Blogging & Monetization

I have been struggling a little bit with The Great Canadian Housewife. Not so much with content, well maybe a little, but more with just knowing where to start. I have exactly 20 posts since my first one in February this year. Most of those in April, May, and June I think, which is when I really started to get serious about it. As I said I am not really struggling so much with content, at least not yet, but I am sure that will come soon enough.

Right now my biggest struggles with it are driving traffic to it. Which I am doing somewhat okay at, but honestly I have nothing to compare it too as this one I never cared a whole lot or paid attention. It was more for me than for anyone else. Maybe that’s a bit selfish to say but it is a personal blog after all (this one).

I don’t care so much about SEO and that with this as I mostly just seek out other bloggers that I enjoy reading and comment on their blogs and probably 8 or 9 times out of ten they then come comment on mine. Which is sort of what I am doing with the other one, but I am not sure if that is the right way to go about it. It seems to be working okay but I am just not really sure.

I am struggling a lot with monetizing it and also with social media. Starting with social media I made a Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram account for the blog. Facebook was not too hard and I already have about 40 people following it but I am more active on Facebook than anywhere and most of those are my personal friends, a few bloggers, and some former work acquaintances. Not all of which are the right audience for the blog I don’t think,

I am unsure if I should narrow down my “niche” for it a bit more. It started as a place for me to share my “learn to be a housewife” kinda lifestyle I am sort of now living. But let’s face it, I suck as a housewife lol. I still love the name though and it still sort of fits so now I am trying to make it a product review (household products, beauty products, cleaning products, etc), book review, crafts, recipes, DIY, etc type of blog which I guess could fall more under “lifestyle” maybe?

I want to do some sponsored posts, mostly about makeup, haircare, skincare, bath & body, and those kinds of products as well as cleaning and household supplies, gardening, etc. So yeah, basically “housewife” type stuff. As well as some book reviews. I found a good site for that where I can get free books (popular newer ones at that) in exchange for reviews. I don’t get paid but I spend a lot on books so it seems a fair trade-off.  I am struggling though on how to start out with getting my first few sponsored posts. I joined some influence/sponsored post networks but they either have nothing, or it’s crap for lack of a better term, or I don’t qualify.

I did get one person email me and ask me to collaborate with her brand (hair wigs) in which she wants me to do 2 posts, shared to social media and a banner for 3 months on my page all for $12 US. I’m not a genius but even I know that’s too low. I am not afraid to reply back and say that but I am unsure even remotely on what to ask for for that. Not to mention I have never worn a wig in my life and will not lie so I am wondering what exactly the post entails. She has not mentioned trying a wig or anything like that and her wigs are expensive so I can understand.

I am okay with doing a post where I do some research maybe and write a post about it and link to her site but I won’t be saying I have tried one of the wigs when I haven’t. She’s not offering up a lot of info and I am not sure where to start to ask. I would love to collaborate but I am just unsure where myself and my blog would fit in in that scenario and don’t honestly really know how to ask.

I know my lack of knowledge and inexperience could become an issue when trying to get a sponsored post but you have to start somewhere right? And I am good at researching and have been trying to gather as much info about monetization and sponsored posts as I can. If anyone has any knowledge I would be more then thankful if anyone wants to share. I need a mentor lol.

I keep getting directed to these online courses that sound too good to be true in the groups and things I am in and I refuse to pay $300 for something that could literally be a flop or “scam”, not to mention I am broke as hell again and we are living off of Eddie’s part-time job and my student loan so I couldn’t afford it if I wanted too.

One last thing I am struggling with is affiliate links/banners. I did not want to go with Google Adsense for one because I want control over the ads I put on my site and only companies I either have dealt with or research and two because I can’t seem to get approved by them for some reason anyways even though I keep following all instructions. So I joined Rakuten Affiliates, CJ Affiliates, and Amazon Affiliates and figured out how to use it as far as banner ads on my site or pointing to specific things with their link codes but I am not getting any clicks, not one single click. Some impressions but no clicks. Not sure what I am doing wrong there either.

Sorry, this post got long, so I am going to end it here. Hopefully, I can figure this all out. And juggle school at as well. I so badly want to make this work in the long run for some additional income, not expecting miracles or anything but just a little extra every few months would be nice.

Note To Self

Don’t play with your WordPress theme at 2 a.m. because you can’t sleep. You are bound to mess it up, or worse yet, accidentally delete it altogether. I guess it’s about time I started from scratch anyway. For now I am going to have to find something to use until the weekend…

I Want To Be Hopefull

covid, covid-2019, covid-19

This is going to be another all over the place post and it’s a bit lengthy because once I start sometimes I can’t stop. I think at this point my mind has just decided that it’s shutting down partially to protect me from the emotional side of things. I am doing okay, happy even, sometimes really happy but at the same time, I am really struggling at the same time. I honestly don’t know how to process these past 5 months. To say they have been a mix of the best and the worst of times would be an understatement and COVID-19 is just a small part of it for me (for us). And yet, I am okay. I just need to process things in my own time and just not let the emotions bottle up, which I have not been doing, maybe a bit on this blog but not really.

On Friday the Nova Scotia government announced loosening up on some of the restrictions in place. It seems to me that they are taking it really slow and watching to see how it goes, which I think is a good thing, the whole learn from other’s mistakes and all that. Previously they had re-opened the provincial and municipal trails but that was pretty much it. That was more than a few weeks ago I believe, to be completely honest time seems to be both standing still and racing forward and the weeks seem to bleed into one another at the moment.

