10 Things a DIY Blogger Doesn’t Tell You

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You know that feeling. Your favorite do-it-yourself (DIY) blogger hits “publish” on an amazing room makeover or project post. And while you totally love it, you can’t help but have a moment of awe and (admit it) a bit of annoyance at how they’re able to pull off such amazing projects, when you barely can walk into a craft store because you’d trip over the spools of ribbons.

The truth is, guys, is that bloggers aren’t perfect, and neither are our projects.

What seems like masterpieces can really be, in fact, a bunch of trial and error until we got it right. You just don’t see the behind-the-scenes moments. Or, somehow, we just figured out how to hide our mistakes well.

In addition to this little known fact, today I’m sharing with you 10 things a DIY blogger doesn’t tell you. You’ll feel better after reading this :).

10 Things a DIY Blogger Doesn't Tell You

CONFESSION #1: We’re afraid you won’t like our projects.

Ever have someone say that you ruined a project? Or that it’s ugly? Ohhhh….well, then. Welcome to a blogger’s world! :). Yes, this really happens. Nearly all DIY bloggers have gotten those comments. And as much as we try to shake it off, it bothers us. And sometimes we worry you won’t like our project or that it won’t be “amazing” enough.

When I was working on my basement office makeover for my 30-Day Junk-Free January room makeover challenge, I had the same nerves. What if you didn’t like what I had done? What if it wasn’t “pinnable” enough? Yes, we have those thoughts. We’re insecure sometimes, too.

CONFESSION #2: Some of us aren’t designers.

We didn’t get degrees from Designer University. (Well, maybe some, but not most of us. Some did have designing jobs in their “previous life”). We’re just regular ‘ole people like you that love being creative and making our homes look good.  Truthfully, I consider myself far from a designer. I struggle with pulling a room together (which is why my house was bare and unorganized, even after years of living here). My 30-Day Room Makeover Challenges have been super helpful for me and for my readers. It’s tough for me to plan out a project completely in its early stages. Inspiration will usually hit in the middle of the project. So don’t feel bad if you find yourself struggling to have a vision, too.

CONFESSION #3 – We get really cool stuff for free.

Well, I wouldn’t call it free, per se. But we do get lots of cool stuff from brands, and in return, we’ll post about the products we really like (sometimes also being paid for that promotion).  Some of the projects I have completed I may not have done if I didn’t have the materials provided, due to cost or timing of the project. Remember the awesome flooring I installed in my pretty laundry room makeover? Yep. That flooring was provided at no cost. Totally loved it and still recommend it to people looking to transform their floors. Having the flooring provided really helped me to keep down the cost of that room makeover.

So don’t feel discouraged when you see your favorite bloggers posting amazing projects. Having companies supply us the materials we need is a huge help!!

CONFESSION #4 – We work 6-7 days a week.

Maybe really popular bloggers have hired help to run their blogs (which is smart, if they can afford it), and accept guest posts (which helps a blogger from having to create a post themselves). But for me and many of my other DIY blogger friends, blogging is a 6-7 days a week job. Sometimes for 8 hours a day. Sometimes 10 hours. Sometimes 4. But nearly every day, we’re doing something for our business or blog. Even if it’s responding to readers’ comments on our Facebook page. Sometimes it’s exhausting, but we’re passionate about our blog, so it rarely feels like work!

CONFESSION #5 – We have help.

What may be shocking to know is that some bloggers (even in other niches) buy content for their blog. Which means some content on their blog they didn’t create; for $15-$25 (give or take) they can post it, pin it, and display the content like it’s their own, but they didn’t have to put the hours into coming up with the original idea or project. It’s probably no different than what a magazine does. I’ve never done this, and probably never will because I want my content to all be original and authentic. But it does happen in the blogosphere.

Plus, did you know that many bloggers hire Virtual Assistants? We call them VAs. They’re basically people who live remote from us and we pay them to help us do things such as edit pictures, post things on our Facebook accounts, pin our projects on Pinterest, and more. We even have VAs to help us check our email.

Without help, we would drown in a number of tasks we have to do!

As of November 2017, it’s been about a year now, but I have a VA, too, named Madeleine. She lives in the Philipines and I pay her to manage my Pinterest account, and she will even post things on my Facebook page for me. Having her help is sooo important, because without her, I’d likely totally ignore Pinterest and Facebook because I’m so busy doing other things!

CONFESSION #6 – We push clutter aside to take amazing pictures.

You know how magazines Photoshop and airbrush models to look perfect? Bloggers have a thing called “push-the-clutter-aside-and-snap-amazing-pics.” Not every room in our house looks that amazing, at least not all the time! It’s all about getting that perfect shot, no matter what we’re able to disguise.

In fact, in this video, I shared my home tour and you can see that my house isn’t “all that.” In fact, I was very nervous to show my house!



CONFESSION #7 – Sometimes our projects are a total BUST.

