Posts Tagged ‘blogging’
You may have noticed that I have taken the ads off of this site. I don’t know if this is permanent or not, because never say never and all that; however, it happened, and we all have to make our peace. Basically, I haven’t earned anything more than a cup of coffee per month from the various companies I have hosted in my sidebar(s), and if I’m not making any money from an ad I don’t really see why you should have to look at it. Also, I accidentally deleted the code for said ads and I am too lazy to track down a new version.
In place of consistent ads I have decided to do occasional sponsored posts. These, unlike the ads mentioned above, have paid me well, and if you have been following along with my lackluster blogging career then you know I need the money. Desperately. For instance, this month, thanks to the good people at Hyundai, Disney, and the Home Depot, my family will actually be able to pay most of our bills on time and eat, which are two of my favorite things, but mostly eating.
The point is, I want to be transparent about all of this, and I understand if you are not inclined to read posts that start with a disclaimer of sponsorship. You’re a purist and/or an elitist, and that’s okay. Some of my best friends are purists and/or elitists, and they don’t read my site even when the writing isn’t sponsored, and it hurts every single time.
I want you to know that what you get from me will not be compromised (for better or worse), and my agreeing to sponsored content is a) based on actual financial need, b) the quality of the products/companies involved, c) a sign of the times. I believe the quality, if I may be so bold, of the few sponsored posts I have done thus far speaks for itself. I am not going to promote something that I don’t believe in, and I am not going to throw a bunch of copy on the page (aside from the copy I am legally or contractually required to add) and spend the rest of the afternoon counting my money. There will be time enough for counting when the posting’s done.
Also, this month will not be representative in terms of sponsored content quantity. I was lucky enough to have multiple opportunities knock at the same time, and I let them all in. They’re still here, watching my TV and having some toast. Again, the eating. I cannot imagine that future months will find me as nearly well-fed.
In closing, I care about you, the reader. Especially you. I hope you understand that my trading ads for sponsored posts is a very positive thing for me, my family, and this site—I sincerely appreciate your support and understanding.
Blogging is all about ebbs, flows, and being too busy to maintain one’s personal space. It happens. I’m sure you are over it.
It’s not that I haven’t been writing anything of substance — I have. I’m just writing a limited supply of substance, so I have to put it where the paycheck is.
To that end, I would be thrilled if you took the time to read the posts below:
“I’m not even sure that I would want my kids to be popular. Yes, I want them to be liked by their peers and to have good friends, but there are a lot of trappings to popularity that I would rather they not deal with. First world problems? Maybe — but, and I’m painting with the stereotype brush here, I wouldn’t want them to feel that they had to be something that they are not. I want them to be, first and foremost, comfortable in their own skin. I’m basing a lot of this on Glee and various Disney Channel movies, so forgive me if my grasp of stereotypes is a little rusty.”
“What happens is that a sweet, sensitive boy becomes a monster. He yells and screams at those that play with him or those that tell him it is time to stop. He talks in quick, sharp daggers of hateful speech and he whines when we mention it. It is ugly.”
“The right for all people, in this case, all tax-paying citizens of the United States, to marry the person of their choosing is such an obvious thing that to fight against it is well beyond the bounds of politics and commonsense. To suggest otherwise is to declare an ignorance of history and to put oneself squarely on the wrong side of it.”
“…for every single note was a child’s wish, grown from whispers and wandering thought, written down with careful hand, and tied somewhat gingerly to the hopes of the wild.”
There are a lot of other things to do on the Internet, and I appreciate you taking the time to read the words that I fling on it. Also, I would like to thank BlogHer for naming me one of their 2012 Voices of the Year. The post that made it happen is “When Stuffed Animals Die.”
It starts with an email. Then there is a phone call. You might get some training on their system. There are some guidelines. You print out a contract and some tax forms, sign them, and email them back to sender. You write your first post. Maybe there is some feedback. Maybe you just keep logging on, doing what you were told, and you never hear from anyone. Your inbox may be full of jokes and community. Your comments may be full of hate and ignorance. You hope there is a check, and you hope they keep coming.
