Writers Teach, Why Can’t Bloggers?

I’m participating in series Lifting the Veil On Making Money In Blogging because I find the lack of transparency around how and when and why to make money through blogging to be annoying and I am against annoying things.

As I was saying: Writers Teach, Why Can’t Bloggers?

Well, actually I have.

My thinking process went like this:

Wow. I don’t make a lot of money on my blog. Most writers don’t make a lot of money off their published novels. They supplement their writing with teaching. I should do that, too.

And I did.

I reasoned that I have spent many hours digging around for answers, making mistakes, digging myself out of those. What if I could help people to not have to waste 20 hours looking for the answers or even coming up with the right questions? What if I could condense it into a 2 hour class? What if I could take people from no-blog or very little blog to a working blog, Twitter and Facebook in 4 weeks?

I thought about my strengths as a blogger: I’m a prolific writer. I like site design, and I like to study psychology and why people read what they read.  Other bloggers are great with graphics or creating community or coding.  I based my pitch on my strengths and taught myself any gaps.

I researched where people teach writing and got universities, which were out because I don’t have an Medical Degree in the Internet, and some local writing and art centers. I emailed a class description, sent it to the wrong person at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond (but she happened to read my blog and sent it on to the right person), and I was hired.

I helped advertise my class, which was easier than for most of the teachers because I already had a social media presence to use.  My classes were popular and helped me to build a one-on-one client base as well. I am not currently teaching because my family needs me home. But that’s also a plus. I can take semesters off and join back at any time.

Now, don’t think teaching is easy. Doing it by myself on my time and making my mistakes on my blog is easy.  I’m good at that. Taking what I’ve learned and condensing it into PowerPoint and explaining it without jargon and through many different platforms is hard.

But I really enjoyed taking what I learned and applying it.  I think bloggers forget that just because the information is out here and free doesn’t mean being paid to teach it can’t work. I can check out an economics textbook from the library, it doesn’t mean I can teach myself economics or understand the nuances as quickly as I would like.

I’ve taught the creative and the technical side of blogging and kept a lot of bloggers from making the same mistakes I did like having your blog’s twitter handle already taken. I feel good about helping others and it’s not bad that I made more money teaching that first semester than I had made on my blog for those two months. But most importantly, I finally realized that I could teach and earn money without losing my blog or readers.


There are as many ways to earn money blogging as to blog so check out the other bloggers participating in Lifting the Veil On Making Money In Blogging:

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents an 2 elementary age children, 4 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

32 thoughts on “Writers Teach, Why Can’t Bloggers?

  1. What a great series from all of you. I had no idea you taught classes on blogging but what a perfect way to bring in an income sharing what you love. I definitely need to think about exploring this once my time at home frees up a bit. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks so much for your post. After attending your class- twice I might add- and having your one-on-one assistance I can confirm how helpful you have been. I am actively blogging thanks to you, and really appreciate your willingness to share your passion and knowledge!

  3. what a great idea and I’m so happy that it worked out where you could do it at your pace, in your comfort zone. It’s important to do that.

    it would be worth trying for sure.

    thanks for the information and the sharing.

  4. I LOVE this post because I really think this would be a good summer gig for me. I hope to research area learning centers, community colleges, even rec centers where they might want to offer this class and I could teach it. And I DO have a Masters in English :)

  5. Awesome.

    I taught English to high school seniors in the classroom for sixteen years and loved almost every aspect of it (besides the grind of paper-grading and testing/assessment).

    But each year, I found myself trying to inspire my students to live out their dreams.

    “Find out what fuels you. What’s your passion? Then don’t give up. Ever.”

    It took a few years, but I finally realized that I was telling them to do something I hadn’t done myself. My dream was to be a writer. Specifically of fiction. Yeah. Not so easy. Nevertheless.

    I took a leave of absence and I’ve been working on THAT dream for years now. Unpaid. Boo. I’m incredibly lucky that our family was in a position to take on the “sacrifice” of my teacher’s salary. But now we’re feeling the hit.

    I love that you were able to find a way to make money doing something you enjoy and something you’re good at…while HELPING others.

    Talk about a dream come true.

  6. Ah, this is an idea I’ve been tossing around for some time since I’m always giving mini-lessons on blogging, social media, MS office, or what have you when people IRL find out I have a tech background. I think to teach in an organized and official manner would be a lot of work but fun!

  7. This is brilliant! In a million years I’d have never thought to take that avenue. I bet you are a really engaging teacher too. You make me laugh all the time. COOL! I actually train people for a living. Now all I have to do is figure out how to be a good blogger…maybe I can teach that too :)

  8. Alex’s blogging class helps new and seasoned bloggers with technical tips, creative content creation and the business of blogging. As a student of her class The Art of Blogging, I recommend it to anyone interested in learning the craft.

  9. What an interesting series! Thanks so much for participating in it. That’s a great idea to teach a class. I know I would take one. I’ll have to look around in my area to see if any are being offered. Thanks for the idea.

  10. I find this such a fascinating twist on standard ways to monetize, Alex. I never would’ve thought of it before this series. I don’t think I could ever go this route because I’m deathly afraid of public speaking, but I think you offer some compelling reasons as to why (and how) others should.

  11. What a great way to combine what you love and are good at! You are so right that there are many people out there, highly intelligent people, who the minute you talk to them about social media, their eyes glaze over in fear.

  12. Incredible! I never would have thought to do this, but you’re absolutely right. Those of us who have done it for a while KNOW STUFF! Why not get paid to share that info?! Hmmm….this really inspired me. Thank you!

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