A big part of being a blogger are your readers. A successful blog by industry standards has over one million page views a month. Sure I started my blog so that my unborn children’s grandparents could follow along during my pregnancy, I continued to blog because it gave me a way to communicate on a large scale with friends and family during those first few months after the girls were born and I will continue to blog because I am creating the best baby book that I can. It will live on forever for the girls and for myself. I already find myself getting lost in old posts, reading how I felt during those first few weeks and looking at the pictures of the tiny babies I once had. I also blog because it can be a source of extra income, it doesn’t compare to my full time job, but with a little effort on my part, my blog could generate a little extra for us each month, maybe eventually enough for diapers! For example, in the nearly two years that I have been blogging I have earned approximately $15!
Here is how it all works…
If you read my blog via email or a blog reader such as Google reader or networked blogs, then you won’t see any advertisements and my blog receives no credit for you having read my blog. So if you have an extra minute click on the post title so that you are taken to the actual blog, and you will get counted!
Up until about three weekes ago there was a video advertisment at the bottom of every post, that ad was placed by my web host and I received payment for each person that saw the ad, or visited the actual web page, about a 1/10 of a penny for each view. You don’t have to actually watch the video, just visiting the actaul page counts as a page view. I recived a total of $8 in the 6 months that those ads were running, which means I had about 8000 page views during that time. Page views are calculated by visits from different IP addresses, so visiting smilingwatermelon.com from the same computer 10 times in a day still only counts as 1 page view, but visiting from your computer, phone and ipad counts as three page views!
The video ads are no longer displayed in my posts becuase I recently moved my blog to a new web host. Now that I am located on this new web host I can choose the type of advertisments that I want displayed and where. The first ad I’ve added is on the right side of the blog, under Sponsers, it will change depeding on your interests!
The ad you see probably looks nothing like this. If you have visited a particular product on the web it may show that product in the space or something similar that you may also be interested in purchasing. If you are then you should click the ad and buy it! I promise it is a safe and secure connection.
Another way I can earn from my blog is through my Amazon store. I changed the link from a picture of Sofie teething doll
to a product carousel to make it more obvious for you to find.
The cool thing about the Amazon store is that as long as you click the link from my blog to get to Amazon, anything you buy, weather it is in my shop or not, is credited to me for “referring” you, so I make a tiny percentage of your total sale! This is the link to dag to your tool bar if you want to bookmark it so you can click there before you shop rather than having to visit my blog first.
Another way I am hoping to add readers to my blog and ultimately increase ad revenue is through blog databases. Top Baby Blogs is a great one, it’s how I found some of my favorite blogs to read, like Dear Baby and the Great Umbrella Heist. By clicking the “brown “vote for me” button which will always be on the right side and then on the vote here box on the page you will be taken to
Smilingwatermelon will get ranked higher and higher. The goal is to make it into the top 10, then my blog will show up on the front page, which will means that anyone who visits this site will see my blog and hopefully come for a visit. But for this to happen, ALL my readers have to click on the box and then on the link, every day! I will keep you posted as to my ranking, right now I am #303 out of #495, with 6 vote clicks, clearly I need some clicking help!
I will probably continue to ad additional advertisements to the blog, but it is important to me that the look of my blog stays clean and appealing to the eye. I won’t ever make my blog so full of ads that it’s no longer fun to read or hard to find the content. I will also continue to recommend products that I have found useful from Amazon. Many bloggers accept payment for sponsored ads, I’ve never done one but maybe I will in the future. I would love for other bloggers or business to be sponsors of my blog, but I know I need a lot more readers for sponsorships to be appealing to businesses so I’ll keep working at it.
An in the mean time, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for being my readers, I love sharing this adventure with you.
Things are changing around here. The girls keep getting bigger and smarter and my blog is moving to a new home. the hope is that you wont feel a difference but posts may be a little sporadic for a while and the look will change some. but the cool thing is this blog will be much more fun! to keep up on all the updates during this transition time be sure to LIKE the Smilingwatermelon Facebook page. ill post never before seen pictures and videos there especially on days that the blog is having technical issues.
These sweet baby girls are 13 months old!
I was told recently by a coworker that after a year counting months is annoying to hear about. This makes me think I should stop coloring my monthly chalkboard and taking the white couch pictures. What do you think? Should I keep going with the monthly pictures or move on to something new? I wouldn’t mind the extra time to knock out a new project or two over this next year, but as my readers, will you miss those pictures? Should I keep counting? Until when? 24, 36, 48 months?
Counting or not they keep growing, they are walking (but not with out the more than just occasional boom into a wall/chair table right onto their face/head/tushie), they are babbling, and they are using their gestures to tell us what they want, or don’t.
