I try not to get caught up in the competition for getting the most views or comments because it’s actually ridiculous. I am not specifically addressing BlogJob with this; Whether it’s a paying website like BlogJob or a free, unpaid social network like Facebook, I really don’t care if I go “viral” or not. On BlogJob specifically, I want to post articles of quality and some sense of completeness unless it’s my very personal Quotes For Release (which is still created in such a way that there is a clear narrative). I do like getting the initial 50 points and subsequent views from referring visitors from other websites, but I write content that is intended to be useful and/or timely. I should not be feeling disappointed that I don’t have the reach of more prolific bloggers because honestly they are working harder at promoting their blogs and deserve more attention…But I am.
Right now I admit that I’m feeling lost in the crowd of blogs, both on BlogJob and in a sea of blog websites. Part of it is my own doing. I say that I take my freelance writing on BlogJob seriously, which is true, but I could do much better at promoting my work and interacting with my fellow bloggers. One of the keys to being noticed in a positive way is to form a sense of community and encourage others. It’s true that the more you interact and show support, the more you receive. I absolutely need to increase my interactions. And I’m not just saying that so that I can draw attention to my work. My fellow bloggers at least on BlogJob (because I know them more here) deserve support. This is on me.
My frustration is stemming from a BlogJob message board discussion that has been resusitated entitled “What Do You Consider Quality Content?” The general consensus is that quality content falls between 500 to 700 words (more than a blurb but less than a mini-story) and readers can be turned off by longer content. I happen to write longer posts, usually because I’m so interested in the subject that I have a lot to say. In addition, my posts about current events and movie/book reviews have a lot of links that I cite and describe in the post. It is surprising how many words you use describing articles and such! The problem is that I often go over 700 words and readers prefer shorter posts, so I feel like they’re not reading any of my longer work.I don’t know how to negotiate what readers prefer with my writing style.
I was inspired by a post written by “Rusty” about feeling invisible in a sea of bloggers on BlogJob. I’ve felt this way ever since BlogJob opened to new members this year and I wasn’t sure how to express it, but after reading Rusty’s blog post I knew what I wanted to say. The short version is that sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself when I post to a group or write a blog post.
I have not been as active on my BlogJob blogs as I could be and I always say it’s a timing concern. That’s not a lie; Over this semester I have spent more time writing my senior thesis and YA Literature final project essay than blogging. School comes first. That said, towards the end of the semester, about November, I had more and more free time because I was getting to the end of my senior thesis project and already had the skeleton for my YA Literature paper laid out. I could’ve gone back to blogging much sooner. The additional piece of information is that I know we don’t always write about subjects that interest the general reading public and therefore nobody is entitled to views, but like Rusty I was losing hope in being heard.
The overall atmosphere of BlogJob has changed, and I feel confident in stating that it is this reason some of us are dropping off the radar. In the earlier days of BlogJob, you knew the core bloggers and could discuss blogs and the issues of the day with them. With the influx of bloggers, the core group expanded. While the positive aspect of this expansion is that there is a wider base of knowledge on many subjects and you can learn more about marketing and blog promotion, there are less of those general discussions and more about the business end of freelance blogging. Some of us are less useful (which is natural) and fall by the wayside. I won’t change my blogging interests to fit the new atmosphere and I know that is going to hurt me. So be it. I also want to put it out there that sometimes I don’t like talking to myself. I blog rather than journal because I feel like I have something important to express and sometimes I miss being seen.
I haven’t blogged for a good two months, and that’s being generous. I am always active with my BlogJob status updates, especially where pop culture or news is concerned. I’ve also been ranting and raving about different college experiences this semester, which I should probably apologize for since it’s only probably interesting to me. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing it; sometimes when I have a lot on my plate, I need to get it out there to maybe maintain my sanity.
Of course, I was going to explain why I haven’t been blogging recently. I don’t know the exact reason. I mean, I often think “I should put this in a blog!” and in my mind I create a good skeleton for what the blog would look like. I was even going to create a new blog, something along the lines of My Hate Mail in which I post and comment on all of the fun things people have said to me or about me on Facebook. I’ve been getting a lot of death threats and “You need god!” in recent weeks, so that would be a lot to write about. To return to the idea of posting status updates on my college work, I could in fact turn some of those mini posts into a full-blown blog on Lovely, Lovely English (personal reflections on college English work and other writings as well as posts considering writing-related career musings) or The Language, Literature, and Literacy blog (a more serious news blog about language, literature, and literacy events). There are many opportunities when I think I should blog, but I never get around to it.
I consider my BlogJob work serious, even when the posts I create are more of a way for me to unjumble my thoughts. I’ve never believed that being a serious freelance writer means “Be serious or quit!” We all need to blow off steam or write about things that are just fun. I haven’t been gone because of fear that my posts aren’t good enough or relevant enough or a waste of space. Regardless of what people on Facebook say about me, I think I have a legitimate voice. If it’s not fear holding me back, I wonder what it is.
