Armchair BEA: Beyond the Blog

Today’s topic for Armchair BEA is “Beyond the Blog.” Β We’re supposed to talk about how we monetize our blog and how we are achieving our personal writing goals.


Okay, first of all, this is my financial goal as far as monetizing my blog:

But really, at the moment, the actual monetization of my blog is more like this:

So if any of you established bloggers have great words of wisdom on how I can get from point A to point B (or, I guess, from point B to point A, considering the order I put those GIFs up), I’m all ears. Eyes? Dang it, my colloquialisms fall apart on the Internet.

[Edit: Since several people are mentioning this in the comments, I already am an Amazon Associate. I detail that and other small ways readers can support my blog here. So far I have made enough to buy half an old paperback. Woohoo!]

As for writing outside the blog…well, like probably every other book blogger on the planet, I’ve at least flirted with the idea of writing my own book. I’ve conceptualized, outlined, and discarded two concepts for a book. I’m a really harsh critic, especially on myself, and neither concept held up once I attacked it with my brain. But who knows. Maybe someday.

But for right this minute, I’m happy cultivating my little blog. It’s still new and shiny, and I’m excited to see if it will grow into something special. I mean, I already think it’s special, but it’s my blog. I’m supposed to think that.

I think my mom thinks that too.

So instead I will share a fun aspect about my life, because that’s what we’re supposed to do if none of the day’s topics apply to us. And the most fun (and infuriating) aspects of my life are these two goobers:

My oldest is 6, and she is just starting to read beginner chapter books to herself. I’m trying to convince her to help me launch a new children’s section of my site, where I would provide a brief summary and parent reaction to a children’s book, and then she would provide the child’s perspective. If, that is, I can get her to say more than 3 words to me about the books she reads.

I think I’m winning her over, because I just received three ARCs of children’s books in the mail. Did you know they even made ARCs for children’s books? Well they do, I got them, and she read them, and one of them came with jewelry. So bribery may be swaying her to my cause.

My youngest is 3, and she is not reading yet. She also is not entirely sure of the difference between letters and numbers, and even though I consider myself an intelligent person, I’m having the hardest time explaining it to her. I know, it should be simple, but sometimes when you are dealing with a 3-year-old, simple things are not as simple as they should be. So she keeps doing things like looking at flowers and telling me they start with ‘4’. Which makes sense in her world, because ‘flower’ and ‘four’ start with the same sound, whereas when I tell her ‘flower’ actually begins with ‘F’, she retorts that can’t be true because ‘F’ starts with an ‘eh’ sound. And by the time we’re finished, she’s halfway convinced me that ‘flower’ starts with ‘4.’

Why is any of this relevant? Well.

A large part of the reason why I love to read YA books, aside from the fact that I really do personally enjoy them, is because I know that in a few years, my kids will be old enough to read them. Maybe not the more mature ones (you had better believe I’m not giving a copy of The Immortal Rules to a 10-year-old. Right now, they both claim that there are scary parts in Backyardigans), but at least the middle grade titles. And by the time they are old enough to read those books, it is my goal to have a home library full of books they will love that I have already read. And then not only will I know what they’re reading, but I will be able to talk about the books with them.

I want to be a mom my kids can talk to. I want to be able to understand what they like. Both of my kids have displayed a great love of books since they were babies. My 6-year-old takes one of her chapter books to bed with her every night. She actually cornered me in the kitchen the other night, when I thought she had been asleep for an hour, because she was upset that her book ended on a cliffhanger (who knew Rainbow Fairy books ended on cliffhangers?) and she wanted me to buy the next one. Right then.

So if she stays true to form (and if she has any of my genes…which I’m pretty sure she does…), she will be a voracious reader into her tween years and beyond. And by the time she’s old enough to realize what I’m doing with my blog, hopefully she’ll think it’s awesome. And we will be our own book club. And it will be glorious.

Hm. This post turned into something different than what I was intending when I started it. But I think I’m okay with that.

