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Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Sincere Apology

After the events of the last few days, I feel I owe my readers an apology. I underestimated and somewhat took my readers for granted, and didn't show the appreciation and consideration you deserved.

In trying to increase the earnings of my blog to provide some much needed cash for my family, I made a move that upset quite a few readers by the type of ad I decided to put up. I did not notice how much some of you had become attached to my blog.
I didn't realize how much Penniless Parenting means to you to the extent that you became bothered by my seemingly patronizing a company which appeared to contradict that which I represent. I appreciate and thank you for your dedication to my site and the values it espouses and now see that that ad seemed like a slap in the face and a taunt of you to those of you trying to cut back on needless spending.

In the ensuing madness, I got all emotional and defensive and said some things I regret in the heat of the moment, things that made it sound that this blog is all about the money, and that I could care less about my readership and their feelings.
For this, I apologize.  I was attacked by a serious case of foot in mouth disease; I said things without thinking them through and figuring out if what I said fully represents the truth of the matter.
The truth is not exactly what my statement might have led you to think.

In all honesty, I started this particular blog with the hopes of making money. I had a different (non public) blog for a year beforehand, but decided to make a public blog with a narrow focus (frugality and parenting) so I could appeal to a greater population of readers and hopefully use it to supplement our income. Hence Penniless Parenting was born.

Yes, I started this blog with the goal of making money, but Penniless Parenting has become a lot more than that to me. In the 7 months since I started my site, Penniless Parenting has changed my life in numerous ways.

I've created many friendships and formed bonds with like-minded women. With the help of dedicated readers, we've developed a wonderful, supportive community, to be there for each other both in times of joy and times of need. When I write, I write with the knowledge that my friends are reading and hopefully cheering me on, or perhaps giving me solutions, empathy and advice for issues that have been troubling me.

By having my blog, I feel that my sphere of influence has extended beyond just my husband and children. I feel like I actually have a shot at making a change in the world, especially when I get feedback from you how much my frugal tips have helped you save. This really means so much to me, as my main subconscious desire is to feel valued and appreciated and not just float through life unnoticed. By reading my blog, you help me fulfill my dreams; thank you for that.

By writing daily, even when circumstances are tough, I feel my writing has improved. Why, looking back at my original blog posts make me cringe! Having my blog helps me hone my skills, something beneficial in the world at large, especially if I have no college degree and am looking to work from home. I also am able to keep from feeling that my brain is turning to mush as some stay at home moms feel happens to them.

Penniless Parenting has become such a huge part of my life. I feel it represents who I am and what I am all about. It is what interests me and motivates me to do so many things. When I wake up in the morning, I rush to the computer to see what wonderful comments readers left overnight, and periodically throughout the day, I stop everything I'm doing to check if I've got any more feedback from you. Having my blog makes me feel worthwhile and appreciated, and that is all thanks to you, my wonderful readers and commenters.

Can I say that I am in this only for the money? 
Definitely not.
Because if it were only about the money, I would have given up by now, as my monetary return so far has been minimal.
Because if it were only about the money, I wouldn't have blogged for more than a year on my old blog, without having had a single ad.
Because if it were only about the money, I wouldn't take things so personally. When I get positive feedback, my heart melts. Negative feedback raises my hackles, specifically because I care about what my readers think and I start getting all defensive because I want to fix incorrect assumptions.
Because if it were only about the money, it and you wouldn't matter to me so much.
But you do.

Money Makes a Difference
Yes, money isn't the only reason I have my blog. But I cannot deny that it does play a part.
Viewing my blog as a business and money making venture allows me to take my posting seriously and to give my blog my all.
My time is usually short, my nerves sometimes frazzled, and my house sometimes (often) is falling in disarray. I am able to excuse myself from my other responsibilities and dedicate time to my blog because I know that that is the only way I can hope to make money from it- by having a blog with regular posts, even if I don't feel like it.
If my blog wasn't monetized, I'd probably still post, but wouldn't do it nearly as frequently as I do now; I'd probably only post as the desire struck me.
If my blog wasn't monetized, I'd probably write on a larger variety of topics, because I wouldn't care about trying to appeal to the largest audience; I'd just write for myself.
If my blog wasn't monetized, I wouldn't market my blog in the way I have and wouldn't try to spread the word about it, because the amount of readers I have wouldn't matter as much to me.
If my blog wasn't monetized, I wouldn't put myself and my life and my husband's life out there for criticism and comments as I have. I'm willing to sacrifice a measure of privacy because my blog is monetized. If no money were in the picture, I'd probably keep any personal details off my blog.

Yes, money does make a difference to me. Its not my only motivator, and its not my biggest reason for blogging, but I won't discount my blog as a way of making money.
No, I will never promise to be an ad free blog. If this causes some blog purists to leave, then that would sadden me, as I value the comments from all of you, but I'd have to get over it and move on. I do hope that the rest of you, and even blog purists, can see that monetizing my blog is what allows my blog to be what it is, gives me the motivation to write even when it may not be so easy to do so, and helps me do my part to support my family and improve our financial situation.
Because I appreciate you and do have your best interests at heart, I will try my very best not to be tempted into putting up ads that I cannot stand behind 1000% and that might misrepresent me and my motto.

I'm sorry for what I've said, and I hope you see that what I had said was simply a rash and untrue statement said in an emotional state . Please find it in your hearts to forgive me.

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