Coffee Talk

It’s the weirdest thing, I got up this morning and I have no posts scheduled, none planned, and nothing due. WOOT! It was a great feeling, and then I was like…. Oh, wait. I have nothing to post!

That’s not really true. I have a ton of posts in my drafts that are half written and just waiting for me to find the time and inspiration. And I’m due for another #CoffeeTalk so here we are.


I’ve been spending this week on blog-improvement projects, and my head is swimming. I’m taking Melissa Culbertson’s Pinning Perfect class, I had a phone consult yesterday with the folks at Blogging Concentrated that gave me a task list that’s two pages long, and today I meet with a friend who is going to help me put my gift guides together because that task is getting super overwhelming.

My email inbox is getting out of control. I do like to discover new and interesting products to share in my gift guides, but I also include some of my favorite things as well so it truly represents me and my gift giving ideas, not whatever happens to fall into my inbox. So I have to comb through carefully and only respond to those that I think will be a really good fit.

What I realized during the phone consult yesterday is that I need a CEO. Those were Dan’s words, actually. That’s what he said. “You need a CEO so you can do the grunt work.”

Not that I feel like I’m doing grunt work, lol. But I get what he means.

I like to write and communicate with you guys. THAT is why I blog. I’m not a business person, I’m not a professional photographer, photo editor, and I’m certainly not a marketer or a project manager. I just want to create the content and talk to you, whether it’s here or on my Facebook page or where ever you guys are responding to what I write.

But there’s so much OTHER STUFF that goes along with blogging and running a blog this size. And THAT STUFF takes so much time and energy.

Sometimes it takes someone else — someone on the outside who is objective and strategic — asking you questions and putting things into perspective.

If I could hire someone else to do ALL THAT, I could write more and interact more, and that’s what I love. And that’s what keeps you coming back, right??

The question is, how does one go about finding someone to do ALL THAT? That’s the task at hand.

I hesitate to write about the back end of blogging. Sometimes I think y’all would rather not know. Some people probably would like to believe that it all happens magically.

But these posts are all about sharing what’s going on in my life, and right now, that is what’s going on. And truthfully, I never want to pretend that it all happens magically because that defeats the purpose… which is to keep it real.

When people ask what I write about, I always resort to “real life” terminology…. real food for real life, real fashion for real life, real life travel planning, real life entertaining and decor…. whatever I write about, it’s for the average suburban mom because that’s who I am.

So along those lines, I was watching Bethany Mota videos with my daughters the other day. If y’all don’t know who that is, she’s this huge YouTube sensation. YouTube is the next big thing, ya know. I wanted to see what she DOES that makes her so popular — and so rich. This is a kid who just started taking videos of herself in her bedroom, threw them up on YouTube, and eventually created such a huge following that she pulls in like $50,000 A MONTH in ad revenue. That is in addition to any sponsorships she might have. AND she has her own clothing line at Aeropostale.

I can see, after watching her on DWTS this season, that she does have a star quality about her, which is of course why she became such a huge YouTube sensation.

So I was watching her video with the kids to see how she does what she does, and I was baffled. She was just walking around her house making breakfast. And my kids were entranced.

Of course I had to burst their bubble. I started in, “You guys KNOW that she has a whole FILM crew there right now, right? This is not just her doing this. And you KNOW someone PAID her to use that product in this video right now, RIGHT???”

And they were all, “Mommmmmm…. stop being MEAN!”

My husband and I just laughed. I’m not being mean. I just know what goes on behind the scenes. They don’t get that I DO THIS…. to a much lesser degree. And why does she not disclose the product placements? Isn’t that required? But I digress….

It was just funny.

I definitely do not expect to be the next Bethany Mota, but if I could take it up a notch or two, that would be fun. Just to put it perspective for ya, I pull in about $500 a month in ad revenue. So, yeah. I’m not going to be walking in Bethany’s footsteps any time soon.

Of course, YouTube is where the money’s at. Bah. I hate video. See the part about “I just want to write…” above.

People are always shocked to hear I don’t enjoy video. But you put yourself all over your blog….

You guys, I am still embarrassed for people to see me plastered all over my blog. I’ve gotten a bit more used to it, but whenever someone I know in real life says, “Oh, I checked out your blog the other day…”

Ugh. All I see in my head is me posing like some kind of middle-aged super model wannabe, and I cringe.

But I know those are my most popular posts, and I get so much positive response from women who feel like it helps them figure out how to put outfits together and how to look stylish and age appropriate as they get older and aren’t so sure what works anymore, and I really do enjoy putting outfits together and figuring out what works. So I’ll carry on.

And I’ve come a long way. Do you ever look at the old outfit posts? They are often linked at the bottom of those posts in the “you might also like” section. I will click on those sometimes, and OMG some of those were awkward. I am always tempted to delete them, and then I don’t have the heart.

Well, that’s enough about me.

Stay tuned because I just peeked into my drafts folder, and there’s another fun mojito recipe that Colleen put together all ready to go. This one is perfect for the holidays.

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25 Responses

  1. I’ve loved your blog since I found it a little over a year ago. You just need to own it! I can totally see how you might be self-conscious, but as Elsa says, Let it go! I subscribe to several blogs, but yours is my favorite. I’m interested to hear about the business end of things. Its a world I know nothing about. Just remember you’ve got a huge audience seeking you out & we know what we like! Keep up the great work.
    There. I followed One Big Ramble with one of my own! Happy Thursday!

