In the last two years, I have come to the realization that money should not be a bad word in blogging. I guess I have moved away from the mindset of my content being written for the only for the art of it and more toward placing some value on its worth. Not all bloggers feel this way and that is okay. But for me, I feel as though I have grown to a point where I choose to place a value on my time, my content and my site, because, let’s face it, “free” does not pay the college tuition.
It also doesn’t cover the cost of running this site, the sheer time it takes to shop, cook, photograph, edit said photos and THEN write the post. “Free” also doesn’t pay for the education I’ve received from online courses, the how-to-books that line my shelves, software to run my computer, my camera, lenses, props, printer, or business cards. Why? Because I have come to find this here blogging site IS my business and has grown from hobby to freelance opportunities that make money.
Does this mean I will never write for the sheer joy of it? Of course not…that’s the thing…I find joy in ANYTHING I write. That passion has never waned. I still crave having a creative outlet and even though the main purpose of this site centers around food, I made sure to keep my tag line open ended….
“Serving food writing & photography for ALL appetites.”
Every now and then, you will find a piece of fiction or memoir, maybe a rant, or just thoughts about my day because writing is in my bones. I need it. On the other hand, you will also find more and more verbiage about a posts containing an affiliate link because this is something I want to try to incorporate more into my marketing plan. I’m okay with making money from blogging, freelance writing and photography, because when stripped down, it’s a business and for a business to be successful, it needs money, and so the hamster wheel turns.
For the business side, affiliate marketing with a few ads on the side seems to be the least intrusive way to talk about products I’m using or places I’m visiting and have the ability to show you where I got it or where you can get it. For instance, if I wanted to tell you about how much I LOVE using my cast iron Dutch Oven to cook favorite dishes, I could link to which one is my favorite and if are wondering “Hey, what Dutch Oven does Kelly like to cook with?” you have it right there at your fingertips. If you click on the link and decide to get one for your own kitchen, then I would get a small (and it is small) amount of coin to put into the Eatpicks piggy bank, which in return, gets invested right back into this site in some form or another. For the creative side, it still allows me to tell my story and my share my experiences in my own voice and that I can assure you will never change.
This is the knowledge I took away from attending TypeAVegas Bootcamp and the Affiliate Summit West Conference in Vegas a couple weeks ago. I am a HUGE fan of the annual Type-A Conference and can whole heartily say that whether you are a brand new blogger or a seasoned veteran, the annual TypeA Conference should be on the top of your list of events to attend. The mastermind behind this is the forward thinker Kelby Carr. She has created a conference atmosphere that is educational, fun and makes you leave feeling inspired and eager to return again and again, which is exactly what I have done since 2012. This, however, was the first bootcamp I have attended and loved the one-day extensive learning that it provided. This TypeAVegas Bootcamp focused on making money with your blog with fantastic speakers and a room full of movers and shakers all sharing their stories, advice and tips that helped them arrive in the space they are right now. I learned so much about how to really value what I create here on the blog and the networking with fellow entrepreneurs was invaluable.
The Affiliate Summit West was much bigger than I ever imagined. Three whole days of top notch sessions, speaker panels, inspirational Keynotes and standing room only roundtables, complete with full-on networking with marketing experts from around the WORLD. I focused most of my time on the expo, which was filled with over 900 vendors and was actually refreshing because it was professional. All participants and booth staff were looking to have a connection- an actual conversation, something I find normal blogging conferences are lacking. No one was out for the sole purpose to get the free stuff at the booth. I left the room feeling I accomplished more in 2 hours than I have in five years of writing! It was awesome!
If you are ready to move your blogging more toward the business mindset, then these two conferences are perfect to help you make that happen. I will help with any questions- all you have to do is ask! Leave in comments or drop me an email!
Does this post contain an affiliate link? You bet. If you choose to use it, I thank you in advance for the cup of coffee!