Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Blogging for Money: Step One

A friend of mine asked me recently how to get started in blogging for money.

You can think of blogging for money a couple of ways. On the one hand, I've never made a living at blogging. Over the last decade, some years I've made pocket change. Most years I've made about what I would have if I'd worked 25 hours a week flipping burgers for six or seven bucks an hour. One year I made about $20 thousand; that's a pretty good second job in my part of rural Appalachia. In fact, it's more than the median household income in some of the counties around here.

If you don't want to think about it in terms of yearly income, think of it like this. In the last ten years I've made between $75,000 and $80,000 off of a hobby - something I can do in my spare time at home. It's money I wouldn't have seen otherwise. And time is really the only expense I incurred...

Step one on the road to blogging for money is to start a personal blog. It shows potential employers that you CAN in fact blog. Creative Weblogging, for example, prefers 30 to 60 days blogging experience. Smorty pays bloggers to do adverts on their personal blog; but they require that your blog be up for 90 days before they'll consider you.

To start an free personal blog, go to Blogger Dot Com and apply for a blog. It's run by Google.

What do you blog about?

Blogging is like any kind of writing. You can sit and wait for enlightenment, for the same apple that hit Newton or Buddha to fall on your head. You won't write much. Or you can see writing in the same light as any task. Then you decide to do it, prepare to do it, and then (you guessed it) do it.

I keep a list of idea, start drafts, and eventually finish them. Screw inspiration: I make myself write.

I've blogged about places I've been:
Pigeon Forge
My In-laws

I've blogged about my daily routine:

I've blogged about professional issues:
Why Labels Matter

I've blogged about places to eat:
Carino's or Olive Garden

I've blogged about politics:
Could I vote for Hillary?
Naïve and Irresponsible...
The Reincarnation of Bobby Kennedy

I've blogged about phonemes:
I love Phonemes

I've blogged about blogging:
Why Blog?
Writing Online

I've blogged about my dog:
The New Dog

I've blogged about my culture and environment:

I've blogged about philosophy (and about what I've reading):
Pathagoras, Ben Franklin, and America
I've blogged about what I enjoy:

That's just a sample.

So, you start a blog. You keep a list of things you haven't written about yet. You write about them. Someday I'll write about how Hemingway treats women in his novels. And I'll compare Hemingway to Steinbeck on their use of time: For Whom the Bells Toll covers 3 days in 400 pages while East of Eden covers 40 years or so in 700 pages. In November I'll write about being an election worker.

Be Walt Whitman and write about experiences (I'm waiting for the first snowfall).

You get the idea...

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