Little House. Big Changes. Maybe.

First and foremost (before I start rambling on about who knows what) I want to say thank you to all of you. Y’all are seriously the best readers that a couple of DIY/decor/cooking/how-to/cocktail/travel/puppy bloggers could ask for.

As you probably know, Kevin and I are engineers. We love numbers (well, Kevin loves them… I’m ambivalent) and both spend entirely too much time checking LHBH’s stats page throughout the day. For us, part of the fun of blogging is seeing how many people land in our little corner of the internet each day,  what you click on, which posts get searched and pinned, where in the world you come from (all these places, by the way).

LHBH Countries

Lately, we’ve noticed a trend. A upwards trend. We’re getting more views – lots more views. For some reason, y’all seem to like what we’ve got going on here at LHBH. Naturally, we’re flattered. I’m blushing right now, actually. We never expected LHBH to have any more readers than our moms (and we figured they’d take some convincing), so to have all of you stopping by makes us outright giddy.

And it’s not just you. We’ve been approached by a few marketing companies to buy advertising space and would really like to join both the BlogHer network (we’re members with Twitter and Pinterest but not the blog) and a few affiliate programs we’ve researched (but we can’t, not just yet anyway).

It’s amazing and awesome and scary that our little blog could grow that much if we’re willing to put in the time and effort… and make the transition to WordPress.org.

wordpress

We’re still waffling on the decision to move or stay. If we stay we can continue as we are, focusing on DIY and writing when we can with no pressure to crank out five posts a week. If we move and get sponsors and affiliates, it’ll require a little more dedication (and money) that we’ve had to put in so far.

It’s scary, especially for me. I’m always afraid of failure. What if we try to move the blog and loose all of our previous posts? Or loose you as followers by adding ads and affiliate links to the site? Maybe we should just stay here at WordPress.com where it’s cozy and safe.

Have you made the .com to .org WordPress switch? Have you considered monetizing your blog? Would ads and affiliate links turn you off the blog?

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29 thoughts on “Little House. Big Changes. Maybe.

  1. I made the big switch a few months ago, once I was offered a sponsorship that felt like a good fit AND that covered one year’s hosting in one fell swoop. Making the switch itself wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be – but there was an hour or two where I thought I’d broken the blog… (I hadn’t at all, things just take a while to get back to normal!)
    Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions! I’m with bluehost and have been happy with them so far.

      • Don’t worry too much about the coding side of things, I re-did my whole site customising a template, I did even manage to tweak the code without knowing what I was actually doing (if you google what you want to do and the name of the template you’re using, someone will tell you how to do it, normally in the wordpress.org forums).
        I found the hardest part was getting my domain name to redirect, but I actually think if I’d been a bit more patient, even that bit was easy! I just panicked because it took a while.

  2. This is super exciting for you guys! Way to go! You both deserve it! For me- I don’t mind ads and things on the side bar and such but I’m not a huge fan of sponsored posts- they just seem fake to me. A monthly shout out is fine but projects done just because someone gave you something free seem out of place. If it’s something you would have done anyways or a creative spin on something- I still like those. It’s just about finding a balance I think and staying genuine! I’ll still be reading along no matter what you decide. Congrats! And good luck if you make the jump! Coding and web design is tricky! … but do-able!

  3. First and foremost, congratulations! That’s exciting stuff! I have indeed considered making the switch from .com to .org (why didn’t I just start with .org in the first place?!) and hope to monetize my blog in the future. If you do go down that road, I hope you’ll share the process with your readers (and fellow bloggers, like me!). What I love about your blog is how accessible it (and you both) are. I feel like I’m reading the diary of some DIYers. I get turned off from blogs when almost every other post is sponsored and they take on contributors so it feels like their blog is a production rather than a reflection of real life home making progress. Basically, I get turned off when bloggers stop pursuing their true passions and start pursuing the dollar signs. I do think it can be done and be done quite successfully. Like YHL: they’re HUGE but still manage to keep it real. Good luck : ]

    • Well if I wasn’t blushing before I sure am now! Thanks you so much for your kind words! I think you just made my day 🙂

      Right now it would just be a few sidebar ads that would hopefully cover the cost of self-hosting and maybe a giveaway or two during the year (you guys are amazing and we want to give back to you!).

      And if/when we do make the switch, I plan on having a step-by-step how-to for other people that are as code-phobic as myself!

