Monday

Curious About Blogs? How Bloggers Earn Money


Hi Friends


I wrote this post a month or two ago but was a little nervous about publishing it because I wondered if you guys would like it (I know it has nothing to do with design!)  BUT I have learned some very interesting things over the past 2 years of blogging so I thought I would share it.  Plus a new friend of mine Ann from OnSuttonPlace had her first linky party dedicated to sharing things we've learned about blogging......I guess it gave me that little nudge to hit the "PUBLISH" button. :-)

When I talk to my family and non blogging friends about my blog they are always saying, 

WHAT? How does all that stuff work? You mean when I click on those ads you earn money?  Do you sign up to advertise?  


They had absolutely no idea the “things” behind the blog.



So, if you at all interested, continue reading and if this sounds incredibly boring I promise to do a really fun interior design or craft post next!!!


First off, I can honestly say, I could probably make more money picking pennies out of a fountain then I would during the first 2 years of this blog! :-)

penny in fountain



I spend around 1-2 hours PER blog post I write.  So I spend an average of 3 hours a week just writing the posts not to mention the actual craft or project I did that may have taken me hours!  My guess is I spend around 10+  hours a week doing things related to blogging.  (I won’t even discuss the hours of trying to figure out HTML or Photoshop!  That’s just going to have to be its own separate thing cause it’s too embarrassing to tell you how many hours I have spent on that.) Open-mouthed smile


All to say though, I really do enjoy blogging.  If I just did it for the money I would have quit years ago.  I enjoy showing all my faithful readers the ideas and projects that come out of this brain of mine.  I also LOVE reading about other people's ideas and projects that are usually a combination of how I come up with my ideas in the first place!  For me blogs and blogging completely feeds the part of my brain that needs to be creative and I get excited and fulfilled making crafts or a room “sparkle”. 


blog plate hanger wall


On the other side of things, this blog does take time away from my family, and definitely time away from cleaning!  If my house is a disaster, and the kids running wild around the house, it’s because I’m writing a post!  I’m afraid they frequently hear “Can you just leave me alone for FIVE more minutes!!!  Dinner will be started when I FINISH THIS!!”   So I’m thankful for every one of you who enjoy my blog, and I hope you don’t mind if I put a few ads on the side with the hopes of making just a little bit of money. Also, I hope that the ads are for things you will thoroughly enjoy, and maybe even be able to get a discount on.


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So here is how I earn some money. Right now it just pays for a coffee or two, but some day, I think it would be wonderful to use this blog to help out with “real life.” 

ADS + BLOG =$


Some of you probably get annoyed that I have ads on my blog but maybe after reading this post you’ll feel better about it.  (I really hope you do!)

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When you click on those ads you see on my side bars (the ones that say AdSense in the corner and are always changing) I earn a few pennies every time they are clicked.  It slowly adds up.  So, when I am reading another bloggers post, and if I loved it and learned something from it, sometimes I’ll click an ad (that looks interesting) as a little thank youfor all the time and effort I know they put into the post.  Now I wouldn’t go CRAZY doing that, just click on things that truly interest you Smile  Google is pretty good about only putting ads on my site that pertain to d├ęcor, but  I have run across an ad or two on my blog that I do not like and I quickly will run over to my AdSense account and block that ad from showing up again.  (sorry if you saw an ad that was “iffy”, so far there was only one ad that I was completely surprised they put on my craft/design blog and I QUICKLY blocked it!)


That reminds me, if you receive a bloggers post via email, at the bottom of the email highlighted in blue, you can always click that to go directly to the post on the web.  If you do go to the actual post, a blogger gets credit for a true “page view” which in turn really helps a blogger earn money.  (The more page views you have on your blog, the more “pennies” you get when someone clicks on an ad!  Isn’t all this stuff crazy!)

