The Nitty Gritty of Running a Blog (And Why I Can’t Do It For Free)

by Edie Wadsworth on January 12, 2014

This may not interest some of you, but this is the underbelly of what it takes to run a blog.  This post contains my personal revenue and expenses information—and  might help you understand my vocation as blogger a little better—along with how much work goes on behind the scenes.
blogging
I’ve been blogging for six years, which, these days, is a long time to do anything consistently.  It started as a online scrapbook for me—a way to journal the life and times of our family.  Within a year, I knew I had found my sweet spot—that place where you know you’re doing what you were made to do.  And it began to feel less mine and more His and yours.  I’ve been writing about vocation and in some ways, I was 38 years old before I settled into mine.  I am a writer/blogger, seeking everyday to use my gifts to serve my neighbor.

I started blogging a few months after I quit working.  It perfectly filled the void to do creative, meaningful work.  It has changed my life in so many ways and I am eternally grateful for the chance to speak into the hearts of thousands of people everyday.  I know how unqualified I am and how much I must depend on His grace. With this honor comes tremendous responsibility.

I spend, on average, 30-40 hours a week here at lifengrace.  More than that some weeks.  Way more.  Less than that other weeks.  It takes a LONG time to consistently generate fresh, relevant content and present in a beautiful way.  Just ask anyone who has tried it.  I work hard at what I do.  I get up early, work diligently most days, struggle with balance, and often wish there were more hours in the day to do what needs to be done. I probably read and researched for 15+ hours on the posts I’ve written so far on vocation.   I take this chance to speak seriously and I do it with fear and trembling.

As a lifestyle blogger, here are some of the activities I do regularly:

  • writing
  • editing
  • reading/researching
  • brainstorming/planning content
  • developing recipes
  • planning and buying supplies for projects
  • taking lots of photos
  • editing photos
  • photography classes to improve my skills
  • writing workshops to improve my craft
  • developing and nurturing relationships with other bloggers
  • facebook/twitter/instragram/pinterest to connect with you and find other kindred spirits
  • answering emails and comments
  • supporting the work of other bloggers/artists
  • maintain/update all the tech equipment I use everyday

And that list isn’t even exhaustive.  There’s so much that goes into doing this and doing it well.  I have the utmost respect for my other artist friends who pursue creative work.  As creatives, we love the work we do, and often do it for free, for years, knowing that most of the reward is in the act of doing what we do and sharing it with others. It’s a privilege and I am so blessed to be able to do it.  This is my dream job and I pinch myself everyday that I live at such a time as this, where nearly every opportunity is available, for those who are willing to work hard, be patient, be generous, and be authentic.

For  4 years, I ran this site for free—paying hosting fees, design fees, etc  myself and working hundreds of hours with ZERO monetary gain.  And if the circumstances were the same, I’d still do it for free.

But, here’s what changed.

My traffic grew and so did my hosting fees.  I needed technical and design help in various areas, in order to keep the site up and working properly.  The site outgrew my ability to keep up with it all myself.

Currently, running my blog costs me about $500 per month, with hosting fees, email service fees, design and technical support fees,  and occasional part time help.

In April of 2012, I joined my first ad network and made about $300 per month for the first few months.  It has grown consistently and I’ve joined a few other ad networks.  Last month, after taxes, and after I paid all my bills, I was able to pay myself  $1000—which works out to far less than minimum wage.  They don’t call us starving artists for nothing.   And, December is always the highest revenue month for bloggers, so in January, I may not pay myself at all.

Compared to other bloggers who monetize and have  been doing this as long as I have, I’m probably on the lower end of income.  I have at least twenty friends who make a full time living from their blogs, many in the six figures.  Mine is not one of them.  But, my goal is to make enough blogging, so that if I ever needed to go back to work to help support my family, I wouldn’t need to do that because my blog would be making enough to allow me stay home.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m so thankful for the money.  I get to do what I love,  from home, and make a little money doing it.    Still, we have five kids that we’re helping through school, and I’m feeling the need to contribute as much as possible, to help our own kids and to support other ministries that are important to us.

Because I’m committed to good, original content, I turn down almost every offer I get to do sponsored posts/paid advertisements/guest posts,  etc.  I am very protective of my posts.  I want them to be helpful/encouraging/inspiring/challenging.  I want the photography to be the best it can be.  I guard that little space like crazy. I could make a lot more money if I monetized my posts more, but that’s not my heart and passion.

The bottom line is this.  I’m so grateful to be able to make some money, while doing what I love from home.  But, it’s work—a lot of work.  And I’m not getting rich.  And I left a six figure income to be home with my kids before they all left for college.  So, my income, while much appreciated and helpful, doesn’t come close to what I made when I worked (even less hours) as a physician part time, and it isn’t enough yet to really make a dent in the money we spend each month helping our kids all get through school.

So, when I get feedback that is critical of ads on blogs, I wish I could sit down and explain all this.  I’m not being greedy by having ads.  I’m just trying to keep this site up and running and full of great, helpful content.

How can you support your favorite creative entrepeneurs?

I’m so glad you asked.  So many of you are so supportive of the work I do here and of many of your other favorite creatives.  You faithfully read, send the best emails, share the work with others, and link to me on your own blogs.  I couldn’t do this without you.  So, thank you.  Keep doing that for all the bloggers you love, so that they can keep doing good work for all of us. These things help so much to encourage and support people who do most of their work in isolation, day in and day out.

