guest blogger Mike10613 is a fellow freelance writer that shared this post with The Write Stuff Pen and Paper. We hope you enjoy it. Please visit his beautiful site full of wonderful photographs.
I live in the heart of England and although this is an urban area we try to make it nice and this is a local lake where I frequently take photographs. It’s an open space and relaxing on a Sunday afternoon and that is part of the message I try to get across with the words and pictures. I like still pictures, but some people like to use videos. I’m usually in too much of a hurry when I read blogs for video. I write fairly irreverent blogs and I aim to make them entertaining, informative and amusing. I wrote a Frugal Friday blog today and linked it to yesterday’s Thrifty Thursday blog. You can see I have added a link there and I add links to my blogs so I can tempt readers to read previous blogs. This cross-linking gives me far more page views than I would otherwise have.
Why write a blog?
A blog originally was a web log, a sort of diary of the blogger’s life. I do write that kind of blog, I wrote about cooking lunch, the weather and shopping last Sunday and wrote it while lunch was cooking! I also write about personal finance and even the Facebook game ‘Farmville’. Farmville has tens of millions of players and many people searching for information about Farmville find my blogs and read not just about Farmville but other things. When they next search for something the search engine is more likely to bring them to my blog for something other than Farmville too. My blog is a showcase of my writing and to a lesser extent of my photography. I tend to be much braver than many writers and air my political views, my views about economics and enjoy the freedom to express myself and have influence.
Is there any money in it?
You can make money from blogging and many people have advertising on their blogs. Adsense is popular on Blogger and people who self host Wordpress can use Adsense or many other forms of advertising. You are also showcasing your work to publishers, editors and others. I have editorial teams reading my blogs now both in the UK and overseas and they may ask me to write for them. It is more difficult now, because writers have to be fairly prolific and turn out a lot of work; this leaves little time for research. It will cost a publisher or client around $500 for a blog like this one written professionally. It will cost more in many cases and the photograph will cost more. With intense competition publishers are looking to cut costs and so want it cheaper; this can be possible for someone like me who enjoys writing and has a stock of photographs. I would however expect the editor to edit and not return my article to me for correction. They can’t expect extensive editing, alterations and research if they are paying less than the going rate. Competition is fierce amongst writers and so you have to have a good knowledge of word craft and all the other skills needed. These days a good knowledge of the internet, blogging, search engine optimisation, social media and all the other online stuff is essential. I tend to know how much an article is worth because writers report freelance earnings anonymously to the National Union of Journalists in the UK. I would recommend starting on Wordpress for anyone who wants to begin writing and I use Windows Live Writer (it’s free) for my blogs; although I am using Microsoft Word to write this one.
I do write comedy and it’s like a magician doing a trick; it isn’t magic, it’ conjuring and it’s clever. People like the clever use of words and that’s what writers do. We like words, we like quotes and we like funny words and sentences. One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got in my pyjamas I’ll never know: Groucho Marx. I used that quote to begin a blog a while ago. If it said while wearing my pyjamas the meaning of the sentence would different; but making it slightly ambiguous makes it funny. It is also a clever use of words.Imagination is more important than knowledge: Albert Einstein is a frequently used quote and a clever and imaginative use of words.
The opportunities for writers are immense but so too is competition. You will find local businesses need freelance writers, so do newspapers and magazines. You can also write short stories for magazines and radio. There is fiction and non-fiction. I often take a break from writing, even a short piece like this and I just took a break to read some mail. I received an important newsletter about health; the writing was appalling. I will contact the person in charge of it, because it is important. I won’t say the writing is terrible but will make that plain with my suggestions. The newsletter used a lot of acronyms, lists and was thoroughly confusing and typical of a bureaucrat. I never use acronyms or complex terms, it’s just showing off. I communicate with a lot of people, ordinary people but many are writers and appreciate a clever use of words. It isn’t clever if you aren’t understood though! My advice to would be writers is to have a go at it with a blog, have a mission; a clear idea of what you want to do. I try to entertain, inform and amuse; you might want to try something different. The worse thing you can do is bore people. It is bad if you don’t communicate but enjoyable when people comment and you do get two way communications. You also have to be inspired and so live life and observe everything.
You will find more of my blog to read on my Wordpress blog please pay a visit and don’t be shy, comment! My user name, for reasons I won’t explain, is Mike10613 – you can Google it!
Authors short bio-