Monday, October 23, 2006

Sharing With a Writers' Group

It's such fun to share your writing ideas and experiences with other writers. Hopefully I encourage them in their writing ventures.

Recently I was asked to speak to a newly formed writers' group in my hometown. It was exciting to realize the organizer thought I had knowledge to share with the other writers.

It's always interesting to learn about their writing projects...some fiction, others non-fiction. One is writing about her life for her family, another is writing a novel, one wants to write about her mother's life, and others are getting ideas for their projects.

The writers who attended seemed to think I gave them inspiration. I hope so.

The Nature of Blogging

When I first heard of blogs, I considered them online journals where people recorded their thoughts and daily happenings for others to read. Gradually these became more topical with the journalists posting more information than their thoughts.

Sometimes one writer will write about a topic that interests them or one they’re involved in such as a career or hobby. (For instance, my daughter writes a blog on her fiber arts projects .)

In other instances, a blog will be more general. As a writer, I have this one that I call a personal author blog. I also write . In both, I discuss my writing life and projects. Another blog concerns a quilting and writing project I’m working on ( )

Writing for Blog Networks

However, I’ve discovered you can write for blog networks or companies and receive payment. The income may not be much at first, but as your blog becomes known, the income from advertising and page views should increase. Or you might write a blog for a company/manufacturer on their web site about their products/services. For this, you generally will be paid a specified amount per blog or week for an agreed upon number of blogs.

Blogging for

Originally, Shai Coggins in Australia asked me to provide a blog about quiltmaking for a network she was starting. I’d written articles and taught online classes for Shai’s web site. I thought this blog would be fun since I once operated a home based quiltmaking business. I never realize a goal was to be paid for the blogging. Shai’s blog network,, was so popular that b5media ( ) asked Shai, along with her bloggers, to join forces with them.

Therefore, I began writing the quilting blog for b5media’s Arts and Crafts Channel ( ), and then started another blog about Alzheimer’s ( ) for the Science and Health Channel. Since I’ve been a caregiver for my mom and have written extensively on Alzheimer’s, this seemed a natural blog for me.

Soon I shall be writing a blog about home businesses ( ) for b5media’s Business Channel and co-authoring another about children’s books (title to be determined) with Melissa Atienza-Petri of Frankfurt, Germany for the Literature Channel.

There are many blog networks out there…they seem to be the trend of the future. Some tend toward special topics, such as Science, Technology, Crafts, Women’s Issues, and Politics. Others, such as b5media offer many channels or categories.

Blog Compared to a Column

For people who don’t know what a blog is, I compare it to writing a column for print or online publication, something I’ve done for years. Blogs usually are shorter and often link to other blogs and web sites as resources. You usually are requested to post a minimum number of blogs per week. I consider my blogs at b5media ways to help others with information, inspiration, and encouragement, as well as to earn income.

Whether you’re writing your own personal blog for fun and to promote your books or write for a blogging network/corporation to earn income, you’ll find blogging is the wave of the future and very enjoyable.
(c)2006 Mary Emma Allen

©2006 Mary Emma Allen

(In addition to blogging, Mary Emma writes books and a weekly newspaper column, along with speaking and teaching. E-mail: )