Home » Blogging Tips! » Blogging: Behind the Scenes, Part 4

Blogging: Behind the Scenes, Part 4

{Note: Today’s post is not the usual Pretty/Hungry fare.  Normally around here we’re talking about things like cookiessavvy weeknight suppers, and the special splurge recipes that keep life fun (like this one)!  But today’s post is Part 4 in a series dedicated to all the bloggers out there, in response to your requests for blogging tips.  Blogging: Behind the Scenes is my monthly write-up about the methods I use to grow, improve, and monetize the Pretty/Hungry blog.  If you would like to read Parts 1-3 of this series, you can catch them here!  And of course, if you are not a blogger yourself, feel free to disregard today’s post.  You won’t hurt my feelings one bit!}

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"Blogging: Behind the Scenes" - An inside look into the methods I use to grow, improve, and monetize the Pretty/Hungry Blog

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It’s been a while since I’ve written a Blogging Tips post, so I thought it was about time!

Today I’ll share with you a behind-the-scenes look at the Pretty/Hungry Blog during the months of January/February 2014, in the hopes that my blogging journey can be of assistance to other bloggers out there. :)  (Also, I do realize that it is April… and the reason for the slight lag between each “Behind the Scenes” post and the current month is that most internet earnings don’t officially get recorded and paid out for 30-90 days after they’re earned.  So it takes me awhile to have information to include in these posts.  Thanks for understanding!)

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"Blogging: Behind the Scenes" - An inside look into the methods I use to grow, improve, and monetize the Pretty/Hungry Blog

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January and February were slower months around here, compared to December.  I attribute much of that to the fact that I have slowed down my own writing/cooking/posting schedule, thanks to my good friend, Morning Sickness.  (More like “All Day” Sickness.)  But that’s ok!  The beauty of working from home as a blogger is that YOU are in control.  You decide when you work, and how much.  You decide what you write about, and (hopefully!) you write about what you love!  I really can’t think of a more flexible and personally fulfilling job (but of course, I am biased.)  Of course, admittedly, you make sacrifices in return for those great bonuses, the most obvious being income.  And if blogging isn’t cutting it as your primary income, it is ok to scale back your workload, do it as a second gig, or even just for recreation.  The neatest thing about blogging to me is not the hefty paycheck (note my loving sarcasm)… but the fact that it creates a community of like-minded people with whom you can discuss the stuff of LIFE.  Fun things like fashion, family activities, & Easter Brunch… and hard things too, like grief and struggle.

Anyway, here’s a look at the traffic stats for this little corner of the web during the last few months.  As you can see, the holiday rush ended and morning sickness took its toll, haha!

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Blogging: Behind the Scenes- An inside look into the Pretty/Hungry Blog stats and income streams

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So, despite those setbacks, here are a few of the blogging tips that I have found especially helpful for me here at Pretty/Hungry in the last few months.

1) Enter contests that correspond with your gifts, talents, and the content of your blog.

In December, I entered two contests: The AR Democrat Gazette 12 Days of Cookies Contest, and the Fisher Nuts® Fresh Twist Recipe Contest.  (I won prizes in each of those contests too, how wonderful!)  And in January/February, I entered Pretty/Hungry in the Better Homes & Gardens Blogger Awards (I did not win that one though… bummer!)  But whether you win or lose, I have found that entering contests has opened up opportunities for me that have proved very beneficial!  Often, contests can get your name out there and share your blog with wider audiences.  For instance, thanks to the 12 Days of Cookies Contest, I was featured in our local newspaper AND won a year’s-supply of free milk for our family.  (A HUGE blessing for this mama on a budget!)  And thanks to my connection with Fisher Nuts (through the Fresh Twist Contest), they have since asked Pretty/Hungry to further collaborate with them on various social media channels and have even sent me awesome free products!  You really never know what can come of a connection, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there every once in a while if you think the payoff could be worthwhile!  (I would only caution you not to over-commit yourself.  Entering a lot of contests can burn you out, not to mention your friends may get tired of having to vote you through a different set of preliminaries every week.)

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2) Plan your next venture and mark out time on your calendar to work toward completing it!

