I’ve been blogging since June of 2010. I’ve put almost 6 years into writing, sharing, and connecting. It’s been only in the past 2 years that I’ve been trying to make an income from my website. I’ve done many things to monetize my blog:
I’ve tried my hand at freelance writing.
I’ve written a book.
I’ve written a time management course.
I’ve tried selling products.
This past week has been especially intense. As many of you are aware, I’ve been participating in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale.
I was super excited about this year’s sale because my book was one of the resources included in the bundle. One of the benefits of having a book in the sale is that you get a better commission than being a straight-up affiliate. For me, this felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make an income and I felt a huge pressure to make the most of it.
I attended the live webinar events, I set goals, I made to-do lists and timelines, I read through all of the promotional materials, I recorded a horribly awkward video for the sales page, I crafted 5 posts, as well as wrote and rewrote countless emails.
My efforts were repaid with unmet expectations and huge disappointments. I worked so hard, yet at this point in time, it feels like I can’t make the sustainable income I was hoping for. Heck, some months I’m losing money because of the costs associated with running my sites.
So what do I do when I feel like I’ve failed?
1 – I cry.
2 – I pray and cry.
3 – I contemplate abandoning my blog.
4 – I cry at the thought of not having my blog anymore.
5 – I talk about it.
6 – I cry some more.
7 – I reflect.
8 – I grow.
I’m sharing this outpouring of my thoughts, heart, and emotions for a few reasons:
I am perfectly imperfect. While I try to share my shortfalls as a homemaker and a mom, I think sometimes it’s lost in the help that I try to offer and the hope I wish to give. Friends, I am deeply flawed… we all are. But I’m proud to share that even though I’m flawed God still loves me. Despite all of my failures, flops, shortcomings, and disobedience, He still loves me!
Blogging is tough. I want you to know that I struggle as much as any other blogger. While it may seem like I have things figured out, I don’t. There will always be someone who knows more than me, someone who knows more than them, and so on. Every experience is an opportunity for growth and change. The exciting thing is that when I hit this low, I grew, I expanded, and I learned so much. I couldn’t possibly even begin to put a price tag on the wisdom I’ve gained, and for that, I’m thankful!
One of my revelations was that I feel like I’ve been striving as opposed to serving. When my vision gets skewed like that, I know I need to step back. While I would love to make an income from my blog, my efforts are meaningless if I don’t help and serve you the best I can.
Which brings me to last Wednesday….
For over a year I’ve felt nudged to write a devotional / Bible study and for over a year I have disqualified myself from doing so.
The excuses for my disobedience are many:
“As a relatively new Christian, I really don’t know anything about the Bible.”
“I haven’t been to seminary school or taken any Bible classes.”
“What if I write something that is wrong or misleading?”
“What if I misdirect God’s people? I don’t want to be responsible for that!”
I have been saying no to God.
Then, last week I met with my mom and dad and we began our own exploration of scripture. As we opened up the Bible and read the verses before us, I had a revelation, a starting point, and a foundation for a Bible study.
My no needs to be a yes. God is asking this of me. I need to follow through. This frightens me to share my prompting to write a Bible study because it means that I need to follow through. But, I’ve told you this because I have been hushing the whisperings of my heart and mind for far too long. It’s time to shout them out and get to work doing what God has called me to do.
I am taking a break. Every year I take a blogging break at Christmas and in the summer. In light of these intense feelings I’ve decided to bump up my summer break. I need some time to reflect and decide what to do next. I know I need to write this Bible study and I will need to pray and think about how to begin the process.
I also know that I need to step away and spend time with my girls, family, and friends. This big beautiful life is for you and me… I don’t want to just write about it, I need to live it! I need the wind in my hair, the grass beneath my feet, and the giggles of my children to fill my days once again. There’s been too much activity and not enough quiet; and there’s been too much work and not enough play.
Thank you, as always, for meeting me here in this space and place. I treasure you dearly and wish you a wonderful month of May!
Aw, I truly admire all you have done around here and so sorry that you are feeling this way now, but do think a break might help in what you are going through as I know I have been there myself in the past and taking a step back to re-evaluate helped me, as well. Ironically, I showcased you and your blogging business over at my sister site today and you can check it here: http://www.j9designs.net/2016/05/03/five-best-things-money-blogging/, because I truly do think you have done amazing stuff blogging and making a living with it. Hugs and thinking of you now <3 xoxo
Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words Janine! I know a break is definitely in order – I take them every year, this year’s just had to be bumped up in light of how I’m feeling. I hope to come back refreshed, renewed, full of new ideas and ready to serve you more than ever.
