Today marks the 3,615th post in the (now) eight year lifespan of this website.
If you haven’t noticed, I’m heavily into milestones because to me they best represent certain points in life. For example, I usually mention the fact I’m on a post number with a multiple of 500 as it should be sometime in 2014 when I make it to 4,000. By the same token, almost every December 1st since this site’s first anniversary in 2006 I’ve written a piece about where this enterprise has been and where it is going. Today won’t be an exception.
One would have figured this to be a down year for monoblogue because it wasn’t an election year in 2013, but the signs point to my readership actually increasing slightly. For most of 2013 the readership line on my Google Analytics stayed 10% to 30% ahead of 2012′s numbers, aside from a barely slower summer this year. Unfortunately my Analytics was down for about a month last fall; however, I determined from looking at my StatCounter reports that naturally my October 2012 numbers were 58% higher than 2013′s but those figures from November of last year vs. November of this year will likely be nearly identical once I get the summary later this week. So I would expect October 2014 to be a banner month, and the state probably did me a favor readership-wise by pushing the primary to June, which is generally one of my slower months. It won’t be next year.
I chalk that increase up to being a better promoter of my work, although I think being named one of the country’s best state-based political blogs by the Washington Post didn’t hurt, either.
When I wrote this summary last year, I had two writing goals in mind for 2013. One was to finally make it to CPAC, and even though it was just for one day I indeed attended the venerable event held outside Washington, D.C. It allowed me to meet a number of my cohorts from around the country, which was a plus. Certainly it would have been more helpful in that regard if I could have made it to the Blogger’s Bash, but when you are an hourly employee and work comes on someone else’s time schedule sacrifices sometimes have to be made.
One way I was hoping to escape that economic necessity was by working on my second book; alas, I made very little progress on that front. Maybe I haven’t sold myself on the idea I’ve chosen, which I think is unique but requires more dedication than I’ve given it. Perhaps I’ll find a little more time in 2014 but honestly I’m not holding my breath with my current situation.
Yet I think there is a way I can provide a useful service. Not everyone agrees with my methods, and others pout about how they believe I judge moral equivalence, but those who exist behind the scenes and don’t seek to grab the headlines or attention are perhaps the most loyal members of my fan base. If my numbers went up (or at least held serve) between an election year and a non-election year, that seems to indicate I have a fair idea of what I’m doing and have some talent. Never mind I’ve also outlasted dozens and dozens of Maryland political sites – go back to this list and ask yourself where the others went.
So the question becomes one of how I improve the situation to make myself more useful to the pro-liberty movement? I know readers have helped a little here and there by rattling the tip jar or buying my book – for some reason, November has been by far my best sales month of the year – and I certainly appreciate the support. But while monoblogue serves me as a great base to practice my craft, this enterprise isn’t nearly enough financially – and that’s all right. Unless people are going to start throwing a couple grand a month at me to advertise here, I really don’t think that by itself monoblogue is going to be my financial savior. It’s a hobby which takes on the average an hour or two of my day and it makes a small profit, so I’m okay with that.
But in reading a lot of the GOP candidate websites, I have to say that their writing style and conveyance of message leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve talked to insiders who complain about the same thing, and actually alerted one of the gubernatorial candidates about a glaring error in his platform, which has since been fixed. Yet when reading the websites on the other side, I don’t often see these problems – the message may be counter-productive to the state as a whole, but it’s presented in a readable way. So maybe I can be of service? I mean, I won’t work for free, but I don’t think I’ll be all that expensive and proofreading is really your friend. Just let me know.
As for the site itself, I think it’s in a pretty good place. It may need some freshening up in spots and those improvements will come as needed. On the front I just discussed I have a couple advertising leads from candidates, but I’d love some good ads for products and services which will appeal to a potentially large Maryland-centric audience. (I can think of a couple businesses which could use exposure throughout the state, but are locally centered around Salisbury. They would be great clients if they want to take the leap.)
One feature I think will become a jewel is the one I started recently called GO Friday. (The GO stands for “guest opinion.”) It’s off to somewhat of a slow start but there’s true potential for growth there. GO Friday was intended to give voice to up-and-coming bloggers trying to build their own audiences out of my reader base, but it’s open to anyone with a good opinion. It also gives me a breather to work on other avenues, such as the aforementioned potential writing tasks.
And don’t think I’m abandoning some of my other features like Shorebird of the Week or Weekend of local rock. I think there’s still plenty of mileage left in both, although the latter hasn’t been as prominent lately.
When I started this enterprise, I said from the beginning it wouldn’t be totally political because then I’d get burned out. There are days I’ve struggled to keep pace with my personal goal of daily updates (and I missed one this year because of an internet outage) but with that rare exception it’s been one goal I’ve accomplished. Fortunately I’m not prone to writer’s block and have something I want to say so the combination works well.
