my blog is a business (and I'm proud of that)

my blog is a business (and I'm proud of that) 1Fact: I have a small business. I pour hours into it - waking up early, staying up late. I spend money on marketing and development. I strategize. I seek mentors. I have business lunches and virtual conference calls. I pay taxes.

That business? You're looking at it. Metropolitan Mama.

Every once in awhile, I get the message from other bloggers that if you're trying to make money or review products or sell advertising or any combination of those activities, then you're a sell-out. I disagree adamantly.

Business is not a bad word. On the contrary, businesses can be run with integrity. Businesses can do good in the world. Businesses can turn out excellent products. Businesses can be the foundation for strong relationships. And - yes - businesses can help put food on the table.

Just because I am seeking a profit as a blogger does not mean that I sell out my voice or compromise my content. In fact, I protect both things unwaveringly (my husband would say I protect them a little too much sometimes). Example: a notable popsicle brand recently invited me to be a part of a paid campaign. I declined because they have "high fructose corn syrup" in them (an ingredient my family tries to stay away from).

That being said, I eagerly enter into partnerships with brands that coincide with my family's lifestyle and philosophies. I sell advertising spots and have sponsorship campaign packages (feel free to contact me if you're interested). I enjoy public speaking, being an ambassador for products I believe in, and attending conferences. I have tens of thousands of readers from all over the United States, Canada, and beyond.

I certainly respect that blogs exist for many different reasons. Some are journals; some are photo-logs. Some are meant for family & friends. Some have tens of readers; some have thousands. Some bloggers don't want to maintain a business; some do. And all those reasons for blogging are good.

My particular blog exists as a business. I'm in the business of encouraging, inspiring, and challenging mothers. I'm in the business of writing, publishing, and creating relationships. I'm in the business of changing the world in the best way that I know how.

I am *also* bringing in an income for my family...and I'm cool with that. I hope you are too.

Do you blog? If so, do you consider it to be a business or would you like it to be?

If you are an entrepreneur of any kind, what are your favorite books, websites, and/or conferences?

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46 comments on “my blog is a business (and I'm proud of that)”

  1. I admire bloggers who have been able to turn their blog into a business. I can't imagine the amount of time, dedication, and creativity that must take. My own blog isn't a business, and I don't see it becoming one any time in the future...but who knows. Right now, I'm driven to blog because I need to have a creative outlet, and because I want to have a record of this stage in my life. I don't have enough readers, nor am I consistent enough with posting, to even think about expanding it into something more. But I've learned to never say never, and someday down the road circumstances and motivations may change, and if so, then I'll run with it!

  2. I have a blog. I wish it had more readers - I wish it was a business - but it is not. I still write, I still post pictures of the girls - someday - maybe if I took more time than I do it would be a bigger blog - but after 5 years it is still a small little blog.

  3. I'm proud to say that my blogs are businesses. I've been running them as a business for about 2 and a half years. At first I dipped my foot in the water and worked exclusively with a company that offered me paid posts, Now I write for a living. Although I'm happy to write about issues that I feel are important on my terms (pro-bono) or about my family, my main purpose for blogging is to earn money.

    I was embarrassed to say that years ago, but no more!

  4. I have a personal blog and two blogs that I'd like to develop into small businesses. Those blogs are centered around topics that I am passionate about, as Heidi suggested above. It's tough to get attention in the world of blogging, because there's a lot of competition. It takes a lot of work to get to the level that you have reached with Metropolitan Mama. Good for you!

  5. Oh, Stephanie! What a crisp new design you've got here. And what a fitting post to debut it with. :)

    I've always admired your professionalism with regard to your blog. You definitely exemplify the traits of a disciplined, hard-working blogger. At the same time, though? You speak to "at home" issues in a way that connects with so many moms. Job well done, friend!

  6. first of all, how cute are YOU in your pink coat! Love it. Also loving the new design and layout. I'll be snooping around a bit more.

    And good on you - your transparency about this. So few are this open about it. I'm still reading/applying your e-book and it's been incredibly helpful.

