Owning a blog is way more than just making a buck or two. There are plenty of reasons for owning a blog beside making money. I make pretty much zero dollars off this blog, but you know what? I just love writing for it when I have the time. Here are three reasons why I keep a blog and why you should too!
#1: Keep Your Ideas Somewhere
A blog doesn't have to be about blogging and it surely doesn't have to be your everyday "share-with-the-world" blog. Blogs can be private. Blogs can be a rich place for you to store your ideas for writing projects, query letters, and free writes. A blog allows you to try new things without the repercussion of NEVER writing it at all or trying to publish it before it's ready.
Of course, you can blog publicly, but don't feel obligated. If you blog publicly, you may want to develop a niche blog about something you are really passionate about. Do you love to garden? Do you write stories about huskies? Do it and never look back!
#2 Generate Book Material
The idea of blogging a book isn't new, but maybe you haven't considered it. You can use a blogging platform like Medium, Weebly, or WordPress to write your next book. Think about it? You could pen your rough draft, day by day, with a blogging platform and share it with fans. By doing this, you are accomplishing several pivotal things in the publishing world: garnering buzz for your book when it is published (self-pub'd or via an imprint) because you are intimately engaging with fans, and working through the hardest part of any book, the first draft.
#3 Slowly Earn Passive Income
You never have to make income by blogging, but you post a few ads here and there to help cover the cost of your hosting fees. Heck, you might be able to generate a solid side stream of income if you are blogging a book about a topic people are actually interested in...
If you want to try blogging, but don't want to spend too much cash, try going through Bluehost. Their hosting is dirt cheap and (under $5 a month) and you can quit whenever if it isn't for you! I'd love if you could use my affiliate link if you sign up. It is no cost to you, and the money helps keep this blog up and operating.
Isaac Asimov is one of the most celebrated science fiction writers of all time. He penned the short story collection I, Robot and the Foundation series. Science fiction fans named January 2 as National Science Fiction Day because is correlates with Isaac Asimov's death.
In honor of National Science Fiction Day, I compiled some wonderful science fiction story starters. Feel free to share them, use them, and leave comments with your own story starters. Oh, and if you are a science ficton writer with a dedicated fan base, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your query letter. I'll take a look at it.
I started this blog to help others do what they want to do in life. For some that means educate their children at home and for others that means eat the most deliciouspeanut butter fudge bite ever. Either way, I am here to share my information with you because learning to be a single parent who homeschools, runs her own business, works from home and manages to stay sane can be difficult.
But with a heaping dose of motivation and time management, I have learned that writing, editing, crafting, and teaching my child are the most important things in the world. So, I built this blog to share my tips with you, so you can do the same thing.
As I've written this blog, I know that I have more to offer you all. I want to provide a full homeschool curriculum that includes online classes for your kids (like a Learn How to Read program), and books that help you stay on track as you try to build your writing career. And maybe a few cookbooks and lit guides. Of course, I'm not there yet, but someday. This coming year, I plan to increase my traffic views and readership in hopes to give the blog more attention.
But before I expand my reach in the blogosphere, I want to tell you how I started this blog, what I am currently doing to build it, and how you can do the same thing (if you're interested!).
Being a writer can be a really rough go. For most of us, being a writer always means having a "real" job to hold us over while we build a freelance career or write that poetry collection. Regardless of what your writerly goal is, making ends meet can be difficult.
Thankfully, there are dozens of writer fellowships out there (albeit highly competitive) that offer a full-time income while you teach, write and even do some serious pondering. I've applied for several of these fellowships and can attest to some of the programs that offer the fellowships.
Fellowships are perfect for writers who are comfortable or want to learn how to teach creative writing, as many of the writing fellowships are offered by universities. Now, that isn't always the case; some fellowships are offered by publications, which give you a full-time gig as you hone your skill.
Some fellowships require you to teach and others just ask that you be available to students or the community to help in an artistic fashion. These fellowships are perfect for writers who do not have too many things tying them down to their current community. As a single parent, I've been able to work as a fellow...so don't let your familial network get in the way...most fellowships allow you to bring your family along. Let's take a look at five writing fellowships coming up in the next several months.
Okay, so this isn't a writing post, but I want to share some of the information I've been collecting as of late! And yes, I know that homeschooling isn't easy, but let's pretend that it is...just for a second. I curated this list and did extensive research (even signed up for a few to see how they really work) and want you to have it. I only listed the ones that actually worked and I could see working for parents who need a job while staying at home...that doesn't consume your life, either.
I am a big fan of work that I can get done before the kids wake up and also makes me feel productive. Probably why I work for a small press...and probably why I write for a living. I don't live on a standard schedule. Our entire family isn't the 9-to-5 type....never have been and never will be. All of these jobs are perfect for the non-traditional working family.
The list is below. I didn't feel the need to write tons about each of the places because you can find out for yourself if it is right for you. There are ZERO affiliate links here...just to be clear.
Money. All writers need it. Money is usually the reason writers stop writing...or just don't have the amount of time to produce anything substantial.
I hate that. I compiled a short list of grants that are upcoming and you should apply for if you are eligible.
The internet gives me road rage. I love to read and I love blogs. Especially ones that provide invaluable advice on education, crafts, and nutrition. But do you know what I do not love about blogs? The blogs that have awesome information, but are so overloaded with ads and affiliate links that it slows the internet down to a crawl speed.
