Once upon a time ago, I knew nothing about blogging or working online from home.
That honestly feels like another lifetime ago. Still, somedays I honestly can’t believe I do make an honest living working from home blogging and/or designing.
Back though when I did make this conscious decision I literally jumped head first. I also had no idea what this job entailed. Nor did, I think it would last.
Around this same time, I was on unemployment and disability for losing my job when I was pregnant with second.
I can recall actively searching for a teaching job through online job sites. The ad for Hubpages seemed too good to be true to be paid for writing from home. At first, I ignored it But having trouble finding a more permanent job position, after about a week I caved and clicked through to that same ad. See it was a way to pass the time with two babies under the age of two in my home.
I wrote for Hubpages for a few months making very little in the way of ad income. See this is how sites like that operate making off the ads they run in your writing articles.
Around this time, another writer suggested blogging. Here comes a huge confession…
I knew absolutely nothing about blogging or even how to start up a blog.
So, I took that suggestion with a grain of salt. But my curiosity got the better of me. I did a Google search to find out more. Something made me make that leap. I would be lying if I said I can recall exactly what it was that did push me. But still, I created my own blog.
[clickToTweet tweet=”How did I start blogging? That is the question. I share the back story here. Check it out. And if you are a blogger share with me how you got started, as well. #FTSF” quote=”How did I start blogging? That is the question. I share the back story here. Check it out. And if you are a blogger share with me how you got started, as well. #FTSF” theme=”style1″]
Those early days of blogging found me writing mostly about being a young mom to my babies. I overshared their cuteness, funny tales and pretty much anything from those front lines of being a mom to two young baby girls.
Slowly I found myself getting offers from small unknown companies to write and get paid for reviewing their products and/or services.
This was over 6+ years ago. My babies are no longer babies. My oldest is on her way to 9 years old this summer. My youngest turned 7 last Thanksgiving. Those early days of blogging are also long gone. So much has changed. The face of blogging has even changed.
But still here I am a wife, mother, blogger, writer and designer. I wear many hats on many different days. I also don’t blog as much about the most personal for my kids as they are indeed growing up. Therefore, my life is growing and my blogging is evolving.
But even as crazy and hectic as my days and nights can be, I honestly wouldn’t trade my decision back all those years ago. Why? Because it has afforded me so much. I not only have been able to make money with this venture. This money has not only helped paid for the not-so fun bills.
But also has given us the opportunity to enjoy some great family vacation memories. I mean, we are only a few short months out of yet another Disney Family Vacation this summer. This will be the 4th summer in a row that we have spent in Disney. Plus our 5th trip in 4 years having gone twice last year!
A huge added bonus is all the amazing networking opportunities and virtual friends, I have made along the way. You know who you are and I couldn’t imagine not knowing these amazing people. Some I have had the pleasure of meeting in real life. Others, I hope we will very soon still. And even if I don’t meet some ever face-to-face, I still feel like we are truly blessed to work alongside each other.
So, to answer that original question, “To Blog OR To Not Blog?” I think I can sum it up perfectly. Six years flew right by and I hope to be doing this for another 6 years still.
**Side note this was originally published under “The Hardest Choice I Ever Made“. I reworked and edited it for this week’s FTSF with Kristi and Kenya. See the concept was to either re-publish or re-work an older blog post. I chose this one as I have gained many new readers to my blog since I originally shared this back over 5 years ago in 2013. So for those newer here, this explains how I became and why I began my blogging journey. For those who followed my blog from those early days, pretty sure you might recall the back story. But still happy to take the walk down memory lane here.
How long have you been blogging for?
What made you start blogging?
Now, share with us here…
It’s funny because I had another blog post in my inbox this morning (not part of this linkup) about how the face of blogging has changed…for a while it seemed that people have been relying on social media more to post their thoughts, etc., but he (the blogger) feels there has been a return to blogging because people want to “own” their connection to their audience and it is also a great way to become better at your craft and show your own creative growth. I suppose that’s why I still do it, although not nearly as frequently as I used to. I admire how far you’ve come Janine — it’s been great to watch you evolve and experience success since those early days!
Thank you, Emily for saying that. I really do love blogging and wouldn’t quite know what to do with myself if I was doing something blogging related at this point. That said the face is yet again changing indeed for blogging. For me though, I admit I can’t always overshare as much as I once did for my girls as they are no longer babies. While I still do share them here, I do it in more a subtle way now to respect that they are indeed their own persons growing up now (if that makes sense).
William Holland says
I still remember your first days at HP, and we’ve been friends ever since. I love it! So many good people,all because of HP and blogging!
The weekend is here…let’s go have some fun,Janine!
I love it, too and so glad we are still such good friends. I also agree about those from HP and many also following the blogging path, because of it, too. Have wonderful weekend, too now 🙂
It is great that you were able to make a career of it all. Impressive.I wish I had that motivation.
Thanks Vickie and honestly still quite amazed at how blogging can indeed become a way to make a living.
Peggy M McAloon says
I’ve been blogging for about four years now. After retirement, I decided to write a story about a young girl who could inspire our daughters to kindness and inspire them to stand up to the social injustices that surround them daily. I was horribly abuse as a child, and my only form of escape from a world I could no longer deal with was in the form of fantasy stories. The blog is intended to provide hope for anyone who is struggling with life and to highlight the books in the Elle series.
What a wonderful reason to indeed blog and thank you Peggy for sharing here with me, too! 🙂
I am glad you are still blogging! I see you are doing a lot more recipes lately, which I’m sure readers and advertisers enjoy!
Thank you so much, Dara and truly so happy that you are still blogging, too my friend 🙂
Meredith Spidel says
I love the picture of you and Kathy!!! And so fun to look back on these memories and think about where this journey has taken us!