  7. You handle the business end with serious class. I've always felt your blog is genuine--REAL. And that's why it works.

    My blog isn't a business per se, but it IS part of a larger platform for my writing--the more readers I get there, the more likely I am to sell books. So there's a definite overlap. I consider my blog part of my business, and I'm fine with that.

    We have a family blog for private family pictures and the like--and that's a different animal altogether. But making money online? Awesome.

  8. Yes, I blog and yes it's part of my business! I have no shame in saying so and I say AMEN to your post. I spend a lot of time helping others as well and this gives me the opportunity to do so. As for favorite conferences, I like to attend NAMS (Niche Affiliate Marketing System) because it's a small group (approx. 200 people) and so many various business topics are discussed. I prefer to attend this one because it's not focused on a particular group (moms, bloggers, etc.). It's all encompassing and is a great learning experience 2x a year.

    Blogging is just part of my home business. I'm also a virtual assistant, affiliate marketer, social media manager and hubby and I have local web design clients. I love working at home and am proud of how far I have come. I'm now making more than I did when I had a job outside of the home.

    I really love your blog and everything you stand for and glad that you are not afraid to say this is part of your business. Wish you much more SUCCESS!

  9. I think it is great that you have made your blog a business. I wish I could. I love blogging and I love sharing the lessons that I have learned and the ones I'm trying to learn. If I could I would put in more time on my blog and try harder to make it into a business. When I started the Family Trifecta, I did everything "right" but don't feel like I have the bandwidth to do what is required to grow it. And maybe it will never grow much beyond what I have now, but I decided that I LOVE writing what I'm writing, even if it doesn't ever make me money.

    Love the coat and your new blog design.

  10. I love the new layout of the blog, it's beautiful, and clean, and easy on the eyes (just like you!).

    Like so many of the other readers my blog started out as a way for me to stay in contact with family/friends, and then it turned into a creative outlet, and then it turned into a way for me to inspire and encourage others, and the next step for me is to make money. I've focused in on what I am passionate writing about, and I am starting a new blog (launching soon), that will still include most of the stuff from before, but be a little more focused, and include some advertising :). I lost my job a few months ago, and even a few hundred bucks a month would go a long way for us. I figured I was already blogging, why not turn it into a business?

    I also want to say THANK YOU for saying this, because I know many "big" bloggers that talk about "selling out", and somehow if you have advertising, or a review, that you're not staying true to your "craft" of writing. I think this is foolish. I think business is good, and even the woman in Proverbs 31 came up with ways to make money to supplement the family income (while taking care of the home and husband and children and finances), so we should all be encouraged to do the same, and blogging is an awesome avenue for that!

    Also- you are my favorite reviewer. I have un-followed blogs not because they review things, but for the way they do it. You have a knack- a talent, at telling an engaging story that involves or relates to a product, and giving an honest review, as well as choosing products that are actually AWESOME and worth me reading about.

    1. {blushing} Thank you, Carrington! Your words are so kind and genuine - and they mean a lot to me.

      I look forward to the launch of your new blog. Will you still keep up Capri by the Lake?

  11. That is great that your blog is a business! My blog is not a business BUT it is a platform that leads to paid business work. (I toyed around with ads and stuff, but it just doesn't work for minimalist me.) Rather, I get paid to do other parenting related work (consulting, writing, speaking, hostessing events, etc.) primarily because of relationships that were initially spurred from my "Mom in the City" blog.

    "Now, Discover Your Strengths" is one of my favorite business books (by Marcus Buckingham). It reminds me to focus on doing what I'm naturallyy good at.

    1. My husband Tim heard Marcus Buckingham speak at a conference several years ago. He may have read the book too (I can't remember now...).

      All that to say, I think it's about time that *I* read it. I just added it to my library list, thanks to you. :)

  12. I love how you are so sure of what you are, and what you are trying to do. You are such an inspiration for so many women! Keep it going.... (I know you will!)

    ~emily

  13. I think you do a great job of balancing blogging and business.

    My blog is all about keeping family up to date, making people laugh, and making new friends with readers. It has been successful thus far :)

  14. I am envious of how successful your "business" is! I didn't start blogging as a way to make money or recieve products to review but now that I have a year or so of blogging under my belt, I am quite interested in seeing where it can take me, financially. I'd love to pull in a few extra bucks each month doing something I LOVE.

