I started this blog as nothing more than a place to vent and rant to the world back in 2004. I turned this blog into a daily ritual in 2010, because I knew it would be a good place to hone my craft while I tried to make a serious run as a freelance writer. I believe blogs are a valuable thing for freelance writers because not only is it a place to practice writing while also gaining some exposure, but it allows you the freedom to write about what you want (since paid work is often going to be writing things your client or publisher wants). I've said before that this blog has had a positive effect on my writing career, but I've also never heavily relied on it being my main source of landing writing jobs. If I really wanted this blog to be the launching pad into writing stardom then I'd have to turn into a niche blog that appeals to whatever form of writing I wanted to make my main source of income. But I don't want to do that. I like this blog just being a place where I write whatever I feel like writing about.
Despite that stubbornness, this blog has paid off for me. It has landed me jobs. It has been a good place to show people my writing style. A writing style many seem to enjoy, because my reader base has grown past just my wife and a couple of friends.
Sometimes, this blog even becomes a source of income. This is when it is really valuable to constantly churn out fresh content. Yesterday was one of those times that the blog did its part in earning its keep around this place. There were a few sites that liked my Whitney Houston tribute and were willing to buy the rights to publish it on their site. I'm always happy to sell my blog posts, so that other sites can spread my rantings and ravings to a new audience (and you know, earn more money).
One of the sites was my good friends at the Collective Publishing Company. I want to point them out specifically, because they really are a fine site that doesn't get the attention they deserve. I've written for them several times over the past year, and they pay really well for a site that isn't incredibly well known. But they deserve to be well known. I'd love for you all to pass on the word, and check them out. I'm not just saying that because this is the second time they've purchased one of the posts from this blog.
This is some proof why a blog is great for a freelance writer. I'm not saying you should expect people to suddenly barge down your door and throw money at you to buy one of your posts. I am saying that a blog can be rewarding. It can be rewarding in the way that you just get to write about things you love and care about. It can be rewarding in that you start gaining some loyal readers. Sometimes it can even allow you to break into markets that you may not have been able get into without the blog.
And it can even be rewarding in the form of sweet, sweet, sweet cash money. Of course, that type of rewarding usually doesn't happen without connections and proper promotion of your blog. In the case of the Whitney Houston tribute, I actually didn't promote the piece very hard. But I have spent the time building a relationship with many sites and publishers. So, when I do write a piece, then it is more likely they'll come across it and be willing to express their interest in the form of money (or a job offer to write something else for money).
So there you go. Another real life example of why having a blog is awesome. Or at least, why it is awesome for me. I can't actually promise the same results or experiences for you. If you do like to write, I think it is important to have a place where you can write for yourself and still have the public read it. Your blog/site will eventually yield some rewards in some form, which will either be personal satisfaction or (fingers crosses) monetary success.