We all share the same fears

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Tonight we are celebrating 6 months of being in love. And yes, we’re using skeleton hand glasses to toast.

A photo posted by Lisa Kerr (@thereallisakerr) on

Over the weekend, C and I celebrated being together for six months. It was great for both of us. I think we both have felt “lucky in love” since we started dating and things have been going really well, but reaching a six month milestone meant something to us. It meant we weren’t just in a honeymoon phase of our relationship but that we both made it through meeting each other’s parents, extended family, going to weddings together, getting into arguments with each other and realizing we both want to make it work

Photo booth! #RomeroWeddingWonderland #funnyfaces A photo posted by Lisa Kerr (@thereallisakerr) on

I find it hard to blog about my relationship for a variety of reasons. It’s incredibly intimate and I don’t want to expose it to the world of internet comments and everyone’s two cents (good or bad). We’re normal people who love each other a whole lot, but that doesn’t mean the most intimate moments we share should be featured here. Also, we aren’t perfect. We’ve been known to argue with the best of them and have moody days. Everyone does and I think that’s another reason very few people should actually give instructions on how to have a good relationship. I certainly don’t want to and I certainly don’t want to blog about our bad days. They’re private. We work through them. And sometimes they’re silly like are we going to watch Star Wars or The Golden Girls. But don’t think we don’t get down with those arguments, because we do.

I think at the root of why I don’t want to blog much about my relationship isn’t about my relationship with my boyfriend at all; it’s about my complicated feelings about past relationships and how, before I met C, I didn’t think I’d ever fall in love or find someone I would be happy with. I was the single, independent girl whose relationships didn’t last past six months (I broke off many of them because we weren’t a good fit). I had multiple conversations with my parents about how I probably wouldn’t get married or have kids unless I got a sperm donor.

I watched “The Back-up Plan” way too much.

I think at the root of my doubts that I would ever find someone right for me was the feeling that all those past ex-boyfriends were right when they pointed out some flaw in me that made me unloveable to them. Of course, this isn’t what I believe about myself and I don’t think I’m truly unloveable. I believe those men were just as flawed as me and we weren’t a good fit for each other. And I guess I’m breathing a sigh of relief that they weren’t right and I really am loveable. Ultimately, even though I don’t believe it’s true, sometimes I feel the sting of how often my past relationships didn’t work out and how often I blamed myself.

Even though I wasn’t at fault.

At the heart of every woman’s insecurities (and every man’s) is the belief that we aren’t good enough. We believe this no matter how much we fight it or how much we put on a front that we don’t. Narcissists are of course exempt from this, but I’ve been observing conversations between women (and between men) for years. I’m often like the “anthropologist of Facebook groups.” I’ve been listening to countless women tell their story of feeling unsexy, unloveable, not good enough, not successful enough, or blaming themselves for relationships ending.

We all share the same fears.

And mine are deeply rooted just as yours probably are, but leading up to our six month anniversary, I had the fear that he would leave me like the others had and find a reason why I wasn’t good enough for him. I told him that once and when he held me tight as I cried, I knew that he didn’t agree with what had been said to me before.

So when we hit the 18th of this month, I got a little more than a little excited and I really was just happy to be spending the day with the person I loved. It really didn’t matter what we did or how we celebrated (we went fishing and had a picnic at a nearby park with my mom and the dogs), we were together. We were in love. We had each other.

A photo posted by Lisa Kerr (@thereallisakerr) on

Of course we also celebrated with dinner and wine a few nights earlier. Afterall, C is one of the best chefs I know and this meal was absolutely divine.

Pasta alla carbonara for dinner made by the chef in the family (not me).

A photo posted by Lisa Kerr (@thereallisakerr) on

Blogging Better #1: Why Your blog needs multiple income streams

blogging better link up header 300x186 Blogging Better #1: Why Your blog needs multiple income streams Let’s face it, making money is what’s on every blogger’s mind. I hear questions about earning money from new and veteran bloggers alike. Although my main philosophy about blogging is that great bloggers are great storytellers first and monetize second, I do think it’s important for bloggers to understand how to monetize their blogs and how to diversify their business plan from the beginning.

