This post on Blogging for Yourself vs. Blogging for Others has been submitted by Deborah Ng who blogs at About Weblogs (for about.com), Simply Thrifty (for b5media) and Work From Home Momma (for Know More Media). I think she’s qualified for talking about blogging for others!
While it started out as an enjoyable hobby, blogging is now a full time means of earning an income. I generate a fairly decent salary from one of my blogs, but it’s not enough to pay the bills. Thankfully, there are individuals and businesses that are happy to pay me to blog for them. Though I enjoy the creative outlet blogging provides, there’s a big difference between blogging for myself and blogging for others.
Blogging for Myself
With my own blogs, I can discuss whatever I want, when I want, without having to worry about nuisances such as deadlines and word counts. My blogs do fall within particular niches, but if I feel like straying off topic, I can certainly do so. There’s a lot more to blogging than posting and forgetting. I have to figure out ways to bring in traffic and revenue. I’m always checking stats and playing around with ads. It takes a few hours each day to maintain my own blogs, and only one is a big income generator. I have to handle my own design issues too, not a big deal unless you’re technically challenged, and I am.
Blogging for Others
Blogging for others is a great way to bring in money, especially if you have a couple of big name corporate clients, and I do. I also blog for a couple of networks and they supplement my income nicely. My clients’ blogs pay me a monthly income which is more than I’d earn if I hosted the blogs on my own. Plus they handle all of the dreaded technical issues and even many of the promotional details. Since a couple of the networks offer revenue bonuses, I do have to help a bit with promotion, but I kind of enjoy that.
The downside of blogging for others is that you may have to adhere to specific guidelines and word counts. There are deadlines too. One network requires its bloggers to post by 10:00 AM, while another requests at least six posts a week. It’s the word counts that get to me. What happens if the topic doesn’t warrant 300 words? So far I haven’t run into a problem, but it’s nice not to have to check the word count every few paragraphs.
It’s All Good
As far as I’m concerned, I’m living the best of both worlds. I have my own income-generating blogs, and others pay me to do something I enjoy. For that I can deal with word counts and deadlines.
Deb Ng has been blogging since 2005. She just gave up the last of her writing clients as she has enough blogging gigs to keep her busy full time. You can a few of Deb’s blogs at:
Simply Thrifty http://simplythrifty.com
Freelance Writing Jobs http://www.writersrow.com/deborahng/freelancewritingjobs.html
I only recently started getting into paid posting over at DailyBlogTips.com and I must say it is a very different feel. Part of me is left wondering how successful my posts actually are, since that’s something I can generally see on my own site. Then again, my writing gets in front of a wider audience, which I see as a nice segue into the professional side of blogging. I’m still a bit new at it, but I’d say blogging for others and blogging for oneself each has its own rewards. I’d be hard-pressed to say which I found more enjoyable, though.
Thanks for sharing your experience and insights Deborah!
‘Writing for others’ has always been a consideration at the back of my mind and certain “Pros” and “Cons” to my own inner-debate; but you’ve shared additional views I didn’t yet examine. For example, I’m such a sporadic writer, with no disciplined timeframe to work, and possibly having deadline times for another blog, would help me be more consistent and timely in my own personal blog posts.
It’s interesting, because I know the most traffic-ed hours of my days for my blog, but I always “miss” it; because I don’t have a specific ‘work schedule”. I know I must utilize my ‘timestamp” better, but its just getting time to type out the posts. As an author, I’m a pen-and-pad kindof chick ;-)
You just helped me move this “thought” from the back to the front :-)
Darren, thanks for hosting a short, concise and insightful guest post!
I never tried to blog for others particularly because of the deadlines involved. It removes some of the freedom you have on your blog. On the other hand, on your own, if you want to keep readers coming, sometimes deadlines are even more strict. I guess that as you mentioned, there are Pros and Cons that should be considered.
It’s true Deborah, there are many Pros and Cons of writing for others. Gladly you have the option to do so or not. Of course that one of the BIG Pros as you mentioned are the technical details. Not everyone wants to invest time in tweaking design or plugins or whatever. And if when you own a blog this can be almost addictive, always trying to find the best for your audience.
But I’m glad that this topic came to be published as we’ve just started a small blog network and we are currently looking for bloggers. No deadlines, no minimum word count… and 100% adsense revenue for your posts goes for you. If anyone thinks that this minimizes some of the Cons of writing for others, you can find more info here: http://www.digital-folders.com/authors-needed
maybe I should try blogging for others… sometimes I get writer’s block and if they can give you things to write about… half the problem is solved.
