I wanted to let you know about some changes that will be going on around here in Scrapbook Obsession Land. To put in plainly:

– I am now allowing advertising and affiliate links on the Scrapbook Obsession Blog

If you’re just a Bullet Point Girl, you’re good. You can go read all your other blogs now. You’ve got the gist of it … bwahahaha! If you’re like me and have to know all the deets of new things and changes, then please get comfy and stick around for a little bit. Well, okay, a lotta’ bit … it’s LONG.

Let’s begin with some history. I started this blog (back before it was self-hosted, the address was www.scrapbookobsession.wordpress.com) in January 2007. I can’t believe it but that’s almost 5 1/2 years ago! On the ABOUT ME page, here is the explanation ~ written years ago and it still holds true ~ about why I love having this blog:

I am obsessed with scrapbooking and I know you are too! I think about it, talk about it, and do it any chance I get. I love to shop as much as I love to crop. My blog has: product reviews, show reviews, scrapbook organization, my shopping finds, and just general scrapbook topics. There are so many scrap blogs out there where the author journals about their life and shares their pages. I wanted my blog to be a little different. Hope you enjoy!

I started and have continued this blog all these years because I’m – you guessed it – scrapbook obsessed! I still love everything scrapbooking, talking about it, thinking about it, and writing about it. What has changed in recent years is, as you know, the economy. I’ve gone through some work changes over that time as well, from part-time to full-time to freelancing, from working from home to working in an office with a commute, etc.

Unfortunately, I’m not one of those lucky mommy bloggers who doesn’t have to work and can devote all the time I want to writing (even though I’d love to be, and am SO envious of those in that position). Disclaimer: Please don’t think I’m saying that being a full-time SAHM is easy ‘cuz I’m most certainly not. I run a home, cherish a marriage, raise kids, volunteer, AND work full-time. I know how hard it is, believe me! So basically it comes down to writing the blog or housework. I decided to let the housework go.

I’m also not one of those lucky ones with enough expendable income to pay others to design my blog and make it all purdy and interactive and slammin’ awesome. Sometimes when I make a little dough from my MEMORY WORKS consultant gig, I’ll put a little bit towards the maintenance or updating of this blog (e.g., paying for my own domain, buying premium themes, purchasing spam protection, etc.).

If you’re a longtime reader, you know that I’ve been posting a lot less than I used to. It’s not that I don’t want to write … I do! I still keep up with the industry, I know what new products are coming out, I hear the scrapbook gossip, and I have opinions, gurlll! I *want* to be able to write and share and laugh with you about it all.

But let’s get real: In this economy, the “fluff” parts of life have to take a back seat to the “real” parts a lot of the time. If I have a choice between booking a transcribing job or writing a blog post, guess which one I have to pick? I don’t like doing quickie posts for the most part, so I need at least an hour or two to sit down and do research, write a post, edit/download photos, include links, etc. Although in the interest of posting more often, I’m going to have to get over my long-post-itis and write shorter posts sometimes … hope ya’ don’t mind.

Anyway, writing a scrapbook blog takes longer than you’d think :) It’s a time commitment, for sure. {Okay, here’s a depressing thought: If I added up all the time I’ve spent over the last 5 years writing these 879 posts, I could’ve been running a Fortune 500 company by now – ha!}

As I’ve looked for ways to make money working from home (which I feel I’ve been called to do), I’ve been learning a lot about this idea of “monetizing your blog,”, which in my case would be making small amounts of money if you click on a scrapbook-related ad on my site or even more if you then make a purchase.

Anyway, it just seems like a logical next step for me. I’ve spent over 5 years writing for free – gratis – nada. I’ve linked up hundreds of companies and exposed customers to their products. I’ve enabled and help sell their items anyway (with not one word of thanks from any of them, btw). So if I can continue to write about the hobby-love of my life {{SCRAPBOOKING}} and make a little bit of money doing it, why shouldn’t I? And if it’s a successful thing, then scrapbook blogging just bumped up in my list of priorities right? I mean, if I can spend an hour blogging and it ends up having a better financial return than, say, an hour of cutting coupons than it’s a win-win, right?

And that’s all I’m hoping for – a few dollars here and there. I don’t have any delusions that I’ll get rich from this (even though I see so many bloggers of ALL kinds doing just that and it makes me SOOOO jealous! Srsly, there are people making 6 and 7 figures from this shizzle. LOL). But if putting some (what I hope are) not-annoying ads on this well-established blog can generate a little bit of income, I’m going to give it a try. I may fall flat on my face but I’m always one who likes to TRY so at least I can say I did, ya’ know?

Here’s what I need from you: Let me know what you think about the changes as they come along and be BRUTALLY honest, okay? {Okay, here is where I get mushy…}. In the 5+ years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve been amazed, touched, and humbled that people like you actually take time out of your busy day to read it. I’m so very grateful for the support you’ve always given me by way of a Comment, a hit, a laugh, a link, a subscription – I love it all!

I’ve “met” so many wonderful scrapbookers because of this blog and I don’t want that to EVER stop. So one of my main goals with these changes is to *not* alienate you, piss you off, drive you away, make you hate me, or make you laugh at me (well, okay, feel free to laugh at me as you always have).

