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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bloggy Milestones and Big Decisions

Yesterday my blog quietly celebrated its third birthday. There was no cake, only contemplation.

I first began writing this blog as a way to eliminate the cost associated with printing and mailing a newsletter I used to send to my design clients four times a year. I also thought it was a good way to document what was going on with my family as I don’t currently have much time to scrapbook.

Recently, one of my favorite bloggers, Miss Mustard Seed (M.M.S.), wrote a post about blog numbers. I have to say it piqued my interest. I have posted many times that I do not write this blog for numbers. Indeed I often write posts just for myself. I am genuinely surprised and humbled that anyone reads this blog at all.  For instance I spend HOURS researching the Royal Family. Hours that if I used that research time instead for say~ world peace~ I could have achieved it by now. 

But I continue to research the Royals because I like it and then write about my findings on Royal Wedding Wednesdays~ thinking it is probably a boring topic for most.

When I clicked on the link provided by M.M.S.to view DTA’s numbers I about fell out of my chair with what I learned. Holy smokes! A lot of people are reading this little blog. They are not commenting, but they are reading. So maybe I SHOULD be talking about world peace.

Interestingly enough, two of the posts, in the top 10 posts ever viewed on DTA are Royal Wedding related.  I guess it’s true that you should write about what you love. Six other posts, if you are interested, are design related, which of course is another passion of mine. They are:

 Breakfast At Tiffany’s D├ęcor ~ one of my very first posts.

Spanish Colonial Decorating Exteriors Part 1 and  Interiors Part 2.

British Colonial Interiors

Federal Design Part 1 Architecture and  Part 2 Interiors

Marie Antoinette Birthday Party

The most viewed post? The post where I spilled my guts about being in the depths of despair and grief and still somehow managed to finally graduate last spring: The Ultimate DIY.

So other than the fact that I celebrated my bloggy birthday yesterday what is with all the gift wrapped images? Well, if you are a long time reader of this blog you know that I love to host giveaways and do so quite often. All of the prizes/gifts are selected and then shipped to the winners by me. Nothing is donated. Now this is NOT a “poor me” comment. I LIKE to host giveaways and it is my choice to do so. 

 

We all know times are tough. Even though God has richly blessed me in the interior design skills department I am not getting a lot of calls. I try not to take it personally and use this time to further my knowledge and skills that ultimately I want to share with readers. But the fact is that Sweet Boy gets his braces on in a few weeks and the car needs new tires…yadda, yadda, yadda.

You can see in the DTA side bar something has changed. There are now Google Ads and a section marked “Adored Sponsors” (which can be yours for the UNBELIEVEABLY low introductory price of just $10 a month!).

Yep, there it is. How do you feel about this?  Is it “She sold out.” or “It’s about time she realized her value.” Let’s talk. Tell me how you feel.

Laura

Oh and a reminder that you won’t want to miss Monday’s post. I’ll be parading around in the world’s most ugliest bridesmaid dresses to prepare for this:

kate-middleton7

And yes, there will be prizes. Good ones. Selected and shipped by me. 

51 comments :

Kara Koeven said...

I love your blog Laura, and I applaud you in all your successes! I definately think it's about time you realized your value!!! ;)
Keep being the incredible you that you are!
~Kara
www.mothernatureinspired.blogspot.com

CalypsoInTheCountry said...

Laura,
No, you are not "selling out" at all! For all the work and time spent on the blog you deserve some kind of compensation! I love your blog - one of my favorite posts is up there in your list - British Colonial interiors!
Happy 3rd birthday Decor to Adore!
Shelley

Linda Merrill said...

Congrats on your 3 year anniversary! And, you're definitely not a sell out. You've built a commodity and that's got value and we need to earn a living - especially when the design clients are not beating down the door!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Happy Blog Anniversary!! I really love that post about British Colonial Interiors since it is one of my favorite styles. Thank you for all of your hard work to put that together for your blog readers! Your posts are appreciated!!

Best to you in the new blog year!,
Melissa

Blondie's Journal said...

Congratulations on your blogging anniversary!! I think a simple thank you to followers is more than enough. Giveaways are fun but not always feasible. And I think the wonderful ladies out there understand that.

I love all your posts on the Royals. It's like reading a magazine or newspaper article. You do a fantastic job! Keep it up, Laura! :-)

XO,
Jane

Karena said...

