Ask Jo: How to Help

Every once in a while I take time here on the blog to answer reader comments and questions.  Today is one of those days.

I recently got the nicest email from Abby in ND.  She writes, “Jo-love the free patterns.  Keep them coming.  You’re always so busy with working on your new house and giving us free patterns, I wish there was some way I could help you.”

It’s emails like this that make me love blogging.  Time and time again we get great comments from blog readers saying phrases about enjoying the blog,  liking our free patterns and recipes and they hope we keep blogging for forever.  Here’s the good news…we want to keep blogging….we want to keep bringing you new free patterns and recipes and we like blogging too!!

Bloggers are remiss in talking about it but there really are a few things you can do to help us (and other bloggers) be able to keep blogging….

Let me explain a little how blogging works (at least from our perspective)  I started the blog years ago…Back in June of 2009.   (WOW, I didn’t realize it was that long ago)  I started with the encouragement of my daughter Kayla.  To be honest, I didn’t even really know much about blogs at all.  Kayla knew I was really poor at labeling or documenting my quilt projects and she just wanted me to do that.  Blogging seemed like a pretty good format for that.  Once I started blogging, I loved it.  I’ve always been a stay at home mom, or worked from home.  I don’t get out and meet a lot of people so blogging seemed like a perfect way for me to have more people contact.

Then one day after I complained to Kayla that although I loved blogging I didn’t know if I wanted to afford the costs of blogging.  It was only $30 a month at the time (lots more now) but I was trying to be frugal.  That’s when Kayla said okay, let’s put an ad on your blog-hopefully you can make enough money off the ad to pay for the blog expense.

I said yuck…ADS?!?!?  That’s when Kayla taught me about ads and realized if I was ever going to be able to afford blogging, I better learn to love them.  I’m going to give you the short version of what she taught me.  As a blog grows and gets more traffic the owner of the blog has more and more expense.  That’s why most of the bigger blogs have ads on them.  They are trying to pay for the “parking space” on the world wide web so readers like you can come “park” on their site.  The ad companies are willing to pay for space on the blog or website so that their product can be seen by readers like you.  Bloggers get paid from those ads two ways…per view and per click.  The per view rate is bad…sometimes rates like 30 cents for every thousand pages that are viewed…not good at all.  But if a reader clicks on an ad, the may get 50 cents per click just because the reader clicked the that’s much better.  It’s slow to build money but it can….

So what can you do to help out a blogger….click on an ad occasionally.  Being Kelli and I know how the ad system works, we’ve started a new habit when visiting blogs.  If we read a blog and like the pattern or recipe they shared we click on an ad on their site.  We use an ad kind of like the “like” or thank you button.  That way we feel like we thanked the blogger for their time to put the project together and share it with us because we know the blogger gets paid by the ad company for that clicking of the ad.

Another thing I learned from Kayla is this…Some bloggers like us, have an Amazon ad.  We have ours on the right hand column right above the blog roll.  Did you know if you click on that ad, it will take you to Amazon?  If you go there and order something, Amazon will give us 7% commission rate on whatever you buy?  You don’t pay any extra money, I don’t see what you ordered-They just give that to us for referring you to their site.  So if you’re Christmas shopping this year, stop by the blog first, click on that Amazon link and go shop away…that helps us a lot.  I am always surprised to see how 7% can add up.

Other things that you can do that help out bloggers is to pin our projects on  Pinterest, share a link to our site on a quilting board, Facebook, or chat group you belong to, or share about us on your own blog if you have one.

Speaking of bloggers, we are looking to expand our blog roll.  Does anyone want to swap links??  Email me at  We’d happily swap.  You help us by sharing our link…we’ll help you by sharing yours.  Together we help all of our readers discover more great blogs.

So Abby…thanks for bringing up the topic of helping…I hope I didn’t bore you all with the behind the scenes blog stuff.  If I haven’t gotten to your question or if you have one, make sure to send it to me again.