Anyway, this is where monoblogue is at as it begins its ninth year. Hope you enjoy the ride as long as I do.
If this looks similar to what I wrote the last couple years, you’re right! But why mess with good sentiment, I always say.
As always I’d like to take a little time on this holiday which values family and the things we hold dear to wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving.
In my case it will be spent with both friends and family, although technically I haven’t married into my significant other’s family (we are engaged, though, so that’s a start.) Once that occurs it will give me something more for which to be thankful.
For those who travel, it looks like the weather in these parts will be conducive for doing so, if a little cold and windy – looks like we escaped the snow and ice, though. I have about two hours of driving between the two stops for which I’m scheduled, but luckily both are both pretty much off the beaten path so traffic shouldn’t be an issue.
So I hope all of you who take the time – whether daily, weekly, or even a first-timer – to read my site have a great holiday. Even though times have been somewhat rough over the last several years, I’m thankful for what I have and look forward to spending time with people I hold dear. If my Lions can run roughshod over the Packers and actually win a Thanksgiving Day game for the first time in ten years, so much the better.
After today, we’ll be into the hustle and bustle of trying to find the right Christmas gift and making New Year’s plans, so it’ll be five weeks of overdrive for our schedule and overindulgence for our bodies. So take the time today and relax. Work will be back before you know it.
Oh, and if anyone tries to spout off Obamacare talking points at the family table, keep in mind that cranberry sauce stains – so aim carefully. Or just throw the drumstick at them, then alert them to reality.
Happy Thanksgiving, all. And for my Jewish friends, a Happy Hanukkah! Today is the first full day of that celebration, and I heard this is a once-in-a-lifetime coincidence.
I think I plugged this once or twice early on, but as I wrote on the subject a couple weeks back I figured I had no shot of winning a Mobbie Award for Best Political Blog or Best News Blog simply because it’s more or less a popularity contest. I have good readership, but not necessarily within the Baltimore Sun‘s primary readership area.
So now that I lowered expectations enough, I found out last night I finished 10th of 14 in Best News Blog (won by Baltimore Brew) and 8th of 18 in the Best Politics Blog (Maryland Reporter came out on top.) Although I cracked the top 5 last year in the latter category, over the years I have generally ended with about the same overall placement I came in this year. Mine was the top finisher outside the I-95 corridor, though, so I’ll take it.
At least I beat out Governor O’Malley.
There were a couple winners in other categories for whom I cast a few votes, most notably Chesapeake Journal in the Lifestyle Blog category and The City That Breeds in Best Humor Account.
But I would like to thank all those who nominated me and took the time to cast a ballot or two my way. I’d be curious, though, to know how this would have turned out if you could have voted for more than one in a category.
In the meantime, I hope those who attended the bash enjoyed the free food. While they were partying I was getting stronger signals that a particular rumor may be true – we’ll know for sure soon enough. Once I find out, you can bet I’ll be analyzing the effects of the change as the days pass. It’s what I do.
It wasn’t quite a garden party, nor did I reminisce with old friends – I made a couple new acquaintances, though.
Regardless, the music was pretty good so I decided on the spot to make this volume 56 in the long-running series and place it the day after volume 55. Why not make a single weekend of it? Because the events happened 15 days apart, that’s why. And while Kim had mentioned there would be a band at the party, I just assumed it would be some cover band playing old standards. So I was pleasantly surprised by the difference from expectations.
Anyway, from what I read about Muskrat Sally, they are originally from here but they don’t often play here as they make a lot of appearances across the Bay.
Many of the songs they played while I was there I didn’t recognize as covers, but once I heard them I immediately thought of a much more well-known performer, George Thorogood. Like Muskrat Sally, it seemed that Thorogood plucked a number of retro blues tunes out of obscurity, put his own stamp on them, and sold them to the masses. In fact, their finale was a song Thorogood remade in the late 1970s, “Who Do You Love?” And they indeed played one standard – what band doesn’t know “Mustang Sally” by heart?
What makes Muskrat Sally different and unique from other similar local blues acts, such as Tom Larsen, was the female vocalist and performer. It also afforded more interesting banter between songs. (Interestingly, she’s not listed on the websites. Maybe this was an all-star band of sorts? It’s a private party, so why not?)
And since it was a party with presumably well-heeled clientele, why not make a little money on the side? (Literally.)
