Blogging represents freedom of the online press for the twenty-first century.
While mainstream media outlet news sources are owned by their parent companies, independent bloggers everywhere are able to deliver compelling editorials, opinion pieces and breaking news minus the message-dampening copy knives of would be senior editors. Good blogs just get the words out as their authors intend.
This freedom of publication is one of the greatest forms of expression and information available anywhere, any time and anymore.
Many blogging dissenters are dismissive of bloggers, referring to them in less than complimentary fashion. Here we do not engage so much in political battles as we consider them a waste of valuable space. If someone is able to derive benefit, garner or glean information not previously published anywhere before, however, it is considered completely within the bounds of online etiquette to make a donation towards the good works any particular blog may be performing.
In order to keep the flows of interesting articles, photos and features moving, many bloggers are in fact depending on your continued monetary contributions. The costs of maintaining websites, writing stories, editing, photography, establishing and consulting databases, researching and interviewing are much like gasoline and food prices—always escalating.
I was one of the early dissenters when it came to paid support for the blogging community. That was when I was only reading blogs and not writing one of my own. But once I began actively using this blog to inform and entertain people on a global level, it soon occurred to me that my labor of love needed (and still needs) monetary support.
People always suggest to me to run ads on hittingthesweetspot by Bob Skelley. I know this is one way of monetizing a blog and some people are quite successful with this approach. Personally, I do not like the idea of running ads. When I first began, I opted to pay a little more for an ad free version. I settled on WordPress because although it was not free, I considered it to be the best all-around value at the time I was shopping around. Before settling on the site’s current format, I even spent quite a bit of time experimenting with the blog’s look, feel and design. I was reacquainted with how much time designers can burn through while coming up with web site ideas. Of all the things I was spending time on, the look of the blog was not something I wanted to expend too many precious man hours on, but expend them I did (and have).
What I thought would make the blog successful or not, and what I feel makes any blog a hit or a miss, is its respective content.
I have found if you are not engaging your readers regularly you will not grow a blog appreciably. I watched how my original anecdotal pieces on life’s lighter side gained favor with a mostly United States audience. When I branched out to technology, and particularly Apple-related pieces, the international community suddenly became interested in the blog. With the help of my friends at macsurfer.com, I have been able to link to technology posts I have written here with wonderfully gratifying results. Although I use the latest and greatest technology intermittently, my production machines, to put it kindly, are a generation or two behind the curve. Evidently, a lot of the world can appreciate using older hardware and accompanying software to get the job done. And they want to know how to continue getting the job done with their beloved hardware and software of choice.
The blog has grown by leaps and bounds and the demands on our time have understandably become greater with this so far manageable growth. There are so many stories in the pipeline that are waiting their turn patiently for the top left spot of the home page. In addition to technology pieces, I get frequent emails requesting more financial reporting from the blog, too. Wall Street, even though we all have 401ks and IRAs, remains a mystery shrouded in secrecy. The variety of articles and stories covering financial printing and XBRL reporting service providers have been extremely popular. Although my technology and financial pieces generate great interest and enthusiasm, I am hesitant to publish too much of any particular type of content.
This is because I want the blog to continue to evolve, defy subject categorization, and with your help it will. Clicking the “Donate” link and contributing to our work here with either a PayPal or major credit card donation will allow us to keep bringing you the multi-media, photography and original content stories you’ve come to expect at hittingthesweetspot by Bob Skelley. We never want to go to a paid subscription only service and you can help keep it all free.
While we encourage you to sign up to receive the blog by email, we hope to always be able to have the site’s full content available freely. Some might prefer we go away, might not like what we say at times, but they should defend our freedom to express what we do, as we support those with differing views than ours to publish their words freely as well.
We’ll close with some urging for you to wear out the donate button up top. Well, maybe not wear it out, but consider leaving us a tip as you turn away and exit us for now.
In the immortal words of the great philosophers Bartles & Jaymes, thank you for your support!