Hello to everyone who took time out of their days to stop by my blog–I appreciate you, and welcome!
As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve not been posting as much as I used to do. I thought you might wonder why, so I thought I’d share.
I started blogging back in 2009, and back then, Minerva’s Garden was a blog about my experiences gardening at our home. I started reading blogs online about that time as well, and started to meet some of the blog authors via comments. I enjoyed it then, and still do–it was fun to see what other people had going on in their gardens, and to meet other people who shared some of my interests.
Then I discovered blog parties. These were focused events where you could see all sorts of gardens and garden projects, and I looked forward to sharing my garden there.
I did this for a year or so, and I started reading more and realizing that some people were actually making money off their blogs. That had never crossed my mind when I started back in 2009, but the idea intrigued me. I really didn’t know a lot about putting a blog together, or driving traffic to it, or any of the nuts and bolts that many people seemed to understand well, so I did even more reading.
Then the day came back around 2011 when the job I had suddenly didn’t exist anymore. I looked for work, but mostly came up short. And then I thought, maybe I could make money from my blog, too.
So I did a bunch more reading, and learned about monetization, and how to put a blog together, and then I reworked my blog in early 2012 and decided to go for it.
In order to make money, I had to reach more readers, so off to tons of blog parties I went. I also had to have regular projects that I and my husband cranked out so I’d have something to share on the blog, so I decided to expand the scope of the blog to also include cooking and home decorating, both topics that I enjoy and have enjoyed since before my blogging days.
I put myself on a schedule of cranking out posts and participating at the parties. And I did this regularly, without fail, for well over a year. And the blog got noticed, too, and several of our projects were featured at several other other blogs, which was encouraging, and for which I felt honored and grateful. I thought we must be doing something right, right?
But at the end of this time–around the middle of 2013–I started crunching the numbers, and realized that with all the hours I was putting into the blog, it just wasn’t paying enough, barely anything, to keep going at the pace I was. Back in the frenzy, I was putting in anywhere from 8-12 hours nearly everyday either working on projects, photographing projects, writing posts, making videos, and sharing it all at zillions of parties and all over social media. I didn’t have a job at the time, so I threw myself into it, as if it was my full-time job (and then some).
This year, I’ve realized that my focus has changed a bit. I still love gardening, cooking and home decorating, and I still plan to blog. But the time I have available to spend on these endeavors in an online way has diminished rapidly, and frankly I need to put my energy into something that’s actually going to help pay the bills.
I also discovered that I am happiest when I am not constantly stuck in front of a computer screen. There is life to be lived out there, and I’m not going to miss out on it because I was spending all my time online. I am an extremely active person, and I love getting out and working face-to-face with other people, and making those connections. I found I was a little isolated because I was spending so much time online, and I didn’t think it was that healthy for me, both physically and emotionally.
As I’ve mentioned here before, I act and sing, and last year my husband and I became board members at a local theatre company called Portland Actors Ensemble, whose focus is producing free Shakespeare in the Parks shows–they’ve been doing this for 45 years. I love the fact that we are reaching an audience that might not otherwise have an introduction to Shakespeare or even live theatre–it can get pretty pricey to buy theatre tickets for a family of four for a night out of live theatre–I certainly do understand that. I’m happy that I am able, in a small way, to help change that.
And I’ve been able to bring my blogging experience and help them with their new website re-build and newly launched blog, which I find very exciting. As if the acting and blogging were not enough, I am also now the Educational Outreach coordinator for the group, and will be ready to go into rehearsals around July 1st for three other, new, Shakespeare shows that are geared for school-aged children (this is on top of rehearsing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which opens July 12th), and I will have the privilege and responsibility of booking and scheduling the shows into schools and other venues. Now my time is spent on acting Shakespeare, a huge thrill for an actor, let me tell you, and it will allow me to earn some money. I feel like it’s the best of all possible situations for me–to use my training and experience to do something I love–I feel very fortunate.
I’m very excited to see where this all leads, and I am happily and by choice following this new road, but my online time here at Minerva’s Garden is consequently lessened. I felt guilty about that for a while, like I should be blogging, but I know that the people who enjoy my blog will continue to read it, comment when they feel so led, and it will all be fine. I’ve had to let go of the idea that I was going to make a living from my blog–it just wasn’t in the cards for me, although it may be for some of you. (Surprisingly, I am actually about to get my first Google ads payout in the fairly near future–yay–I think I’ll spend it on some plants or something fun for the house–it might just about cover that :)
For me, the pressure to produce is gone. I plan on sharing posts when I have time and when I have something to say and share that I think others might be interested in, not on any regular, self-imposed, schedule, but as I am led to do so, just like back when I started blogging. I’m comfortable with that, and I hope that you are as well. I may even share some posts sometimes about other topics that I find interesting–we’ll see.
But I thought you might be wondering what was up, and I wanted to share that with you.
Thanks for stopping by, and have a great rest of your day!
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Thank you so much for your friendship and support–I appreciate it!
Till next time,