Pros and Cons of Starting a Christian Homemaking Blog
I’m going to be honest with you guys. I mean, I always am but in this post I am going to rip the band-aide right off to expose the truth of the newly hyped question: Is blogging worth it? This post is going to be a meat and potatoes post, no fluff.
Blogging is an extremely under examined field. Most people who are not researching everything about the internet will most likely not understand or even know what a blog is. I can not even count how many times I have been asked the question, “What is a blog?” What most people don’t realize (a year ago I was also in this category), is that most pins you come across on Pinterest is a beautiful picture from someone’s blog. So, whether you want to believe it or not, you’re actively participating in the blog world without even knowing it if you are a Pinterest lover like myself.
A blog is basically just a fancy word for a personal website. A lot of the time a blog is used to showcase the mentality of me, me me– but there are many blogs out there that are aimed at guiding, helping, encouraging a certain niche or audience.
Why did I start blogging at The Beauty Within?
It was on a whim, really. I was alone, I was bored, I was losing myself in the mist of motherhood and homemaking. I was in a desperate search to find someone who had the wisdom to help me through my struggles and tips to help ease the burden of my struggles. I came across the blog Young Wife’s Guide (which is run by Jamie Balmet) during the early spring of 2015.
Ladies, she’s absolutely wonderful and I encourage you to check out her blog. It’s everything from Christianity to all aspects of homemaking. I was inspired by the amount of content she had! Young Wife’s Guide is a huge access to continuous encouragement and continuous love for her readers. Her blog had everything I needed in that specific time of life to help me preserver when I wanted to give up.
I’ll quickly mention a couple of resources that she talks about which has really helped me with motherhood and other encouragement.
- Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Absolutely eye-opening and wonderful book by Gloria Furman. She is a beautiful writer and touches on the struggles of motherhood and keeping a Christ-like mind perfectly.
- Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: A book written by Crystal Paine, inside you’ll find great tips about living a life with a purpose. The book is a little more expensive than your average book but you’ll get every pennies worth with the amount of tips and encouragement she includes in this information packed book.
- Women Living Well: This book is all about finding joy in your homemaking, in your husband, and in Christ. If you do not have joy in Christ, how can you possibly understand the joy in loving your husband, family, and household work? Great book and an amazing blogger.
- Glimpses of Grace: Last book I’ll mention and also by Gloria Furman. Jamie just hosted a book club for Glimpses of Grace, you can find it here. I really love this book and highly recommend it if you can only afford to read one. Gloria does a great job explaining the importance of joy and homemaking and how we can see God’s grace in all situations.
Blogs are meant to inspire whether it’s getting you through a stage in motherhood or getting you through your next DIY project.
Her blog helped me so much that I wanted to be that inspiration to someone else.
You can read more of my journey here.
So for now, here I am. Writing this post in the hopes to either inspire you to blog, steer you towards your own creative path, or possibly just informing you about what a blog is all about.
I’ll start with the cons because I want to leave on a more uplifting note!
Cons of starting a blog
1. Blogging requires time. Loads and loads of time.
Don’t listen to those people who claim that you can have your own website in five minutes and everything after that will be peaches and cream! Sure, you can easily set up a WordPress account and right after that you can start writing. However, your blog will not only be lacking in the visual appealing department but it will also be lacking in everything that drives a person to your blog: AKA incentives, about your blog page, social media links, etc.
I can not even express to you the TIME it will suck from your soul as you tinker with your new website if you do not pay a fortune and hire a website designer.
I’ll give you an example.
I did not hire a website designer (as you can probably tell!), maybe in the future I will be making enough funds to support the costs of a designer but at this moment there would be little to no point. So, because I didn’t hire a designer I– a very uneducated computer tech person– had to do research until I turned blue in the face. I had to watch YouTube video after YouTube video on the process of creating a silly website.
You’d think it would be easy like Facebook where they set it up with a click “here” and a click “there” and you have your own social media page. On a website, you have to code EVERYTHING if you want anything to be personalized passed an already provided “theme”. So, I’d like to have my header image clickable. Have you noticed it’s not? Well, that’s because I haven’t found the right YouTube video that has watered down the instructions for someone like myself to create a clickable header.
I spent one whole day trying to figure out how to change my silly favicon. You’ll notice my favicon when you’re on a desktop, it’s just a small image next to my website in the internet tabs.
So, it took me about a month to modify until I could successfully relaunch my blog. Writing a post is the easy part, creating a personalized space is the hard part.
How do I find the time as a mom and wife?
I wake up at 5am some mornings and sometimes even dare the 4:30am range. It’s tough, but I prefer to do my writing when my brain is most fresh and I am not being tugged on by my beautiful toddler.
2. Friends and family are not core supporters for blogging
I say this very lightly because I completely understand why someone would raise an eyebrow to the idea of a blog. The idea of a blog is very warped and most people who don’t understand the internet on a higher level will not understand the concept of a blog. It sounds like creating just another way to talk about yourself more!
