Writing

Have You Thought About Writing Outside Your Blog?

Where do you write? - cartoon of a typewriter

The blogosphere is a wonderful place to share our thoughts with other bloggers. But there are lots of other ways to share your writing with the world. Have you thought of branching out into other areas and taking your writing outside of your blog?

My own writing

When I first started blogging in 2017, I was interested in branching out, and hunted down a bunch of potential options. I submitted guest posts to various (unpaid) mental health sites, got one paid magazine article, and for a while there, I was posting quite a bit of original content on Medium.com.

That was then, but this is now. I started off branching out, and then switched it up to branching in. I can only do as much as I have synaptic connectivity for, and for the last while, that’s been my blog and slowly plodding along with a book in progress. Sometimes people ask me to do guest posts for them, but I’ve been saying no, because I just don’t have any leftover brainpower for that kind of thing.

It’s rather interesting to have such a quantifiable indicator of the progression of my depression I actually have more time for writing now; before 2020, I was still working, at least a little bit. So available time has gone up, output has gone day, and that pretty much entirely due to the effects of my illness. Since I first started blogging, I haven’t set myself any sort of writing or output goals, because it’s my illness that dictates capacity, not me. So I’m not self-critical about writing less; it’s just interesting to observe the pattern.

Guest articles

For anyone who is interested in expanding their writing beyond their blog, there are a lot of options, including paid options; you just have to hunt them down. A lot of paying publications want you to send them a pitch rather than a full article. An example that I’ve seen a few people in the mental health community publish in is Happiful magazine.

The Mighty is one of the bigger non-paying mental health publications. You can publish new articles or things you’ve already published on your blog. I’ve published three articles there, all of which previously appeared on my blog. They didn’t generate much activity on The Mighty, and didn’t drive traffic to my website. And for anyone who’s interested in boosting domain authority, strange old Moz doesn’t detect any backlinks at all from The Mighty to my site.

I’ve got an older (but update) post listing a bunch of different mental health sites that accept guest posts: Way to Share Your Mental Health Story.

Freelancing

If you’re thinking about freelancing, Upwork and Fiverr are some of the big contenders. ProBlogger lists blogging-type gigs.

Even back when I was submitting pieces to different sites, freelancing wasn’t something I contemplated. My illness has been continuously present ever since I started blogging/writing, and slow brain has always been part of my symptom profile. Having to come up with something to say about someone else’s topic within a certain time frame just isn’t a good fit for slow brain. But I would be curious to hear from anyone else who’s tried it what it’s like.

Medium

If you’re looking for a site to experiment with potentially getting paid, Medium is an option. There’s a $5/month membership fee; there’s a free option, but if you actually want to make any money, that’s hard to do without a membership. It’s a very different audience from WordPress, I find you have to work a lot harder to connect with potential readers compared to WordPress. Payment is based on reading time by paying members. It’s hard to make much, although covering the cost of your monthly membership fee is definitely doable. You control what you publish, unless you submit to publications, which gives you the opportunity to reach a broader audience if your article is accepted.

Now, I cross-post the occasional blog post over to Medium, but don’t spend much time there. Posts that do well here on the blog don’t necessarily do well on Medium; it definitely is a different audience, which can be a good thing if you’re looking for a challenge.


Ok, that’s my little blather about writing. Have you ever thought about taking your writing outside of your blog? What have you considered, and what have you tried?

I’ve finished my overhaul of Managing the Depression Puzzle, and the brand spankin’ new 2nd edition is now available on Amazon and those kinds of places. It’s also got a colourful new cover.

Book cover: Managing the Depression Puzzle, 2nd ed., by Ashely L. Peterson

This post contains affiliate links that allow you to support MH@H at no extra cost to you.

44 thoughts on “Have You Thought About Writing Outside Your Blog?”

  1. I’ve considered medium at times but I’m not sure…I already have two blogs (one fiction under a pen name) and working on my books…

    Your freelancing remarks sound similar to how I feel. I sometimes think I should try those apps and submit work but as soon as someone tells me to write about x, my mind goes completely blank. So, I don’t know…

    1. Medium’s hard to break into, and seems to require a pretty big time commitment to build up a readership. Now I’ve got enough content on there that I get $10-20 without doing much other than cross-posting a couple articles from the blog. But for a while there, I was busting my butt posting original stuff there pretty much every day and making $60-70 a month.

  2. Wow – a lot of great resources here. I knew about Medium, but none of the others. To answer the question, however, I do write and have been published in some newspapers and on independent news sites. I also write for a religion-oriented site that has representatives from different religions across the globe – Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam etc. as well as people from different Christian denominations in America. I don’t get paid for that, but it’s by far the most rewarding.

    Because of my background, I wrote for a street paper called Street Spirit for a while. They’re a member of the International Network of Street Papers, so many of my columns there were also reprinted in others of the 200+ street papers in the network. But I quit the paying job partly for a couple of personal reasons, mostly related to the many PTSD triggers that arose.

    I’d like to be published more widely, but I’m such a disorganized fellow. If I ever get my severe ADHD under control, however, I think it’s a strong possibility. Thanks for another informative, thought-provoking post.

  3. I’d like to write outside my blog, but haven’t really managed it. I managed a couple of things on Hevria.com (unpaid, but reasonably high status, I thought) and an article in a book of Doctor Who reviews (also unpaid, because the author fees went to charity). Oh, and some articles on an old blog got picked up by Jewcy (now part of Tablet Magazine), although there’s a nasty story behind that.

