on my blogging journey.   But I have never lost my passion to share my creativity with you.

Blog because you love to do it.   If you blog for any other reason you will burn out!

I started trying to figure out what makes IC unique. I think one of the answers to that is my Roadkill Rescue posts.   I think that is a defining characteristic of IC and something that you guys love to see.   Knowing that RR is uniquely IC has really challenged me to think outside the box and continue to make that as much a part of my blog as possible.

IMG_0825

But was I ever going to make money?

I remembered when I first started blogging and saw ads on other blog’s sidebars.   I always wondered how they got all those people to advertise. I knew nothing about selling ads.

Image Credit: Dreams Dog Art

I started selling ad space in October of 2010 for $15 a month. I had about 800 Google followers. My first advertisers were Lynn from For Love or Funny and the Crafty Girls Workshop.   I remember when I saw that first $15 in my Paypal account – I about did a back flip!

Sidenote: Now remember blogging in 2009 was way different than blogging in 2011.   There was a lot less creative bloggers in 2009.   Blogging is evolving at such a rapid rate that there are so many more blogs now than there was then.   My unsolicited advice…do not try offering advertising space until you have 2000 subscribers (1000 Google Followers).   And don’t give it away for free or insanely cheap. You are worth more than that!

Making money on your blog does not affirm your creativity!

{Stepping off my soapbox}

In my head I just knew if I reached 1000 Google Followers then all of the sudden every business in America would be knocking down my door to advertise on my blog.   And then I learned an important lesson in blogging:

If you want opportunities to happen for your blog you have to make them happen!

When I hit 1000 followers no one called or emailed.   No bag of cash was on my doorstep that day.  It was a day that went unnoticed by everyone in the world except me.

But I hit 1000 Google followers in December of 2009.   I was really excited.   I felt like I had arrived…HA!

All of 2009 I missed the most important thing about growing your blog: You can’t do it alone.   The only person that I actually talked to in my niche was Amy from Mod Podge Rocks and Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick. (BTW…it has been such a blast to be on this road with you Amers & Sarah!).

I remember feeling like I was in this huge competition with everyone in my niche.   I would critique other people’s blogs in an effort to learn how they were growing. I would see if I was as “creative” as they were my comparing my projects with theirs.   I would be so jealous when I saw someone’s numbers climbing higher than mine. I would constantly compare myself and I always left feeling discouraged.

Apples & Oranges - They Don\'t Compare

Image Credit: Result Junkies

Here is the reality…there will always be someone more creative than I am (and you too, for that matter).   There will always be a bigger blog.   There will always be another blog that grows faster than mine. There will always be someone making more money than I am by doing the exact same thing I am doing.

So I went into 2010 excited and ready to take over blogland. Then in February I went to the Blissdom blogging conference.   That is when I had a conversation with another blogger that rocked me to the core….

{to be continued}

Click here to read My Blog Story Part 4





  • Mique (as in Mickey)

    So appreciate this post Beckie- I too, have ridden the wave. And what a wave it's been! I can't wait to have a conversation at Blissdom with you- hopefully it rocks me to my core (no pressure :).

  • Heather – Dollarstorecrafts.com

    Can't wait to read more. :)

  • Heather – Dollarstorecrafts.com

    Can't wait to read more. :)

  • Heather – Dollarstorecrafts.com

    Can't wait to read more. :)

  • Heather – Dollarstorecrafts.com

    Can't wait to read more. :)

  • Beck

    pins and needles here..and a little cup of coffee waiting for the next installment :) Hi ya Beck!

  • Alicia

    I am going to be honest and say I didn't read part 1 and 2, but I now can't wait for the continuation… =). And I love your roadkill, have reposted it on my furniture quest.

  • Allison @ House of Hepworths

    Ahhh, cliff hanger. NO FAIR! I'm literally on the edge of my seat… "What'd Becky do? Who'd she talk to? How did they change her life?"

    I'm loving your blog story and I'm impatiently waiting for your next installment. :)

    ~Allison @ House of Hepworths

  • Judy

    I am loving your blog story and can't wait to read the next part. You are really helping me make sense out of all of this blogging stuff.