    • I totally agree with everything Jennifer had to say! What an awesome time for you guys…and I’d really be interested to hear about how the process of monetizing goes. I thought about it a few times, but I always shy away because I feel like I woudln’t be able to get great posts done 5 days a week. So exciting!! Good luck!! 🙂

  4. I’m fine with ads, and I don’t mind sponsored posts – as long as they’re done well. Katie at Bower Power does a great job of making her sponsored posts feel natural. Sometimes I don’t even realize they’re sponsored until I read her disclaimer at the bottom (which, I just learned, is a requirement by the FTC even for bloggers with affiliate links). On the other hand, other people write sponsored posts and I cringe while I’m reading it. So, it’s all about the presentation!

    I’ve always done self hosting so I can’t give you any advice on wordpress.com vs .org. I don’t have any sponsors because I haven’t gotten on the regular posting regimen. I have a goal, though! Seeing that you have gotten offers is motivating me to make a few posts that I have rolling around in my head. I tend to stop writing when I see tiny viewership (not even my family reads my food blog), but that’s no reason to stop.

    Even if you don’t make money to cover your costs, it sounds like you are blogging as a hobby, because you like it. Lots of hobbies cost money, and hosting fees are tiny. I’d go ahead with the switch. It’s an investment. How good you will feel in 10 years to have this wonderful house diary!

    • Thanks so much for responding, Jennifer! We’re terrified of the switch, but I think we’re probably going to end up going that way in the end.

      And I guess you’re right; when I compare what hosting fees would be as compared to our scuba equipment or road bikes… it’s not much. And we have had several discussions on how wonderful it will be to look back on our first home together someday!

  5. I’d say go for it! You’re doing a great job and you deserve it. I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to make it work for you guys. I don’t mind advertisements in the sidebar at all – I’ve usually found some great companies that way.

  6. I don’t usually click on sidebar advertisements, but I don’t mind them either. The only thing I mind is when DIY bloggers get free products and services from companies. That just makes me feel like I can’t relate anymore. I.E. Sure, they can remodel their kitchen, they got all the tile for free.

    Love your blog! keep up the good work!

    • Thanks so much, Jill!

      I don’t know that we’d ever accept free products, especially on that scale. And I understand where you’re coming from… we’re remodeling the backyard and bathroom this year, but we’ve been saving for two years from every single pay check to be able to do the renos!

  7. Dooo ittt! There is absolutely nothing wrong with making a little bit of extra money off of your successful blogging! I agree with what everyone has said about making any sponsored posts natural, but honestly a few ads and sponsored posts don’t annoy me in the least. If I don’t want to read about the product I just skip it and come back the next day 🙂

    I look at it this way, sponsors and ads = more money and more money = more projects and things for you to post about. Everybody wins 🙂

  8. I say go for it! I made the switch this month and it honestly feels the same, except I have more freedom with the way things look… and that is something I love. It really isn’t that bad to make the swatch and if I can do it (I called technical support a few times), you two definitely can!

  9. I am all for bloggers monetizing their blogs – as long as they keep blogging for the love of it, you know? Sometimes, its sad, but you can tell when a person switches from blogging because they love it to blogging for the cash. Not everyone (I have ads – I am TOTALLY not judging anyone for making money) but sometimes, you know?

    Good Luck!

    • Thanks, Bekah!

      Luckily for the blogging-for-the-love-of-it front, Kevin and I are both blessed with really good engineering jobs. This allows us to blog with out needing the money it could make. If we do monetize, the money will go directly back into growing the blog. We don’t have plans of quitting our day jobs any time soon!

  10. I think you guys should do what works best for you. If that’s staying where you are and comfy, awesome! And if it’s growing your blog, awesome too! I will still happily check in every day 🙂

  11. CONGRATS!!! That is SO exciting. I have to admit that while I was reading other blogs out there, it was knowing another young, Dallas-ite couple was out there doing their own blog, that made me decide to try it myself! It’s awesome to see some rewarding progress for you guys.

    I admit that there are times I wished I’d started off on the .com version of WordPress (since I’m paying for and not making money for my .org version), but I was trying to think ahead in case I was ever as lucky and successful as you guys!

    Unless you ever have annoying, musical ads with pop-ups constantly- I’ll still be reading your stuff 🙂

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