Jan 182011
This week Gwen from Chew & Digest Books is starting up the Tuesday Frugal Spotlight Series after an extended holiday break. Gwen will tell us the story about how she get paid to write book reviews and thereby make her passion pay, a story which I am sure will inspire and encourage all of you. Gwen is my first blogging mentor, she is the one who finally made me start blogging, and I am forever thankful for all of the avenues that Gwen has led me down.

Please welcome Gwen from Chew & Digest Books to the Tuesday Frugal Spotlight Series.
Making Your Passion Pay 
In the most simplistic terms, I get paid to do what I love and was doing for free years ago. What do I do, you might ask? I get paid to sit in my pajamas all day, read books and tell people what I think of them. I don’t make tons of money, just enough to pay for my hobbies, my health insurance and put food on the table, but it is still the best job ever.  
The thing is that it didn’t start out that way. I had to create and mold my passion into something that paid the bills. (first I had to find my passion, but that is a subject for another post.) I started out, reviewing books for my own pleasure on Gather.com, which is where I met jr. Then I started a blog, Chew & Digest Books, which allowed me not only to hone my writing skills, but gave me a place to showcase my work. Authors, publishers, and PR people started sending me books to read and review.
Then one day, something hit me like a lightening bolt. This is great fun and all, but there are people out there that get paid to do this. What do they have that I don’t? Why aren’t I getting paid like those critics in the paper? What are they doing that I am not?
I searched for any and all professional review publications and hit pay-dirt. I also contacted my local papers and asked if they would be interested in book reviews. Bingo, got those lined up. I now get paid per column in the locals, get free books from other publications, and often get paid to review specific books by various companies. The most important thing that I had to offer was that proven portfolio that I already had, my blog.
The other bonus was I was creating marketable skills in other areas. While promoting my blog on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, I was learning the basics of promoting any business or brand in the social media realm. Late last year, the San Francisco Book Review was looking for a Social Media Director and offered the position to me. I now manage their social media campaign part-time from my home in my pajamas. Woot, I get paid to tweet in my pajamas!
So, I ask you, what are you passionate about? Have you explored turning that passion into a career from home? What are you doing online right now for free that other people are getting paid to do? There are so many ways to make money online, but are you really passionate about the ways you are doing  it? Do you have a skill that others want or need? What is holding you back? 
Thank you Gwen for always sharing your wealth of knowledge with those of us, who are still learning. You are a great friend, and I am forever thankful for everything you have taught me and for all of your encouragement. I am sure that the story of how you found a way to get paid to write book reviews and successfully found a way to make your passion pay will inspire many book lovers and women searching for a way to make their passion pay. I know your success has inspired me, and I am so grateful that you encouraged me to follow my passions.
I would like to invite all of you to go visit Gwen at Chew & Digest Books, she has lots of fabulous book reviews to share. Last year Gwen broke her own book-reading record by reading 200 books in a year, which shows exactly how much Gwen loves to read.

If you would like to be a guestblogger in the Frugal Tuesday Spotlight Series, you can read more at Become a Frugal Tuesday Spotlight Guestblogger.

*Image copyright Chew & Digest Books.

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