Hey again! Not sure if I should post this on the Writing Workshop or the Lounge, but I suppose it fits the writing theme. Been quite a long time and just come back out from lurking. I've been finding more ways to waste time and improve writing, but I found out that blogging can be a great way to waste time, and earn money through monetizing at the same time!
I know that I should go blogging with a plan and numerous topics, however the sooner I start the blog, the better. Maybe I can write short stories, write some horror, and so on. I believe that I might go and start with a writing blog, as writing is somewhat my forte. Money won't steamroll immediately, but I have lots of time in my hands and I know it takes lots of time to gain more web traffic.
I believe that blogging is somewhat like creating a story in CYS. If I have an idea, it doesn't matter how I tell the idea, it matters about how I write about that idea. Of course, the more creative the idea, the better and if the idea is original then I have no problems with direct plagiarism! A unique CYOA is compelling, so if I want to get more visitors, then certainly a creative website is better.
But here's the question: Is simple and elegant better, or is the creative but complex better? CYS as a writing site uses a simple and elegant theme, and the atmosphere on the website is certainly nice. Less is more, but that isn't the case all the time, especially when you want to make a big name for yourself.
Design and quality, just like in CYOA is what makes or breaks the attention of the visitors. A good looking home page would catch the attention of visitors. I know I shouldn't be stressing design much, but if I'm successful in blogging, then certainly it would help me in the long run. The internet world is definitely vast, but it would help if I have a corner on the internet where I can earn passive income. Youtube also works, however it requires more talking and designing than writing.
I'm having trouble choosing blogging platforms to be honest, the two major contenders as of this moment are Blogger, and WordPress. Blogger is owned by Google, and free. It is a great place to start, and certainly it is a really good choice as the technical stuff such as maintenance, etc. are already handled, however you don't get full control. Google can delete it without warning, and I would rather avoid that. WordPress is the more technical version, but I would be benefit in the long run. I have control, and there are numerous 'plugins' or themes so I can design more.
I have a basic grasp of HTML, thanks to @BradinDvorak. Kudos to him for helping me when I just got on CYS. Before I got on CYS, I don't have any knowledge to anything related to coding at all. The CYS community is welcoming, even if there are a few mistakes made here and there.
Please do tell me your thoughts on blogging (and move this to the other corners if it's wrong). Monetizing would require 6 months, at the very least so I can focus on quality, more than quantity. Advice and tips are greatly appreciated. Oh, and since I'm back, I would try to help out the new members and participate more often (and eventually get out of the deep SHAME well!). I think my writing has gotten a bit rusty since returning so please bear with me for now.
Good point, but we're not talking about e-books here Mizal. I believed you mixed up e-books and blogging? Blogging is quite different from creating e-books. What I meant by creating short stories are, posting entertaining excerpts, giving others the content they need when they're bored, and so much more. Blogging is a passion, and it only takes up time to look and read up a post from a blog. That said, it is their choice if they like it or not.
I'm not sure if I can post the link to the blog here, as I believe that advertising isn't allowed, tell me if I'm wrong, though. If it is allowed, I would send a link because constructive criticism is appreciated, and me and Minnie are just starters at blogging. All we've done so far is the introduction post...
I see that what I said earlier requires more elaboration. Usually, what people expect about blogging is the stereotypical boring article, clickbait, etc. If I'm able to produce a unique twist to a post, the blog would be different from the other clickbait and spam out there on the vast internet. Clickbait, while it can produce more internet traffic, would lower reputation of sites or blogs.
(Yes, I somewhat claimed that. It somewhat looks outdated, but that's where the charm lies. It's somewhat an accurate example though.)
Technically, they're short stories... for now. I didn't think that far ahead yet. The second option about posting writing exercises for encouragement is really... a waste of time.
The amount of blogs, in relation to the amount that make money, is fairly dismal.Ditto webcomics, youtube, streams, twitchplays, etc. You might go from zero to decent audience numbers in months, or never. So there's the downside.
Speaking with people who do have a social media presence, and use software to track the numbers, clickthroughs and where the traffic comes from, your biggest hope is to be interesting, amusing and come to the notice of someone with a solid audience. Think of a Colbert bump, or a Penny Arcade wang. If that happens, you've got a solid boost.
So, if you make blogposts about gardening, be prepared to toil forever. Gardening Wars, an AU of Transformers, and you may get lucky. As for what to do, and how to write, think of your own favourite authors, and see how different their styles are. Whatever works, works.
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com.au - worked and wrote for months, I believe, before achieving anything like fame. And yet, is fairly well-known, because of some eminently relateable posts and images ("Do all the things?")
http://www.27bslash6.com - Ditto. MSPaint pic of a 7 legged spider? Fame and fortune!
Hi Plelb. Good to see you posting again.
Wordpress vs Blogger is a choice that I also found myself faced with a few years ago when I wanted to get back into blogging. Wordpress was sprawling and a little bit complicated (and more directed at commercial usage in places), whereas I really loved Blogger's style and format.
Unfortunately, with Blogger there was virtually no way to find other people's blogs. You could filter by people's interests on their profile, but that was it. It was like an empty wasteland of blogs. I couldn't understand how the site had stayed up for so long. I made a blog on there about book reviews, made a few reviews, but absolutely nobody could find my blog which meant that absolutely nobody looked at it. It was a lost cause, really.
A few members have said this already, but I can't see you getting very far with blogging short stories and getting much money for it. I can't think of anyone who does that and gets a lot out of it. Especially with CYOA - you would be putting a lot of effort into something, but not receiving very much in return. Even successful authors don't go publishing entire works on their blog (though they might show a sneak peek of their next book and encourage fans to buy it).
The more crucial element is actually persuading people to look at your blog - lots and lots of people, or all your monetisation won't give you pennies. You'd need to cater to the masses, write stuff that lots of people will like...and even if you do get a lot of fans, you'll have to make sure that you keep updating. Constantly. Really, it'd probably be easier to sell your own book or something.
I keep a blog for various posts, but I don't use it for creative writing. If you do go through with it, you'd probably need to be pretty active about advertising your blog, putting a lot of work into it, maintaining a good awareness of your readers' expectations, and updating frequently.
If it's something that you would enjoy, then by all means go for it. But as an option for gaining actual money, I probably wouldn't go down that route.