If you liked slide guitar and gritty old blues, this was the band for you. They had my toes tapping as I ate some barbecued pork (it was a pig roast, after all) and batches more food and homemade beer than I probably should have (just the food, not the beer. I could tell it was potent stuff.) Fortunately, there was still plenty left for the band when the sun went down and it became too dark to play out there. (Hence, the reason the photos are dark. My cell phone doesn’t do bright backgrounds.)
I’m certain that many a band has played an event like this – literally in someone’s backyard on the grass, with part of the pay being all the food you can eat. Sounds like a lot of fun, and if I’d thought about it maybe I would have dusted off my moribund YouTube channel for a video. Too bad we didn’t get there earlier when the light was better.
Since it’s likely we’ll have an invite next year, we’ll see if Muskrat Sally makes a return. They certainly played well enough to deserve one.
Subtitled: the 5th Annual (Save the…) BreastFest edition.
I’ve been to all five of these events and I have to tell you this was probably the most successful. They finally got the two ingredients they needed to maximize success: a location in Ocean City and a Friday night slot during Bike Week – the last few StBFs were relegated to Thursday night.
But more on that in a bit. Let’s talk about the bands involved – by the way, all of them volunteered their time for the cause.
We arrived a little late so we only caught the tail end of Elwood. Hearing their last few songs, I was mentally kicking myself for not being ready to go a little sooner because they were solid. They also play a number of originals, which to me is a plus.
Chainbreak came on next and pleased the bikers with a collection of songs that included some Southern rock covers. If it’s Bike Week in Ocean City, you will hear something from Skynard, Molly Hatchet, or the Allman Brothers.
Veteran musician Lauren Glick and her Moodswingers were up next, and she belted out a number of old favorites.
Before I get much farther, I need to note the creator of the event, Michele Hogsett.
She’s the beauty and the brains behind the (Save the…) Breast Fest as a cancer survivor herself. And she shrewdly recruited her husband Jim to serve as the emcee of the event.
The reason I bring this up here is that they got a lot more busy once Lauren Glick cleared the stage. It was time for Semiblind.
Like Lauren Glick before them, Semiblind showed why they’re still a popular local group after nearly a decade of playing. I found this video from the event as the band jammed out on the Ted Nugent classic “Stranglehold.” That was their final song of the evening, but the rock wasn’t over by a long shot.
Like Semiblind, the next band has made all five StBF events, and they vowed to keep coming.
Now if you want to discuss a group which doesn’t compromise on being heavy, Witches Brew would be that group. They hammered out a lot of hard rock staples from the 70s through the 80s, and actually served as a good complement to the final band of the evening, Vivid Season.
If you add about a decade to Witches Brew’s playlist, you’d get Vivid Season. They concentrate on songs put out during the last 15 years or so – not to say they don’t throw in older stuff, but it’s arguably the most current of the groups who played. (Semiblind will play some more recent stuff in their extended shows and as I noted, Elwood does quite a few originals.)
Yet while all the music was going on, my friend Melissa was selling raffle tickets. This WAS a fundraiser, you know.
Each of these little bags represented a raffle prize, with everything from free hotel accommodations to golf to apparel to tattoos and bike accessories in the mix. The list of sponsors grows a little each year.
Now I didn’t take any photos of the contestants in their tattoo competition, but I did snap a shot of these luscious cupcakes.
Speaking of luscious cupcakes, it should be noted the event sponsor did quite well this year.
The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition raised $1,609 from the event, which Michele said doubled their take from last year. Going from Thursday night to Friday night was a lucrative move for the group, for whom StBF now seems to be settling in as an annual occurrence at Pickles Pub.
The last photo I’m throwing in for fun.
If they can hold their spot, you may want to pencil in September 12, 2014 on your calendar for the 6th annual event. With an attitude like that, it should be a good time.
Once in awhile I turn this site over to commentary from others, and this is one of those times. More on that thought in a little bit, but allow me to give former Maryland GOP Chair Jim Pelura some space to sell his choice for governor, Delegate Ron George. I took the liberty, though, of slight grammatical editing as needed.
Why I support Ron George for Governor
By Dr. Jim Pelura
Martin O’Malley states on his website: “Governor O’Malley knows that small businesses are the foundation of our economy, providing 2 of every 3 jobs in Maryland,” and, according to President Obama’s web site: “President Obama is committed to helping America’s small businesses grow and prosper. Small businesses are the engine of job creation and essential to strengthening our national economy.” Furthermore, “President Obama is committed to creating an environment where America’s small businesses – our engines of job creation – can prosper.”
It is well known that I don’t agree with anything that these two men say, however, they are both right on target with these statements.
As a small business owner, every day I am burdened by the heavy hand of government regulations, laws, taxes, and fees that do nothing more than support a bloated, inefficient bureaucracy and stifle all attempts to grow my business, hire new employees and benefit society in general by providing a needed service and being self-sufficient. We are proud of our businesses, our independence, our service to our fellow citizens and proud of the fact that we contribute to society and are not a burden on it.