I want to say that the atmosphere on BlogJob has changed with the flood of new users and I feel lost in so many new names and faces, but that would be completely unfair because I think a good majority of us contribute something special to the blogosphere and it’s in fact a way that I can get more interested followers. Beyond all that, it’s kind of a fun challenge, trying to carve out a niche and maintain a strong voice. That isn’t exactly what’s holding me back either.
Right now I hate to admit it, but maybe it’s simply that my college work (which will be a long process since I’ve decided/out of necessity that I will be going first for a Masters in English and then a Ph. D. in composition and rhetoric) must take precedence over blogging. Maybe these status updates are my best way of keeping in touch with BlogJob plus anyone else who randomly stumbles across me while I have to focus on school.
I am once again in an inspiration drained mode and it’s worse than the time before. At least during my last inspiration drainage I had the desire to write and the problem was coming up with ideas. Tonight is worse because I’m missing the desire to write as well. I’ve never understood how full-time bloggers have a continual flow of ideas because I swear that’s not humanly possible. I write when there’s something that needs to be said or something that I need to get out of my mind. I know writing about being inspiration drained doesn’t seem like something that needs to be written about, but I promise there’s a reason for it.
So I briefly considered how professional writers always seem to have ideas for their latest blog posts. Bear in mind that while I consider myself a writer and a blogger, I don’t consider myself a professional blogger. I speak solely from my own experiences as a sporadic blogger and I would highly recommend that you take these thoughts as such. I offer this disclaimer because I’m going to let you in on a secret. Ready? Bloggers don’t always know what to blog about. Sometimes we have to write posts about being inspiration drained so that we can be inspired (maybe). Those steady streams of posts are what we write when we finally get inspiration. I’m telling you the behind the scenes things that go on in a blogger’s mind so that maybe you realize we aren’t always a bubbling fountain of inspiration.
I never had this problem with blogging, but for every other activity I’ve attempted (and failed!) I’ve had a tendency to beat mysef up over not getting it right the first (or 100,000th) time. If I overcame that hurdle, I would beat myself up for not being dead-on every single time. I bet others have experience this frustration as well. I thought I might e performing my good deed of the day by assuring all of you that whether it’s an active activity or sitting in front of the computer blogging, it’s okay not to be perfect and it’s okay to be drained of inspiration or enthusiasm or whaever else.
By the way, writing about this round of inspiration drainage has not done anything to boost my inspiration. It’s safe to say that some days just aren’t right for blogging.
I am feeling unbelievably guilty right now. If you’re a BlogJob friend you already know why, but for those of you who don’t, have another embarrassing recap.
So in the past week or two, I’ve been highly recommending the paid-to-click (PTC) website BuxBery. I was impressed that they were shooting out ad after ad since none of my other PTC websites are that quick at giving me ads. Longtime users of PTC websites such as NeoBux and ClixSense can chime in if they have more information on this upcoming point, but it seems to me that these websites cap your earnings for a day so you don’t drain them of money. I’m not 100% sure this is true, but certainly I haven’t made 50 cents or more on NeoBux or Clixsense in one day like I did with BuxBery. Well, there’s a huge catch with using BuxBery. They’ve been having complaints of users not getting paid and in response they’ve taken off two forms of payment options, one being the ultra-popular PayPal. This is problematic if you are (well, were) a user who counted on getting PayPal money. I didn’t know about this until Sunday, March 22 when BlogJob user “Dick” said BuxBery was in trouble. I asked why, since I had just visited the site and had no problems clicking on ads. Well, that was when they removed PayPal and the other payment method, only leaving Perfect Money (whatever that is) as the redemption option. I am not happy with BuxBery and I’m even more not happy with myself. I promoted them on various status updates because I just thought they had all those ads to be nice to their users. Ugh!
I don’t know how to rectify my mistake in promoting BuxBery. This isn’t as easy as deleting a blog post or adding an ETA message to tell users “Never mind, I was dead wrong”. The good thing about me not having many followers on social media sites outside of BlogJob is that less people are mislead, but some of my BlogJob friends got curious about BuxBery based on my posts. It’s too late for me to undo all those posts. How do other bloggers go about correcting mistakes about questionable websites? I’ve never considered how to handle a situation like this.
Blogging after being sick is the worst! Well, I’m sure there’s even worse things in the world, but think about this from a blogger’s perspective and you’ll see what I mean. I was getting better at consistency in blogging. If I wasn’t able to write a decent post, I would get creative with creating such blogs as this so I could blog about my lack of being able to write a decent post. What a mouthful! I just tried reading that out loud and props to anyone who does it without getting tongue-tied. In any case, I was beginning to work myself out of being inspiration-drained and not sure of what to write and I thought “Hey, I might get back into being a dedicated blogger again after all!”…and then I got sick.