I recently wrote about my experiences with the business side of blogging in an article for the Huffington Post called 13 Lessons I’ve Learned From Turning My Blog Into a Business:

In the past four years, I’ve managed to turn my blog into an actual business. It wasn’t what I’d set out to do when I began blogging, but it was a natural extension of my love of writing and teaching, and a byproduct of having a father who is an entrepreneur.

Within six months of starting a blog, I had built a strong audience. Then came my first interview. Within a year I had interest from a major literary agent. Within two years, I was being contacted by television networks from around the world. I did want my blog to succeed, but I never imagined the kind of achievements I experienced so quickly. Since turning my blog into a business, I’ve been featured nationally on TV and radio, and I’ve worked with some very high-profile people and companies – all of whom reached out to me.

There are tons of basic monetization tutorials out there and they’re all useful, but most bloggers don’t disclose anything more than basic tips. If you want to move beyond the basics, you’ll need to start looking at your blog as a business and you do that by managing your blog in the same way you would a business. Think: professional communication skills, project management skills for your social media and even learning how to write contracts and invoices for clients. But most importantly? You need to implement good financial strategies from the beginning. Many new bloggers set up Google Adsense and stop there, but if you’re going to count on your blog to bring you significant supplemental income, you need to diversify your income strategies by setting up multiple income streams. By doing this, your blog will earn you more income on a consistent basis and you may even be able to hire a part-time staff to help you manage your blog so you aren’t one of those stressed out bloggers wondering how to balance everything that needs to be done.

To start our Blogging Better resources monthly link-up, I wanted to share my philosophy on why your blog needs multiple income streams and how you can do that.

A little here and there adds up

I rarely turn down something that will earn $100 over the course of a year. Even if that means I’m making a small amount every month, if the income is consistent and only requires a small amount of effort in the beginning, I always say yes. Just a few of these income streams adds a nice chunk to my bottom line. Figuring out which small jobs to take and which to turn down took some trial and error. I turn down a lot of jobs that require a lot of time and effort on my part if the pay isn’t right, but if there’s little-to-no work involved, but the reward is there, I’m likely to add that income source to my blog.

Work now, get paid later

If you set up Google Adsense and Amazon affiliate links now, you never have to worry about them again. If you add them as you go and keep up with Google trends, you’ll be earning income each time you publish a blog post and even if you only earn a few hundred dollars a year early on as a blogger, that’s a few hundred dollars you didn’t have to put much effort into earning. And that will make you happy when you get paid.

Sponsorship isn’t always consistent

There were some months early on that I earned $50 from one company for sponsored content and a few months later I earned $150 from the same company. Sponsored content isn’t always consistent. Keep in mind that campaigns can be seasonal so it’s good to diversify your income beyond sponsored content early on so you’re not stuck making less than you anticipated. When a brand reaches out to me for advertising, sometimes they stay with me consistently and sometimes it’s a one time ad. You don’t always know how long advertisers will stay with you, so don’t put all your hope in one income stream.

why your blog needs multiple income streams 300x300 Blogging Better #1: Why Your blog needs multiple income streams

Consulting can pay well

Consulting can pay well, but it’s also a lot of work. When you consult, you usually provide a premium service or expertise (mine is developmental editing for books and social media strategies for businesses) and clients expect more when paying a premium fee. I don’t have tons of consulting clients, but they often pay very well. Even though they pay well, I don’t take every job handed to me and I don’t take clients simply because they’re offering me a lot of money. I recently turned down a $5,000 contract because it wasn’t the right fit for me.

