I went to a live show last Saturday night with a group of friends. The show was funny, and entertaining, but what caught me by surprise were the commercials in it. Yeah, commercials. See, they mentioned different area businesses several times during the course of the 3 hour show. Restaurants, a car dealer, just such as this. And I wasn’t offended one little bit. I just sat there stunned. The theater has bills to pay, see, and they had little sponsored bits right in the act. They didn’t apologize or cringe or anything. They just said what they had to say and moved right on. Hmm, imagine that. That had some implications for me as a paid blogger.
I try to do a good job for those who pay me for a review. Sometimes I know people just want links, the pay is low, and not worth spending much time on, so I don’t. I give them what they ask for. Other times, I know they want me to talk about their site or product, they pay a little more and I try to give them good value for their money. I have a job, I am providing a service and there is absolutely no shame in that.
So I think sometimes maybe I make it more painful on my readers by hemming and hawing and trying to make “thoughtful posts” between the paid gigs. I certainly make it more difficult on myself. I was up until 3 am last Friday night/Saturday morning writing and posting. Did doing it on Saturday make those posts any less commercial? No. In fact, I was so tired by the time I was done that that’s all the posts were. There was nothing left of me in them. (Bear in mind that I am not just talking about this blog.) The fact is that most of my paid gigs here are already thoughtful posts.
So here, I stand, looking at what I do. I’m a writer. I get paid for my words. The guy who fixes my car isn’t ashamed of his skills, and he very rarely does freebies. My husband is a computer technician. He doesn’t cringe when people ask him what he does, and he only works for free for family. Those guys and gals on the stage last Saturday were entertainers. They were pretty darn good at it, and even when they mentioned the rib joint right off the interstate, I was interested in what they were saying. And I had to pay to get in; it wasn’t a free show.
I’m guessing you maybe come here because you like to read what I write. I’m guessing that you’d rather read posts with some meat to them, even if they contain a paid link, than to have me throw up a short nothing post just so I can say something, anything that I “didn’t get paid for”. When you read a book, you know the author got paid for every word in it, right? But the book is still good, or you wouldn’t waste your time on it, much less your money. Now, don’t think that there will never be free posts on this blog. In fact there will continue to be posts that I write for no compensation other than my own satisfaction, such as this one. But I’m done cringing because I accept money for doing what I am good at. I’m not sorry I’m using my skills to better my lot in life, to provide for my children, to purchase some things that I want to have, not just what I need to have. I accept who I am. I accept what I do. I am not ashamed.
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