Ways you can and do help

  • At least occasionally, let them know you appreciate what they do.  Send a note, a text, an email, a card, a comment.
  • Support their work by sharing it—via email, on Facebook, on Twitter, or Pinterest.
  • Put up with the ads, because it pays their bills, allows them to do what they do, maybe even pays their kid’s college tuition.
  • Donate to them directly.  I would love to go ad free, but I would need your monetary help to do it.  If you’d like to donate directly to lifeingrace, I’d be honored. I have a million ideas that I don’t have time to implement, so I’d love to increase my revenue so I could afford to hire more help!  If you’re interested in direct donation, my paypal address is livinglifeingrace@gmail.com.  (I give directly to one site I love because I so believe in the work.  If we all did this, maybe our favorite creatives could drop all their ads?!)
  • Click on their affiliate links, because a portion of that money gets to them.  I usually link to things on Amazon that I use all the time.  If you buy something through one of my links, those pennies add up to dollars by the end of the month and year.
  • Love a blogger? Buy their books or their products.  Like their Facebook pages.  Follow them on Twitter or Pinterest.    Help them get their message out! You are so important in their success and in whether or not they can keep doing what they do.

Thank you for supporting writers/artists/bloggers and thank you especially for supporting me.

I am so honored to do this everyday.

I am thankful to you and to ad companies for making it possible.

 

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{ 113 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nancy January 12, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Thanks for your post and your honesty about the behind the scenes of blogging. I’ve wondered about it since I began noticing links through “rstyle.me” and things like that because I definitely click through shopping links bloggers post (much to my husband’s chagrin) :)

Peace and blessings,
Nancy

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2 Kolein January 12, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My heart thanks you. My spirit thanks you. My paint brush thanks you. My pen thanks you. My home thanks you. My family thanks you. My cooking thanks you. My inspiration and the gravity of its pull and force in my life thanks you. My living thanks you. After finding your blog I began to live more authentically, as if given permission. We ALL need each other. I needed you.

~pouring sweet hearts all over you and yours

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3 Sara January 12, 2014 at 7:42 pm

So sorry to disappoint by not being Edie, just a fellow lifeingrace follower, but your comment is so wonderful that I just had to say so! :)

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4 Kolein January 16, 2014 at 9:06 am

Thank you Sara. You blessed me this morning. <3

XO
~Kolein

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5 Gretchen January 12, 2014 at 3:13 pm

What a great and informative post, Edie! First of all, I would just like to say thank you for the time you put into your blog. I have been following it for a little over a year now and I have gained such insight and inspiration from you as well as being challenged! I have entertained the idea of starting a blog of my own and this post has given me the push I believe I needed (along with a great book I am currently reading…A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman).

You and your words truly are a gift to us! Enjoy your day!

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6 Sarah @ An Inviting Home January 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Edie,

You said all of this so well and beautifully. Thank you for all of the time you spend inspiring others it is such a blessing!

~Sarah

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7 Elizabeth Maxwell January 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Hello~so glad you wrote this. I really feel foolish to even tell you, that I have started a little blog myself. I appreciate you and have followed you for some time. People really have no idea what it takes to do what you do….but in their defense and mine, we are on the ‘other side’ reading what you encourage, inspire and bless us all with! About a year ago I felt God tug at my heart to rest in Him. For me this meant more time in prayer and digging i to His word. I started to journal how He was encouraging me. And recently felt him encourage me to encourage others….but I am so ‘green’ and truly have no idea! You have inspired me through your blog! Thank you for blessing me and so many others! Elizabeth Maxwell
http://emaxgal.wordpress.com/

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8 Diana January 12, 2014 at 3:16 pm

I enjoyed reading about this. I was not sure how it worked, but it makes me appreciate you even more. You do beautiful work!

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9 emma {from my little pink couch} January 12, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Great to have a creative outlet & find that sweet spot! Your blog inspires me to do more & be better! Thanks for all your hard work!

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10 Kim January 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Edie,

Thanks for what you do!!!! I can honestly say – you are one of my top three blogs that I read (if not my favorite). I almost emailed you last night, just to let you know that I made your Pumpkin chipotle soup, again! It is my favorite and I make it all the time. I’m ready for you to come out with your cookbook! Talk about you all the time! Thanks again!!!

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11 Maureen January 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Thank you Edie, for sharing the “nitty gritty”! Because of your blog and your open and giving heart my family is now the proud sponsor of 3 wonderful children through Compassion (Canada), I have an awesome honey wheat bread recipe, not to mention the garlic and honey pizza! I feel closer to knowing what my purpose is, and know get great joy in showing those I love the hospitality they deserve! From a blogger point of view I appreciate your honesty and openness about what it means (both monetary and time wise) to be a blogger. To be a newer blogger, only at it a year, and don`t quite yet have the traffic numbers to place ads it is good to see the realistic possibilities that await! I have not yet hired a designer and can get by with my basic hosting package but I am having a blast honing my craft!

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12 Kristina January 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Thank you for this post. I had no idea of all of the hours, details that you had to put in behind the scenes. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your pots. Especially rhe recent ones about vocation, and the monthly meal plans.

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13 Janet January 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Hi Edie – I have read your blog for several months now and it has quickly become my favorite. I look forward to your insights every day. I also LOVE your recipes and your sense of style. You have truly enriched and inspired my life. You absolutely should be compensated for the work you do. A heartfelt thank-you for your blog!

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14 Martha January 12, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I love your blog so much and this was very informative…. I never really understood how money was made. I enjoy the ads and links, but will pay even more attention to them now. You are amazing and inspirational and I can’t even begin to imagine the work that is involved in doing this. Thank you!!!!!

