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Well I finally took the plunge and monetized my blog and 1 year later I WILL NOT be renewing. Why not? Well for one thing though I blogged my ass off I had perhaps the very worst year of views ever. Powered off an anomalously high day with a couple of thousand views i figured my time was finally here and maybe I could generate enough income to get the premium features to pay for themselves. So I had a modest goal going in
And Then What Happened?
For one thing I found theres some content thieves out there. They repost my blog word for word with pictures and siphon off an unknown amount of views. I found two sites doing this. Seems to me if i could find this out so could WordPress, after all I had bought in, right? It was costing THEM money too.
It didnt matter they never went after them.
Next WordPress Market Re-Aligned itself to be a ‘For Your Small Business’ website and advertised heavily as such.
This was great at driving away curious people. Why go to WordPress for original journalism when thats where you book a haircut or look for a lawn guy?
WordPress could have run TWO campaigns like so many other companies, and pushed the original content enough to keep people engaged. But this didn’t happen. In part WordPress impeded me.
Your ‘Income’ per click is anywhere from 1/3 to 1/65th of a cent depending on factors that seem to change in a very whimsical way. In my highest month of served ads it was just a bad month for getting paid,inexplicably as far as hearing from WordPress went. I made just a few pennies.
That was the month I wrote the most and even used some SEO tricks by writing about trending topics. Im not overly proud of “Katy Perry Kills a Nun”, but I did enjoy writing it and it helped me expand my game.
On the positive side I learned a lot, so its Ice Cream Flavored Dog Food and I’m out a hundred bucks. Not the worst thing that happened this year by a long shot. I’m not bitter, it was justifiable as a hundred dollar lesson in professionalism and creative writing that was mostly self taught. So I’m not bitter about it. I still get a thousand views a month, so people hear me.
What I got out of the monetization experience was the perception of a deadline and the hopes of breaking even. I wrote more and now I had become a bit more self critical. I learned how to be something of a better writer. I forensically improved all my old posts and the new ones are of a higher quality. For that it was worth it.
Was I Throttled?
I’m not so full of myself as to think my message was so powerful or so strong forces wanted me silenced. More likely I had willingly paid for an Indentured Servitude where the more I wrote the more WordPress owns and the more people will simply visit and maybe read a couple of articles. However, theres a possibility they had business reasons to not push me as hard as they had when they kept it all. 2019’s views will show whether or not people still consider blogs in general useful or interesting outside things like an independent movie reviews, which fare better than most topics at getting clicks.
A Roulette Wheel of Information and Payment
People are far more wary of the information they take in these days and that in itself is good. Looking back into the very recent past you can see how and why the internet returned to be a highly suspect place and blogs got BEATEN to death because Fake News and Outrage sell.
Text blogs were especially vulnerable to subversion or being a kremlin misinformation campaign. Video blogs have sound which betrays things like Russian Accents. In the future I plan on letting you all see me and bringing some of this to youtube.
Suddenly it occurs to you how misinformation happens. If you are living in Russia and have a computer you can launch a right wing hoax story aimed at pure blog hits Because in Russia 100 bucks is about how much the average person earns in a given week. So you’ll create some fake pictures and tell grandiose lies and it’ll pay off. This is where a lot of the “Dying Hillary” memes and stories came from. It only needed to attract enough hits and stay live long enough to generate income for a 3rd world guy. The fact that they got over so badly on so many American is just an indictment of our education system
Trust is Broken Since 2016
Trolling is just too big these days. People leave their “Punk’d Filters” up more these days and that’s a good thing, but there’s still a lot of people who just will stare at the shiny object. This blog is an older standard of journalism. I’d rather be broke and honest than a rich liar.
Fake News Sells, the world is filled with people who have no morals, love attention and have a blog or a youtube channel. Their goal is to go viral. My goal was simply to develop a core or readers. I could do this by going FULL Breibart/ Infowars and making stuff up. It’s just not me.
In the past people like Alex Jones would simply have gotten a book contract to write (fairly imaginative) sci-fi books and would have been a mediocre version of Philip K Dick. Instead everyone is pulling a Stockholm Syndrome Cult as their internet guise.
I’m no Alex Jones. I’m the opposite. I’m a real skeptic who thinks the worlds round. Im not going to turn the blog into a store and sell vitamins just because I could. I wont hurt average people just to tell a story or make some cash.
This blog sometimes has very few answers. Sometimes I just tru to ask a question. This blog encourages you to disagree and comment. This blog publishes corrections, this blog leaves up bad predictions. I’m not trying to be perfect or viral, I just want to add some truth and supportable opinions into the conversation. I dont need to be monetized to do this.
Dana Loesch, the Food Babe and a million liars who we can sort of think of as Blogger versions of Alex Jones have rightly made people wary. Blogs don’t enjoy immediate trust anymore. Rightly so but it kills the honest blogger. All media and journalism is taking a hit and people are likely ONLY reading their official partisan blogs. Or freaking out in real time on Twitter. I do it too. (@therealmcteag)
If you want to try monetizing for awhile forensically murder all blog posts with profanities. The only piece of advice I got was “Family Friendly” stuff was easiest to promote and garnered lots of views. I’m only just so family friendly.
This revelation explains the existence of Jake Paul and his equally annoying brother Logan Paul. That’s what the internet’s selling so far as accumulating a lot of clicks goes. Yes, the song “It’s Every Day, Bro” is as meaningless as it sounds. The lyrics make no sense at all. The chorus is just a bunch of words and the videos really isnt quite soft core porn so much as lots of half-naked young people of both genders. So that’s whats really hot and getting promoted. They dont curse, so its Family Friendly.
So WHY am I Here?
Why Im Still Here, sans Compensation, is because I like to write and my point of view is sort of unique. I’ve seen some of my humour sucked right up in a way thats too close to the blog (and too close in time) for the writers at some of the late night shows not to be pilfering jokes from me. Big Fuckin Deal, but hey, maybe offer me a job as a writer?
The Biggest People Play the Worst. This last year saw Star Trek outright stealing stories and ideas from Gonzo Video Game creators for no other reason than they thought they could. The Star Trek Discovery Writers are real shit bags for that one. Just hire the guy and pay him
So thats where its at. I’ll still be around, holding JJ Abrams feet to the fire and pointing out how insane Trump is, but I guess the dozen dollars I was able milk out of this will forever be WordPress money, because you have to make 100 bucks before they pay out. Ok, while no big deal we’re talking 10 years at a minimum of 100 bucks to get anything back. Maybe this was to fight the proliferation of fake news and the incentive of just 10 bucks to people in anywhere including Somalia (thanks for the views, Somalia! Seriously, this is a shout to whoever keeps reading from there. You can come out in the comments if you want!
So anyway for me its a 10 to 1 loser. This blogs pretty venerable now, 50,000 views, maybe id have gotten over the hump in less time but I’m not buying.
So when my HUGE view days happen I’ll get my endorphin rush and I’ll feel satisfied, but the rules of Profitability here are too costly to my journalistic integrityAnd my personal ethics. Roger Stone is wrong, it’s better to be sort of a nobody then be infamous. I have dignity and he never had any.
And damn it, I never tried to play the family friendly game and I never will.
I’m gonna continue to be me. This domain name may end up coming with me somewhere else as Im no longer totally sold on WordPress as my best platform.
In the words of Ozzy Osbourne- You Don’t Need a Ticket to Fly With Me, I’m Free!