Thoughts on Blogging for Money

DenaApril 29, 2014


I feel like there has been a little bit of an upheaval in the mommy blogging world recently. Lots of folks are throwing around terms like “authenticity” and “in-your-face advertising.” As this blog nears its five-year anniversary, I’d like to take a moment to share my thoughts on the present state of the blogosphere.

I recently wrote a whole post on authenticity, which you can read here if you’re interested. Today, however, I’m going to talk a little bit about advertising & sponsorship.

It probably goes without saying, but I love blogging. I love everything about it — from choosing my favourite photographs to share, to writing posts that come from my heart, to sharing information that I find to be important, to designing the look & feel of my blog. It’s all fun for me. It brings me joy. I get to share pieces of myself with the world & I get to preserve precious memories that I can look back on. I also love to read other blogs. I’m presently subscribed to just over one hundred blogs & feeds. The blogging world is an extension of my life — here I find friendship, inspiration, acceptance, and love.


With all of this being said, it is also a lot of work — at least it can be if you’re passionate about creating quality content & building relationships. I’ve never quantified exactly how much time I spend blogging and interacting, but I would estimate that it is between 15 and 40 hours per week. (It varies because some weeks I spend more time blogging, write more posts, take more photographs, and so on. While other weeks, it’s pretty quiet on the blogging front.) This means that on average, I spend about 1300 hours per year blogging & interacting. That’s nearly a full-time job. And up until very recently, I never made a dime from it.

As you’ve probably noticed, within the last year, I’ve started to acquire sponsorship. This comes in the form of sidebar ads, sponsored posts, and product reviews. I’ve been putting blood, sweat, and tears into this space for half of a decade, and for the first time, artists and companies are looking to partner with me and engage with the community that I’ve built here. To be honest, it is so very humbling and inspiring. For a very long time, I dreamed of growing this space into something larger, to touching more lives, and to sharing more of my own heart. I am deeply grateful to see this dream come true, even in a small way.

The reality is that I am nothing but a very small fish in an enormous pond. I don’t make much money from this blog, perhaps enough to pay for a grocery bill here and there, but there is some little hope inside of me that perhaps this space will continue to grow and that maybe someday it really could be something more. At the end of the day, I will always blog because I love blogging. If I don’t make another red cent from this day forward, I will continue to blog. But, if it does happen, then it is simply icing on an already delicious cake.


Unfortunately, I am finding that not everyone feels this way. Gratefully, I have not (yet) received any negative feedback regarding the implementation of sponsorship here. However, I have read some very hurtful things written by some of my favourite bloggers recently. These things have been along the lines of: Don’t worry, I will never accept advertising in this space. / I will never become a sellout. / I would never promote unreasonably expensive products. / I would never blah, blah, blah. (Ironically, the comments about not promoting unreasonably expensive products come from blogger(s) who do accept sponsorship, or have done so in the past.)

I want to be kind when I say this, but I also want to be honest. I find these types of statements to be hurtful and pretentious. The fact is that everyone blogs for different reasons and everyone has a different lifestyle. Many of the bloggers that have written things like this are bloggers who do not have to worry about money. Perhaps they have a career outside of blogging. Or perhaps they have a spouse or partner who takes care of things financially. Or perhaps they dedicate a small amount of time to blogging and have no desire or necessity to monetize the operation. All of these things are fine. No one has a reason or the right to judge someone else for their personal decisions.


Within the mommy blogging community there is often discussion about “supporting one another” and withholding judgement. For example, when it comes to breastfeeding & formula feeding or stay at home motherhood & working mothers — we understand and support one another. But somehow, in some circles, “blogging for money” has become a dirty topic. It’s ridiculous.

Once again, to each her own. It’s the easiest thing in the world to stop reading a blog if you don’t enjoy its content. At this time, Live, Love, Simple is a for-profit blog. I am not in any way ashamed of that. I am deeply grateful to every person that takes the time to read my little ramblings and even more grateful to those that will come along for this journey as I grow. xo

Comments (16)

  • Nicole

    April 29, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I feel like you took the thoughts right out of my head and typed them down. What each person decides to do with their blog is up to them and if you do not like it, then don’t read it, it’s that simple. There is no need to bash or talk crap about anyone for doing advertising or not. I stopped doing it on mine because I wanted to blog just to blog for me and not feel like I had to keep up views or anything. But I certainly do not blame anyone for making money off of their blog. Like you said, it is a labor or love, we spend time creating these spaces. I totally understand making a few bucks from it. I think it’s amazing and inspiring to see people making their blogs their business! That’s awesome and I totally support it! I would be lying if I said I didn’t want that one day. That would be so dreamy! One day I will probably do advertising again but for now, I’m happy with where I am. There definitely needs to be more support and less shaming. It’s just so ridiculous and childish. Love this post! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Dena

      April 29, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Thanks so much, Nicole. I’m really glad to know that I’m not alone! This mean a lot, especially coming from a blogger like you who I love & admire immensely. xx

      1. Nicole

        April 29, 2014 at 9:09 am

        Wow! Thank you so much! You made me tear up! You are too sweet mama! xx

        1. Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC

          May 1, 2014 at 8:05 pm

          I agree 100% — honestly, I think most folks are simply…(dare I say) jealous that THEY haven’t been offered product reviews / ambassadorships / sponsorship / etc. Usually I see those comments written like this: “Don’t get me wrong, I’d LOVE to get paid to write this blog, but I’d never have sponsored post every week/month/etc.” I truly have never understood the need for some bloggers to judge others. If you don’t like the blog, then stop reading — there are SO many wonderful bloggers that we all have options. Very well written post! Stopping by from #SitsGirls facebook page 🙂

  • Suzy

    April 29, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I’m actually so proud of you and how far you’ve come with this blog! It takes a lot of work to keep a regular blog, but trying to make some money, I can only imagine the work.

