Thursday, August 5, 2010

Guest Blogger - Jennifer Brown Banks

I am pleased to welcome Jennifer Brown Banks - Veteran freelance writer, Columnist, and Pro Blogger to Write Now. Jennifer's articles and blog have been a great source of info and encouragement to me, and I was thrilled when she agreed to do a guest post. 
 

Five Blogging Truths That Will Set You Free!

by Jennifer Brown Banks                          

If you want to go the distance in your blogging efforts, it's important to know about the periodic mental detours and obstacles you will encounter on the path to success. The more you know, the farther you'll go.

Like a compass, knowledge helps to navigate your direction. Although there's an abundance of information online for today's blogger, not everything you'll read is helpful or useful. Proceed with caution.

Today we'll separate the fact from fiction to save you trial and error (and some sanity) along the way.      

1. Fact - It's harder than it appears. Whether you blog to make a living or to make a difference, blog recreationally or professionally, it takes real work to do it well. Because blogging is typically briefer and less formal in nature than other genres of writing, some folks have the misconception that it's a lot easier. Not so. Not always. Consider the various steps involved. First you conceptualize the post. Then you write it up. Then you review and revise it. Then you search for and publish an accompanying image. Then you post it. Then you respond to comments from fans and followers. It certainly has its rewards, but it also requires a sizable investment on your part as well. For this very reason you should choose a topic you're passionate about.

2. Fiction - You can get rich. Forget the ads that promise a six-figure income. Of course, in America anything is possible. But it's not likely. Blogging is a nice way to earn a little extra cash, share ideas, and increase your online exposure, but don't quit your day job. Expect to earn anywhere from $2.00 to $50.00 per post, and maybe a couple of hundreds in affiliate ads and other monetization methods.

3. Fiction - All bloggers are writers. Don't believe the hype. I hate to sound like a literary snob here, but blogging does not necessarily require the same skills, analytical ability, or mastery as professional writing. Though I do believe that blogging can make you a better writer. :)

4. Fact - Your fans become your friends. Don't be surprised if in the process of cultivating your community, you come to think of your blog followers as buddies. It can come with the territory. Even when I'm not responding to their various comments, I find myself visiting some of their sites to see what they're up to, or emailing them to periodically say "Happy Birthday" or "Congrats" as the situation dictates. And you might too.

5. Fiction - Blogging doesn't have rules or boundaries. Though it's certainly true that perhaps the coolest thing about blogging is that it has fewer rules of protocol and stylistic dictates than essays and articles, there are definite dos and don'ts to your vent sessions. Stories abound about blogging and social media and folks losing their jobs for "letting it all hang out" regarding professional gripes and corporate dirty laundry. Don't be one of the casualties. To quote a popular expression, "Loose lips sink ships."

Now that you know what to accept and what to reject, I'm wishing you God's speed and all the best on your journey. :-)

Jennifer Brown Banks

Great advice! Thank you for sharing with us, Jennifer. For more good info, be sure and stop by Jennifer's blog, Pen and Prosper, and also Coffeehouse for Writers, where she serves as Managing Editor. I'm sure she would be glad to see you.

So what do you think? What kind of experience have you had with Jennifer's points? Anyone out there making a six figure income from blogging? (If so, it is your turn to buy us all smoothies!) Please share; I'd love to get a good conversation going.

Happy writing, and happy weekend!

Blessings,
Karen

Five Blogging Truths That Will Set You Free! content copyright Jennifer Brown Banks, 2010. 

32 comments :

  1. I am discovering many of those blogging truths - especially #4.

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  2. Great post, Karen and Jennifer! I love the points you make. #1 hits home with me. Blogging IS hard. It's take dedication, hard work, lots of thinking power, and lots and lots of time.

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  3. Great guest post Karen (and Jennifer), thanks!!
    I have noticed that many people start out real enthousiastic, but lack the determination to go on, especially when visitors or comments seem to go down.

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  4. Great Post!
    Blogging is hard work, especially since I don't always have my topic worked out beforehand. Sure, I'm knee deep in my 365 Days of Blessing project, but I've discovered that these posts need more "theme" work too. Whew.
    I'm working at becoming a better blogger as I go, and I hope that is noticeable in the long run.

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  5. Thanks to Jennifer for this guest post, and to you, Karen, for inviting her:-) Very good points. I relate to #3, hoping that blogging helps make me a better writer, and to #4--how blogging introduces us to new friends. The encouragement that comes along the way is a plus!

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  6. Thanks for having Jennifer as a guest blogger, Karen. And thanks to Jennifer for doing it.

    Now HOW would a blogger earn money with a blog? Guess that's my major question.

    Who would pay?

    If Jennifer could answer these questions, it'd be great. Sincerely, Susan

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  7. LOVED this post and LOVED meeting Jennifer.
    Sigh. She is so right about the "long haul."

    It's good--but a lot of things are good. Choices have to be made about time management!

    Finding the balance in Normal!!
    Patti

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  8. Alex,
    We do learn a lot as we go, don't we? And the friends - it's been amazing!

    Heather,
    Yes, it is a lot of work! But worth it as long as we keep a balance. :)

    Marja,
    Yes, this is true. There is something to be said about consistency.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  9. Tyrean,
    Thank you:) Your blog is a wonderful stop, and I always enjoy visiting!

    Kenda,
    You are welcome! I know, I've learned much about writing, too. The friends part is a big perk as well.

