I have some exciting things coming up for the blog, but they're not quite ready.
In the meantime, let's talk about money.
Basically, I want to clarify exactly how this blog makes money, so everything's all above board.
First of all, no, I'm not getting rich or making a living or anything remotely like it from this blog. To do that as a blogger you need a really huge audience and this little niche steampunk blog isn't going to get that.
Why do I need to make money from this blog at all? Several reasons, the first being that I'm unable to hold a "real" job due to my back condition and I have bills that desperately need to be paid. Also because it does take time and effort to maintain the blog and produce new content, and that's time I could be putting to use sewing things that might make me actual money. Yes, I enjoy it, but it's nice to get SOMETHING for the effort.
There are a few different ways I can make money from this blog. First there are Google Adsense ads. These are the ads with the AdChoices logo on them. I get paid for these based on pageviews and clicks. So if you want to help me out, give these ads a click occasionally. I don't get much from them, pennies really, but hey, occasionally I get a check and that's cool.
The other type of ad you will see are affiliate ads. Affiliate ads don't give me anything for putting the ads on my blog, but if someone clicks on them, and IF they then buy something, I get a nice commission. People are most familiar with this through Amazon, but it's the same principle with any company. I'm affiliated with several different companies. I try to choose retailers whose products I think would be of genuine interest to my readers and/or who I personally recommend. I occasionally try out a company for a while and then decide (based on my own research and whether anyone clicks on the ad) that it's not a good fit. So you will see these ads shift and change as I partner with a new company or change the graphic. I do encourage you to check out these companies and if you are moved to purchase anything, that you do it after following my links. It doesn't cost the buyer anything extra, I just get a percentage.
Some of the links which I post are also affiliate links. I might mention a product I use in a tutorial, and chances are I'll link to that product on Amazon, for example. If you then buy it, awesome. Again, I strive to only link to things I genuinely like or think are neat.
Finally there is one more source of blog revenue that bloggers sometimes use: sponsored content. This means that some company has paid the blogger a fee in order to write a post about their product or whatever. Sometimes this can be pretty harmless and doesn't detract from the blog's content. For example if a pasta company provides a blogger free pasta to use and the blogger mentions their brand of pasta in their recipe for spaghetti.
But sometimes it's a little sketchier, in my opinion. Last Friday's post on Steamy Decor from Modcloth is an example of a sponsored post. I actually was planning on linking to those items anyway, because I recently found them and thought they were cool. But Modcloth offered a small fee for making a post about their new decor line. I felt it was appropriate for this blog.
But generally, I'm not wild about the idea of sponsored posts. Now, if someone were to offer me something explicitly steampunk, I'd probably accept. But I'm not going to start shilling for ice cream companies or anything. Don't worry. I'm committed to keeping this blog on-topic and hopefully useful.
I hope that makes things clearer, and sheds some light on how this whole blog marketing thing works.
Finally, if, say you want to support this blog and say thanks and you don't want to buy anything, I do have a Tip Jar button on the left where you can donate any amount via Paypal. (I'm working on that darn button.)