Thursday, June 7, 2012

Armchair BEA: Beyond the Blog

Today it’s my turn to post (Jenn). The Armchair BEA post topic for the day is about moving beyond the blog: freelance writing and monetizing the blog.

It is a big written world out there, and I'm not sure if I've ever viewed our blog as a stepping stone to something else in the writing community. Yes, I love to write. I used to journal all the time as a way to sort things out in my head, but that was before I met my husband, now I bounce my ideas off of him instead. I tried having a personal blog for a while, but I just couldn't keep up with it. I would love to write stories, but a story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and my imagination only ever comes up with two out of the three.

If anything, I would love a job as an editor.  I know many editors go into publishing because they love to write, but I love to edit.  I find sentence structure and grammar fun and I love seeing what happens to the flow of the writing when you move things around. Weird, huh?  Unfortunately, Buffalo, NY isn't really located in the publishing hub of the country, so I don't see that happening anytime soon.

As for monetizing the blog, we currently have an Amazon Associates account. *Audible gasps* I know, it's taboo in the blogging community to partner with Amazon. (I actually feel nervous about stating it, because I don't want it to give us a proverbial black eye in the blogging community.)  We talked about this a quite a bit last year during and after Armchair BEA. We would love to have local partnerships, but that's kind of difficult with three of us scattered around the East Coast and one of us in the Central time zone. I did experiment with it for a while and one of the biggest problems I found with local partnering was finding local independents that maintain reliable websites with reliable links.

We had some discussion about using some of the big name independents, but our revenue is small (it doesn't even cover the shipping costs for giveaways) and we felt that if someone, outside of a conscientious book industry consumer, is going to order a book online, chances are they're going to go to one of the big box stores where they already have an account and can order that blender they need while they're there, so we've held off on making the switch.  Obviously, we didn't get into blogging for the revenue, but it would nice to have a little bit to put towards our expenses.  Julie and I are planning on launching a new Tween/Teen site soon and we are going to experiment with partnering with an independent seller and see how that goes. Perhaps we will be pleasantly surprised by the results and we will be ready to make the big switch here at Girls Just Reading.

If anyone has suggestions for us, we'd love to hear them!


Suey June 7, 2012 at 12:49 PM  

Sounds like you have some great ideas going already! Good luck with it all!

Karin Perry June 7, 2012 at 1:00 PM  

I have an Amazon Affiliates account, too. That is the only thing I do. I'm not a huge fan of all the ads I see on blogs. I'm really excited about your upcoming Tween/Teen site. What will it be called? I'll need to make a note so I can go find it later.

Julie@My5monkeys June 7, 2012 at 1:12 PM  

Sounds like some great ideas already. I think that at least trying is a step in the right direction.

Stephsco June 7, 2012 at 5:33 PM  

I'm sure there are opportunities to do freelance editing. There are courses you can take online to prepare you for jobs like that -- I am not schooled in that era so I can't link anything specific, I just know it's an option. Just a thought. Have you ever offered to read someone's manuscript? I don't know that it would pay you to do so without credentials, but might be a fun way to network.

hs June 7, 2012 at 10:23 PM  

Amazon is taboo? I didn't know that.

Jenn June 8, 2012 at 7:49 AM  

Karin - We are leaning towards "Kids Just Reading" at the moment. It will hopefully launch this summer.

Hwa - There is a big push in the blogging community to get away from the big box stores because they are burying local book stores (and none of us want to see that happen). We felt that push actually through last year's Armchair BEA.

We love to find other ways to support our local stores, but right now, I don't think partnering with them is a viable option for us.

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