    I tried pitching to magazines a bit, but didn’t really get anywhere. I know I tried Doctor Who Magazine; I can’t remember where else I tried. Likewise I tried to pitch my self-published Doctor Who non-fiction book to publishers (before going down the self-publishing route), but none were interested. I worry that I was pitching “wrongly” somehow (using the wrong format or phrasing it wrongly or something). I think Doctor Who Magazine is largely produced by the same small group of fan contributors, so that may also be a problem, especially as I’m not really part of organised fandom. The Doctor Who unofficial non-fiction market is pretty saturated anyway and I’m not sure if what I was pitching is really a popular type of writing any more.

    I’m still hoping to get my novel published when I finish it, but given my experience pitching things previously, and my worries that I’m doing it wrong, but no one is telling me how to do it right, I’m apprehensive.

    1. I wouldn’t have the slightest clue how to pitch anything to anyone. The novel sounds like a unique angle, and hopefully that will catch someone’s attention.

  4. Before i was diagnosed and medicated i had energy to focus on a lifestyle blog. The desire isn’t there anymore… actually the desire is but not the gumption. I had briefly heard of medium so understanding it more helped. Thanks 😊

  5. I have been enjoying your book “Making Sense of Your Diagnosis”. I liked your pill book too, but I like this one better. Great article, this is like part II of the article about your self publishing journey. I am bookmarking this. Thanks.

  6. Thank you for helpful blog . I don’t have any spare capacity for writing outside of my blog at the moment, but who knows? I’m glad you are managing your time well. I have a book currently being published so am keeping an eye on things for when the publicity gets going.

  7. Have you ever thought about taking your writing outside of your blog?
    Yes, that is my only source of potential income should something happen and I stop being eligible for disability benefits.

    What have you considered, and what have you tried? You’ve listed some fine resources, but motivation is primary in working with paid sites, and mine is woefully inadequate I’m afraid. I have gone the ‘self-publish’ route with my one book of poetry though. I’ve had another blogger suggest places for me to submit articles that she felt would be appropriate for the publication in question. I’ve never done it because of the motivation problem. If push comes to shove, I suppose I’d have to though.

  8. Writing outside of my blog (particularly freelancing) is something I have thought of a lot recently. I strongly resonate with what you said though. Writing about someone else’s topic, having to stick to deadlines and even having to apply have all been detractors for me.

  9. Those are all interesting options!! And I’m impressed that you’ve been successful with them! Go you!!

    I like to write for NYC Midnight, and I like to write novels!! I’ve never considered submitting my short stories (from NYC Midnight) or my blog posts to other sites, just because I don’t want to stretch myself too thin!! But those are good options, for sure! A lot of my friends in the writing community have been published in short-story anthologies, but it’s just not worth the effort on my end. Aside from the fun of NYC Midnight, I try to put all my effort into my full-length books (I guess I should say that, since my memoir isn’t a novel).

    Keep us posted on everything you get published on other sites, and on your stigma book! YAY!

      1. Oh! No, I have a lot of writing friends who aren’t associated with NYC Midnight, or who I met there but hang out with via email or social media now. The community itself is scary and threatening to me, for sure!!

  10. Branching outside of my blog sounds great, but I have just figured out WordPress over the last couple of years.
    It would be a neat feeling to write an article and receive compensation. That would be a wonderful accomplishment.
    But, for now, I will keep plugging away here in WordPress.

  11. Hi Ashley! It’s great to be back reading your blogs again after I’ve had a few weeks away from WordPress.

    I adore writing, but I’ve found that getting paid to do it is quite tricky. Personally, I’d much rather write for free about whatever interests me, than have to deal with the pressure of trying to do it for money. To me, it feels like money issues contaminate my love of writing. I also seem to have issues around playing things small vs being comfortable charging for my time.

    Having said that, I’ve self-published several books on Amazon – a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. I still pretty regularly get a few pence in commission from book sales, which amuses me. It’ll never make me rich, but I do enjoy being able to class myself as earning passive income!

    I’m also a reviewer for Amazon Vine – I get sent free stuff in exchange for honest reviews. Most items are fairly cheap, but I regularly get some really cool and expensive stuff too like wireless headphones and even a high-end laptop a few years ago. I love writing about precisely *why* I like a certain product and how it compares to others I’ve tried.

  12. Funny enough, like a lot of people here I have thought of it but my motivation is very irregular so end up not getting anything done. Been thinking more and more about self-publishing some of my writing but need to figure our what that entails before anything can happen.

    Thanks for the great post! You’re a huge inspiration to me with your writing on so many different things 🙂

  13. Freelancing is a crazy hard business unless you can land steady well paid gigs and those are few and far between. Starting my own blog became a good option because I thought well, if I’m not making much money at least I can create a place that’s all mine 🙂

  14. I really admire you for writing so much and good at the same time. Despite your own struggle. You’re my great inspiration and I thank you for that.
    I wrote elsewhere too, but just can’t provide any consistency (Medium, some other blogs, websites and publications).

  15. Thanks for sharing this. I thought about this last year, that’s why I started doing freelance writing on the side in addition to my full-time role. I started by setting out my writing goals for 2021 last month and then I created an Upwork profile and started getting clients. Its been a long process but I am starting to build my confidence and its a great experience. I am documenting my learnings as I go along via my blog. Feel free to check it out, I would love to know your thoughts. Btw I am also following your blog. I love your content.

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