August 19, 2009

When Blogging Became A Business

Sometimes I think about writing a parody of You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore. It would be about blogging and how it evolved from something that we did for fun into a business that we hoped would make us rich.

Of course when I do write it I am going to have to send an email to the guy who said You Just Aren't that Funny. I kind of wonder what happened to him. For a while he was one of the resident trolls who used to haunt this place. Those few of you who know me in real life know that I feed off of that sort of nonsense. Tell me I am not funny and I'll find a way to make you split a gut laughing.

I can't help it, I am that talented. It is a burden, but I have broad shoulders and can carry load.

Back in those days only a few bloggers were able to generate enough traffic to pull in real advertising dollars and sponsorships were just a figment of imagination. Back then we didn't have discussions about ridiculous badges that proclaimed our innocence and trustworthiness.

Certainly more than a few of us harbored dreams of being discovered by a publisher or studio. There was always that silent hope that someone would read a post and decide that the world had to be exposed to their prodigious writing ability and pay them huge dollars to write a book.

I'll raise my hand and say that I am one of them. Seriously, I could do this for a living. I could write books, plays, movies or greeting cards for pay. Don't believe me, make me an offer and I'll prove it to you.

Yep, those were the days when we didn't skewer bloggers for a lack of transparency. You didn't read a review of a product and wonder why the blogger hadn't realized that it was obvious that they copied the entire sales sheet verbatim. Back then I didn't find entire sections of a blog outlining what the sponsorship policy for the blog is/was. And you certainly didn't find links to media kits there either.

A friendly word of advice to those of you who have a media kit or are thinking of creating one. If you are going to do it you better do it right. Don't use terminology that you don't understand and please don't rely solely upon a spell check to proof read your copy. Within the last three weeks I have reviewed more than a few media kits and found them to be problematic for all of the reasons I listed above.

It wouldn't be hard to write an entire rant about that alone. It is similar to telling your mechanic that your carburetor is bad when you car uses a fuel injection system. All it does is create a red flag that let's everyone know that you haven't got a clue what you are talking about. Keep it simple and you'll save yourself a lot of grief.

Of course the beauty of blogging is that we all have opinions that we can share and that was mine.

If you are wondering I don't have a disclosure policy because I don't write reviews for compensation. I have one spot on the sidebar in which ads run and I run Adsense in my RSS feed. Over the years I have been approached on numerous occasions with requests to do reviews and run sponsored text links.

Until this past year I had always turned them down because I didn't want to run that sort of blog. But the blog has evolved and in theory I have evolved. I have since decided that I am open to doing these things. It doesn't mean that I will, but if the opportunity comes around I am sure that I will consider it.

Ultimately it comes back to the question of why I blog. I blog because I find it to be cathartic to write about my life. I find it enjoyable to write short stories and I love the interaction. As long as those things continue I am sure that you will still find me here.

And that is all I have to say about that......for now. ;)

3 comments:

Mark said...

Well stated. Love what you do and do what you love and keep our ego in check so as not to sabotage that which we love for the sake of money.

westbankmama said...

Jack, you are so refreshing.

Jack said...

Hi Mark,

The big challenge in life is to try and find a way to make your profession that thing that you love to do.

WBM,

Thank you. I try, not sure how successful I am, but I try.