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15 Melissa Allam January 12, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I’m new to reading your blog and I can say your posts have kept me coming because they are encouraging, inspiring and genuine. I have a blog that I have not updated in quite awhile because of all the time and effort and hard work that goes into it. Believe me, I know if I made money doing it, I would be a lot more motivated to keep it up. The ads don’t bother me and I pray the Lord brings you all the provision you need and even more abundant so we can continue to be informed and inspired and your family supported as well. Thank you.

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16 Becki January 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm

yes…the time involved is staggering. Thank you for talking about it so openly. Two important words you typed recently have opened up my 50 year old world….” Meal planning”. Don’t judge internets. We’re all doing our best :)

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17 Claire @ A Little Claireification January 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm

This is so perfect, Edie. I truly think it’s hard for some people to understand it all. 15 months in on my blog and am generating a little income every month but nothing compared to my full time job. Thank you for this post and for supporting other bloggers as well. Sharing this now. Have a great week! xoxo

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18 Linda January 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Edie, I am not in the position right now to contribute directly, but I can thank you for the very insighful posts you write. I too just ‘came home’ and left a challenging amd rewarding job behind. I am still looking for my vocation. Part of it I found in my husband and daughters, but there is probably more. You inspire me. Thank you

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19 Amanda Cabe January 12, 2014 at 3:38 pm

I found your blog about a year ago from following Emily jones with jones design. I’m so glad I did too! I love your blog. I love your style and as a relatively new blogger it is so nice to see the behind the scenes of such a lovely and successful blogger! I am hoping to grow my blog and you are so on point with everything you’ve said! Thank you so much for all that you do! I read faithfully and am so grateful to see your posts in my feed!

~Amanda
http://www.thesunshinetoker.com

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20 Pam Mathews January 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm

This was nice of you to explain. It’s important for people to be reminded hat there are very few people in the world who can afford to live on break even, much less lose money, no matter how much they love their work. I help manage a non-profit, and no one our staff is looking to get rich, however, they do need to earn a living. In terms of appreciation, I came to your blog yesterday through a decorating blog. At first I thought I had I stumbled on to another Evangelical home schooling blog (which are fine but not what I am looking for given my faith background and the age of my children) and I was so excited to find out you were a Lutheran. I’ve learned a lot already from the couple of blogs in your Faith section that I’ve read. It is just what I needed as I think about faith ini the New Year. Look forward to catching up on what I’ve missed so far. Thanks!

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21 Msshe January 12, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Bravo for you, for doing what you do. What first attracted me to your site was your physical location in TN. We drove right through your area every time we went on vacation…to the southeast. From my south central KY location we made the trek down through Corbin, Middlesboro, the tunnel, and then into TN as we made our way to Charleston, Savannah, and then Hilton Head. So, I wanted to see what your blog was about, since I felt sort of like you were a neighbor. Long story short, I come to visit your blog for many reasons: home decor inspiration, recipes, life struggles (so that I feel I am not alone), inspiration from a Godly woman, and. bible study. There are other reasons….but these are the top ones as I think about them. Your blog costs as well as saving for the future are certainly worldly things that a person has to deal with in the real world. But…your kindness and loving nature are priceless. If you ever has pad a ladies’ coffee…I would want to be at your table, to absorb your positive energy as well as to taste some of your cooking.

I too am a mother who dropped out of her teaching career to stay at home for my children. They are grown and gone, and now I do some adjunct teaching at a small Methodist college, but I do not have a teacher retirement fund! And we are still paying off some college loans! But my children are great people of whom I am so proud….so hopefully the stay at home mom career worked out.

I am dabbling in the online journaling too….with my primary motive at the onset was to share the great cultural and historic aspects of my dear Kentucky. I am a descendant of Kentucky pioneers from all sides of my four grandparents. I am so proud of my people for surviving getting over the mountains and through the Cumberland gap. My blog has lots of Ky history, culture, lifestyle, cooking, and my ramblings.

I will wrap up my ramblings now and thank you for what you do for. Keep on doing it. When I feel down in the mouth for some reason, I can go to your blog and see your pretty smile and your loving words. You are ministering to /doctoring our souls! I wish I had discovered you sooner as I went through some dark times a few years ago, and still deal with a family situation of someone with a hard heart toward me. I pray for her heart to change. Maybe you could advise us about how to deal with a situation like that.

Love you bunches neighbor girl,
Sheila from MyKentuckyLiving.

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22 Amber {Kingwood Drive} January 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Thanks Edie for your open and honest heart!! Your blog {and several others} are what inspired me to listen to what God was telling my heart and start my own blog last October. Your words and wisdom are inspiring.
Joy to you!!
Amber

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23 angela January 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm

You handled a sensitive subject with all the charm and grace you so lovingly display every day. I know just a teeny tiny bit of what you go through. Your blog is amazing, informative, creative and just overall wonderful. I don’t do enough to support you. I want to change that. Thank you for opening our eyes to some things we may not have thought of. Much love dear friend!

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24 Denease January 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm

I read your blog almost every time I open my laptop. Honestly, I had decided that you must be Super Woman, so this post really makes me aware of how much time and energy you put into this place that has been so inspiring for me many times over. Thanks!

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25 Erin @ Blue-Eyed Bride January 12, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Oh Edie. Add this to the list of reasons I love you. Thank you for speaking for all bloggers who try to monetize. I love your blog and your encouragement.