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You can also put Affiliate ads on your blog.  These are stores/websites that you choose that you want on your blog and when a reader clicks on them and buys something you get 2%-7% (approximately) of the sale.  I think Amazon is the largest affiliate store out there.  Sometimes on a person’s blog they have a bar that says “Search for product on Amazon” and if you use that search bar to buy anything from Amazon that blogger gets a kickback!  I mean WHY NOT!  I’d be happy to send a buck or two to a blogger that I enjoy rather than have all my money go to The Big Guys.  Right?  I just started adding some affiliate ads on my blog and so far, have earned next to nothing, but I’ll give it some time.


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Sometimes on my blog you see highlighted words which are called Text Links that take you to one of my affiliates.  For instance, when I post a recipe, a lot of times on an ingredient that is hard to find I’ll put a link that has my affiliate code on it so that if you end up buying that product, I would receive a few cents. I almost always link with iherb.com because that is where I shop and I really LOVE their products and prices!  Like I mentioned before, I do not make a killing off this blog!  Here is a shot of my earnings this month off AdSense (the changing ads), you have to remember this is TWO years into blogging, and what you see below is a good month.


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Actual clipping from my AdSense account.


Another way some bloggers earn money is by hosting a giveaway for a company or doing a sponsored post.  (A post that promotes that particular company)  I have yet to earn money by doing a giveaway, but I usually do receive one of the giveaway items myself.  There are larger blogs that charge a LOT to do giveaways or sponsored posts.  I have to admit when I was just starting my blog and found that out, I was surprised.  It is a good thing to know though, as I have actually had some marketer people try to take advantage of my LACK of knowledge regarding sponsored posts.  If you want a shocker, see this post on Not Getting Conned for Sponsored Blog Posts!




Lastly, bloggers can have sponsors or companies that will pay monthly to have their specific ad on your site.  I always thought it would require that I set up invoices and bookkeeping and have to track each sponsor with how much they owe etc. BUT I just found a site that takes care of almost all the book keeping.  I was blown away and set up ads just this month.  It wasn't very hard, those that are computer savvy (this isn't me!) will have an even easier time.  PassionFruitAds - they are a new company, but growing FAST.  For a blog my size, (1200 email subscribers and 700 “followers”)  I am guessing I would charge around $20-50.00 a month to put up a specific companies ad on my site.   I believe some companies will contact you, but a lot of times a blogger would need to be pro-active and contact the company they enjoy and give them rates and all their blog statistics.


So I’m curious, has this post changed the way you think of ads on person's blog?

Were you shocked I earned money off this blog?  Or did you think I made a lot of money and were shocked I earned so little? 

Did you already know how bloggers earned money?  Would you discontinue following a blog if they have ads?  (and if so, why?)  I really want to know your thoughts!!! 


For other bloggers out there, is there something I missed? 

Wednesday

How to Cut a Mango! (And Make a Mango Avocado Salad)


I always LOVE eating a ripe juicy mango.  It is such a special treat for me and the kids.  (I have a hard time getting hubby to eat fruit, or vegetables….it’s horrible!)


Anyway, I have found some great buys on mangos lately (this must be mango season) Costco has been selling them by the case for around .70 cents each. 


Since I spent a month in the Philippines as a teenager I am the authority on cutting mangoes.  OK, I’m just joking about being the authority on mango cutting but I did spend a month in the Philippines!  Some of you might already know how to cut a mango, but for those that don’t, this is a fun way how to do it!   



blog how to cut a mango

            1. Slice sides off leaving the center with the seed (you can eat it separately)

            2. Deeply score horizontally and vertically (not all the way through!) the mango sides.

            3. Flip inside out and enjoy (my kids LOVE that part!)


And now I’ll get to a simple but delicious recipe my friend made me when she came to visit.  It might not be the prettiest thing you ever saw but I LOVED the mix of flavors and hope you guys get a chance to try it.

mango cruton salad


BALSAMIC MANGO AVACADO Salad: (on right)


Equal amounts of avocado and mango

Any type of croutons
(I like using Rosemary sea salt bread - cut into cubes, coat with a little bit of olive oil, and bake in the oven for a few minutes).

A splash of balsamic vinegar (to taste)

Mix everything together.
 
There you have it – a fun way to use seasonal mangos!

