Do You Blog?

…If so, you may enjoy my post today over at Allume (used to be Relevant). I’m talking about partiality

“I’m the chief of sinners in this area. I inventory outward appearances and rank a person’s worth faster than you can type your favorite password. Whether online or in real life, I am quick to don the gown and wig of a judge and sentence people with my indifference if they don’t meet my standard.

But James says that judging, or partiality, is a SIN, just like murder and adultery.

Ooops.

Guess we’d better deal with this.”

Head on over to read how I’m rooting out partiality in my heart, and don’t miss the great discussions going on in the comments…{Smaller Bloggers} Are We Partial to Partiality?

 

Relevant Highlight #1

Laura Booz was my favorite speaker, handsdown, at Relevant.  With Ann Voskamp, Amy Andrews, Lisa Jo, and so many others, how was Laura my top pick?

  • Because she was the most relevant to me. She’s a homeschool mommy of 3, and FULL of passion!
  • Her enthusiasm and joy made her talks some of the most memorable of the weekend.
  • She’s incredibly practical in her approach to teaching and inspiring other moms and bloggers. 
  • She gave me a free copy of her new ebook, Blogger Behave (but that’s another post)

Imagine my delight upon returning home and finding she’s launched a brand new blog, Homschool Baby. And she’s having a party over there with a whole week of giveaways!

If you’re a new homeschooler, your gonna want to come hang out over there with me. Trust me.

Exciting New Stuff for Moms Like Me

I’m confessing to a case of bloginsomnia – can’t sleep due to thinking about all the wonderful things I would write about on the blog IF I could find the time. Sleeplessness may also be due to the beautiful, starry-eyed children who wake me up each time I finally drop off again. By the time I help Claire go potty, nurse Seth, change Jesse’s sheets, there’s not much left of my night…

Anyway, that’s why I’m online at such a ridiculous hour. And the reason I’m blogging is because I found some neat stuff in my twitter feed (learning to use this cool tool, though still feeling slightly lost). Thought I’d be sweet and pass it on to you, then go try for an hour of sleep before the alarm.

The Better Mom is doing a massive giveaway to promote their blog launch. Jewelry with an awesome story behind it, Vera Bradley, The new book by Angie Smith (Wife of Todd Smith? Selah? Ring a bell?). Now I’m sleepless AND drooling – about the giveaway, but also what promises to be a really great blog!

Michelle at So I Married A Mennonite (I just love her blog title – so random!) is following Sarah Mae’s advice and turning her passion/expertise into an eWorkbook – about being an organized blogger! Wow – do I ever need that! I like to think I’m organized, but bloginsomnia is undeniable proof that I need this book. Undeniable.

Going to bed now. Yawn.

Making Money on Your Blog, Part One – Are You Ready?

This post is inspired by an email I sent to one of my readers who wanted to pick my brain on developing and monetizing her blog. She’s someone who, like myself, has caught the vision of how a blog – this thing most of us did for fun in the beginning – can actually become a viable source of income and still be fun. If you’re ready to take the next step, here’s my latest list of tips and resources.
First, you MUST manage your computer time. You can not add blog development, personal branding, guest posting, networking, and research to all the other stuff you do online. Browsing facebook, blog hopping without a specific purpose, checking email and statuses multiple times a day has to stop. Figure out what your goal is for your computer time, and don’t let yourself get distracted. Read how I learned to keep facebook in balance in my life, and buy Amy’s e-book to finally learn how to take control of your time, computer or otherwise.
My new strategy for keeping from getting sucked in to too much time online is to keep a running to-do list for when I get online, and focus on that list when I do sign on. My goal is to have a specific task in mind when I sit down at the computer, such as “check email”, “answer comments”, or “research this or that topic”. No more just sitting down to wander through the web entertaining myself. There is really no need for me to check my email 6 times a day!

Second, you must get over the whole idea that making money from your blog is tacky.
  I believe blogging is a viable form of income and an exciting opportunity for stay at home moms. I’m convinced the Lord would have us be good stewards of the opportunities we have in front of us. There are two main ways I’m working to make money on my blog:
1.Advertising Just think about it – people buy stuff off Amazon every day – if your readers are encouraged to go through your site on their way to the check out, you make 15% off their purchase. Nothing wrong with that, and most readers would love a way to support a blogger they appreciate at no extra cost to themselves! You can also sign up as an affiliate for a product you love. We make recommendations every day – affiliate programs allow you to actually get paid for it. Check out the affiliate program for my book.

