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blogging is hard, ya heard?

By 9/25/2014

i try not to write things anymore that will get me in trouble.

but this might.


the internet is all atwitter over this NYT article 'when blogging becomes a slog'.  it cites john and sherry petersik, bloggers at young house love, as poster kids for a new age of blogging, where the sentiment seems to be 'blogging is hard, yal.'  (those are my quotes, not theirs, or NYT's).


the article includes several other bloggers who lament that generating new content is tough, blogging makes their houses messy and that they can't balance the interwebs with real life.


yes.  blogging isn't always easy.  but good lord - it's a job that pays and the perks are:

-you do it from your home
-you are your own boss
-you set your own schedule
-you share with readers things you LOVE
-you decide what to write about, and not
-it's not rocket science

the business of blogging has changed tremendously since i started 8 years ago, but the fundamentals of writing a blog have not.  you share what you love.  


blogging is about sharing.  it's because you have an ego that tells you people should care about what you think and do.  that's why we hit publish.  otherwise you could keep your DIYs and handbag purchases to yourself and go work in a cubicle.  it's sharing because you think people should care, and when they do, that feels good so you share again.


my blog now serves as a journal of my life.  i can look back and see what i was doing 5 years ago, if my hair was in a good place, how big my dog was, what made me laugh on youtube, where i'd traveled and what handbag i wanted.  and what i had for breakfast.  this is actually invaluable to me.


so, when it gets hard, i lay off for a while.  i might go a day or two and not blog.  it's usually because i'm focusing on something else (furbish).  my blog makes money now.  my business - which is an offshoot of my blog, also makes money.  a lot of people who started blogging when i did make a lot more money than i do, exclusively blogging.  i don't know if that's sustainable, so i started a company that allows me to take sharing the stuff i love with people to the next level.  we'll see in a few years what the right choices were (i'm defining right by earning a comfortable income, and personal daily contentment).  i feel optimistic if this trend of 'blogging is hard' continues that i made the right choice.  (also, who knows if this is really a trend.  the article quotes 3 or 4 bloggers, and i realize a majority that does not make.) 


if i sound sanctimonious, i don't mean to.  i want to convey that i feel lucky, and challenged and satisfied.


a friend asked me at dinner the other night what i hated about my blog, and my job.  i said nothing.  i would be a fool to hate this.  what's tough is deciding how much of yourself to give, and to where.  how much to share for free and how much to share for profit.  when to take a sponsorship or when to turn it down because it's not for you, or your readers.  


BUT I AM NOT SAVING LIVES.  nor am i slaving away for a dumb boss, or commuting 2 hours in traffic everyday (poor brian meares). i am not bored, i am not taken advantage of, i'm not nervous that i did something wrong, i am not dressing business casual, i am not surrounded by people i don't respect, have nothing in common with or despise, and i am not worried about my vacation time or how i'll get to my doctor's appointment unnoticed.  


the best quote in the article, from pam kueber, makes my point more eloquently: 

A passion turns into a hobby, which becomes a full-time career. “And in some predictable period of time, it consumes your life and sucks the joy out if it,” said Ms. Kueber, finishing the arc. “That last part of the Shakespearean tragedy is what you have to be mindful of not letting happen.”

it's all relative.  if john and sherry want to take time off, enjoy!  they're laughing all the way to the bank at the haters who think they sold out.  i hope their money holds, and their lives are happy.  but i don't think they need to serve as an example to, or of all of us who are blogging.  if you can't maintain the oversharing, DIYing every corner of your house, responding to every comment and question, and churning out daily content, then don't.  you don't have to complain it was too hard.  just adapt to what you can do (as erin loechner explains she did in the article), do some other stuff too, and feel lucky you have people who care enough to check in and see what you're up to, and that you are making a living by sharing your creativity with readers who are interested.  


be grateful bloggers.  it could be much worse.


soap box dismounted.  carry on.