Unfortunately, Maryland has become the poster child for an oppressive government that strangles private business and burdens taxpayers to pay for an ever expanding entitlement society.
Ron George has the perfect blend of experience to lead our state as the next governor.
Ron is the only candidate that truly understands small business. For over 25 years he has been a small business owner who knows what it is like to suffer under the oppressive business environment that the Democrats in the General Assembly and the O’Malley/Brown administration have designed and perpetrated in Maryland.
In addition to his private business experience, Ron possesses extensive experience in the workings of the Maryland General Assembly as an elected Delegate for 7 years and serving on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
Ron’s perfect storm of experience is just what Maryland needs to grow and prosper, and I believe only someone who works in the small business private sector understands where the real potential for Maryland lies.
Ron George knows what is needed in Maryland and has the perfect mix of public and private experience to fulfill that need.
Please join me in my support for Ron!
Now it’s my turn. No, I have no substantive beef with what Dr. Pelura wrote – my point is this.
For the longest time I have attempted to serve two masters: this website you read here and my outside work schedule, which includes other writing jobs as well as a “real” job which essentially has grown over the last few months from part-time to full-time hours. Through all that, I have managed to keep something new up here practically every day, and not all bloggers can say that. Fortunately, I write fast when I need to!
In this case, though, Jim’s piece came at a perfect time for me to introduce a concept I’d like to try; something which would suit a number of purposes: give me a little bit of a break from the creative grind, perhaps give exposure to up-and-coming writers – believe it or not, by Alexa rating this humble webpage is in the top 250,000 sites worldwide – and perhaps build up a network to be leveraged for whatever purposes I find necessary.
What I’d like to do is turn over my space each Friday to different voices, a “guest opinion Friday” I’d call GO Friday for short. (I thought the title catchy.) This doesn’t have to be a candidate advocacy piece like Jim wrote, but can be a subject of state or national importance expressed with a conservative viewpoint. All the writer would have to do is send me something he thinks interesting, a little bit of a biography line with a link to their site if they have one, and if it’s good I’ll put it up.
Now I realize I run a risk here: there are a lot of people out there who send me solicitations about providing content for me. I’m not looking for content mill stuff, I want pieces which are relevant and interesting. The fact I’m turning over a portion of my overall content does not mean I will accept a decline in quality.
Anyway, if GO Friday works out you can expect different commentary here on a once-per-week basis. If not, I just figure out a way to keep grinding. Either way readers don’t lose.
Boy was I out of the loop. I was working hard this week at my outside job so I missed local events like the Charles Lollar appearances here in town – in that case, his Eastern Shore coordinator and fellow blogger Julie Brewington was Johnny-on-the-spot for coverage. The same held true for national events like the Ted Cruz filibuster and subsequent Senate vote. I didn’t listen to talk radio this week, either – pretty much for me it was work, look at the pile of e-mail I have, try to get some kind of post up here and do the work required from another writing client (besides you, my readers), shrug my shoulders, and take my aching body to bed for another day’s toil the next day.
In the last few weeks, my outside job took me to the back of a number of local grocery stores, most of the local outposts of a nationwide pharmacy chain and discount store, and a few various sundry other places. In particular, the jobs where I would spend several hours at one location assembling a large display gave me an opportunity to listen in on how people think and what they talk about. And let me tell you this – those with whom I most closely involve myself in the political world live in one hell of an echo chamber. Perhaps it’s the unwritten rule about not discussing politics or religion at work – although it was written in a store I visited today – but I really never hear talk about current events in my travels, aside from how the football games are going on Sunday. (Yes, I have worked a few Sundays of late, which tells you the hours I’m keeping.) It’s mostly internal gossip if anything.
All that traveling around I do also takes me to several small communities on a weekly or biweekly basis, so I notice changes there as well. Many of the smaller towns to which I travel have their share of vacant buildings, but once in awhile I see signs of progress like the newly-opened restaurant in one small town I frequent or the small spec commercial/industrial building on a main highway that’s been sitting vacant for a couple years finally getting finished out for a tenant. It makes the failures I see a little, like the little store which gamely tried to survive but only lasted the summer easier to take.
I think we tend to forget, when we get caught up in political arguments on Facebook or scramble to update our blogs with the latest moves in the gubernatorial chase, that our little world is pretty small compared to life in general. We can get totally immersed in it, but seeing as I make most of my living outside that realm I suppose I may be more grounded than most. Yes, it’s making it that much more difficult to get to writing book number two, but I guess I’d like to sell more of book number one anyway.
