Before we get to my (financial) disclosure policy, I’d like to give credit to my peeps on flickr for some hot-stuff images:
Confessions of A Poorly (Barely) Paid but Shamelessly Aspirational Writer. A Blog Disclosure Policy.
Love is light. God is Love. Intuition is Queen. Cash is King. Danielle LaPorte
Disclosure. It is now the rule in the US (but I live in Canada so nya nya nya nya) and it is a common dilemma.
As bloggers gain influence, they grow opportunities to profit from their blogs. (Indeed, isn’t that the point?)
Then they have to ‘confess‘ that they’re getting freebies or sponsorships or risk getting called out on it which (apparently) results in a loss of credibility.
I’m dispensing with credibility from the drop.
Buy Me. Please.
I’m not even kidding. I’m a writer. That’s how I make my living. This blog is based on my writing and so we should all assume that I’m using it to try to make the aforementioned (and largely) imaginary living.
At the moment, I’m not doing that terribly well or at all. But John Chow is making about ten livings for himself and he has an audacious disclosure policy:
- I make money from every post I put on this blog. If I’m not making money from every blog post, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
- Every link on this blog is a paid link. If it is not a paid link, then it was an oversight on my part and it will become a paid link soon.
- Every product I write about on this blog, I get for free. If I didn’t get it for free, then there was a miss-communication with the company that sent it and I will be billing them for the cost so the product becomes free.
- I make money from every tweet I send out on Twitter. If I didn’t make money on the tweet, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
- If you email me, all of the information in your email is mine to do with as I please, such as exploit for financial profit, use as blackmail, or quote on my blog.
- The T-shirts you see me wear at trade shows. I get paid to wear them. If I didn’t get paid to wear them, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
- If something on the Net is making a lot of money, you can bet I will be in on it. If I’m not in on it, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.
- Just because I get paid to blog, tweet, wear T-shirts, etc. does NOT mean I will give you or your company a positive review, or endorsement. As a matter of fact, chances are pretty high that I might slam you.
There’s more. At the end of his gleeful nose-rubbing post, John Chow sends a shout out to the two sponsors of his disclosure policy. That’s right. He even made money from his disclosure policy.
Genius. GENIUS. Who is John Chow, by the way, and is he single? Because I want a piece of that.
Pity the Foolish Blogger (ME) Who Has Nothing to Disclose
I like John Chow’s approach to money: get some.
And he is getting some (yes, we’re talking about money, people). Apparently he makes $40K a month. I wasn’t kidding about him making ten livings. I like his style – and his numbers.
- Number of months spent blogging: 6
- Number of hours spent blogging: ~300
- Number of blog-related marriage proposals: 2
- Highest traffic day: 419 unique visits
- Number of writing contracts: 1
- Number of PORN t-shirts sold: 5 (three were to me. I don’t think I understand business)
- Average salary per hour: I’m not very good at negative numbers.
And you know what all of that means? That I’m doing a really, really bad job of being an online innerpreneur, and I should shake off the shame and go after money with sharklike intensity and focus. Or marry John Chow.
I choose the shark because there’s no conflict between money and art. Money funds art and like Amanda Fucking Palmer – but without the gothy legitimate badassishness and rebellyion – I’m not afraid to take your money in exchange for some hot shit writing and maybe, once in a while, a lil’ heartfelt and hard-learned wisdom.
I think the age-old money/art tension stems from the knotty idea that the quality, and the purity, of your work will suffer if it is massaged by money.
Let’s unkink that thought.
Poverty depletes my mojo and scares off my muse. Broke makes me frantic. When the bills are hungry, they consume most of my available brain power. My work can only improve with pay.
So, in the best interests of all of us, my art and my hungry kids (they’re not really hungry, don’t call the officials) I’d best get to getting a business plan and sources of revenue and maybe even advertisers. Because the daycare needs to be paid every month and so does the light bill and I’m not even in coffee money yet and what about the imaginary backyard swimming pool? A girl has goals.
Maybe LinkedIn is a bad example. I can’t be bothered with LinkedIn.
Let’s talk about something I would bother with and in fact get hot and bothered about: my new copywriting gig.
I Hereby Promise to Make Money AND Kiss Some Ass. Of Course. Maybe Even Yours.
Once upon a time, I wrote a piece in which I linked repeatedly to a writer whose company and blog I liked. I liked her style, I wanted her to know it, she was oh-so-quotable and I was copping her language, and so I kissed her ass with linkage.
Link love is called that for a reason.
And she followed me on twitter, and messaged me and we talked on the phone and it was mad love all around and now I’m subcontracting for her.
In the internet marketing world, there’s a lot of talk about converting readers into buyers. That bit of linky-love was ass-kissing that converted to cash. It might therefore be reasonable to assume – a la John Chow – that with every link I am either kissing someone’s hiney or getting paid. Or kissing someone’s ass to get paid. Or just kissing ass because I like it.
Do I have to disclose my ass-kissing, too? ‘Cuz that would be a looooooong list.
*This piece was sponsored by More On Mommy Blogging (or: Moron Mommy Blogging) and my hungry and aspirational wallet. That’s a metaphor but please take it literally.