Monetizing my blog was a big decision to make and not an easy one. It has certainly been on my mind for a while because I wanted to stay completely transparent with all of you, as well as foster a friendly discussion about it in the comments below this post. I really want to hear your thoughts and will make every effort to answer each one!
It also seemed like it may be helpful to raise the topic for other bloggers who are thinking about monetizing but are not sure if it’s the right thing to do. When a part-time blogging hobby turns into a full-time, occasionally stressful but meaningful position, it may be time to weigh the options. That time came for me.
It’s one thing to walk into an office and answer to a boss every day and get paid for it, and another to be a self-employed entrepreneur and begin your own enterprise without an established portfolio.
When it comes to less tangible ways of providing a service, like offering an endorsement versus selling an actual product, the lines blur as to when it’s appropriate to request remuneration. It is also not easy to shift gears and ask for money when many bloggers do much of the work for free or in exchange for products.
Giving and being of service come naturally to me. What I’m learning in this growth process is that it is not only a good idea to stay open to receiving in return—it is a universal requirement if you want to maintain a balanced state of being.
While that may seem obvious, I was raised with a strong ethic of doing service, volunteerism, and requiring minimal or no financial compensation. Volunteering still has its place, of course, but so does working hard and getting paid for it.
Because there is a lot to say about this topic, I’ve divided up my posts into two: my personal reasons for accepting payment in today’s post and concluding with tomorrow’s post about ways to monetize, concerns when a blog does receive compensation for posts, and what changes you’ll be seeing on Edible Facial.
The sign I got that it was time to monetize my blog
The major shift happened after I was discussing my energetic exhaustion with a friend. I spend hours on writing and editing posts, taking photos, and sharing on social media. Aside from taking up time, other resources like money pour into purchasing products and props for pictures.
At some point, I started to feel drained and couldn’t figure out why, especially when I feel grateful for the positive feedback and online exchanges. What I do also satiates my altruistic desire to expand the ethical beauty movement by supporting earth-friendly niche brands.
My friend pointed out that I was doing all of this work for free, but my body was informing me that I needed to receive something tangible in return to balance out the energy.
Hmm…I had never thought about it like that before.
What’s funny is that I’ve been promoting brands on my blog and on social media without earning a penny for it for years. The words of my highly intuitive friend made an impact, and I finally found myself asking: why not? If my reviews or photos help the company make a sale, isn’t it ok for me to earn a small amount on it too? In all fairness, I couldn’t think of a good reason why not, but I’ve been taking a lot of time to reflect on it.
The concept of receiving and self worthiness
Essentially, asking to get paid is about acknowledging self-worth and trusting that what I’m offering has meaning and value.
For lots of people, I think the discussion goes even deeper to feeling “deserving” of receiving and allowing the goodness to flow in both directions.
Creating balance is something that I’ve been working on in my own life. It can be a struggle for many people who are generous with their time and presence while benefiting causes or even family members, but feel guilty or wrong about accepting anything in return.
This is a bigger issue than you would think and one that I’ve started to notice in people who sacrifice themselves in the name of giving to others. It’s also why the topic of “self-care” keeps coming up in posts, in coaching calls, and in conversations.
It’s important to become aware of any feelings of not deserving or unworthiness and gain an understanding of them, then seek to release and let go of any blocks. Donating our time and resources is a beautiful endeavor, but not when it comes at our own expense. The price to pay could be poor health, weakened energy levels, resentment, low self-esteem (feeling like a doormat or a puppet), and more.
This is a vital area of exploration and healing for many people—and a bit much to tackle here, but one that’s already in the works for a future post. While my own feelings didn’t sink quite so low, I did come to the realization that it was time to replenish the low energy output by asking to get paid.
That doesn’t mean that everything changes on my blog or that all posts will be sponsored, however I’ll be including those too.
In Part II, I continue this topic and cover issues like objectivity and bias.
Has the question of monetizing your blog been on your mind too? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments and any other questions you may have.