Love, fame or exposure?

07 Mar, 2009


Across the world, print media is having a difficult time. Not just in snowboarding, but in all the magazines that cover multiple genre’s. It’s quite normal to open a magazine and find more ads than content but now that’s been noticeably declining. I’m guessing that the magazines with less ads are actually finding themselves in a better position right now. It’s certainly appearing that online media has a place, we shall see if blogs become the new magazine.
I’m coming up in the online world, I feel I can make that statement because this site is a success for me. In the first couple months I used to get 1,000 visitors a month, I now get that number times 3 in a single day. I continually pump out daily content and work hard to make sure that my readers have something to check out…year round on the subject of snowboarding. The best part is that I love doing this, I’m pushed to write about snowboarding, continue to learn more about it and use that knowledge to help people.  
I was reading Brooke’s blog and some points she made about the internet being fucked because people give away content for free now. Magazines should pay for all content, internet or print and it seems like they haven’t yet realized that. Internet content should be more valuable, it’s easy to track who reads it and it lasts forever, it’s not thrown away. Months after an article was posted online, someone could find it on google. I highly doubt that would happen with print magazines. I’m a firm believer that if you are passionate about something, that’s more valuable and recognized than if you are out there just to bring in the buck. The best articles I have read are the ones where I identify with the writer and can tell they were interested in what they wrote about.
I started snowboarding because I loved it, I started writing because I loved it. I don’t expect anything in return from something I love. I know that if my job was to write this blog, then I wouldn’t give content away for free. But ultimately I don’t rely on it to pay the bills and I like that I don’t feel that pressure to crank out something I’m not interested in or not passionate about.
Obviously my biggest interest is this site, my content is entirely for this blog and I’ve turned down offers to write content for other sites that could pay me because I feel most passionate about this world I’ve created. That’s not to say that I don’t have high hopes for my writing and eventually would write content for others but I am very picky about who. I have full control over my own content, I never write about something that I’m not interested in and I make it fun. If it’s a hassle or an issue, I won’t deal with that company again. I’ve learned to say no because I disagree with it. Case in point, advertising on the new site…not open to just anyone, has to be companies that I support and stand by.
Occasionally I’ll offer up my content to Transworld Business and cover something that they can also use. The audience is different and I’ve found that it makes me re-evaluate my writing to be able to write about one subject for two different audiences. I did that with the Holy Oly, Opening Day in Colorado and the Oakley Revolution Tour. In the end I enjoy it because I find it’s a good step for my own writing.
If someone paid me to write this blog, would I still enjoy it or would I need to hit the certain number of words, the certain number of user visits per day and fall out of love with something so simple and easy to do? It’s that argument, be poor and love what you do or the opposite. The lucky people I have found are the ones who love what they do, make a living of it and the job never seems like a job.  I certainly hope the love I have continues regardless of if I make income off it or not.

About the author

Shay

From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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3 Comments

  1. Court
    March 09, 2009

    …And that’s why your blog is doing so well. You are staying true, honest and genuine, writing about what you love for whom you love (yourself and other riders). In a world of superficiality that’s what we all need – someone who is real and writes well to speak their mind and tell us what’s up and not compromise for a dollar sign. Now all we need is a March full of snow in the Rockies and for consumers to also realize that they can’t always get something for free – which is the majority of online content. At the end of the day, this pull mentality from consumers drives much of the need for pubs to find and use free content – they just don’t have the revenue to support the cost structures. Not saying this is how it should be, or that consumers shouldn’t have access to free information (ahhh… that’s why the web is a beautiful thing), but this is all part of the reality that magazines (and online magazines) face as they try to survive.

  2. Anonymous
    March 09, 2009

    Shay – the reason your blog is so legit and something I read on a regular basis is that it isn’t owned by any manufacturer – or business interest in snowboarding. It’s informative and accurate and you seem like someone who just loves snowboarding. Thank you for keeping it going. Brad at Bonfire

  3. Shayboarder
    March 10, 2009

    Thanks for the comments.

    Interesting point Court on the free content, free information is great. The internet in itself is amazing, I can educate myself on any topic I want and if there’s nothing written on it, which I’m finding there’s still quite a bit of gaps in snowboarding that there’s always room for someone to step up and do it. Ads support the magazines, which is the downside because you are shifting through ads to get to the real content. I think it’s rad when I read an ad and learn something from it. At the same note, I like being given credit for my online content and it sucks when it’s stolen without crediting me (not in monetary value) but in being recognized.

    Brad, it’s intriguing to hear that from a company standpoint it’s not the business interest that you seek. I’ve been told by a friend at another company that I was very lucky because I don’t work with just one company, i’m kind of in the middle of this whole picture and can work with everyone without stepping on toes. The downside is when I’m trying to launch a new version, it takes forever, haha.

    I guess I’m one of those people that doesn’t expect anything in return, love something unconditionally and see where it goes. It’s interesting to see those who just got into blogging that expect to be freelance writers getting paid the bucks. I’m fine with just tipping my toes in and seeing if I like it.