2. Selling Your Own Work If you actually make the effort to put together a collection of the best informative or inspirational content from your blog, or develop an idea into an ebook and publish it, the income potential skyrockets.
Sarah Mae’s book, 31 Days to Clean, was created from a month-long series on her blog. She took it down of her site, polished it up, added a bit more content, released it as an ebook, and made $20,000 the first month. (Obviously, she’s a marketing genius – that’s why I bought her “How to Market and Sell Your E-book” as soon as it came out. It’s just $4.99! That’s an affiliate link – I get 30% if you purchase it through my link!)
Come back tomorrow to find the list of people and blogs I’m following as I learn and develop as a blogger.Further Reading…
Why I’m Learning to Be a Better Blogger and Why You Should, Too.

 

Do you want to make money from your blog? What’s holding you back? Why DO you blog?

Facebook: Keeping the Tool in the Tool Box

After confessing to my affair with facebook , sharing what I learned from a month-long facebook fast, and telling you all the other places I’d rather spend time online, many of you have asked,


Did I delete my facebook page?

No. All that time away from facebook helped me see that facebook was a time waster for me. But all the time spent learning to develop my blog made it clear what a great tool facebook is. I did not feel I could afford give up facebook. I realized it was a tool I should learn to use properly, rather than something that controls me.

So, how did I find balance in my facebook usage?

Here’s my secret to keeping facebook in its place.
Are you ready?
It’s really, really simple, but it works:
I only go on facebook ever other day. And no weekends. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
That’s it.

Setting these simple boundaries of ‘facebook days’ and ‘non-facebook’ days is the easiest way I have found from getting sucked into hours wasted online. I don’t have to set a timer, have an accountability partner, or even deal with withdrawal symptoms. Limiting my usage of the site automatically helped me keep the perspective of ‘it’s a tool’ – when do get on, it’s with a purpose. I check my profile, respond to friends and notifications, and then scroll through the homepage IF I have time.

Do I miss stuff?

Yes.

Has it killed me?

No.

As entertaining and fun and cool as facebook is, I’ve never read anything on facebook that I couldn’t have lived without or found somewhere else. 

 The difficulty is that so many people use facebook as their primary communication and relationship tool, and if you don’t keep up with them on facebook, you can’t keep up at all. I’ve decided that’s a price I’m willing to pay. I don’t want to get sucked into the majority of my relationships only existing in the electronic realm. I don’t want hours on facebook stealing precious moments talking and praying with a friend on the phone, or busily tidying my house so I can host a friend for dinner. I never want electronic relationships to steal time from face-to-face fellowship with my husband, my children, or the wonderful friends God has given me.

What DO I use facebook for?

It’s helpful for me to have a goal in mind whenever I sit down at the computer, especially when I sign in to facebook. My goal on facebook – the primary reason I’m there – is to deepen relationships. Here’s how I do that:

  • I’m on facebook to guide people to my blog, where I invest more of me and the communication and sharing is deeper and fuller.
  • I use facebook  to connect with old and new friends. Once we find each other, I get their blog, email, or phone number so we can connect on a deeper level, eventually getting to the point of meeting face-to-face. (This is really fun!)
  • I only follow a few close friends – ones for whom facebook is their primary online presence. I will visit their page to check out photos and links they have posted so that I can stay current with what’s important to them.   
  • I only post a personal status when I feel I have something worthy to say (with the occasional exception because I love randomness!) 

Have I ever broken my own rules?

Yes. But not often, ’cause I really like it when facebook stays where it belongs in my life (pretty far down on the list, let me tell you). I have made some exceptions:

  1. When I read something cool online and want to share it, I’ll click the ‘share on facebook’ link, but once I’ve posted it to my page, I x out of the window and move on. It’s how I keep the tool in the tool box unless I’m using it. 
  2. My All That Is Good facebook page – I try to keep that current as it is an extension of my blog and part of my system for growing my blog. But if I’m on ATIG’s page, I try to resist the temptation to switch over to my personal profile.

I love facebook. But I’m no longer addicted. And if feels great.


How about you? Do you struggle with facebook stealing time, or is it something else online? How do you keep your computer time in balance? 


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