Throw in the phrase “my hope is to make money” and that will make the people you surround yourself with go even MORE bonkers.
The fact is, a blog is a very successful way to live after an initial period of humiliation and it certainly is a route to making money after countless hours of determination.
If your dream is to start a blog, go for it! You don’t need approval from people around you as to if you should start a blog. You can do it. Dream big, have a plan, and knock it out of the ball park!
3. When blogging, you have to be willing to spend money
Here’s where I am going to humble myself and spill the truth: When my husband was working with a construction company the past years, we were making a decent, livable income. However, when he switched to a company that would keep him closer to home our finances went to dust. Literally, dust. We sat and watched as our bank account emptied with the expenses of our bills– which were not that much to be honest but his pay checks were not even covering the necessity bills such as rent, electric, and gas.
I know the whole saying that you have to “spend money to make money” and that is definitely true with blogging. It was extremely scary at first because we were taking a leap of faith that God was in control and this is where He was guiding me so the expenses seemed worth it. It’s better to listen to God than to ignore Him, right?
Although many might disagree, you really need to shell out some money in order to make money. Everything costs me money that you see on my page (or don’t see).
WordPress to create a website, Bluehost to self host my website, Mailchimp to create my course and send out letters, PicMonkey because I want to create pictures and not be limited to their free version, etc. It all costs money and someone has to pay it. You can have a free website but you won’t have your own domain which can look slightly unprofessional. You can use PicMonkey without the fee but then you’re fairly limited as to what you can do. You can go without Mailchimp at first but I found it a good way to create an “incentive”. Meaning, nicely bribing all of you to sign up to my blog and it hasn’t been easy to convince you either!
BlueHost costs $6.95 per month when you’re on a 12 month plan while a 24 month plan is $5.95 and a 36 month plan is $4.95. So, if you’re determined and successful, a $4.95 plan is definitely the way to go because you will initially save $72 dollars compared to the 12 month plan. However, if you’re just playing with the idea then the 12 month plan is ideal. You don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars only to find out that blogging is not the cream of the crop like you thought it was.
Bluehost also offers an affiliate program which is GREAT for those of you who would like to save money.
Of course, you can skip all the money spending and get a completely free website from WordPress. But, if you’re going to invest your time and energy in your blog, I think you owe it to yourself to purchase a domain through Bluehost.
Not to mention the HUGE chunk you’ll shell out if you decide to hire a designer. High priced for a reason, they do a very good job.
4. Blogging is a job!
If you’re desire is to only start a hobby blog then most of this probably won’t apply to you but I appreciate you reading this anyways!
If you’re like me and hope to create a successful website and brand, then consider it a full time job. You will be tied down to your computer every day, possibly even your off days. Like I stated previously, it takes time to create a blog and website. If you’re willing to spend that time every day and can see a light to the end of that tunnel, your success will come soon enough.
You have to plan, you have to strategies, you have to experiment and may lose money to ideas that you figured would turn out well just like any business. You have a million and one things to remember to do such as social media, website updating, and post planning.
But, it’s a job with a huge benefit of staying at home and doing something you love!
Now let’s talk about the pros– my favorite part– which completely outweigh the cons. I only put the cons in here so that you completely understand what you’re getting yourself into before you venture down this journey of blogging!
Pros to starting your own blog
1. Doing what you love
Needless to say, you’ll absolutely love your blog and what you do. As long as you stay true to yourself and don’t add too much on your plate, this is a wonderful path for all you creative and inspirational wannabes. You have the freedom of doing what you love: crafts, DIY, religion, self-help, computer tech stuff– whatever you love, you could probably turn into a blog.
At the moment I am not seeing much traffic or engagement but it is not too disappointing because I love what I do– writing, taking pictures, inspiring.
The comments I have received from followers who tell me how “such or such post inspired me” or “such and such post really resonated with my current situation” are HUGE. That alone is why I do what I do. I love hearing that my post inspired you to decorate your master bedroom. I love that people are sending me pictures of the projects they made after seeing my DIY or participating in my free course. I love it, I love it, I love it.
What I love even more is witnessing these women to come out of their shell and make something out of themselves! I love the result as they realize their self-worth is more than dirty diapers and cooking dinner. I love that people are inspired to follow God more based off of something I have said.
2. Blogging opens a door for friendship
Although some of the lack of support I have received from family and friends can be disappointing, the amount of new friends and connections I have made through this journey is down-right amazing. Blogging is like a whole new unexplored world. There are so many people out there doing great things and there are so many people out there who are similar to you and can give you a pep talk or boost when needed. These connections are seriously what keeps me going.
Every blog is run by a real person! I know that sometimes it is easy to forget that with all the colors, fonts, and choices on a website. But, someone created those colors, fonts, and choices and they are most likely a really creative, fun person worth getting to know!
