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