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The Problem With Me Blogging For A Living


So you guys may or may not have noticed that in the past few months, I've been posting SIGNIFICANTLY less sponsored posts than what I used to do. Like, for a while there I was posting two a week. Now I don't (and didn't) necessarily think that was excessive-- I personally feel like I always had a decent balance in it. Except for maybe two companies I worked with, I've felt very strong positive feelings for every company I've posted and stood behind. You guys know I'm never trying to sell you garbage--- that everything I post about, I support. I mean, sure I've posted about things in the past that I may not necessarily post about now, but that doesn't mean I didn't believe in it then. We all change and our insight and minds change as we grow. Whatever, that's life. From your comments, messages, and from the surveys I did long ago, I know you guys have supported me in my sponsored posts--- knowing that I do only share things that I find valuable. And I'm forever grateful for this. Thank you.

Ever since I've started blogging as a career, I've turned down farrrrrrr more sponsored campaigns than I've taken on, I'd say at least 90% get a, "no sorry,  that's not a great fit." Things have to feel right. Having sponsored posts that are in line with my beliefs not only benefits me-- it helps you guys and the companies I work with. You guys don't want me to promote junk to you. And a company who wants to get their name out certainly intends to know that my readers will well receive their company. I mean, if I started trying to sell you guys lean cuisine or something, we'd all lose it and think (and know) I went off the deep end. Nobody would trust me anymore. You guys would be confused beyond belief. And the company would have no gain promoting in my space when they could have very well went to a blog that is more in line with that sort of thing.

(Don't ask me why I went to lean cuisine. Insert any other of the millions of examples of products or items that aren't in line with my life. I mean, I don't even have a microwave, so that example just seems like a great one, haha.)

I want everything in my life to work in a mutually beneficial forum. I don't ever want to gain from someone else's loss-- in any scenario. I want things to be fair. This has been my belief, to a fault. Even my mother knows it, if I have two people standing in front of me arguing, and the person I love most in the world is wrong, I will say they are wrong. I will choose what is right and what is fair. I want to add something to people's lives. I want to make an impact and a difference.

There are some wonderful companies I can work without there-- but my reach shrinks a bit with each step forward I take. Or rather, my arms close a bit tighter, as I let fewer companies in. I'm excited for the ongoing partnerships I have and the future ones I will take on. I know I've said, but I enjoy sponsored posts, is that weird? I mean, yeah, duh, each one supports myself and my daughter, but also because it gives me an opportunity to share amazing companies with you guys that you may not have had the chance to hear of otherwise. I mean, I have been able to discover amazing companies because of it. I can say with 100% certainty that there are companies I probably wouldn't have heard of if they had not reached out to me-- but they are companies I quickly fell in love with and will continue to use and support. Or there are times when I write about products without the company reaching out-- just because I've personally bought it and fell in love and thought  "damn, I think everyone else would like this and benefit from it too." And yeah, I link it. Because if you guys do take an interest in it, and purchase it, then I make money and in turn feed my kid or pay my bills or whatever. That's how part of this blogging + making money thing works, ya know?

And it's just that lately-- as my life has been pushing more and more into minimalistic notions, well, I'm wondering how this blogging as a career will work for me. I mean, even as we part with many of our material things, and stop buying new things (not completely, but significantly), I know there are things I will have or use that will be beneficial to someone, somehow. And I know there will be companies that might be a good fit because they are selling experiences and not items--- or items that we all need, no matter how minimalistic we are. Like, let's say soap. As I part with more and more of my things, I don't ever plan to part with soap, haha. Or even pants. I mean, I want to promote products we need-- without having it be this buy buy buy in excess vibe. I feel like I do this, but I'm always striving for more--- more of less.

But I've thought about this a lot: where do I fit?

Like, besides the obvious fact that I've been trying to become comfortable in front of a camera for 31 years, I'm not a fashion blogger. I mean, sure there are companies that I support-- I'm always SO grateful to find clothing businesses in line with my beliefs. But regular fashion blogging? Most of the clothes in my closet are 5 to 10 year old+ Shit; I still have clothes from my teen years. So me blogging about this new style or trend? Ha. The only reason I've bought new clothes at all in the last five years was because of my weight loss-- my clothes were falling off me. I'll purchase a piece here and there (I bought jeans this week) because I can see the items lasting me a long time-- not to link and sell every new trend that cycles through each week. Not that I'm putting that down--- I just can't keep up with that. It feels far from natural for me since I'm not a regular shopper and buyer and I don't plan to be.