  • Amanda @ Serenity Now

    Well, this is not fair to leave us hanging like that. ;) I'm enjoying reading your story. You are good at cliffhangers. Great advice about not comparing yourself to other bloggers. That is SOOOO hard for me b/c I do it naturally in life as a whole…so why not add blogging into the mix? ;)

    I am so, so bummed that I won't be able to go to Blissdom to meet some of my faves this year. I'm seriously considering saving up for next year if the reviews are good!

  • Erin

    This is coming at such the perfect time for me. I am just starting out blogging and I am finding this insanely helpful. I love how honest you are, it is quite refreshing!
    http://erinscreative.blogspot.com/

  • Jill

    I love how open and honest you are. I spent a good chunk of my Saturday reading your Real and Raw series, and it was intimate and inspiring, but I'm definitely not ready to be that personal (and brave) on my own blog. I just started blogging last year in April when I graduated university and it couldn't have been at a better time. It kept me sane until December when I finally landed myself a job in my field. Had it not been for the 7 and a half months of unemployment I don't think I ever would have started a blog. I'm so inspired by bloggers like yourself, and as much as I hate the cliff hanger you left us with today, I'll be back tomorrow to find out what rocked you to the core!

  • Patty Ann

    I think you are totally amazing. I love your road kill, but mostly, I just love to see what new and creative things you have come up with. You inspire me, even if my blog is nothing like yours. I blog for myself. It is different than most, but right for me.

  • Sweet T Studio

    Thanks for the great post, I'm loving this series! Very helpful info, for a new blogger like myself.

  • Madigan at madiganmade

    Thanks for the honest advice! (about ads, comparisons and networking) I can't wait to hear your next installment. You know how to leave it hanging!

  • House of Smiths

    Such a great story! I love reading this :)
    You are my idol :) ha!
    Thanks for sharing all your thoughts!
    I can't wait to read more!
    ~Shelley Smith

  • House Revivals

    I am totally loving this series — I know you think of yourself as a "crafter" and a "blogger", but you are a WRITER! A year ago, when I was still learning what blogging was, I stumbled onto IC, and got completely sucked in by your life story — I'm pretty sure I stayed up till about 4am to read all the posts. Your writing style is so easy to follow and I love your authenticity!
    ~Amanda

  • Krafty Kat

    Inquiring minds want to know…I want to know… who said what??

  • Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Wow what great tips and advice. I am so looking forward to reading more! Thanks.

  • JandDsmom

    I always love how you leave us hanging! :D

    Thanks for this post by the way, I am just starting out my own blog and trying to find my niche. I was just excited to hit 30 FB followers though! In all seriousness, thanks for sharing your story so far….it's nice for us newbies to see that you started not much different than we are. Thanks and I can't wait til the next installment! :)

  • Colleen @ MuralMaker&More

    I just sat down from doing my Happy Dance for reaching 400 followers to read this. I love your candid and revealing posts.

    I'm getting ready to redesign (again!) my art blog and incorporate the other two blogs. I thought about advertisers – until I read your post. I guess I have a long way to go – especially because it's definitely a 'niche' blog.

    Truth be told, I'm happy where I'm at. I am going to sell some of my painting kits. And I'm going to transform others into graphics for digiscrapping and bloggers. Then I'll leave advertising alone for a while.

    Thanks again!

  • Colleen @ MuralMaker&More

    I just sat down from doing my Happy Dance for reaching 400 followers to read this. I love your candid and revealing posts.

    I'm getting ready to redesign (again!) my art blog and incorporate the other two blogs. I thought about advertisers – until I read your post. I guess I have a long way to go – especially because it's definitely a 'niche' blog.

    Truth be told, I'm happy where I'm at. I am going to sell some of my painting kits. And I'm going to transform others into graphics for digiscrapping and bloggers. Then I'll leave advertising alone for a while.

    Thanks again!

  • Colleen @ MuralMaker&More

    I just sat down from doing my Happy Dance for reaching 400 followers to read this. I love your candid and revealing posts.

    I'm getting ready to redesign (again!) my art blog and incorporate the other two blogs. I thought about advertisers – until I read your post. I guess I have a long way to go – especially because it's definitely a 'niche' blog.