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26 Marty January 12, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Thank you for writing about this Edie. I have followed your blog since it was referred to me as a prayer request after your fire. What a blessing your blog is! I had no idea what all went into it. With encouragement from my family, I started my blog as a way for me to document my silly, wonderful, fun, scary, wild life with our oldest son who has Down Syndrome. I never thought about it turning into anything more. Bless you for your diligence and dedication to keeping your blog focused on YOUR ideas and beliefs, and for using your space to encourage others. :)

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27 Kristin S January 12, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Great perspective, Edie. I’ve never really given ads a second thought on blogs. Whoops, advertisers don’t want to hear that! I understand that sponsors are important when that’s your job. I don’t love them when they pop up and scroll across the screen. I’m in the middle of reading a thoughtful post (like this one) and a banner splays across the screen. Those are annoying. You don’t have those. Yours are subtle and good stuff!

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28 Amy January 12, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Thank you thank you for this post. As a journalist and English teacher, I can’t tell you how many hours I spend writing and rewriting to get every word perfect. It’s generally taken for granted that a witty blog post or thought provoking article took someone’s blood, sweat, and tears to create. I appreciate you revealing a bit of the financial side of blogging. I had no idea about the fees. Ads don’t bother me at all, it’s the content that counts. I’m an expat Texan living abroad and am frequently homesick, your Texas love is appreciated half way around the world.

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29 Leslie Cude January 12, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Wow Edie! Truly, I think most of us had no idea! Your blog has been my favorite for several years now- you already know I loved your resolutions so much I had to put them on a cuff! But I also use your monthly meal plan (albeit loosely) and have made nearly every craft, recipe or recommendation you have shared! I cried when your house burned and nearly (selfishly) cried when you stopped homeschooling (I’m still hanging in there). I am not Lutheran, but find so much common ground, encouragement, and challenge when you share about your faith. You encourage me to do the hard work of loving my people well and make me drool over your kitchen:) Your authenticity shines through each post. Your blog has enriched my life tremendously and I thank you!

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30 Leslie Cude January 12, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Oh, and the Avett Brothers. Enough Said.

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31 Deborah January 12, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Hi Edie, this post was so helpful to me. I have a two-month old blog, and I am amazed at how much time it takes! I love it, though. There is so much to learn, but I’m just learning as I go along. Thank you for sharing and for the wonderful content in your blog.

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32 paige January 12, 2014 at 5:07 pm

you ain’t my favorite blogger for nothing blondie!
you do what you do with grace & dignity and HUMOR!

YOU are the real deal edie wadsworth & i am honored to call you my friend
ads or no ads!
xoxo

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33 Bethany January 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm

This is such a great post! As a blogger for about two years, I love hearing other bloggers’ stories. It’s refreshing that you are so honest and aren’t one of those bloggers who would promote a toothbrush just to get money. The fact that you are so protective of your space is inspiring!

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34 Lauren @ The Thinking Closet January 12, 2014 at 6:23 pm

I agree, Bethany! (And thanks for sending me this way so I could read this.) Edie, I feel like you articulated so clearly what I struggle to sometimes explain to others when they ask if and how and why I make money.

I’ve been blogging now for a little over a year, and when I started to monetize, I had all this guilt over it. But I’m learning that just because blogging is considered “creative” doesn’t mean you have to sell your soul to make some income (small though it may be).

I appreciate how you brought your readers into your living room with this post, being real about what REALLY goes on behind the blog and why you have made certain decisions about your blog (i.e. ads). Also, I love the call to action at the end – - things readers can do to help! I would have felt strange asking for folk to click on my affiliate links or make a donation, but the way you wrote it, well it comes from such a genuine place, it makes me want to do all I can to support fellow bloggers like you. Off to share this!

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35 Cee Shearer January 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm

The ads have never really bothered me…it’s just how things work. I do appreciate the hard work that goes in to making your blog available for inspiration to us all.

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36 Ruth January 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Your blog is always an inspiration and full of encouragement in many different aspects of our lives. Thank you for all of the work and countless hours you put into all you share with us. The need to monetize is certainly one wecan understand. I pray that your blog will continue to grow and may God always provide for your needs as you obediently bless others, but close and far.
Hugs

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37 Sharon January 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Thank you, Edie! I’ve only been at this blogging thing for 2 and a half years, but like you…it’s my sweet spot. AND it allows me to be home…my greatest heart’s desire. By allow, I mean it fills my time and allows me to use the gifts and talents God has given me. I know that I know that God intends for me to have an audience whose lives I speak into. On the days where I feel foolish for spending so much time doing something that pays so very little ( but hey, at least now I’m making enough to make the monthly payment for my daughter’s braces) I need to remember that this blog is more than a blog, bigger than myself and that I have sisters in Christ out there who are leading the way. Thank you again, Edie!

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38 Sarah Wolfe January 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Your site is always a favorite. I home school my boys and have loved your perspective and your creativity. My oldest is 12 and my husband and I are talking through if we are going to continue this through all the way to the end. I loved your posts on why you home schooled and why you chose to stop. I’m not a creative person by nature and I learn so much from reading blogs like yours. Of course, your home is gorgeous, but my favorite thing about your blog is your gift of hospitality coupled with good theology. Keep up the good work!

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39 Beth January 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Edie, I read your blog regularly but rarely comment. I often forward portions of your posts to friends. I never realized his much work goes into a site like yours. I’m thankful God called you home to be with your children and gave you this creative outlet/ministry. You are a huge encouragement to me and often make me laugh! Thanks!

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40 Kimberly January 12, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Thank you for this blog post today. I had no idea. I will be clicking and buying away when possible from here on out. Keep on keepin’ on Edie.

