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The Writer's Life > 5 Most Important Steps to Full-Time Writing and Blogging

5 Most Important Steps to Full-Time Writing and Blogging

I’ve been making a full-time living from my “She Blossoms” blogs since 2008 – which I myself find hard to believe! I’ve long expected the internet to implode and my work to go up in smoke, but it hasn’t happened yet. My blogs have crashed and been hacked, but the world wide web has been a constant friend. Here’s why and how I started blogging, and why I’m switching tracks.

My latest goal is to be a novelist. I just finished my second revision of Almost Sage and I hope to start querying Canadian publishers this week. Exciting! Scary. Nah, just exciting. I have one more beta reader to talk to, and then I’ll send start shipping my work. The thrill really was writing the book – it was more fun than reading or even blogging, and I love reading and blogging.

I don’t actually work on my blogs full-time anymore. All I do now is approve comments and clean up old blog posts. As a result, my six-figure income years are behind me. Now I earn enough to support me and my camper van Ruby. And pay the bills (I’m not a full-time van dweller yet!).

5 Steps to Writing and Blogging Full-Time

My blogs have gone through many iterations; and Quips and Tips were my first forays into the world wide web. I started and ended over a dozen different types of blogs, but found that writing about love and relationships was the most lucrative. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a topic I wanted to blog about! But I was motivated by money, and I really wanted to earn a living as a writer.

I also wrote an ebook called How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets and Practical for Healing Your Heart, which still sells several copies a week.

Are you interested in learning how to blog – or even how to make money as a blogger? Save your questions until the end, and I’ll tell you everything I know.

1. I started freelance writing for print and online magazines

Reader’s Digest Canada was my favorite magazine to work with. The editor, Cynthia Shannon, would call me after she edited my articles and we’d discuss every line! The feedback and training was priceless; even though I was a new freelance writer I knew this couldn’t be typical. How many editors have time to review articles line by line with writers?

I also started writing for a now-defunct online magazine called Suite101. It didn’t take long for me to become the Psychology Feature Writer, and then I quickly learned that if I wrote articles for my own website I’d get 100% of the profit! Suite101 paid a percentage of the Google Adsense earnings. It was a good trickle of passive income, but why settle for a trickle when you can build a fire hydrant?

2. I learned the art of SEO (search engine optimization)

Learning search engine optimization and how to write for online readers was my first major step towards becoming a blogger. What pushed me over the edge was finding a “lifestyle blog.” I don’t remember who she was or what her blog was called, but I realized she was making and keeping all the revenue from her website. If she could do it, why couldn’t I?

If you’re considering writing or blogging, you have to learn how to work alone. It’s even better if you enjoy it! I love being alone and working in silence all day. In fact, I even blogged about it in Best Jobs for Introverts and Quiet People. Writing and blogging as one of the best jobs for people with introverted personality traits.

3. I learned how to blog by blogging

I didn’t have a blogging “mentor” or teacher, and I definitely didn’t take classes, pay for online blogging memberships, or take master classes. I read Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger posts sometimes, but mostly I learned how to blog by blogging. I didn’t build a community or try to find followers, even though I know that’s the best advice on how to become a successful blogger. I just wanted to write and not worry about gathering a following.

4. I capitalized on my strengths

I love editing, which means tweaking my pre-2010 blog posts is both humbling and exhilarating. It’s so cool to read posts I wrote over a decade ago. I also love when readers comment today on posts I wrote years ago. Writing for my own blogs is much more satisfying than writing for magazines, where the articles are current for a month then seem to fade into oblivion.

If you’re thinking of becoming a blogger, go in for the long haul. Don’t expect to make money the first month (although I did! So it’s definitely possible). Remember that every post you write might be alive on the internet forever, so write it with thoughtful fingers.

5. I blogged about my problems and solutions

Writing about myself has always been my least favorite type of writing, which might seem odd for a blogger to say! But 95% of my posts are tips, hints and ways to solve problems. The majority of my posts aren’t even about problems that I had or solved. They’re problems readers ask for help or advice on.

How I Started Earning a Full-Time Living as a Blogger
The Adventurous Writer

Writing Blossoms (originally Quips and Tips for Successful Writers) was the first blog I started. How Love Blossoms (originally Quips and Tips for Love and Relationships) was the second. The third was Health Blossoms (Quips and Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility), but I quickly learned I didn’t want to write about infertility. My husband and I couldn’t have kids, and I was fine with that. It was hard for me to dwell in the pain and heartache of women who wanted but couldn’t have kids.

Becoming a blogger was a huge leap of faith for me, and it paid off right away. I hope my first foray into the fiction writing world is as interesting and long-lasting…and I hope I’ll sell a Sage series soon! My plan is to take Almost Sage on the road – it’s a Canadian road trip novel – and visit libraries, bookstores, book clubs and more.

If you want to start blogging for income, read 10 Types of Blogs That Do – and Do Not – Make Money.

Thoughts? If you have any questions on how to become a blogger, please ask below!


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