    What are your tips? How did your blog grow as large as it did?

    1. Tips:
      * Write well and often...but don't feel so pressured to publish that you put out second-rate content.
      * Build relationships. Leave comments on other blogs. RT the posts of other bloggers. Etc.
      * Extend help to other bloggers. Promote the work of other innovators. Give away genuine compliments daily.

      Best Wishes!

  15. Wow, touchy subject! :-) I have a hard time viewing my blog as a business. I think it's because it started out as a hobby, a journal, a relationship even. I definitely make money on it, but I strive to keep it personal. I see my design company as a business, Eat Local Philly is a business, Chic Critique is a business. But Musings of a Housewife? I'm not sure what I'd call it. It makes money, but I'm extremely careful about what I accept for advertisements and for review. I have turned down thousands of dollars to stay true to myself. It is actually an extension of myself, and of our family. It's my home on the internet. A brand, yes I guess. A business? Hm. I dunno.

    However, I do not disagree with anything you have said i this post. I think you and I started out with different purposes. I have seen your blog become more personal. I believe those who were around when my blog started would say they have seen it become more professional. Every blog is unique, and it is hard to fit them all into a certain classification. I know one thing. I am really thankful for all of the relationships that have grown from my blog! :-)

    1. So true. Relationships are undoubtedly the very best part of blogging. It's a truly wonderful thing to have friends all over the USA and beyond...friends like you. :)

      P.S. I'm curious. What year did you start blogging?

  16. Business is NOT a bad word and it kind of saddens me that so many bloggers say it is. I love your new blog look, like SO much! And the picture of you and your adorable outfit.

    Nell

  17. After listening to Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuck I found what I'm most passionate about and began to "crush it" through my blog.
    Advice for the first commentor: find what your most passionate about and start writting or making videos about it. If your still lost then read "crush it". He does a fantastic job with helping you find your passion and get moving with something.

  18. I am trying to learn how to turn my blog into a business...clearly we don't have the money to put into it right now, but i'm hoping in the near future I'll be able to monetize it to bring in income. I absolutely love blogging and i'm trying to do the best I can with basic html code etc...but it would be great to pay someone who actually knew what they were doing!

  19. Love the new blog design and I really love that pink coat! I think it's fantastic that you turned your blog into a business. It's great that you can make money doing something you love and still have time for your family. Keep up the awesome work!

  20. Hey! Great new look... I too did a redesign this week but I'm still having trouble switching over to the new URL so... we'll be announcing it shortly. We started our blog for ourselves, then shared it with family & friends, but are now looking towards the business end of it and discussing how we can do both in a way that is user-friendly for our readers. I think blogs can be many things and I'm okay with that! Good luck to you as you continue to grow your business!

  21. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new blog layout!! Great job! And...great job on your 'job'! You are a fantastic blogger...you are inspiring, challenging, and encouraging! I started my blog as a way to keep my family and friends from around the world up to date with our lives here in Santa Cruz, however I always have something brewing in the back of my mind as to how I could make it a business...but I want to do it the RIGHT way...not just as an attempt to make some money. I think, like you, I would need to have a niche, something people WANT to come and read/look at/learn from. Something that is well put together, professional yet approachable. You do such a great job of that...and if people haven't bought it yet, they need to buy your e-book - Bloggertunity!

  22. Awesome new look for your blog, I dig it! Love, love, love your pink jacket! You should definitely wear pink, it looks great on you!!

    I have been (for a few years now) thinking about starting another blog. I just need to put ALL of my thoughts together....and there are quite a few! I would consider making it a business. I love to write, just haven't in a very long time. I feel like I am an opinionated person, but very open minded. I love to spread the word on products that I love. "Word of Mouth" is such and effective tool for marketing. I think it's time to finally buy, "Bloggertunity"

    1. I happen to like opinionated people. They're the most interesting kind! :)

      If you start a blog, I will definitely read it. You have so much knowledge to share and people are naturally drawn to you...so you already have those two things going for you (among many others).

  23. Stephanie, I just started working and I have since neglected my blog. And although, I have been thinking about starting a small business, you have just inspired me to rethink my possibilities. Thanks for this eye opening read!!!! Getting back to basics!!!

