Thursday, June 7, 2012

#ArmchairBEA Day 4- Beyond the blog

So, you enjoy writing do you? Would you like to be involved elsewhere on the interwebs or possibly start writing for your local paper? Perhaps you'd simply like to start drawing an income from your blog? Today we will be sharing tips that will help you move your blog forward or perhaps your own personal goals of writing and making an income from what you love to do. Today we'd love you to share your top tips for getting beyond your blog! Have you done any freelance writing? Are you monetizing your blog and how so? How do you make connections outside the book blog community on the internet? If none of these apply we'd love for you to share a fun aspect about your blog or life that may be completely separate from books!

This is a tough topic for me. I never liked writing in school; never wrote in a journal or diary. I certainly never wanted to write a novel or other creative writing piece. Monetization of my blog, I don't do that. 1) As I still use the free blogger website, there is no cost to run it. I can't justify monetizing a hobby site where I have no out of pocket cost. 2) Successfully monetizing a blog is really hard. A hosting account averages around $100 a year. Browsers have ad-blocking add ons and people read blogs in RSS readers, so unless an add is in the body of the blog post, they won't see it. So other than becoming an affiliate with some store that has a web presence, How likely is it that I would recoop 25% of my hosting? Not good. Perhaps when I get my blog transferred to my hosting (I do have it for hobby stuff) I will reconsider it. One perk that my webhost offers (others may, but I'm not familiar with them), is the option to donate directly to the cost of hosting the site. I have belonged to a couple of pixel art forums who use the same hosting company, and both have used this discreet button:

This is a handy tool, because if someone really cares for the welfare of your blog/website, and wants to help you cover the cost, they can click the link and donate via paypal. That money goes directly to your account statement with the hosting company (Dreamhost in this case). It can only be used to cover the cost of your web host. If you self host, check the information from your hosting company to see if they offer this.

And now for something unexpected...

Something I do (largely) outside of books and blogs. I'll touch on two of my other hobbies:

- Pixel Art: If you were around and saw my last Top Ten Tuesday post, I mentioned I hang out at DeviantArt sometimes. About eight years ago, I wandered into the pixel art-dolling commuting (headed there from a Harry Potter fan forum of all places). I learned how to make little graphics using programs like Paint or GIMP. There is a whole world of digital art out there. I mostly stuck with non-isometric pixel art and digital dolls (if you are familiar with ball-jointed-dolls and how people paint and make outfits for them, its similar idea, just digital). If you are interested, you can see a few at My DeviantArt.

- Genealogy: The year I graduated high school, my dad and I started working on researching our family tree. We started with getting pictures and stories from my grandparents, and then we visited the LDS Church's family history centers (associated with their church locations around the country) and the few online resources there were at the time. Now, LDS church has many of their resources available online at Family Search, for free. Every so often I will help with indexing, which is what moves this great resource. I do use Ancestry from time to time. From what I've found, my most recent immigrant ancestor came over to the US just before Ellis Island opened. And most of the rest have been here (US and Canada) since the American Revolution, or before. If anyone wants to geek out on genealogy, we can talk in comments.

These may work their way into the blog. I'm trying to think of a layout design. And I'm thinking of reading some history associated with periods that affected my ancestors, like the influenze pandemic of 1918. But not much.


TheHouseworkCanWait said...

Those are two really interesting and unique hobbies! I don't think I know anyone who does either one.

And yes, the math on monetization is kind of discouraging. I went to self-hosting mostly just to have total control over my site. If I tried to make it pay for itself, it wouldn't work (unless I count the monetary value of the books I receive as income, in which case I've made a small profit). I'm like you - I just like to blog and read for the fun.

Great post! Here's my Beyond the Blog post.

Violette said...

Pixel art sounds like fun but definately beyond my abilities! I have done alot of geneology research in the past. It was entertaining but I sure like being done with it. I have gone back to the early 1300s on both sides of my family. There isn't anything further to do without DNA testing of a male relative to determine which of the 8 English tribes I originate from.