I’ve created a blog, but after 3 years it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. I started it to help others get through some of the tough stuff I went through, and I have interviews as well. But I’m still have no real following. How can I get a bigger following?

My daughter and I had an idea to start a digital magazine with writings by girls, for girls. This could be a great resource to encourage writing for homeschoolers.  We are trying to encourage more submissions and just released our first issue.  It’s all free.  Gemag.me is our site.  We would love if you would help us get a start.

I just finished reading your post about how one is unlikely to earn significant money from a blog (http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/04/21/8-reasons-why-you-wont-make-money-from-your-blog/).  I generally agree with what you say, but I’ve also noticed that you’ve mentioned in other posts that you now make a substantial amount (maybe most?) of your income from your blog.

I understand that you’ve built the blog, its readership base, and your professional reputation up over the years to get to the point you’re at now, and I know you have other businesses as well, but my questions is: how do you actually make money from your blog?  What is the mechanism through which you earn?

I’d like to set up a blog or two, mostly for my own creative outlet, but it wouldn’t hurt if I was able to eventually earn a small side income from it.  How does one go about doing it?  Just enabling Google Ads or going out and courting ad companies to get them to plaster their sponsorship all over your page?

I don’t like the idea of ads on my blog (or at least “over-commercializing” it) and would rather not put too many on there, but I don’t understand the underlying business dynamics of how one makes money with a blog otherwise.  You don’t appear to have any ads on your blog, and in the above article you’ve even mentioned how you dislike them, as well; so how does one go about generating (even the tiniest) income from a blog, website, or writing/media platform if not with ads?  I don’t think I understand the underlying business model here or the revenue-generating alternatives that exist in the internet world.

I’m a 27-year-old INFP woman. I live with my parents, have a boyfriend of four years, and quit a good office job last year to travel. Now I’m a part-time manual laborer (I’m a longshoreman, so I tie up container and cruise ships). I also have my own office space where I do some freelance writing and photography. I don’t market my freelance services at all—so I get very little work, and it’s all word of mouth. I can bring my dog to my office, which I love.

Other than traveling, I’ve been working on a novel for the past year. I don’t tell anyone that because I’m embarrassed by it. I almost started an MFA in creative writing last fall but didn’t because it wasn’t free and you told me it was a bad decision anyway.

I’m pretty happy doing what I’m doing (longshoring, occasional freelance, personal writing projects), but I’m not making much money, and I feel like I should. Especially because I do want to have kids within a couple of years. And my own house would be nice, too.

I’ve started applying to jobs and have gotten a few interviews that might lead to job offers. I’m also vacillating as to whether apply to my former employer (same role for a different department at a big corporation). I left on great terms with them, but I’m afraid I might apply and get interviews and then decide I don’t want to work there. Which would be really shitty, and I hate being really shitty.

As a side note: I’m worried by the current political climate, and the actual climate, and the world. This contributes to my desire to make money (money = stability).

What should I do?

 

I’ve been blogging for 18 months under my name in Spanish about personal branding, studies, college and self-knowledge because I studied business and that’s what I thought I wanted to blog about.

But now I want to write in English about fiction and poetry I’ve kept closeted in my room.

I know you’re an advocate of writing under the same blog & under your name.

But I feel as if the readers would feel lost –because I know I am lost and I want to embrace it. But I don’t want to confuse anyone and let them know I have been confused all along. Should I use a pen name and keep a second blog secret until I’m ready to tell the world?

Should I continue collecting unemployment insurance as long as I can, or accept the next job offer I get?

Right now I’m happily collecting unemployment, and applying and interviewing for new jobs at a steady pace.

I am really enjoying not working for the first time in years. I can live comfortably off of my savings unemployment benefits until they expire. I volunteer for several organizations I love, so I am still very busy. And for the first time in my life, I might have the time, energy, and means to really travel, as long as I continue to adhere to my state’s unemployment requirements. I also have plans to start in-state graduate school in the fall for a professional degree program that I know will expand my skills and career options in my city, so I’m not totally without direction.

I am 26, have a 4-year college degree, no loans, work in journalism, and live in the Midwest, where jobs in my industry are harder to come by.

Is it career suicide to just remain unemployed between now and graduate school? Will the gap in my resume become too much of a problem after a couple more months pass? I am looking forward to getting back to work in what will hopefully be a less decrepit environment, and with every passing week I get a little bit more anxious about just finding a job already. I agree with you that it’s good to try new careers, but how often is one lucky enough to be on unemployment and without a care in the world? I also don’t think my story should raise any red flags with future employers, since essentially, “My contract with company X expired in February, and I elected not to stay because I wanted to travel and pursue personal projects. I felt like my goals and skills had outgrown that position and company, and now I’m really eager to apply myself to the next opportunity.”

Thank you so much for your time, Penelope.

I’m an INFJ and I’m taking your course Reach Your Goals by Blogging. The course is very helpful, but I have a question you did not answer:

How do you decide what’s off limits in terms of writing about others?  How can you be authentic if you feel like you can’t write about major events in your life, but those major events expose people whose privacy you feel you need to protect?

 

 

I’m trying to gather up to have the courage to write an honest blog. I started it to help others get through some of the “tough stuff” I went through. I keep wrestling with should I? Why would I want to tell everyone about my challenges? How do I make the leap?

Do you have any tips on having a successful book launch and what
strategies helped you the best?

Hi Penelope,

I have a dilemma about this topic: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2007/07/19/blog-under-your-real-name-and-ignore-the-harassment/

The quandary is that I write about suicide.  Anonymously.  This allows me to protect my career and also avoid censoring myself.  Now that I’m gaining some readership and preparing to take my blog to the next level, I am concerned about never having a body of work to attach to my real name, because I’ve finally accepted that writing is the one thing I would regret not taking a shot at in this life.

So while it’s hard to ask, “What would you do if you were me?” because you write about taboo subjects all the time and accept the risk….what does one do if it’s all risk and extremely low potential for reward?  Start a completely different blog under my actual name with “safer” content?  Stay anonymous and continue to write what seems to matter to people, and worry about it later?  I have your words in mind:

“And one more thing. I have found that if I am nervous to post something—if I think I might look bad or reveal too much or give advice that people will hate—these are the posts that people care about, because they further my connection with people and further the conversation we’re having, and connection and conversation are the crux of linking.” 

Thanks,

[Name redacted]
>http://www.downfromtheledge.com