The Part-Time Blogger’s Dilemma {Let’s Be Honest}

Ok, it’s time to get really real with you. About us and our blog. It involves a little something we like to call:


We recently received a very nice comment from a regular follower that prompted us to write this post. Before you read it, I have to say that we were very grateful for this reader’s honesty, and the sweet way she voiced her concerns. There’s nothing we love more than good, honest feedback from the lovely people who visit our blog every day!

Ack! She nailed our current dilemma right on the head! Let me give you a little back story…when we started this blog a little over a year ago, we did not anticipate it interrupting our lives at all. It was just a place to throw all our ideas and projects. We literally thought that only our moms would read it. Then came Nate (not once, but four times!),

 local TV coverage, newspaper articles (you get the point) which equalled rapid blog growth. AND WE LOVED IT. All of these amazing opportunities meant that we were doing loads of projects, pouring hours of our time into the blog, and spending a lot of money to keep it all together. The blog is the most important, most rewarding and most fun thing we do (yes, even more than the Nate Show! It’s our first love.), so we make every effort to put 5 great posts out per week. We LOVE this blog and it has become bigger and better than we ever expected.


But here’s where our dilemma comes in: In addition to the blog, we both work other jobs, raise a bunch of kids and try to be good wives, friends, daughters, sisters etc. Realistically we could not possibly keep up the pace we had been going for the first year, even though we would like to.
Not only did this little blog take a lot of time away from our families, but we also spent a lot of our own money to do all those projects! We need to find a better way. We are trying to adjust our own expectations (which, believe me, are sky-high!) and are experimenting a bit with our posts.
So what does all this mean for the blog you love to read?

 
1 You’ll probably see only a few DIY projects a week from us. Instead of scrambling to come up with a DIY project just for the sake of having one to post about, we’re being more intentional about our projects so that they’re well done, and have a purpose in our homes.

2. We’ll be highlighting our wonderful sponsors every once in a while to expose you to their awesomeness and also, to express our gratitude for their support of our blog that allows us to keep doing our projects. Don’t worry we won’t be throwing them in your faces at every turn, and we promise to only accept sponsor whose products we absolutely love!

3. We might host a guest poster, or highlight other blogs we feel like are worthy of notice! The design blog world is like a family, and we want to promote other people, like others have promoted us!


4. We’ll keep bringing you our thoughts on all those fun, crazy and fabulous design trends out there, and how we’re incorporating them in our homes!


So, in conclusion (are you still there?), we are crazy about this blog and all of you, and hope to continue doing this for a long time, and even (crossing our fingers) turn it into a full-time job. We hope you’ll stick around for the long haul, and be understanding as we try to find balance and a system that works for us.

And now, a question for all you bloggers/mothers/wives etc. out there: How do YOU find balance?


jess&Monica

 

P.S. We’ll be doing a follow-up post on our top tips for Part-Time Bloggers, so get excited! ;)

Comments

  1. says

    Such a great honest post! Thanks for sharing. Back in January my friend and I also started a blog and it has been so much fun having a creative outlet. However, I am still working on the whole balance thing. Looking forward to hearing more about your tips for part-time bloggers. :)

    • says

      Ooh, Kerry, you’re so lucky to write a blog with your friend! We consider ourselves sooo fortunate to do something we love with eachother. So fun! Wishing you lots of success. :)

      Tips will be coming soon. :)
      J & M

  2. says

    I too started my blog this past fall and had thought I would be posting daily. However, LIFE got in the way and I’m lucky to be posting monthly! Having been married 27 years, raised a son and daughter and currently keeping my grandson full-time until August while my daughter (US Army) goes thru Air Assault Instructor training (intense!), I don’t know if you can truly find a balance. I find that there are times I simply ‘oil the squeaky wheel’ meaning whomever really needs me most whether work, husband or kids, gets my attention. Then there are times that I will put my foot down and take time to do my own thing in order to maintain some type of sanity!
    So, I totally understand where you’re coming from. Just enjoy the highs and ride out the lows. I’ve seen your projects on Nate and you ladies are great! Keep doing what you love and it will work itself out.