It happens to the best of us (just check out this DIY fail I had with some thrifted lamps). Even DIY bloggers. In fact, I just did a project a couple weeks ago and had spent hours on it, only to have it be a bust at the end. I’m talking at least 3-4 hours invested. It literally ended up breaking after the kids got their hands on it. LOL. As frustrating as it was, it was a learning experience and the next time I attempt to make it, it may only take two hours ;).

I had a disaster project, too. In my basement office makeover, my original vision was to paint stripes on carpet tiles I had gotten from a salvage shop. Bad news was that they sucked up paint, made the rugs super hard and crunchy-feeling, and I hated the busy pattern. The shade of white was inconsistent, too. So much time and materials wasted……I ended up scrapping the idea, went to Ikea, and bought six $15 Hulsig rugs instead….


Painted carpet tile disaster


Ikea HULSIG rugs


I laid them side by side to create a larger 12×12 rug for a measly $90. But yeah, that’s the part I didn’t share much about in my basement reveal. Don’t you feel better knowing that we all screw up, even DIY bloggers?


Thrifty Basement and Home Office Makeover Thrift Diving Blog2711


And let’s not forget the tragedy of the tiled table that almost had to be scrapped! Thankfully, I was able to fix it!! WHEW!

CONFESSION #8 – Some of us make a boat load of money.

Did you know some bloggers are making six figures? Oh yesssss. Indeed they are. Others may not make six figures, but they’re pulling in a healthy enough income that they’re feeding their families on it. Where are those dollars coming from? Well, several places, although it can vary from blogger to blogger. Could be from advertising, sponsored posts, selling ebooks, doing things outside of their blogs (like coaching or classes), affiliate sales, etc. I’m small potatoes in terms of my blogging income. I earned about $11,000 from blogging last year, with about another $5,000 in products brands gave me. Far from six figures, but it’s still a way to earn income. My goal is to double my income this year. I’m sharing all my tips and info in an upcoming ebook that’s being written as we speak, so stay tuned for that!

Also, you can watch this video where I tell you how bloggers make money:



CONFESSION #9 – We’re sleep-deprived.

While you’re tucked into your comfy bed at 10 p.m., there’s a DIY blogger somewhere that just picked up her paintbrush to paint an amazing project, or just sat down in front of her computer to write the world’s most awesome DIY tutorial post. Or, maybe I’m just talking about myself :). If a DIY blogger has a “day job” or kids, then the only time they’ve got for projects is weekends and evenings. You can bet that we skimp on sleep to get things done! It’s really not healthy (see my video about how I was killing myself).

CONFESSION #10 – We don’t know how to do everything.

Several of my tools and projects I have done, I had no idea what I was doing. Like with that floor tile I laid in my pretty laundry room makeover. I had to learn how to use an angle grinder for making cuts in the tile. Toooootally had no idea how to use it. It scared the crap out of me. And the tiled table top I made recently, I used a tile wet saw for the first time.

How to Tile a Table Top - Thrift Diving 3382

And when I renovated my kids’ bathroom, I had never before removed and installed a toilet. See me in action here:

When I am confronted with an unfamiliar tool or project, I turn to YouTube and Google to learn how to do it. And that’s what you can do, too. Don’t be afraid to tackle something you’ve never tackled (so long as you’re not putting your life at risk, like some tricky electrical wiring or something!). But the one thing that is awesome about bloggers is that we seek to learn, and we’re not afraid to try new things, learn new tools, try new techniques. It’s just a matter of having the drive to do it.  And once we learn it, we pass on the tips and tricks to readers to save you the headache of making the same mistakes we did.



 The Bottom Line

DIY bloggers are people, too.  We are passionate about creating, inspiring others, and helping people to become more creative. But we are in the public’s eye. That’s the only difference. So the next time you wonder how your favorite DIY bloggers are able to do so much, create something so amazing, and live this seemingly perfect creative life, remember that it took a lot of practice, learning, and sometimes shoving the clutter to the other side of the room ;).

Leave your thoughts and comments below!



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  1. Stephanie says:

    Thank You!
    I absolutely love your projects!
    I so truly appreciate your honesty…it often seems everyone knows how to do “everything”
    Now, which project to do first.

    1. Thank you, Stephanie! Honestly is the best way to go. It shows people that it’s okay to not know it all and to make mistakes! 🙂

  2. I am a great fan of blogs and spend a lot of my spare time reading them, i like to get inspiration for recipes, craft ideas, i also just like to take a peep into peoples lives and where they travel too. I did not realise how much money can be made by this, bravo to you all for your hard work and dedication.

    1. Yep, bloggers can earn a lot of money in a variety of ways! But it is hard work, long hours, but very gratifying! 🙂 Thanks, Anna!

  3. I would love to start blogging but have zero idea how to start. Anyone out there to help me? Love this blogger!!!!

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