Selina    ~CreativeJuicesDecor~

Friday

Creative Juices Award - Painted Crate Furniture


One of the first people I "met" when I started my blog was Lauren from West Revival Furniture.  We keep in touch and I always have a laugh (she's quite funny!) when I visit her blog.  Stop by and say hi!

She got this glass crate for free at a garage sale.  For the top she used a collection of pallet pieces she torn apart.





And the AFTER!  Stained,painted and wheels added!







Ellie from Frog Goes to Market found this crate for 20 bucks at an antique store!  I love it how it is, but I think it would be fun to add steel wheels to the bottom.






Here is a really fun one from Design Sponge!  



And After!




I hope you enjoyed the crate edition of the:



Monday

Our Tuscan Themed Master Bathroom!

Master bathroom floorplans can be so tricky!   I am excited to show it to you all finished and decorated.  What we asked for was a separate toilet area, 2 sinks and a soaker tub. (And of course, the walk in closet) After a bunch of different ideas, we finally got all the qualifications we needed to fit on the plan. (We had a specific square foot amount we couldn't go over)


Here are the photos!

Below is a stenciled design (modello designs) I did on 4 large canvases and hung them on the wall.

blog rustic tuscan master bathroom 2


One of the things I’m really happy about is I knew from previous experience that unless there is a spot for shampoo (and all that fun stuff woman love) that it would be scattered all around the tub…..not the prettiest look.  I needed some bathroom organization or baskets planned somewhere!

So, I had them offset the tub to the left so that on the right I could put a decorative basket for all that “stuff: It has worked perfectly!  


blog rustic tuscan master bathroom

We had to SNEAK in this light above the tub because it would not have passed inspection to have a light there.  We had them do a “blank” and as soon as we passed inspection my wonderful husband put up this light with a dimmer!  Talk about a WONDERFUL bath!!!


decorated tuscan master bedroom 025


I know a lot of you have seen this clay art I made in past posts but for those wondering how to make their own, just click on over to see it in a tutorial.


Here is the granite and sink area.  You won’t believe that I found that mirror at ROSS!!! 


blog rustic tuscan master bathroom sink


OK, I just realized I didn’t take a photo of the toilet (oh the sadness!)  Well, it’s just to the right in it’s own room with a pocket door opening.  The shower is in there too…
… the walk in closet is behind where the swirly clay art is.  (Am I a slacker today or what!)

There you have it!!!  I believe I am coming very close to the end of all the finial decorated rooms in the house.  I suppose I’ll need to start up another project soon Smile

If you would like to know the Clay Colors I used you can see my post on American Clay in my home. If you would like a step by step tutorial showing you how to apply the clay just click on over :-)

Linking to Thrifty Decor Chick "show us your bathroom!"

AND Young House Love book challenge - this was project # 216 "stencil you wall"

More Landscape Ideas–Pergola or Trellis Inspirations!

On my last landscape post, I showed you guys some really fun Hydrangea and Peonies pictures.  Now I am going to show you some ideas I have for the outdoor pergola!


I have always loved vines, grape vines, wisteria vines, clematis vines, etc.  There is something so romantic about vines, maybe it’s that they just wrap around and cling to their “post”.  I don’t know, maybe that sounded weird….hee,hee.


I can’t wait to find some great outdoor lights to put up too…….it will probably look so blah though without a mature vine wrapping it's beautiful greenery.......OK enough of the vines and romance - ha!  Onto the photos!


Backyard lit with colorful electric lighting
Beatriz Da Costa Real Simple


Absolutely DREAMY! Don’t you just  love the chandler dropping down from the vines!



This doesn't look like wisteria, but it sure looked pretty.  Is there such thing as a peony vine?  Maybe this is just a rose vine?  I love it no matter what it is!

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Sigh.....Someday

House Beautiful


Who wouldn’t enjoy an eatable landscape! I think grape vines would be really fun to put on the pergola too.



HA!  I think I dream BIG!!! This is what my pergola looks like right now Smile  Someday it will be like one of the above photos…….someday.

