Today I’m going to talk about a guy whose personal blog turned into his dream job – a gig that was not running a blog.
As the Alaska Dispatch News headline puts it, “Anchorage man turns hobby into NBA front office job.”
Seth Partnow, 39, told the newspaper that his job “feels, to some degree, almost like a fantasy camp.”
Not bad for a guy who started blogging about basketball because he was a total stats nerd.
Partnow, who has degrees in economics and law, was working at his family’s educational consulting firm. Yet he was so passionate about the game of hoops that he spent 120 hours researching and writing an article about “rim protection and an examination of the Golden State Warriors’ rapid pace of play.”
That article, and others, got published on sports blogs. In 2013 he started his own blog but kept writing for other sports sites. And he started getting noticed, his work being referenced by national media covering the National Basketball Association.
The Milwaukee Bucks team hired him part-time as a consultant in May 2016. Four months later he was offered a full-time job as director of basketball research.
Partnow’s jump to hyperspace took about two and a years, from freelancing to blogging to getting hired by a pro team. And he loves, loves, loves his job.
“I still pinch myself walking into the building every day,” he says.
More than one way to blogging success
Maybe your niche isn’t sports. Perhaps you’d rather write about fashion, personal finance, parenthood, classic cars, or antique pickle forks. There’s a blog for every niche out there.
Thing is, there might also be paying work out there. Some of us make money as freelancers, or from teaching courses* or placing ads on our sites. (And some of us do all three.)
But as Partnow has shown, a blog can get you noticed in ways you can’t even imagine. That’s not the only reason to write, but it’s a good one.
Suppose your well-written and -researched posts about social media or frugality or fashion or those antique pickle forks were to get the attention of an organization or business that needed good writers. Suddenly you’d have the pleasant dilemma of “keep writing evenings and weekends and hope to make money at it some day” vs. “take this full-time job doing what I love to do.”
That happened to me way back in 2007, when MSN Money hired me to create its Smart Spending blog – based on some freelance pieces. I went from “hope I can finish this midlife university degree and pay off my divorce-related bills” to graduating magna cum laude and without a dime of debt.
Here’s wishing that this kind of dilemma shows up on your doorstep, and soon. In the meantime, keep doing what you do – and never stop working at what you do. Blogging success may or may not happen overnight, but improvement is an essential habit.
*My own writing course is being discounted through Feb. 1. Visit http://bit.ly/2gdjQaM and use the code NEWYEAR. To help you start out 2017 with a bang I’m also discounting the writing coach side of my business; e-mail me at SurvivingAndThriving (at) live (dot) com for more details.