86 comments

  1. As a FT blogger, I've been mulling over YHL's hiatus as well as SDL's recent posts on adapting to new environment that bloggers are facing. A post has been brewing and I think what you've written captures many of my sentiments so eloquently. Blogging is a choice and it's not rocket science. I think breaks from anything is a good idea (raising kids, being in a relationship/marriage, etc.) and when the blogging gets "rough" time outs are appropriate.

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  2. Your love for what you do is apparent in your blog and store, which probably has to do with your success.
    p.s. Is it weird how much I love your Eggs Benedict pics?

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    1. Thank you - I appreciate that. And eggs Benedict are hard not to love.

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  3. Well said! I remember when you opened your store and I was so excited for you b/c i too had just opened my own store. I feel very blessed to get up every morning and do something I enjoy. I really enjoy your blog too. It is one of my top 3 favs!! I know you will continue to grow in your success and I am happy for you!

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    1. I wish you the same!! Thanks for the support

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  4. THANK YOU! I do work in an office dealing with annoying people all day and I can honestly say that blogs sometimes feel like my lifeline to a creative alternative. I love having those few minutes a day to look at some awesome thing that someone is working on. When professional bloggers complain about how omghard blogging is it makes me way less interested in their blog. Shouldn't you be loving what you're doing if you are going to ask us as readers to buy into the aspirational nature of most blogs?

    I really appreciate your candor.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you have blogs to give you a break! Thank you for reading.

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  5. Everyone burns out. We all feel, at times, we're not doing enough and question why we do what we do. So I have empathy for where the Petersiks are currently at in their lives. But, I definitely feel as though if your blog is secondary to your work (such as you, Jamie, or interior designers who do a blog on the side with their primary work being their design work), you probably suffer less burnout because you can move away from the blog when it becomes too much. I'm late to reading YHL and most days skip it as I really enjoy design more than DIY, but seems to me they moved very quickly from blog on the side to full-time bloggers and perhaps they feel burned out from how quickly it happened. They are also insanely detailed oriented and that alone would burn me out. Anyway, good to hear your side of it.

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    1. It wasn't really that quick, considering. But nonetheless- it's their prerogative to so whatever they want. Let's hope the money they made blogging maintains them while they hiatus from blogging. We can only speculate, but perhaps it will.

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  6. Bravo! exactly the right sentiment

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  7. I agree with everything you wrote! And with a balanced attitude like yours, this IS a viable career with long term potential.
    I am not nearly as big as any of the decorating or DIY blogs, as a sewing blogger, but I have been around the same block (a few times). My blog is on hiatus now and when I resume, it will be more focused and more tailored (pun intended) to my specific needs and desires and I am looking forward to it. I miss sharing my stuff. Like I said, I agree with everything you said.

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    1. Sounds like a good plan. I bet you'll enjoy it so much more. Erin called it 'slow blogging'.

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  8. I find the "blogging is so hard" thing obnoxious. Yes it is hard, but so are all jobs and there are times where all workers want to say, "Eh, I need a month off." Thank you for putting out there that you feel the same way as somebody who has created a career out of her blog. Keep it up- I love everything you post even if it is just pictures of eggs benedict!

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    1. I'll keep on keeping on. And eating eggs. Promise.

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  9. You're amazing! What a great sentiment, and so well-put. I really and truly just agree and connect with everything that you said. I can't even add anything that you didn't already state beautifully, so I'll just say that this is the best blog post I've read in a long time.

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    1. Thank you - I'm glad you connected with it. I think it's on a lot of our minds.

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  10. I've never commented before, but I couldn't have said it better myself! You are spot on as far as I'm concerned!!

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  11. I put the YHL blog in a very different category than all the other blogs I follow. They get hundreds if not thousands (literally) of questions from readers and comments and their respond in real time, every single day they post. It's very different than what most bloggers I follow do. And most people with their reach and following have a staff, they do not. I agree that blogging is not rocket science, but it's personal and they deliver a stellar product and their blog is way different than most.

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    1. All their choices. I guess I'm making the argument to not bite the hand that feeds you. Rather than quit, complain or make excuses, just scale back. There are no rules to blogging. Or, like they are doing, branch the brand out. Perhaps that's why they didn't comment to nyt. Who knows what they have brewing. Obviously they're clever.

