Want a career in the writing industry but not sure where to start? Of all the types of writers in the world, bloggers have it best. There, I said it. Bloggers are far more likely to enjoy the writing process than journalists, novelists or screenwriters. They are less likely to ever have the pleasure and sometimes the hassle of working with publishers and agents. They are far more likely to write what they want instead of what public interest demands. They do not worry about having their work thrown in the slush pile or used as cat litter or lining in a bird cage. Bloggers do not receive form rejection letters or deal with writing queries to story editors, agents or publishers. Bloggers have fewer conflicts with word count than authors, who sometimes cut upwards of five-thousand words form their word count. Bloggers deadlines can be more flexible depending on how often they want to update the content in their blog. Authors and journalists are often plagued with consistent deadlines and writing under pressure.
What makes blogger successful? A large social network to be supportive of your writing and help you share your work is helpful. Having a writing platform is an effective way to attract followers. Great writing skills are helpful but not required. Does marketing matter? Research suggests that it does. It’s important to know your market and do your best to write on topics that appeal to them. Does the length of one’s blog matter? I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers keep their posts to I’ll say, 500 words or so but there are a few that will write essay length pieces and they are still usually worth the read.
Quality over quantity seems key but it is not the secret to getting 5,000 hits instead of 50. It is helpful to write the blog in the first person. Add many images. Create links to articles relevant to your topic. Make your blog personal. People want to know about the blogger’s history, who their influences are, what molded them into the person they are today and sometimes that includes explaining why they made the choices they did along the way. All this to pave the road to fame, or so I’ve been told.
Adopt a pseudonym. I am not endorsing this but apparently it is easier to become hugely successful if you can keep your day job too. For some bloggers, having a pseudonym is like wearing a second skin. I’m of the opinion that being able to present my material as myself has its advantages. In real life though, you may not want your friends to know if you’ve become an expert on how to have affairs, or if you’re running a business in the sex industry or if you have a secret passion for writing about your pet dog. Perhaps your secret is that you like to knit instead of going to the hockey game with your friends. Maybe you are a dessert queen and know fifty ways to decorate a mean cupcake. Whatever your secret writing passion, a pseudonym offers the best of both worlds. Many bloggers and writers alike when they are starting out find adopting another identity helpful, at least for themselves, in the long run.
Does fame matter to you? Are you willing to create a tell-all blog for the possibility of financial gain? Some have. There is another type of writer that does this and they are called memoirists. Whether or not they’ve become rich in the process is a mystery, at least to me. If you want to blog and you aren’t keeping track of how many hits you’re getting in the process, do pets like cats and iguanas make the best beta readers and sometimes final readers of the blogs you produce?
Whatever your reason for wanting to write, blogging is a fun and effective way to build your writing portfolio. There are a few rules of etiquette to follow though if you want to join the club.
‘Like’ other bloggers work. Re-blogging is a courtesy in the blogging world, it’s a do unto others… type of thing. Feedback on other bloggers work is welcome but criticisms are best kept to yourself unless you can be constructive in what you are saying. Bees like honey for a reason.