The Future of the Blog

The holidays have come and gone, and I’m back at work once again. Back on the blog too, if you hadn’t noticed. (Which I assume you already have, seeing as how you’re here. Reading this. Right now.)

I look forward to the last week or two of December the whole year. I take time off work and stay home. Visit with friends and family. Eat treats. Open presents. It’s a real vacation in the best sense of the word.

It’s hard to come back to “real life” in some ways. Easy in others. On the one hand, it’s fun to laze about and not worry about work and reality. On the other, it can get old doing nothing. At least it can for me. I start to get itchy, and there are things that need doing. At some point, I just want to get them done. Then there’s the kids, who have a great time having vacation, but they begin to get on each other’s nerves. (Especially when it’s cold out. It’s been in the negatives most of vacation.)

So I’m back now. Plenty of updates to go through over the next few days. Christmas presents. Goals for last year and this year. Family updates. That sort of thing. But I’ve been thinking over the course of the past few weeks. Looking at my life and seeing what things can be trimmed back. Where I can streamline. And while I’ve been shying away from ever looking too closely at the blog for this, this year, I decided to include it.

I blog each weekday, more or less. I’ve done it for almost a decade now. I enjoy doing it. I love getting thoughts down on virtual paper, and love reading what (most) people have to say about them. But make no mistake about it. It’s work. And it’s work that I’m not really compensated for at all, other than the warm fuzzies I get when I see many people reading a post.

When I started the blog, it was with the thought that it would get my name out there so that when I was a published author, I’d have a platform. And I do have that, but the internet has changed in the meantime. Authors can have platforms that are as simple as Facebook or Twitter. No need to churn out hundreds of words of blog posts each day for that. And so I have to acknowledge that the blog isn’t exactly a necessity for my authorial career either.

So what to do?

After much deliberation, I decided to basically put it out to my readers. I would love to continue to blog daily, but I need to have a reason for it. Some sort of a justification. And I put that “reason” at a pretty low level. $10/month. If there were enough of my readers willing to get together to pay at least $10/month (combined), then I’d take that as a sign there was interest enough to continue blogging daily. But if I couldn’t get that amount of interest, it would be a sign that I can cut back to just blogging when I feel like it. (I have no idea how often that will be. Judging from the past few weeks . . . not very often.)

How do I feel about asking for money for my blog? Well, seeing as how each post is around 750 words on average, and I write about 250 posts a year . . . that’s over 185,000 words, which is the equivalent of two novels. So I don’t think people are getting ripped off by their payment. And since I’m basically just seeing if 10 of you people will pay $1/month, that seems to be a fair price.

The great thing about this is that if I’m valuing my blog too highly, then I’ll find out, and I can stop putting as much effort into the blog. If people actually do value reading it, then I have the kick in the pants and justification I need to keep going.

Anyway. That’s where I am at the moment. For now, I will keep going with daily blog posts. But I’ll be reminding folks at the end of posts about the need to chip in money to keep the blog alive. If I can get to the $10 mark in a few months, then crisis averted. (If I get higher than $10/month, then I might be motivated to do more things, not just tread water.

Oh–and to contribute money to the blog’s survival, go to my Patreon page. You can sign up to give $1 or more per month. So I’m looking for 10 people to do $1/month, or one person to do $10/month, or . . . you get the picture.

Consider it an experiment. We’ll see how it goes. For now, thanks for reading, and have a happy new year!

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