Did you know there are small things you can do–things that cost nothing–that can really help bloggers and content creators that you love?
Because it was my 50th birthday yesterday, I feel like this may be a good time to post this (like, here’s what you can get me for my birthday!).
Thank you so much for all your birthday wishes and wonderful emails and notes. I’m saving them all to read them tonight when I have a chance to sit down with a cup of tea, but know that they mean the world to me!
Before I do, though, I’d like to tell you a few simple things that you can do to help content creators. And to do that, I want to paint a picture of what we face.
We have a lot of expenses
Before I hire staff or get paid myself, I have out of pocket expenses of about $1500 to run this blog each month. Then there’s all of the staff that I hire to help. So before I even get paid, I have to spend about $7000 a month. Now, not everyone spends that much, but I’m just being up front about roughly what things cost me. And one thing I’m passionate about is being able to keep people employed.
We rely on several different sources for income
So how do I make money?
- Royalties from my books
- Sales from my store
- Affiliate fees from Amazon and other products I recommend
- Advertising fees from ad networks
- Sponsored Posts
For years what allowed this blog to grow as it did was that advertising revenue from my ad networks was actually huge. But I don’t like hosting ads, for various reasons. And ad revenue is down because of COVID, so next week we’re taking a leap of faith and we’re turning the ads off. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to replace some of the income by boosting other revenue streams, but I know I’ll lose some. However, I’d rather do it that way. I’d just feel better about it.
I wanted you to know all of that up front so that you’ll understand why these things will help:
Practical things you can do to help your favourite bloggers & creators
1. Leave a 5-star review of any books you’ve read
So few people actually review books after they’ve read them, but believe me–it helps so much. And for me, especially, if it’s possible to leave a 5-star review, it would really help, because I do have a lot of detractors who leave 1-star reviews that I need to counter.
If you’ve ever read The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, or 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage, and you could review them on Amazon, that would help so much! Bookstores often choose what new titles to order in based on Amazon ranking and ratings, so if you like the book, review and rate the book!
2. Leave a 5-star rating & review podcasts
Listen to the podcast? Leave a rating there, too! Again, ratings matter when it comes to getting other people to listen.
3. Subscribe to emails
When publishers look at giving someone a book contract, they want to know what that person’s “platform” is. And basically that’s a number–how many people follow you on social media or subscribe to your emails. I know everyone gets a lot of emails, but I try to put extra content in mine, and give special coupons to my email subscribers. So signing up helps us a ton!
When you sign up for my emails, there’s a chance to also sign up for our prayer letter where we get personal and practical, too. That would help us immensely.
4. Share great posts on Facebook and Twitter
Read something that resonated with you? Hit that share button! Traffic matters, and often people discover me because they saw a link on social media. Google also likes blogs better when they have a lot of social media shares.
5. Like our posts on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram
Speaking of social media, you’ve probably realized that you don’t see everyone’s posts anymore when you’re on Facebook or Instagram. Those platforms only show you selected people. Want to help us creators be seen more? Like us EVERY TIME you see a post. Seriously. The more engagement our posts get, the more people they will show it to. And the more you like us, the more likely you are not to miss anything!
You have no idea how much hitting that like button matters to us!
6. If you’re going shopping at Amazon, use our link
If you buy something on Amazon after following one of my links, I earn roughly 5% of what you buy. It’s a large source of my income.
I’ve just created a module that will be in every post, that will look roughly like this:
Use my link to support this blog!
If you’re going shopping anyway, find an author you love and follow the links for their books on Amazon–and then buy whatever you need to buy. That gives them a commission even if you don’t buy their books! (And I’ll try to have this stripe more available so you can use my link).
7. If you like a product we talk about, use our link
I’m also going to replace my ad network ads with one big “Sheila’s Spotlight” ad at the top of each post starting next week with an affiliate product that I really love and actually use myself. I’ve chosen 12 that I’ll rotate through that you can be assured that are honest to goodness favourites of mine. Again, using my link gives me income.
8. If you ever buy something because we told you to, leave a comment
It’s easier to get sponsored posts if people can see that others appreciate what I recommend!
9. Say thank you and be encouraging
I know that many people read my blog without ever commenting, and that’s truly okay. But let me tell you: the more comments I get on posts, the more encouraging it is for me. It’s hard sitting in my yellow chair with my laptop on my lap and typing into cyberspace everyday. When people comment, I know they read. And when people say something encouraging, it’s so helpful, especially with all the negative emails we get. People take time to write when they’re mad; they rarely do when they’re happy. So send a blogger or author you love an encouraging comment every now and then. You have no idea how much that means!
Okay, I think that’s it. Obviously I could also tell you to buy my books or my courses, but I think that goes without saying. I wanted to give you some practical things you can do on a daily basis that take almost no time even when you’re NOT buying from me.And remember–these tips apply to other authors and bloggers you follow as well!
So thank you, again, for all the birthday wishes. Here’s how you can support me. I’m super excited about the ads coming down next Monday, but I have to admit–it’s a bit of a leap of faith, because I still want to be able to pay my staff. But we’ve all talked about it and planned for it, and this is the right step. So I’m counting on you all to help me like this! 🙂
I do appreciate your loyal readership. I’m looking forward to June when we talk about mental load and emotional labor!
Let me know–was any of this surprising to you? Let’s talk in the comments!