If you have an established reputation, good credibility and above-average skills, you may be able to diversify your blogging income by offering consulting services.

eBooks are the gift that keeps on giving

eBooks are time consuming to write, edit and brand but they consistently perform well for me. I’m not rich off of eBooks, but I sell copies every month and I rarely promote them. Just imagine what would happen if I promoted them or advertised them. I recommend this route for bloggers looking to add another income stream to their bottom line.

Blogging is an entrepreneurial activity

Chances are if you’re a blogger, you may now or one day in the future, be an entrepreneur. Bloggers are creators, world changers, and idea machines. Creativity and ingenuity go hand in hand and those traits do earn people money. Lots of it. Not every blogger will end up being an entrepreneur and not every entrepreneur will end up making money, but if you find yourself turning into an idea machine, chances are you’ve caught the bug and you should work on developing those traits.

Advertising costs money my friends

Once you begin to take your blog seriously, you’re running a business. Businesses need to advertise. Advertising costs money. When you diversify your income, you have more avenues to pull from for advertising money and you should be earning consistently each month. That way if you need to spend a portion of it on advertising, you’re not scrambling to make ends meet and your blog has more of a chance to pay for itself and grow larger. Many new bloggers think popular bloggers simply “happened” when nothing could be further from the truth. Blogging takes money and many popular bloggers spend money advertising.

Blogging costs money

To expand on what I just said, blogging costs money. I pay to use software to manage my social media every month which allows me to manage multiple accounts, schedule and queue content for months in advance and track my social media analytics using customized reports. My company of choice is Sprout Social and even though I pay a premium fee, I love the service. The reports I get are useful for analyzing my growth, where my audience is, and to communicate to advertisers what their money will get them. As a matter of fact, since using Sprout Social to analyze trends and growth, my social media followers have increased to over 10,000 total and I get 1.5 million views per monthSign up for a free 30 day trial of Sprout Social Blogging Better #1: Why Your blog needs multiple income streams.

The larger your blog gets, the more money you need to spend on things like website hosting, social media management, virtual assistants, email services, etc. The more you diversify your income streams, the better chance you have of being able to pay for your (now expensive) hobby and eventually you’ll be earning a significant amount of supplemental income.

I hope this post was informative and also demystified monetization. Email me or comment below with your questions and I’ll answer them in future posts like this.

After you link-up below, head on over to check out my co-host’s post on blogging better.

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Join us for the very first Blogging Better link-up below

Once a month beginning this month, I’m co-hosting a link up on blogging resources called Blogging Better with Julie DenOuden. We would love it if you linked up your best blogging resources below. Our readers are new bloggers, mid-level bloggers, hobby bloggers, professional bloggers, small businesses and social media managers. Our link-up will go live on the last Tuesday of every month. Join us on Twitter using the hashtags #bloggingbetter and #blogbetter.

About Your Hosts

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Julie DenOuden is my co-host and a fellow Southern California blogger. Julie blogs at Girl on the Move, a blog about traveling, cupcakes and social media resources. She started blogging just over two years ago and truly has some of the finest organizational skills you’ll ever see. Julie is a great resource for social media tips and her 31 Days to Create a Social Media Plan is a must-read for any blogger.

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If you’re new here, my name is Lisa Kerr. I’m a veteran blogger of more than four years whose work has been featured on the Huffington Post TED Weekends, HuffPo Live, NPR and more. During my four years of blogging, Oprah’s network contacted me and the CW developed a pilot TV show about my first blog, so I’ve learned a lot about the business side of blogging, blogging beyond monetization and protecting your intellectual property. I now advise companies about how to connect with their clients by creating a compelling story and building community and I also work with new and mid-level bloggers, teaching them how to manage their social media communities, tips and tricks for WordPress optimization, and how to create a professional writing portfolio that will further your career.

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I hope you’ll find the tools and tips we share here helpful in developing your blog, and as always, we’re here to answer any questions you may have (either by email or comments) in future posts.

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Visit at least 2 posts from below and comment on them.

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