>Are we blogging our writing away?

>Recently a correspondent sent me a link to her blog. It is a beautiful blog, filled with terrific articles and photos, the kind I’d like to see in a good newspaper. She is working on getting paid assignments, but meanwhile, I worry that she’s giving the good stuff away. Every freelancer ought to know that most publishers consider material that has been placed on a writer’s blog or website as published. Used goods. If they don’t take reprints, they won’t consider the work at all. Perhaps you can do a revision that makes it a new story, but beware of giving away articles that you could sell for money. Your ideas and articles are your inventory, and your time and energy is limited.

Now why, you might ask, do I publish two blogs? Why does anyone do blogs? Some people are just happy to express themselves online. But I’ll be honest. I’m hoping to draw attention to my books and classes, as well as my website. I also love to teach and this blog allows me to do that. After every live class, I come home chattering to myself about all the other things I could have said. The same applies to my book. There’s always so much more to say, so I blog to keep the conversation going and to bring things up to date.

What’s my other blog? Childless by Marriage, part plug and part research for the book I’m currently working on. Having to write something every week keeps me on task, and it does draw some attention, which in this business is vital to success. If you want to publish books, you’ve got to have a platform, and a blog is part of that.

So blog away to advance your career, share your experiences and opinions, or simply because it makes you happy. Just beware of giving away the store. Before you put it into a blog, ask yourself: Could I sell this as an article? If so, offer only a small taste, not the whole entrée, or blog about something else.