  24. I started my blog for myself, as a way to put my thoughts into words. Then I wanted to use the blog to help other people by being real and transparent about my journey. However, in the back of my mind, I have wanted to do more with my blog and/or the avenue of the written word. I have had some health issues and I would like to be more flexible with bringing in money into the home as well as having a work-from-home business in place (while we are still TTC). I am not a crafy person, however, so I want to use other avenues (maybe product reviews, conferences, free lance writing jobs, etc) to make a workable at-home business.

    Do you have ideas/thoughts that could get me started? Where should I begin?

    1. You have a very unique vantage point to write from (growing up in Haiti, living in South Africa, etc.) so I think you have great potential for building up a large audience on your blog. As you do, you'll likely find that paid opportunities will become available.

      If you're looking for freelance writing jobs, you may find some helpful hints in my past post - "How to Find a Legitimate Work-From-Home Job" (http://bit.ly/ORjWG).

      And here's a post about "How to Get Products to Review on Your Blog" (http://bit.ly/plfAy). :)

  25. Love the sleek and mod new look of your blog template...and you are rocking that pink coat, woman! I consider my blog a creative expression, an educational tool, and definitely a business. Currently reading "Drive" by Daniel Pink that's more about motivating a team (which I do in my other biz), but I'm enjoying so many philosophical and psychological approaches to how we want our family's work-time / play-time balance to look now, and 10 years from now. It's a GREAT read!

    1. Thanks for the compliment about Metropolitan Mama's new look. My husband Tim is the mastermind behind it. He is my hero...and not just because he is a tech genius. ;)

  26. I for one am glad you've made your blog a business. You do it well and mommies everywhere are the better for it! As for me, I blog because I enjoy writing and sharing what's going on with my family with people who live elsewhere. Making it a business is intriguing but I don't think I have the capacity to put all the work into it. Maybe someday...

  27. Up until recently, I haven't really considered my blog to be a business. But now I am seriously considering seeking some sponsorships. (And as you said, trying hard to only partner with companies that I fully support). I'm also considering opening up an etsy shop (and ultimately, the dream would be to have a retail space where I can teach mommy and me art classes, art workshops for kids, and all things arts and crafts). I'm in full on business planning mode right now, so I 'm reading quite a few entrepreneur-type books, many related to selling crafts. I just picked up The Boss of You, and I always think ProBlogger is full of great tips for developing your blog as a business.

    1. It sounds like you have lots of good ideas, Cara! I wish you all the best.

      I also appreciate the book recommendation. I just looked up "The Boss of You" on Amazon and have already added it to my library list.

  28. I don't blog, but I have made some amazing purchases after reading reviews of books, clothes, craft ideas, etc on other blogs. Not only do the reviews help me make a decision, but if I get a good deal and can pass a commission of sorts on to the blogger why should I complain?

  29. Hmmm, business, no, not really. I don't have the right "voice" and I guess I'm not really that interested in finding one that will sell me. I started for friends and family and don't really plan to change that. I write for me and while I'm happy that a few people have approached me for advertising I know I'm not going to make a living off it. I'm just glad it pays for itself now (and a new camera lens!). :)

  30. I created my blog for out-of-town friends and family to read about what we were up to when we moved to Arizona. At the time, I only knew of one other blog, which was a friend's pursuit in also staying in touch with out-of-town friends and family. In the past few years though I've been introduced to this huge world of blogging. I love to read blogs! I love the idea that you are able to make a living blogging...in fact, it sounds quite dreamy to me, as my goal right now is to somehow become a WAHM/SAHM. I don't know what I'd blog about though that would be of original content...suggestions? :)

    1. Hi Abby! My suggestion is to think of a topic that you find yourself talking about all of the time w/ family + friends. Choose something that makes your heart go pitter-patter and makes your feet skip a little.

      Also - don't be afraid to just jump in and get started. You can always revise your idea or start over if you change your mind. That is the beauty of blogging.

      In fact, I'll let you in on a little secret: Metropolitan Mama is actually my 2nd blog. I had another blog prior to this one that was focused more on politics and business.

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