Oh Laura a huge congatualtions!!

You work so hard and Should be proud of your accomplishments! You have not sold out at all.

Thank you for your continued friendship and support!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Pat said...

Congratulations on your third blog anniversary, Laura. My 4th anniversary is tomorrow. I have a regular redo post ready to publish, in the wee small hours of the 6th, with an added note about the anniversary and a thank you. Never would have thought I would ever be venturing into my 5th year!

I am not having a giveaway, at this time. I have had one donated giveaway...from my friend Lori. All others have been paid for by moi. We are on a definite fixed imcome, therefore I have had to rethink how I feel about doing a giveaway this year for the big day.

I've enjoyed and continue to enjoy my visits here! Beautiful blog!

fairfieldhousenj.com said...

Dear Laura,

I adore YOU and this blog reflects all that you are -- your cleaver and creative ways, your amazing design talents, goals achieved, your losses, your family and friends.

Congratulations on your 3rd Year Blogging Anniversary. I wish you continued success as you pursue your passions.

Your Friend,
Deborah

Love the Decor! said...

Happy blog-a versary!!
i sent you an email for advertising : )

Vicki said...

Happy Blog Anniversary. I enjoy reading your posts, regardless of the subject! By the way, I've been meaning to tell you that I'm enjoying the "green theme" at the top of your blog, it's gorgeous.

Mom in High Heels said...

Happy Blogiversary!!!!

And you KNOW I love your RWW! They make my Wed!

Debra Phillips said...

three years? congrats to you!

here is a bit of info i read today and thought to myself, this is ground shaking in the design industry

albert hadley is retiring. not due to age but quoted as saying his clients have slowed to a trickle. shocking isn't it? and a bit scary

ps; you have not sold out but made a business decision that is best for you
debra

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

Happy 3rd Blog Birthday!
My blog is about ME!!! I don't think about the "numbers"..per say..it's just a nice gadget to see when a new post is up!(follower gadget)
Giveaways are aswesome and YES they cost...
Happy Weekend.
warmly,
deb

Betty said...

Hi
I love to follow the royal wedding plans. I will be visiting England in June and I'm doing my royal homework. The wedding photos are amazing. Thank you so much for a wonderful topic for this fabulous event. Keep us posted.
xo
Betty

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Happy Anniversary! I love to read your blog and you know I love the royal wedding updates.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi laura, Congrats on your three year anniversary. I think it is great that you are taking sponsors and I hope to do the same.
Hugs,
Sherry

Kristina said...

I admit that I don't comment often, and maybe this is my first...but I wanted you to know that I LOVE your blogs about the Royals. I look forward to them every Wednesdays. You have a lovely blog in general, and I don't think you've sold out at all.

Privet and Holly said...

To advertise
or not to advertise,
that IS the question : )
I think it is totally
a personal one. I
will continue to follow,
read and ENJOY your
lovely words and pics
no matter what. I have
truly appreciated the
hours of time you have
put into your Royal posts.
Like you, I don't whip
posts together in short
order. They take me a lot
of time, but that time flies
because I get totally
immersed in whatever I'm
writing about and just LOVE
it. Congratulations on
three wonderful years of
blogging!! Your green header
is just divine, too...
xx Suzanne

Mary Grace McNamara said...

Happy 3rd birthday to you Laura! I've enjoyed every one of your posts since I found you shortly after I started my blog, also almost 3 years ago. I'm glad you have finally realized that what you write is worth something to others. Please don't think of yourself as a sell-out! Your time is worth a lot and a lot of people appreciate what you do. As long as you enjoy it, keep it up, and maybe even get a little financial compensation for it!

MGM

Lisa said...

Congrats Laura on your blog-aversary! I am so enjoying all the posts about the Royals! Just fascinating!
PS Good for you for doing what you have to do to be able to make a living doing what you love.:)

Amanda said...

Happy Blogaversary! In addition to your interior decorating talents, you are an excellent writer. You've created a beautiful blog and no one should say you're a sell out for adding the advertisements!
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Happy Blogiversary!! I loveeeeeeeeee that you give us such amazing and BEAUTIFUL posts!! And I do not think you are a sell out at all... I totally understand the costs of mailing out RAK's and prizes, as I do it on mine and the challenge blog I run! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Bonnie said...

Hey Laura, I have loved your blog posts about the Royals. Thank you for all your research. Just saw "The Kings Speech". Very good movie.