Thank you for including me in your post. I’m truly humbled. Wishing you a lovely day my friend!
Oh Jennifer. I love your heart so much! May God bring you peace and clarity as you take your break. <3 looking forward to your Bible Study! Blessings, sweet lady!
Thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement Stefani! I truly appreciate your friendship. Blessings to you as well. <3
Jennifer you go feel that wind in your hair and play in the grass. Changes in both direction and course are a good thing. I am excited to see where this one takes you. Hugs!
Hi Jennifer, you are right you can’t write about life if you aren’t experiencing it. Stepping back and following our gut feeling is often the way to go to get the answers we are looking for.
Enjoy your children and I hope you draw strength and vision from your time away.
I’m going to miss you but sometimes you need to take a break, to refocus and you’re doing the right thing. I took a break after my mom passed away last year, and I took a few breaks again this year and it’s the best thing that’s happened to me. I’ll be here when you get back. Here’s to bigger and better things on your return.
I am sorry you feel let down! :( I devoured your ebook from the bundle. I was reading it aloud to my husband in the car over the weekend! It was the best Home Education book I have read! Your book was how I found your blog! :) Chin up mama!
Awww, Dana, your comment just made my day! I truly appreciate you stopping by and sharing that. I’m looking forward to taking a break and getting a creative recharge.
Have a wonderful month! It is hard. I never intended to make money from blogging, so when it started to happen, it wasn’t what I had been looking for so I was just pleasantly surprised. No expectations. Well that was then. Obviously I have them now.
I do believe it all works out quite beautifully, though.
As you know Jennifer I believe in blogging breaks! (Having just come back from my own). I will be praying for you – for clarity in thinking, peace in your heart, and creativity in your whole being. I love your distinction between striving and serving – it is a good check for us bloggers!
Jennifer, I am so proud of you for following what you know God is calling you to do. He is our guide, our provider, our hope! He perfectly fits our unique strengths with His purposes, and I’m convinced that one of your purposes, dear one, is to encourage others who are walking this journey of motherhood and faith.
Enjoy every ounce of your break. We’ll be here when you return.
I think breaks are always a good thing. I hope you have a renewed sense of purpose and direction after your time away.
I’m looking forward to a break in the near future.
So sorry to hear about your disappointment! You’re doing amazing things, and please don’t let this even whisper otherwise to your heart.
I’ll pray that God will continue to use this for His goodness- sounds like He is already :) Blessings on your break!
Beautiful post. I’m so happy to hear that you are growing and embracing it all. Thanks for all the insightful posts. I love connecting through our blogs.
I can’t tell you how much your words here mean to me today, Jennifer. I’m in the same place right now. This honestly brought tears to my eyes: “I’ve been striving as opposed to serving.” I so get it! You will be missed but I completely understand, my friend. Praying for you as you continue blogging (on your return), serving your precious family, and creating a rock solid devotional that I know will serve us all. Many blessings to you and yours. I always take a break in the summer too. I was actually going to try to skip it this year, but I know I truly need it for sanity reasons ;). Much love. XO!
This is such a beautiful, genuine post! We should all take a break from time to time and spend more time with our families. Then come back refreshed and energized! Thank you for organizing this lovely linkup, Jennifer! :-)
This made me so very sad as I read it. I know how hard it is to put your heart into something, only to find that it does not turn out the way you had hoped. What you’re doing is brave, and I am excited for all that The Lord will do through your obedience. May you be blessed during this time with your family and may you find the answers you are looking for in Him.
Enjoy your break Jen. I think we all go through these moments of self doubt and indirection from time to time. people ask me all the time how much money I make blogging, but the truth is that its very very hard to earn income this way. I see many people abandon it completely when they start to realize this. Relax and come back inspired. Your readers will be here waiting
Do what you need to do, give yourself grace mama. We’ll be here when you get back. You can always use this space as a place just to be creative!
Many blessings to you and all your future endeavors. Pursue your passion and you will be successful. Claim it and it will come true. I am so glad I am taking the time to catch up with everyone. I had to take a month off from blogging because of school and now that summer is here, I’m ready to get back into action and catch up with everything that I missed and had not faithful kept up with since the beginning of 2016. Sometimes we all need to take a break, to regroup and rejuvenate. Enjoy your summer and I’ll see you on Thursdays.