Don't hate Sharon Hurley Hall because she lives in Barbados and makes her living from freelance writing and blogging.
Read this interview to find out how she does it and see what you can learn from her hard-won blogging tips.
Hi Sharon, first can you tell us the successes you've had from blogging?
Blogging has brought me both personal and professional success.
The personal success comes from helping others, which I do through my writing blog.
Every time someone says I've given them good advice or mentored them into improving their writing career, that counts as a success for me. There's no direct financial reward, but a heck of a lot of personal satisfaction.
Blogging has also done a lot to boost my reputation online, allowing me to connect with new people. And, on a professional level, it has put me in front of new clients and brought me new writing and blogging jobs.
Finally, I've been offered opportunities to review new products, some of which I get to keep. :)What's not to like?
How did you get into blogging to begin with?
I got into blogging a bit by accident. My first blog was a washout, but about six years ago, I decided to give it another try. At the time I was building my freelance writing business, and blogging seemed to fit right in. I haven't stopped blogging since!
What have the biggest hurdles been and how have you overcome them?
The writing aspect of blogging has never been a problem for me. With 20+ years of solid writing experience under my belt, I was able to transition to a web writing style very quickly.
I've had more issues with technical stuff.
When I started blogging I read voraciously about RSS and other blogging basics and then started dipping into other aspects, like social media.
The biggest challenge has been in theme customization. I can often visualize what I want, but it can be hard to achieve. These days, I can do the basics (adding things to headers and footers), but some of the more tricky design elements still elude me. Luckily, there are some awesome WordPress themes out there that make it easy.
Do you make money from your blog and if so how?
My writing blog pays for itself. I make a bit of money via contextual and banner ads from ad networks, a bit through private ad sales and a growing amount from information products. This last area is the one I'm planning to work on more because it will offer a more sustainable income and since I'm a writer, I can keep creating new products when there's a need.
What's your hottest tip for new bloggers?
It's hard to focus on one tip – can I have two?
Oh, all right then 🙂
First, be yourself, because that's what makes you unique and it's what people respond to.
Second, stick with it. You don't build anything successful overnight, so you need to ride out the times when it looks like nothing is happening and stick to your blogging plan.
Finally, please tell us a bit about your blog and what you do there?
Which one? I'm a travel blogger for off airport parking provider Park Ride Fly USA, which I love, and my main personal blog is a writing career advice blog. It's sort of mentoring in blog form and I'm pleased to say that many writers have used those tips to improve their skills, self-promotion and overall writing career.
These days, I'm not the only one writing there – there are a couple of regular contributors so that it reflects a range of perspectives on writing. That blog is my baby – and I'm proud of how it's growing!
Got a question or comment for Sharon about blogging, writing or anything else? Join the conversation in the comments.