A few days ago, I found this wonderful blog. I'll be nice for now and not starting pointing the finger. The blog had some really great recipes on it. I wanted to make the cookies, but I never did. Why? Because the page kept freezing and having to reload because six or seven pop-up ads would show up, and then all of the sidebar ads were attempting to function...and all of these processes were competing with one another...which ultimately led to the page not scrolling down. And when it did scroll, it would do so at the slowest speed possible. Or crash and reload.
I am finding that more and more "I just blog because I love it" folks are resorting to an astronomical amount of affiliate links and ads that make the blogging community a shitty place to be. I use affiliate links, but they are few and far between. I only promote products that I have tried. And I never place so many ads that the page looks more like a group of hungry salespeople than quality information.
If you are putting tons and tons of ads up, I am letting you know that your readers are suffering. Your blog is suffering. Is it really worth that one click (which is probably accidental...it's like a minefield) to have all of the noise cluttering your page?
Something to consider.
And now for the finger pointing.
The websites that made this list were carefully considered. If the page took more than five seconds to load, and upon loading a number of ads showed up, it made the list. If the sidebar contained more than four external ads, it made the list. If ads popped up as I clicked from page to page, it made the list. If it kept hounding me to join the fucking newsletter or buy their stupid e-book, it made the list. It's okay to have a newsletter, but HELLO, ask once please. If there were multiple ads from the same company on the same page, it made the list. If over 10% of the written content was linked, it made the list. And if it slowed my browsing experience to a crawl akin to that of the 405 on a Friday, it made the list.
Here is a list of my most favorite blogs and at the very same time, least favorite blogs because of over-the-top-ads:
Sugar-Free Mom: I love the recipe on this site, but I have recently stopped reading her blog because she has video ads littered throughout her website. When I come to you blog, I have no desire to learn about politics. I am there for the banana bread. On the breakfast recipe, there is one video and five affiliate links on the side of the page. It really ruins the reading experience. I actually left the website because I couldn't just get to what I wanted. Too bad.
Handmadeology: I really really love this site, but lately it's become littered with ads on the sidebar. I have read plenty of their articles and for the most part, there isn't too much lag once you get on the site. Sometimes though, it can take half a minute for everything to load up.
Body Unburdened: I used to visit Nadia's blog every week. She has a great deal of information. Sadly, her blog is starting to suck. Her sidebar is littered with over seven ads, several of which are duplicates...some feature 3-4 product "suggestions" and her pop-up for her ebook often takes several clicks to get to go away. I want to learn from Nadia, but her blog is acting like a used car salesman on a Tuesday. It constantly requires a reload. I have killer fast internet...so I know it isn't me. It's actually still loading right now.
Crunchy Creamy Sweet: Crunchy Creamy Sweet is sorta awesome when I can get it to load and stay loaded. The site, which boasts superb recipes has a BlogHer banner add across the bottom, a sidebar loaded with ads, a Pinterest pop-up that shows up when you arrive, and almost always is sooo loaded with "things" that I cannot scroll through to read the post. And when I can scroll through the post, there is serious lag time as YouTube videos and ads attempt to start up. I've checked this one off of my list...too bad.
In an effort to be timely, I am posting this now and will add new websites every time that I find one...hopefully you won't be on this list.
Although I am an editor, I have worked in the copy writing industry for years. I love to write. I love to write so much that I started a publishing press to read the work of others who love to write. On top of my editorial responsibilities, I maintain a full schedule of writing projects.
Each day, I get a slew of emails from starting freelance writers that want to know how to get those first few jobs. Now, I don't go off giving my secrets, but I definitely lead them in the right direction. There are a number of ways that you can land your first freelance project and continue your career into the lucrative world of writing/editing
I'm not the most successful blogger in town, but hey I am learning to get it together. My mediocre blogging success is more than likely due to having too many other things to do during the day, but hey, I didn't set out to make money from this blog. My site has always been about sharing and connecting with like-minded bloggers. Because you know what? I hate blogs that are overloaded with ads and freeze up my internet connection. That is somebody hungry for money.
BUT, I was curious about how bloggers are so productive. After all, I am a productive editor, but what makes a blogger productive. Guess what? I discovered that it wasn't ingenious material, or knowing others...it was shortcuts. Shortcuts that make blogging and planning blogs easier.
After talking to a few "famous" bloggers, I was able to extract some trade secrets that make them more productive, hence more successful. Here are the most common tools used:
I tried out the HubSpot topic generator and I may actually use it in the future to fill in my writing schedule because it came up with some great topics to write about. On the other hand, some of them were very "stock" and I don't think they would be found given the amount of blogetition out there in the blogosphere.
Oh, and I looked at BuzzSumo...this is where the business is at! I entered in my own website and was able to see what was performing and what wasn't. I am using this to revamp my website as mentioned on the front page.
I haven't tried Buffer, but will take a look at it and report back.
Guest Post Opportunity
I'm looking for killer guest posts. Do you have one? I don't require that you have the entire post completed before contacting me...that seems silly. Shoot me an email and we will throw some topics around and get to know each other better.
Contact me here. I will be honest though; I am not one of the blog folks who believes in littering her website with countless videos and unattractive, over-the-top ads. If you want seamless integration and actual conversions, let's talk. If you prefer a more "Goodie Store Array", I'm not your gal.
Affiliate Link and Advertising Disclosure
Some, but not all of my recommendations are affiliate links. At no cost to you, if you choose to buy the recommended product, I may receive a commission on the product. I only link to products I use and believe in myself. I am not paid to recommend products or services -- all opinions are my own.
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