Love your new header too. Very nice.

I have always enjoyed being a follower of your blog. I can't remember how I found your blog but always enjoy it. I only have 39 followers but of course I don't work very hard on posting. It took me forever, to learn how to do simple things like "Mr. Linky" etc. It is so simple once you learn. For the longest time I did not know Blogger had a new editor and I was doing everything the hard way like editing the HTML for larger pics, composing your blog from the bottom to the top and not being able to move things around. Talk about frustrating with no one to ask any questions. I finally got brave and emailed a few wonderful people with questions and they responded so graciously and changed my life for the better as far as blogging goes.

Happy Anniversary! Your packages are beautifully wrapped!!

Oh, thank goodness I thought I had lost all I had written and I wanted you to know I do enjoy your blog and I think I always comment.

Jen said...

Happy Blog Birthday! You always offer such wonderful inspiration and have brought a new aspect to things I get in a rut over. I especially enjoy your "royal" posts right now as it has always been a fascinating subject for as far back as I can remember.

Looking forward to your next year,
Jennifer

Tanya said...

Laura, I love your blog and your style. Happy Anniversary! Your pictures on the header are so beautiful. Makes me take a deep breath and take in the green spring that's just beginning.

Loretta said...

Somehow, in a number of ways, we have all fallen on harder times. When you can accept it,adjust your life to it, then you have won. I would say you have done it all!
I love your blog and especially what you have to offer to all of us in some small way. Congrats on your 3rd year, and we look forward to many more. Thank you beautiful lady for giving so generously! Luv-Loretta (At Home with Loretta)

Becolorful said...

Congrats on your 3rd birthday. You have racked up a boat load of followers in three years. Yay for you. People like what they see here. Me included. Keep it coming.
Pam @ BeColorful

Jeannine said...

Congratulations on three years. I enjoy reading and love looking at your pictures. You did not sell out! I think it is a good idea to share new sponsors with us.

Lady Dorothy said...

Congratulations on your third year mark! I think I've been around for most of that. Boy, time flies!

I read your blog because I like YOU and what you write. It doesn't matter if you use ads or not, or have sponsors or not. So, do what you want/need. We'll all still be here! :-)

I guess I really do have one little peeve when it comes to sponsors and ads, though, come to think of it. It makes me think twice about following a blog when the majority of the posts are trying to sell their sponsors. That gets a bit tiring. But, you would never do that, would you? ;-)

raggygirlvintage said...

You write a royalty post, how have I missed that?? I love your honesty and your willingness to do what you have to to keep things going!
Tracey

joanie said...

Although I haven't commented previously, I love your blog, especially your wonderfully researched articles about the royals. Please do not feel guilty about taking advertising. Be proud that you've created a blog so good that companies want to advertise on it. And congrats on hanging in there for that degree.

Keep up the good work!

Bettyann said...

I love reading your blog...you are interested and excited about your life and I like that..you don't need giveaways...lots of blogs have ads..more power to you !!have a great weekend..

Shirley said...

Dear Laura,
Happy Blog celebration! What a great accomplishment. It's going to take me another 3 yrs just to get to 100 followers. Not, that I blog for others but it is nice to know that someone is interested in what I blog about. I was so excited when you and two other lovely bloggers started to follow me that I called my sister to cheer about it. It truly meant a lot to me that you ladies were interested enough to hit the follow button! Now, I'm good to go! LOL!
I love Royal Wedding and I know how much work you have done to share all that information with us. And if I did live near you, I would have hired you to help me put together my dinning room. I was so lost, but have found my way (stuggled, but managed)
I hope you stick around a long time..as we all luv ya...
~Shirley

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Congrats and heck no you did not sell out. If I had enough followers I would do it in a heart beat!! The ads don't bother anyone, I never pay attention who does and doesn't have ads. In this economy if you can make a couple bucks by doing nothing...heck ya, and if you can pay for braces...all the better!

Carol

White Ironstone Cottage said...

Congrats on your 3 year anniversary
Your blog is so beautiful and a must read every new post!!

xo
Pam

April said...

I found your very first post this week--and thought of your "Blogiversary" yesterday, but was too busy to even DO anything like wish you a happy. :)
I think your decision to include sponsors is a good thing--
no sell-out in my eyes!
I appreciate all the good stuff you share!