    Susan,
    You are welcome, glad you enjoyed it. I suggest following Jennifer's blog for more tips.

    Patti,
    Thanks so much! You are such an encouragement. It's all about the balance and good management, I agree. Let me know when you get it all down:)

    Blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  10. Wow, what a warm "welcome" already!
    Thank you Karen, and your readers for such a lively response. I certainly enjoyed writing the post, and now receiving the feedback.

    As for making money? There are several ways: guest posting, Ads on one's blog, using a blog to apply for various jobs, and affiliate programs are some of the most common ways.

    Sincerely,

    Jennifer Brown Banks

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  11. Very helpful tips. It definitely isn't easy, but I find it worth it!

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  12. Nice. Five basic simple elements of blogging. I haven't made any money yet, except by selling books. I also post other authors books too. Why not let them make money as well as myself. Makes sense.

    Stephen Tremp

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  13. Jennifer,
    I can always count on my blog gang for a good dose of encouragement! They're the best:)

    Jill,
    I agree, they are great tips! It is worth it, too:)

    Stephen,
    It does make sense! Selling your book is a wonderful thing, congrats!

    Thanks to each of you,
    Karen

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  14. Thank you both for this wisdom and advice. I'd like to know how to make some money blogging! I'm on my way to Jennifer's site...

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  15. This is interesting! I appreciate the wisdom. You're right about the friends...such a nice benefit.

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  16. Jeanette,
    You are welcome! I think you will enjoy Jennifer's blog:)

    Rhonda,
    It is, isn't it? I appreciate Jennifer's insight. And the friends, well, just fabulous! :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  17. Great article! I think #1 is the hardest for people to grasp. There is a lot more marketing required in blogging than folks realize.

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  18. #1 and #4 are absolutely true, #4 being the greatest of rewards. The other items make good sense as well. Thanks for a great post!

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  19. I just finished some blog posts for next week. Blogging is a commitment that's for sure! I So love reading the comments and responding to other peoples blogs. It's a great way to build relationships.

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  20. I found this all to be true and very informative for anyone just starting out. When I started blogging, I did it to make money--I'd heard that it was the road to riches. I soon found out that this was not a likely scenario and so far I haven't made a cent from blogging, but I discovered that blogging can be rewarding in many other ways.

    Good guest post, Jennifer, and Karen thanks to you for hosting.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  21. Thanks again, to all of you for your kind comments and kudos. You're a great group! Here's hoping we connect again in the future. And a special note of thanks to those of you who not only visited my blog, but became "followers" as well. How cool! :-)

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  22. An excellent list! Thanks for introducing us to Jennifer! She's super cool.

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  23. Karen,
    I've posted a "Blessed Blog" award for you today at my blog.
    Have a blessed weekend!

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  24. Thanks Karen for introducing us to Jennifer. Its a great list. Blogging is a huge commitment and hard work. For a newbie blogger like me these tips are extremely helpful.

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  25. Alisa,
    Thank you on behalf of Jennifer. Yes, this is true. Readers see only the tip of the iceberg.

    Lisa,
    Glad you enjoyed the post. I know I did:) We learn so much through blogging, don't we?

    Anne,
    It is a great way to connect and build relationships. What a blessing:)

    Lee,
    You are welcome; it was a pleasure to host it! Live and learn about blogging, what an education!

    Jennifer,
    I thought it likely that some of the gang would hop over and visit, and possibly even follow you. As you said, they are a great group!

    Lydia,
    You are welcome. And yes, she is super cool. :)

    Tyrean,
    Thank you so much! I appreciate your kindness:)

    Rachna,
    It is a huge commitment, more than I'd anticipated when starting. Jennifer's advice is good for newbies and veterans alike.

    Blessings to all for a great weekend,
    Karen

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  26. Hi Karen & Jennifer -

    Karen - Thanks for inviting Jennifer to guest post.

    Jennifer - I recently heard of a person losing their job because they griped in a public forum.

    I've been blogging for two years, and I love it. Like writing for publication, I had no idea what I was in for in terms of the time commitment.

    Thanks again.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  27. Wonderful post! It is nice to know we are all in this blogging thing together when I read that someone else thinks like I do about it. The hardest factor for me has been to get around to all my blogging friends enough. I actually miss them when I don't!

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  28. Excellent post. Blogging is HARD and it doesn't make you a writer, though it helps. Love those two. I don't earn any money from it, though I have met wonderful friends like Karen. True, God blessed friendships. So I'm thankful God put me on this road. I loved meeting you Jennifer. Thanks to my precious friend Karen. She's the ONE! :)

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  29. Susan,
    I've heard of people losing their job too. A totally avoidable thing. Glad you enjoyed the post!

    Terri,
    Glad you enjoyed it:) Yes, it does help to know we're in it together. I've not been able to do my usual rounds lately and I do miss it.

    Robyn,
    You are so sweet:) I am blessed to have connected with you too. You are a sweet friend!

    Blessings for the weekend,
    Karen

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  30. Great post you two!!! I really enjoy blogging but she is so right about the followers becoming your friends!

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  31. This was such a great post! I couldn't agree more with everything she's said here. Thanks for sharing!!

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  32. Jen,
    Thanks! It is a great adventure, isn't it? :)

    Kimberly,
    Glad you enjoyed the post. You are most welcome!

    Thanks and blessings,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!