Reflections on the business of blogging

There are times as a blogger when I read a piece by a fellow blogger and I have one of those light bulb moments. That recently happened when I read this piece by Veronica Armstrong recapping the Blog Her conference from her perspective. This post gave me a lot to think about in my own life as a blogger and writer as I have struggled at times with the issue of monetization which for me at times has been a dirty word.

Blogs started out primarily as outlets for writers and aspiring writers but now as the blogging world grows, the number of opportunities to actually create a career and/or actually make money has also grown. Blogging has grown up, giving many bloggers opportunities that just a few short years ago were simply unimaginable. For many women, their blogs have become empowerment tools. As blogging grows and bloggers especially the so –called mom blogger, find themselves wanting to jump into the waters they are learning that to achieve success, it really is about more than the writing, it’s a business.

I try to avoid talking about the business of blogging here and  monetization as many of my long time readers have told me, they don’t particularly enjoy these posts and that’s fine, I try to do a little something for everyone. Yet for many bloggers who are interested in the business of blogging, the truth is getting specific information from fellow bloggers is difficult to say the least which is why I loved Veronica’s piece.

Last year when I started to get serious about monetizing this space, the truth is I had no idea what I was doing. I wrongly assumed that it would be easy to monetize and made a lot of mistakes including joining the BlogHer network with less than realistic expectations and then getting huffy and leaving the network. Only to learn that for every blogger who tells you they work alone without a network and are actually generating ad revenue that what they aren’t telling you is that they are doing a lot of work. It takes time to cultivate relationships with advertisers and sponsors and as I have learned as someone with a pretty intense full time job, I simply can’t do it on my own.

At times I have thought maybe I should give up blogging, but I enjoy it and as long as I have one reader, I will keep doing it. That said and I think especially for women, it can be hard to admit that you want to earn money from the fruits of our labor. One of the greatest revelations recently for me is that money is not a dirty word and my desire to have it is not wrong, after all we all need money to live. Even those of us in the helping professions need money to live so we can keep helping others; the light company doesn’t give me a discount because I provided services to over 400 people last year. I have to pay my bill just like everyone else or I will be sitting in the dark.

After reading Veronica’s piece, I decided to take a second look at the BlogHer network and realized maybe I will give it a try again, I have submitted an application to join again and we will see what happens. Granted they could tell me to take a leap, in that case I will check out other networks but no longer will I feel guilt around this creative space and money. Bloggers as part of the social media landscape are playing an even larger role in disseminating information as traditional media changes and as our roles grow. It’s time to recognize that blogging is no longer the purview of a few wanna-be writers and that bloggers bring a great deal to the table, sure it may have started off in the hobby realm but it’s now so much more.