“The only way to do great work is to do what you love.” This quote from Steve Jobs inspires us to follow our passion when choosing a career path. For me and so many other bloggers, blogging is our passion. I am inspired by the fortunate bloggers who have turned their hard work and love for blogging into a 6 figure income or pursued various career opportunities in blogging. I want to do great work doing what I love. Don’t you?
I love hearing other bloggers’ success stories. Many of them are stay-at-home moms who wanted a side job while they raised their kids. Some are book bloggers whose love for reading is contagious and are hugely responsible for the mountainous pile of books I want to read. Others travel to places I’d only dream of, reviewing fancy hotels and dining in exquisite restaurants. One thing they all seem to have in common is that they may not have started their blog with the intent to pursue a career but were surprised by their career opportunities in blogging.
Allison from The Book Wheel is one such blogger. Allison and I have been book blogging friends all the way back to 2013 when I started becoming addicted to reading (I do largely “blame” her for my mountainous TBR). I have loved watching Allison’s blog grow and I do a little happy dance every time I see a new amazing opportunity, award or accolade come her way for being the awesome book blogger she is. She’s inspired me to make a bookish bucket list, tackle the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, and is always helpful and supportive when I ask a question.
Last time she was my guest, Allison told us about how to run a successful blog event. Today, I’m thrilled that Allison is sharing the career opportunities in blogging that have come her way in these few short years. I bet they will inspire you to pursue your passion for blogging too, there is no telling where and the next opportunity will arise. Just in case though, I’m hoping I’ll get an opportunity to travel to Greece or Hawaii, how about you? Please give Allison a warm welcome again to Mom’s Small Victories and leave her a comment and tell us what about what career opportunities you’ve achieved or hope to achieve.
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Career Opportunities in Blogging
By Allison Hiltz from The Book Wheel
Back in 2012, as I was recovering from open-hip surgery, I decided to pass the time by writing reviews of the books I was reading. In hindsight, trying to articulate my thoughts while hopped up on pain medications may not have been the best idea but I fell in love with the process and continued to write them long after I recovered. The project turned into what is now The Book Wheel, where I still review the books I’m reading and plan to do so for the foreseeable future.
If I’m being honest, I suffer from a lot of self-doubt when it comes to The Book Wheel. Do people know how boring I really am? Who am I to be reviewing these books? Do people think I’m not doing enough? Or that I’m doing too much? But at the end of the day, I take comfort in the fact that I’m doing what works for me and that’s really all I can do. If you had told me then that I would still be doing this today, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. If you had told me that The Book Wheel would bring me the opportunity to travel and find a job, I absolutely wouldn’t have believed you. But that’s what happened and I’m happy to share some of the amazing opportunities that my little book blog has brought me over the years.
A Published Book
In 2014, I thought it would be fun to get a bunch of authors to review their favorite books. The event evolved into #30Authors, which takes place annually during the month of September. The idea is for 30 authors to review 30 books in 30 days. It’s a lot of hard work but it’s fun and rewarding. I’ve met so many great people through the event and it was even turned into a book by Velvet Morning Press* . I still can’t believe that something I dreamed up in my head was published and I’ll probably be pinching myself for the next several years.
When I finished grad school with my Master’s in Public Policy, I had a hard time finding a job that I really wanted. My internship had just ended and, unfortunately, my husband was laid off a week before I graduated, so time was of the essence. I happened to attend a book event with #30Authors contributor Stephanie Carroll and stumbled upon a self-publishing company that was looking for a marketing person. It turns out my experience as a book blogger and with social media was exactly what they needed, so they hired me. While I’m finally back in the public policy world, I’m grateful that this company recognized that blogging is hard work and gives us a special skillset that you can’t learn without jumping in and doing it for yourself.
That said, even my public policy jobs have found value in my blogging background (although I do get mixed reactions when I tell them Newt Gingrich posted my review on his personal site) – it shows that I can manage multiple projects, stick to a deadline, and write for the public. Plus, I’ve met a lot of random coworkers when they approach me with, “I need a book recommendation and I heard you’re the girl to ask.”
Last fall, I received an invitation to head to Big Sur, California to test out the new 2016 Buick Regal, which came with Audiobooks.com integration. They wanted me to come out with a guest, test out the cars, and then write about the product launch on The Book Wheel. At first I thought it was a phishing scam but after doing due diligence and calling every reporter I knew, I learned it was legit. It ended up being a fantastic weekend with my husband at a swanky spa hotel, a new car, and fabulous people. I’m so grateful for the once in a lifetime experience – I certainly couldn’t have afforded to do something so extravagant on my own. And the Audiobooks.com integration? It’s as awesome as it sounds.
What opportunities has blogging brought you?
How @Thebookwheelblog turned her blog into various career opportunities. You can too! #blogging Click To Tweet
Allison Hiltz runs the award-winning book review website, The Book Wheel and founded the international blog roundup event, #30Authors, which was published* as an anthology in April 2015. She is also a contributor at BookWitty.com.
The Book Wheel has been featured in advertisements in the New York Times Book Review and Goodreads, and has received numerous awards and mentions from literary sites and organizations. Allison has also taken her expertise on the road, working as a freelancer to cover product launches and conferences, as well as writing for other websites.
Whether she is reading, writing, or working, Allison probably has a cup of coffee in her hand. She has her Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Denver and lives in the Denver-metro area with her husband and two rescue dogs. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter, or learn more about her here.
Be sure to check out the recently launched anthology, Legacy, based on the successful #30Authors event!
I love how Allison’s opportunities were pleasant surprises she did not shy away from. I tend to not pursue opportunities outside of my comfort zone but Allison reminds us that those are the opportunities exactly worth doing!
I have been working hard on growing my blog so that it fulfills the mission I set out to accomplish…helping busy moms and Rheumatoid Arthritis patients like me celebrate their small victories and thrive with chronic illness. As my blog grows, I hope to jump on opportunities that will help me further in my mission.
What is your mission for your blog? What sort of career opportunities are you hoping to pursue?
About Be Our Guest Fridays!
Be Our Guest Fridays is a weekly feature where I feature guest posts by my favorite bloggers and authors. I started this feature to encourage and support the bloggers I love and the authors I want you to know. I am excited to share with you these creative and inspiring individuals. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, leave me a comment on this post and I’ll be in touch.
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