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Writers Teach, Why Can’t Bloggers?

by Alex Iwashyna

in Writing and Blogging

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:

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica February 16, 2012 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.

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Vicki O'Neal February 16, 2012 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!

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Alexandra February 16, 2012 3

I LOVE teaching.

Could I teach about blogging? If I ever got my ass in gear and taught myself something, yes.

But I DO LOVE to teach.

xo

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Kir February 16, 2012 4

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.

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Katie February 16, 2012 5

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 :)

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Devan @ Accustomed Chaos February 16, 2012 6

I love this post — so often we hear of how to make money through our blog and freelance writing — but this is another great way! One that I hope to do someday as well so thanks for sharing Alex!

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natalie February 16, 2012 7

Alex, I soooo want to do this here in my city! Thanks for outlining how to and I think I’m gonna try it myself! THANKS so much for writing this with us!

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Tina @ Life Without Pink February 16, 2012 8

I want to start getting more into this….great way to use your knowledge and share with others. Awesome post!

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julie gardner February 16, 2012 9

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.

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Nicole @MTDLBlog February 16, 2012 10

I never thought about doing this until now! I’m a teacher by profession – but have stayed home with my kids. I definitely need to keep this in mind! Thanks for sharing your experience!

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Jackie February 16, 2012 11

Classes on blogging… genius. Now if there were only classes near me on this exact same subject I’d be there every day!

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Nichole February 16, 2012 12

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!

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Late Enough February 16, 2012 13

My technical side of blogging classes are always more popular. I’m self-taught for all the coding so it’s messier than someone trained so you would be perfect. DO IT!

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Ali February 16, 2012 14

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 :)

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NotJustAnotherJennifer February 16, 2012 15

I never even thought about teaching! I’m nowhere near savvy enough about the process to teach it, but it’s a great idea for someday. Thanks for doing this series! Love that you are part of it!

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Michele February 16, 2012 16

ah, alex, you’re living my dream! blogging AND teaching?! I’ve a ways to go, but it’s encouraging to hear it’s possible.

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Debi (Truthful Mommy) February 16, 2012 17

Fabulous idea! You are a smart woman.

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Melissa Gay February 17, 2012 18

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.

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Skye February 17, 2012 19

That’s awesome. If you have expertise/services to provide, you should definitely make money doing that!

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City Share February 17, 2012 20

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.

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Kristin @ What She Said February 17, 2012 21

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.

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Elena February 17, 2012 22

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.

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Kristen @ Motherese February 17, 2012 23

What a terrific idea, Alex. Thanks for sharing it!

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Iris February 21, 2012 24

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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