How Pretending to be Your Favorite Fictional Character Could Put Money in the Bank
If you’ve always dreamed of writing professionally online –- or are already earning money as a freelance blogger –- then you’re going to love this. You can earn a nice chunk of change each month simply by writing as one of your favorite fictional characters.
It’s called character blogging. While it’s technically a form of ghostwriting – or ghostblogging, if you prefer – it’s very similar, in principle, to writing fan fiction. And how many of us have a lovingly-crafted written tribute to our favorite character hidden under our beds?
If you’ve ever dabbled in fan fiction, you’ll want to keep reading -- you could earn $600 to $4,800 a year as a character blogger!
Getting Started as a Character Blogger
Professional character blogger Luana Spinetti started fan blogging “just for fun” in 2001, but began turning a profit around 2005. She officially monetized her blogs in 2007, and has since blossomed into an expert in the field.
Spinetti began her career with characters lifted straight from her favorite fandoms, such as Toy Story and Transformers; however, she has since branched out, now focusing on original characters (also known as OCs) and universes. “I’m now developing two new characters in a more business-oriented niche,” stated Spinetti of her business’ growth.
“You don't need special skills [to get started as a character blogger],” said Spinetti in an e-mail interview. “Only a bit of healthy creativity and the willingness to keep your character blog ‘alive’ – make your character interact with their readers and market their posts. Just let your creativity flow, but remember to keep it consistent throughout the blogging process and the interaction.”
“As for practical advice, remember to add a disclaimer that informs the readers about the nature of the blog and that the person they will be talking to is a fictional character you role-play, not a real person,” she suggested. “If your character is an existing figure from a movie or a cartoon, make sure you legally can use it for your character blog and that the creator doesn't mind that you earn money via creative advertisement.”
Creating a Side Hustle with Your Character Blog
“You can have fun and earn money at the same time,” said Spinetti. “It's a relaxing type of blogging; not as stressful and demanding as regular ‘niche’ or even personal blogging can be.” (Like this idea? Click to tweet it!)
“Among the character blogs I run, the most successful are a sentient toy's -- based off my Buzz Lightyear toy – and a robot girl from my world of Robocity. These two are by all means my favorites and they attract at least $200 to $300 a year in advertising,” said Spinetti.
Using a mixture of advertisements and sponsored posts, Spinetti has monetized her character blogs with great success. “I especially love [sponsored posts] because the advertiser’s product or idea [can] spark new universe ideas for my character or [the character’s] universe,” she said. “For example, if the advertiser's product is outdoor furniture, my character can mention that in the context of a restructuring of their home to add a balcony or a yard.”
“I generally find work through sponsored blogging networks such as SocialSpark and PayPerPost, but I have received good direct offers over time that often pay even better,” continued Spinetti. “I was once paid $150 for a sponsored post on a character blog! And it was just the character's life journal, not a niche blog.”
“If you have good blog rankings and a following, [your earnings] can range from $50 to $400 per month,” Spinetti said. “If your character has a niche you can earn even more.”
Character blogging isn’t restricted to personal blogs, however. You might also approach corporate companies about blogging as their mascot. Or, television shows will sometimes look for ghostbloggers to write as their characters for promotions or additional off-screen content.
But, at its core, no matter what niche you delve into, character blogging is all about having fun with your imagination. “Trust your inner kid as if your life depended on him or her,” concluded Spinetti.
Your Turn: What do you think -- could you blog as your favorite character?
Lauren Tharp is a freelance writer and the owner of LittleZotz Writing. Through her website, Lauren helps small businesses bring their brands to life through written content; and she also helps fellow writers get started as freelancers via weekly blog posts, bi-monthly newsletters, free e-books, and one-on-one mentoring.