What started in 2012 has become a reality in 2022, yet the reality isn’t quite what I had in mind. Writing is what started, originally for a website called All Voices, which was a citizen journalist site working from a revenue-sharing model (is no longer around). This was very exciting to me at the time, an ambitious writer in his early 30s, a person who had been internet starved throughout his twenties and early thirties and now had access to the online world — the world was awaiting my opinions, so I hoped.
The reality ten years later is what could be called a scrambled blogger or a scatterbrained writer, forlorn in the shadows of obscurity and lost in the wide efforts of his ambition. The whole “eggs in the basket” idea has turned into ashes in the woodstove, as little efforts spent far and wide equal little payoffs in the proverbial basket. It’s not even the stretched-too-thin problem that has rendered my efforts nearly penniless, it is the lost ambition to write and the loss of focus on what to write and where that has really taken the wind out of my sails.
Now, in my early 40s, I look at the internet differently. It isn’t a place where I can just say anything, rather it is a place to carefully speak to an audience that is shifty and heavily stimulated. In truth, the audience has become very picky and mostly concerned with their own efforts. No longer is a writer someone who has paid their dues with poverty and obscurity; now, they are instantly seen and appreciated, if they employ the right template of success and use the right tactics.
Regardless of these changing times and peoples, what is it about my own writing ambitions that have plummeted from the millions of handwritten words in my journals of the past? What exactly do I mean by scrambled and scatterbrained? Let me try to explain.
As I said, I started with some citizen journalism and branched out to other revenue-sharing writing sites like Squidoo and HubPages. During this time, I also delved into content writing for Textbroker and HireWriters. Just to put some context to this beginning, I didn’t even know what an URL was when I began, much less how to copy and paste. The learning curve was steep, yet I was up for it back then. This ambition led me to create some blogs with Blogger and WordPress. I eventually got to the point where I monetized my blogs with Google Adsense and affiliates. I then branched out and started writing eBooks on Amazon. This actually sounds like a promising start, yet what happened?
Things change so quickly on the internet. Having to work my day jobs and dealing with the things of life just sort of zapped my ambitions. My blogs ended up being where I settled, yet my very basic and unpretentious mode of operation wasn’t working for marketing. If fact, my marketing or lack thereof has always been my main problem — I wasn’t willing to market or even care about my “brand.”
Branding myself never sounded very pleasant. Essentially, I became cynical to the entire attention-seeking process; as more and more internet users came along, I became less and less willing to fight over views and attention. Coupled with my research of conspiratorial history, I found myself at odds with the entire culture of online writing.
I’m realizing now, this doesn’t have to be. I don’t have to relegate myself to my obscure conspiratorial blogs. I have a lot to write about that won’t get me banned and censored from respectable places like Medium and HubPages.
While I have had some successes in my ten-year online writing career, I still haven’t found my groove and this disappoints me. What I realized was I wasn’t a very good writer! Yes, I do have the ability, or at least the drive, to express myself through the scant vocabulary I do have, yet the craft wasn’t/isn’t that extraordinary (it has gotten better). Of course, there is always editing, which is how I earned over $20k as a content writer. As a freelance writer, I’ve earned maybe $1,000 in total. Most of this was from eBooks, which I earn next to nothing from now. After hundreds of blog articles, I’ve earned probably $100 from the entire effort. I have 7 blogs by the way, monetized with Google Adsense and various affiliates.
The biggest claim to fame I’ve had is the publication Cracked highlighting one of my blog posts in an article to mock me. That popular article helped me get around 300k views for that one article, which is more than half of the views for that blog in ten years — this is my most popular blog.
I continue to try and improve my now archaic Blogger blogs, yet making money from them seems next to impossible. Realistically, a person needs to get 10k views a day to make anything significant. The most views I received for my most popular blog was around 5k a month. I don’t even use Google Adsense on that blog anymore, yet I still do on three blogs.
Medium Story and Hopes
This sad and strange story is why I’m here writing on Medium today. Is it so wrong to just want to write an article that someone may read? It may be that someone even wants to follow me. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging, yet I find writing serious articles there feels like writing in complete obscurity. Anymore, I just use my blog as a blog, that is, I just share videos and other media items there and talk about them.
Let me explain what is going on with my Medium account here. You may notice some articles here that seem like content articles for businesses. That is part of the scrambled blogger thing I’m trying to explain. Business and Society Articles was started to place my recycled content articles that were rejected from being bought by businesses. I haven’t been content writing now for around 4 years, so now there are some golf and music articles here too. Doesn’t this seem confusing? It does to me. I’ll explain.
I have a blog called Better Golfing Days, plus I’m a musician who has a blog called Robbie Lowdown0 Music. These are non-objectionable articles I felt were safe here at Medium. See, I used to have another Medium account where I placed all my blogs, including the conspiratorial ones. This didn’t work out, so now I have this account that uses my real name.
The entire writing online journey is scrambled because of these things. I write under a pseudonym with my blogs, except for the one this account represents. It isn’t hard to find my real name considering I even include it in my contact information, yet this is how I started so many years ago. At this point, how do I proceed is the question?
See, I’m not very good at being scrambled, I like organization and things that make sense. I like to give readers a clear understanding of things. Now, I find myself with all kinds of writing efforts all over the internet, and none that really satisfy my writing ambitions. This is why I’m writing here at Medium today.
Maybe I can just come here and write about different things that interest me and I can find a place to call home. Yes, I can still blog media items of interest and syndicate my articles from here on my blogs, yet maybe Medium is someplace respectable that I can call home? I’m even a member now so I can read other people’s writings, support them, and get more involved. I have so many things to say and write about, maybe this is the place I can finally settle.
I’ve been writing another eBook; it will be 50k words when it is over, that is the only real defining aspect of it other than being a creative journalistic effort with some semblance of poetry in areas. Not sure what I will call it. So far, I’ve written around 15k words.
You’ll have to excuse me for this article being too much about my writing, yet maybe it will be useful to someone, as it explains the experience of an obscure online writer who has written even thousands of articles online in many different forms to find himself here with a scrambled blogging brain. There are likely many out there like myself who have put significant effort into their writing, yet find themselves wearing thin when that extra effort is needed to get over the top to some dreamy area of writing success. Already, I’ve been more of a success than I thought I would be, yet I can’t say I’ve been fulfilled with my own efforts. Essentially, like any writer, I just want an audience that appreciates my efforts and the journey it brings me on.
I’m not a privileged writer trying to make everyone envious of my fantastical lifestyle, nor an overly intellectual snob that wants everyone to feel inferior to my writing prowess, nor even a self-righteous know it all who wants to berate the ignorant for their willing sloth and ambivalence. Rather, I’m just a writer who wants to express himself through words, to share what I find interesting, helpful, and profound in this life and world we are all sharing. Hopefully, this sounds good to some people and they will follow this poor writer with a scrambled blogging brain.
Originally posted at Medium on Dec. 9, 2022