I’ve been blogging in various forms for over 7 years but I’m still trying to get it right. My list of achievements is relatively short but I’m very proud of it:
Own my space
I own my domain name and I self-host the site. It’s not that big a deal but it’s nice not to be subject to the various terms of service of other blogging sites. My platform, my rules!
My original content used to be even more erratic than it is currently. In my early blogging years, half of my posts were apologies for not posting. No more! I have several ongoing series now so I have steady stream of content ideas. My next challenge is posting consistently.
In January I started hosting weekly twitter chats about diversity in the Canadian publishing and literature. I really enjoy talking to new people about a topic that is so close to my heart. As the network of people grows, I think we can form a strong community that can change the industry for the better.
“Hire me” tab and Review policy
These are steps I took to move this site from personal blog, to respectable website. The Hire Me tab makes it clear that people need to pay me for my writing. No more free labor! And the Review Policy was in response to the many unsolicited pitches I would get from authors. I generally don’t review books and I had trouble turning them down politely.
Here are a few steps I want to take to continue to expand my site:
Add more pictures and/or re-design
I’m not completely in love with my site design yet. It’s getting there but it’s not quite as snazzy as I’d like. One way I can jazz it up myself is to add more images to my posts. If I’m still unhappy after that I think I’ll hire a web designer to give it a make-over.
Related to my “Hire Me” tab, I want to start earning money from my site. However I’m not comfortable with ad networks because I want full control over which ads appear on my site. I don’t want the ads to be contrary to my convictions or the interests of my readership.
I also don’t like the idea of writing sponsored posts. A company can pay me to write content for their site. A company can also pay me to post their content on my site (as a guest blog for example). But I am not comfortable being paid to write content on my own site. Does that make sense? Anyway. No sponsored post for me.
The option I’m giving serious considerations is affiliate programs. I already include many links to buy in my posts because when I love a book I want to make you love it and buy it so the author can make money! If I were part of an affiliate program I would just continue as usual, and potential make a tiny bit of money if I were particularly convincing my enthusiasm for a book.
Is that okay? It doesn’t niggle at my sense of ethic so I think I’m going to try it. Have any of you had experience with affiliate programs? Share your ideas in the comments!