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41 Rhondi January 12, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Hi Edie. Thank you for being so transparent. That is a question that lots of us ask, how much money can one make from a blog? I always enjoy what you have to say and loved hearing you speak last year at the Becoming conference in Asheville. Rhondi xo

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42 Kimberly January 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm

I’m a writer, and even I didn’t realize how much time you spent on creating such a beautiful place for us to land! I kind of thought you were super woman too, whipping up monthly meal plans on the fly;) Thanks so much for sharing the amount of time you put into this space. It makes me feel a lot better about the fact that I spend hours perfecting my posts, knowing I’m not alone in wanting to provide quality content.

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43 Becky January 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm

I LOVE your blog! You have given me many ideas for my own site and I really enjoy reading your posts.

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44 Becky January 12, 2014 at 6:09 pm

I LOVE your blog! You have given me many ideas for my own site and I really enjoy reading your posts. By the way, I found your site through Living Well Spending Less.

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45 Jamee January 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Thank you!!! You have been such an inspiration to me since that fateful day a couple years ago that a friend sent me a link to “Why I (still) Homeschool.” As a homeschooling mom of 2 girls (now 3) I instantly connected with your heart for your children and couldn’t wait to read more. I couldn’t get enough of your story. I think I read your entire blog in a few days..some posts more than once. The way you poured your heart out captivated me. So much of what I have felt but couldn’t express was in front of me in black and white. Imagine my surprise when I realized that you were “the lady with the fabulous kitchen” that I had admired so much on Rate My Space! I have read some of your posts to my husband and my daughters (13 & 9) usually through tears but some stuff is just too good not to share. Yours is a household name around here! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hard work and for sharing your life and YOUR heart, which always points me to Him. ❤

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46 Lori January 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm

I believe yours was the first blog I read (when the word still sounded weird to me), probably four and a half years ago or so. My list of “consistent” is still fairly short, but the EXCELLENCE with which you write keeps you at the top, along with a couple of your friends. :) The lovely design, attention to detail, decorating and homemaking ideas draw me in, but the faith-issue posts are my favorites. Blessings to you, Edie–I pray that God will bless your hard work in a multitude of ways!

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47 Gina January 12, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Your blog was the first blog I read when I started reading blogs a few years ago. It had stayed as one of my favorites because it feeds every inch of my soul!

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48 Gina January 12, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Your blog was the first blog I read when I started reading blogs a few years ago. It had stayed as one of my favorites because it feeds every inch of my soul!

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49 Gina January 12, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Your blog was the first blog I read when I started reading blogs a few years ago. It had stayed as one of my favorites because it feeds every inch of my soul!

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50 elle @ being stepmom January 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Thanks for this post and your honesty. Thank you for continuing to provide excellent and inspiring content here. Xoxo

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51 Jessica@designerssweetspot.blogpsot.com January 12, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Amen sister! I don’t think most people have any idea how much work blogging is, or how long it takes to even make a small profit. We do it because we love it and it’s a God chosen ministry. Thanks for sharing the words we can’t say!

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52 Maria January 12, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Edie – Just want to tell you that you are one of my favorite bloggers – I truly enjoy reading all your wonderful, helpful (and funny), not to mention sooooo inspirational posts!! I just hate that there is so much criticism around that you have to explain yourself! People really should live life more in grace! Thank you for all you do on this blog!! I know it certainly adds so much in many ways to my life!! You are one talented girl, thank you, Lord, Amen!

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53 FancyNancy January 12, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Goodness, don’t ya just hate talking about money? I do. But I am so relieved you did! I have often wondered how much work you put into this gracious little spot of light. I had an inkling that it must be hours and even just last week thought, “I wish Edie would do a post about what she does all day. These amazing posts are so well crafted, they have to take hours to produce! How does she have time to do regular mom duties?” And if you’d like to give us those kinds of details, I’d love to read that, too. I don’t mind ads or sponsored posts. I trust you and I know people have to be compensated for their time. Thank you for excellence with minimal monetary compensation. May God bless you for doing your work as unto Him and for His Glory. xoxo

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54 Southern Gal January 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm

I appreciate you!

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55 Susanne January 12, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Thanks to you and your blog, we enjoy Pumpkin (or Butternut Squash) Chipotle Chicken Barley Soup, I have become a listener of Rev. Paul Bushur – I love love love that he doesn’t mince words! but does so with love, I am reading books of more substance (currently have Mere Christianity on my nightstand), you moved with your “Why I’m Not a Femenisnt” series. I appreciate your inspired encouragement – -

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56 Marian January 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Thank you for being so open. I am blessed by your blog and check in every day. I appreciate you sharing your heart and talents day in and day out. God bless you and keep you!

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57 Lauren January 12, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Edie, what a great post! I love how authentic you are and open about your income and why you decided to monetize your blog. Blogging is such hard work, SO HARD! And many people don’t understand how or why we need to make money. You explained it beautifully!

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58 Joanna January 12, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Edie,
Thank you for serving so faithfully. Your words have spoken to my heart many, many times, and maybe this week, louder than ever (I even shared some of your writing this week on my own (tiny) blog). On a practical side, I appreciate hearing about the nitty gritty b/c this month, I decided to finally monetize my blog (w/ Amazon affiliate ads) but have always been so wary of doing more. We can all sniff out a POST that’s main agenda is to make the blogger $$ and it turns my stomach. So THANK YOU for keeping all that noise “periphery.” Keep guarding your posts and writing meaningful, beautiful words, and no one will care about or notice the ads. :)
Much love to you, from a fellow writer and sister in Christ,
Joanna

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59 Joanna January 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm

And P.S.
I ordered 4 of the tank tops you linked into your last-minute Christmas shopping ideas from Amazon and I LOVE them! =] Thrilled you made a few cents from my purchase~wish it could have been more! ;-)
xoxo

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60 Kathy, Petticoat Junktion January 12, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Edie, Everything you said is right on the money ( no pun intended!). I often tell people that including the time it takes to paint a piece of furniture or create a craft, photograph, edit, write, publlish, share with social media…it’s a 20 hr. post. And that doesn’t include keeping up with and sharing my bloggy friends efforts. You write beautifully! Thank you for the great post.