  3. says

    You will find your balance and we will be here to see it! I also have a blog and I know how much time and dedication it takes… Good/Bad thing is that since I don’t have that many readers I can take a break whenever I need it. Like right now. I have been a month or two without posting a single picture, but there were more important things going on in my family and I didn’t have the energy to think about pictures or blogging.
    Hopefully I will go back to that soon…

  4. says

    Great response! Seriously it’s not cheap to blog about projects 5 days a week and if only my kid was old enough to wield a paint brush or spray paint can maybe I’d have time to get it all done :) I’ll read WHENEVER you post!

  5. says

    I asked this question of balance to my own mom (who had a full time job and 4 kids) and she told me, “There’s no such thing as balance when you have small kids at home.” It sounded kind of harsh to me at the time, but I think she’s right. She went on to tell me to focus my attention on what I thought was MOST important and then forgive myself for “letting the ball drop” or disappointing myself sometimes in other areas… it’s just for a time. But I think forgiving myself for disappointing the expectations of others is the hardest part! (but the most important!) Love your blog, you guys are great!

  6. Anonymous says

    I just joined your blog a month or so ago since seeing you awhile back on Nate’s show. I love what I see here already and don’t know any different from when you started as I wasn’t tuning in then! I thought of starting my own blog with ideas and DIY projects I do, but am truly happy just reading about you two! You are so like me that I just love reading about you both!!! Keep up the great job just as it is….for me! LOL! And if you change, I’ll still read your blogs! Nan in Western NY

    • says

      Thanks SO much! And you should totally start a blog and then let us know. It’s a great outlet and fun to share projects with like-minded people. :)

      Good luck and thanks for reading!
      J & M

  7. says

    I think you guys are awesome you are as “REAL” as it get ~ in my opinion ~ Keep up however you need to I follow on Bloglovin and it makes it nice for me! I do follow you on FB too….but much success you the two of you!
    Jena

  8. says

    You fabulous ladies inspired ME to start my own blog just to document (for my mom even!) my projects and as a non-day job outlet for my writing… so I can imagine the crazy rise of your blog is hard with all your other roles in life. But don’t give up! You’ll find balance and we appreciate all you do! (as do the hundreds of pinners who are always pinning your great projects!)

  9. says

    Here is my 2cents….I have been blogging about 2 years now. I too started it as a way to share with my family and friends. Never thinking anyone else would ever read it….What I have come to realize is people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. Usually it is a win/win. But you will never please all people all the time. I post on an average 4 times a week. If I do a sponsored post I usually will do another post that same day. The way I look at it is this…Blogs are like online magazines. You have to be willing to read an ad every now and then…just as you would if you page through a magazine or watch your favorite HGTV show. Many good bloggers…like yourselves…put out good content that keeps the reader wanting more. Loyal readers will always come back to see what you are up to because you put good content out there. When I am making a decision on weather or not to post something, I try to look at the readers point of view. “Would I stop for 2 minutes to read this post and look at the pictures?” If the answer is yes..I hit publish. Yall are talented and funny and witty and loyal readers will always come here to see what you are creating…if you post twice a week or everyday.
    Trac
    xoxo

    • says

      Thanks, Tracie! And you’re right- it does read a but like a magazine, so that’s a good thought for us. Glad we’re not alone with trying to find balance. :)

      Thanks for your support-
      J & M

  10. says

    I am liz from lizmarieblog.com & it is so hard to find balance with my blog, my job, school, my husband, my etsy shop, & my husbands marine corps schedule with his college baseball schedule.. But I find balance because I love blogging & I love furniture repurposing.. It’s my passion. I think you find time & balance for things that you love. I love your blog keep doing what you awesome ladies are doing!

  11. says

    I think you ladies are doing a great job and appreciate your honesty about where you are at right now. Something I learned back when I was in an office job was to try and focus on doing great work and not what other people were thinking – and the end result is people thinking you are doing great work! You are never going to please everyone every time and you are never going to get it right each time. As long as you are moving forward and making the most important people happy – each other and your families – you are good to go in my book!

    Best of luck in all of your adventures,
    Laura

  12. says

    You’re one of my few favorites because you guys post almost every day. Even if its a quick post, an update, or a picture of something you’re half-way through. I think you’re doing phenomenal jobs considering this isn’t your main job. There are full time bloggers out there who are posting mostly sponsor posts and only 1 or 2 a week. That’s old. You guys still show what you’re thinking about doing, what you’re currently working on, and what you just finished, with a bit of crazy mixed in the middle. I love that. :)

  13. says

    Oh and as for the sponsored posts… If someone sends you a tool and you use it an awesome way on a project and show us, you’ve still shown us an awesome project. I dont know why so many complain about that. The ones I dont like is when some people just say “hey visit my sponsors” and that’s it. for days.

