Saturday, December 29, 2018

Blogging v. Vlogging; payment processors rule the world

I must admit that I had not been aware of how vlogging (as opposed to blogging) had created a good income stream for many pundits and entertainers.  Yes, I had heard of Logan Paul and his redemption.

The recent fiasco with Patreon, Subscribestrar, Paypal and the like has brought to the fore the way some independent journalists depend on patronage and advertising income for a complete living (some sell books and goods).  But many successful vloggers were or are successful in a real world field first (especially gaming, it seems).

I remember that Blogtyrant sold his business in June after years of giving tips on how to earn money blogging.  For the most part, this works well only for niche blogging behind a well-established small business which it supports. Of course, a few of the biggest mommy blogs, like dooce, had done spectacularly well as far as I know.

I got into blogging as a natural followup on the footnote files and other flat text essay files on the legacy site ( that supports my three books. I started using Blogger in early 2006 and found it could make content “look good”.  It also could group content by label, making it convenient for a visitor to track the progress of an issue (like Section 230) over time. It takes less time to read a post than to watch a video.

The most money I made from adsense was in 2008 after the financial crisis.  In time it went down because of competition from Facebook.

There’s another wrinkle. Conventional wisdom holds that it is better to attach a blog to a domain you own and pay for, and Wordpress works better for that. It’s unreliable to depend on someone else’s free service, which could be yanked away at any time.  But YouTube is “free” too. (You can host videos on a domain, like News2share.)   The proper thinking is more nuanced. The business model of the hosting platform matters a lot, and this whole subject is changing with volatile politics.

Note in the video above (by PSA Sitch), that almost any patronage system, even new ones, will have to deal with the rules of global payment processors.

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