All this time working, driving between stops, and otherwise trying to keep everything together has got me to pondering the future of this site. No, it’s not going away; instead I think I have a couple ideas for improvement but I’ll keep them under my hat for now. In the meantime, I have a crapload of e-mail to get to and it’s been a long week. There’s a couple posts I’ve been meaning to get to for awhile and I think you’ll enjoy them once I get back to squared away. I’ll just be happy to get my evenings back again.
Twelve years ago, timed to the moment this post will come out in the morning, our nation was changed forever. And while we debate the merits of intervention in yet another far-off country, it’s worth repeating that this American won’t forgive or forget.
But as I wrote a year ago at this time:
With the exception of the very first year I had this website, I have chosen to write a tribute of sorts on 9-11. I’ve told you about my experience (twice), reflected on how it affected the presidency of George W. Bush, the “different and lacking resolve” of Barack Obama, and how we need to stay strong. I even reviewed a 9/11 book recently.
So it’s somewhat hard to lay out new ground to cover. But I still feel the somber occasion of 9/11 is important enough to devote a post to…
…Few who experienced the day would want to live through it again, but I think it’s vital to dredge up the unpleasantness because the fight is far from over.
When I wrote this, however, I had no inkling of the events which would transpire later that evening in Benghazi, Libya. That rendition of 9/11, in any other administration, would have spelled imminent doom with an election less than two months away. But somehow our President (who shall not be named today) got away with murder, at least in the metaphorical sense. So I would be remiss if I didn’t point out a bid by Watchdog Wire for the usage of the hashtag #BenghaziWatch today.
Yet one has to wonder how much more Americans will take. It’s not hard to recall the images surrounding the seminal event of our lives: four planes hijacked and turned into missiles, destroying two of our most prominent structures and badly damaging another, the grounding of our private airline fleet and subsequent birth of Department of Homeland Security, the ruin and rebuild of our financial nerve center, and so forth. Not much can halt professional sports, but 9/11 did: a week’s worth of baseball and NFL games were postponed by the events along the East Coast.
It’s not a perfect analogy by any means, but there was a period in our nation’s history, spanning perhaps thirty to forty years, where we lived in dread knowing a situation wouldn’t be solved without the high likelihood of bloodshed. Even in the days of our nation’s founding, the question of slavery was a vexing issue which was kicked down the road through a series of compromises until no more middle ground could be had and the two sides fought a war to determine whether states could choose their destiny or not.
Similarly, radical Islam seems incompatible with the ideals of a Constitutional republic such as ours. In some respects, what we did in Afghanistan and Iraq was a compromise because, frankly, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11/01 there would have been few Americans who objected to turning the Middle East into an uninhabitable sea of glass. We certainly possess the capability to do so, although it obviously would risk a far larger Armageddon. Yet the question which we will have to ponder is whether compromise is possible, or if 9/11 turns out to be the first battle in a latter-day Hundred Years’ War.
Their side has no problem waiting, so how long can we be vigilant in response?
Some of you who have stuck with this website through thick and thin know I also moonlight on the side for a website called the Patriot Post. Each week my editor Nate sends me a story idea (or two or three) which I turn into one of the articles in the week’s Digest, which used to come out every Friday.
But one recent change now means the Digest comes out three times a week as it added elements formerly found in what were known as the Brief and the Chronicle, which came out Monday and Wednesday, respectively. So today’s edition was the Monday Digest.
The other change which was made was to their website, which now allows each individual article to be looked up rather than having to go through the whole thing to find my piece. (It’s not like I don’t know what I wrote, although at times it’s edited judiciously due to events which may have happened after I sent in my draft.) So it’s with pleasure I can now steer you to the piece I wrote for Friday’s Digest, but was bumped to today thanks to all that went on in Syria. (It wasn’t necessarily time sensitive.)
So for those who have asked what I do for that newsletter, on occasion I just might share with you some of my better posts. But I would also encourage you to read the rest of it because there’s 30 or so people like me who do the job of putting it all together, with no advertising and only the support of freewill donations which mainly go to pay their full time staff and keep their lights on. (All that is probably cheaper in Tennessee, where the Patriot Post is based.)
And because I tend to write on the same subject a number of times over a long period – Nate and I have sort of a running joke about how often I’ve written something about the Chevy Volt, for example – having the individual article links available will eventually make my job there easier, as I’m sure it will for the other writers as well. I know I’ll be taking advantage of it as I can.
And now for something completely different…
I’m rarely linked by Len Lazarick and the Maryland Reporter website, but I can’t help but think that some of the impetus behind this piece he wrote came from something I penned just the other day. Certainly I’m not crying plagiarism, I just thought the timing was pretty good as he had an opportunity to make a point along the same lines as mine. Great minds think alike?
