Well, that's not quite true. Before I requisitioned it to talk about my outrageous fortune, this blog had been collecting dust as a class project from the University of Oregon, so technically THIS was the first post. It's surprising how well it foreshadows my current situation.
..."how to make a living off it" indeed.
This blog has not been a major source of income for me. I never really expected it to be (OK, maybe I did dream a little) but I did think it would give me a little housewife mad money.
I think I've technically made about $100, although I'm learning that Internet advertisers are remarkably slow and unreliable about payment so I've only seen about $60 of that so far.
Not much for one's blood, sweat and (lots of) tears.
It wasn't totally delusional of me to think that I might make some money at this. After all, I do have a degree in writing. And there are several success stories out there — dooce, Hyperbole and a Half, Enjoying the Small Things, and, most recently, Momestery — to name a few.
As soon as you "make it," people, of course, line up to ask you how you did it. This is where things get weird. What I can tell from reading all their success stories is that they just had fun and did what they wanted and eventually people noticed — LOTS of people. None of the bloggers I've read who "made it" felt that they used any tricks or self-marketed in any particular way (or at all).
Warren Whitlock, a new Twitter acquaintance who runs a blog called Profitable Social Media, might have the answer for why.
"STOP trying to get and start giving," Whitlock says. "...Be seen as someone who GIVES help, support and attention to others."
As I said in the comments to that post, I know he's right because it's what I've heard a zillion times from various bloggers who "made it." So that means it must be true, right?
But for every one of those who skyrocketed to success there are thousands of us stuck down here on Earth and I can't help but think that pure chance plays a greater role than we want to admit.
(Yet another theme you can read about in my awesome book! OK, OK, I'm stopping, I'm stopping.)
You see, though I'm very grateful to the handful of people who participated in my giveaway, this last week of trying to promote my novella was a pretty big flop. It's hard to interpret the crickets I'm hearing, but I'm going to take a wild guess and say Whitlock is right. If you ask for compensation for your work, it puts people off and you are less likely to get it than if people just feel drawn to it and to supporting you.
It's hard to trust in that. But I'm realizing I don't have a choice. I even decided to make A Twist of Fate free this weekend to see what happens and because why not? I'm not making any money at it anyway, so I might as well give it to anyone who might enjoy it.
And really, that suits me just fine. I'm horrible about self-promotion. I don't really like Twitter. (That's right. I said it.) I've felt awkward and needy posting about my book all the time. What I really want to do is what I've been doing all along: writing about what I feel, connecting with other parents of multiples with cerebral palsy, learning so much more about the world of special needs, and finding many other wonderful, inspiring and informative bloggers.
These benefits don't pay the bills, but they have saved my sanity, and for them I say starting this blog a year ago was a fabulous success.
You have to give to get? OK.
|Photo courtesy Jessie Kirk Photography|