The Business of Blogging (Or the Lack There Of)
About a month ago, a reader comment got me thinking. The comment was well intentioned and kind, but left me feeling anything but good. I guess you could say the comment struck a nerve. So I wanted to talk about it and give you guys a look at what goes on behind this blog. The comment went something like this: ...The lack of sponsors and ads all over the place makes your blog a pleasure to read. It's one of my favorites!
Nothing ground breaking, right?! It's complimentary and honest. But the reader implied that they like the Grit and Polish because I don't have sponsors and ads. They like reading this blog because I've pumped thousands of dollars and thousands of hours into this blog and never received a dime in return (well, there was that one free rug pad ages ago, but you know what I mean). In the context of the larger discussion going on in the blogosphere right now about blogging and compensation, this comment was a wake up call for me. Because I don't think of myself as a good blogger. In fact, I think of myself as a bad blogger. I'll explain why in a second.
I can't begin without saying that I appreciate your support and do not take it for granted. You make the choice to read my work every time you come to the Grit and Polish, and I can't thank you enough for that! There is no shortage of home renovation/design/DIY blogs out there to choose from, so it means the world to me that you chose to spend your precious time with me! I LOVE writing and curating this blog, but without you guys reading it, I wouldn't keep it going. The Grit and Polish has always been a creative outlet and a way to share our work. And for the past 3 years, I've chalked the costs up to an expensive hobby. But then I quit my 9 to 5, and I found myself wondering if this blog could become more than that, because the Grit and Polish is SO MUCH MORE than just a hobby to me. I listened to this podcast, read this post, read this post, and listened to this podcast (all of which discuss blogging and compensation) and wondered why I wasn't asking for something in return for my work. Content takes time to develop and good content takes a lot of time. So like any good math nerd, I took stock of the hours it takes to run this blog and here's what I found:
1-3 hours styling, photographing and editing photos / post
2-4 hours writing text/post
1-2 hour editing/post (thanks sis!)
Subtotal = 4 to 9 hours/post --> 2 posts/week = 8 to 18 hours/week
But that doesn't count the time spent behind the scenes:
1 hour/week scheduling, organizing, and maintaining the blog (and probably more because my sis helps)
1 hour/week responding to comments (including social meda too)
1 hour/week honing my wordpress/Photoshop/photography skills
2-4 hours/week creating Instagram and Pinterest content
Subtotal = 5-7 hours/week
In total, it takes 13 to 25 hours/week to create the content you see on the Grit and Polish (and social media) and keep the blog running. These numbers aren't exact, but they're in the ballpark. And that is before you take into account the time we spend renovating and designing the spaces shown on the blog, which totals up to approximately one gazillion hours/week.
So how could all this unpaid effort possibly make me a good blogger? I don't think it does. I think it makes me a bad blogger. One who helps perpetuate the idea that bloggers should eschew compensation and create free advertising for companies, because that's essentially what I've been doing. I buy products at retail prices and provide photos and links to those products and show it to tens of thousands of people. A very bad blogger indeed. One who isn't asking for her own worth.
So...it's time to make a change here on the Grit and Polish. I'm at the prepecise of turning my once-hobby into a job (or at least a venture that generates enough cash-flow to pay the babysitter). This is a long time coming, and a change I'm really excited about. You won't see ads littering the site, but I am searching out partners (and maybe eventually sponsors) and looking into afiliate links. Next week, I'll be announcing my first partner, one I think you guys will really like, and I hope there will be many more. My content won't change - the projects, ideas and recommendations will be my own, as always - and I will take great care to select only partners and products that I can stand behind 100%. The changes you will see on the blog include more renovations, better photos, and a much-improved/better-curated blog. And I think old houses will champion for it. Hopefully, you'll be as excited as I am for these changes, but I understand that some people will be apprehensive, so I will do my best to take it slow and explain things as I go.
Okay, that's the whole business (or lack there of) behind the Grit and Polish. I'd love to hear your opinion. Leave a comment and tell me what you think about this new leaf for the Grit and Polish.
More than ever, thanks for being here!