The advantages to online blogging.

Well, here I am. This will be my first official blog. I have to admit, I've debated doing this for some time.  I guess that makes me something of a procrastinator.  Well, no surprise there.  And it's not that I don't feel I have things to write about.  I do.  In fact, despite what it looks like here, choosing what to write about first hasn't been easy. 

No, my biggest issue has been whether any of this is really worth the effort. Do people actually read these things? I mean, I  know I do. At least occasionally. But can you really make money blogging? Or is this just a colossal waste of time? As of now, I don't have the answers to any of those questions.  I do know one thing, there are a lot of people writing blogs these days.

At one time, (half a lifetime ago), I had been a journalism student. While I generally enjoyed the work of researching, interviewing and writing,  I found the deadline pressures and strict format of the genre itself a bit overbearing. After a few meager attempts at employment in the field,  (I had a job as a copy writer and editor for a small sports magazine for about a year), I at some point simply decided not to pursue a career as a writer. Typically, when I look back at that decision, I rarely regret it. I eventually became a freelance home designer and felt quite content with that line of work for over 25 years. But the collapse of the housing market and the trend towards corporate consolidation of the construction industry, has made it almost impossible for freelancers like me to make a sustainable living.  That's where my interest in blogging comes in.

While I haven't fully given up my design business, (I prefer to think the industry gave up on me), I do need to supplement my income.  For the past 27 years, I've worked primarily from home, and I'd like to keep that going. Besides, e-mail and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, have renewed my interest in writing.  But how much do I need to write to actually meet my financial targets? 

My eldest daughter, (I have two), is a writer.  She has written blogs and articles, (I'm still trying to discern the difference), for ad agencies and local real estate and entertainment magazines.  She also maintains several special interest blog sites and has even asked me to contribute to them. But as prolific a writer as she is, she still needs to supplement her writing by waiting tables. I'm not sure I want to go that route.

The research that I have done to date on this subject is not extensive, but it has been thorough enough to at least encourage a trial run. There are obviously many outlets for a new writer to gain experience and get exposure, and a variety of ways to get paid. Sites like this one, (, and HubPages, allow anyone to contribute articles and share revenue from online advertising through Google or Amazon. You can also make money by providing links to products and other web pages and providing keywords that promote your blog. The compensation seems to vary from site to site, and is measured, at least initially, in tens and not hundreds of dollars per blog.  But I'm confident that once I get through the learning curve, I'll be able to structure my writing to efficiently generate the greatest profit. 

As for what to write about, I think my biggest problem will be holding back. Most how-to articles on blogging suggest keeping a narrow focus to gain a following.  I suppose there is logic to that, but since my interests vary tremendously, I may wind up writing under several pen names or at least for different web sites.  

Whether any of this leads to a second career as a writer or is just one more in a long list of non-lucrative hobbies, remains to be seen.  What is certain, is I have a lot to learn before I can answer that simplest of questions:  Is this worth it?  Time will tell.

To be continued...........hopefully.