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  12. Hear! Hear! I agree with you. I don't have a blog that makes me money, but there are definitely some perks of having a blog as your business. Yes it's hard balancing with life, but you do make money (usually) doing what you love, as you said. the NYT article had some good points that it must get hard having a second child and still keeping up the norm; where readers shouldn't get out the pitchforks and understand. I mean they could totally just stop their blog and then what?
    The complainers don't want that either... Anyway, that was a rant lol
    I definitely agree with you.

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  13. extremely well said and eloquently put.

    here, here!

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  14. I've never commented before, but this was very eloquently put… thank you.

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  15. I whole heartedly LOVE this post. Creating great content certainly isn't easy, but those that can sustain a life on it? They are lucky to be doing something they absolutely love and to create their own schedule. I certainly can't take a month off my 9-5 job just because it's "hard".

    I do think we can be too hard on ourselves to be so perfect, to post every day, to do it all. A break is fine. A break is good! I love taking breaks - it makes me realize how much i love blogging and sharing and this crazy little blogosphere.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. funny how things come full circle, right? found your blog all those years ago in the nyt story about domino shutting its doors. yours was my first must read blog. that list grew, and is pretty short once again. keep doing what you're doing. glad you're defining your own success, making some cash, showcasing your talent, and having some fun.

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    Replies
    1. That makes me smile - thank you. You've stuck with me through a lot :)

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  17. So well said! Thank you for putting this out there.

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  18. I haven't read the article you speak of, Jamie, but I will! Well said. I am not "making a living," but I sure as heck feel blessed to have this amazing opportunity to put my passion on paper which has opened the doors for a career in wardrobe styling. We live in the land of opportunity!

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  19. Double high five. You rock. I love your blog.

    My blog started out about dressing (somewhat) fashionably as a teacher. Now I just post about how cute my kids are.

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  20. Yes. LOVE this. Blogging can be hard. But it's not rocket science. It's not saving any lives (I don't think...). It should be something we enjoy doing or we should just stop doing it. No one is forcing us to blog. All these excessive posts about "how blogging has changed" drive me nuts... If you don't like it anymore, then don't do it. But do we need to talk it to death?

    Thanks, Jamie :)

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    1. I guess if the DJ can save your life, maybe the blogger can too?

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  21. Thank you for this! As a newer blogger, all of this recent "I need a break" "blogging is so hard" stuff has been kind of a downer. I work hard in the hopes to be at some of their levels someday, but I guess all of this had made me think about the idea of enjoying the stage I'm in at the moment. Each one will come with different joys and challenges. I think once you get that big, the attempt to people please must be impossible. You see Sherry responding to every. single. comment and I just think, "that alone must be exhausting!" Thanks for your thoughts.

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    1. You don't 'have' to do anything you know. That was their choice, and clearly it wasn't sustainable. You do you. That's what the blog world needs.

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  22. Aside from the ego and 'should' thing, I completely agree with you. Blogging rocks!

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  23. Love this! As a reader of many blogs and a blogger to my mom and anyone else who wants to read, I have a hard time with the whining and over explaining. Just do what you gotta do. I think you've done a great job of growing into a "big blogger" without losing yourself. I've loved watching you expand and still come back and give us a little sussy as often as you can! I think you're totally doing it right.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words - that means a lot.

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  24. I second (third?) the eggs benedict!

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  25. I love this post so much! I've been blogging just over a year now and things are still slow so I can't consider it a "job" just yet. BUT everyday it keeps growing. Do I wish it was growing faster? Yes. Do I wish I was making lots of cash? Yes. But I don't get discouraged because I am doing what I LOVE and sharing it with people who care. It doesn't get much better than that! Thanks for sharing your POV...I relate to everything you said.

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  26. So true. Great post. Blogging is not rocket surgery! :)

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  27. Whenever you feel like you just can't with the design stuff, more Schnauzer pictures are always welcome.

    Feel free to use them as place holders for actual content. I will always return.

    You are awesome and I am glad that your blog is bringing you both joy AND success and that the two need not be mutually exclusive.

