One More Sign That A Freelancer’s Blog Isn’t The End — It’s The Means To An End

Jenny Lawson started a meme with Wil Wheaton that punished pr people for sending pointless pitches. Check out this link:

A couple of days ago $200kfreelancer posted a story about Jonathan Blum, who has abandoned the high-traffic model of blogging in favor of producing quality content for a select group of clients.

Right after we published, this story turned up in the New York Times, about a writer named Jenny Lawson, who blogged for free at The Houston Chronicle, built up a following, turned herself into a brand and is now publishing a book. At first glance, I thought the story was evidence for the other side of Blum’s argument: after all, Ms. Lawson gave a lot of content away for free –and still does–and has been wildly successful.

A closer read is more revealing. Ms. Lawson had to work for 10 years to get to this point.

In 2010, after more than a decade of blogging, first for The Houston Chronicle, and then as author of The Bloggess, Ms. Lawson ended up at the center of a two-day auction among 12 publishing houses for the rights to her debut memoir, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.” The book, which was published in April, made its debut on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction best-seller list last week at No. 2.

And, once again, I think it’s crucial to recognize that the blog is the means to the end. In Jonathan Blum’s case, the blog is a PR tool for his paid content; in her case, it is a brand-building exercise that allowed her to sell a book

What do you use your blog for?




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  1. Invest the the product, take it consistently. I take it 3 x each day; most recommend Two times daily. I’ve no side effects. You do not get jitters through the caffeine which is raw. Those who say it does not work are certainly not following a regimen. One has to be committed and dedicated. I do think Let me reach my 25 pound target weight loss. With 7 down, We’ve 18 to visit.

  2. Rob

    I started blogging for blogging’s sake and then started freelance writing because I needed to eat. My clients are all understandably interested in SEO and I got tired of blogging to myself, so I started using SEO tactics to increase my blog traffic. Although my highest PR rating is 3, that’s a significant increase and the effort has helped me understand first-hand how it all works.

    While I earn next to nothing on my personal blogs, I consider them a success because they have helped me offer more value to my clients. In return, I’m making better money than before. Still looking for that elusive “passive income”, though.

  3. Hmmm. Interesting point. If you think about it, the work my firm did as a blog amounted to a book. Heavens 3,ooo posts over three years. Same scale, just done in daily steps.

    So I guess I got away easy only doing it for a third of a decade, not the full ten years.

    But the lesson I learned remains the same: content creators must to be VERY careful about committing to creating content that is marketing vehicle.

    It’s way to easy to bleed to death giving your stuff away.