If you’ve been around Creative Kitchen for any length of time you’ll know how much I love cooking, creating, sharing and chatting with you all. In fact, I can hardly believe that I’m coming up to my 2 year
anniversary blogoversary this coming August. I’m amazed that that much time has passed, and surprised at how much I’ve learned about myself through this amazing blogging process.
I’ve also learned about website designing and publishing, photography, social media, not to mention expanding my horizons in the kitchen with new ingredients and techniques. When I started up Creative Kitchen in August 2009, I had no idea how vast or friendly the food blogging community was. Through visiting and commenting on each other’s blogs and also through Twitter, I’ve formed friendships across the world, and that is exciting!
As you can see blogging has enriched my life, and I can’t imagine not coming here and sharing my experiments, kitchen creations, tried and true recipes and various events in my life. It surprised me that over the course of the past almost 2 years I’ve opened up and shared more details of my life with you. I tend to be a very private person, and if you’ve been reading from the beginning you may notice that I began to let down my guard and share more of my heart.
It really was a huge step for me, but each blogger gets to that place where you decide that the risk of stepping beyond your comfort zone is worth the relationships being made. And let’s be honest….intimacy and “realness” or authenticity really aids in the ability to write well and builds that bridge between blogger and reader. I know that for myself the blogs I spend time on are the ones that are open and personal, and where I feel like I’m in someone else’s home. That was how I originally started when I began blogging in March 2008 about my third daughter’s birth defect and corrective surgery.
Behind the scenes I’ve had friends in real life who’ve been my cheerleaders and encouraged me to share more, to step out and to keep on writing and I’m very glad I’ve listened to them! Blogging is a rewarding job that I happily embrace. Some of you may laugh when I say job, and I’ve only alluded to it a couple times, but there is a lot of work that goes in to blogging….from the jotting down of ideas, the research, recipe development, photographing and selecting which pictures to publish, writing blog posts, and really I could go on all day. But I consider it a hobby that I don’t want to ever give up, and am very blessed that my husband supports and believes in this aspect of my life. The pull to write has even changed me from a night owl to a morning person, and of that I’m more surprised than anyone.
Eventually each blogger has to make a decision on whether to seek out advertising or other forms of compensation to help with the costs associated and time spent publishing a site. This is something I’ve struggled with a long time because I am very protective of Creative Kitchen, with the way it looks and in what I promote, and of you…my readers. And I’m definitely not a salesman…I don’t like pushing things on people or having them feel pressured to buy anything…it’s just not my style! So I’m sharing with you three ways a blog or site can earn a few dollars without pestering anyone. 😉
Product Reviews, Advertising and Affiliations
I only write and share about products I use and am happy with. So far I haven’t done any paid product reviews, but be assured if or when I do I will only select products I can stand behind and will give you my honest opinion (good or bad) even if the product was given to me for free. It’s called disclosure, and bloggers openly share whether or not they were compensated, and compensation does not guarantee a positive review. I’m not sure I’ll do many of these unless it’s something I really, really want to share with you all because I’d rather devote my time to sharing recipes and other life experiences. And I really don’t mind sharing products I love even though no one pays me to do so. I’ve always been an enthusiastic consumer when I feel I’ve gotten great value for my money, and I’ll always want to pass that excitement to others!
I am currently looking into a few different ad networks. They basically work like advertising in regular magazine publications. I like to think of them as billboard space. As a site gets more popular and climbs in the rankings of the internet, its space is more valuable to advertisers. A sites traffic is measured by “visits” and “pageviews” and these statistics, as they grow, are appealing to online advertisers. If or when I sign up with an ad network, it will not change anything on the site except that you’ll notice a couple ads over in the right sidebar. I won’t be in control of what they advertise so it won’t necessarily be things I endorse which is a reason I’ve waited so long on this particular option, but it is one of easiest ways for a blogger to earn a few dollars each month. It may or may not cover my monthly hosting costs, but hopefully I’ll select the right one and their ads won’t be overly intrusive.
*As a blog reader, I’m fairly focused on the content I read so hopefully they won’t be too distracting to you, and they won’t require you to do anything like click on them. The advertisers are just happy if there is higher traffic to a site, so just you coming here and reading (or sharing with friends posts and recipes you like) helps the site. In other words, if you like Creative Kitchen enough to come here and read every week, then it helps support the site when you share links on Facebook or in email. There are share options under each post to make it easy for you, and I appreciate when you do this!
Most of you are familiar with becoming an affiliate of a certain company. Just last month you may have noticed an Amazon badge over in the right sidebar. This was another tough one for me, but I love Amazon and have always had great experiences with them…from my beloved new camera to monthly diaper deliveries (with FREE shipping) over the past few years. Many friends of mine encouraged me to put up an Amazon badge as well as to become affiliates of companies I use and/or stand behind because they wanted a way to help support this site in spending money they normally spend online anyway.
When you are an affiliate for a company you earn a small percentage of each sale if the customer clicks through from your site each time they place an order. As a customer you aren’t paying any more money than if you’d gone directly to their site to place the order, but by clicking through Creative Kitchen you help to support the running of this site, and I appreciate it!
*Amazon – If you are Amazon customer and a regular reader here at Creative Kitchen I’m grateful for any purchases you make by clicking to Amazon through my site. In order to do that just make sure you click the Amazon badge over in the side bar entitled “My Kitchen Favorites” or any Amazon badge on my site. Anything you purchase from Amazon within 24 hours of clicking that badge will provide Creative Kitchen with a small referral fee without increasing your price. That means this site gets credit even if you purchase things not listed in the badge…it can be anything you were going to order at Amazon anyway.
If I recommend any product that I love within a blog post, you will usually see a link to the product at Amazon. Again, Creative Kitchen receives a small referral fee if you click through that link and buy anything at Amazon.
*Mountain Rose Herbs – I’m VERY excited about my new affiliation with Mountain Rose Herbs! I’ve been purchasing my quality Virgin Coconut Oil for a VERY good price from them for the past 5 years, and have never once been disappointed. Since 1987 Mountain Rose Herbs has had an uncompromising commitment to organic agriculture and sustainability.
They carry a full line of organic products that include:
- Bulk Organic Herbs and Spices, culinary salts, and seasonings
- Organic Teas and Tea Supplies
- A Complete Line of Therapeutic Quality Essential Oils
- Products for Natural Health like herbal capsules, elixirs, oils, sprays & tinctures
- Bath and Body care
- Home, Garden and Gifts
- Bulk Ingredients like butters, oils, cosmetic salts, and flavoring extracts
- Containers and packaging like glass bottles and jars, bags, tins, and other misc.
If you’re interested in learning more about Mountain Rose Herbs, their quality products and competitive prices, or to order a FREE catalog please click the banner above to visit their site. Just remember if you’d like to come back and purchase from them in the future, I appreciate you clicking through my site! You’ll see a new Mountain Rose Herbs badge over in the right sidebar. Thanks for your support!!