You want to be a blogger or a writer?
After beginning the adventure in blogging which quickly turned into writing full-fledged articles for magazine companies I began to realize how many people have the same desire. I am often asked how I got started and asked for advice on how to get started into this blogging/writing career. My adventure began with learning to accept criticism and denials. Get ready! If you really want it you’re gonna have to put in the time.
In this line of work, you must have thick skin! Not only will your editors be hard on you but the readers themselves have high expectations. You will need to learn not to take every criticism to heart, many times they are not criticizing to be mean, rather they are making you a better writer. I can now look back at my early work and think, oh holy crap, why did they hire me? While still far from perfect my grammar has come a long way! If I could find a way to delete or edit my early works I surely would.
When you submit articles, blogs and/or queries it typically takes time for anyone to get back to you. Publishers get a lot of submissions, therefore, it can take days, weeks or even months to hear back. Sometimes you will never hear back and other times you will get a very nice thank you but no email. For every query, you send there are a hundred other people also doing the same. No matter how good your work is, it feels like there is always someone better, be patient your time will come. Try to get in with smaller less known publications at first.
Putting in the time
For many bloggers including myself, starting out writing for free to get our names out in the world is standard practice. Others acquire paid gigs right from the beginning with hard work and a little luck. If you succeed as a blogger small paid jobs tend to come your way along the road. Through determination and perseverance, the better-paying jobs can come too. Making the leap from blogging to magazine articles is a whole other ball game.
There will come a time when your heart really gets hurt whether by a publishing company or a follower or both. Try to be ready for it! Make time to decompress so you don’t place your fingers upon that keyboard in anger. What do I mean? You may find out that a company is offering to pay someone else to do a job that you have been doing for free. How about finding out someone is getting paid a lot more than you are for the same work? Trust me it happens and it sucks! While you may feel loyalty the other side may not, a hard lesson in life. Then there’s “The mean guy” after placing hard work into a blog, there are those who just like to be mean. It’s their main objective, be ready, they do it to everyone. They will pick you and your work apart in 5 seconds flat just for their own entertainment.
Be yourself, have your own style, publishing companies don’t want carbon copies of other writers. Editors love a fresh perspective! Be ready to learn and research about everything. It’s great to have an opinion and to feel strongly about things but never push your beliefs down the reader’s throat. This is hard for some but your way is not the only way, therefore, be open to other opinions. No matter how hard it is sometimes.
Know when to say no
While it may feel unlikely there may come a time when you have to much work and not enough time. This is when you are going to have to pick and choose the blogs and publications you continue writing for and how often. In the beginning, I took every job thrown at me no matter if or what it paid. As time went on I began writing for the freebies less often but out of loyalty I still wrote some. Then the lower paying jobs began even getting hard to keep up with. Once I began being published in print a lot of my time had to be dedicated to those jobs. Writing a 300-word blog takes time however writing 1800+word articles is a whole other ball game.