The view from Right Now

Joe Sherlock has been doing this for a long time:

During the last fifteen years, a lot of new blogs have debuted with much noise, fanfare, acerbic wit, outrage and fireworks. I have enjoyed them but am disappointed when they sputter and die. You can’t sustain anything — a blog, a business, a show, a relationship — on hype and ambition alone. You must make a commitment and then work at it, putting one foot in front of the other on a regular basis. A lot of people don’t understand that. Running is impressive but plodding along is better than standing still … or being defunct.

And you never get there, as a lot of Quorans fail to realize, if your first question is “So when do the dollars start to roll in?” Fifteen years? These people won’t last fifteen minutes.

It helps if you’re not trying to Monetize All The Things:

There are no plans to expand my online presence. No Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, or podcasts. I want to enjoy my life rather than chain myself to a computing device day and night. Unless someone can present me with a compelling business case for doing so: “Show me the money.” Lots of it. No? Well, never mind then.

Fortunately for me, WordPress automates the RSS feeds.


  1. fillyjonk »

    18 May 2019 · 12:30 pm

    The other thing with “monetization” is that the blog then becomes A Job, and people expect stuff from you, and they feel entitled (or, perhaps, more entitled) to complain at you when you don’t talk about what they want you to talk about, or you’re not quite so snappy with the posts, or if you’re going through a rough patch and your writing suffers.

    Also see: why I will knit/sew/crochet things for people as gifts, but I won’t do stuff for pay or on commission.

  2. McGehee »

    18 May 2019 · 12:48 pm

    I can imagine a day when I pull the plug on my website for good, but I have a pretty wide-ranging imagination.

    What’s harder to imagine these days is me going back to a blogging platform such as WP or whatever. I’ve gotten used to the way I’m doing it, without comments, and I sure as heck don’t mind not feeling like I have to post X number of items in a week.

    I’ve never broken even from the web, let alone made a profit. The expectations I have from 17 years’ experience are low enough to know that whatever my output, I produce it because I want to.

    I liked the blogosphere best when it was a Don’t Quit Your Day Job passtime. I still fit best in that model.

  3. Roger Green »

    20 May 2019 · 1:28 pm

    I can’t even START to answer those QUORA queries about blogging and money. I have 41 requests and about half of them are like these:

    What are the steps for dummies to become a popular blogger?
    What is the best way to grow your blog and make more money?
    While I acknowledge that it’s impossible to predict exactly, is there a reasonable range of annual pay someone can expect from running a blog and YouTube channel if they are a good writer, and willing to study, follow advice, and work hard?
    How many visitors to your blog do you need before you can start to make money from it?
    Is writing a blog post still profitable today, what can I expect to make through ad revenue?

  4. CGHill »

    20 May 2019 · 6:52 pm

    If I thought it would discourage some of these yutzim, I’d post my balance sheet, such as it is.

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