I have to say that I really like this platform…word press blog. I take it for granted. I am now on here in one incarnation or other for around ten years.
One good thing…it is FREE. It is literally Free Speech.
Of course it has different products, tailored to businesses and the “professional” blogger but as an elderly technophobe, I only get frightened by anything that would be an “upgrade”.
So “Keeping an Eye on the Czar of Russia” has never cost me anything. On the other side of the coin, I have never made any money from this Blog.
Sometimes when I look at this Blog, while travelling on the train or in a library, I am aware of adverts. Maybe this is an inconvenience for readers but it doesn’t bother me.
The reality is that I am retired old man. And I have no need to be a professional blogger. I have no interest in becoming an “internet influencer”. I have no interest in making a video on youtube and recommending hair gel (not that I need hair gel) and producing my own line of stylish Tshirts. Nor do I have any desire to get to know shock jocks like Nolan, Cawley and Carruthers so that they offer me a spot reviewing the morning newspapers.
So how exactly would I go about making (say) £20,000 per annum from this Blog. Well, I could get sponsored by “Werthers Originals”.
I could look into “Go Fund Me” but that seems a very irregular source of income…£5 here and £10 there from loyal and grateful readers seems problematic.
I would really need regular and substantial donations. But what individual could actually afford say £1,000 every year? Are there twenty people prepared to do that? I think not.
Maybe there are organisations or institutions who think that my Blog adds something to the public space in Norn Iron. That seems more likely. I cant see a cash-strapped political party like SDLP donating £1,000 to keep this broadly supportive blog going.
But there are some strangely effective organisations…and “influencers” out there. They like to fly under the radar. But would these letsgetalongerist and conflict resolutionists be prepared to give me some dosh? Although I try to be balanced, I have perhaps given the impression that letsgetalongerists and conflict resolutionists are a total waste of space. And to be fair…they are.
So what’s the point in a political party, an organisation or an individual contributing money to a Blog? Well of course, it might be that they are willing to support any contribution to the great “debate”. Possibly they would be willing to support a blogger who gives space or even support to their own views.
Or…maybe a case that the political party, organisation or individual who finances a blog…is calling the tune that the piper plays.
But frankly, this just compromises the blog owner. He/she is then forced into affording protection to his/her sponsors against the slings and arrows of those who do not share the sponsors views.
I have never “pushed” my blog (eurofree3.wordpress) for several reasons. As you point out at the end of your post, one is loss of independent thought and views through having to toe a sponsor’s line.
If you’re tossing up about making money from your blog you should work out what support you want/need, set out to find it and decide if the quid pro quo is worth it, taxwise apart from anything else!
I willheck out the blog.
I would never want a sponsor or any financial help. The blog costs me nothing . I am just intrigued by the business model in “commercial blogs”.
John, would you know many blogs back home making money off certain NGOs?
No blog here can survive on an occasional donations of a £5 or £10.
A blog would need a regular cash flow and not just from NGOs. Maybe from academic sources, “trusts” and public relations companies.
Some would certainly value the debate that a good blog can generate.
But the question is whether cash buys influence and whether a generous donor gets an easier time than a mouthy critic who has not donated a fiver in about five years.
I’m trying to think of any blog up North that could be influenced by money to speak kindly about some and kick others?…
To add……..theres not much transparency.