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.

Introducing The Great Canadian Housewife!

I’ve mentioned on this site in passing back in March that I was working on a new project. A blog for me to separate things such as recipes, product reviews, crafts, and a lot more from this blog as I want to keep this as more of a personal journal-type blog. I’d like to introduce The Great Canadian Housewife! I have finally gotten it to where I want it and starting to work on monetizing it. I think I have also mentioned before that I really wanted to sort of turn blogging into a job. Well, since I am going back to school and taking web development I figured this would just be another project that would provide me with experience and give me another project to work on.

Initially, I had planned to create my own theme for it but when I was looking around for ideas I stumbled upon the theme I am using for it in on a blog in a post for free WordPress themes. I sometimes will download a theme, play around with it and see what I can do with it, mainly for practice and inspiration but once I got in there and started customizing it a little I realized it turned out perfectly the way I wanted it so I figured for now why spend the time making one from scratch when it works perfectly. Eventually, I will but for now, I actually ended up really liking the theme. It has some elements in it I really like and am not able to re-create myself (for now).

The name, The Great Canadian Housewife came to me one day when I was trying to come up with a domain name and project and I was thinking about shows and thought about The Great Canadian Race and I wanted the blog to be themed towards being a housewife, maybe one day a mother, and about all the fun things you can do right in the comfort of your own home and the name came to me while I was thinking about it and I fell in love with it and registered it that night. The only bad thing I would have to say about it is the length but at the same time, it’s pretty easy to remember.

Obviously the blog has “Canadian” in it because I am Canadian (and frankly I didn’t think about using Nova Scotia) but you don’t have to be Canadian to enjoy it. It’s for everyone!

So please go visit, comment and let me know what you think of The Great Canadian Housewife!

I feel like I’ve lost all control

This is not necessarily only about diabetes but my depression and anxiety too, that being said diabetes is such a frustrating disease! Just when you feel like you are getting somewhere and you are proud of yourself something happens and it all goes to shit. I’d like to blame being at home but really I can’t, that should be one of the times I have more control, not less. I’d like to say I am eating the same things as I was when I was out working but again I can’t, I’m not. I do eat a lot of the same things. But now I have free access to everything in the fridge and the cupboards and though sometimes I am not even hungry other times I feel constantly hungry. It’s a little hard to explain, to be honest. I think honestly it’s more mental than physical.

Since childhood, I’ve always just been a creature of habit. I get into habits easily. Even if it makes no sense. I don’t get great pleasure out of food usually. I’m not huge on tastes or textures, in fact, a lot of textures turn me off. I’m sensitive to smell. I won’t eat certain food just because of the smell. When I was little I survived on Kraft dinner and bread and water. I would not eat anything else. It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I even tried pizza and then I would only eat cheese and pepperoni. I got used to some of the dishes my parents made in my pre-teens and teens such as spaghetti, sheppard’s pie, tacos, scalloped potatoes, and ham or bologna but I was very limited. No matter how much they tried I would not eat anything else.

In my teens, I started trying other things, got hooked on Pepsi and root beer, pizza, chicken nuggets, fries, and other things. Typical teen things. Again though, I would not try anything else. If my parents got Chinese I would eat plain steamed rice and soya sauce. Eventually, I took a liking to ginger beef but even now that’s the only Chinese takeout food I will eat.  I can’t handle spicy. I started eating stew in my 20’s and fajitas. Everything though I liked rather plain. I was never a fan of sauces, spices, or anything like that. Imagine eating spaghetti with nothing but margarine and maybe a little sprinkled parmesan? Or a hamburger with nothing on it. Eventually, I started adding bacon (my go-to now) but otherwise, I wouldn’t eat much. Even veggies it was simply corn, carrots, or cucumber. Greens I would only eat romaine or head lettuce. Fruits it was apples, oranges. Berries it was simply strawberry or raspberries.

Over the last few years, I have really opened up my tastes and started trying things I wouldn’t even consider before.  I had started eating more veggies and trying new ones, same with fruits and greens. I started liking more varieties of stuff and was getting more adventurous. I have never been much of a cook but Edward likes cooking. I do know how. It’s not that. I even know a lot of the recipes my parents used off by heart but I would walk him through it rather than doing it myself. I guess I had no confidence in myself and still don’t. Sometimes I think it has to do with depression and anxiety as well though. The anxiety makes it so I get overwhelmed, frustrated, and then anxious really easily. I see this a lot with every day things like cooking, cleaning, and other household chores. I also don’t like going into the grocery store alone. The selection intimidates me. Trying to turn recipes or meal ideas into a grocery list overwhelms me.

