8.20.2015

Girl Boss

 necklace :: manic trout [use code YELLOW for 20% off]

This whole "blogging for money" topic has been on my mind a lot recently. When I wake up in the morning, when I sit silent at dinner and when I'm trying to fall asleep at night. It all started a few days ago when I received a message on Facebook that mentioned how I've lost them as a reader - that I used to write about personal stories but now with every blog post I'm promoting a sponsor or product. They obviously preferred the personal stories [as per anybody] but finished the comment with "maybe one day you'll understand..."

My first reaction was to get angry because I felt like I needed to defend myself about how I do understand and HOW DARE HER. But then I remembered that I had just written a post about using our words for good and how love wins so I bit my tongue and responded back by saying how much I appreciate the feedback and that she is exactly right - my blog has become a lot more sponsored than it had ever been before and while I don't exactly love that about it, I have chosen that. To go along with that I also made the comment how as soon as my mortgage company will allow me to pay my monthly payment with a personal story I will end all sponsored stuff. Because here's the deal - whether you like it or not, my blog is my business. It is my job. It is my source of income. And because of that, I have to make money off it it because I have chosen that for myself and my career.

Last night as Shawn was getting home from work and I was in the kitchen making dinner I felt myself verging on tears as I had just read another comment from a loyal reader about how my blog feels like a big commercial sometimes. As I started explaining how I was feeling to him and started questioning whether or not I should make money from blogging he kindly reminded me that this is what I do now. I've either got to make it here or I need to make it somewhere else. And by somewhere else that means working 40 hours a week for somebody other than myself [no thanks]. He proceeded to go on about how no justification is needed when it comes to this. We don't question others making a living from showing up to their place of employment so why should we here? And then I started reflecting on this journey - what it started out as, where it has led me to, how it has evolved, the places it has allowed me to go, the products and brands I have been introduced to, the people it has allowed me to meet, etc. And while yes, I agree that sometimes things do feel less personal around here it's still a place I love to come back to daily to write, share, laugh and store not just memories of things happening day to day but a whole period of time that I can look back on and say "remember when I had that really awesome job that allowed me to drink wine at 2 pm on a Tuesday in sweatpants while still providing a way for us to live?!?" So cool. After this conversation and reflecting on it all I was filled up with so much joy and gratitude. This was all obviously proceeded by singing loudly in my kitchen while doing the robot because gosh, revelations are worth celebrating.

I am so thankful to those of you who started out with me in the beginning and still check back from time to time - I know things have changed some and while I am always looking for ways to bring more balance into this space I am so grateful that opportunities like this exist for anybody willing to put in the work. I promise to never stop weaving my own stories and daily happenings in this space. 1160 posts later, it's amazing I still have an ounce of anything left to talk about but I have hope - as long as periods are still a thing and male country singers still get my body a little hot we should be okay.

Whatever you are doing - do it confidently. Listen to those around you who love you well, be open to criticism and look for ways to grow, be smart, and always remember this - work is work, it isn't always going to be easy and it's certainly not always fun. There are people out there admiring your efforts and passion for whatever it may be. Know why you are doing what you are doing and press on.

And on that long note, lets get personal - any questions you'd like to ask that I can answer in a post soon? Whether it be about blogging for an income, house remodel updates, my horrible diet, etc - I'd love to hear it! Ask below in the comments and I'll put that baby together asap. In the mean time, please enjoy my first ever q&a post that took place back in 2012 (whaaaaaaaaaaaaat)! According to that sucker I should have a child by now. Oops. Off to go work on that if you know what I mean....wink.

ps. it should also be noted that while I may say "yes" often to opportunities presented to me, I will continue to only say "yes" to those that I am 100% confident in sharing with you all. If I'm ever blogging about stirrups or fishing bait, you know we have a problem.


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45 comments:

  1. I always come back to your blog, because even when you're writing a sponsored post, and even when it's a product I don't personally find interest in, you're still you. You make me laugh. You still have your voice, and I respect that SO much, because some people completely lose that when they choose to make money with their blog. So just keeping being you.

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  2. I don't get all the hate over sponsored content. Go on with your bad self. Make that money girlfriend.