I'm not a home design blogger. I have, and I do blog about home design stuff-- because I do love a well-designed home. I find comfort in keeping a beautiful space I want to live in. And keeping beautiful and meaningful pieces is part of that. But the idea replacing items to create a new vignette or style? Oof that won't work. I like my couch-- and I like my couch where it is, and it's not going to move from that spot.

I could go into every category and tell you why I don't fit into each box. I've written about this before. How I don't like boxes. I don't fit in boxes. Literal, physical, or hypothetical. That's why the "lifestyle" space works. But I don't know; I guess I'm overthinking, like I always do, but I'm trying to figure out what my next steps are. I'm not saying I want to stop blogging, not by any means. But I do want to try to find something else. Something more. In addition to this.

Almost two years ago to the date I bought ohdeardreams .com. I had plans to start a company of handmade goods. I wanted to donate 30%+ the profits back to communities that needed it. I was doing the back end, planning, everything. I was excited to go to India and start meeting with people to source goods. That was going to be my first step. A week after India my life changed forever. The sickness came and the next two years, up until now--- and even now, I've spent my time trying to heal myself. All goals I wanted to achieve had to stop. Everything went on hold. And slowly my plans have changed as my life has changed. I haven't written off the idea entirely, but I'm just trying to refocus and re-plan. What else?

I'm not sure. But I want to find some other way to supplement my income while living this wild and crazy life. Taking on less sponsored posts, just as I have been doing--- and doing more, of something else. I have ideas. SO many of them. I just need to plan and refine. I just feel so lucky beyond belief to have this community to make a living doing what I love-- but I want to build something bigger and contribute more. Because I have more than what I need, but it's not enough for me, because I want to be giving back more. 

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I just want to say; I'm trying to figure out this space more. I'll still be doing sponsored posts, just a lot less. I want to do something else, something more. And I do plan to keep this space up and running--- and documenting all the things I love best and-and sharing my life lessons and things I'm learning along the way. I always hope to bring insight or knowledge or hopefully an inspired way of living to this space. I hope to continue reaching people through this space-- supporting through single parenting, or diet changes, or illness, or even just the day to day-- whatever. I hope I can continue to do all that--- and find a way to sustain my life and my income while I do more... and consume less.

Thank you for always supporting me. You being here supports me in so many ways. In ways, you can see and ways you can't. Food on the table, medical bills, and so much more. I am undoubtedly grateful that people care enough about my life to even come here at all, and especially everyday. I hope to one day (soon) find a way that I can use this platform to not only support myself but many others too. I just want to put that out there. I want you to hold me to it.


Hold me to it.


ps. almost three years later, THIS post is still my life motto. An unfussy, happy life for sure. 

19 comments:

  1. When I come here I expect to find you.
    And how would I define you? As someone that makes well informed and thought choices and sticks to them (or she does not like the no poo) And I love how you find a balance between being true to yourself and sticking hard to your beliefs and understanding what works in your life. I love the second part. It os something I lack and I think this is one of the reasons I keep coming back. I am not vegan, I am Christian, I have three small kids, I am 34.

    I know you will find a way and I am eager to know how it evolves.

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  2. I make ZERO income from blogging, so of course take this with a grain of salt, but just so you know - I'm a person that really misses the raw honest writings that filled your blog 90% of the time in the past. The sponsored posts - I get why you do them and I know you're picky which I appreciate, but I also don't even read them. I'm much more keen to click something if it's linked in a post/picture about you and your life than I am when it's about the product. Just throwing that out there. Also - ohdeardreams sounds very cool. Hope you can get back there too!!

