Bloggers: You Need a Contract. Here's How To Make One

by Bruno Bornsztein
Why contracts are essential for bloggers
Me speaking at Altitude Summit 2017. Photo: Justin Hackworth

If you're a blogger doing sponsored content, it's important to remember that what you provide to brands is not a product, but a service. That's what they're paying you for, and unless you go into each project with a very clear understanding of what they expect in return, you could have some problems.

This can be a little scary if you're new to doing it...

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What Do You Want to Know About Blogging?

by Bruno Bornsztein

Altitude Summit 2017 - Blogging, lifestyle, fashion and DIY conference

Next week I'm speaking at Altitude Summit, a conference for design, DIY and lifestyle bloggers. I'm really excited to be sharing the stage with Jordan Ferney, boss-lady at Oh Happy Day; I've admired her blog/business for years, and can't wait to learn a lot from her.

Our session is titled "Monetizing Facts & Figures - All the Numbers You've Been Dying To Hear", and we'll be speaking about our experiences with making money as bloggers. I'll be focusing on sponsored posts and display advertising, Jordan will be talking mostly about how to monetize an engaged social media following.

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If An Ad Shows on A Website, And Nobody Sees It, Does it Still Make Money?

by Bruno Bornsztein
Billboard by Curbly on Instagram
From our 2015 Yellowstone road trip. Follow us on Instagram!

There's this billboard near the off-ramp I take almost every day on my way home from work, and it always makes me chuckle. See, the highway, at that point, has a pretty high sound barrier along the east side, which makes it impossible for anyone driving north to see more than about half of that billboard.

I drive by it, day after day, wondering what it...

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I'm Terrified of Public Speaking: Here's How I Cope

by Bruno Bornsztein

public speaking tips for nervous people

Here's the first thing I want to know: how am I going to keep my teeth from chattering once I get up on stage? Later this month, Alicia and I will be flying to sunny Palm Springs, California, for Altitude Summit (a conference for lifestyle and design bloggers). And on the morning of the first day I'll be giving a talk about how Curbly runs a blogging business.

The question I get most often about my job is, "Yeah, but how do...

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What It's Like to Earn Your Income Through Blogging

by Bruno Bornsztein

That's us at Curbly, pretending to work

Type 'how to make money blogging' into Google and you'll choke on a pile of spammy-sounding search results telling you how, if you'd only give up your e-mail address or credit card number, you'd learn the secret to living like a billionaire on your pajama-based blogging income.

I've been making a living publishing a blog (my full-time income, supporting a family of four) since 2008, and as a supplemental income since 2006, and blogging as a hobby since 2003, so I guess I'm as qualified to speak on the subject as anyone else. Plus, I don't want your credit card number.

The bottom line: there's no secret to making money on a blog. It's the same as making money from anything. It's mostly perseverance, hustle, and the willingness to keep trying.

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What's Happening at the Curbly Studio (Besides Cozy Slippers)

by Bruno Bornsztein
Yup: we have slippers for guests to use if they want to ... I bet you want those leopard prints, don't you?

Woah! I can't believe it's already been six months since we moved into the new Curbly studio space! I wanted to check in and give you an update on how things are going so far. Moving into this space was one of the biggest changes that has happened at Curbly in the last five years, it was the first time we've had a real, legitimate office space for the business.

Taking on this added expense was a little anxiety-provoking, to be sure. Not to mention all the little responsibilities that come along with having a 1,500 square foot office to furnish and maintain. Guess who mops the floors, takes out the trash, and waters the plants? 

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Curbly Original
You Should Really Buy Some Houseplants (and a House, Too)

by Bruno Bornsztein
The Curbly House (2012)

If you currently don't have houseplants, then maybe you should think about buying a house (remember, last week I talked about why you shouldn't). Then you'll be able to buy some plants for it! But let me back up and explain what I'm getting at:

A houseplant is a pain in the ass. It's something that requires near-constant attention, and rewards that attention with nothing more than the...

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Why You Should Not Buy A House

by Bruno Bornsztein
The Curbly House sunroom
Above: Our sunroom, the day we closed on the house. Notice the crumbling ceiling.

If you live in the United States, there's a lot of cultural pressure to become a homeowner. It's an official part of the American Dream™, and most people consider it a natural progression in the steps to growing up and becoming a real 'adult'.

But the question is worth considering: Do you really want to be a homeowner?

For a lot of people, buying a house is a mistake. If your timing is wrong, owning a house can tie you down financially and physically in ways that might prevent you from fully exploring and shaping a career or life path.

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