One of my 2019 goals was to finally transition this site to WordPress, and thanks to Amanda I can check this off of my list! I’m generally really happy about how it looks now, with a more professional/modern appearance that better reflects the time that I put into it.
I had planned on trying to transition to a new advertising network. I had heard that Mediavine offered higher rates for ads (ie: the network keeps less of the $), and liked the idea of working with a company that seemed to offer a bit more attention than my current ad network. There was a requirement for 25,000 sessions/month, and my site was right around that cutoff, but after the blog moved and I had google analytics set up properly, the numbers looked consistently over that cutoff (though not far!).
Please note that I do not have a significant income stream from this website. With my current network (SheKnows, formerly known as BlogHer), I net something like $200/month BEFORE taxes after various hosting costs (and currently the 2019 budget is in the red due to the cost of the move/site redesign) so it is essentially a labor of love. That said, I thought perhaps turning that bit of cash into a little bit more seemed enticing.
I found out via email that I was rejected from Mediavine for reasons that they are not able/willing to disclose: “We are not provided with details; it’s just a simple approval or rejection, so we can’t provide more insight. I’m sorry about that.”
And I’ll be honest: it hurt a little! I have been writing here for nearly 15 years which is . . . long. More than 1/3 of my life. Clearly, something compels me to get up early and share my thoughts here, and it isn’t the financial payout, so I’m not sure why it bothered me so much, but it did. I guess I felt excluded or rejected in some way. And since this blog and its content are so personal, it felt like a judgment cast somehow on me, even though it was probably just purely stats-related (or maybe even related to the fact that the site in its current WordPress-hosted form is actually very new).
And then THAT let me down the rabbit hole of why I am still writing here (after all, aren’t ‘blogs’ dead?)? Am I waiting for some big break that is very unlikely at this point to happen? Or does the act of writing bring me enough joy and clarity that it is worth continuing even if my sessions/month were to drop to 0?
I know that I cherish the interaction that goes on in the comments here, I genuinely enjoy writing most posts (especially the honest/reflective ones, like this one), and I do love the fact that I have a digital archive of my life (ages 24-38!). Yesterday I even teased out the exact dates of my previous trip to Key West (January 19, 2007, right after taking Step 2 of my boards in Miami!) although I was disappointed to find that I didn’t post while there — here’s a post from right after we returned, though!
Anyway. I do not plan to stop writing. I still enjoy the ritual itself, the product, and your feedback very much. And I’ll admit I’m still potentially interested in making the blog/podcasting side of my life more of a legit side hustle, but if I can’t, that’s okay too. I think writing here has given me far more than it’s taken out, so here we are. Maybe if nothing else I can set some sort of longevity record 🙂
PS: One near-future goal I have for this site is to finally start an email newsletter list! There is currently a button for this, but I haven’t set up any kind of custom response or enticement. I’m thinking of offering a (free, obviously) planner-related bonus for signing up (perhaps the contents list/structure of my mini-bullet-journal?) and then occasionally releasing some insider content that doesn’t feel right for a full blog post. Stay tuned!