I know, I know. That sounds like some sort of phishing scam, doesn’t it? You might not even read this, since that’s such a horrible title. Oh well. But I really can tell you the future of getting paid for the content of what you put out on the interwebz.
If you’ve blogged on Xanga, or if you’ve blogged for quite a while, you know (or, maybe you don’t..) that big time bloggers get their money from ads. How do ads work? What’s the model that they run on? How do you get your money?
Well, the most common form is CPM, or Cost Per Impression. Let’s use Google Adsense, since I’ve used this before (and we can also share how they fucked me over). What Google does is scan your content for keywords. They use these keywords to determine which ads to put on your website. This is important, because you want ads that are relevant to your content. What sense does it make to have a website dedicated to cars, but the ads on your page are for dating websites? I don’t know, maybe grease monkeys have a hard time getting dates.
Anyway, once Google scans your site for keywords, they place ads on your site that are relevant. CPM is a method in which you get paid based on how many people visit your website and simply see the ad. The problem with this method is that you don’t get paid very much, and you have to have tons of traffic to your content. For a thousand page views, you may get a few cents.
Another common form of payment through advertising is pay per click, or PPC. What this method does after placing relevant ads, is that you get paid for every time someone clicks on an ad on your page. For this, you also need very high traffic to your website. Because, how often do people click on ads? Really, it’s not very often. When I had Google Adsense, I was quite a popular blogger (seriously not tooting my own horn here..it’s important information to note). I had quite a bit of traffic, and every day I would check my Adsense. I got MAYBE 5 clicks a week, adding up to about a quarter of revenue. Google Adsense used both of these methods on my page, and I earned less than $50 in a year and a half of having it. For those that knew me on Xanga, know that I was frequently on the front page with my posts..so it’s easy to see how this model of getting paid for the content you produce isn’t very effective unless you’re someone like Perez Hilton.
The reason I lost my Google Adsense? Apparently, it’s against the TOS (really, who reads those things?!) to blog about sex, masturbation, and adult toys. I sometimes blogged about these things. The email I received cited a post I had done BEFORE getting approved for Adsense (umm. wut), several I had posted about a year prior to the email (so when my Adsense was relatively new), and some more recent posts. I was pissed off, because they’re allowed to have racy ads on my page (some of those Zoosk ads weren’t exactly appropriate!) but I’m not allowed to post racy blogs. Oh, and one post they cited was of some erotic fiction.
Before I move on, I should mention how YouTube pays their content creators for ads. You know when you watch a video, there’s a 15 or 30 second ad? Sometimes you can “Skip this ad,” but some you have to watch. Well, the content creators only get paid when you watch the entire ad. I don’t have any experience with this model, but it seems that you have to have high traffic to your videos for this to be effective as well, because most people I know (including myself) don’t watch the entire ad when they can help it.
So, now that I’ve said all of this, you must be wondering what my purpose is. As most of you know (since I’ve been blogging about it), I am a bitcoin enthusiast. I love the concept of them and how they work. A really awesome feature that you can have with bitcoin is a bitcoin tip jar. It’s a bitcoin address you set up where people can send you tips for content that they appreciate. For an idea about what this looks like, we can go to Porc Therapy, one of my favorite podcasts. On the left sidebar, you can see where it says “Donate Bitcoin” and “Donate Litecoin.” Free Talk Live has a bitcoin tip jar, as well as Soyryn Tech, who has a bitcoin address on his photo. Not to mention, Let’s Talk Bitcoin. They create a new bitcoin address for each episode they release, as we can see with their latest episode. This is a good way for content creators to see what their audience appreciates the most, and you can further narrow down topics according to people are tipping.
The examples I’ve given are for podcasts, but bloggers can obviously use this as well, and anyone else who creates other forms of content on the web. I think it’s important to let people know that their content is appreciated, and this is a great way to do it. As more and more people start getting into bitcoin, I think this will be a great way for bloggers and other content creators to get paid for what they produce, and much more effective than getting paid through advertising.
How can you get a bitcoin tip jar? You first need a wallet, which you can create at blockchain.info. Then you can go to coinwidget.com, where it’s really easy to set up a widget to add to your site. I tried messing with this a little, bit apparently you can’t use script in WordPress, you can only use HTML, and coinwidget gives you a script to use. I’ll play with it some more and see what I can come up with for WordPress..but you can certainly use coinwidget to put a bitcoin donation widget anywhere on the web you can have script.