Anyway, I had been doing really good with drinking more water, only diet pop occasionally and cutting back on sweets, eating veggies and fruits and we were making (well, Eddie really) meals up ahead of time so we had leftovers and using my freestyle libra I was getting decent results with my blood sugar. Now I just seem to have lost all control. I eat what I like when I like again. I drink more diet pop or even sometimes regular rather than water. We don’t make meals up ahead of time much anymore. We don’t by veggies or fresh meat much. I guess some of that can be blamed on supply which is a little rough right now but I know that even with exercise and eating semi-decent foods I can get my sugars back under control.

Mentally though I am having a hard time rallying myself and getting things back under control. I feel a bit lost actually. In so many ways. Some of it has to do with things going on right now all around the world but it started way before this. It started about the time I stopped working. It was such a big setback to me at the time and I still haven’t quite got over it. I have things that I feel like I should be able to do easily that seem such a big struggle, like cleaning and cooking. I’ve never been big on either but I did it out of necessity. Maybe having someone else around is fostering laziness in me that was already there? Not sure.

One thing I was really proud of this past month was the fact that I lost 20lbs, but looking back on it I realized that I was kind of cheating myself because I did not lose it due to good control, healthier eating, exercising, etc., instead, I lost it because I was extremely sick at the beginning of the month (again). I didn’t want to eat anything, I wasn’t eating anything, I had constant bouts of diarrhea and slept 20 hours a day or more with whatever it was that I got. Add antibiotics to that which caused more issues and it was easy to lose 20lbs in about 3 weeks. In less then a week I have gained 5 back. So yeah, I really can’t take credit for that. One good thing though is the 20lbs lost made a big difference in my pain. So I need to grab onto that, grab onto the way it made me feel good and work on losing more, getting healthier both physically and mentally, and really concentrating on school so that this is not another missed opportunity.

Speaking of that, I have school starting in a month. I registered my courses and have my list of courses for the semester. I got my school email account all set up. I’ve been doing some prep work to ensure I don’t get stuck or lost in my courses, but not as much as I would have liked. I’ve stalled there a bit too, which scares me. I feel like my biggest issue right now is my loss of control on so many aspects of my life. So many good things, but so many bad things. Even the good are daunting and cause me anxiety. Normal, I know, even for someone without depression or anxiety. The difference is they learn to cope. At the moment I don’t feel I am. Thankfully I have a Zoom appointment with my psychologist this week on Thursday.

She is really great. She encourages my blogging and encourages me to get out and try new things and explore. I have never felt in the past that therapy has helped me much and always had rather bad experiences with it. She’s different though. I feel like I’m making breakthroughs with her. My husband and family back me up on things as well. They are super supportive. My husband sometimes though gives in because he doesn’t want to hurt my feelings or he just wants to make me happy and sometimes pushing me to eat healthily and not eat things I want feels to him like he is being mean, at the same time though he understands my health is in jeopardy so I think he struggles as well with that balance as well.

I know I will get through this, if nothing else I a stubborn as fuck. Even if I sometimes give in when the going gets tough I pick myself back up, tell myself no, I can not give in and I try again, even if it takes a while to get to that conclusion (umm… like 20 years for school, but who’s counting anyway). Again, I know I will get through this. I have support both professionally and through friends and family some of who have always been there and others who are newer but super supportive. I’ve just got to keep pushing myself outside my comfort zone and never give up and on that note, it applies to my diabetes as well. I can’t give up. If I make a mistake I need to just get up, dust off, and try again. Really use the CGM to watch for trends, watch how certain foods affect me, and find suitable alternatives that I still like and satisfy any cravings I have.

I so badly want to get everything under control. I feel better obviously when my blood sugar is in my goal range (5-10 mmol/l) and I know that the complications can be really bad if I don’t regain and keep control. I have seen it in my father and my grandmother. My mom too to a point. She’s a little better at controlling hers than my Dad and I though (yes, my mom, dad, and I are all type 2 and so was dad’s mom). It can be frustrating but at the same time, it can be interesting too. I know being able to cook and bake would be beneficial here because I can learn to change recipes to suit my needs (ie. no sugar, low carb, etc) but still satisfy my sweet tooth and still make me feel like I am not sacrificing. I just have to get better at it. Really push myself, the problem is there is so much I need to change, so much I need to improve or learn that it again seems so daunting. I am not giving up though. Never. I will always keep trying.