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    1. Thank you. And going to take you up on that. Schnauzer Mondays?

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  28. I am so glad I didn't read the article you are referencing. Talk about First World Problem; most hilarious Woe Is I ever.
    I've enjoyed your blog since the NY Times article on the end of Domino Magazine. I never miss a post because above all things creative, you are hilarious! (I.e. Tough choice between my favorite post- Kid Who Loves Bacon vs. Funny Exercise Prancing Lady)
    Please do not stop blogging!

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    1. You're right on. Imagine working hard for money! What a concept.

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  29. Hi.
    Many will identify with this great post because it mirrors many latent thoughts. Keep blogging. Happy blogging!!!.
    Bamidele

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  30. Hi.
    Many will identify with this great post because it mirrors many latent thoughts. Keep blogging. Happy blogging!!!.
    Bamidele

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  31. While I do feel a burn out once in a while, I do totally agree with what you've said. I am grateful for everything!
    Key is "What's tough is deciding how much of yourself to give, and to where. How much to share for free and how much to share for profit." That is my biggest struggle :)

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    1. It's a decision you make everyday. But get, we're not brain surgeons so it's ok to eff it up every so often.

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  32. Thank you for this. Even at 23, blogging is 100% my true passion, and I have fallen more in love with it and gotten more out of it than I ever thought I could when I started almost 2 years ago. To blog full time would be quite the dream job, for sure! Thanks for sharing!
    xo Southern Style

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  33. I love that you called the blog a journal of your life, because that's how I feel and that's why I started. I wanted to remember the process of our home restoration, probably more for me than anyone else. Blogging is what you make it, and it's only as complicated as you allow it to be.

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    1. Exactly. And if you're beholden to sponsors who require a certain amount of posting for payment, hey! that's called a job!

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  34. This. All of this! I can't speak on behalf of the Petersiks, but as a long time reader and a blogger who doesn't make any income from sharing my thoughts... I envy the business they've built. Thanks for sharing!

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  35. Great post! Everytime I read one of the many posts out there about how "hard" blogging is, about needing a "well-deserved breather" or "break", I think stop complaining (b/c most of them are thin-veiled complaints) and do it. I'll simply read the post whenever it posts. If the blogger made the blog a full-time job and want to continue doing so, then figure out how to balance it. Just like many of us balance work-life at our 9-5 cubicle jobs (in my case, 9-7. yuck), without complaining in the office how "hard" our job is.

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    1. Thank you. Jobs are jobs. You work in exchange for money.

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  36. I interpreted the NYT article very differently than you did. To me it was more about how other bloggers do things so that their job doesn't become overwhelming. The words "hard" and "tough" don't even appear in the article. I didn't see any complaining but the recognition that there is potential for burnout and just like everything in life, you need to find a balance and everyone finds that balance a different way. Too much of even a great thing can be bad. Even YHL didn't say that things were too hard but that they were feeling off and needed time to find themselves again. If that's their way of dealing, then good for them for finding their way of doing what's best for them and their family.

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  37. I haven't read any of the comments, but I want to say I agree with you, first that as a successful blogger, you'd be a fool to hate this. It's a lux gig. second, "just adapt to what you can do", i don't think it's an all or nothing situation, as YHL is showing us that's all they feel right doing - all or nothing. Obviously breaks are justified, but they've never given themselves a break. They've gone balls to the wall since their first post, and its more than obvious it would never have been sustainable. its OK to pull back.

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  38. I feel so much better when I pull away for awhile. Also, my blog does too. My (small) group of followers can tell when I need a break, and when I am overwhelmed. The writing suffers, and frankly I want to do something I love. I think that is true of any job. However, we live in a society where pulling back seems to be looked down upon in any field. In the case of YHL, they've never taken a break. It was time. I wish them, and you all the best. You have a gorgeous blog.

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    1. Breaks are fine! I ain't mad at them one bit.

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  39. Goodness, I could not agree more! Thanks for writing this!!

