Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A crossroads.

Mimi Mum 1

I'm finding myself at crossroads in this little blogs life.

I love my little space on the Internet. I love cooking and baking and taking pictures. I love interacting with people from all over the world. I've formed friendships with people I've never met face to face.

I feel a kinship with ladies from California to Maine. People that I've never shared a cuppa tea with or spoken on the phone to, but we laugh at the same things and we shake our heads in agreement at the same stories we read, or have  "OMG" and "Yum" reactions to glorious food that were both drooling over thousands of miles apart. We have a connection and I know that may sound funny to some, but it's real and out of everything that this blog have given me, I'm thankful most of all for this blog being the catalyst to connect me with these wonderful people.

That being said, this is my dilemma.

I've started this blog in December of 2007. I've published 964 posts. I've taken thousands upon thousands of pictures. I've cooked and baked almost a thousand different recipes. I've devoted a lot of time and energy here and I've never monetized the blog. I never wanted annoying ads popping up. I like the simple look that it has now, but I also know that I could be making a bit of money for all my time and effort, but is that what I want to do?

I'm really at fork in the road here. I work 50+ hours a week outside my home. I don't have the kind of time other bloggers have to devote to this site. I find myself scrambling some weekend just to make something and then take a picture of it to get it posted. I don't want to be that way.

I never wanted this to be something I "had" to do. I vowed that from the beginning and if it's cost me a bigger following, so be it. I'm not going to change who I am and feel forced to post when I don't want to. While I love sharing, I have a "real" life that needs tending to also.

My life is filled with "I'll nevers". Things I know will never happen to me. I'm not the kind of person who always wants to be in first place. I'm happy back at the end of line. I never want to be frantically trying to post something. I want things to pour out easy and naturally. I'm so ok with the I'll nevers.  

For instance:
  • I'll never post 5 times a week. A few times a week is where my pace is at and in the summer that sometimes dwindles down.
  • I'll never having everything looking perfect (but I'll try and choose recipes that your family and friends will enjoy and I try to photograph them as best as I can).
  • I'll never have a cookbook deal - and I'm ok with that.
  • I'll never let this space replace the time I spend with my loved ones.

I can't even find the time to categorize my recipes, re-design my blog or go! Now if I were home could I do all those things and more? Absolutely, but it doesn't seem like it's going to happen any time soon.

Can I make as much money from this blog as I do at my current job? Probably not. Would I love to be able to walk away from the day job, which I've been at for 30 years now? Yes, yes I think I would. Will that happen?Again, probably not.

Part of me hates having to do this and part of me is excited thinking that maybe I can stash away a little money for my dream kitchen.

So I need your guidance. I've reached out to to few of you already, but I'd love more feedback from you and from fellow bloggers. All your input will be so helpful. Here are some of the questions rolling around in my head.

Do you monetize?
If so, with who?
Positives? Negatives?
How much did you spend on a blog re-design? I had one person quote me almost $4,000! That's never gonna happen!
If you are over the moon about your design, would you share who you used?
Have you had any feedback from readers about the ads on your blog?
How much can you really expect to make?
Do ads on blogs annoy you? If so, would they it make you stop reading the blog all together?

I know I'm never going to be a Pioneer Woman and make boatloads of money, but if I can pay for some of my groceries and put some money away for my kitchen fund, that would really make me happy. Heck, I was thrilled when my Facebook page hit 2,000 likes only to read that very day that one of my fellow blogger hit 30,000. That's just crazy. 2,000 is a much cozier number don't you think?

You are what makes it all happen. You are the reason I blog, so let your voice be heard. Now is the time to tell me what you think. Good or bad, I want to hear it all.
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