Hey guys! I can’t believe I’ve already been blogging (and professionally writing) for a whole year! It’s been such a wonderful journey that I’m so excited to look back on today for the first day of Blogmas 2016!
This post is going to be divided into two parts: (1) a look back at what I’ve done over the last year—where I’ve started and where I have come, and (2) an inevitable life update on why I haven’t been posting regularly anymore and what I’ve been doing instead.
BONUS! Since I’m doing Blogmas this year (which means I’m posting every day—or almost every day—for the next 25 days), tomorrow, you’ll get a Q&A session with some of the most frequently asked questions I’ve gotten during my blogging/freelance writing experience, because I feel like after a year or so in the business, I’m at least a little bit qualified to finally answer them.
So let’s get right into it!
SO WHAT HAVE I BEEN UP TO OVER THE LAST YEAR?
If you didn’t know, I was not always a writer. In fact, a year ago today, I was a music major, playing clarinet on a scholarship at Shenandoah Conservatory, one of the best music schools in the world. Nowadays, I’m still at Shenandoah—just not the music school—as an English major with a minor in mass media. It’s been pretty awesome.
The very first time I got paid for writing was in December of 2015, when I wrote a political article that was published on (you guessed it) a politics site, and I got a whopping $25 for it. Needless to say, I’ve come a long way since then.
I also started my blog in December of last year, and my very first post was a little printable planner for you guys that I developed during my first semester of college. It’s actually been a pretty popular post on this site, although I did update it in the summer to make it easier to read. Since then, I’ve posted almost 100 articles on Michelle Adams Blog (about two each week), and I’ve even made a little bit of money off of it.
My traffic was highest during the back to school season (August of 2016), which a lot of my college blogger friends say is totally normal. I made the most money during that time, too, because it was the first time that I monetized my blog by including affiliate links! Since then, I’ve done a few sponsorships, thinking that maybe I would try to make blogging my full-time job, but lately I realized that I really don’t want to do that.
Now, that’s not to say that I don’t love blogging. Because I totally do.
If nothing else, being a blogger has introduced me to an amazing community of talented women from colleges across the United States and around the world. It’s helped my hone my conversational writing style, and it’s definitely helped me get my name out there as a legitimate writer.
That said, my life-long dream is not to be a blogger. I quite recently figured out what my life-long dream is—and I’ll share it in just a moment—but I’ll suffice to say that it’s not giving tid-bits of life advice and getting free products from companies. While all that is totally awesome, and there’s no way I could ever give up blogging, I want to be a writer first and foremost. Which means that my blog is sort of on the back burner.
Additionally, I did music as a job for less than 4 months, and it made me hate music. I never want to start hating blogging, so I just can’t make it my full-time job.
My blog is a place where I can show potential clients and publishers what I can do—and hopefully, you can benefit from the advice I share!—but it’s not my job.
SO WHAT AM I GOING TO DO INSTEAD?
This is where the life update portion of this post comes in. (More story time!)
In my latest Monthly Favorites post, I shared a little bit about a conference I attended in Atlanta, Ga. in October for students studying or working in media in college. It was a totally awesome conference where I learned a lot about how to make my newspaper better and a lot about myself as a journalist—namely, I figured out what I want to do with my life:
I want to write long-form creative nonfiction.
What is that, you ask?
It’s a really wide genre that encompasses a lot of things, including memoirs, autobiographies, lyric essays, and more—but in particular, I’m most interested in writing long-form journalism, as in: covering a story for months, and writing a book about it, instead of just an article.
This allows me some freedom to venture away from the dying realm of print journalism and really show all that I can do. It also allows me to delve way deeper into my stories than typical reporters get to, plus, I get to tell my stories the way I want to—so that they sound like real stories, and not just collections of facts.
To that effect, I’m currently working on a political book that seeks to document the young millennials’ view of Hillary Clinton, having not experienced her husband’s presidency. So be on the lookout for that in the coming months!
In conclusion—while I love blogging, and Michelle Adams Blog is not going anywhere any time soon, I’m never going to be a full-time blogger—I am and I’m going to continue to be a full-time writer. And blogging will always be part of that.
So if I don’t get to post twice each week, or even once a week, it’s just because I’m working on expanding my career in other areas. But don’t worry. I’ll always be back!
So that’s where I’m at with blogging. I really appreciate all of your guys’ support throughout this whole thing, and I can’t wait to blog with you for another year!
Be sure to come back tomorrow for my video answering all of your dying questions about blogging, freelance writing, and making money in college!