I wrote last week about the strain of writing a blog and what to write each week. In truth I exaggerated this ‘strain’ for comic effect because in most cases, something occurs to me and I don’t have to push too hard.
As happened this week in fact and concerns the reaction to last week’s blog. Of my regular readers, I wonder if any might have an inkling already or how long in to reading this post, that the subject of this week’s post might become apparent?
As you may know, I am not a fan of technology. How we have all become so beholden to it and the inexorable power and wealth that this confers on the tech giants. A problem compounded since so many of these all-seeing Goliaths hail from one country and the distorting political power that this brings to bear.
After all, the internet is global. A world wide web, invented by a Brit for the world to avail of but it seems that America and more specifically, Californians have come to dominate it.
Microsoft, WordPress, YouTube, Google, FB, Amazon, Netflix, PayPal, Excel, FinalDraft, Adobe, Instagram, Uber, eBay, Twitter, IBM, Apple, Oracle, Yahoo… and lets throw Patreon in also.
Maybe these companies are just the best. That they have the best ideas and the best people but you see my point about their dominance and the hold and influence they have.
Which just so happens to be a world I am fully signed up to and entirely dependent on. Eight months ago in Dubai, had I known it would be my last gig of 2020 (and who knows, maybe forever) I would have been even more panicked as I grabbed the mic.
Step forward Patreon then, to give me something to cling to. My vulnerability as a live act laid bare and suddenly I’m relieved that I took a stab at writing books – available via Amazon, Smashwords, Ingram Spark, Lulu… which all happen to be US platforms btw.
And this blog (wordpress, US) for allowing me a voice and a way to propagate old books and new and aided by the US social media platforms. And everything written on my Apple (US) computer and using Bill’s software.
Currently, all the corn on my table is at the behest of US companies.
But it is not just the income potential this presents but the emotional nourishment also. Self-esteem is impossible to audit but never underestimate its value. Since I dropped off the TV, having a popular blog is important. I am grateful to have a readership, the majority of whom are American btw.
Writing last week’s blog was easy and fun for me. Poking fun at my wife and our domestic ‘bliss’. You might wish to go back and read it now for context and to see if you can guess the thrust of my writing this week.
Once I post a blog, I am a little craven to my Google Analytics App (US) – its schematic of the globe with user dots spread across it is very seductive. As is the all-important number of eye-balls on the blog (readers) because this translates directly into cash. The more readers, the more income…
And it’s a strange thing how my mind works; how it remains engaged and driven by this even when the money is of no real consequence.
For instance, at the time of writing this (Monday 26th October, 9am), the income generated from last week’s blog stands at £4.07p.
Hardly a game changer and yet my interpretation of this figure is that its better than nothing and it all adds up (albeit slowly)…
This income hails from advertising on the blog and collected by Google AdSense (US). A simple equation applies - the more readers, the more ads that appear and the more the advertisers pay – which explains the term click bait and the online rabbit holes we have all been seduced into.
I am indebted to a reader, Mr Nick Mellors for alerting me to the adverts assigned to my blog last week – placed by bots and depending on what the blog pertains to. For example, if I write about personal hygiene, then very likely that adverts for bars of soap will appear. The idea being that it might prompt or nudge a reader into purchasing some soap.
But last week’s blog was more oblique and difficult to define. A comic essay about clutter and Nikki’s forlorn search for her project on MLK. A snap shot of domestic life which many people in the comments (which I’m always grateful for btw) pointed out was just like their own homes.
And so who should advertise on my blog last week?
A load of law firms specialising in divorce!
Mr Mellors even sent me a screenshot and I was flattered to note that these law firms specialise in divorces of high value/income individuals. As far as I am aware, Nikki and I are not getting divorced and with Coronavirus, I am in a band of zero income.
There is nothing wrong with advertising. Companies paying to demonstrate their services and wares. It is a viable income source for bloggers and clearly my site becomes more valuable if readers click on the ads that are placed.
But, whilst I want my site to be successful for both my readers and my advertisers alike, I sincerely hope that NONE of my readers last week felt prompted in to action by the ads I inadvertently exposed them to.
“…I was enjoying Dominic Holland’s blog when suddenly I saw an advert for a law firm, specialising in divorce and it was just the nudge that I needed…”
And ahead of posting this today, I am excited to see what the robots makes of this weeks post and which advertisers can be persuaded on-board, if any.
If you enjoyed this blog, then you might like to know that I am about to publish Dominic Holland Takes on Life, 31 comic essays on the peculiarities of my life and yours. One essay for each day of even the longest month. In paperback and hard back and in time for Xmas. A perfect anti-dote to lockdown. Available on this site and usual online (US) retailers.
Coming Soon... (I hope)