There’s no money in music journalism.
When I announced my retirement from policing to spend most of my time writing about music, many of my friends assumed I had come across a new revenue stream. That is far from the case.
I will certainly pursue possible freelancing avenues. And it would be nice if I saw a halfway decent royalty check from the Bernie Worrell project down the line. But I’m not counting on it. Not by a long shot.
For a time, I thought there might be a way to monetize the efforts I was putting forth on this and my other social media pages. The advice I was getting was to get near 2,000 followers, then I would have something to show advertisers. They, in turn, would see an opportunity to push their products on my page, and we could both make a couple of bucks in the process.
Well, I’m closing in on 2,000 followers on my Facebook page. My writings on this page generate a fairly decent amount of traffic. I’ve gotten the attention of more than a few unexpected people. By summer (and pandemic pending), I could possibly see my way to seeking out a few advertisers.
Or so I thought.
Here’s the thing: I don’t really think it’s worth the trouble.
When I talk to fellow bloggers about the amount of money they’re pulling in, it’s not really enough to get me excited. Tennis legend Ivan Lendl once said, “Never spit in the face of someone trying to give you money.” And yet, that’s kind of what I’m doing. Though it could be argued that since I’m not going to seek the cash, then I’m not really turning it down, am I?
I look at web pages loaded with ads, and all I get is annoyed. I try to read an important article about a favorite musician, and I spend more time trying to work my way through pop-ups and click-bait. It’s annoying as hell. More than once, I’ve abandoned the article altogether, just because I don’t feel like dealing with all the ads.
When I look at my page, I like what I see. It’s clean. It’s simple. This is one of those times I don’t mind being thought of as “basic.” Because what you see is what you get. And that’s what I want for you. “Hey, I just published an interview with Gary Husband!” Where can I find it, they ask? “Right there on the front page! Just click on it, and you’re off and running!” How simple is that?
I don’t want to sully that. At all.
Yes, I put a lot of time and effort into this and the other pages. Yes, it would be nice if I could make a dime or two. But the modern music industry isn’t built that way, and I know it. For the time being, trying to prove otherwise is little more than a colossal waste of time.
The only thing I would change, to be perfectly honest, is to make the “follow” button you have largely been ignoring just a little larger, so that you might actually consider following my page. I’d love to tell you there’s some great motive of vanity behind this, but the truth is more followers looks better in the eyes of publishers, making things easier vis a vis getting my future work in book form a little faster. Publication, it seems, is a numbers-driven game. But I don’t really need advertising to increase my numbers, do I?
And then there’s this: I don’t like the idea of turning a buck on other people’s work. No doubt you’ve noticed that I frequently augment my words with YouTube clips of the artists I’m talking about. The artist rarely, if ever, makes any kind of money from those clips. So why should I? If my words and that clip lead you to look into and ultimately purchase work from that artist, then my work is done. I don’t need to see it in my bank account.
This could be easy for me to say because while I know I will have to get some kind of part-time job, I have earned an adequate post-retirement payout and a pension. I have some wiggle room, even if it isn’t very much. Advertising won’t do a lot to augment that.
So, I’m happy to announce that barring receiving an offer I can’t refuse (and nobody is holding his breath waiting for that), this particular web page will remain ad-free. No obnoxious pop-ups. No off-topic-distractions. Promise.
All right. Let’s get back to it.
Would you like to have your album reviewed? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org