Monetize This!

Am I having fun yet? I’ve spent the last few hours “monetizing” the heck out of my blog. It now looks like a gaudy Google Christmas tree. There is some humor value in tarting up my page, especially when a pro-Palin ad gets dropped on a screed about her gibbering bacterial culture of a life. But the irony is short-lived and then I’m back to being depressed. I shouldn’t worry, I know. To sell out, I’d first have to earn something. As Seth Godin writes:

Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love.

The pitfalls:

1. In order to monetize your work, you’ll probably corrupt it, taking out the magic in search of dollars
2. Attention doesn’t always equal significant cash flow.

I think it makes sense to make your art your art, to give yourself over to it without regard for commerce.

He’s right. I am focusing on what I think will make my site a “success” and draining the joy from writing it. On the other hand, I’ve subscribed to Mr. Godin’s blog to learn about marketing. If I agree with his philosophy, does that mean I should stop reading it? At least he won’t suggest a Crazy Eddie advertising campaign. (Remember him?)

I’ve discovered many useful tools: ScribeFire, for instance, which I downloaded to help me write posts more efficiently but ended up using to place ads. RankQuest is a service that has a CodeCleaner function that appeals to my anal retentiveness but also shows a reminder of my lowly Google Page Rank on its toolbar. I have Alexa‘s Sparky add-on and I pop over to SEOmoz regularly to check my page strength. For some reason it always compares me to Perez Hilton’s site, as if I could compete with him. (I like him better when he dresses like the villain in The Incredibles. Trying to look normal doesn’t suit him.)

I’d like to go off about the term “monetize” now, how it’s stupid newfangled jargon. I wish I hadn’t looked it up. Turns out it’s derived from the Latin moneta and dates back to 1879. Knowledge can be so disheartening. It kills a good rant in its infancy.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I need to concentrate on writing and not get mentally constipated about marketing it. Right after I ping Feedburner, Pingoat, and Weblogs, that is.

Magick Sandwich

Je suis arrivée!

I have arrived! This is such a proud moment for me. I received this email from BlogRush today, a wonderful company that helps bloggers get more traffic in exchange for putting a large link on their sites.

This message is to inform you that
we have carefully reviewed your blog:
Magick Sandwich
And your blog did not meet the
strict BlogRush quality criteria.

Reason Your Blog Wasn’t Approved:
Inappropriate Content Or Advertising: Obscene or Disgusting

Therefore, your blog has not
been approved for use in our network.
Please do not take this decision personally.
We have decided to only approve the highest quality blogs
for our network.
You should remove the BlogRush code from your blog’s pages.
If you improve the quality of your blog, and you feel that
it then meets our strict criteria,you can try and resubmit your blog for review after 30 days.
Thank you for your interest in BlogRush.
Best Regards,The BlogRush Team.

Oh my God, this is so exciting—my content is obscene or disgusting! Not to quibble, but obscenity and disgust aren’t mutually exclusive, are they?

But this is not a wholesale rejection. If I can “improve the quality” of my blog, I can reapply after thirty days. Does this mean I just need to be more tastefully obscene? What does this word mean, anyway?

obscene adjective:
1. designed to incite to indecency or lust; “the dance often becomes flagrantly obscene”-Margaret Mead 2. offensive to the mind; “an abhorrent deed”; “the obscene massacre at Wounded Knee”; “morally repugnant customs”; “repulsive behavior”; “the most repulsive character in recent novels” [syn: abhorrent] 3. suggestive of or tending to moral looseness; “lewd whisperings of a dirty old man”; “an indecent gesture”; “obscene telephone calls”; “salacious limericks” [syn: lewd] WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University

Wow. That sounds like a review of Pink Flamingos. I’m not fit to touch the hem of Mr.Waters’ raiment: he is the Jesus of filth. How will I know when I’m being obscene? Like Justice Potter Stewart, will I know it when I see it? I certainly can’t imagine how to reverse something like disgust. Frankly, I’m a little thrilled to excite such a strong emotion.

Somehow, this is like the maxim that until you are mugged, you are not a real New Yorker. I prostituted myself to BlogRush and they said, “No, thanks, come back when you’ve washed up.” Now I can say I’m a real Blogger. (And I can get rid of that frigging link!)

Copyright Magick Sandwich

Magick Sandwich

Once More Unto the Breach

The world does not need another blog, but I need it. I need to write but the idea of trying to get my work published paralyzes me. I would like to romanticize the Internet as the last bastion of lawlessness, where, for better or worse, anything can get in print. The problem is that everyone is doing it.

So I’ve resisted thus far. But I earned my degree twenty years ago and have published no more than a clever letter to the editor or two. It’s been nice to share work with family and friends, to take a class where my ego is massaged by professor and classmates (no pressure, no grades). I used to think maybe I could be happy being the person who writes funny emails or gives good quip at a moment’s notice. Maybe that could be enough.

I’ve denied and delayed but now face the choice: writing or the abyss. I guess this is worth a try. For me, writing is joy, my mind at play. The inter-cranial battle eases for a time. It shouldn’t really matter to me if anyone else reads it, but that would be a lie. My words will sit like a grain of sand on this virtual beach. I can imagine that a stranger will enjoy it. Maybe that could be enough.

Copyright Magick Sandwich