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Buyer Beware

Yes, we writers want to make money doing what we love. For goodness sakes, writing is the lifeblood that keeps us going, right? Oh, to be the person who can get paid too!

With this goal in mind, and with an abundance of enthusiasm and desire to learn everything there is about marketing my author-self through my website and blog, I waded into the "Blogging Industry" pool. What I quickly discovered is that it’s cray-cray deep, and there are an awful lot of lifeguards wanting to look out for you!

Seriously, I was amazed by the number of people out in the bloggosphere proffering their know-how about blogging. Selling blog-writing advice appears to be an industry all of its own!

Being the kid in the front of the class with my hand extended high to catch the teacher's attention, I signed up to follow (probably too many) self-proclaimed writing aficionados. In short order, my mailbox was full of how-to advice on everything from digging deep to find the motivation, to the best ways to generate a following.

I committed to myself when I started my blog that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I wouldn’t say anything at all. With that being said, I want to speak in general terms about the very different styles of marketing I discovered, some of which are a real downer. One blogger in particular has been a turn-off (so much for speaking in general terms!) to such a degree I've been tempted to unsubscribe. Yet, something prevents me from doing so. I think in large part because I want a constant reminder of what I never want to become as my career develops.

This particular marketer barrages his subscribers with the same type of snake oil sales tactics that have been used for decades by the diet, skin care and magazine industries: “Inside this Issue - Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover,” or “I Lost Fifty Pounds on ….. And You Can Too!” His hyperlinks entice the ever intrepid among us to click away, only to find that we’ve been taken down the proverbial rabbit hole without any acquisition of knowledge along the way.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time for that sh…tuff! Every minute wasted in these mazes is one more taken from doing what I should be doing if I want to be a writer - actually putting words on a page.

Rant now over, I do want to impress that I’ve found some really sharp people out there too. Real professionals that leave you with a sense of what they can do for you as opposed to what you can do for them. Take Bryan Hutchinson, who blogs as The Positive Writer. (See what he did there?) He offers great advice and seems genuinely supportive of writers as a community, rather than a paycheck. Sure, he’s got advice to sell, but he also gives a lot away for free. I’ve got value from so much of what he does, I’ve linked to him on My Peeps page, and I’d encourage other aspiring writers to check him out. I have other cool professionals to profile over the next few blog posts, none of whom I’ve ever met in either the cyber or real world. And no, I’m not earning any residuals, or pay-per-clicks, or anything else that might benefit me personally. They just seem really cool people with a writing passion to share, and I enjoy putting that sort of energy out there!

Have you found any diamonds in the rough? Bloggers who really want to share their craft? If you have, please share below. I'm all about sharing the wealth!

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