I found myself in an interesting dilemma this week and one that shows that bloggers, even those with small blogs as mine here, are being watched by the (more) mainstream media. It also shows that the lines between mainstream media and bloggers are crossing paths more often with the creation of good content being more important than the academic credentials or media history.
Granted, I’m not a pure blogger. I started writing freelance articles in Japan before beginning our current website and blogs. It was those articles which were the beginning foundation when I decided to start the website. That being said, I would consider myself much more on the side of the bloggers. And it must be pointed out that the company that approached me isn’t a classic mainstream media member as it is a pioneer of online investing information. That being said, we are probably both closer to our opposite sides than we are to each other.
It was a bit of a surprise when I was contacted a bit over a week ago by the editor-in-chief at TheStreet.com who was wondering if I had any interest in writing for their personal finance section. The site is heavily market and investing oriented and I have always placed an emphasis on saving money before investing, so I wasn’t sure at first if he had actually contacted the correct person.
After a number of emails back and forth, it became apparent that he was looking for someone with a different background and writing style to join their writing team which placed me in a fairly difficult dilemma: do I continue to spend 100% of my energy building our websites and blogs or do I give up a portion of that time to write articles for TheStreet.com.
If it had been for an occasional article each month then the decision wouldn’t have been too hard, but they wanted someone who could write 2 articles a week. While I certainly write more than that now for the websites, 2 full articles a week is a significant time commitment and would mean I would have to makes some major changes in my current schedule.
After careful consideration, I decided that there were more compelling reasons to take the offer than to pass on it. These included:
1. It puts me in front of a much larger audience than those that currently frequent my blog and website. While this won’t directly affect my sites and blogs, it will give me more credibility in the mainstream media to go with that which I have developed in the blogosphere.
2. It is a different crowd than would typically venture to my blog or website which I feel will force me to improve my writing.
3. While it will mean taking a significant chunk of time away from my blog and sites each week, the pay should cover that lost time.
4. Since I will be a contributing writer and not a full time employee, I should still have enough time to continue to build our websites even after writing articles for them.
5. It’s a new challenge and I’m always open to new challenges
While I know my decision will make me even busier than I have been (when are they going to invent the 48 hour day?), I think I have been blessed with a unique opportunity to do something a lot of other financial bloggers would like to try if they had a chance. Of course, I still have to prove that I can make a contribution to TheStreet.com to make the move into a more mainstream media world successful, but I’m looking forward to that challenge. I never set off to try and leverage my Internet writing into a writing position with a major media company, but it appears to have happened. The good news for anyone out there that would like to have the same opportunity is that if I can do it, then it shows that it is possible for anyone to do it.