The big Buzzword at the recent 2014 BlogHer conference was “Monetize!” There was a distinct glamorization of those “Professional Busy Career Bloggers” who earn dollars versus the rest of us “Hobbyists” who play a couple rounds of “Bloggy” in between washing and drying the dishes.
Everywhere you looked in the Grand Ballroom of the Convention center, you’d spy hundreds of circular white-cloth tables filled with starving writers, (and not necessarily for scrambled eggs!) confidently passing their Blog’s business cards to one another, along with the butter.
“Don’t ever write for free!” OR “Make your words work for you!” AND “Your Blog is Your Goldmine!” were quotes tossed around in every lecture, workshop or keynote speech, as we women linked arms and nodded passionately, our self-esteems and sense of worth skyrocketing in a frenzied crescendo with every success story told. If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, what could each 1,000 word post on our blogs be worth??
We were then unleashed into the Expo arena where hundreds of sponsors and vendors in colorful booths promised us lots of Swag.
“But how many pairs of velvet Drapes can I possibly hang up in my living room?” I asked my newly introduced blogger friend. Swag? Maybe they would teach us how to walk and talk cool? After all, possessing “Swag,” was something my teenagers always aspired to have. But it turned out “Swag” was none other than “Stuff.” Lotsa stuff. And there were even “Swag Hags” — women who hoarded all the free products, prizes, samples, and merchandise they could Snag into their Swag-Bag so they could Brag, which was actually kind of a Drag.
The idea was to hype these products/companies on our blogs so everyone profits.
“But I don’t want my “Once Upon Your Prime” site to turn into a commercial advertisement?” I lamented to my new dollar-eyed friend who suggested discreetly weaving a promotion into one of my typical daily posts. Oh sure . . .
Hey Readers! Today I woke up with a “Sorry Dear, Not last night, I had a headache,” pounding in my forehead. But thank goodness on my night table was a bottle of Tylenol Extra Strength caplets – – the painkiller hospitals use most. “All day strong, all day long.” Next I slid into my Levi jeans because quality never goes out of style. Then I proceeded to pop some Pillsbury cinnamon rolls into the toaster since nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven!
Um, No thank you!
Instead I set about thinking up alternative, creative ways my everyday writing could make some money. The best place to start was close to home.
Little Miss Menopause’s Ideas of How to Monetize Everything In Sight With What You Write
1. Grocery lists. They can have a catchy title, a byline, a tell-all exposé kinda feel, with an unpredictable twist ending! i.e. . .
Walmart’s Worthwhile Witticisms
by Little Miss Menopause
- 1/2 lb Wild caught salmon (Mercury in our fish supply is killing America’s Families!)
- Loreal Preference Fade Defying Hair Color (Friends speculate – – Can Botox be far behind for this mundane housewife?
- Chips Ahoy cookies (Can I fool the PTA into thinking they’re home baked?)
- Kitty Litter (and our cat died 8 years ago . . . how’s that for a cliffhanger??)
2. The scrawled messages I scotch tape to my kids sandwiches when I pack their backpacks.
“Have a great day and good luck on math test!” Copyright 2014 $12.95
DAUGHTER: Mommy, why is there a price tag on the note you wrote along with my peanut butter & jelly?
ME: Sorry, Sweetie. But haven’t you ever heard, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch!?”
3. Love Note to my Guy Traced in the Dust on His Car Windshield
BOYFRIEND: “How come it says “Simon & Schuster’s Brand New Release” after “I love you” on my Honda?
ME: Oh I get it. You’re implying my stuff isn’t good enough for a big, traditional publishing house? I should just stick to a small press.
BOYFRIEND: Publishing? Huh? And why are your romantic sentiments a dollar cheaper in Canada than the USA?
ME: Aha! I see. You think I should just give it away for free, don’t you? “A man will Never buy a Hardcover book if he thinks he can keep getting paperbacks from his local librarian!!”
(Looks suspiciously at me, as if he knows I’m rehearsing for a soundbite.)
BOYFRIEND: (sidling up to me) Well, can she be the kind of librarian who whips off her nerdy glasses, let’s down her prim hairdo, then becomes Va Va Boom Sexy Lexi and jumps my bones?
ME: Never mind that. My writing is worth a lot. You’ll see. And who the hell is Lexi??
4. The Baby Scrapbook I Diligently Kept. Hey, it didn’t write itself, ya know? My firstborn was a colicky character, therefore this was an amazing Best
Yeller Seller with five subsequently written Page Turning Sequels. You’ll simply drool (just like the six-month-old protagonist did!) over the “Learns to Crawl and Walk Early!” chapters. Ladies Home Journal says, “This is a Must-Have series for anyone’s private bookshelf collection!”
5. Any Recipes (that I haphazardly jot down onto note cards and manage to file) for fowl. Top dollar for all my Rock Cornish Game Hen, Buffalo Chix Wings or Grilled Chix Tenders recipes. Hey, we’re talking Classic “Chick Lit!” here. Well-read females ages 28-42 eat this stuff up!
6. All hand-written notes to teachers – – (Market as Tear-Jerker Mysteries)
Please excuse Eliza from P.E. today as her menopausal mother washed her white gym shorts with the red bath towels.
7. All letters cleverly composed from the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, and any “Congratulations on Your Straight ‘A’ Report Card, You Just Earned a Trip to Disneyland plus $10 a week extra allowance!” greeting cards. (market as Fairytale, Fantasy, Folklore, and the last one as Humor. Note: Distribute “Buy one, get 2nd half-off!”coupons under pillows and X-mas trees.
8. All Forms I tediously fill out daily – – This includes all paper work given to me on Physician Clipboards, Insurance Claims, Income Tax Filings, Driver’s License Applications, Job Resumes and Sweepstakes Entries – – From here on in, these get touted as my newly released Suspense/Thriller/Horror novels. Stephen King has nothing on me, baby! (Bonus Section will include dedications and acknowledgments. i.e. “The author wishes to thank Dr. Spanky, the best gynecologist ever, for always warming his speculum.”
9. Misc Notes: Clearance Sale! New markdowns on all written material that gets tacked on my front door for Gardeners, Babysitters, Neighbors, and the Postman! UPDATED SPECIAL: I will be holding autographed signings Monday Nights at Barnes & Noble bookstore for my highly acclaimed, “Sorry I hit your back bumper. Can you call me so we can settle this for cash? My husband will kill me if our premiums go up” Post-It Stickies.
10. Witty Facebook/Blog Comments & My Funny Texts: These go for a premium now. Have you any idea the time I spend leaving remarks on my friend’s Facebook alone? Sheesh! My brilliant Op-Ed pieces will go for top dollar. But day-old, “Nice pic” Or “Many happy returns” snippets are now 25% off. As for the days when I opt to text you – – haven’t you heard? I’m a Syndicated Texter now (read here!) and it’ll cost you $19.95 for the first 40 characters. PayPal will be graciously accepted.
But just as I gleefully began to add up all the money I would be raking in from the above 10 Real Life-Writing Monetization Ideas, I encountered a major glitch in the system. Family and Friends have now informed me of THEIR new policy — For anything I write from here on in, a steep Reading Fee will be instituted. Seems they think their time is worth something, too. Hmmph. I guess we’ll just always be a Break-Even Household.