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Do you guys have any vine recommendations – I live in North Idaho. (which I think is a zone 5)  I need it easy and something that is hard to kill. (A green thumb, I am not)  Open-mouthed smile

Friday

We Officially have Grass

It’s been a LONG, muddy and cold time waiting but we finally have grass!  In fact, my hubby just mowed it yesterday.  (Exciting stuff around here!)


blog rustic tuscan out back door purgula


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Duke patiently waiting for the hydro seed to take root Smile

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AFTER!
blog landscape grass 2


BEFORE
back of house 2


AFTER
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It makes me so happy though, our dog will not track in gobs of mud daily now (he’s an indoor dog….just uses the outside for all  his “business”)

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One step at a time!  I wish we could snap our fingers and have it all done but unfortunately money doesn’t fall from the sky when we snap our fingers Smile  Next year we’ll start planting some trees.  Can’t wait!

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Oh and my wonderful husband just put up three matching mailboxes!  One neighbor we know really well (his parents!) and the other neighbor was happy to have them all matching. 


blog landscape grass


Thanks for stopping by!
signiture CJD

Tuesday

Fun Easy DIY Child Birthday Cake Ideas


Over the years I have attempted to make a few extra special birthday cakes.  I’m not a cake decorator, but a mom that has fun trying something other than just frosting on a cake.  (And there are some years where they get just that!  A cake with frosting and a few candles put in!)

These were fairly easy so I hope you enjoy them and possibly get inspired to make one this year for your little one!  Linking up to YHL Katie’s, Renee and Emily - Pinterest Party (lots of cakes on pinterest!)

This was a "present" cake.  

Simply put on frosting, add dots of Spree Candy and a ribbon made of strawberry “fruit by the foot” fruit leather!






I saw this aquarium cake off some magazine and attempted to copy it.  I learned a lot AFTER it was put together but it still turned out pretty cute!




Blue tinted frosting

Black Licorice as trim of aquarium cake

Goldfish crackers with a dot of black piping (frosting) on them.

Tropical or lime “fruit by the foot” fruit leather cut out curvy for seaweed

Nerds Candy as the rocks

Mystery Flavored Airheads rolled out and shaped/cut  into the castle.  I didn’t roll it out thin enough so it started to sag because it was so heavy.  (roll it out THIN if you make this at home)

The bubbles were the Mystery Flavored Airheads just rolled into little balls and placed on the cake.
Fun cake – huh!


This cake is just funny.  I asked my son what kind of cake he wanted that year and he said, “I want a jelly bean cake!”  Well, I think what he really meant was he just wanted to be sure to eat jelly belly jelly beans on his birthday but the boy got himself a real Jelly Bean Cake anyway!


When you turn 6, you can blow gum bubbles, be ready for a game of Wii, (that’s the white thing in his hand)  and pose for a picture all at the same time!



The Duck Cupcake


This came from a fantastic cook book called:

What's New, Cupcake?

This duck was a lot of fun, but I wish I had watched their Ducky Master Class on You Tube before making this!  It would have turned out better.  Basically this consists of a cupcake, doughnut hole, half a marshmallow, microwaved yellow frosting and candy for eyes and beak.


This was by far my most ambitious and favorite cake I ever did.  Honestly, it was not hard, it just took some time.  Fondant is the key to making a cake look amazing.  You can buy it off the internet or at the craft store and pick up some fun fondant shapes and cutters.  For the handles, I just took a gob of yellow fondant and shaped it in to the handle and spout!  I stuck a toothpick in one end and inserted the other into the cake. 



I also made some cupcakes with the leftover flowers I had made.  Fondant lasts a long time so you could make up the flowers a few days in advanced and then just stick them on your cake when the special day arrives!





To get the round cake, all I did was use a oven safe bowl (pampered chef makes a great one) and made two of the cakes then put them on top of each other  to form a rounded cake.





   I hope this cake tutorial has inspired some fun cakes for your kids this year!


If you havn't read my post on Birthday Party Ideas - head on over and check them out!




Enjoy      

~ CreativeJuicesDecor~



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