But Len probably noticed as well that, having been to several events where Charles has spoken, I can testify that he has a compelling manner that plays well with an audience. David Craig is a nice guy but I almost see him as the Mitt Romney of the race – and we all know how Mitt fared once he got out of his primary.
There’s also some other questions turning in my mind about the top-ticket race, and over the next few days I’ll see how I can answer them. Be looking.
I had a couple ideas for a post to place here this evening, but one has blown up into a more major story that I’m still investigating and hope to have for the beginning of next week, and the other wasn’t turning out the way I liked so I decided to scrap it for now. I’ll probably revisit the idea in a few weeks; it wasn’t time sensitive.
But it occurred to me yesterday that a year and a day had passed since I put out my first book, So We May Breathe Free: Avoiding Ineptocracy. Frankly, it hasn’t sold as well as I’d like, and I think in large part it was because I didn’t know the first thing about marketing a book; in fact, while it took me a long time to write – because I shelved the idea a couple times in the process – I really rushed to get it out in the summer before the election. This was especially true once I found out the traditional route to publishing can take many months.
There is a concept I’m playing around with for book number two, which is underway but a long way from completed. I was hoping to have it finished by the end of this year, but with the demands on my time it’s probably looking like at least 12 to 18 months out. The way it’s going to be set up, I will have to complete the draft and then tweak it as a whole to update it with any new information and ideas I come up with in the interim. That’s how I completed SWMBF.
Right now I’m envisioning it as a follow-up to some of my writings for Liberty Features Syndicate, an outlet I wrote for weekly for about a year in 2009-10. The title I’m working with is 600 Words, which refers to the ideal length they desired for my pieces, as they were intended for distribution to whatever newspapers took them. There will be a subtitle as well, but I haven’t figured that out yet – the original draft of SWMBF had a different subtitle, but I changed it to Avoiding Ineptocracy at the last minute. I was afraid of making the title too long and the original was lengthy.
But I think once I get 600 Words around 1/4 of the way completed, I’m going to try and devote a little time and effort into marketing and perhaps some outside editing insofar as placing the book in a good electronic format. Obviously I didn’t know everything about the craft of writing a book, and looking back those are the two areas I should have invested more time into. Those who purchased SWMBF haven’t had many complaints about it, so I’m guessing the writing is pretty sound.
It’s not often I solicit comments on this site, although they’re always welcome. I guess sometimes I say all there is to say. But presumably the hundreds and hundreds of readers I get a week receive some satisfaction out of what I write, and to me they are very important.
So what ideas do you have to make 600 Words a success? (Maybe they can still be applied to SWMBF as well.) I’ve even thought about starting a Kickstarter fund for enhanced marketing, a catchy cover, and finishing work – all of this costs money and I’m definitely not a wealthy man. SWMBF was literally a one-man operation and I learned a lot, but the biggest lesson was that this time I’d like a little help in making the second effort a success.
And I said it all in – you guessed it – 600 Words.
It’s time to comment on more idiocy from people who have something to sell. Let’s begin with this gem:
I work In business development with Newsmax Media, in Boca Raton, FL. I just wanted to drop you a line and say I am a big fan of your site, and I am interested in a digital partnership with Monoblogue
The goal of this campaign is to place a 300×300 box on Heavy for pay.
Newsmax can generate a substantial amount of passive revenue by adding a small, but valuable bit of content that your readers will enjoy.
We currently have over 700 publishing partners, You can see examples of our “newsfeed” on (redacted)
By adding the newsfeed, you are generating a tremendous amount of guaranteed revenue, you are increasing run time, you will be engaging your readers longer, and most importantly, you will not be cluttering your page with ads. We value your sites readership and will provide world class health/finance/world/ political news for them to enjoy.
The newsfeed is a non-performance based model, unlike Outbrain and Taboola which are perforce based or ppc products, we will guarantee you a fixed monthly fee every month for hosing the newsfeed. It doesn’t matter if the newsfeed gets 1 click or 1,000,000 you will receive your fee.
As far as compensation, I would be happy to review your traffic , and discuss the revenue Newsmax can generate for your site. We pay a $.50, CPM, because this is an editorial based module, we pass less than banner or display ads.
When a reader does click on a newsfeed story, a new window will populate, helping increase your sites run time.
During the test period we track clicks/impressions, our long term goal is to come to a 12 month agreement.
Please let me know what you think, all feedback is welcome. Please let me know what I have to do, in order to satisfy your needs.
