I’ve decided to offer a way for people who read and enjoy my blog to offer some small support.
Previously, I’ve thought about ways to monetize, to get paid for the work I put into writing this. Ask anyone who writes, fiction or nonfiction, there is a lot that goes into it. Even those days when the words flow right from the brain, those words are there because of hours and days of thinking, researching, processing. Writers are like swans — gliding along gracefully requires huge amounts of flailing around below the surface.
I’ve rejected ads for a couple of reasons. One, they are annoying and can be intrusive (I’m looking at you, clickunder). Two, a lot of people block them with software (which, for people who are visiting and reading ad-supported blogs would seem to be a bit of a moral dilemma as blocking the ads is blocking the revenue stream of the creator). Three, and possibly the most important, is that I would have no control over the content of the ads.
This is something I cannot accept for myself. If I was relying on this blog as my primary source of income, I might, but since it’s always going to be a mostly free activity, I cannot justify lack of reasonable control over what people see on my page, because I am implicitly endorsing those products and services. Some would argue that it’s taking the devil’s money — when NewsMax advertises on AddictingInfo, for example, a left-wing blogger gets paid by a right-wing magazine.
But I shudder to think of what kind of ads would turn up on my page. I would assume that there would be ads from organizations and companies that claim to serve the LGBTQ community but erase bisexuality, for example. And even if I could get ads targeted specifically to bisexuality… the way we get treated in the media would mean a lot of sensationalized objectification — the kind I specifically speak out against.
I considered a PayPal “donate” button. I haven’t done that because I can never seem to find the right category for the donations. Consider it a quirk, or some kind of mental block, or perhaps a consequence of being on the autistic spectrum: if I cannot find a suitable category to define something, I get uncomfortable.
So up until now, I’ve been using sales of the ebook I compiled from the first 50k words as my only monetary compensation. It’s $5.99, and I get about 70% of that. In practical terms, it means I get around $8 every few months. Which I’m not going to complain about — the last two copies I sold bought a portion of tonight’s dinner (homemade burritos with nacho cheese sauce).
There’s a new way of supporting content creators these days, which is really a very old way. The website Patreon provides literal patronage: people sign up and pledge to pay creators either a monthly sum or a per-work amount. I’ve seen some of my friends do it, and it seems like exactly what I have been looking for — non-intrusive, 100% voluntary, with a measure of predictability.
One benefit, of course, is that if I know that I’m going to make a few bucks from spending some time and energy on turning my thoughts into something coherent and entertaining, I’m going to feel more incentive to do just that.
I’ve set the following conditions on my participation in the program.
1) I will never charge people a penny for a reblog of someone else’s work, or for content that is not original.
2) I will never charge for less than 1000 words of solid content. Those of you who have been following this blog for a while are probably laughing right now, as 3000 words is much more common in these here parts than 500.
3) I will never charge for more than 2 posts in one month. The reason for this is twofold: a) I have been known to write several posts in one month and then none for a few, and I do not want a supporter to get sticker shock from suddenly being charged for 5 posts when they were not expecting it; and b) for quality purposes, I do not want to ever find myself writing a third or fourth or tenth post just so I can make a little extra this month.
4) If I write a post for another venue such as Huffington Post or a guest blog on a friend’s page, I will not charge for its appearance here — only material that appears here first is eligible to be paid for by a patron of this blog.
So that’s my schpiel. If you’d like to tip the author as a one-off, the link to the ebook is on top of the the sidebar, If, on the other hand. you feel that what I am doing here is worthwhile enough to be willing to pay up to $2 or $5 or $10/month, please go click the Patreon link just below the ebook link. I appreciate it quite a bit.
And a huge thanks to everyone who reads what I write here. My greatest goal is to be useful to my communities, and this blog is one of the ways I can accomplish that.