  14. says

    I think you should do what feels right to you and let that authenticity come through on the blog. I wouldn’t expect a DIY blog to post daily with original content. No human being could do that much work, take photos, edit and write a blog post, plus all the behind the scenes stuff. You guys are doing an awesome job!

  15. says

    Blogs are a lot of work. There are just so many hours in a day. Makes sense that your would have to make time for actually living sometime.
    Do what you have to do. We’ll all still be here.

  16. says

    First of all, I love your blog and you, ladies!!!! :) I will continue reading and be up to date, and even if the content gets packed up with some extra stuff, I’ll still be here!!!
    But I do have to say, that I, too, miss the feel of the blog from a year ago…It was a bit awkward and cumbersome at times, but so REAL, and I loved that!!! :) It was so refreshing to read about some LOCAL gals, who are doing things themselves, making beautiful decor pieces and even furniture for their homes, discovering local shops and venues that I never knew existed (like Liberty thrift store)!!! I loved reading about your families and, especially, your faith, so honest and so inspiring. The blog really had a feel of a “blog next door”, and not a celebrity ;)
    However, it is very natural to grow and change, as we all do. I guess, maybe the reader feels that there have been too many changes lately??
    As for me, I don’t get to read my fav blogs every day, as the responsibilities of a wife and mother take over, but when I do find that quiet moment and sit down, I sometimes get overwhelmed with so many unread posts and not having enough time to catch up. I would have loved to see more personal posts, even if there are less of them per week.
    About balance…it’s a tough question and a constant work in progress for me. When I feel pulled in all directions, I pray…and try to listen very carefully where God wants me to be today, this week, this month, etc…and find peace and joy where I am. Because that’s what He wants. No more, no less.
    To end, love you and your blog!!! Love that you are sensitive and considerate and really listen to your readers. It’s not very very common nowadays. Keep at it, and I hope you’ll find that balance of yours!! :)

    • says

      Thanks for letting us know your thoughts! We still consider ourselves big dorks, so I’m sure our goofiness is not going anywhere. :)

      We love hearing from readers, so thanks for taking the time to do that,
      J & M

  17. says

    I’m totally struggling with this same thing. It’s just too hard to keep up posting everyday with a family and so many other obligations. I decided to just try and be consistent about when I post but to do a post a couple of times a week. I find if I try to post too much then I burn out and forget why I started blogging in the first place.

    • says

      We hear you, Brook! We want to keep our love for blogging alive, which is tricky when we also want to make it a business, too. Your blog rocks, and you’re doing a GREAT job with some incredible projects. :)

      J & M

  18. says

    This is an issue all of us DIY/Home Bloggers deal with. I love to create and write but I also want to present only the best content to my readers. No one can be creative 24/7 without causing bloggy-burnout. Producing 5 days a week is out of the question for me, and I’m pleased as punch to produce 3 awesome posts per week! Thankfully, my four kids and hubs are very supportive of the blog but it does come at a price I’m not willing to sacrifice for the sake of extra page views. You all are doing wonderful. Go at your own pace and keep the joy of it all alive!
    ~ KIM @ Sand & Sisal

  19. says

    Fantastic post and something I have been struggling with for the last few months as well. I love that your reader felt comfortable enough to send you that note and that you took it so graciously. We all have something to learn from our readers and it makes me so pleased when I see bloggers respond the way you did, instead of lashing out!!

    As far as balance, I’m not so sure there is an absolute answer! I work outside of the home, try to run 2 blogs, 4 PTO committees, family responsibilities, etc. It’s hard and it’s usually my sleep that ends up suffering. I’m hopeful that things will be better once summer comes (I work for a school so summer’s off!!), and I’m already trying to plan so it doesn’t interfere too much with my time with the kids. At this point, blogging is a very part-time job for me, but my goal is to turn it into more. But there are times that I do feel “guilty” when I hit published on a sponsored post. I can reason it out in my head and know I shouldn’t feel this way, b/c there is a lot of time invested and it’s okay to be compensated… but I still feel guilty. I actually just wrote a post 2 days ago on why I decided to monetize my blog. But I’m getting off track with the balance thing… I just don’t know!