Thank you so much for your time and efforts.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Admittedly, this guy is apparently a living, breathing human being. But I think I need to make a little more than a couple dollars a week since that’s what 50 cents CPM would translate to. In fact, for most sites it would be pocket change, although at one time Newsmax was getting 3.8 million pageviews a month – that would be $1,900 in revenue based on their own calculations – and they’re a PR7 site with a top 300 Alexa rating in the U.S. I don’t read it all that often, but Lord, do I hope this guy doesn’t do their actual writing.
But if you think that offer is funny (or insulting), the skewering this guy gave them was priceless.
Even so, I actually made this guy’s e-mail look a lot better than it was – it came double-spaced but still riddled with the errors you see there. As I often say, proofreading is your friend. I’ll grant you probably sent this out to 200 blogs at a time (hence, the way the field took the word “monoblogue” with an additional space) but there’s no excuse for some of these errors.
So, Kevin, my friend, if you are out there and you REALLY are a fan of my site, you would see that I have a menu item up top called “Ads.” In it, you would see that an advertisement such as the one you seek is $100 per year. My public school math tells me that’s $8.33 per month, or revenue in your case from 16,666 impressions. If you “value my site’s readership” you should be falling all over yourself to pay that premium to advertise on one of America’s best state-based political sites (not my words, it’s in the Washington Post.) I’m not just some schmuck out there.
Oh, and for the rest of you: feel free to clutter my page with ads.
Apparently I’ve also become popular with Mike Thomas, the “Success of a Salesman” pitcher from last time. He reminds me of that bit from Animal House with the hapless fraternity pledge being whacked with a paddle: “Thank you sir, may I have another?” Well, here you go:
My name is Mike and I am hoping you can show your support for fair trade by mentioning this fair trade directory. I had done some searches about fair trade and found this page of yours where you talked about it:
I was hoping that you wouldn’t mind just adding a link to the words fair trade in here to the directory:
Maybe there is a better fit page or you would like to add something to your blog. If you would like, we could write an original post on any topic related to fair trade for you.
Also, if you would like to be added to the directory you need to become a member and contact us to add your company. To do so you will need to first link to the directory and than we will add your company. That is all it takes to get more traffic to your site coming from this directory.
Let me know which option you would like to take and I really do appreciate your time in helping to show your support for fair trade. If you have any questions or comments please let me know.
I about busted a gut laughing at the idea of getting “fair trade” from a Shorebird of the Week post. Upon reading the piece in question I figured it out:
There’s no doubt Branden Kline would like to go to Baltimore and ply his baseball trade as a member of the Orioles, but his next step would be to go home. (Emphasis mine.)
Talk about a deep search! Of course, now that I have mentioned those key words in this post, Mike will be writing me back in a few weeks and pestering me about adding his content to this post. No thanks; shoot, you’re not even dangling the princely sum of 50 cents per CPM like old Newsmax Kevin above.
I probably don’t get a player to be named later in the trade, either. Then again, I may be negotiating from weakness as evidenced by yet another SEO guru wishing to help:
- Your site has been affected by Google Penguin due to over optimized with poor quality links. There is more than thousands of anchor text links found in poor quality directories and bookmarks sites.
- As per coding error validation, there are errors in coding found. This creates big problems in the path of search engines crawlers when they visit and navigate through your website.
-Your site has Alt-tag missing. You need to optimize the images from search engine’s point of views.
- Keyword stuffing: There are over use of keywords in your site which is all spamming.
-All your pages haven’t been indexed. Only a few pages have been indexed. It shows Google has banned some of your web pages.
Above mentioned are some of the most important issues which need to be taken care of, if rectified, these issues can rank your website on the top of search engines like Google and you can easily dominate the market.
If you are interested, we can help you to recover and improve your site.
Oh yes, I’m sure I can easily dominate the market. But I don’t feel like dealing with the “more than thousands of links” and “errors in coding.” Really?
Listen, I just write. I don’t write to please a Google Penguin master, and I don’t have a lot of time for “Tania Delmar” with an address of website (dot) marketing (dot) sales (at) (common e-mail provider) – who, by the way must suffer from multiple personality disorder because he/she has a Skype handle with “Tony” in it as well. Maybe he/she is related to marie felipe from last week.
But it’s interesting to me if Google indeed banned some of my web pages; after all, I am a conservative so I suppose I can wear this with a badge of honor.
Perhaps this is the start of a new business idea, though: I can take the vast sum of money Newsmax is promising me and open a new website, hiring Mike Thomas to wrote all the content, and getting Tania/Tony/Sybil to optimize it for SEO. That’s the ticket, problems solved!
I’l just sit back, collect a cut off the top and laugh at the dog chasing its own virtual tail.
A few weeks back I poked fun at the hapless people who have plenty of advice on how to build my business through link sharing and SEO suggestions. They didn’t get the hint, so I decided to make this an occasional series and really ridicule them.
