I received an email from another writer today about monetizing my blog and treating the blog like a business. The guy was trying to sell me on his consulting services, but the email was riddled with typos, and his tone was both insulting and smug.
TIP #1: If you are selling something, don’t insult your prospect!
He did make me stop to think about a couple things, though, like “why don’t I make money on my blog?” and “why don’t I treat the blog like a business?”
It is true that I don’t make any money off my blog. It’s also true that I don’t treat it like a business. I’ve always felt a little guilty for that, because a lot of the people I chat with online do make money, and they do treat their blog as a business. So, I had to really think about this, and whether I wanted to make that jump.
Ultimately, the answer is “no”. I didn’t start out blogging to make money, and I’ve never treated the blog like a business. I have no intentions of doing so now, at least not at this point in my life. You may ask “why?” and the answer isn’t simple, but I’ll boil it down:
I blog sometimes because writers write. I can’t help it. I have a need to write, and sometimes my contract jobs don’t scratch the right writing itch. Those are the times when I post something here.
And, I don’t treat it like a business because I’m not a blogger – I’m a writer. My freelance writing keeps me as busy as I want to be. Between hectic family life, crazy schedule, and some disabilities I’ve picked up over the years, I do not want to work 8 hour days, and probably couldn’t do it for long even if I did want to.
He also asked why my tone is so conversational, even on my how-to posts, and the answer is simply that this is my personal outlet, not a business.
So, while I have tremendous respect for my friends and peers who make boatloads of dough with their blog, freelance writing/editing is my “happy place”. I can work around my crazy schedule, and I don’t have to post X times a week at Z time of day if I darn well don’t feel like it. If I have to take a day off because an injury is acting up, or whatever other reason I feel like using, then I can, without impacting my stream of income.
Blogging is a great gig. There’s so many great bloggers out there who love to share their experience and wisdom, and it’s a great gig if that’s what one wants to do. I definitely don’t discourage anyone from becoming a blogger! It’s just that, at this point in my life, it isn’t what I want to do.
Mr. Emailer, if you read this, I hope it explains a lot – sorry I didn’t reply to your email. Consider being more professional the next time you reach out to sell your services. I’m sure you do a great job consulting, but do please invest in an editor, and pick up any basic book on email etiquette.