Miss mind reader Deb just posted an excellent read, Should You Work for Blog Networks? Blogging for others (OR NOT) is what’s been on my mind for weeks now. Ok, longer then weeks. It’s also been on the mind of pretty much every pro-blogger pal I have, and that’s not a huge surprise. In the last year I’ve worked for networks that have closed up shop, networks who are implementing pay reconfigurations that may or may not make it worth my time to even blog anymore, clients who have no clue about blogs, and a couple of pesky clients who forget to pay me each month (until I yet again remind them).
Blogging, which by the way I love, has become sort of cumbersome. At least blogging for others has. At least for now. But quit altogether? I’m not so sure I could do that.
When blogging for others is good, it can be REALLY good. It’s enjoyable to blog for pay, actually see a paycheck on time, and not have to worry about all that back end blog work. When a client or network runs a blog, I don’t have as many worries. No worries about design, or ads, or what to do when the servers flop; it’s a snap to deal, when you don’t have to truly deal with these issues.
My take on the seemingly unsettled and not so reliable blogosphere right now is in line with what Gayla noted in the comments of Deb’s post – “Blogging is a game of chance – some hit big, some don’t.” She also points out that blogging for a network allows you to, “Rub elbows with influential people more often than what independent blogging would allow.” Both those statements are true, and likely why I stick with blogging for others. I’ve landed some pretty major blog/writing gigs based on my past work with other blog networks and clients, plus made plenty of great friends, so in some ways, I feel that even when I’ve been fed up at work, it’s somehow paid off.
In Deb’s post she says, “I’ve been receiving a lot of email lately at my Freelance Writing Jobs blog regarding blog networks. Most want to know if they’re still worth it. Should we continue to blog for someone else, or is it more realistic to create our own blogs and keep all the revenue?”
My answer would be much like Deb’s – no one can make that call for you. For myself, I am at a point in my career where money does matter. I won’t put in long hours or be motivated at the thought of $100 / month for any blog client, because I know I can make more. If I can make more at my own blogs fine. If I can make more by going back to magazine work, well, ok. It’s still writing, and still something I’ll enjoy. I’ll enjoy it at a different level, but all jobs have ups and downs and we all know that writing is especially testy at times.
Knowing the current state of blog networks and client-owed blogs, as a single mama supporting a son, I think that putting all my eggs in the blogging for others basket would be a bad call. I’ve managed to pay all my bills with only blog income for a good long while now, but if I can’t, if blogging for others starts to make my life slide downward, I’ll switch things up.
In the end I think part of being a good freelance writer is the ability to be very flexible. You have to make the market work for you. If one sort of work won’t cut it, then diversifying is the only option. At the very least, diversifying will liven things up.
What do you think? Are all your eggs in one sort of writing basket right now, or are you branching out?