DIYconfessions.com receives 3,000 to 12,000 daily views
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By Kenny Norman
Southsider Voice correspondent
She may be able to set her hours, but Beech Grove resident Ceara Sluis is always working hard on her website, DIYconfessions.com.
Founded April 6, 2012, DIYconfessions.com, a do-it-yourself home project site, has been a constant endeavor for Sluis. With husband Jake assisting and creating projects with and for her, she has managed to publicize her site and gain some notoriety. The site has been featured in “American Link Magazine” and will be showcased in “Women’s World Magazine” in May.
According to Sluis, many of her projects revolve around designing items and spaces for her children, whom she describes as her absolute passion in life.
“Some of my favorite projects, for example, (are) ‘Mountain Nursery Wall,’ ‘Modern Nursery Wall’ and ‘You Are My Sunshine Wall,’ ” she said. “I also enjoy using natural items typically found in your kitchen as beauty remedies. Some examples of this are “15 Beauty Tips” and “Homemade Eczema Cream.”
When asked what has helped DIYconfessions.com achieve between 3,000 and 12,000 daily views, Sluis admits social media is a significant success factor.
“Sites like Facebook and Pinterest were used as a way to advertise my projects and helped to reach a much larger audience. My content was actually found through Pinterest as a frequently re-pinned item, and they contacted me in hopes to feature the content, a tutorial as well as pictures.”
Mr. Sluis praised his wife for being the sole provider of the site’s content. “Ceara deserves most of the credit,” he said. “The main way I helped was if a certain project had woodworking or power tool requirements, (then) she oftentimes would ask me for help.”
The business was founded in part because it offered Sluis flexible hours. After having her first child, she found the transition from a full-time worker to homemaker difficult, as it often engendered feelings of restlessness and a need to creatively connect with the outside world.
Sluis began crafting and creating more homemade projects to save money and keep her home furnished on a budget. To her surprise, those efforts quickly evolved from a mere hobby into something more. At her sister-in-law’s suggestion to showcase her projects, Sluis founded her business.
“I was really thinking no one would read it except my family and possibly close friends, but I found out quickly it was going to become more of a revenue source rather than just an outlet,” she admitted.
Sluis has many tips for aspiring bloggers, such as using social media, finding a niche that appeals to a broad audience, choosing a user-friendly design, keeping content relatable, being patient while views generate and choosing something that a creator can truly be passionate about. Her most challenging obstacle since launching DIYconfessions.com has been scheduling. She noted that finding a consistent schedule to ensure weekly blog delivery is key.
“Although you can choose to blog freely whenever you choose, it’s also solely your responsibility to make sure you are putting content out there in a timely manner.”
Owning a website allows Sluis to create her own hours, and while DIYconfessions.com has never been considered a full-time job, she said she loves and appreciates the opportunity to stay home at times to be with her children and engage in daily recreation with no set time frame.
The site earns her money through its ads and the number of hits it gets. “I applied for ads through Google AdSense, Hyper X and media.net to name a few,” she said. “If someone clicks on an ad and purchases something through it, I get a percentage of their purchase.
“I blog when it’s convenient, and if it’s not convenient throughout a day, then I have the freedom to do it when the kids are sleeping for the night. It’s never been considered a full-time position and honestly may never be.”
Sluis’ inspiration to keep blogging and creating comes from her creative personality. Her involvement with Interior Decorating & Home Staging guarantees content and projects for posting. “I always find with my creative personality that if I don’t create, then I tend to feel lost.”
Mr. Sluis admitted that the most fun part of the endeavor is working with his determined wife to accomplish projects as a team.
“She has this unique ability to do exactly what she puts out to do,” he said. “She also has the skill of juggling a family while still being able to come up with original content. In under three years she is closing in on 4 million views on her website. It has been so rewarding seeing my wife be successful at something she is so passionate about.”