Here’s my fear: As this “monetizing your blog” trend has slowly made it’s way through Scrapbook World*, I’ve heard the comments on scrapbook message boards that go like this: “I used to love that blog and read it every day but now it just seems like one big ad” and “That used to be a wonderful blog but I’m tired of them always trying to sell me something.”

*Here are some examples of monetized scrapbook blogs that I personally read (not to bag on them, just to illustrate what I’m talking about): BECKY HIGGINS, ALI EDWARDS, HEIDI SWAPP, and LAIN EHMANN.

So bottom line: If these changes end up with me losing readers and friends, than they are so outta’ here. I’m not willing to trade a little dough for the friendship, loyalty, and fellowship you’ve given me for almost 5 years and I hope will continue to. So. Not. Worth it.

But if you do end up liking the changes {or at least not minding them awfully much}, then I will be in scrapblog heaven. My hope is that I pick products, classes, etc. that you actually want to hear about. I hope you find them helpful or at least provide some scrappy eye candy.

So stay in touch with me. Give me your feedback. Laugh at me, not with me, I don’t care :) If at any point, you’re throwing up your hands and walking away from me for good, leave me a nasty parting comment so I know what’s up in the hizzy. You can also e-mail me any ol’ time: scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com. If you don’t tell me, how will I know, ya’ know? I’m not a frickin’ mind reader.

Oh yeah, in case you’re wondering, the dripping sarcasm will continue ;)

I’m not gonna’ turn all corporate and proper on you. I’m going to continue being my brutally honest self and tell you what I really think about things. For instance, I could’ve just starting sneaking in affiliate links without explanation … but I gotta’ be real witchoo. My comments will be honest – good or bad. Always have, always will. That’s probably the totally wrong thing to do from a business perspective but whatever. Screw ’em.

And I won’t sell you down the river. I’ll be posting a Disclaimer and/or Affiliate page that explains all this, but basically I won’t lie just to sell something. If I think something’s crap, I’ll still tell you. And if I think it’s the best thing since sliced … erm, patterned paper … I’ll tell you that, too.

So that’s what’s going on as of now. There may be other changes – mostly to format, I hope, because honestly I don’t like the way this blog looks right now. But me learning how to fix things the way I want them is painfully slow … like watching Stickles dry. If you come to visit my blog and it looks all wonky, please forgive :) I’m about as talented a blog designer as Lady Gaga is shy. There WILL be hiccups and goofy shizzle. {For instance, I’ve been playing with the clickable 2peas links in my right sidebar recently to make sure they work}. But I’ll do my best to fix things and welcome (like you wouldn’t BELIEVE!) input and criticism.

Sooooo … clear as mud? GREAT! Thanks for reading and please tell me what you think!

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  1. avatar
    smcl says:

    Good for you! Give it a go! I have missed your blogging more lately, though I see & respond to you at 2peas. How is your iPhone?

    1. avatar
      Scrapbook Obsession says:

      Hi & thanks! I hope to be posting more again. My iPhone is still wonky. It won’t go into landscape mode and the camera is upside down :( I’ll be calling AppleCare today.

  2. avatar

    Thanks for your honesty…i don’t mind ads.

    1. avatar
      Scrapbook Obsession says:

      Thank you for the input. I appreciate it!

  3. avatar

    This was a really nice message to send to your readers. Ads don’t bother me at all, in fact I click on them anytime I can just to help fellow bloggers out. I have ads on my scrapbooking blog and the little bit that I make helps me keep my blog going. It does NOT affect my reviews or my content at all. I still only post honest reviews and only highlight products that I love. :)

    1. avatar
      Scrapbook Obsession says:

      Thank you so much, Kat. I agree with all you said and will be doing things the same way here :)

  4. avatar

    I don’t monetize my blog altho I cud. I don’t like blogs that are full of ads.. exception being abeautifulmess.
    I go to blogs strictly for the content. blogs that are full of buy this, support that, I stay away from.
    Just my thoughts.

    1. avatar
      Scrapbook Obsession says:

      Thanks Bonita. I’m hoping I can strike the right balance where there is still mostly content, with a few ads mixed in. My opinions – even if an affiliate link is included – will still be honest. I hope I haven’t/don’t scare you off. I always enjoy your comments :)

  5. avatar
    Carol in the Land of Oz says:

    Do what you need to do, I read all those blogs too. I read what I want and ignore what I don’t. I have purchased and learn some things through the advertising. We enjoy you and your thoughts on scrapbooking (and other topics too) and we will navigate our way around. Good luck–keep up the good work!

    1. avatar
      Scrapbook Obsession says:

      Thank you so much, Carol! I really appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. I tend to do the same thing with blogs – I can usually even tell in my reader with the title and first few lines whether it will be an ad-filled post. If it is, I either pass it or check it out depending on if it’s something I might be interested in. Not all ads are bad, LOL! Sometimes they turn you on to a great product or idea.

  6. avatar

    I also blog and have just begun to figure out the whole monetizing thing. I’m also still with blogger and want to switch to wordpress. It’s all rather daunting for a SAHM like me so I appreciate when a blogger takes the time to explain things. Good luck with al the changes!

    1. avatar
      Scrapbook Obsession says:

      Hi Marty ~ Thank you for commenting. I’m so with you on the “figuring it all out” thing, especially with our busy lives, right? You sit down, start learning something about WordPress or formatting or linking and then the dryer buzzes or it’s time to make dinner, LOL. Hang in there! I wish you much luck with your blog :)

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