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Congratulations! Three years is indeed a huge milestone. As I sit here at the end of my first year of blogging at 10:00 PM on Saturday night while my husband and puppy are sitting by the fire watching TV, I often wonder is it worth it. Does anyone care? Only the dedicated realize what we really sacrifice to do our best to have a successful blog. and then we're still not sure, because the feedback is not always immediate. You are doing an incredible job, and my hat is off to you. Don't for one minute think that you are a sell out. Have a lovely weekend. Mona

Mary Ellen said...

Congratulation on 3 years of blogging Laura! You have enriched many of our lives with your wonderful posts.

We should be the ones thanking you Laura not you us!

Have a blessed weekend!

bee blessed
mary

Johanna said...

Hello Laura,
Happy Blog-Anniversary to you. Three successfull years when I see the number of your readers. You share a lot of your talented skills and inspirations. How cool is that. Thank you so much.
I don't have a problem with advertising.
Best greetings, Johanna

French Basketeer.com said...

Ciao Laura and Happy Anniversary! I so look forward to RWW!

Kathy B. said...

Keep doing what you're doing any way you want to do it! It's working just fine, and many others are enjoying it very much, including me. I'm sorry I have neglected to comment on that fact, but please know that there are plenty of "us" out there who do follow you and may just not take the time to post how wonderful you really are! Thanks for what you do!

kathy.bruner at hotmail dot com

Joyce's Journey said...

You realized your value!!! Happy Blogaversary! I love your posts! I don't always comment and I do apologize for that but I often read your posts when I am at work and don't always have the time to comment, but I will try more often. Your blog is a class act. Everything is done to perfection and I like that. You are a special person and a valuable person. Congratulations!!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Congrats Laura!
And I think having ads is just fine!
When you put a lot of time into blogging, why not?
It's a way to be creative and make a little when you can.
Hugs friend,
Cindy

Lorrie said...

It's easy to see that you've spent HOURS researching the Royal posts. And ads on a blog don't bother me a whit.
Making money is not evil or something to be ashamed of - it's a necessity of life that can be done well, with integrity, and to God's glory.

Just my opinion here...

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Just sent an email to Meri to sign me up for 04/09 :):):):):):):):):):):) I plan on bringing my scrappy stuff then! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

The Boston Lady said...

Laura, it is not selling out it is investing in yourself! You obviously write about what is important to you and I love that you have put so much time, research and effort into your RWWs! My RL has intruded lately and I haven't had time to read them adequately, but I intend to have some recoup time next week after some minor surgery and I can catch up with all my favorites including your RWWs!

Your blog was one of my first inspirations to start my own. It has been the most therapeutic, fulfilling thing I have done for myself in years. I wish I had started sooner. I don't care about numbers, but I am always so pleased when people do stop by even if they do not comment.

If I had had this blog going about 5 years ago, I would have been able to work through a lot of "stuff".

In the meantime, I love that I have been able to chronicle my crazy thoughts, my beautiful family's fun times and just the daily strangeness that life has. Also I was able to profess my celeb-crush openly (Mr. Firth is still mine) and suffer no ill will.

Love,
Ann

Marie Arden said...

Laura I love your blog and I love all those posts that came up as big numbers. I don't think you sold out adding some ads is just smart in these economic times. I am sure design business will come your way soon too. Love all the Royal Wedding stuff wish I could be a birdie in a tree near the wedding!
Marie Arden Pink Living

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

First I want to say that your blog is read by so many because it's a darn good blog.
Next, if you really need the money then you really need the money.
Personally I don't like blogs with ads ... but I understand making money. AND it's your blog. But you did ask....and ya know maybe if I hit over 1K followers I may change my mind LOL ...

Pat said...

Happy blogaversary! I feel like we should be sending you gifts! We all appreciate all those hours of research! Keep up the good work. As far as I am concerned, the ads are a part of life and in no way indicate a sell out. I am looking forward to many more wonderful posts!

www.lifeatlydiashouse.blogspot.com

Designs By Pinky said...

Can you tell me how I can see my numbers???? I had no idea I could see how many people were reading my blog!!!!! You are not selling out, it is your choice to make. I love your blog! XO, Pinky

Charlotte said...

You have a wonderful unique blog. I'm not surprised it is so widely read. Love all that "royal" stuff.
Hugs & blessings,
Charlotte