I hate to say it, but I didn’t know what a blog was until two years ago when a friend asked me to read a post from someone’s online journal. At first, I couldn’t see the purpose in blogging. I thought it was “giving your work away” and I’d done too much of that as a naive, beginning writer to want to go there again. Then I thought to myself, “Blogging could actually be fun. I could keep up-to-date with long distant friends and write about whatever comes to mind.”
So I had a blog designed and began posting on a weekly basis. The first blog began on blogger.com, but I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t categorize my posts so I turned that blog into a Q&A interview blog with other authors and had a web designer design another blog using wordpress.com and my own domain name. I had four main categories at the time: losing weight, family lessons, writing, and journaling. To gain traffic, I began announcing my posts in my newsletters, as they pertained to my audience, and I began posting comments on other blogs, making sure to leave my blog address in the post.
A year later, I received a request from an editor to write a quarterly parenting column for her parenting publication. She found me through my personal blog. She had enjoyed the parenting essays and thought her readers would, too. A month later, I received an email from another parenting publisher who thought I would make a great fit for her publication. She’d interview locals, then email me her notes. My job was to transform her notes into readable first and second person articles. That made two regular, paid writing gigs from my personal blog.
Then I heard about myspace.com and how Christians were setting up blogs to encourage positive posts. About the same time, I decided to get serious with my photography. So I moved my personal blog to myspace and turned my old blog into a photography blog with affiliate links (pay-per-click or pay-per-order advertising).
A month later, I was contacted to ghostwrite a blog. Having three different blogging styles on my writer’s resume helped the director choose me over other candidates. Seems my blogs weren’t “writing for free” after all, they’d become my “online clips”. This year, I hope to find a few more paying blog gigs. It’s steady income, I can write about whatever I wantóas long as it stays on topic, and with the right client, the pay is good.
Alyice Edrich is a freelance writer and the editor of The Dabbling Mum, an online magazine for busy parents with centers in writing, home business, and parenting. Join her free newsletters at http://thedabblingmum.com/joinezine.htm