From the Blog

How to Become An A-List Blogger: Advice From a D-List Blogger

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Did you know you can make money from blogging? You can! It’s not even that hard! You only need a few thousand page views to make a few pennies a day!

Now, granted, there are superstar bloggers out there who have written books, and have gotten their own reality TV shows, all from writing a blog. And I would be a damn liar if I said I wasn’t jealous. Do you know how much attention I need? A WHOLE LOT.

But the vast, vast, vast majority of blogs is a sea of mediocre flotsam. I could enter a statistic here about the number of blogs that are abandoned after three months. But I’m lazy. I’ll guess 73% total blog abandonment after three months, internetwide.

I know this trend is years old, but it seems like there’s a lot more breathless hype lately about how you can make hard cash dollaz by writing a blog. It’s sort of like the new gold rush. And everyone is stampeding to like, Fresno or something.

Gold strikes on the internet do happen. Like the homeless Columbus, Ohio man with the golden radio voice. That guy’s life changed in a day. In a blogger’s world, being linked to by Boing Boing would be the equivalent of running into Martin Scorsese at Safeway and having him say, “I like your face. You’ll be in my next film with Leonardo DiCaprio.” IT COULD HAPPEN.

Okay, so there are successful blogs out there and they have a few things in common. Like they write good content every day. Or they post regularly. Or they have a specialized niche and have created a vibrant community. Or they are passionate and dedicated and they have been writing for a long time. Or they have interesting things to say. Or they are full of shit.

You absolutely CAN make a living from writing a blog. I have met some wildly inspiring local A-List Bloggers who are real, actual people. Wow! Real people! And I think most of them would agree that writing a successful blog takes WORK. Like, real work. Hours a day. For many, many days. And months. And years. Contrary to the breathless hype, there aren’t really any shortcuts. Listen up marketing douche bags: THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS. Stop being douche bags, you marketing douches!

Being a good writer helps. But having a good story is better. I’ve seen fantastic, masterful stories written with horrible grammar and spelling. A fantastic story or premise will let you cut the line a little, and maybe Will Shatner will end up playing your dad on TV.

The internet is crowded, but there’s so much sameness that original ideas can still float above the flotsam. I hope, at least.

In the meantime, I’m waiting to meet Scorsese in the cat food aisle.


  1. It’s not about striking gold once with a blog and attention/notoriety/advertising. It’s about striking, say, copper on a regular basis.

  2. And everyone is stampeding to like, Fresno or something.

    According to my sister, who lived for most of 2009 and 2010 in Fresno, everyone’s stampeding out of that town.

    Except for the people who like living there (takes all kinds, I guess) and who like to refer to the town, not as FresNO, but as FresYES.

    I wish I was making this up.

    Anyway, my ex fiancee is from Fresno, so you can guess how I feel about the place.

    With regards to being a blogging rock star, I’m still waiting for a publisher to stumble across some of my fiction on LiveJournal and offer me a seven-figure advance on my first book.

  3. I’m going to start calling it FresYES from now on. Because that’s just. so. cool.

  4. Ha! I am waiting for him in the produce aisle. Maybe I should hang with you in cat food and hope he takes us both. ;o)

    I’ve noticed that a lot of successful bloggers in my (wide) niche–thrifty moms–divulge a LOT of personal information and personal stories. I’m not ready for that. TMI! And how do they think of stuff to post multiple times a day? I need to put on my thinking toque…

  5. I think William Shatner may play my son by the time I hit it big.

    Then again I turned down an invitation to be on “Wife Swap,” so I must not be in it for fame and fortune.

    Katy Wolk-Stanley
    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

  6. Wow, Katy, that’s pretty awesome. I DO like lots of attention, I probably would have done the same thing. They aren’t looking to make you look good on a show like that. It would be more like “She’s thrifty! What a freak! Poke her with sticks!” Because, you know, being thrifty is dangerous.

    Better to “make it big,” however you define it, on your own terms.

    Also, why not “Husband Swap?” I would have to think hard on what kind of person they would replace Dave with. Some ugly dumb boor, I suppose.

  7. Or you could say: Stop being douches, you marketing douche bags! No short cuts. Amen.

  8. Hmmmm. As Duckie says after rocking out to “Try A Little Tenderness”, “Do I Offend?” (Pretty In Pink)

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