I Need A Blog Mentor

I wish I had a blog mentor.

Someone who can tell me if I’m making the right decisions in regards to my almost-complete blog redesign. Someone who can tell me what blog resources I’m missing out on.
Someone who can tell me which of my content sucks ass and which one shines.

Blogging seems easy enough that you wouldn’t need someone to hold your hand, but I so desperately want to be coddled.

There are three types of bloggers in this world- A.) people who use their blog as a means of expression with little to no concern of traffic B.) people who blog every day and care about their traffic C.) people who end up viewing their blog as a small business- whether it be for monetary value or brand value.

I fall into category B. I never wanted to be that person that closely watched their analytics each day. It’s added a thin but nonetheless real level of anxiety to my life. My blog started out like category A for a very long time. My blog got about ten hits a day and they were all from one friend (who still reads my blog to this day- Thanks Chris!). I was lucky to start developing more traffic over time after a string of specific events: First, I joined 20-Something Bloggers. If you haven’t done this already, do it. I can’t say enough great things about the community here. Even though I don’t have time to actively post on it anymore, I think it’s a fantastic tool for any young blogger. Secondly, I was named one of Blogger’s Blog of Note. This probably wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t online met the talented writer Hannah Miet through 20-Something Bloggers, who had been given the honor a few weeks before and who was a supporter of my blog. Thirdly, I became more active in social media, particularly Twitter. Austin, which is an extremely supportive city when it comes to it’s creative folks, was also named the number 8 Most Socially Networked City in the country. My blog would not be where it is today without the support of Austinites and their love for social media. Fourthly, I was named Austin’s Blogger of the Year at the Austin Blogger Awards, which again, wouldn’t have happened without number 3. And last but not least, I started to freelance write more often which gave me more exposure, which again, would could not have happened without social media. None of these events above would have happened without the push of the prior event and all of them have given me the confidence in knowing that somewhere, someone seems to like what I have to say.

All of these events above snowballed into an idea that maybe one day I could fall into category C. Instead of writing a book or a screenplay, maybe my blog could be the physical piece of writing I had hoped to achieve.

This where I’m at a complete loss.

Viewing a blog as a small business is difficult. To me it screams, “Sell Out!”. I also am terrible business person. I don’t have the skills to view my blog as anything other than a place where I write. This is why I need mentor. Someone who has already done this and who knows what they’re doing. Do they even exist?

I guess this is one of those things where you have to figure it out as you go along. So as my blog redesign launches in early September, please bear with this clueless blogger…

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  • Reply the Tsaritsa August 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I can be your mentor who has significantly fewer followers 🙂

  • Reply MG August 10, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Ok, I was totally thinking this said "i'm a blog mentor" and I thought – DAMN! I want her to be my mentor. If I think of anyone, I'll be sure to pass them your way but I think you're awesome. Seriously, no bullshit.

  • Reply Carolina August 11, 2011 at 1:33 am

    I don't think you're left with just the option of selling out your blog if you don't want to.

    Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com is a mommy blogger and still published two books of her personal essays. They kind of just compliment each other.

    Personally, I think your writing is worthy of publishing beyond your blog. My 2 cents.

  • Reply Cathy Benavides August 11, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Shoot me an email girl – I can point you in the direction of some great blog mentors 🙂

    And no, it's not selling out. It's helping yourself get more exposure….. so everyone can see how brilliant you are!!

  • Reply Big Mark 243 August 11, 2011 at 3:19 am

    You have the talent to be in 'C' and that is where i hope you find yourself in the near future… I think you provide the content that would generate revenue and I would get to write a short story about my idea of you and your wonderful life!!

  • Reply Riff Dog August 11, 2011 at 3:19 am

    I wouldn't start treating your blog as a money making venture. Blogs invariably go downhill when they do that.

    Plus, there's not that much money to be made. Maybe over time you could get as high as a few hundred or even a couple thousand per month at best. That might seem like serious money, but you'd really have to work at it to make that much. You're better off spending that same time working on career goals.

    What's worse, to make any real money, you'd have to start devoting some posts to product reviews, so you can get more people to click the links. (Although some companies pay a small flat fee to put a link on your site, the real money gets made when they pay you a commission on sales.) Your blog will suffer for it, so you'll lose readers, which means more work getting new readers. It's a vicious cycle.

    I'm not saying to turn down any paid links or opportunities that might fall in your lap. There are certainly times when it can be seamless. (I have a paid link on mine that most people don't even know is there. Since the name "Ashley Madison" comes up so much in my story, and since I link it anyway so that newcomers know what it is, they gave me a special link that pays me a small royalty.) Just be careful you don't turn that corner into "Hey, my blog can make big bucks!" It's a trap I've seen a number of formerly good bloggers fall into.

  • Reply Hipstercrite August 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    @Tsaritsa- OK! 🙂

    @MG- Awww….thank you!

    @Carolina- It's true, but Heather Dooce started making enough money from her blog to not work (and her husband not work, as she states on her blog), so she had plenty of time to write two books. I work 50 hours a week just at my day job and I'm tired at the end of the day.

    @Cathy- You're so sweet, Cathy!

    @Big Mark- You always make me blush.

    @Riff Dog- Interesting. I appreciate your comment because it's got me thinking…

  • Reply Mr. Artmonkeys August 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I can think of a few social media potential gurus: @juliaroy on twitter; @adrileya also on twitter; and her mentor, @jahfurry. I'm a wide-eyed plebe in these swift-moving datastreams, but they are beacons I see out there. Let me know if that helps? I'm rooting for ya!

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