Many writers are opposed to writing for free, and I don't blame them. It's nice to get paid for our work, and "exposure" won't pay the bills. But, sometimes a silly blog submitted on a prominent site can result in unexpected income.
A few months ago, I wrote a humiliating post about farting during an MRI procedure and submitted it to the Huffington Post.
The darn thing went viral with more than 685,000 hits and was translated into several languages, including Korean and German. I received emails from around the world and only can conclude that people in Korea like fart stories.
Anyway, my posts on HuffPost aren't compensated, but my profile is on every post and it includes a link to my website, displays the covers of my two latest books, and adds links for how to purchase the books on Amazon.com. The sales of those books increased dramatically after the fart blog. Amazon pays quarterly, so I recently received payment for paperbacks and e-books sold since the blog was published, and the income was enough to pay off all my credit cards.
The e-book of Midlife Cabernet rose to #1 in sales in the humor category and #3 in the top 100 books sold in all categories. These rankings lasted only a few hours on December 24, 2014, but I was able to capture the image with the #1 ranking:
Amazon Best Sellers
Midlife Cabernet #1 in Humor, #3 in Top 100
Our most popular products based on sales. Updated hourly.
Best Sellers in Humor
Top 100 Paid
Midlife Cabernet: Life, Love & Laughter...
by Elaine Ambrose
4.9 out of 5 stars
The other value to blogging is that it uses my brain. It's difficult for me to sit down and write 3,000 words for my next book, but a 500-word blog takes an hour or two. I enjoy creating a brief message that I hope is witty or at least enlightening. I finally learned how to add photographs and publish a cohesive blog on my website. It takes a few more minutes to post the blog to various sites, then I can relax and eat cookies and drink a celebratory glass of wine.
Some writers will scoff at the lack of literary value of my humorous blogs, and others will negatively judge my willingness to forfeit my professional reputation by capitalizing on a story for the 10-year-old boys within us. They have every right to hunker down and sweat over crafting the perfect sentence. (Is there one?) I, too, can write serious prose and I'm working on a memoir that is not humorous. But for now, I'll just walk to the bank, farting all the way.