    I really don’t mind the advertising and sponsorships. At first it seemed like everyone was doing it and I was like, “UGH!!” Because a lot of started to lose their voice and it was all about the products and it was just fake. Like a popularity contest. But it’s totally settled now and people are calming down.

    As long as you stay true and keep that voice that drew us to the blog in the first place. Go ahead, make money: )

  • Julie Arnhold

    April 29, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Blogging is a lot of work! I have a schedule of posts each week that I stick too, as well as my days that I dedicate to reading other blogs and networking. I blog on the weekends, at nights, on my supposed “off” days,” so I can totally relate to this post. I’m not sure if non-bloggers realize how much work is involved. There’s photographing, content writing, blog design, etc. Oh, and there’s always the lovely error on WordPress that muddies up a design element (like when my instagram widget stopped working out of no where , arg). BUT, as you mentioned if you’re passionate it’s all worth it. I do not judge others for sponsors and paid ads, after all its a FT job to maintain a quality blog! My thing is, if you review products stay honest. There are beauty bloggers out there who spin stories to make it seem like they’ve been using a product for years, when in reality they were sent it and the company paid them for a positive review. There’s nothing wrong with paid reviews, but be honest ya know. They’ll always be naysayers, but blogging is a job like anything else. Only, we’re our own bosses 😉 xo

  • Maria

    April 29, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I say … to each their own. You should be able to whatever you like, the way you like it, without regrets or criticism. No one is forced to read what they don’t want to. I don’t read ones where people are cruel to each other, or judge. I do enjoy the ones where everyone is supportive ir silent. There’s no need for drama on the Internet. You can just close the “window” & walk away. I enjoy your pictures & stories, & it reminds me of when my kids were young and how much I enjoyed the same firsts that you are now experiencing. Stay true to yourself. <3

  • Dominique

    April 29, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I don’t think ads and reviews will ever take away from what you put into this blog, I know I will always come back. Your life is here your heart is here and I love the way you write and your photos are beautiful. Keep it up!!

  • Jordan

    April 29, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Good for you. Its hard work putting up content-I had no idea what was put into it until I started one myself. All the time taking photos, editing, writing…its crazy how much time it takes, this is all while raising child or children-which is a 24/7 job! Congratulations to you for getting to the next level! You should feel proud.

  • Evelyne

    April 30, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I adore your blog, your photos and you thoughts. I COMPLETELY agree with everything you said. Don’t let it get you down. 🙂

  • Ruthi

    April 30, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Bravo for you for taking a stand against naysayers. Your blog is beautiful and filled with excellent articles, both interesting and of interest. I am a recent follower who discovered your blog through your book giveaway. And, I must say, I am glad I found you. Keep on doing what works for you, personally and professionally.

  • Anna

    May 1, 2014 at 10:09 am

    This is my first time visiting your blog from the FB SITS Girls linkup.

    I love your honesty and agree that you shouldn’t have to worry about what others think and what people believe your motives are for blogging. You know your own heart. Keep staying true to yourself! Great post!

  • Janeen

    May 1, 2014 at 10:51 am

    First off, this is my first time visiting your blog and I already love your content. I blog mostly about weddings, party planning and cupcakes so when it comes to monetizing, I really want to accept those that relate with my blog. I would love to have great companies coming to me, with time I’m sure. I think I’m less interested in having sponsors that don’t relate to my blog just to make money. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not…

  • Jodee Weiland

    May 1, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Blogging, at its best, is a juggling act of sorts! On one hand, you are doing something you love and enjoy, and on the other hand, you are doing what you must to keep your blog nurtured and supported, so you can continue to share with the your readers, people who are now more friends than followers. You do what you must to make your blog better every day, and what some people don’t realize is that that too costs money. Sponsorship allows us the luxury of doing that and doing it well. It also compensates us for the many hours it takes to do it well! Some people don’t understand because they don’t understand commitment…oh well, their problem, not mine or yours!

  • cynthia

    May 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I once got a copy of the movie Brave, and…that’s been the extent of any profits I’ve ever made from my blog! haha
    I think anyone can do whatever they want with their blog, that’s the great thing about blogging! I think there are some blogs with more sponsored content than I want to read, but I just skip that post when I feel that way.
    It is a lot of work and I think if you get some compensation for that work, good for you. 🙂

  • Gillian

    May 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I’m catching up on my blog reading and I just finally got around to reading this post. And oh my gosh, Dena, I can’t even believe it because I have a post sitting in my drafts that is SO similar to this!! I have postponed posting it because right before I was about to post it a blogging friend of mine mentioned something never making her blog “for profit” and I didn’t want her to think that my post was in retaliation to that!! But seriously, you touched on SO many of my same feelings about this! I have been getting so frustrated seeing the harsh words thrown out towards mommy bloggers accepting money. Some of the things that I have read are just ludicrous and also mean. It seems like the mommy wars will never end, right?? Women are always seemingly out to get each other. My blog is for profit as well, I started out blogging HOPING to make money. That may be frowned upon but I do not care. I am passionate about photography and writing and I love getting the opportunity to make a little money doing it. I don’t think people realize how much we bloggers love and get excited about these opportunities! LOVE this post. Maybe I will post mine sometime as well. 🙂

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