It looked a little bit like this:
And a lot like this:
(All of which I enjoyed, very much.)
How was your weekend?
I know I haven’t written anything about our situation since I mentioned it upon returning from Alt Summit. It’s been stressful, to be honest, and easier to not dwell on. Our roles, our daily routines, and our financial outlook all changed overnight, and we’re all (the kids, too) still adjusting.
I’ve had an assistant since October, Valerie, coming three days a week for six hours a day. She had been helping with some of the administrative blog work (setting up Facebook giveaways and responding to advertising inquiries), but she also helped me a lot with Eleanor and August. Now, with Brandon home, we need her less (and it was suddenly hard to pay someone for 18 hours a week). Valerie has been great, and happily flexible in regards to hours, so she’s staying on board but mostly working from home.
The kids have benefitted from more time with their daddy, but even though that’s a good thing, it has still been an adjustment. Brandon and I have different parenting styles in some ways. Eleanor and August do well with routines – a fairly predictable structure to their day – and things have shifted all of a sudden. They’re fine (we all are), but it’s something I think about. I’m also working more, and for longer stretches during the day, and my work/life balance feels out of whack.
I’m not able to be the sole breadwinner in the family. Not yet, anyway… but things are going well. I have my writing jobs at Family Style on Babble and at My Colortopia. I accept advertising on Making it Lovely directly for small businesses (e.g. Etsy shops), and through Federated Media for larger companies. I also work with sponsors. In fact, I’ll be heading out to San Francisco on Thursday for business. I’ll be lining up new sponsored content for the blog, and also pitching some new ideas with my team at FM.
Sometimes a brand’s sponsorship can be looked at as a commercial at the beginning or end of a post, similar to the way you may see a show “brought to you by XYZ.” In those cases, I’m not required to (or even asked to) write about the brand. The topic may be tangentially related, but the post is then completely up to me. The other type of sponsorships that I’m interested in facilitating are more closely tied to the brand involved, but they would allow for some fun projects. I’d love to do more home makeovers for readers (free of charge to the recipient), but for that to happen, we need a budget. I have other ideas in the works as well, and I’ll be doing my best to make them a reality.
We’ve talked about reopening Pink Loves Brown, with Brandon running it, or having him contribute more heavily to Making it Lovely. There are benefits to both, but clear drawbacks and concerns as well. If we pursue those options, we would lose the financial stability we used to have, and at the same time, we would need to secure independent health insurance. We would also no longer be able (in good conscience) to receive unemployment benefits, and that would be a further difficulty for us right now.
I do want to thank you all for the support you’ve shown us. Especially as we figure out our direction in the wake of Brandon’s job loss, but before that, too. I want you to know that it’s greatly appreciated. I’m lucky, even in the more difficult times, to have such an amazing community, and to have been able to craft this life with my family.
I’m teaching a few classes online for Alt Summit.
I’ve already taught my first, on Growing a Readership, and I’ll be teaching my second this afternoon about Understanding Analytics. Both will be repeated in March in the evening, so there’s still time to sign up if you’re interested. Each class is just $15.
February 23, 11am PST & March 13, 6pm PST
Page views, subscribers, and unique visitors, oh my! Learn what to use and how to use it when it comes to keeping track of your site’s stats.
Growing a Readership
February 9, 11am PST & March 28, 6pm PST
Looking to grow your blog? Of course you are! Learn tips and get concrete steps to grow your readership and create a true community for your site.
I’ll be honest; I do get nervous before these things. I’m introverted and shy! I love talking about the business of blogging though, and I have so much information to share. Really, once I get past seeing my face staring back at me during the class (oh yeah, there’s video), I’m very comfortable. Plus I’ve put together some awesome powerpoint presentations (which is something I never imagined I would be typing), and I’m proud to be partnering with Alt Summit on the whole thing.
Besides, I’m going to pretend you were all listening to this before class. It’s my version of imagining the audience in their underwear; much less intimidating.