The most traffic I see is through my connections and blogger friends I have made through private Facebook pages and group Pinterest boards. If you’re reading this right now and want to be apart of a group board, click here where you’ll be redirected to my Christian Homemaking board. We would love to have you! Just send me your Pinterest email.
My husband has been, by far, my most personal greatest support. He has been by my side since day one and he has never even uttered a negative thought about my blogging. It’s always great to have a husband in full support mode.
The next best support I have received has been from my wonderful and beautiful MOPS group. No one understands the depth as to what you’re going through quite like fellow mommas in a support group. There are members from the group that have “liked” almost every post of mine on facebook and has shared them. They are absolutely fantastic!
Connections are a great way to get the word out and let people know about what you’re doing!
3. Trying new things
There has been so many projects and DIY’s that I had wanted to try but I couldn’t justify spending the money just to say “I tried that”. Now, I get to experiment with crafts and DIYs as a JOB! I can’t even think of a job that would be more fun. Some of my projects turn out nicely, others don’t but now I can have a reason and a purpose for spending that money while having fun doing it.
4. Blogging helps to sculpt a better you in the process
One thing I have really loved is the transformation I have felt in myself. I can feel myself growing more confident in what I know and I have been more inspired to try what I do not know. I am learning the world of possibilities and let me tell you, the possibilities are endless when God is on your side.
My husband has even noticed a change and often comments about how he “loves seeing me so happy” and he “can feel the excitement when he enters our home”.
You are also growing your brain! The amount of research you do for building your website, promoting your website, and information for a post are endless. A lot of reading and referring to.
5. Making some extra blogging cash
Some bloggers don’t talk about this but I figured it’s better to mention it rather than hiding it.
Blogs can be a nice side income and, in many cases, turn out to be a full time income for BOTH the husband and wife. Crazy right? It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance but blogs do pay off (literally) and they can pay really well.
I love that I am helping people and inspiring. I think it’s also alright to state that I love getting a small passive income as a reward for my “good behavior”. Honestly, I can’t really say too much about myself making an income yet because I am a new blog and am merely making pennies but those pennies add up and they buy my weekly latte.
There are several ways you can make some money through a blog: Ads, affiliates, promoting a product, and creating your own product to sell.
I just launched my very first Etsy shop (once again on a whim) which is where I am able to sell my original art without attending craft fairs. Which, by the way, I am currently hosting a surprise giveaway from my shop on my facebook page this weekend only and I would definitely love to see your face over there!
6. Blogging inspires me to be a better homemaker
Yes, you head that right! My blogging inspires MYSELF to cook and clean. I used to say that I cook out of the love for my husband but now I say that I cook and clean out of the love for my husband and for new blog post possibilities. Finding new recipes, trying them out, and then relaying the information back to you. Finding a cleaning trick and relaying the information back to you.
There’s this quote from a husband that sums up my husband’s life fairly accurately, “If you don’t know what Pinterest is, it’s when you’re wife stares at her phone for 8 hours and then you eat a salad out of mason jars.” My poor husband is the guinea pig to all my ideas and creations: good or bad.
My blog also inspires me to cook and clean because I don’t want to be a hypocrite. You know, I say to you “this is what I do to keep a spotless house” and then I have a pile of laundry on my couch that’s been there for a week. Opps! We are all human and bound to make mistakes.
Because I am not a cook at heart, I tend to lean towards slow cooker/crock pot meals which is fine to me because I love the set and forget mentality. Plus, crock pot meals are extremely popular right now. My all-time favorite slow cooker recipe book is by Taste of Home which features 431 crock pot meals! I have gone through and made nearly half of those recipes but we found one recipe that was by far our favorite which only involves chicken and a ranch packet.
7. I can work and still be a mommy!
By far the best PRO out there! I love that I can get up early to work and once my daughter wakes up I can be in full mommy mode until nap time– Okay, I don’t love getting up early but I love making my time valuable.
It’s so, so hard to be a mommy and out of the home for work. I admire all of you working ladies that leave the home each day!
To answer the question yes, blogging is completely and totally worth it IF you have the drive and patience to get over the hump of little to no activity. In the beginning, you’ll be knocking your head against your desk in exasperation after viewing your stats for the day. But, hold on and and keep swimming through that temporarily deep water because soon the beach will be in sight!
It initially boils down to two choices when you’re stuck in the deep water: To sink or to swim. (Much like the Shakespeare quote “To be or not to be”.)
I prefer to swim. Do you?
There you go, I hope this post was some what informative and clears up confusion about blogging and what it entails. Let me know if you have any questions and please feel free to leave comments below. I encourage and welcome engagement!
P.S. If you’re looking for literally the best resource out there for bloggers, check out Ruth Soukup’s How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul. I promise, you will not be disappointed! She explains in detail everything that needs to be done in order to become a successful blogger. Plus, she’s a fabulous Christian blogger that talks about coupons and saving money.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255