The following post was submitted by Stephanie Quilao as part of the ProBlogger Case Study Series
I am a new blogger, and published my first blog November 1, 2005. I got so excited about the potential of being a six-figure blogger that I decided to create a mini network consisting of four blogs. In no particular order, the blogs I created and why:
– Noshtopia: a blog celebrating little food: snacks, appetizers, and hors devours. Americans eat $13 billion a year on snack food, and I love food especially snacks.
– Style from the Couch: a blog featuring web only deals at Target.com. I’m an avid Target shopper, and wanted to highlight their web only deals.
– The Great Munchkin: a blog about computers and electronics for kids. There isn’t one place for adults to go find and buy what’s new and cool in electronics for kids.
– Back in Skinny Jeans: a blog about coping with society’s high standards of beauty and body image through hope and laughter. This blog was just an outlet for me to share my personal experiences to help other women.
Because I wanted to be serious, I got the urls and joined a paid blog service like you suggested. I use TypePad Pro because I wanted something robust yet fairly simple. I like TypePad because I do not do code. I know enough to cut and paste affiliate link codes and frankly, that is all I want to know. I care more to build my creative muscles than geek muscles. I have a friend who helps me with the techie stuff.
Noshtopia, Style from the Couch, and The Great Munchkin were designed to be revenue-generating blogs. I signed up with Linkshare, Performics, and Commission Junction. I also signed up with Google AdSense and the Amazon affiliate program. I applied for Chikita and got denied. I planned to go after paid advertisers as soon as I had some decent traffic, and to add on some merchandising using Zazzle or Cafe Press.
After 3 months of blogging, I noticed something that shook me up. The stats were showing that the traffic for Back in Skinny Jeans was more than all of the other 3 blogs put together, AND it was generating the most revenue despite the fact that I had no intention of monetizing it at all. The Back in Skinny Jeans blog was just supposed to be my creative outlet. I slapped in some Google Adsense and a tip jar for fun, and boom, money was coming in more than the other three.
A girlfriend told me that she wasn’t surprised. She said that the Back in Skinny Jeans blog really reflected my personality, and it came across as funny and warm. She said that you could feel my passion in my writing here. Writing for this particular blog is a joy, and it’s easy to come up with post topics. I also enjoy the fact that I feel no boundaries in what I can express here.
Adding to the surprise, this blog was invited to be a part of the new BlogBurst network. The BlogBurst editor found my blog, and told me she liked the blog because it had great compelling content related to women’s issues. Now, I have the opportunity to have my writing exposed to major newspapers. Wow! Again, something I never planned on because this blog was just a creative outlet free of pressure and revenue generating stress.
I started a full-time job this month because I need to pay the bills, so I decided to stop the other blogs for now and focus only on the Back in Skinny Jeans blog. The building success of this blog was due to the fact that I was simply enjoying myself, helping others, and not caring about the revenue generation. Now, I am starting to feel pressure to write more, better, best because of the revenue and the BlogBurst exposure, and truth be told, my writing is starting to be affected.
My question therefore is, how do I prevent all the new attention and pressure from adversely affect my writing? A blogger is nothing without the writing, and I want to keep the integrity of my authenticity and passion in tact. I’m new to all this stuff, and want to stay focused. How did you handle it when all your blogs started to take off, and you became a high profile blogger?