Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blogging For Dollars Series - Guest Post by Melissa from 320 Sycamore

I'm totally honored today to have one of my blogging idols guest post here. I've been following Melissa from 320 Sycamore ever since I discovered blogging and that was around 2009. She has come a long way and blazed a path that regular bloggers like you and me would want to tread. As of this writing, her sitemeter stats say 2,992,247 - WOW! That's just proof of the quality of posts she had published, my friends. Ok, let's hear what Melissa has to say with regards to making money from her blog.

1) Can you please share how you started earning income from your blog?

I get most of my income from BlogHer ads. I love them because I really don't have to do anything, just post when I can. I don’t take private ads, because honestly, I don’t want to make the time to keep up with them and it would put more pressure on me to post, post, post. Occasionally, I also do product reviews for Blogher, I have google ads, and am an Amazon affiliate. It’s a perfect part-time job for me right now and I sometimes have to pinch myself that I’m getting paid to do something I love.

2) Can you give advice on how bloggers can attract advertisers without turning off readers at the same time?

Most readers understand that blogs are awesome and chock full of crazy good information and insights. Because they are FREE, the ads have got to be part of it. It comes down to this for me: if I’m going to take time away from my family to write and manage the blog, it’s got to give back to me and my family. And it does: it’s a hobby/outlet for me and gives to my family financially.

3) Can you tip bloggers on how to balance family life and blogging?

The B-word! Oh goodness, balance is something that every single person I know struggles with.

I do!

We are bombarded with so much information and so many good things, but choosing the best for our families is not easy. I always think of what Stephen Covey says: “begin with the end in mind.” In the end for me, being my best as a wife and mother will be most important, so that’s where I try to put most of my focus. I say no a lot, and it’s hard, especially when amazing opportunities arise. I pray every day that I will have the strength to choose the best for me and my family.

For the blog and projects, I take what I can get. 15 minutes here. A half an hour there. 3 hours on Saturday if I’m lucky. Most days, I’m in my paint clothes. I try to get as much done as possible during naps, preschool, when my little boys are engrossed in train-building or a tv show downstairs, early in the morning, or after they are in bed at night. Projects happen with them around and my family is all used to it ~ I can always find a little job for them to do if they want to help. At 3:00 pm when the kids come home, I try to do things in the kitchen like loading the dishwasher or folding laundry on the kitchen table while everyone is doing homework/practicing so I can be there with them, then it’s usually carpool and making dinner. We do everything possible to be all together every night for dinner. Sundays are sacred: just church and family time. No blog and no projects. On Sunday night, my husband and I sit down and plan the week and make some goals for ourselves and for our family. I would be a mess without Sundays.

My husband is also my great balancer~he makes sure we make time for fun together and as a family, otherwise I’m pretty sure I would just keep working. :) I don’t have a strict schedule, but I try to make a rough draft of the week and I like to know the next day’s goals before going to bed. I think a big key is that it doesn’t feel like work to me~I love what I do and I would be doing it anyway, even if I didn’t have the blog.

Thank you, Melissa! Sharing your blogging wisdom really help us tremendously. Friends, if you enjoyed this post, please check out what other A-list bloggers have said about their blogging for dollars stints.


  1. Oh, easy to say and so hard to achieve. Thanks for the lovely post :-)

  2. Hello Lovely,

    Just want to wish you an ever sparkling New Year. Love your blog btw =)

    -Mia xoxo

  3. Very informative guest post! It's very true we all struggle with balance, and I loved how she talks about the balance of her family/blog etc.

    Stopping by from another site that I saw your blog hop party badge on. :)
    I love your layout. It's clear and comforting.

    I would like to invite you over to my site, where I am hosting a Blog Hop Link Up. The link up is for current-reoccurring blog hops and I noticed you host your own hop and would love to have yours on my linky. I will later add all "hops" linked up, on a "Featured Blog Hop" page. It would be a pleasure to add yours.

    btw: new follower, tweeter, sharer of your blog! :)

  4. Just found you, and love it. I am interested in starting a blog - well, it would be both from my perspective and my husbands - on home renovation, etc. Would love to chat more with you. Thanks!!

  5. Great and insightful tips from Melissa! Very helpful!


  6. Thanks for having me, SJ! Have a great weekend~

  7. I have a treat for you on my blog :)

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I love reading your comments. I may or may not respond to all of your comments since blogging is not my full-time job but please know how grateful I am for taking time to share your thoughts.

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