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61 carole January 12, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Dearest Edie, I so enjoy your blog and am very blessed by it. I read it top to bottom and often share what you have said with my friends. For my two cents, I say why not make your blog more profitable? I certainly have no problem with the ads on blogs and sometimes find them very helpful in locating new things I might never have heard of. So keep up the good work, and make your fellow working women proud by growing your franchise and enjoying the fruits of your labor! Everyone who reads you faithfully knows your heart is a generous one and that you’ll steward your earnings to the glory of the one who became a man and died for us. Bless you!!

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62 Melaine January 12, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Edie, thank you for saying what so many of us others want too :) so much time goes into blogging, and I make even less than u! But, I love it! Love that you keep yours going! One of my favorite blogs of all time! Xoxo

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63 Tammy January 12, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Love your honesty and as a longtime blogger myself I just recently started with the ads. Like you said. You have to pay the bills.

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64 Stick Horse Cowgirl V January 12, 2014 at 10:01 pm

I really appreciate your honest post! I never, never, never resent seeing ads on a blog! I have not been posting much at Stick Horse Cowgirls recently, but my childhood best friend and partner in blogging, “C” has been belting them out. We have not monetized, and we haven’t moved yet to Wordpress, but we are considering it. Yes, blogging is hard work, and we have not yet ventured into our own photography yet. “C” has a thriving law practice, but would like to cut back. I am pushing her to publish her book for women facing divorce because she is an expert and it is that good! I have just retired, and will have more time for posting. It really is our first love, but we have neglected it because of our “real jobs”!
We both think it is so important for women to have the ability to support themselves if need to be, but being able to stay home with children is so important –and as you know, teenagers need supervision as much as preschoolers–just in a different way! It is just nice for women to have that choice to stay home if they wish. Actually, to be able to work from home at least most of the time is something I think most women would desire. Anyway, sorry to ramble on so, but whatever promotes women being able to make money, help their families and have some freedom in their schedules is a good thing! I love seeing women being able to raise revenue and if they can make a living from it all the better! Women helping women–that is a wonderful thing!
V

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65 amy January 12, 2014 at 11:25 pm

Hi Edie…I love your blog, but especially love your instagram feed. So much fun you have there!! Would love to collaborate with you sometime, not sure if you ever do paid fashion promotional posts, but if you do, let me know! Would love to send you a couple hoodies for you to try out and share with your readers. If you’re interested, email me!

Great blog post BTW, prople have no idea what it really take to run a blog, and you are so right, it’s not easy. Thanks for sharing! Big hugs xoxo

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66 Denise January 12, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Well, that needed to be said, and you did a great job saying it! Who knew it took so long to write a blog post! *wink* You make it look effortless! I am thankful for you, friend, and your willingness to be so transparent and honest.

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67 Angela January 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Edie, thank you! A friend told me about your blog over a year ago and since then I check in daily. I love how you share your love for Christ and how you open your heart for all to see. Your blog was the first blog I had ever read and it just so happen it was about the fire. My heart just broke for your family. Thank you for being transparent. So many times I’ve even printed and put your words in my bible as encouragement for later days. You make people feel welcomed, as if we know you personally. I love your design pages, your recipes and your everyday sharing . Ads or no ads your blog is amazing! Keep up the great work and letting Christ shine in your life.Again, thank you !!!

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68 Julia January 13, 2014 at 12:13 am

Edie-
You have made a tremendous difference in my life. THANK YOU! I am just crazy about you AND your whole family. I mean honestly, how on earth does one get so attached to someone you have never actually met in person and be so affected for the better by them? Almost unbelieveable when you think about it- I found you when Jeanne Oliver shared your post about why I won’t be reading 50 shades of grey. I’ve been hooked ever since. I had no idea the amount of work involved, however, I assure you, I just knew it was A LOT! A labor of love. We recently we through a personal tragedy on Christmas Eve morning. You are one of the people that came to my mind in the middle of that crisis. When your home burned. Your oldest girl bringing your younger daughter’s out to safety. I have been crying unexpectedly off & on ever since then. You have been a great comfort to me in these last almost 3 weeks. Thanks for writing this post and sharing with all of us- Thank you making me think- I will take more action-Much Love- Julia

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69 Jamie January 13, 2014 at 12:59 am

What an amazing post! It needed to be said and you did it amazingly.
Big hugs,
Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

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70 Pru January 13, 2014 at 6:21 am

Wow Edie! I never knew it took so much work to create this blog – I am so pleased that you put the work into it though as it is one of my favourites! And now I realise why I never kept up with blogging and gave up a year ago. I never mind ads on blogs, I don’t like it though when you can tell that something is an advertised post and it isn’t mentioned anywhere in the post, but you don’t do that so I love your blog even more!

Still think you should have spent the money from December on some boots!! ;-)

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71 Marty Walden January 13, 2014 at 7:40 am

Eloquent post and post on. I’m sharing it on my fb page. Non-bloggers have absolutely no idea how long it takes or how much work you do that doesn’t get paid. Thanks for being transparent.