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    1. This is a surprising comment for me! I honestly felt like I've been sort of over-sharing lately-- too many half thoughts about what has been going on--- between moving, alex, whatever. I feel like for a while I stopped writing a lot of the emotional stuff-- but only because I really didn't have anything to write about. Life was good and chugging forward without over thinking much. But lately, I feel like I've been sharing too much (again)! Not everyday, by any means, but at least a few times a month. It's been weird for me to share everything again, not bad (maybe good), but definitely something to get used to. Only end, I feel the only thing that really had changed has been that I share less photos of friends and photo posts of daily events from when I started to now. But thats just from where I'm sitting--- it could totally be different from an outside view.

      Who knows whats next. I obviously don't. But I'm looking forward to whatever happens.

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  3. I agree with Ama's comment. I found your blog many years ago- when you were pregnant and single. I was instantly hooked and continued to read throughout the birth of your daughter up until the last 1.5-2years. I'm not a blogger and I truly admire the effort put forth in taking the time to write. But the sponsored posts became WAY too much for me. I find your lifestyle intriguing. I'm not a vegan or vegetarian. I live in the Midwest. At the time, I had no kids. Your blog was so interesting to me. It felt so raw. Once the sponsored posts picked up, I became gradually less interested in reading. I have to admit, I have not read any of your posts for a very long time but I wanted to leave a response because I saw your post pop up on Facebook and I was interested to see what you were talking about. I'm so glad you are enjoying learning about these companies and earning extra income from it but they do not interest me in the slightest... you and your personal stories interest me. But I understand the reasons for why you do them. I know you've gained loyal readers since you started this blog so my thoughts on it are probably in the minority.

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  4. That post about how to live life without spending money literally changed my life. When the lease was up on my last apartment, I had that post in the back of my mind like "mortgage is cheaper than rent!" lol. But seriously. We really don't need all the things to be happy. The more things I get ride of, the better I feel. I actually don't mind the sponsored posts. They feel true to your brand, so I still stop by and have a glance. You have bills to pay and many of us understand that. On the other hand, it's the personal posts like these that I actually read, word for word. They definitely feel more genuine and sincere, and they remind me why I started following your blog in the first place.

    However you decided to move forward, I'm sure you'll still have a strong readership. Just please don't stop blogging!

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    1. aw, this makes me so happy to hear that the post sat with you on that. home owning is such a smart investment always.

      And thank you <3 def. won't stop blogging!

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  5. I, personally, have nothing against sponsored posts. The key thing is that I TRUST that you only promote companies and stuff you really love/use. I love when I see a sponsored post beacuse I know that a hardworking blogger like you has earned a bit of well-deserved money while promoting something they support. Also, it is great for especially small businesses to get seen because how would we otherwise know to whether to buy & try something - it's much easier when someone you respect recommends it.

    Comments saying that you shouldn't do sponsord posts at all are, in my opinion, really not fair...we all know that if you would work 9-5 the blog couldn't be that successful since creating a single blog post really takes a lot of time/planning.

    Being an independent woman with a small child, I feel you should continue the blog as it is and also do sponsored posts without guilt.

    Love,
    Jasna

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    1. Thank you! I still find the whole idea crazy, but amazing-- the fact that I was able to raise Marlowe while working part time and then eventually doing this full time. Im seriously forever grateful that I get to spend so much time with her because of this space. She would have been in daycare all day while I struggled by myself if it weren't for this blog. Forever grateful.

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  6. I've been reading your blog for a couple of years and I love it. I think blogging is so generous and giving, and to think that you/someone would continue to do this and share, educate, and inspire others without making any sort of income is surprising. I mean, we pay for books and most other media, so why shouldn't you receive an income too? Anyway, you are great, your sharing is so generous, and you inspire a lot of people with your intentional way of living.
    I especially love reading about and seeing photos of your garden!
    PS I don't think you do very many sponsored posts anyway! :)

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    1. Thank you! I guess thats true-- I never thought of that much, but writers who write for newspapers or other websites make money. This is my platform to write and make money and the sponsored posts is really how the bills get paid <3 Thank you!

      As for the garden-- Ive been saying it for well over a year but I actually hope to start doing more garden videos. I like sharing my garden, but the posts never feel exciting to me-- which they should. Im thinking videos might be the trick :)

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  7. Hey, I've been reading your blog for years now and one of the reasons I love coming to it is because I never know what to expect. Whether it's a travel post, food post, outfit post, you're always posting something different and interesting. It's ok to not fit into a blogging "niche". You've carved your own niche on the internet, and we all love being invited to it.