I just love this post. (and I love this site, thanks)
I blogged for Adoption.com and for families.com for over a year, and loved it! but i got burned out on the number of posts required and the word count per day. I’m getting ready to pick up another blog on another site, (can’t say where yet) but in the meantime I’m loving the freedom of having my own blog.
Blogging for someone else has its disadvantages, for sure, but to me they’re minor. I think what’s important to understand is that while you’re still meeting a weekly quota or word count, you still have the ability to speak your mind and inject your personality into your writings. It’s a lot different from copywriting and content writing, which I did for years. Words flow easily when you’re writing about topics you find interesting, and you’re writing from your heart rather than what you’re assigned.
I Want to blog for other, but no one ask me to :) I love writing and want to write more, for myself and for others. But I blogging for myself is better, I can express anything, write what I want even it son’t fit my niche. When I play some game bd like it, I give it a review in my blog. I don’t think people like it, but I’ happy when I write, even my english isn’t too good.
If I have a project to write for others, it’s all right :) it will make us see semething objectively (even sometimes we need to be a little subjective due to company) and make us learn more. Then, if we want to make article based of out point of view, just make it in our own blog!
Writing for others makes it more like a real job – no slack and no sick days. While it would be fun to write for others I would make sure my commitment did not require daily entries.
Blogging for myself is easier than blogging for others. when we get paid, we have to adhere to its conditions. but it is good, you can do it the both.
My local paper’s online version has apparently jumped on the blog bandwagon too. This weekend they recently put out a call for women bloggers for their new site wismoms.com. Actually drawing a paycheck for blogging sounded really nice. I sent the page to myself and mulled it over for a few days, before I decided that I have enough problems
struggling with writer’s block when it comes to marketing my main business, let alone my two side blogs. I figure if their new site turns out to be interesting or useful, joining one of the forums will be good enough. Since local small business owners are our main source of revenue, I like to make sure I am active online in local forums, but I can’t blog everywhere, that would be spreading myself to thin.
I like the idea of blogging for others, but sometimes I struggle to write enough for my own blogs, let alone others as well.
@Clark – For most places the commitment is the number of posts rather than a set amount of days. I haven’t encountered a blog network yet that expects me to work every single day.
In my dealing blogging for others and having others blog for me, I have found the “care factor” to have a massive influence. I think it’s natural to want to put more care and attention into your own posts, knowing the effect it could have on your revenue.
I guess pairing any arrangement with a Revenue Bonus, as enjoyed by Deb with some of her Network Clients, is the best way to ensure the same care goes into your work for others. It’s easier when the effort vs. reward is more visible.
Hey Deb Ng! It’s Julie from Declutter It! This was a great article.
I think I would really struggle with the “blog post before 10 am” and also the specific word count.
How many hours a day would you say you devote to blogging?
See you over at the forums… :)
Don’t underestimate the value of copyright.
If you write for others in the short term whilst you might receive payment pretty quickly over the coming weeks, months and years it is they who will get paid via the surrounding advertising and other income generating methods, not you.
If you are starting a site then writing for someone else can be a real help as including a link across to your site at the foot of the piece will bring you new readers.
But think about why it is newspapers and other MSM want to see their readers create blogs with them, it’s free content for them to run adverts round. Of course there is nothing stopping you using these sites to draw people to your own site.
But in the long term if you have the copyright for articles those adverts, or whatever is coming in the future, can be a valuable source of income in your dotage.
@Julie -Blogging is a full time job for me – I spend at least 8 hours blogging. Several hours on my own blogs, and several hours on other blogs.
Deb, how many total blogs do you write for? How many posts per day?
@Craig – Brandon – I have five blogs of my own and I maintain five blogs for others. It’s a full time job – some blogs only receive one post a day, others receive more. One celebrity blog receives about 10 to 15 posts each day – but many of them are a paragraph long.
@Deb Ng, I too have been tossing about the idea about blogging for others. I appreciate this article as well. It just confirms to me it IS something I can do! Please tell me if I am going in the right direction… I’ve started blogging for a couple family members & also (go ahead & laugh) for my dogs. :) I just wanted to do something really creative….. Is that a good start? Next question is, how do I go about setting up a pay rate & acquiring clients? Also, feel free to look at my personal blog. (Where you can also look at my dog’s blog… Coleman & Sunny.)….. Please feel free to contact me via my blog. Thanks for your help! :)
My above comment can be answered by anyone… not just Deb Ng. Any help I can get to get started, will be greatly appreciated.
I’d also like to know… what are we supposed to put in the emails when “applying” for blogging jobs? Especially when someone like me does not have “professional” blogging experience.
Thanks, LH :)