A few years ago, when I ventured out to become a full-time freelance writer, life took a strange turn. A full-time opportunity surfaced and I returned to the corporate world I had willingly left two years prior, leaving behind my writing career before it even started. But online writing piqued my interest and I had already registered my trade name, GailWrites. So I tried to pursue writing as a part-time endeavor.
Blogging for revenue
There are a myriad of articles and posts on the Web on how to compete, market, win clients and drive enough revenue to write full-time. I wandered through writer forums, social sites and assorted tutorials. It seemed to me that blogging needed to serve a higher purpose than creativity. I understood that true entrepreneurs design blogs as revenue-producing marketing tools by following a specific theme, targeting a singular demographic and acquiring affiliates. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, traveling through a place I did not understand and therefore did not belong. This led to me shutting down my blog and exploring revenue-producing online platforms.
Readability score writing
I had some success and even declined opportunities that demanded more time than I had available. I also had some disappointments. I discovered that my writing became too academic with a readability score reaching college level. I lost opportunities for newsletter articles and blog posts geared towards plain English because I lacked the conversational tone well-practiced when I maintained my own blog. Floundering in the sea of online writing for-profit platforms that required conformance to a range of parameters, I also missed the freedom and clarity that comes with free-form writing.
Blogging to exercise the brain
When something is unclear, writing can be a breath of fresh air. Like physical exercise, writing is a discipline that strengthens the muscle leveraged. Some people write private journals, and I have my personal collection of writings as well in the form of poetry and memoirs. But blogging, analogous to maintaining a food journal, provides an element of awareness and accountability. It’s out there – so it has to make sense.
Testing the boundaries
Writing for a steady revenue stream is now my plan for the distant future since the full-time job I enjoy takes priority. In the meantime, my endeavor is to master the English language, cultivate a writing niche, and build an online presence aligned with the image I want to project. It works in my favor that my job entails daily business writing and time management, and requires some creativity as well. In addition, I want to flex my writing muscle to broaden my range and test my limitations.
To this end, I finally formulated a strategy: to focus on one-off jobs with a limited time commitment. This affords me the luxury to crank up or scale back as needed based on my primary professional and personal commitments. Pursuing résumé writing and online ghostwriting assignments while taking enrichment courses are the tactics deployed to achieve my strategic plan. At the same time, blogging allows me to write in my own style and explore various subjects that may resonate with others. For this reason, I decided to create this blog without a theme. I guess you can call it a blog about nothing (pardon the Seinfeld knock-off).