Becoming a professional blogger

Everyone is a blogger. I’m a blogger, you’re a blogger. If you have a Tumblr or WordPress and in some cases, Facebook, you’re a blogger, right? And I know when you hear the phrase, “I’m a blogger” you roll your eyes. I do. But that being said, I am now officially a professional blogger.

So true

So true

It all started a long time ago

I’ve always enjoyed writing. I created my own pop-up books first grade and wrote a 23-page short story in seventh grade. In high school we had a historical fiction writing assignment and my story had Winston Churchill pulling out dual pistols and shooting Nazis soldiers John Woo-style. My creative writing may have subsided a lot since school but I’ve kept writing in blog form and it’s been a lot of fun for many years (going on 14 years now), but I never really expected to yield any real rewards.

Evolution of a blog

I blog because I enjoy it. It’s a hobby just like video games and Hot Wheels. I didn’t start blogging to serve others or get anything out of it except some self-satisfaction and maybe a place to blow off steam every once and while, but over time that can change. You get a few comments from people and suddenly it hits you that people are paying attention to what you’re saying. Then through the magic of Google you snag a few more folks and then they start becoming regular readers. And then you start to wonder, how can I make money from this?

I know that’s very un-blogger of me to say but if I can make some money with my blog without any effort, why not? Ads are not always the enemy people think they are, you just have to treat them properly. So I turned to Google and threw some of their ubiquitous adwords throughout my various blogs and sites. It was easy, free and required no effort from me. I wasn’t expecting any real payout, it was just a risk-free shot in the dark. To my surprise every year Google sends me a check for $100, for doing nothing really…except blogging, which I’d be doing anyway.

Out of left field

Then just last week another blogging surprise happened when I was contacted by the TMA Toys web site. You’ll possibly recall that I did a guest article on their site last year about Hot Wheels. I did that guest post for free because it was good promotion for Morning Toast and my Hot Wheels projects. It went live on their site and that was end of it…or so I thought.

I enjoyed getting a chance to write for someone else. It was a good feeling knowing your writing talent and passion for the topic is enjoyed and appreciated. Nonetheless, I didn’t think much of it after the fact. I just kept on blogging at The Toast receiving pennies a day for text ads. Then TMA Toys mailed me out of the blue asking if I wanted to blog for them again, but this time for a paycheck (of sorts). A writing position on their staff opened up and the guy I had worked with before mailed me and asked if I wanted to join their team. Without hesitation, I agreed.

Write about toys? Yeah, I think I can handle that

Write about toys? Yeah, I think I can handle that

You are now a part of the tribe

And just like that I have become a “professional” blogger…assuming the one thing that makes you a pro at anything is the fact you get paid. The amount I’m getting paid isn’t a lot but considering I have no prior pro blogging experience and that I’d be writing anyway for myself, so what? It wouldn’t matter if I was getting $100 or $10, something is better than nothing. But I can tell you that it beats the pennies a day I’m getting from Google.

I’ll be writing one article a week for TMA Toys – http://www.toy-tma.com – about topics I know and love well, games and toys. My first paid article is a retro look back at the Batman video game on the Nintendo. I don’t plan and don’t want to write just about video games. I’ll writing about other toys and non-video games too, although I see myself starting with a retro theme rather than current toys/games, but I’m sure that will change over time. If this job gives me an excuse to try out some new age toys and games, all the better.

Am I Killing another hobby?

The best part about the whole thing is I don’t have to change my writing. I’m writing like I do for myself. I do have to keep a mind about article length and be a little more diligent about my editing but those restrictions will only make me a better writer. But what does this all mean for Morning Toast? I mean, I’m a video game and toy blog myself so if I’m now getting paid to write on similar topics, what can/should I publish here versus over there? Well, I don’t know yet. All I know is I need to write one article a week and it’s been a long time since I’ve had assignment deadlines.

And don’t forget to visit TMA Toys every Friday for my latest article.

Categories: Headline, Playing Games, Toys, Web World

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4 replies »

  1. That’s great dude! A hobby website asked me to write a guest post for them too so I’m getting really geared up for it. I’m glad that your guest post worked out so well. How exciting! :)

  2. Thanks, Lindsey…you too! It’s been tough getting used to having a weekly writing assignment, but it’s harder trying to keep my writing under control. I need to keep my articles under 700 at least (600 is better) and I’m finding that very hard to do. I’m verbose, what can I say?

    And make sure you post your guest article all around too! Is it about your knitting, or something else? Very cool.

  3. Welcome to the world of blogging, Kharn. The best thing about blogging is you don’t have to know what you’re doing. Just write and write a lot. It’s easy to get discourage when people don’t comment but that doesn’t mean people aren’t reading.

    The other tip I can give if you want to get your blog to a better place is to comment, comment, comment…on other blogs. One reason I got this pro gig is because I commented a lot on their web site about their posts. They got to my blog through those comments and saw my writing and liked it.

    Every comment you make is essentially marketing for your blog. That’s not to say you should put “come visit my blog, it’s awesome” in every comment. People will get to your naturally if your comments are well thought out and well written.

    Just remember blogging is writing, it’s communicating. Focus on how to communicate effectively and think about what YOU like to read and start there.

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