Let me tell you about getting sick as a blogger. Of all the fun stuff that comes spilling out of your body, about the only thing that doesn’t is the “Oooooomph!” to write. In the moment I’m sure we all know where our attention is focused (and hint for those of you who have never been sick, it’s not on blogging) so that’s completely excusable. It’s the following week after that’s weird. So let’s say you’ve survived another nasty outbreak of gastroenteritis (thank you adult people in college who cough and spit everywhere!) and now you’re recovering from the sickness and the blogging hiatus. Is it okay if I assume all bloggers go on at least a one day hiatus after being sick, because that’s how I’m going to play this one. Now that you are capable of focusing on blogging, are you really blogging? Clearly I am not. I have sprinkled a few blog posts throughout my hiatus (and honestly they’re not bad posts) but these posts are few and far between. You might think I’ve taken an indefinite vacation from blogging. I have not, but this being sick as a blogger thing is not making me look good right now.
I do have a lot to tell you. I have a very amusing picture of me wearing a surgical mask, which is either because I was quarantined or because I’m trying to make surgical masks the new trend. I’ll let you decided for yourselves. I have a few hard-hitting issues that I want to tell you all about. Did you know that Oklahoma state legislators have not learned anything from the Colorado BOE that tried pushing honest AP US History out of their classrooms and now these Oklahoma legislators are trying to do the same in their state? Did you know that gendered books for young kids are still being created and published, and that is very much a concern? I bet I even have some book reviews that I started working on, forgot about, and now want to finish. I…just…don’t…have…the…energy.
I have another thing to be puffed-up about. I would love nothing more than to update my Freelance Writing Whisperings blog with a new first impression of a new-to-me website post, but I keep running into a wall. As my title states, paying online markets don’t exist apparently. I’ve diligently Googled or Bing searched “articles for pay”, “freelance writing websites”, “blog for pay”, “write for pay”, and many other variations. What in the world is going on? The majority of my search results either take me to other people’s blogs about paying writing websites (most that no longer exist) or blog posts about how to be an online freelance writer without any links. How is any of that going to help me? I wonder if the new hotness is social networking with pictures and without pay. Instagram and Snap Chat seem to be popular. God knows why you would share your personal images with the world when you aren’t compensated for it.
How am I going to maintain a blog such as Freelance Writing Whisperings if I don’t have content for it? It’s great that I don’t have content when blogging here on Blogging Blahs, but I want quality material to create quality blogs about! I can’t afford to delete the blog when it’s beneficial to myself as well as others, but I’m not sure I want to look like I’m neglecting it either. I was a loyal reader of this cat blog (which has nothing to do with paid writing platforms, but go with me here) that suddenly stopped featuring content. There was no warning about it shutting down. It just…stopped. I don’t want to put any of my potential readers in a frustrating position like that. What do other more experienced bloggers/freelance writers do when their niche content isn’t continually updated so they can write about those updates? Nobody told me how to handle this when I started blogging.
What happens if I delete my blog and then suddenly there’s so many paying writing markets that I can’t keep up with them all? I have deleted blogs only to realize they were exactly what I needed to focus on, maybe not all the time but whenever I needed to release some deeply pent-up thoughts, and I had to recreate the blogs. I’ve invested too much time in Freelance Writing Whisperings to delete it!
I’m at a conundrum. Did I use the word correctly? Anyway, I worry that no matter what I decide to do, I’ll make the wrong decision. Do you all have any thoughts?
What is wrong with me? I have decided to use blogging as a way to earn supplemental income, which means that I will blog a considerable amount (keeping in mind that every post needs to be some sort of good quality, even if they’re more therapeutic than hard-hitting). I love blogging. I love writing in general. This should be the easiest task I’ve ever set for myself. Ha! Right now I have no desire to put fingers to keyboard.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m hurting for ideas. Right now I have the ideas racing through my mind, fighting each other for which one gets written about first. I shared them on a status update and I’ll repeat them here.
- I could write about the semi-fight I got into with my folks last night when we discussed race/ethnicity/country of origin. They have no idea that it’s weird when you are genetically white (read: the so-called dominant race that is quickly losing that status) but are physically tan and have people asking “What country are you from?” My mom was like “Maybe they’re just trying to start a conversation.” Some conversation starter! If they were really curious, they wouldn’t accuse me of lying when I told them I’ve lived in West Virginia my entire life. I think I would know best about where I live.
- I could write about the career fair today. The new idea is to write about why I’m holding off. Today is the career fair where you’re looking for a long-term career. The student employment fair is coming up on March 2nd. Right now I’m looking for a job, not a career. I’m going to go to the student employment fair so it’s not like I’m talking myself out of anything. I just don’t belong at a career fair until I’m looking for a career. I’ll go to the career fair in my fall semester of college before I’m ready to graduate.
- A new thing I could write about: I sent an email to one of my former instructors about observing her class for an assignment. I haven’t heard anything back and I am terrified. Once I get a response I can talk about where to go from there.
- Another new thing: I just watched a movie trailer for this new apocalyptic horror movie called These Final Hours. I should start collecting upcoming horror movie trailers again.
I have way more ideas than I have available points for the day, but I just don’t have any desire to write! What is wrong with me?