Other sites like what you do. They want your name, your talent, and your Klout score. They offer you various levels of pay and flexibility. The money is never good, but sometimes it is just enough. At some point you are able to cut the strings to a day job you have always hated and you spend the next five years working from home, writing for a living, and loving your children for stretches of time that you never knew existed. This is your benefits package, and it is everything you need but medical.
It could be you are in a new town and your wife has a new job. This is the fresh start you always read about. You might be staying with friends while you are trying to find the perfect home. There are big plans and family dreams and finally, it is the time to seize them. Everything could be coming up roses. Everything could smell just as sweet. But everything is full of thorns, and pretty flowers tend to mask the dangers lurking underneath.
Perhaps you are standing barefoot in the cool grass of your friend’s yard, holding a phone to your ear and straining to hear the words that are changing your life forever. Perhaps it is the third straw in as many months, and it breaks your camel’s back accordingly.
It ends with an email. There might be a phone call: It’s not you, it’s me. We’re letting go of everyone. We’re revamping the system. We’re going in a new direction. We need someone that will do twice your work for half your price. We love your writing.
And then the checks stop coming.
It could be that things will be okay, except that your well has run dry and you are so frozen with fear that you cannot coax your drive out of park. In a moment your big plans and family dreams are reduced to the facts: you are as good as unemployed and you do not have a home.
Your options are few, but options are all you have. Options are the rope that life likes to dangle like so many participles: a noose, a lifeline, a tug of war, and things you are at the end of. Life has a twisted sense of humor.
Maybe you look in the mirror and you see your children laughing through your reflection, and all you know is that they do not deserve this. Your hair is thin and it is growing grayer.
Just because I have to tell you that I’m tall, handsome and talented doesn’t mean it isn’t so. It just implies you have a loose grasp on the obvious, and I don’t blame you for that. I blame society. The obvious was much quicker to register when it wasn’t going so fast. We are all George Jetson on the treadmill. We all want off this crazy thing. Eventually. I’ll wait until I’m done winning.
There are things in the works and there are works unattended. It’s a vicious cycle. Like life (see, George Jetson). Once again I am standing at the crossroads and Ralph Macchio is about to blow the top off this joint. Steve Vai will be all, “Whaaa?”
My blogging career is going in a few different directions. I’m guest-posting. I’m speaking. I’m writing and editing at some incredible sites. I’m losing part of my livelihood, along with 900+ others at one site, and I’m in talks to rejoin some old friends at another. Things will be a bit tighter, but that’s been happening for a while.
For example, my jeans just ripped while I was typing this. Because this is an exercise. And I’m getting fat (see, 40). Hard to get much tighter than that.
You may or may not listen to the show we do (even though podcasts of said show are free). I get it, you’re busy.
You may not have bought my book. Don’t feel bad, I’m still writing it.
I have products to review that have been stacked here since Christmas.
What I’m getting at is that there are many paths open to me at the moment and some require more faith than others. They are all rewarding. They are all hard. They are not in direct competition with each other for anything but my time. However, they all draw from the same well, and it leaves me dry and in need of a drink. This is a metaphor, but I’m also mighty thirsty.
The point is that I felt like writing something for nobody, so I did. I needed to write sentences that didn’t have a deadline, demand a meeting or have pitches pending. Then I published it because I can, and like a virtual message in a bottle of freshly-finished whiskey it has floated, and against all odds it has found you. And that means more to me than you’ll ever know.
I don’t usually do Wordless Wednesdays on this site, but I’m tired of looking at that Admiral Hills story in the post below. That said, here’s the family at an apple orchard over the weekend. Nana was in town. It was fun. Yes, there are words on here. Do I strike you as the kind of guy that gives a shit? Besides, it’s Tuesday.
But seriously, we had a great weekend.