In case you’ve missed any of my previous Armchair BEA posts, here they are:

Introductions First!

Best of 2012 + Win a TIMEPIECE Poster (probably signed by Myra McEntire)!

Networking…in Real Life?!

As a bonus, I guest posted about YA Dystopians on my friend Kelly’s blog this week. Check it out!

48 thoughts on “Armchair BEA: Beyond the Blog

  1. Ducktales – woohoo!! (I had to sing that of course!)

    Your girls are so cute! What a great idea to have book reviews with your daughter’s perspective. I would love to read those posts! My fondest reading memories were when I was in elementary school and I’d spend all my time during recess at the library reading as much as I could. Children’s books – especially fairy tales – are my favorite to read!
    Kris Ellsworth recently posted..Armchair BEA: Beyond the BlogMy Profile

  2. I just read the part about your 3-year-old and the “flower” and “4” to my husband. I could barely read it from laughing so hard (like tears pouring down my face, sucking in air as I’m trying to regain control, laughing). I’ve said it before, but I think your 3 YO and my 4 YO are cut from the same cloth. (PS. It’s totally weird using non-specific terms for your family and mine when I know everyone’s name, but I want to help you keep your professional anonymity.)
    Kelly recently posted..Throwback Thursday: Fahrenheit 451My Profile

  3. I think it’d be a great idea to have a children’s section! I always love that and it’s interesting to see both parent and child’s reactions. πŸ™‚ It’s cool they make ARCs for them too!

    I’m not a pro when it comes to the monetize thing, but I use affiliate links for myself, which is a good start. You can have their banners in the sidebar or link books in IMMs or reviews, so you get a small % if someone buys anything after going through that link. πŸ™‚ You can google Amazon Associates and I know Barnes and Noble have a link in their footer with how to become an affiliate, etc. πŸ™‚

    My Beyond the Blog post!
    Rebecca (Kindle Fever) recently posted..Armchair BEA: Beyond the BlogMy Profile

  4. Love your post! As a tween myself, I can say that I inherited my dad’s very quick ability to read, and my mom’sβ€”not “love” probably “like”β€”to read and that’s spiraled into a full-out love for me! Hopefully your daughter will be having the same experience as me!

    And I’m sorry about the flowers and fours. I LOVED that section, I was just cracking up! πŸ™‚ You should give her other numbers that start with F. I wonder how she’ll react then. πŸ˜‰

    Check out my Armchair BEA post!
    Eileen @ ***Singing and Reading in the Rain*** recently posted..Armchair BEA: Beyond the BlogMy Profile

  5. You should write your book. Look at the reaction to the ‘flower starts with 4’ anecdote. You’re good at this πŸ™‚

    Favorite line from the movie Finding Forrester;
    Your first draft you write with your heart your second draft with your head.

    get it down and worry if it makes sense, or holds up, later.
    Come on …go for it!! πŸ™‚
    Laura @ Bunny Tales recently posted..Networking??My Profile

  6. Great post! I also have no idea how to make money from my blog – I’ve been blogging for 2 years and I feel it’s almost impossible with a book blog.

    I’ve tried to get my teenage boys involved in my blog and they are willing to answers questions about the books they read, on a good day, but it’s then up to me to write the review (without having read the book myself, in most cases). So, not much has come off that but that’s fine.
    Judith recently posted..Armchair BEA – Day 4: Beyond the BlogMy Profile

  7. So, first of all your daughters ARE adorable (but no I don’t plan on stealing them) and they sound like awesome kids.

    I think it’s great that you’re already thinking ahead to what they’ll be reading when they hit double digit ages. And I love that you’ll already have a house full of books that you’ve read and will be able to give them specific suggestions about what to read! My mom read a lot so a lot of books I read as an early teenager were books from when she was younger (I blew through the entire Nancy Drew series in a summer). It was so awesome to be able to talk about books with her!

