Click Bait…

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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.
 
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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)
 

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17 Comments

  1. Sydnee Coleman November 1, 2020
    Reply

    Lovely blog Mr. H, and in conclusion to last weeks blog, I’m not even married yet so no troubles there, and as of today’s ad, the first thing I saw was cancel subscription, which my first thought was NEVER!! And then it was for free TV lol, so who knows

      • Susie November 1, 2020
        Reply

        They say necessity is the mother of invention but in these days of Covid you have outdone yourself. With the new year coming have you given any thought to a calendar with unpublished pictures of you and your family…and of course Tessa, with your witty and hilarious captions? I for one would love to buy one

    • Lorraine November 1, 2020
      Reply

      Loved today’s blog Dom. I never pay too much attention to ads but today’s ads on the blog are for boots – maybe made for walking (to the divorce lawyer) and a deli and for sustenance on the way
      Well done Sam on the podcast with Emma for Alex’s Wish. He handled it like a pro, asked the right questions and had empathy with Emma, a really good podcast all round. Well done again. You taught him well Dom

  2. Ari November 1, 2020
    Reply

    Ads sure are strange! My ads were for quitting vaping (I don’t do it just to let everyone know) and for a Christmas sweater which was questionable. To anyone seeing this, have a great day!

  3. Stacy November 1, 2020
    Reply

    The ads I got today were for taxes and for the book from the dude that founded Chipotle . Your blog clearly knows I have no one to divorce. Can’t wait to read the comic essays.

  4. Jess November 1, 2020
    Reply

    Lovely post. My dad will agree with you on technology! Doesn’t matter how many hours I spend trying to explain anything, he doesn’t get it. He also shares your absolute determination to not understand what a “meme” is. I feel as though all the dads in the world have a secret society against memes and understanding technology. Do they?

    • Michelle November 1, 2020
      Reply

      Well, I am a little disturbed about the adverts for me this week. Apparently Doug Ford (mayor of Toronto) has secrets that I must want to know..I have ear wax that needs cleaning..and Guardasil..the HPV vaccine. What does this say about both of us?

      • Erin November 2, 2020
        Reply

        I am a fan from the US. I look forward to ‘swiping up’ on your Instagram story each Sunday to read your blog. I’ve never quite noticed the bot advertisements, as I usually try to scroll quickly past them. However, today I took notice to find multiple Motorola and Honda ads (4 of each to be exact). Unfortunately, I am not in the market for either but I do hope this helps provide insights on your reach! Take care and have a wonderful week, look forward to next weeks read.

  5. Erin November 2, 2020
    Reply

    I am a fan from the US. I look forward to ‘swiping up’ on your Instagram story each Sunday to read your blog. I’ve never quite noticed the bot advertisements, as I usually try to scroll quickly past them. However, today I took notice to find multiple Motorola and Honda ads (4 of each to be exact). Unfortunately, I am not in the market for either but I do hope this helps provide insights on your reach! Take care and have a wonderful week, look forward to next weeks read.

    • Katie Curtis November 2, 2020
      Reply

      Hello Dom!

      It seems you have turned the ad’s perception of your marriage around this week as I am now seeing advertisments for Jewelry from Jared’s ‘For your forever travel companion.’ I thought you would enjoy that fact nearly as much as I enjoy reading your blogs each week. You have such an insightful perspective on many relatable topics and it’s always a joy to swipe up to your latest revelations. Please do tell Nicki to keep up the search as I’m sure I’m not the only one anxiously awaiting to read it someday.

      With love from the US,
      Katie

  6. Rachel Conrad November 2, 2020
    Reply

    Advertising algorithms and good old Big Brother always watching sure makes the internet a whole lot of fun.
    Just today, my sister and I were talking about rings (the phone was off and across the kitchen), and we received an ad on YouTube for rings not five minutes later. We sure weren’t going to Jared’s or Kay Jewelers anytime soon.
    Really enjoyed the blog this week! The only ads I got were for Nike undergarments.
    Looking forward to your book and next week’s blog!

  7. Victoria November 2, 2020
    Reply

    I didn’t have ads today because I’m not on WiFi. I feel glad now

  8. Victoria November 3, 2020
    Reply

    Today’s ads consisted of a grinch sweatshirt, voting for tomorrow’s debate (which, I’m not even old enough to vote) and socks that flipped off 2020. Not very much like your blog

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