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    1. thank you <3<3 I never know what to expect either, haha. I always say, "live first, blog second" and well, I never know what to expect on my day to day and it translates here too I guess, haha :)

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  8. I know that feeling, and I'm feeling it myself. Trying to navigate what will work for my (similar) goals has been a wild ride. I'm excited to see what you come up with and want you to know how inspiring you are for little fish like me.

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    1. thank you <3<3 as long as we're both enjoying the ride, right? ;)

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  9. I think the whole blogging world has kind of turned upside down. I miss the good old days when people blogged just to share things and be part of a growing community. Now most blogs seem like huge advertisements and a lot of the joy seems to have been sucked out in the process. I follow quite a few bloggers who started 10 years ago and are still at it, but it just seems like more of a job then something they still feel passionate about...it's more sad than anything.

    With your blog, I still get the feeling that you genuinely enjoy blogging and sharing. For the most part I don't mind the sponsored posts. For the most part, I don't feel like your sponsored posts feel too contrived or forced. There were a few times where it did kind of go there for me a bit (the Carnival cruise as an example). I can imagine it must be very hard to turn down some of the opportunities that land your way and I think you have more integrity than most of the bloggers out there. I think of your blog as just a lifestyle blog - you touch on all things: motherhood, food, home/decor, fashion/beauty, etc. I kind of like that you aren't 100% committed to one type of blog and I feel like your life is relatable and attainable.

    Anyways, hope you keep at it and also find other creative ways to express yourself. Good luck.

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    1. It's true-- blogging has changed A LOT. I've been writing publicly online for 16 years now!!! Thats crazy. Crazy. I do see what you mean about some blogs seeming like giant advertisements. Theres a few I can think of where I've gone to their site or Instagram and literally EVERY post or at least 9 out of 10 is sponsored! Thats crazy to me--- not bad crazy-- like, if they can do that, then the more power to them, but thats not what this space is for me. This space is an outlet for me first, income second.

      Also, if I'm being completely honest, I enjoyed the Carnival campaign! There were technical difficulties that annoyed me, like trying to work on a ship with spotty wifi-, haha, but in general, I do like cruising. I know it's weird, and some parts of cruising goes against what I believe in, but not all of it. I love the open ocean and no land at sight feeling. And I also really like getting to islands, like Antigua that would be impossible to get to otherwise. The cruising industry literally keeps some of those economies going. If the ports closed, a lot of those islands would completely crash without the visitors spending money there. I'm totally going off on a tangent, haha, but yeah, I would actually work with more cruise lines, especially after seeing how a lot of them are trying to go greener. When you demand it, they will listen ;) But also on the sponsored post note-- there are definitely offers that I've received that really ate at me-- that were amazing opportunities in terms of income-- that basically could have paid my mortgage for months, that I regretfully had to say no to. And part of me is like, *ughhhh sorry Marlowe, mamas not making all that extra money for you* and part of me is like *its okay, you know better and something like that is terrible for you and the environment and obviously terrible for your kid too*

      okay, longest rambling comment ever. Thank you for your comment. Thoughtful shit like this means a lot to me. Its stuff like this that makes me feel like people read, relate, give a shit, and I'm not out here babbling alone<3<3<3

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  11. I think "lifestyle" suits your blog rather well! And I like, or at least don't mind, sponsored posts as long as they are thoughtfully curated. I think I read blogs in a way that I used to read magazines - I expect a certain amount of advertising in the content, but I want to gain from it as well? This blog in particular, I read for inspiration; when I'm in a family dinner rut, or need to clean my damn house, I often swing by for a little flake of your life, to paraphrase Mr. Cohen. I always come away with ideas! I think your niche is that natural lifestyle, but presented stylishly. I'm a vegan mom of two, and into a lot of the same hippie stuff, but I also don't want to run around in a hessian sack and eat dandelions, if you know what I mean.

    Interesting that a lot of people really dig the deep personal, introspective posts - if I'm honest I don't read blogs for that stuff, but I don't begrudge anyone a ramble now and then!

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