I Sold Out and Made Like $4.50

I used to think that I wanted to blog full-time.

And by that I mean I wanted to figure out the secrets of all these bloggers who were somehow able to make six figgies by cranking out a couple of blog posts each week.

What I learned after lots and lots of research is that there are a few basic ways to make really good money as a blogger:

  • Sell a product
  • Sell a course
  • Offer a service, like coaching
  • Run ads, but also get an ungodly amount of views each month

Aaaand here’s the issue with that.

I don’t really “make” anything. Crafts freak me out.

I’m not necessarily an expert at anything (unless you’re tryna figure out how to craft a snarky and, like, not-that-professional blog post, in which case I’ve got you). But cut me some slack, guys. I’m 22, and I haven’t even been 22 that long. That’s right, you missed my birthday, but I’ll find it within myself to forgive you.

And I’m not a coach by any stretch of the imagination.

So, I decided to try out ads. I found a website that would put ads on my blog and let me make some money for free. The caveat was that I wouldn’t see any money until I made $25.

$25 didn’t seem like that much to me. I mean, if other bloggers were out here making a livable income, surely it wouldn’t take that long for a little gas money to come through from Jenna Lynn Martin Dot Com.

I put a couple of ads on the site and started watching the dough roll in.

You know, I totally could have lived off of the money I was making.

As long as I could find a way to live off of…

Are you ready for the number?

Around $2 every month.

On the way to that number, I changed absolutely everything about this website. I started learning about SEO and keywords and social media marketing. The posts I wrote were molded by specific keywords that I thought would get more visitors and clicks. I put lots and lots of hours into color schemes and fonts and mission statements.

Basically, I sold out.

And then, after around 2 months of feeling guilty about making you guys look at ugly ads on here so that I could make enough money for one half of a coffee each month, I took the ads down. All in all, I’d made about $4.00. Which means, if you remember what I told you earlier, I came out on the other side with $0.00.

All that time devoted to trying to monetize this thing, coupled with absolutely no ROI, burned me out a little. Over the last couple of months I’ve maybe typed “wordpress” into the search bar three times, and it’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted.

That gave me a chance to get some space and come back with fresh eyes…

And it made me realize something.

This blog literally has the same name as me and yet, it feels NOTHING like me. The faith posts are way too “perfect Christian,” and the other posts feel like some wannabe Youtuber posted them as a side project.

(I’m allowed to roast myself, okay? Okay. Don’t @ me.)

So, first of all, I’d like to apologize. If you are awesome enough to make this blog some kind of consistent feature in your life, you deserve better than that. You deserve real life, and maybe even…a real person behind the words?

Wow, groundbreaking. 

It’s ironic, since “authentic” is a buzzword I actually use on here quite a bit, and it’s so important to me in real life.

So why is my writing not reflective of that?

My theory is that it’s because I got so bogged down early on in turning this website into a business (a term I’m choosing to use loosely). I forgot why I started blogging in the first place: to enjoy writing, tell some stories, and share pieces of my life with whoever wanted to listen in.

So here’s what you can expect from me going forward, if you consistently look at this blog.

1. Posts about Jesus

First and foremost, this website was supposed to be a place for me to share my open Jesus journal with the world. I get the sense that most of you are here for that anyway.

But, let me tell you, I’m not a perfect person. In real life I’m super sarcastic and sometimes I even…*gasp*…cuss. I haven’t been to seminary and I’m not interested in debating theology.

If you have a faith question that’s really bothering you, of course you should feel more than free to contact me and I’ll try to find out some answers (or at the very least, topical scriptures) for you. I already love you for spending enough time reading my posts to consider me a spiritual information source, and I so want to help you out.

But, let me reiterate to the void real quick, I Am Not Interested In Debating Theology (an autobiography by Me). There are people out there who are, so let me know if what you’re after is a good debate and we can see about getting you in contact.

I want every post I write to reflect who I am in real life, including the ones about Jesus. That’s kind of the point of this whole blog. So I’m done with the cut and dry theology and the “perfect Christian” feel.

2. Funny stories

This blog definitely isn’t funny enough. My favorite hobby is making people laugh, so we need to see about getting you some funny stories on here stat. I have 22 years’ worth of awkward encounters to air out to the world. They’re starting to grow mildew.

3. Things I’ve Learned

I want to continue the trend of helping out the girls who are trying to navigate that strange and terrifying and beautiful time of life that is college. That said, I’m probs going to stop focusing so much on making these kinds of posts SEO-friendly (translation for all you non-content-marketing people: easily findable on Google) and focus instead on telling some good stories and giving you some good takeaways in the process.

Because, again, I forgot that one of the main original goals of this blog was to simply have a place to write. I don’t want to write bullet points or lists–I want to write stories. The fact that they are true and (hopefully) relatable and helpful should just be the icing on the cake.

4. My Personal Journey

I’m at a strange crossroads in my life right now. In 4 months I will be done with college, and in 5 months I will be done with Texas and pretty much everything I currently know. I’m about to start a career in marketing, and for now I’m working at my favorite coffee shop in the world that fills every day with interesting and wonderful people.

I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I can’t wait to write about it.

5. Whatever the hell I want.

I’m not going to confine myself to those first 4 things, though. Something I’ve learned about myself this year is that I burn out when I feel trapped or stifled. I don’t know what this blog is going to be like in a year, I really don’t. When I first started it 4 years ago it was a vegan cooking blog.

I

just

don’t

kn o w.

But my goal is to keep it a helpful, or at the very least entertaining, place you can click over to when you’re bored at work.

Alright, enough about this.

I feel like that’s a pretty good foundation for where this thing is heading. Or, more accurately, hurtling. Like a meteor into the nothing-filled void of space. But it’s my meteor hurtling into the nothing-filled void of space.

Shout out to my Boulder kids who are definitely going to make fun of me for this blog’s existence. Love youuuuuu.

Until next time.

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