    You sound like a fantastic mom and your girls are extremely lucky!
    Sarah @ Breaking the BInding recently posted..Armchair BEA: The World Beyond the BlogMy Profile

  8. You girls are so adorable! I think every parent hopes that their children will be able to talk to them about anything. I hope the same thing for my kids. And yay for already having a reader. My son likes to read also, but it comes in small increments. One day he’ll be gung ho on reading, and others he’ll just be like eh.
    Katrina recently posted..Armchair BEA Day 4: Beyond the BlogMy Profile

  9. I’m convinced that all “F” sounding words now start with 4. Seriously, we could start a revolution. Ever read Frindle by Andrew Clemens? Kid calls a pen a frindle and it ends up changing the world and ending up in the dictionary when he’s older. Maybe I should say, 4rindle?

    Look what I can do:

    4airy, 4ume, 4art, 4irst, 4ort

    Your kid is a genius.
    Jessica @ Tales Between the Pages recently posted..Armchair BEA 2012: Beyond the BlogMy Profile

  10. Your daughters are so cute! I don’t have my own kids, but I do have stepkids and one of those steps has kids. One of them, I know you aren’t supposed to say this, but he is my favorite and I adore pre-reading books and then sharing them with him.

    They live a bit away so we don’t get to see them as much as we would like. The last time, he walked in the room and I didn’t get a shy hello like I normally would until he warmed up to me yet again. I got a “You sent me the Magic Tree House books! Thanks!” and a huge hug. Magic Moment.

    Back on subject, I didn’t do a post today, was in a mood and still suffering from the blogging blahs. If you would like to branch out a bit and possibly make some money, check out review publications like I know that The Tulsa Book Review was looking for reviewers a while back. You don’t have to live in Tulsa, they send you the books. Every once in a while, they and papers like them will have actual sponsored review opportunities. Some of the books can be stinkers and some are really good and lead to developing relationships with new authors.
    Gwen recently posted..Blogaversary and Welcome to Armchair BEAMy Profile

  11. I know what you mean about monetizing! I monetized my blog too and became an Amazon Associate, but between the two, I’ve earned very little from it. Even when I do finally start making money from it, all of it is going right back into my blog to do giveaways and such. I divide my writing time between my blog, my own manuscript that I’ve been working on for about two years, a manuscript I beta-read for my friend.

    Your daughters are adorable! I would have loved their dresses when I was their age. Heck, I would love their dresses now if they were in my size! And I think it’s great that you plan to have your house stocked with YA books you’ve already read and considered the content of for when your girls are old enough. I really respect parents that take charge and take the time to read any books their child may one day read/want to read.

    -Ashleigh at The Screaming Nitpicker
    Ashleigh recently posted..Armchair BEA 2012: Beyond the BlogMy Profile

    • Thanks so much! I agree, sometimes I look at my kids’ clothes and think, “why is that not in my size?”

      But then I think about moms who raid their 13-year-olds’ closets, and vow that I will never be that mom.

      And I’m totally with you on the monetization – my main goal is to be able to have money to do cool things with the blog. Buckets of cash would be nice, but really, I just want more books.
      TheHouseworkCanWait recently posted..Throwback Thursday (June 7) – Ender’s GameMy Profile

  12. Your daughters are adorable! It’s wonderful that the older one likes to read. At one of the book blogs I enjoy, Diary of an Eccentric, Anna young daughter, who loves to read began to write small reviews of the books she reads in the last year has . I just love reading what she thinks of the books…it’s really interesting.

    The begining of your post is funny and very creative. Wouldn’t it be great to get paid to review books, ideally the ones we enjoy reading already but to get paid to read and write sounds great!
    Good luck!
    Amy recently posted..Armchair BEA: Beyond Your Blog!My Profile

  13. Such an interesting post to read! It seems like a lot of bloggers are having the same trouble as you with only making a few bucks (or less) with monetizing their blogs.

    Loved reading about your kids too! Your daughter’s argument about flower starting with 4 does sound pretty convincing. The idea of having your own book club with your daughter some day sounds awesome! I wish my mom read YA books, haha. πŸ˜› Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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