It’s coming in like a lamb, but nothing seems to be going
right. Then again, nothing seems to be going wrong either.
I keep trying to tell myself it's just cabin fever.
A year later, that feeling hasn’t entirely gone away, but the path of how to get there is
increasingly murky. I work every day. Every day. No weekends for this girl! (
fact, today is the first day I’ve taken to myself in ages. Scratch that—I know
that as soon as I finish writing this I’m going to return work emails.) But I’m still struggling to make ends meet. I’m struggling to get editors to
read my pitches, much less to accept them. I feel like I haven’t seen or spent
quality time with friends in ages, because I can’t even afford to waste a
single TTC token.
|Working from home: it's super glamourous and exciting!|
I need to regroup. First item on my list: I
want to get paid to blog. I’m not asking for much. But after 12 years playing
at the game, an extra $100 in my bank account each month would be nice. So how
am I going to make it happen?
I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t sell advertising
on Premature Nostalgia (apart from companies sending me free product
totally open to that). Blogging was never meant to be work. When I started my
first website with my brother in 1998, it was just a fun project that we could
work on together. (Perhaps I was shortsighted in terms of the Internet’s
potential, but hey, I was only 14 at this time.) In 2005, when I started the
predecessor to this blog (the ill-fated “I Enjoy Being a Slut,” which was
destined for disaster for obvious reasons), I had just moved to Toronto.
Facebook wasn’t a thing yet and I’m pretty sure I probably still had ICQ
installed on my computer. Blogging was just a way to keep in touch with friends
and family back home.
With this in mind, turning my travel blog, Go a Little Further
, into a profit-generating site seems like the natural conclusion. (Apart
from the fact that the numbers indicate otherwise. It turns out that you
assholes would rather read about my adventures in spray-tanning
and my collapsible hula hoop
than about the time my life was saved my black magic
there’s this whole community of travel bloggers getting paid to do exactly what
I’ve already been doing for the last six years for free. It’s kind of an
But the more I work on the project (fixing my template,
adding service-based content, etc.), I just grow increasingly pissed-off. The
Internet, it seems is inundated with absolutely shitty, worthless, service
travel journalism. (Everything that I wrote in my 2008 RRJ feature on service journalism
suddenly has more weight in my life. If service is the junk food of
the journalism industry, then I’ve definitely been over-indulging.) Based on my
rudimentary understanding of SEO, I have reason to believe that it’s basically
ruined everything. Anyone who has an hour to spare and access to a search-engine can
churn out quality pieces such as “The Top 10 Ways to Get Drunk in Prague”
(personally, I can only think of one) and “How to Get Laid in Australia” (um,
just show up). No real research or interviews are necessary. Just be sure to
use keywords, pop in a stolen picture or two and ta-da, you’re a paid travel writer!
(Oh, and while I’m ranting, I absolutely hate Twitter. HATE. Despite my upbeat tweets about stews made with love
, it’s just a
necessary evil for professional advancement. I'd prefer going to an awkward networking cocktail party. It's also annoying when a professional contact fails to email you back for over two weeks, yet has time to tweet every two minutes.)
I want to end this post on a positive note, but I’m drawing
a blank. I’m overworked and broke. So instead, for your entertainment, here are the sometimes
hilarious, sometimes offensive keywords that commonly lead people to my blog:
- asparagus costume
- no sex escort agency
- naked beauty pageants
- bigger butt before after
- people doing drugs