The idea of a website that I can run, write my opinions on, and make a living off of is a tantalizing prospect. However, I am not the only person who thought of this idea. In fact, as I have said in my previous Process Posts, I am acutely aware of how unoriginal my creation is. Despite this, however, monetization is something I want to try. It is better than trying an idea and having a slim chance of it taking off than never trying at all.
Thankfully, I have many margins on my site that need to be filled up. I will put ads there, so they hopefully do not intrude the reader’s experience. I applied for Google AdSense, but it detected that my email for my Youtube Channel already had it installed (I don’t know how it did this, and it is very creepy). I had to connect my Youtube email and personal email to the same account so that I could apply AdSense on my site. However, I do not wish to employ ads immediately. I want to utilize the Child Theme I have been developing and edit the code to mold the site I desire before implementing ads. I do not wish for this site to become an incoherent mess. It seems odd, but I treat this site as a child of mine – constantly caring for it and checking it. In my free time, I write and create videos for it. I love it, but I don’t want it to make it a “money” thing immediately. That diminishes the passion I put into it. It ceases to become a hobby in my spare time and instead becomes a business. Heartless, lifeless articles pumped out continuously, riddled with typos and devoid of soul. Okay, that is a bit dramatic but, I am not implementing ads immediately, despite being accepted by AdSense. Perhaps in the future, but not while this journey is in its infancy.
I don’t want to instigate a Kickstarter campaign to pursue my dreams. I do not believe I am worthy of a few thousand dollars based off of promises, and secondly, I want to establish myself first. If I Kickstart a site, that means I have many expectations. Not only would my audience be expecting tip-top content, but I would also have to produce it regularly to maintain this following. It is a tad embarrassing if I start up a Kickstarter, and I don’t get a single cent. If I get popular in the future, everybody will be able to see that failure and I will never live it down! Perhaps I would like to employ a site like Patreon to help in the future. I would like this site and my Youtube channel to be my job, alongside streaming on Twitch.tv, so Patreon’s monthly revenue would help me out tremendously. But again, not right now.
Is my future implementation of ads contributing to the capitalist machine as described by Nilay Patel’s article? Well, maybe, but it certainly is not my intention. What I found fascinating was Apple trying to quell google’s ad revenue machine. When browsing on friends’ iPhone’s, I didn’t even notice that there were no ads. I suppose that means Apple succeeded. I was acclimated to their service subconsciously, and I enjoyed how easy Safari is to navigate. However, as somebody who’s favourite content creators rely on ads to keep creating, Apple’s methods are insidious to me. The phrase “The Next Internet is the TV” struck a chord with me, as every site I go to becomes more bombastic and colourful with their advertisements. I am overwhelmed with neon yellows, bold, red Buzzfeed text, and ridiculous looking faces everywhere I go. Ads are not limited solely to suspicious bootlegs on sidebars – they can be thumbnails in Youtube videos as well. And the more I think about it, the more I realize how interconnected a lot of sites are to corporations. Google is a terrifying beast worth billions of dollars, and I love them. I know it is probably morally wrong on many levels to love them, but they provide services and a potential way of life for me. Their practices of slight inconveniences are more welcoming than the blissful ignorance of ad-less Apple products.
Nobody likes to hear that a popular, local indie coffee shop is closing down. That’s why I feel bad supporting big corporations when sites like The Toast get shut down due to lack of ad revenue. This article left me with a moral question: when is it right to use Adblock? Some sites I have no problem using AdBlock on because of the influx of advertisements they fling at me. Another side of me hates that I use it, because if I get big on Youtube, then ads become my income, and I become a hypocrite. Imagine if that information got leaked to the web, what a scandal. Do some sites ever deserve AdBlock? Something is always someone’s passion and hard work, shouldn’t they be rewarded for it? As much as Forbes enrages me with its mandatory AdBlock removal, I understand why its implementation. I have settled on a compromise for my existential Ad consumption crisis. I whitelist Youtube, and individual sites that I believe deserve the revenue. If it is an indie publisher or a rising Youtuber, then I turn my adblocker off. I want to support certain people. But, if I get taken to a clickbait site that requires me to slog through 20 pages of 20 pictures then the inconvenience becomes too much for me to bear. I know it sounds like a middling move – picking and choosing which sites get blocked – but it is the best I can do to balance my procrastination.
In conclusion, I believe advertisements on sites are a good thing, and I would certainly like to implement them on my site in the future. Although it makes the Internet a less free space, and the presence of ads leads to potentially passionless content, I respect the decision of those who desire to make a living. There are so many careers that have been opened up (and ruined) by the internet. Advertisements provide the opportunity for people to make a living off their passions, and I think that is magical.