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  3. Thank you for writing this post! I love it! Blogging is a funny world and a unique way to make an income. For the record, I've been reading your blog since forever and I'm still around! I love that your sass and personal stories still weave their way into every post you do (sponsored or not.) I am proud of your for being able to make your blog your business and as hard as it is to hear, we cannot make everyone happy. Some people just really wont understand and some people will not be as interested in our new directions and we will lose them as readers, but we will also find new ones who are jiving with our new directions. Keep up the good work, keep following your heart and posting things that you feel proud of and at peace with! You got this Erin.

    PS: Those husbands just know how to encourage us and remind us to look at the other side of things! YAY!

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  4. I only found your blog recently, but I find every single post of yours to be hilarious. Even sponsored ones. Your true personality shines through in any post, and making a living from this is awesome! So keep doing what you're doing!

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  5. You are one of my favorite bloggers and I love every single one of your posts! Not bluffing when I say that either. One time I spent a good hour on here reading through your best ofs and it was just so fun. I hope that doesn't make me a stalker...

    Anyway, I absolutely love your blog. You're a great writer, you make me laugh out loud, and your style and knowledge of blogging is so fun to read about too. I think it's great that you're making money off your blog - I wish I could! That leads me to my question for you: 1) How do you go about taxes? I know it's a hard topic to talk about so you don't have to answer that. :) 2) What are some tips you'd recommend for collaborating with other bloggers?

    Keep on blogging about anything - I'll cry if you don't!

    Ashlee Mae | http://sparklesbyashlee.com | faith, funny, & fulfilling dreams

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  6. You just keep doing what you are doing. Even with sponsored posts you do have your own voice. People need to understand that blogging takes a lot of time and it is nice to be able to make it your career or at least a way to make some money.

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  7. Erin - Sponsored or not, you are one funny lady and I always (ALWAYS) enjoy reading what you write. Seriously, you make tampons sound like fun!!!

    If sponsored posts mean you can eat mac n' cheese when you want, relax on your boat while the rest of us are still in the office or take business trips on another company's dime, I say MORE POWER TO YA!!! You're living the dream and I think it is awesome. Who wouldn't want to spend more time with their husbands, homes or dogs???

    <3

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  9. Usually when I pull up a blog I favor and see a sponsored post I: roll eyes, exit, come back another day. But, YOU keep me reading...even through sponsored posts. I think that you are very talented at making them feel "natural". Cheers!

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  10. Long time reader of your blog and want you to make moolah from all you hard work but sometimes I just wished the products were classier. Sometimes it feels like your blog has become a bit too much like a grocery store drive by - no one can love feminine products that much on the daily! :) - and honestly it has made me tune out to some of your posts where as before I loved reading them all. It's such a tricky balancing act. If anyone can work it out - you will. Good luck x

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  11. I'm glad you posted this! I think its incredibly important for women to be strong and financially independent, while doing something that we love! Women should be valued as entrepreneurs just as much as men are. Its encouraging to see that you have followed your dream and made something fun and creative, into your career! You have worked hard for this business and deserve to see the fruits of that!

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  12. Erin. Okay 1. I just bought some stirrup yoga pants from AE and they are the shit. So maybe you do need to blog about them, after you’ve tried them and realize how badly you need them in your life! Ha! 2. I didn’t stumble upon your blog until later in the game - after there were already sponsored ads - and I still keep coming back. I come back because of you. While I do enjoy your personal posts the most, and creeping on your house, your personality still shows through in the sponsored posts and they’re still enjoyable to read. I think the majority of your readers understand the necessity of sponsored posts to your blog. I have a great job that I absolutely love, but if I could make money at home in my sweats, all whilst sipping on gin + juice (kidding, I’m way too fancy for that!) I totally would. I don’t really know who wouldn’t. Besides, with SO many products out there, it’s nice to hear about what works/doesn’t work for REAL people. Maybe you could also do posts on some of the products that you don’t like as much and why, 1. to inform readers and 2. I’m sure companies would appreciate feedback on how their products could be improved. Either way, I have about 50 (million) questions for your Q&A (which I still think we need to get together in person to discuss!), most of them in regards to blogging, so here’s a few:

    When did you really start to feel like you had a “good" following? Personally, I’m ECSTATIC when I have 5 page views. And then I realize I forgot to stop tracking my own. 1 page view. I had 1 page view.
    Was "Living in Yellow" your first choice for a blog name? I know this seems like a weird question, but I have changed my blog name about 3 times now (each time having to start a new blog), because I just haven’t found anything I love. When I get really excited that I’ve thought of something super creative, I type it into Blogger and it’s ALWAYS taken. Honestly, this has probably been my biggest obstacle, because I just feel like I’m settling on a blog name and I feel like that’s a pretty big decision and something I should love.
    Anything else you could offer up as to how you went from blogging for fun to blogging for income (& fun) would be great! Like I said, I love, love, love my job, but I would also love to do something full time that would allow me to be more creative and express myself and, most importantly, allow me more time to play dress up with my child (whether she likes it or not)!

    In the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing. You do it well and the majority of us love it. And, it’s obviously proven to work well for you too :)

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  13. Your sponsor based posts inform the readers of Stitch Fix and new beauty products. Stitch Fix and new beauty products make us happy. Happy people don't just shoot their husbands, they just don't. :)

    Keep on Keepin' on girrrrl.

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    Replies
    1. hahaha LOVE that movie! So funny...and true!

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  14. PS You can always count on me to write a book.

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  15. I just started following you about a month ago, so I really dont know any better about your "content." I have read a few of your posts from the past but mostly about your sitch fix shipments!
    I say kudos to you for making a stand and doing what you love. Who cares if those people want to rain on your parade. They are probably jealous.
    I am jealous girl, but Im not about to rain on your parade! Please tell me how you started your blog. I am in the works of mine but would really like to get mine going so I can blog full time and eventually live the life like you are. You can check it out...but I promise you wont be looking at much. But any tips you have would be great for a beginner like me.
    http://aaronandcrystalsnest.blogspot.com



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  16. Remember that time you posted a blog about nothing at all and had a picture of yourself in your underware sitting on a rock? You know, that one last week? It's rediculous to say your posts aren't personal. Every post you publish is YOU. Wether you're paid to write it or not.

    It seems pretty simple to me...if I'm not intrigued by what you're writing...I move along to the next blog that interests me. There is no need to comment and put people down. I just don't understand people's thinking these days. I wish more people would abide by the whole "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" saying.

    I think you're doing just fine. And you're pretty fantastic. And I enjoy coming here to see what you have to say regardless of if it's sponsored or not.

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  17. I started reading a few months back. Not 100% sure how I even found your blog, but I did and I enjoyed it. That said, I started reading before you had sponsored content in almost every single blog post. I still come back but I do find I often skim the sponsored posts and have only been checking in on your blog about once a week instead of every day, as I was previously. Anyway, as long as you don't care, I don't. Do what you have to do and enjoy it. That is all.

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  18. I follow you on Instagram and read your blog. There is a noticeable difference in your content, but you make me laugh. Every. Time. In this mixed up, angry world we live in we need to be able to laugh. I find your blog fun no matter what the content is. I think you should do what works for you. If you can pay bills writing blog posts that's great. You can't please everyone. But if you can keep people laughing. Then a job well done!

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  19. I feel like everyone always wants stuff to be free, but the reality is that nothing is free. You are basically providing entertainment and sometimes knowledge, and it takes a large amount of your time to do that. I only blog sporadically because I have a full time job that needs to take priority, because that pays the bills. I think lots of people are under the misconception that they don't have to pay for stuff on the internet--but all the other websites millions of people use every day need money to keep going, and that's why there are ads plastered all over the place. I'm not sure what those former readers want you to do--stop doing sponsored posts? If you did that, you'd probably have to take a different full time job that would leave little time for blogging. Then nobody's happy!