  2. Hey I’m a boring healthcare professional so it’s always been interesting to me to hear and read about blogging! I think everyone has this fantasy of sitting in their living room in front of the fire sipping coffee in your cozy fleeze pjs while you post and getting PAID for it! So much goes on behind the scenes and so much goes into just one post I’m sure there is SO much more than that.

    1. There IS more than that… and on the other hand… that is EXACTLY what I do! LOL. Of course, I’m also fielding a gazillion emails and trying to keep up with all the social media outlets and editing pictures and creating affiliate links and all that jazz. But it’s pretty cool that I get to do it all in my jammies if I want to. 🙂

  3. My kids love watching YouTube videos. I, on the other hand, hate it. I guess it’s just an age difference/preference. If there’s a blog post with a video, I rarely watch it (unless the topic is something I am really interested in and it’s super short) and I never click on Facebook videos.

    And I love gift guides at Christmas. My kids NEVER write me lists so I always spend huge amounts of time trying to figure out what they would like. Silly, huh? There’s always tons of guides for smaller kids which is crazy because there are always plenty of gift options for the little ones. It’s the 10 – 13 range that is so hard to buy for. UGH!!!

  4. I’ll have to ask my 3 teen and preteen boys if they know Bethany Mota. Thanks for your coffee talk posts. Very interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes. I always enjoy your fashion posts. You really are very photogenic!

  5. Love reading your blog. You keep it real and tell it like it is. I appreciate the way you actually talk to us, I have noticed that some of the big bloggers have become somewhat self centered. You have answered each and every question that I have asked and I appreciate that. Your opinions are honest and I appreciate that as well. Keep it up, you are wonderful!

    1. Awwww…. thanks!! It’s the interaction with you guys that I like the best! That’s why I’d love to get some of the other crap off my plate so I have more time to chat! 🙂

  6. I’d much rather read a blog than watch a video, but I think it is a generational thing. My daughters love videos. I do think Bethany Mota is adorable, I can see why kids like her. Everyone wants a peek into someone else’s life.

  7. I totally get that you’d be self conscious, but you totally rock it, friend!

    I have been asked several times why I don’t blog. But I just love reading so much, and I think I would spend so much time writing that I wouldn’t have time for the fun stuff. 😀

    (And how weird… I’m sitting in the airport and that crazy ostrich contraption ad popped up. Gotta say, I’m seeing the appeal right about now. 6am flights suck.

      1. Sorry, just saw this! It was for the ostrich pillow… and pop-up? Gosh, I don’t even remember. I’m sorry! I was either on my iPhone or iPad.

  8. I’m another one that isn’t always crazy about video. I’m much more likely to watch a video that’s part of an actual post. If I follow a link and all that’s there is a video I almost always just close it. Or see if there’s subtitles and watch that way. Since I often have a husband or baby sleeping nearby videos can be tough. But, I think I’ve watched every single one of yours 🙂

  9. Jo-Lynne,

    I love what you do and have been following you for quite some time now; I just don’t comment very often, I really should, so you know who’s reading! I’m currently a stay-at-home mom, but have background & experience in a lot of the areas you need help with behind the scenes. I’m currently in the middle of a major move 1/2 way across the country, but perhaps we could talk via email? Admin work is something I actually enjoy, maybe we could work something out.

    1. Hi Lora! Definitely reach out after your move. How exciting. I secretly WANT to move somewhere new… not b/c I don’t like it here. I really do. But I also think it would be fun to try somewhere new for a change.

  10. I have a 13 year old – Bethany is a household name here! LOL We even got up at 6 am last spring to go stand in line to meet her at Aeropostale. I like videos – I have a few Youtuber’s I follow. Mostly fashion/makeup. And thank goodness for Google and Youtube or my daughter would have never finished her Newton Scooter project!! I know that there is much more work behind the scenes running a blog than most of us are aware of. I think that Vlogging is new enough that most bloggers aren’t/(don’t need to be) “professional” just yet. Kind of like when blogs first started and most were a hobby not a career. Texas Monthly had an article on Amber Venz (creator of rewardStyle) in the September issue. Very interesting and I had no idea she is worth so much and that her company is only 3 years old. The next generation will have jobs choices we never imagined!!

  11. Love your honesty. My marketing/business brain is always thinking about the back end details stuff when I read your blog. “Do companies contact her?” “How does she prioritize what she promotes?” “Does she ever get tired of sitting at her computer to type/edit pictures, etc.?” “Fascinating” stuff for this detail oriented gal. Of course, I love what you write about and can relate to a lot….which is what keeps me coming back. Thanks for connecting so well with us all. As far as videos go, if it is something instructional (like makeup application), I’m all for it. Other than that, it just seems too time consuming to watch. Kind of like your in charge of my time instead of me (when I’m reading I feel like I’m in charge of my valuable time)…if that makes sense!

    1. That makes TOTAL sense. That is EXACTLY how I feel about videos. I just want to move it along. LOL!!! And unfortunately I rarely get tired of being at the computer. I have the opposite problem. It’s hard to pull myself away. But I have to b/c I don’t want my kids always remembering the back of my head. haha!

  12. I laughed when you wrote that you’re self conscious about your outfit posts – I think you always look great. As a new blogger, I come here often to see how you’re doing it! Love your coffee talk posts.

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