Recent Posts

Safely Displaying, Storing and Organizing Guitars

Safely Displaying, Storing and Organizing Guitars

I am trying to find a way to get all of Cliff’s guitars, amplifiers and the rest out of a big pile leaning against walls and at least a little more organized. There are a lot of posts and pages on the subject, but most […]

Fireplace Hood, Canopy or Heat Deflector

Fireplace Hood, Canopy or Heat Deflector

I’ve been looking at photos of the fireplaces in historic houses. I was trying to decide what will look best, or at least not stupid when I try to use an antique fireplace mantel with a new efficient gas heating stove. The idea is by […]

Mantel and Trim Clearance

Mantel and Trim Clearance

We want a gas stove that will actually provide practical heat. We want to use our antique mantel. And we don’t want our house to burn down. The stove cannot be pushed in close under our mantel. Minimum Clearances from the Stove to Combustibles This […]

Installing our Jotul Direct Vent Sebago

Installing our Jotul Direct Vent Sebago

We have pretty much finalized on the Jøtul GF 400 DV Sebago.  We just have to check all of the clearances now and make sure it will fit and won’t burn the house down. The PDF begins with “If the information in these instructions is […]

Comparing Vented Gas Stoves

Comparing Vented Gas Stoves

We want to have a fire in an antique mantel we bought. We have concluded that the mantel will go on the outside wall and the fireplace will vent through the wall. We gave up on the idea of it looking like a fireplace, so […]

Comparing Vent-Free Gas Stoves

Comparing Vent-Free Gas Stoves

I kinda had my heart set on adding a gas fire to make our antique mantel look like a real old fireplace. But it’s just not working. Anything that will fit doesn’t put out much heat. With the clearances it says we need, they won’t […]

Vented or Non-Vented Built-in Gas Fireplaces

Vented or Non-Vented Built-in Gas Fireplaces

We bought an antique mantel to put into our new house. We want to make the best choice for a gas fireplace to go in it. Vented or Non-Vented At first it seems like a non-vented fireplace might be better. They say they have up […]

Finding a Gas Fireplace for Our Mantel

Finding a Gas Fireplace for Our Mantel

We found an antique wood mantel on Facebook Marketplace while we were building our house. (It is mantel, el. A mantle is clothes. Spellcheck doesn’t catch this one.) We knew we wanted a gas fireplace to go with it, but which one? There were so […]

Building a 1350 square foot Spec House

Building a 1350 square foot Spec House

We heard chainsaws a few weeks ago that went on and on, so we walked out to see what was going on. They were clearing trees for a new house. They cut so many trees.

Meadowbrook Terrace Streambank Restoration Day 2

Meadowbrook Terrace Streambank Restoration Day 2

By the time we got out there again on the second day they had already been working for hours. The pumps were set up again and the brook was nearly dry. Now they were up to the bamboo roots. It took us a while to […]


Small House - Big Life

Want to be a Blogger?

Want to be a Blogger?

I am frequently asked how to be a blogger. The answer really depends on what you want out of it.

I’ve been writing for years. I’ve only monetized blogging about a year ago and I am surprised how much money my blogs are generating.

Why do you want to blog?

There are a lot of reasons to blog. I enjoy writing. You can blog to share your writing and to demonstrate your skill if you want to get copy writing or ghost writing jobs.

A blog attracts traffic to an existing website.

Most people tell me their first reason is to make money. Yes, you can make money blogging.

Express Yourself

Blogging can be a great creative outlet. Blog to share your photos or writing while maintaining some control over everything else that shows on the page.

Showcase Your Writing

If you would like to be a professional writer, a blog showcases your abilities. You can create articles and posts demonstrating the different styles and “voices” you can write in.

If professional writing is your goal, you need to carefully proofread everything you write before you publish.

Learn WordPress

I first started blogging to learn WordPress. I had been a web designer for years, but could see that WordPress could be a good fit for some clients. WordPress wasn’t as easy to use as it is now, so I need to know how to provide a lot of help. I also wanted to be able to show examples of simple sites clients could do themselves.

I took a few things I had written back in school and turned them into small blogs. Each small blog demonstrated a different theme and different plugins.

My first small blogs: Hilton Head Island, Ireland: a Different Visit, Caving

Earn Income

Yes, you can make money blogging.

If this is your goal, think about who might want to advertise on your blog. Look at other blogs that talk about the same topics you are thinking about blogging about. Who advertises on their sites? Start a list. See what they are selling. Who would buy those products?

Once you have a good guess of your potential advertisers target audience, write for them. The audience your site attracts makes a big difference in how much money your site earns. A click on my site about Caving earns a few pennies. A click on My design42: Lighting and Design or Project Small House earns much more. These sites are reaching the site visitors advertisers will pay more for.

Attract More Traffic to an Existing Web Site or Store

Add a blog to any site to increase traffic.
If this is your goal, stay on target. You don’t just want to attract traffic. You want to attract customers.

Blog about the products you sell. Add photos and details that aren’t available anywhere else.

Choose a product for each post. Think of everything someone might want to know about it. Perhaps show how it goes with another product.

Think like a customer. What would you search for? What would you want to know. Write the posts your customers wants to find.

How Do I Start?

Start writing.  If you are already writing, look at everything you’ve written. Would any of it work as a blog?

If you don’t already write, start creating a few posts and articles in Word. This will give you an idea whether blogging is going to be something you enjoy and will give you the posts and pages you need to start your blog.

How Much Does It Cost?

It doesn’t have to cost much at all to get started as a Blogger. You can have a Blog on DreamHost for as little as $2.59 a month. They install WordPress for you and even register your Domain Name for free!

Compare Hosting Prices on DreamHost >

How Long Does It Take?

Writing each Post doesn’t have to take long at all. WordPress has an app that works on your phone. You can take a photo and create a post out of it really quickly. I save them as Drafts, then take some more time with them later.

You can write a bunch of Posts, then schedule when you want them to publish.

How Long Does It Take To Make Money?

I don’t know. Some of my Blogs make money right away. Others sit around, then take off. One Blog only had 4 pages. I wasn’t all that interested in the subject after my initial enthusiasm. Then someone Pinned a photo from it on Pinterest. The pin was re-pinned and re-pinned and the little 4-page site earned a little over $6.00 a month for a few months. I added a few more posts and now it averages $20.00 a month. No, that’s not much. But, it’s stuff that I wrote years ago. It adds up.

Blogging isn’t free money. It takes time to write something that is worth reading. It takes time for Google to find you. But a good Post or Page continues to get traffic. Little by little it adds up.

Is it a Post or a Page? >
What is a Good Format for a Blog Post or Web Page? >
How Do I Monetize My Blog? >