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72 Amy Avery January 13, 2014 at 7:47 am

Good Morning Friend!
I agree with all that everyone here has said and I truly appreciate the time and effort that it takes to have a blog that is a real deal career. You create a space here that is very professional and extremely informative while at the same time staying true to the very essence of who you are. Your posts are always from the heart and speak directly to your readers as if you were having a live in person conversation.
I have a question to pose to you. I have been blogging for almost as long as you have. I began just as you did as a sort of online scrapbook of family happenings. Many of my friends did this. I still blog today because I enjoy it for me personally. In essence, blogging is my hobby and I am an amateur. The thing that I have been pondering lately is how do we encourage amateur bloggers to keep on blogging. There is a place for everyone in the blog world from amateur “hobby” types (like me) to professional career type bloggers. What I am seeing is that many of the blogs that I have always loved for whatever reason are not being published any more, or that some people think that to blog they have to become professional bloggers so they don’t even begin to try it. These are just observations on my part and one that I thought maybe you had pondered to. Blogging has become like any thing out there that has both professional full time experts doing them to those who use it as more of a creative hobby and pastime. Just thoughts to ponder.
I appreciate you and all that you do for every blogger from professional/full time bloggers to part-time/hobby bloggers. You are as always so awesome at everything you do!

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73 Kerri January 13, 2014 at 8:25 am

Wow! Thank you Edie for sharing so honestly what your blogging journey has been and the nuts and bolts behind what you do every day. On this side of the screen I had no ideas about how much time goes into your blog or the cost. Thank you for the transparency! It makes me even more appreciative of all of the energy you pour into your site. I will certainly try and share my love for your blog with others more, as I want you to be able to reach your goals and continue to blog and blog and blog! Best wishes to you!

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74 Carin January 13, 2014 at 8:59 am

Edie, thank you so much for your honesty and transparency. I realised a while back that non-bloggers have no idea how much time goes into writing and maintaining a blog. Nor do some bloggers out there. I so appreciate everything you do here. You inspire and challenge me with every post. xo

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75 Daisy January 13, 2014 at 9:14 am

Thank you for explaining and being transparent, Edie. All the best to you and your family. You give so much of value!

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76 Kelly January 13, 2014 at 9:31 am

I wrote a similar post on why I’m NOT a blogger: http://makinglemonadeblog.com/blogging-from-a-non-bloggers-perspective/

Thanks for all that you bloggers do!! From those of us on the “other side” of the screen! :)

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77 Terry A. January 13, 2014 at 9:33 am

Ads along the sides don’t bother me. I recognize them as ads, and can click on them if I want to.

I am bothered by advertising that creeps into the content, though, when it’s an obvious attempt by the blogger to generate more income – whether it’s trying to ride on the coattails of another blogger by referencing their recipe, for example, or a “new” post that is basically a series of links to past posts to get you to click around the blog, or a disguised product review – they turn me off as a reader. I don’t like being manipulated.

Honest advertising is fine! I appreciate the time and hard work it takes to provide good content. Thanks for that!

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78 Carolyn January 13, 2014 at 9:39 am

Good for you! I really love your blog and I know that you put enormous amounts of time into it. Anything this good requires a lot of time and thought. Thank you for inspiring us daily!

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79 kari January 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

Thank you for explaining the nitty gritty of how it all works. It has been such a mystery to me. I own my own consignment business, and I get asked all of the time why I take the percentage I do. I would LOVE to add a blog to my website and talk more directly to the community my business has created. Between you and Ruth and the knowledge you have shared (I have purchased both of your e-books and love them!) I think I might just be brave enough to try blogging. I have wanted to do it for so long! Thank you!!!

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80 Nan January 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

Edie, thanks so much for sharing what goes into an excellent blog like yours. I can tell that you’re a smart cookie, with a kind heart! I hope your work continues to go well!

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81 beverly January 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm

After reading each comment, I have decided not to do as first inclined – and that was to write a venomous diatribe to your opponents. If I was able to accurately read between the lines of your post, it appeared that you felt the need to respond to your critics. Well, shame on them!
I feel like all this white hair of mine – in addition to all my life experience entitles me to state the obvious: someone is jealous of your success. Those critics should be satisfied with your clearly written outline of the ‘nitty-gritty’ required to achieve that success.
Edie, you are exactly 3 weeks younger than my daughter and I want nothing more than the best for you both. Never let people with bad attitudes get you down.

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82 Suzy January 13, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I certainly appreciate your honesty and transparency. I can tell you put much time and LOVE into your blog but I know NO idea how much time and love and for not much money. I completely understand the need for ads and appreciate that your blog is not taken over by them. In fact, I rarely even notice them :) Keep on doing what you do oh-so-well. God has definitely gifted you and blessed you for using this gift. I have benefited from your wise words as well as your decorating/craft ideas. Thank you! Thank you!

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83 shar y January 13, 2014 at 1:26 pm

I have been following you since back in the house with the great turquoise cabinets. I had no idea, either, of the time and effort that went into making such an awesome blog. I will certainly do everything I can to support your blog. Love it and love your spirituality!

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84 Gina January 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Wow, I had no idea the time, hard work (I know prayer too :) ) and money you put into your blog. I appreciate it because I love reading your blog. It has always been one of my absolute favorites!!