22 thoughts on “Ask Jo: How to Help”

  1. Jo, I love seeing what you’re up to! I wanted to send you a message, but your “email me” link requires converting to Outlook, which I don’t want to do. I don’t find the Amazon link — I shop there all the time and would happily give you credit! I wonder where the $30 fee came from? — Bloglovin’ is free, and I have no charge to write and publish my blog. I hope I’m not missing something!

  2. Wow! What an informative posting. I had no idea that ads helped the bloggers like that. You can be sure that I will start clicking on ads and going to Amazon through bloggers sites. I read your blog daily and enjoy it very much. I feel like I know you even though we will probably never meet. You and your family are inspiring!
    I have had a blog for several years, but don’t post often. I mainly use my blog to keep a record of my finished projects and to share them with family and friends.

  3. Jo, Thanks for sharing this info. I had no clue. I always considered the ads just an annoyance, but now that I know how it all works, I will be happy to help my blogger friends out by doing some courtesy clicks. Your blog is one of my favorites. I am sure to check it out daily along with Bonnie Hunter’s. Keep up the good work. I applaud you and Kelli.

  4. I found this interesting too! I had no idea that bloggers had to pay! I will be ordering from Amazon in the near future, I’ll definitely do it from here!

  5. Very informative post, I really learned a lot. I’ll be clicking on some ads for you from now on and go to Amazon thru your blog. Love your blog!

  6. I learn soooo much from you, Jo. I’ll be sure to click on an ad or 2 whenever I peruse a blog from now on! Thanks for enlightening us.

  7. The Amazon link is up where the “Sharing is Caring” line is located. It is the last box, which is green. Thank you, Jo, for giving us a lesson in how bloggers get paid for their time and effort. I love your blog and will be clicking away to help you and Kayla and others keep in touch with us. Truly, it is all about sharing and caring!
    Take care.

  8. What an education! I had no idea how blogs worked, ads or otherwise. I sometimes click on an ad or link to another blog, depending on what’s on. I love your blog — about quilting, cooking, house building. Lots of fun to see the progress on your house. Thanks much for this and all your freebies..

  9. Thanks Jo for the information that will help you. I do order from Amazon so will definitely try to remember to go to your site. I really enjoy reading your blog plus I have family in Cedar Rapids area.

  10. Wow thanks Jo! I’m newer to the blogging world (a reader) and have always wondered how blogs work. I wondered if people could make a living doing it? It was so interesting to hear about how it all plays out. Thanks for all you do, we all appreciate it so much. Now I’m off to click on a few ads to say a proper thank you!

  11. Thanks for the info on blogs. I did not kknow about the cost. I will click on some ads from now on with the blogs that I read. I enjoy seeing what you and the crew are up to. The House is coming along and the quilt patterns are great

  12. Elizabeth McDonald

    Your post was so informative, and I appreciate the chance to know more about your blog. I too shop at Amazon, and will certainly do it through your blog. I so enjoy reading it!

  13. Just last week I was wondering how the ads made money for you. Thanks for explaining it. Do you have any control over what is advertised? I ask only because I was surprised by getting political ads on several blogs I visit.

  14. I had no idea that is how a blog worked since I don’t have one. Will definitely click on some of your links from now on.

  15. Thanks for the blog reading tips Jo! Now I’ll definitely know what to do on my favourite blogs to offer some support.

  16. Once again you have shared a wealth of info. I love seeing what you’re up to everyday. I have zero knowlege of blogging so you really helped me understand the ads. Soooo from now on I will hit adv spots and try to remember to come on board with amazon when I buy my E books. Thank you for all the great info, free patterns, and recipes.

  17. I too have wanted to grow my blog and my son keeps telling me “ads mom” and I too have resisted. Thanks for the nudge. I’ll have him re-visit the ad thing and see what happens. btw my blog is I mostly talk about quilting but I too throw in a recipe or two or my auction or garage sale finds, or whatever life brings me on any particular day.

  18. Pingback: Ask Jo: Of Ads and Retirement

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