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  20. I love your blog, just discovered it recently and think it's great. I wish I was as creative and talented as you. Don't apologize for being creative and your talent, it's a gift. If I could stay at home and do what you do I would in a heart beat but it's not my calling. Don't let the haters get you down and keep doing what you are doing. One question I do have is when you talk about work appropriate outfits to wear to the office on your stitch fix post what does that mean? Do you go to an office? Do you have 2 jobs? ❤️

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  21. This was one of your more personal posts in a while and it feels good to be back and reading this. I've been a follower of your blog for many years, but in the past several months to a year, I've usually skipped on past your posts in my blog reader because I figured it was something sponsored. I understand that this is your business, but I really love and appreciate hearing the non-sponsored posts, like you used to do. Life of Bon does this very well, the balance between sponsors and personal blogs. Thank you for making a continued effort to try and be personal and real with us.

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  22. I'd love to hear how you started blogging for income. I've blogged for many years, but it is mainly family that reads. I'd like to grow my blog and am just really not sure where to begin!

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  23. I love your honesty and I must say I agree with your husband. I think it's great that you are able to incorporate your daily life and product reviews with your blog. Like you said, you don't promote anything you're not 100% convinced of and you're introducing your readers to great new products...win win! :) I have read your blog for a long while now and it's still one of my favorites even with the product reviews. Keep doing what you're doing because you're awesome and impactful!

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  24. Hi Erin!

    Long time reader here, and I personally think what you're doing is 100% A-Ok! Like you said, you're blogging for an income, it's not a "hobby" anymore.

    I started my blog almost a year ago as an income stream. While I've loved the friends I've made, the sole purpose of my blog was to make money. I just did a sponsored post on an online lottery site, and a reader commented on how she couldn't believe I could be bought that easily. At first I was taken a back, but again, my blog was created for an income and I was offered a good chunk of change for that. Also, I wrote the post in a tasteful way and by NO means encouraged gambling (my site is a personal finance site).

    Keep up the great work!!!

    - Sarah www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

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  25. Girl, do what you have to do! I love the personal posts too, but even as a fairly new reader (less than 6 months) I still keep stopping by your space and checking out what you have to say and show, so you can't be doing things too commercially or I really wouldn't come back. I'm into genuine, and clearly you are genuine. I love the things you share and the different brands and businesses you introduce to your readers!

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  26. I would definitely be interested in learning more about how you began blogging for profit! Just remember that for every one or two people that take issue with sponsored posts, there are about 1000-2000 bloggers who are wishing they could be in your shoes. It is a delicate balance with sponsored posts, but you do a fantastic job including yourself and your personality in every post! They hate you cuz they ain't you ;)

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  27. Keep doing what you are doing. If people dont like it, they can skip that post and move along. I personally love your blog and your style. Keep it up!! Susan

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  28. Two years, adoption, will expand later.... I never saw the blog post of the expansion...

    I love your blog. Sponsored or not, your sarcasm cracks me up. There will always be those that throw stones. It's obvious of the type of person you are - I love that you didn't throw them back.

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  29. I get really annoyed when bloggers start doing nothing but blatant sponsor posts...but even when you have done sponsored posts I love how your personality shines through. I can't tell you how many times I have thought "Gosh I wish she was my real friend" :)

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  30. Erin,

    First off thank you for always being so open and honest!
    One of the reasons I look forward to your blog is the fact that your not affraid to share what your thinking not matter how far out there it may be haha! I'd be lying if said it wasn't entertaining. I know I'm just one person but personally the contents of your blog is only half of what makes your blog so enjoyable. Yes it's nice to read about personal topics but at the same time it's nice to learn about new products from someone like you who is real and honest and is willing to be a human guinea pig for us readers! Never be affraid of what you put on here as long as it is real and is how your truly feel. Your personality and how you connect with your readers is truely what makes your blog so wonderful so please don't ever change that!
    I am curious about one thing... and I'm sorry if you've already covered this subject.... but being a full time blogger, what is your typical day like? What does it take to run this amazing blog you've got going on?

    Keep up the good work!
    Andrea :-)

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  31. I've been reading since day 1. Yes, the blog has changed a bit, but so has the blog world in general. I WISH I had to dedication to turn my corner of the interwebs into half the business you have created. I think what you're doing is cool. The fact that it can be your business and your job is amazing. So do you.