    Truth be told, I'm happy where I'm at. I am going to sell some of my painting kits. And I'm going to transform others into graphics for digiscrapping and bloggers. Then I'll leave advertising alone for a while.

    Thanks again!

  • Colleen @ MuralMaker&More

    I just sat down from doing my Happy Dance for reaching 400 followers to read this. I love your candid and revealing posts.

    I'm getting ready to redesign (again!) my art blog and incorporate the other two blogs. I thought about advertisers – until I read your post. I guess I have a long way to go – especially because it's definitely a 'niche' blog.

    Truth be told, I'm happy where I'm at. I am going to sell some of my painting kits. And I'm going to transform others into graphics for digiscrapping and bloggers. Then I'll leave advertising alone for a while.

    Thanks again!

  • Melissa

    I should have read this sooner. I'm no where near 1000 followers but I'm offering advertising and right now I'm giving it away. I'm putting links to the websites I get the most traffic from. I have gained a couple of followers and I'm at least thanking the people who are sending me traffic.

    Oh and you shouldn't leave us hanging like that. lol

  • melissa * 320 Sycamore

    *ignore the previous comment, I'm a nerd.*
    Beckie~ I love reading your blog story…such a great idea! I am going to be at the workshops at Blissdom on Wed…will you be there? I would love to meet you.

  • Craft Snob

    OMG! I can't believe you are leaving us hangin' this long. :)

  • Rachel

    Looking forward to reading more! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Ells

    Hey Becky! It's been ages since I commented, and I'm not blogging any more, but I'm still reading your blog! Thanks for the fun story – you are so good at cliffhangers! :)

    PS Talked about you with Amy from Design Intervention last time we got together – sure wish we could all hang out for craft time together! I would bring cookies and just watch you two in amazement. :)

  • Danielle

    I am completely IN LOVE with your story {not to mention your blogs}! Reading about how you got started is an inspriation as I am new to blogging!! Cant wait to read more!!!

  • Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick

    Love you girl! What a fun series! We need to do some shopping soon!!

  • Katie @ Hippos and Dinosaurs

    I just came across your story and it makes me smile. It's inspiring for little 'ol me who seems to have a bit of trouble over my numbers. At times I have gotten discouraged looking at other blogs that have soared that have started around the same time as me wondering why them and not me? But then I remember that I only do it becaus eI enjoy it. I simply love knowing that someone has tried one of my tutorials or was inspired my something that I posted enough to come back and tell me about it! That always feels good and is worth the effort to post and enjoy what I do:) THanks!!

  • Ali

    Wow…I remember when I found your blog, back when you were doing your Real & Raw series…and now look how many followers you have!! I haven't been around the blogosphere for a while now and your blog has just grown so much, way to go!! I can't wait to read your next post =)

  • Jessica

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I've been actually searching for people's experiences in how their blog became huge. CAn't wait for more!

  • A Nest in the Making

    This is so exciting to read! I am just getting started blogging (in general… not for money… hehe) and I love it so far. I feel like it keeps me motivated to keep working on my projects! Anyway, I've been a fan for a while (not sure if I'm following because honestly I don't quite understand the whole follow thing) and I love your work! I also love your new blog! Can't wait to try some of the projects!

    ~Kristi

  • Leigh the sewing diva

    waiting anxiously for the next installment. i can't imagine ever getting the huge number of followers you have i got excited last week to hit 30!! lol.
    come check out my blog: thesewingdivaandherreluctantmodels.blogspot.com

  • Cammie@Flutterbys and Frogs

    Thank you so much for sharing! :) I'm new to blogging, it hasn't even been a year yet. It seems to be going PAINFULLY slow! But I love it so I'm keeping at it! I'm glad to see it's not a quick and painless endevor for everyone else out there but me!

  • Mod Podge Amy

    I'm so glad we met! You can thank Mod Podge. :D

  • http://www.whatsurhomestory.com Vidya @ Whats Ur Home Story

    Thanks for dropping by at my blog. I’ve been reading through your story since. You have tons of valuable advice here. Thanks for sharing. I’m your newest follower. :)