Starting yesterday they are allowing two households to join up (two household “bubbles” is the term, I am not sure if this is a Canadianism or not) to hang out at one house or the other without social distancing providing that they are mutually exclusive and do not join up with more than one household. There are still fines for violating social distancing in place and will be for a while I’m sure. It seems multiple provinces are doing this now. Which is good. I think. Honestly, I don’t know anymore.

Overall, I feel as if both Edward and I have been handling the whole COVID-19 situation okay considering, It’s everything else that we haven’t been handling well. This has been 5 months of pure hell for everyone I know, for everyone who lives in my province or has any connection with it and some of that hell is a little personal. I had some major issues with depression and anxiety even before this hit with COVID-19. It’s no wonder though. It started with the car accident in October and spiraled from there. If you had asked me at the end of 2019 if I thought 2020 could be any worse than the end of 2019 I would have said no. And I would have been so so wrong. Yet, there have been some really great times thrown in there as well. Some real breakthroughs for me as well.

This was taken last year when we were camping on my parent’s property.

I am looking forward to going to the beach. I don’t even have to worry about crowds as we have beachfront property access on the St Mary’s Bay. This is something I am looking forward to, it keeps me going, keeps us going, keeps us all going. I have never gone swimming there (not on that side but I have on the side of Digby Neck), just gone walking when the tide was out in the wet sand. It was one thing I really enjoyed about last summer and I am looking forward to it again. We can camp, we can swim, wade, walk, and beachcomb. I have never loved Nova Scotia more then I do right now and I have loved it here since day one. I will love it to my very last breath I imagine.

My parents seem to be dealing with everything for the most part as well. It’s been hard for everyone, my brother especially. My mom is in good spirits and was keeping herself busy knitting and with crafts and DIY projects. My dad has had a harder time, mostly because of pain and weakness from a herniated disk and pinched nerve in his back. He is awaiting surgery for it. No telling when that will happen, but he has been gardening when he can, cleaning up down at the beach and camp (about a 1km walk from the house through woods behind the backyard) and just generally switching between puttering around and trying to stay active and sleeping and resting when he needs too. Other than that it’s hard to tell with him. He keeps things to himself, always has. He’s loving and caring, but just likes his privacy and doesn’t complain much.

They were both excited to see me yesterday and today. Mom and I bought a Cricut Explore Air 2 yesterday and we played around with it a bit yesterday and today. We did the above glass as a test just to see what we could do with it, my parents are renewing their vows next year down at the beach and my cousin who owns the property is planning it (she lives in Connecticut) and mom and I are going to make her dress and all the decorations. We did everything for our wedding as well. I absolutely love the Cricut. There is so much you can do with it!

That’s been our weekend mostly. I felt bad for Edward because he worked both days, he’s off tomorrow though, it’s Victoria Day, a holiday in most provinces. He’s also off Thursday and then this coming Saturday as well. We are going to spend some time with mom and dad and my brother tomorrow and on Saturday we were planning on going to a local trail for a hike as it’s something we can actually do now, all day-use provincial parks are open so long as we still distance when we come into contact with anyone. It’s one we’ve never been to before called Mickey Hill Provincial Park and it’s less than 10 minutes away and it opened for the season yesterday at 8 a.m.

We need to get out after everything going on so far this year. It’s been a bad one, not just COVID-19 but more everything else that’s been going on as I mentioned above. It’s been a devastating year for us, for all of us. I don’t think there is one person that I know that has not been affected by the events since Jan 1st. In January our dentist was killed when her plane was shot down outside Tehran in Iran. Nova Scotia, more specifically Halifax lost a number of people in that incident, mostly professionals and students.

Then after that the events in April with the mass murder in Portapique in which someone with ties to our family was killed as well as 22 other people (I did not know them personally but honestly it was so horrible that everyone is dealing with it) and then the military helicopter crash off of Greece that killed 6 all of which most had a tie to Nova Scotia, some were from here. May 6th and the days and week’s following were devastating again as a 3-year-old from Truro went missing and has not been found and then today, we’ve had another tragedy for the province. One of the Canadian Snowbirds (an aerobatics team) planes crashed during their country-wide tour in support of the victims of the previous 2 incidents I mentioned. It crashed near Kamloops, BC, and one of the pilots was a Nova Scotian from Halifax. It’s just been non-stop.

So, yeah, basically I am done with the first half of 2020. I know it’s not technically till the end of June, but I am done with it now. I am ready to move on and make the rest of the year more positive, find the positives in as much as possible. I am not worried about this as I know I’ve got this, but it’s hard all the same. I just feel like the rug has been pulled out from under my feet and I am falling and falling. I know I am not the only one though and that keeps me going. I know my family and friends and strangers are suffering just as much as I am. COVID-19 is just an added insult to the misery that has been 2020 so far.

And that is why I need to keep looking on the bright side, wherever that is… not really finding it right now sitting here with tears streaming down my face as I think of all this while my husband sleeps on the couch at 1:30 a.m. but whatever, it is what it is. He’s always here for me and me him so I am not worried about that either. We are solid and that brings me some relief. I should really wake him up though and go to bed.