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  32. I love your blog, and just recently discovered it, actually, as I was creating a new Pinterest board for Stitchfix.! You have such great style, and a very fun and entertaining way of writing; very real. That's why I read it! I had one thought after reading your latest post: have you seen The Pioneer Woman's blog? She has an interesting way of "compartmentalizing" her sponsors: Her main page has a menu of 5 different categories. Her first link is just personal family/friends stories and pics, the second link is a recipe and guide, and the third link is a favorite product and (usually) a giveaway of some kind. It's a nice way of allowing her readers access to her favorite things, but not having to put it in her main content area. And I have to say, because I'm not "forced" to read it, I often choose to go to the "ad" link. I LIKE knowing what she's into! And I feel the same way about you, and your recommendations. :) Anyway, just an idea! Keep up the great work! It's hard to put yourself (and your life) out there for everyone to critique.

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  33. Girl, just put your hater blockers on and keep doing you. I love reading your blog and will continue to read it as long as you are still blogging! I could honestly say that I wish I was in your position making money with my blog but I am no where near that. Have fun with it, enjoy life, and do what is best for you!

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  34. I have only recently come across you blog and I think it is great. You can't put a price on doing what makes you happy. I admire women who are willing to share there thoughts, feelings, and dreams. I tend to be closed off a bit, but love to come across others who feel the same way I do at times, but express it so much better. Keep it up!

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  35. I don't comment often, but I read every post you write and have for years! I think the real issue is that all blog readers should have to be blog WRITERS so they understand better. Because I certainly get it more now that I have my own blog. Like, this week someone offered me A LOT (to me) of dollars to simply post a LINK in a post about something that A) I wouldn't normally post about and B) didn't feel quite morally right to ME. So I said no. Even though I could really those dollars right now. Even though maaaybe 5 people total would actually ever click that link. THAT'S the part people don't see - and don't stop to think about. Everyone's got opinions, we just have to do what feels right to us!! I've totally told someone (in my own family) who didn't like something I wrote on my blog that there were tons of other blogs out there and I'm sure she could find another that she identified with more :)

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  36. Your blog is awesome with or without sponsored posts. Some people are jealous they aren't making a living doing what you do. Keep it up, you give us a good laugh every day!

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  37. I recently found your blog through your Stitch Fix reviews. I enjoy reading them, and I just recently started blogging myself (total beginner). If you have found a way to drink wine at 2 pm on a Tuesday, you're doing something right. Ha ha. Seriously, though - I just wanted to offer a vote of support. You go. :)

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  38. I love your blog just the way it is! You have the best writing style-I crack up out loud with every post, don't change a thing!

    But since you asked, I love your fashion posts and would live you to do some what I wore posts...:)

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  39. I love your blog and don't ever feel guilty about making a career out of something you enjoy doing! It's a dream some of us bloggers will never achieve, so rock it!

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  40. I know exactly what you should do....have an embarrassing story throw down on your blog. Readers' embarrassing stories go head to head to find out who has been the most humbled by life. And, since I think my odds of winning that are pretty good, I think you should ask Stitch Fix to sponsor a gift card for the winner.

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  41. I love your blog! You are awesome!!! And I personally appreciate your reviews and such. I love the stitch fix reviews! That's how I found your blog, but your humor is why I keep coming back. Keep doing you, girl!

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  42. I have loved your blog before and still love it now! You do you boo boo! ;)

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  43. I love your sponsored posts...keep them coming!! It's nice to learn about new products from someone who is using them. It's like having a sleepover with your girlfriends back in high school.

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  44. I actually enjoy checking back and seeing how far you've come. I was here 2 years ago and I see where you are now and it's cool - it's your profession and VOILA! I love it! People want opinions and experience VS. just seeing an ad on tv.
    If I think an ad is boring, I'll skip through it onto the next post - it's that easy....no need to comment hate mail :)

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I read and appreciate every one of your comments. Thanks for stopping by my space and sharing a piece of yourself on this huge ole internet. I meant that in the least creepy way possible. I'm just good at making everything awkward. Anyhow, thank you for your comments. They make me smile :)