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  40. Some people set high standards and would rather meet them or stop and do something else. How much more of a slog would blogging be if you stopped doing the things that really brought you success in the first v place, the things you were known for? You'd hate it. And to be willing to give it all up after "living the dream" just means they are not so fussed with being rich and famous as they are with enjoying their life. Good on 'em.

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    1. We're all just speculating. Just saying that a lifestyle supported by a means you no longer are interested in contributing to might be hard to maintain.

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  41. Thank you for sharing your perspective I appreciate it and everything that I've posted.

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  42. Blogging is hard. I have two, wich one of them has my own name. That one are about my thoughts, my opinions and everything that goes on around me. But I have my opinions and I can stand with my head hold up high. But it maybe can be a problem for other people. Even if I don't mention them by name, it's quite obvious who the one I write about are. But that's me. Then I have this other new blog about creativity, and that's where I tell people to visit your blog! You are great. And inspiring. Thank you for beeing you.

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  43. I'm surprised by this uproar in the blogging world, maybe because I started blogging well before it became a way to make money (2006). To me it was, and still is, a way for people to express themselves and to share with other like minded people. I remember when I discovered the blogging world & was so excited that there were other people out there who loved home decor and diy as much as I did. I hope that it continues to be that.

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  44. I totally agree with you that you need to keep yourself well-rounded if you want to keep blogging. How much of a corner did John and Sherry feel painted into to constantly provide daily content about their own home. Since they are DIY home bloggers, they literally live inside of their brand. There is no escape. There was probably a moment when they looked around and nothing felt real anymore -- not even the brand images of themselves they had to live in all day long. I often wonder about how other bloggers that are so public with their own personal lives and images feel. You are a walking advertisement 24/7 because you are your blog. A good lesson to think about to all of us other bloggers out there. Sometimes you need to allow yourself to be all the versions of you that you are. We aren't all the polished internet approved selves we post about all the time; have to let some freedom breathe in from that image!

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  45. Who knows what the case with YHL was. I certainly would feel very burned out if I were them. And I don't blame bloggers one single bit for wanting a bit of their privacy back - that's one reason I could never really blog; I like my privacy. It's hard to have a successful blog while not sharing a lot about your life. But too many blogs are stuck on affiliate linking and NOT sharing anything personal. Maybe people are doing that to limit burnout, but it feels very impersonal to their readers. Like when I come to your blog and see affiliate link after affiliate link. That's cool if that's the direction your blog has taken, but it doesn't really make me want to check in very much.

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  46. This is why you're one of the few blogs I still follow. You keep it real. You are genuine and it shows in your posts.

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  47. well said. you know what bugs me about any blog (or person in real life)? when one takes oneself too seriously. online or in the real world, that is the biggest turn off. i stopped following YHL years ago for this reason. i also use that lens when i edit my friend list (online and in real world) - if anyone takes themself too seriously, delete. i love your candor and how you keep perspective and radness. keep it up.

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  48. As a new blogger, I have found all these articles helpful but also a bit of a bummer. I'm working hard just to get my name out there. Blogging for me right now is work, but so fun and like you said it has great perks. I'm glad you wrote this post because it is helpful to all of us. Thank you! And I love your style and store.

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  49. THIS! Love it!

    Also, I love that you are also still on "blogger." I just told someone today that I had it all to myself with everyone else on Wordpress...I guess we're sharing. ;)

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  50. Very well said. Although I do not know how it is going to end up, I just started blogging a couple of days ago. The main reason I started was because so many of my friends and family asked me to so that I could share my DIY's and crafts. I still have a regular mundane job but I am hopeful that in the future I can make this my job. Thank you for your insight.

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  51. Amen sista. PS: "Dismounting the soapbox - carry on" = bahahhaha.

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  52. Yes it's not rocket science! I just started one to SHARE the beauty of the place i live in right now in France, and to SHARE our French food adventures, but in not way shape or form would I'd like it to become a business. I just want to enjoy the process and go back to the simplicity of producing great content for the enjoyment of my friends...

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  53. wow i m really inspired by your words.fantastic really.your blog is freaking awesome.just saw it today and I m amazed.

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