Interesting Development 9/3/20

News from Richard Bleil

An interesting email came today. Well, “today” meaning as of the writing of this post, but I’m a few days ahead so by the time this will be posted, we’re actually talking about a few days ago. Anyway, as it turns out, your all-time favorite free blog (I wish but I truly doubt it) is about to have advertisements.

This is a new world for me, and technically, that means I am a professional blogger. Okay, there are also professional actors who couldn’t feed themselves if they relied solely on acting income, and I imagine I’ll be such a blogger. Here’s the history.

Almost two years ago, I started writing these blogs as an experiment while living in the basement of my friend S R-H. Unemployed, without income, I was into a deep spiral into a dark abyss of misery, self-doubt and self-loathing. I had been released from the job as Dean, my contract was over, and after applying for literally thousands of lateral-moving jobs I had three phone interviews, and one in-person where I knew all too well that I was not their top candidate. Depressed and miserable, I didn’t want to interfere in my friend’s life any more than was absolutely necessary, so I began blogging just as a way to keep my mind active and to encourage myself to keep my hopes up.

Hosted on WordPress, I elected to go with the “professional” account for a couple of reasons. First, it gave me a unique web URL (BleilBanter.Blog). Second, it my had a much larger limit (in bytes) for posts, and since my posts do not include videos or photos this means practically unlimited posts. Third, it allowed for the possibility of generating income, something I desperately needed at the time, and frankly, still do.

There are a few mechanisms to generate income for blogs like this. The first is to include some payment link to accept donations or to make it a paid service, neither of which I like. Let’s face it, even after nearly two years, there is still something amateurish about my work, and that’s okay as long as you, my readers, enjoy it. Frankly, I prefer that if you enjoy my work, that you should do so free of charge. Still, that’s almost two years, nearly 650 entries, free of charge. At a minimum of 750 words per post (my goal and one that I have maintained), this is roughly the equivalent of seven average-length novels. That’s a lot of work.

The second method is to offer your site, your pages, and/or your posts for advertising. You’ve seen these in a lot of different places, and frankly, as long as they’re tastefully done, I don’t mind these advertisements. So, when I registered for my account, I offered my page. But the problem is that nobody pays attention to most of these blog sites, not until they reach a certain target level of readership, or followers, of some such target. BleilBanter has over 130 followers, 15,000 views, and has been read in over 50 countries, and before I go any further, I want to give a heartfelt “thank you” to everybody who has read my work. I cannot thank you enough.

So, today I received an email telling me congratulations and that I have been accepted into the advertising program. It doesn’t really tell me why, but apparently ads will begin appearing on my work. As you might imagine, part of the conditions is that, as the owner, I can opt out as easily as I can opt in, although, once I opt out they might not be able to remove any advertisements already embedded in my posts. So, I’ll keep an eye on it.

My only concern is the type of advertisements, not so much the content though. The AI used to determine which are the best advertisements to post can often result in comical results, but I’m sure there will be nothing really offensive. However, the kind of advertisements that I mean are the ones that are like self-defeating virus like ads. All too many times I’m trying to read an article when a pop-up will congratulate me on winning some “prize”, try to direct me to another page and won’t let me move on until I either do (which I never trust enough to follow) or until I give up on reading the article. I think maybe I’ll reach out to this service and let them know that if this kind of advert (as the British call them) shows up I will be opting out. Meanwhile, I hope what they do post is not too distracting, and I hope that you, my readers, will forgive me for “selling out”.

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