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85 cc January 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm

hi Edie,
I’m French and I’m so glad I found your great great blog a few years ago. I love reading it, you’re so inspiring. Thanks for all the work you do : you love it, we love it to. Bye

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86 Julie January 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Edie,
Thank you, once again, for your honesty. I adore your integrity. All the prayer, research, and hard work show through in each and every post you lovingly present to us. I love that you are honored to do this work. It is apparent. Jesus is present @lifeingrace. Naturally, that is what draws me here. Thank you for being so willing to shine for Him.
Our society has a warped view of bloggers among many other vocations. You are worthy of being paid for your craft. I have a feeling big things are in store for you my sweet Sister. Keep on keeping on. You’re doing a fabulous job!

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87 Vicki Arnold January 13, 2014 at 4:16 pm

As a fellow blogger, I just wanted to take the moment to say thank you for this. Also, I am pinning and tweeting the article!

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88 Ofelia, from Mexico City January 13, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Im a Life in grace follower and I read every post but rarely comment. Today I wanna say thanks for your amazing job and huge effort to share it with us, Such inspiring and plenty of grace!

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89 jennybc January 13, 2014 at 9:36 pm

thank you for explaining what it takes to do this. there is a reason not everyone can do this. i appreciate the time, effort and most of all, your passion to do things with excellence. i have often felt that one of the ways we worship is to use the talents we are given with excellence. you do that well. while i may not comment often, i consider you one of my favorite bloggers. blessings to you! you add inspiration to my day.

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90 Patti January 13, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Wow…did you just educate me on blogging! I had no idea. Thanks for what you do…and others. I have a greater appreciation for sure.

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91 Christi January 13, 2014 at 10:36 pm

I am here… hat in hand, to apologize. I think I once left a comment fussing about the ads. Thanks for the perspective. We have two in college and one in private school, so I can definitely relate to the pinch of paying for education. I AM so thankful for the wisdom you share here… I would love nothing more than to invite you over, pour a cup of coffee, and sit across the table to chat, and ask you all sorts of questions. So, if you ever make it down to Texas, and would like a great cup of coffee and some even better antiquing… I’m your girl. xo

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92 Kathleen Jaeger January 13, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Thank you for sharing this. I missed this post when it came live — I took a small season away from computer due to life demands and missed this one. So I am glad that you linked to it in today’s blog post. And I mean when I say, thank you for sharing this, I mean thank you for sharing the nitty gritty of how much time and what you make, and eek out doing this compared to other full-time bloggers. This posts on calling, vocation, time, being with the kids, needed to help monetarily with the family so that I can stay home with the children. So thank you. This is helpful as I transition and try to make some money doing what I love, writing. I have much work to do…it feels like a long way to go. So thanks for the encouragement and the ways to continue to support others.
–Kathleen

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93 Terri | Sugar Free Glow January 14, 2014 at 6:53 am

I’m sure I’m not alone in realizing you are here sharing your stories, testimony and inspiration for a BIGGER purpose. YES–make money so you can keep doing it!

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94 Melanie January 14, 2014 at 5:32 pm

LOVE your work!! Thank you. <3

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95 Lisa T January 14, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Ads shmads! I love your blog and your heart! So thankful for your insight; your posts speak to my soul…. Oh and yes, you also introduced me to The Avett Bros! Amen Sister! Keep sharing and follow His lead…May He bless your blog mightily! 😘

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96 Katie Lake January 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

I am so happy to see such a sunshiney, happy, loving person be successful at some that makes others happy! I was going to suggest you do a shopping post about your favorite local places to shop (I’m not too terribly far from you and have totally happy-home jealousy) but then I realized everyone would follow suit and snatch up all the goodies ha! Seriously though, I your blog and your happy home that you let us take a peak into.

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97 Tomi Blevins January 16, 2014 at 6:18 am

I just love you! Your blog is my very favorite one!

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98 Marie at the Lazy W January 21, 2014 at 9:18 am

Edie I am commenting late but this post has been on my mind for days. Thanks for sharing the nitty gritty. It is fascinating and full of mystery to me, the business of making money blogging. So thank you. This information is somewhat private, and how wonderful of you to share it.

But what’s been on my mind is you. While I wish you wild success monetarily, and all the family dreams that will be fulfilled because of that, I hope you know your worth is far beyond the dollars and cents. I think you know that; just don’t forget. You would tell each of us the same exact thing. That even in those months when you work far longer hours than your paycheck shows, your worth is beyond rubies.

MUCH love and admiration from Oklahoma. Please keep up all this beautiful work. It is deeply appreciated.

xoxoxoxo

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99 christian lee designs January 26, 2014 at 8:43 am

Hey Grace,
Wow. I started my own blog back in Sept. and you are such an inspiration to me. I wanted to thank you. A HUGE thanks for writing this post and the behind the scenes with blogging.
I am a textile designer first, a home re modeler, and interior designer. The blogging I have decided to give it a try because I have a voice. But it is such a challenge to keep all the balls in the air.
I am a single mom of three boys and they are all in college now. So I decided this is my time to dream….
Keep doing what you do and I admire you for staying true to who you are.
Always,
Christian

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100 Valerie January 26, 2014 at 10:34 am

I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and think you are an amazing person. I’ve read books you recommended (C.S. Lewis), made your recipes (fudge, corn chowder), and followed your parenting advice. I wanted to come out of “lurkdom” and let you know I appreciate the work you do. Thank you!!!

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101 Sara January 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Thanks Edie for all your hard work. I know you weren’t fishing for comments with this post, but I really do enjoy all you do. I’ve read your blog for years and want to thank you for hanging in there and coming up with new ideas and not being afraid to share. Keep it up!

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