Aw, I love that pic, too and couldn’t resist including it here today. And I know truly loved looking back thus far on the journey in all honesty 🙂
Kenya G. Johnson says
I always think it’s an interested story of how bloggers came to be. It’s sad though that it was hard for you with a education and experienced teacher to be unable to find a job. But I’m glad this avenue has been worth it for you.
Aw, thanks Kenya and I sometimes do wonder “What if” with teaching if it had turned out differently. But then I do feel blessed by what I was able to do with blogging. So I guess as they say, “Everything happens for a reason.”
Yay, I’m so happy to hear you make a living working at home. It so rewarding. I fell into blogging and I’m so happy I did. My writing has improved these last few years, which is helping propel me into freelance writing. I’ve also met some amazing people while blogging. People I’ve actually met and spent time with, and truly enrich my life. I hope you keep blogging for 6 years and more 🙂
Thank you, Mary and so happy to hear blogging has helped you so much, too in your life, as well 🙂
Kristi Campbell says
I’m so glad you started blogging and that I did, too. I didn’t know anything about blogging and haven’t done a good job of making money with it but that’s mostly because I’m lazy with accepting sponsored posts and all that. You rock at that and I’m glad I know you. Thanks for linking up!
Aw, Kristi I am so glad you starting blogging, too as you are most definitely one of those that I couldn’t imagine not knowing. I am also so happy we did get to meet IRL even if it was just briefly at BlogHer a few years back. And as always happy when I can link up with you, too 🙂
I remember the first post of yours that I read! It was about “Blurred Lines” and we bonded with Lanaya. Before that, I thought you didn’t like me! I remember seeing you through SITS and FB and thinking you were way too cool for me!
Now I still think you’re cool but I know we’re on the same level of cool because we’re twins.
Omg, I just adore you and have for as long I can recall. I can’t ever recall not liking you btw and just so glad we did finally get to know each other better through the Blurred Lines post. Since then though, you have always been my twin for life now!! 🙂
Pat B says
I loved learning how you began blogging. It is fun to learn the whys and the hows of beginnings. If it were not for one of my daughters who had already began blogging, I would never have even thought I could do this. She encouraged me, and although it seemed like such a “not a good time” for me to take on such an adventure, I am so glad that I did.
Love that your daughter got you into blogging and thanks for sharing with me, too Pat 🙂
This is year five of blogging, and the second year doing while I have a full time job. So, obviously, my blog is not a source of income. But it is, as you said, a great connector! I so appreciate the people I’ve met and when our story is shared.
I love the connections through blogging and honestly couldn’t agree more with you on that 😉
Where did the years go?!! I distinctly remember the small humans that you would reference in most posts, when I first met you.
You were, in fact, one of the first ‘real’ bloggers to comment on the Doctrine, something that always meant (and still does) a lot. And somehow, (to paraphrase Pink Floyd), ‘then one day you find, five years have got behind you’.
Glad we met.
Aw, Clark always so grateful and thankful, too that we met through blogging, as well 🙂
Katherines Corner says
I love this post my darling friend. Because you blog it allowed us to form a truly cherished friendship. I’ve been blogging “regularly” for about 8 years. I love everything about blogging and the amazing friendships that I have mad. It has been such a joy watching your girls grow up to strong and healthy and absolutely love just like their Mother. xoxoxo
Katherines Corner says
rates type-o made not mad…
Katherines Corner says
I am laughing pretty hard now…rats not rates….
Aw, your comment seriously made my heart swell and so happy we are indeed such great friends always!!! <3
AnnMarie John says
I have been feeling this a bit differently than you. In other words, to blog or not to blog, that is the question, and right now I’m thinking of hanging up my hat and getting out of the game. Lately I’ve just been so overwhelmed and all motivation has gone out of the window. I’ve been turning down opps left and right because my blogging fire has burned out. I’m currently taking a break but I haven’t forgotten all my blogging buddies, and I’m hoping to actually meet you one of these days. Maybe this summer?
Maybe this summer and hoping you don’t give up blogging. But do understand nonetheless if that is your choice. Trust me I get it and somedays it is nothing short of crazy here and have had those brief moments. But I always come back to this and as long as I do this is where I can most certainly be found 🙂
Diane Roark says
You found your niche with blogging and have done well. I am so proud of you for all that you accomplish am very excited you will be headed back to Disney this year. You need it after experience a TERRIBLE winter.
Thank you, Diane and honestly glad blogging has allowed us to find our friendship here, too!! 🙂
Christine Carter says
Janine, from day ONE since I met you online- you have amazed me with your blogging career. You are such a talented and hardworking writer and you have NAILED this gig with ALL you have accomplished. I am so incredibly impressed and inspired by you. I wish I could follow in your footsteps, but girl, you don’t walk- you FLY like no one else in the blogosphere. I don’t know how you do it all- and manage to do it all SO WELL… I’m in awe of you, always.
I’m so grateful we connected. You have been such a huge support to me, and I LOVE our friendship- and hope someday we can hug each other IN PERSON!
Aw, Chris what can I say, but thank you seriously from, the bottom of my heart for all the kind words here. And I also truly value our friendship. Many hugs right back at you!! 🙂
Haa, those early days at HP. I still have lots of articles over there that help pay for other things but I turned to blogging like you. Alas, I started over at the end of 2016 – about a year and a half ago – and I’m evolving, too. It is different now, and with it the things we can do with it. Congrats on getting those early sponsorships and interests from other companies. It’s fun to see the trajectory of a fellow blogger. 🙂 Sending you big hugs and wishes for a fantastic week!
Aw, what can I say, but thank you always again my friend. Many, many hugs to you!!!! <3 <3