The Challenges of Writing for the Internet


 

I declared myself to be a writer and storyteller on the first day of this year.  I challenged myself to write more regularly and I have done that.

The challenge for me is to also try to get my name out there as a writer.

Before starting this blog, I had started a blog through Blogger about walking the Komen 3-Day walk and training for it.  I wrote quite a bit, but did not have much readership.  I deleted it several years ago.

Nearly five years ago, I started writing at Associated Content.  I was awarded a “Best New Contributor” honor within the first two months.  But I still found that readership was down.

I started to find my voice there and started writing all kinds of things, even being targeted to write pieces for partner sites.  I received upfront payments of  $1.00 to $25.00.  Those with the largest of upfront payments were generally for the partner sites and I had to relinquish any rights of my material.

For the other pieces and for those where I submitted for performance pay only, based solely on views, I also learned about the fickleness of readers.  I experimented by writing a bit about pop culture, specifically about “The Bachelor/Bachelorette” series, and I had the largest number of views I had ever had.

Later, the site was acquired by Yahoo and I was now a contributor at Yahoo! Contributor Network.  There were new rules for submissions.  And because I could not keep up with either writing regularly (because of work) or the changes in guidelines,  I stopped writing as regularly.

I had also learned that Google had changed its algorithms (I’m still not sure what that means), but I saw my readership numbers plummet from over a hundred a day to a tenth of that.  I heard from other writers that they found similar relationship to the numbers (in thousands), many of these writers counting on the income through writing as their livelihood.

I dabbled with another blog under a pseudonym, wrote for another site where I did not get paid unless I submitted “x” number of pieces (I was never paid), and started this blog here at WordPress.  I even started a second blog about words and their meanings, spinning them into a way for me to be creative through poetry.

What I have found difficult about writing on the Internet and blogging is that there seems to be a lot of rules, procedures, and hoops to jump through in order to be successful in readership numbers or in payment.

The reason that I started to write was to give myself a “voice” to say what I wanted to say and be able to say it to a greater number of people.  It was my hope that it would get dialogue started, where others would comment and we could have good, philosophical discussion.

I also liked the idea (from an entrepreneurial perspective) of being able to make money doing it.

Discussion has been minimal.  So has the income been from doing it.

Here at “Beyond Life’s Challenges,” readership skyrocketed when I was writing about a beautiful, brilliant young woman as she was losing her battle to breast cancer.  I used this venue as a way to reach others to tell her story and garner support of a project in which several of us were involved, “A Pearl to Bridget.” 

The project’s results were amazing and to see what could be accomplished with technology was eye-opening.  It also allowed for others to share their stories and to forge new friendships, both for which I am grateful.

But as life moves on, so does the attention of people.  As a writer, I had to come to grips with the fact that it was not my words that drew the readers to me, but the interest in the topic or the person about which I am writing.  I have little control over what others want to read.

Yet, I will continue to write about what is important to me. I do so here on this blog.

I have also started to write at another site called Bubblews. The model is different than in other sites.  It reminds me a bit of  of a cross between a blog and other sites I have seen. I am allowed to write what I want, without the confines that other sites have placed upon me.

What I have found, though, is that my readership is up from any other site where I have written.  I am not quite sure what has driven that, but I find it interesting. I wish that it were not so that I have to be so diversified to get others to want to read what I have to say.

I will continue to write…whether here at this blog,  in my journal, at a new blog I’m starting to target misfit employees, for a book I am developing, or over at Bubblews, 

I have still not yet been able to find a way to make a living writing.  A living where I could  live off of the residuals and get paid to speak to audiences and sign the inside covers of  books I have written.

But as long as I remain true to my purpose of inspiring others to see beyond the challenges they face, whether I do it through the words that come out of my mouth or those that I put down in writing, I will trust that I am doing exactly what I am intended to do and that things will reveal themselves in due time.

 

 

 

Coral Levang is a “Personal Change Agent & Life Coach” who offers:

  • Direct, straight-talking approach
  • Intuitive, collaborative style
  • One-on-one coaching
  • Group workshops
  • Inspirational speaking for events

For more information or to book:  Call (424) AGENT10 / (424) 243-6810 and leave a message.

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