Getting started in your own business after being laid off after 20-plus years of working for someone else is a challenge, but somehow fun. There are butterflies in your stomach as you tussle with your own ideas about your identity as a writer and an editor, as you list your strengths and weaknesses and stack them up against the job description and the competition. You seem to be your own worst critic. But maybe you are not because there are a lot of critics out there.
It helps the process of redefining and refining your identity by looking at others you admire. In the blogging world, this means looking at the websites of bloggers you admire and studying their sites. I admire a blogger if their content is useful to me, even valuable to me. I have several favorites. Some of these favorites I have just discovered and others are old friends. I am on my way to building a list of ten, but here are the first two, one old and one new:
An Old Friend
I’ve had Katie on my favorites bar for a long time. She is Director of Religious Education at a Catholic School. She is a teacher and a crafter. I always look to her site for authentically Catholic teaching materials and ideas for my own volunteer work as a religious education coordinator. She does not charge for her materials.
I’m most fond of her “Teaching with Fulton Sheen” and “Sharing the Faith” tabs. But now I am looking at her website with a critical eye and seeing her as my online mentor in this blogging journey.
What does she do that I like?
- She has the perfect header image that I am pretty sure she arranged and photographed herself. It is a perfect fit for her blog.
- She includes her profile, and her picture appears often. She is so pretty and friendly looking that this is actually a selling point. It might not work for me.
- She includes a “Katie reads” column, where she reviews books she has read.
- She also has a give away, a 90-page e-book Prayer card collection, that she sends to subscribers.
- She uses tabs, graphics, and colors.
- She has monetized her blog and is part of the Amazon.com affiliate program.
Thank you Katie for providing so many great ideas and products.
A New Friend:
This site was one of the first ones I stumbled upon while exploring new opportunities for freelancing. It is jammed full of good blogs that are relevant to writers. The tabs are Freelancing, Marketing, Blogging, Publishing, Craft, and SHOP.
One of the most valuable articles I found here is the “How much does it cost to self-publish a book? 4 authors share their numbers.” It appears under the Self-Publishing tab. Since then I’ve found much more information, but here I learned a lot about all the DIY e-book publishers: Kobo, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP),KDP Select, Smashword, Blurb, BookBaby, Lulu, Nook Press, Vook, Scibd, Booktango. I don’t know if this is a list of all of them.
Under the Freelancing tab, I found a range of rates for every service I, as a writer, editor, or indexer, could think to provide. These rates include per word rates for blogs and writing and per page rates for editing. There are hourly rates to for each service.
The next blog I’m planning to read on The Write Life is an old one. It is called “Amazon Associates: How to Use Affiliate Links Earn More Money From Your Book” by Steve Billman, December 19, 2014.
I hope you look these website up and enjoy them as much as I do.