First off, someone’s Maryland site needs help:
My name is Marie and I am the site administrator of the site (redacted). I’m emailing you because our site is quite new and we need help from our fellow Maryland blog.
Can you please let me guest post at your website’s blog with the link of our site at my bio at the end of the article. Since your blog is about Maryland news, I can write about that or I can write about any topic you would want me to write.
It would be a pleasure if you would allow me to guest post at your blog. Thank you and I’m hoping for your positive response.
If Content Is King, Then Keywords Is Queen…
Number one, who in Maryland uses the salutation “good day”? I think “marie felipe” is somewhere across an ocean.
Second of all, why would I mess up my brand by awarding guest posts willy-nilly? I have had guest posts in the past, but they are germane to the broad subject at hand. Moreover, if you could write about any subject I wanted, it would likely have nothing to do with the site you claim to represent.
But the postscript gives it away. To me, content IS the absolute king and keywords might be the royal taster. Or maybe it cleans out the royal stables. My keyword is integrity. And shouldn’t it be “keywords are queen”? Seems awful plural to me, although I suppose the analogy would have to be extended to “keywords are queens” and that may raise the ire of some special-interest group.
Speaking of keywords, these damn SEO experts still seem to think my Google page ranking isn’t high enough. By the way, aside from redacting the free advertisement I post these exactly as written.
Dear Website Owner,
While searching the web we found that your website does not rank page 1 on google. 85% of users searching the web will never find your website unless you’re ranked on first page of Google, MSN and other major search engines. On the top of this with all these google update animals around ( Penguin & Pandas ) Its not easy to get page 1 and stay there to keep getting business.
Would you be interested If we can help you rank your online business first page of major search engines ?
Our company is on the first page when you search on Google for our primary search term “SEO Company.” We would like to do the same for your web site so you can come up for your main keywords as well? All of our processes use the most ethical “white hat” Search Engine Optimization techniques that will not get your website banned or penalized.
Leave aside the fact this is poorly written and came from an e-mail address with “carolyn” in it but was signed “Billy S.” There is a conundrum they don’t address: how is it they found my e-mail address and website if it wasn’t on the first page of Google? (And yes, Billy/carolyn, Google is always capitalized. Proofreading is your friend, although being actually fluent in English would be a close second for you.) Obviously I have enough of a ranking they felt they had to address the issue.
So why does my website: monoblogue.us needs SEO? (Yes, that’s the way it was written in the subject line.) Hell if I know, so I think I’ll pass on the generous 15-day free trial they offer. So far I’ve done well enough with the 2,700+ day free trial of building my audience from scratch in an SEO-free manner. And by the way, my wager is that they are Page 1 because they sponsored a link. If I wanted to pay I could be on page 1 that way as well.
They didn’t even argue content was king.
Finally, we have this:
My name is Mike and I noticed you talked about sales success and CRM software so I thought you would be interested in this infographic resource on the Success of a Salesman.
The reason why you want to post this (besides the fact that people like visual resources) is because it has a lot of great statistics and information for those interested in sales. For example, searching for information takes up to 24% of a sales person’s time which costs approximately $2.6 billion a year in lost revenue for a Fortune 500 company. Having an infographic like this will bring traffic to your site for years to come.
If you want to post it, all you need to do is copy and paste the text above the graphic. If you have a piece of content that you are trying to get out there please let me know. Also, to return the favor, let me know the URL you post it on so I can build links to your page, increasing your traffic, rankings and authority for that page.
If you have any questions or comments please let me know. I look forward to hearing back from you.
I’m not sure I’ve talked all that much about sales success, but I can pretty much guarantee you I’ve been silent on the subject of CRM software, well, until today that is.
The one thing Mike failed to mention is just how “an infographic like this will bring traffic to your site for years to come.” Now I will admit this seems a lot more legitimate than most offers I receive in that Mike had contact information at the bottom of the e-mail and the company he represents has an internet presence selling – you guessed it – sales CRM software. But I have several pictures and cartoons on my site and all they seem to bring me are spam comments. Yes, they are there to tell a story so they are indispensable but the one he was marketing did not.
And I think I know how I attracted their attention. This is from the company’s PR release announcing its American operations:
At the foundation of the development of the company and the Pipeliner product is a business philosophy based on the Austrian School of Economics.
With my somewhat libertarian leanings I’m sure my site has devotees who favor the Austrian School. This one wasn’t so bad but I simply have no context in which to place their infographic. Now if they want to buy space, we can perhaps work something out.
Maybe the Google search for “libertarian-leaning sites which poke fun at spam e-mailers” struck gold with that one.