    • says

      Oh goodness, Natalie, we are all in the same boat, aren’t we? We really feel like monetizing your blog is not wrong at all, as long as you stay true to yourself and are delivering good content. Hope you experience lots of success with your blog!

      J & M

  20. Anonymous says

    Keep at it ladies! I love your blog! I started reading after your first Nate show appearance and was so excited to find out you were from Bucks Co. (I am too). I dont think its a big deal to scale back posts. Quality, not quantity right? I have no idea how you do it all! Some of my favorite posts are the smaller projects like the painted curtain panels and the white washed barn wood frame. Keep up the good work!!

  21. kim says

    Girls, it looks to me like everyone in BlogWorld eventually comes to this bridge. what makes a blog great in the first place then attempts to strangle you – LOL! i think balance is whatever works for you. Personally, I’d love to see you do 5 a week, even if 2 or 3 are just “Hi, hey this is what we’re talking about . . .” From a business perspective, it keeps you in front of your readers. Just my two cents. Keep on keepin’ on, ladies!

  22. says

    I am so glad to read this, even though I wish we were all able to devote time to everything that needs us: work, family, blog, alone time (I’m not even sure what that last thing is! lol). I struggle with finding time for my blog and people don’t even really read mine… I wish sometimes it was easier for me to just walk away from it, but I just can’t do it. I have a ton of great ideas for projects and posts on paper, but finding the time to get it all done is another story. I can’t imagine how hard you guys have worked to try and balance everything, but you’ve done amazing jobs. I actually found this blog through The Nate Show and I am so glad I did. I’m so looking forward to the grand re-naming, too!

    • says

      Thanks, Meg! We find that we really are happy when we allot time for the blog- it’s our “me time”. It’s definitely a part of who we are now! Even if it means we stay up way past our bedtime 5 nights of the week!

      J & M

  23. says

    Monica &Jess, I love and enjoy your hardwork and dedication! Whenever you are able to post I will continue to suddenly become giddy…even if its a few times a week…I pray Gods plan for your blog be revealed to you both in his time. I also appreciate the non-DIY content and hearing others’ unique stories, it’s a good mix in my opinion! Be well and keep smiling! Xo

  24. says

    Monica &Jess, I love and enjoy your hardwork and dedication! Whenever you are able to post I will continue to suddenly become giddy…even if its a few times a week…I pray Gods plan for your blog be revealed to you both in his time. I also appreciate the non-DIY content and hearing others’ unique stories, it’s a good mix in my opinion! Be well and keep smiling! Xo

  25. says

    Monica &Jess, I love and enjoy your hardwork and dedication! Whenever you are able to post I will continue to suddenly become giddy…even if its a few times a week…I pray Gods plan for your blog be revealed to you both in his time. I also appreciate the non-DIY content and hearing others’ unique stories, it’s a good mix in my opinion! Be well and keep smiling! Xo

  26. says

    Oh gosh, u gals are the closest blog to me, don’t ever stop. And there is a lot out there to read but intentional is hands down the best! Its just where I am in life, more cute, but with less stuff. Slow and steady wins the race. Keep it coming. And a local outing, please, u haven’t had one since I found your blog :)

  27. says

    ugh this is SO my problem :( It’s SO hard to juggle all of life – PLUS a blog! BUT it’s so fun & rewarding – and it’s a time that helps me “de-stress” in a way…it’s hard to explain to people who are not “in the blogging world”. But I totally 100% get what you’re saying, and I love hearing this from you guys!!

  28. says

    I can totally understand this dilemma. Even though I have to admit that I checked your blog more often in the past than I did in the past few weeks (I really enjoy your projects AND your writing), I can really see that it’s harder for people like you (and me) who have a fulltime job to come up with great content. As I don’t live nearby, I have never seen you on TV, so I just come here for your posts. I love hearing from (and reading) you guys, even if it’s not a new project every day ;-)

  29. says

    Hey Jess and Monica… Apparently I don’t have balance because I’m just reading your post about balance and re-naming and oh the dilemma’s now – but I have to say that for the past few months you two have seemed like otherworldly super hero’s – balancing kids, husbands, work, and a full time blog – I say, it’s okay to take the cape off every now and then – we’ll all still be here.
    Hugs,

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