It’s not easy to keep two toddlers busy all day. Sure they nap, usually two times a day for an hour, maybe more,sometime only once, maybe for two hours. But two hours goes by quick when you are cleaning up after the morning mess. Luckily we have a fantastic nanny who always seems to get everything done and keep the girls busy and learning all day long. She is even teaching them to sleep on little cots so that one day when we are out during nap time or sleeping somewhere new they will feel comfortable to sleep somewhere other than their cribs.
The girls nanny uses a great online resource for fun things to do with the girls on days when they don’t have music class or story time. Macaroni kid lists all the events in your neighborhood for kids, all the details are there to help you choose the best events for the age and most of them are free!
She also takes the girls to indoor playgrounds when it’s too cold/hot or rainy to play outside. Also, until a toddler is a good walker most playgrounds are not really practical with a wood chip or even dirt ground cover. Most I the indor play places like Kangazoom or Catch Air, have a cover charge, even for the babies, but discounts can always be found on Groupon, Living Social, Sweet Jack and on their individual Facebook pages.
People always say to me “when do you write your blog posts?” and “I don’t know how you have time to do it.” The truth is I don’t, but do you have time to journal, probably not, and if you do then it is always at the expense of another task. Same goes with blogging. Sometimes the clothes don’t get put away the same day they get cleaned, sometimes the dishes stay in the sink until the next day.
Usually I write at night, after the girls are in bed, and the kitchen has been cleaned up from dinner. Sometimes I write when I wake up from hearing the girls cry at night and can’t fall back to sleep right away and sometimes I write while we take our morning walk, if my husband joins us to push the stroller. I do most of my writing on my iPhone and since my phone goes with me everywhere I can write while I pump gas or wait in line for the grocery store.
But the time issue of blogging isn’t the writing, that’s the easy part. It’s the very long list and pinterest boards full of projects to tackle, then photograph, then edit the photographs, then insert the photographs into the writing and link back to relevant websites, that takes the most time. I try to multi task as much as possible, for example I’ll watch tv and write at the same time, I’ll write while I am organizing my photos, which I have found a great solution for saving time regarding photos. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Multitasking has become an Olympic sport in my life, I try to carry a hand full of things whenever I go from one room to another trying to keep things in their place. But without fail I always forget to put the scissors back and there is always a pile on the corner of the island that needs to go into a bedroom, basement or catch all room.
Back to how my new method of organizing photos saves me time. Dropbox! It’s an online file storing program. And the best part about it, it’s free! I love free! Another super helpful aspect of it is there is an app for the iPhone, so all the photos I save to my Dropbox folder on my computer are automatically available on my phone. I user my DSLR to take most of my photos of the girls and projects I do. Once they are loaded onto my computer I then organize them into folders which I then save on Dropbox so I can access them at any moment.
Another cool thing about Dropbox is that I can share the photos with family and friends. If you want to try out Drop box click this link, sign up for an account, you’ll get to see never before published photos of the girls and 2G of free storage and I will get a bonus of extra storage!
That’s how I blog, now, why do I blog? Simple answer is I love it! I love the possibilities that blogging holds, the connections you can make to people like you or completely different from you from anywhere in the world. I am a sharer, I have these two amazing girls, and while they are the most amazing people to me, plenty of people find them pretty interesting simply because fate made them twins. I love photos, I take a lot and would never see most of them again if I didn’t publish a good portion of them here. And lastly I blog because it’s the most effective way for me to create a baby book for my girls. I was told Blurb will convert my blog into a book when I am ready and since their first birthday is rapidly approaching, I’m almost there.
Anyway, they are so cute, the least they deserve is a website all about them
Monday’s are my most challenging days for blogging. You’d think I could create some really great post for a Monday morning having had the whole weekend to work on it, but the truth is the weekends are my time to exhaust myself playing with and caring for my family. Every second of these two and a half days is precious time to me, and the last thing I want to do while I am sitting outside at the park or pool is be staring at my phone or iPad. I’ much rather stare at these pretty blue eyes!
The weekends are when I take most of the photos that I use in my posts and think about topics I want to write about, so I do work on them, I just prefer to save the actual writing part for the work week and then sit down and focus around 9:30 after the girls are asleep and dinner is cleaned up.
This is what’s called a photo dump, I promise it’s not as simple as it sounds, but it’s easier than writing a story filled with descriptive pictures. This is a bloggers easy way out. Its all the instagram pictures I have taken over the last month or so, and considering there are only sixteen, clearly I need to step it up on the instagram! I then take four pictures at a time and create mini collages on my phone using Diptic app. If you want to be the first to see these pictures as I post them you can follow me on instagram (iphone app) or online, username juliemara.
My husband is helping me transfer my blog to a self hosted server and make it have a new fun look. So over the next few months there may be some technical difficulties and days without updates. But I will do my best. One thing that I would like to do is support my readers! If you or someone you know has a blog or a website that you think people should check out send me a link by commenting and I will look into linking up to them. Thanks and wish me luck!
Here’s the cute video