For the next few Wednesdays, I'll be featuring writers I like and how they hone their craft, use the internet, get writing ideas from life, and rake in the dough.
Kristy is a twentysomething personal finance blogger who has been writing with Master Your Card since May of 2008. During her free time from blogging she works for a credit union in Austin, Texas where she helps clients manage their financial picture.
Though I haven't met Kristy in the real world, I can tell you from her posts and comments, we'd be great friends.
You're a contributor at Master Your Card. I've noticed a trend of other sites recently that are launching with multiple bloggers. How did you find out about Master Your Card and become part of it?
Well, Jonathan posted an ad over at Freelance Writing Gigs (www.freelancewritinggigs.com) looking for a personal finance blogger. Because of my experience in banking, I figured it would be a good opportunity, so I applied. Initially there was another candidate that had applied and Jonathan was torn between the two of us, so we were both writing on a trial basis until Jonathan had an idea of who would be the best fit for the blog.
How do you work with the other contributors at Master Your Card? Do you work with them?
There is only Jonathan and myself at this point, though Jonathan has mentioned the possibility of another writer. He and I work independently of each other for the most part, but remain in constant contact for updates on various goings on with the blog. While Jonathan does write and comment on the blog, he handles the administrative stuff and is currently working on our 'ace in the hole,' as it were. He's got a few things in mind for the site that we're both pretty excited about. My job is to write content, keep up with comments, and generally be a presence in the blogosphere.
Do you get assigned topics by the site owner? I'm thinking the more people are involved in a blog the harder it may be to stay on message.
No, I pretty much have free rein to write about what I want to write about. I do ask Jonathan for his input and topics he'd like to see me discuss, but overall he's pretty good at letting me have creative control. He doesn't even do a lot of editing, which is nice. Occasionally I run out of things to talk about and he's always there with some ideas that prod me along and generate other ideas…he's awesome to work with.
How are bloggers like you compensated on these multi-blogger sites? You for example seem to post a ton and it wouldn't seem fair to get compensated the same amount as someone who posts less frequently.
Well, Jonathan and I have a payment arrangement that has changed somewhat since I started writing for him because my role has changed. But, this will vary from one blog to the next. I'm not sure how Jonathan came to his amount initially, but it was fair and I accepted. When we discussed the changes in my role, he asked for my input and I gave him an estimate based on an amount per word. So, it really depends on the writer and the employer as to how the compensation works.
I've asked this question of all the writers in the series. What is the craziest thing you've done to get a story right?
Hmmm. I don't really have anything witty to say here, lol. I'm not usually the "go crazy" type. If a story isn't working, it isn't working and I don't force the issue. This doesn't happen to me much in terms of writing for MYC; however, in my screenwriting this happens quite a bit. If I can't find the story, or make it work, I shelve it and give it some breathing room. I'll come back to it eventually, but I don't try to force it.
I know you do other freelancing work as well. Is it finance related?
I was invited to write with Wisebread, so I'll be sending over my first article probably sometime this weekend. But, for the most part MYC is currently the only freelancing I'm doing. I was working with a site called First 30 Days, which is neat because it helps walk people through the first 30 days of a change. I wrote for the finance channel and I think some of my work is still posted there. For the most part I stick with finance because it's what I know; however, I will occasionally venture out into different things. I've done some ghostwriting on all manner of topics from the mundane to the weird…I once wrote an article on how to solve a Rubik's cube, which was interesting as I've never actually solved one. I've also written some pretty risque "guides" that I won't go into detail on here, but that was a learning experience as well.
I may be interested in contributing to a site like Master Your Card so that I get to write a blog but the site wouldn't have to be my baby. How would I go about finding a gig like this? What general advice to you have to someone considering contributing to a blog like this?
If you're interested in writing for a blog, I'd start with FWG where I found Jonathan and MYC. But, you can also check Craigslist and jobs.problogger.net for a listing of blogs seeking writers. As for general advice, I'd recommend keeping a running list of ideas. I know sometimes I get so busy with other things that I think of really good topics and then lose them in the hustle and bustle that is my day. I rely on Jonathan for those times with his great ideas. But sometimes you don't get as lucky as I have been with Jonathan there to offer ideas, so keep a running list. Add often. Other than that, try to make the writing fit you and not the other way around. If you look at the successful blogs out there, you'll notice that they're all pretty unique in their voice. Find yours early and let it shine in your work. When I first started writing with Master Your Card, I was pretty stiff because I was adjusting, but I think I've let my personality come out a little more and that's what draws people in. Sure, the content is important too, but the delivery makes all the difference.
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