Are you thinking of publishing an e-book based on your most popular content?  Go for it!  Block out 1 hour this week to write the rough draft of your introduction.  (I did a more detailed write-up on the process of publishing an e-book in the last installment of BBTS.  Take a look if you’d like to try writing an e-book yourself!  It’s very doable!)  Or maybe you are considering opening an Etsy shop to sell your handmade goods.  Whatever your goal, you are most easily held back from completing if you haven’t started yet.  So mark your start-date calendar and start somewhere… anywhere! :)

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Blogging: Behind the Scenes - A peek into the inner workings of the Pretty/Hungry food blog

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3) Give yourself a break!

You know what my main lesson was this month?  As much as people might love you and the genius content you’re churning out everyday… they will NOT mind if you ease up your posting schedule.  As long as your blog doesn’t become some antiquated museum that gets updated every 1-2 years, you are not shooting yourself in the foot by lightening your own workload and taking some time for YOU again.  Most likely your blog content will begin to slip into sub-par territory anyway if you are writing because you feel forced.  WOW-content comes from people who are inspired… and you can’t be inspired if you’re not feeding your soul.

This month I fed my soul by re-reading Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant for the third time, and then looking at #Divergent pins on Pinterest for faaaaar too long.  Because sometimes what feeds my soul is being a super-nerd and swooning over Four-Tris.  (It also feeds my soul to repeatedly hug and kiss my 1 year old and take long walks with her around the lake.  Glad I’ve taken plenty of time to do that while the weather is nice this month!)

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Alrighty, last but not least, here is a chart showing the breakdown of Pretty/Hungry’s income streams during the months of January and February.

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"Blogging: Behind the Scenes" - An inside look into the methods I use to grow, improve, and monetize the Pretty/Hungry Blog

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The Pretty/Hungry 2014 Recipe Calendar

Can ya believe people are still buying these?  I can’t.  Glad I still have a few extras hanging around just in case!  Feel free to contact me at ccprettyhungry@gmail.com if you’d like to order one.

Google AdSense Ads

These ads are located along my sidebar.  I like Google AdSense (as opposed to the myriad of other ad service options out there) because the folks at Google are very intelligent and their ads are customized according to what individual web-surfers have viewed/shopped for recently.  So in my case, I currently see a lot of ads for Wen hair products and Nordstrom shoes.  Google smarties!  Too bad I’m not allowed to click on my own ads, because I’m totally tempted to pretty much every day.

Amazon Affiliate Partnership-

A wonderful program in which Amazon pays me a small percentage of the sale price when someone orders an Amazon product based on my recommendation.  I only recommend Amazon products when I think they are an especially good deal and I personally use and love them!  An no pressure… I’d also be thrilled for you to go find the same thing cheaper at Wal-Mart!  (But as an online shopper myself, I usually can’t resist the appeal of shopping without leaving my couch, so I try to provide links when I can, in case you’re a couch-shopper like me.)

Foodie Blogroll Ads-

Gosh darnit, I feel like I am still getting my feet under me with Foodie Blogroll!  They take the longest of any of my income streams to reconcile and pay out earnings (often 90+ days)… So it’s been very difficult for me to ascertain whether they are worth the valuable real estate they occupy at the top/center of my homepage.  Hopefully I can give you a better sense for how lucrative they really are in the next 6 months or so.

-E-book Royalties for “The Unexpected Joys of a Tight Grocery Budget”

I published this e-book in December!  It is a short, motivational read meant to encourage you toward setting (and sticking to) a reduced grocery budget.  Most of us struggle to meet our financial & savings goals month to month, and all too often the sneaky little culprit is our grocery spending.  (It’s just so easy to justify over-spending when it’s to feed our family.)  But we can feed our families healthfully AND affordably, and do it with a cheerful attitude to boot!  This book focuses on all the wonderful character-building benefits that come from reducing your grocery spending.

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Since beginning this series last year, I’ve seen some awesome blogs hit the scene from talented friends of mine!  I’ve really enjoyed the great content they’re sharing and the excitement they bring with them each time they post.  Please feel free to share the name of your blog in the Comments section of this post if you are a blogger.  We’d all love to check out your site!

All the best,

Carissa

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*Note: This post contains affiliate links.  See my disclosure here.

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