The Curiosity (and Conundrum) of Blogs trying to Make Money
Entry 04/06/2014 09:36:22 AM – Mentat 694
So I’m dog sitting for my mother this morning as she’s heading up to my aunt & uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary (a re-affirmation of vows and a luncheon out at an old people’s Italian Restaurant — no name’s mentioned, of course — Carrabba’s), when a strange thought flittered through my mind… A more than healthy majority of my subscribers (from WordPress of course) are in fact not really personal bloggers at all. No, they’re the sort of thing that makes me instincts throw up red flags faster than running through a minefield under machine gun fire. Basically they read as the “get rich quick” sort of things that make me correlate too closely on pyramid schemes.
And the resounding question that I have when seeing this is, “why?” And then after perusing a few of the sites of those that had subscribed and their sites don’t seem to really move is, “why do you continue?”
So, I decided on doing a little research on the subject wondering why so many of the subscribers that take this approach and just how much money they think they’re going to make by doing this… Surprisingly a lot of the sites that contain the information seem to give with one hand and take with the other. The information on the viable success of such blogging reads all the same: you have to work for it. You have to have be very interactive with both the visitors that leave comments as well as being social and commenting on other people’s sites. It’s a time and mind consuming sort of “career” that is just as taxing as working a day job. And then right after reading about the potential for failure if you don’t have the right stuff (je nais se quoi) comes the sales pitch of, “…if you contact me, I’ll help you with getting started and improving your skills at making money…”
I could link those sites, but the fact is, I don’t want to promote this sort of attention… It’s easy enough to Google on your own to see the info (and build up the necessary cynicisms); just plug in “facts about making money on a blog” and there will be plenty of sites for that sort of information. And you can also come to your own conclusions by doing so as well.
The thing is, when going to these subscribers that transformed their sites into a “you too can make money doing this”… I’m not getting the warm and fuzzy feeling of success. Call me a “Doubting Thomas”… Call me a cynical, old curmudgeon.. Hell even call me a Debbie Downer… Yet, from the years of being on the Internet and dealing with the good, the bad and the ugly that society has to throw at me in the world of characters and pixels, I can’t see all this, “when I’m not doing this, I’m doing something incredibly fun and recreational <insert hobby here> instead of a job…” actually working… Instead of such successful images of telecommuting lectures and seminars to bringing in the interested and those wanting to work from home, I’m getting instead the same sort of slave-labor/pennies on the dollar money making tactics used on Nigerians (and other third world countries) for sending out Viagra or Out-of-the-Country Pharmacy Spam (to name a couple off the top of my head) to everyone’s e-mail in-box by the butt-loads only to have $6.00 in your pocket at the end of the month and being banned from yet another ISP. $6.00 might be worth something in Mexico, or some country that relies heavily on the power of the Euro or the American dollar over their own local currency, but that sort of income barely buys a Happy Meal here in the states.
What doesn’t help matters any is that I’m also seeing barren, bot-like blogs whenever I visit such sites; with just enough personal info showing off “living the good life” but no interaction with the world (cyber or otherwise) around them. They remind me too much of a pamphlet left on a chair during one of these 45 minute lectures given to Avon, Mary Kay, Bankers Life Insurance, etc. seminars trying to get new people into their “work force” (and yes, I’ve inadvertently ended up going to one too many of those in my long and interesting career changing moments).
Funny thing is, I made mention of my research into blogging for money when I was talking with my friend Glenn on FaceBook this morning, which of course prompted him calling me a whore for it. I assured him (like I assure anyone and everyone reading this), I wouldn’t dream of turning my site into some “contact me for making money through blogging…” for a number of reasons.
- I lack the gene for being a salesman. If the product does not sell itself, then no amount of coercion or influence on my part will change your opinion.
- It’s not my style. I’ve been keeping a journal since I was 17 and know no other way than typing stories, anecdotes, events, thoughts, perspectives other than the one that I have. A Journal/Diary/Blog is a testament of one’s ego (both hubris and humility)
- Being able to write my thoughts privately or publicly is a gift that should always be free. Not something behind a pay wall or some machinations for making a buck.
And most importantly,
- For as long as my ramblings, my stories, my thoughts, and my struggles through life and pain and what not touches another human being that stops to read it. That touch being the realization, “I’m not alone in this” pain, this struggle, this whatever… If it brings a smile to one other person, or tears of joy, or any emotional response. Then I’ve accomplished my goal of changing the world, one person at a time.
Which leads me to the next point… To those subscribers, artists, eclectic types, renaissance men (and woman) that subscribe for my fractal art, my demented and often times over-active imagination and my writings. I would like to say to you:
I’m not always vocal about my gratitude to friends and strangers… I am however always appreciative.
To those that try to make money off of their blogs… I would also like to thank them for subscribing and wish them the best of luck in their attempted endeavor; with one caveat. That caveat is don’t expect me to reciprocate a subscription. I like human beings. I like people that are able to either taking a picture, making art through the use of mathematics (hell, even drawing as I lost that ‘talent’ when I took up my calling in computers), writing an experience, a story from their lives, talking about their dating woes… Anything that proves to me, “there’s a human being behind those words…” Sure I’ll look, but if I sense a robot there, well then… don’t expect much attention after that.
And with that, I can now put the soapbox back to its original use: as a footstool while I’m watching television shows or movies online.
Off I go for the moment… To binge on some random program I only occasionally watch. Until the next time.
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