Connecting Online Again
Once again, I have experienced online connections that are entirely real, and mutual. This has happened within the past 48 hours.
During that same time period I have also watched videos online that made me feel connected but really just cause me to participate in the freebie portion of a complicated advertisement.
Today, I have looked at my WordPress “Stats” and have found that most likely, the underlying causes for the downward change are the following: 1) a few days went by without my blogging new posts. 2) I didn’t spend at least 30 minutes reading other bloggers posts at WordPress.
In-system versus Domains
Many of you know what is going on, but some may not have yet noticed. What we get depends a lot on who we know, how much we can afford to spend and what kinds of things we spend on. Thanks to this, millions of us have access to free or extremely low cost websites and blogging technologies, but there is a caveat: the freebie versions are normally limited to ‘in system’.
I most noticed this in-system versus domain name difference when I belonged to Wealthy Affiliate. I joined there to get a free website and to market my own products (books and ghostwriting services). There was an opportunity to learn about affiliate marketing. I was not honestly interested in that, but as that was most likely the real motivation behind the organization, I went ahead and learned about it. In truth, I tried it at my website.
All the business for my own interests that I found when using Wealthy Affiliate, was other members of Wealthy Affiliate hiring me to help them improve their websites by paying me to ghostwrite web content or to edit their website content or writing papers related to their business websites.
So far, I have tried Wealthy Affiliate twice. The first time, I did earn significantly more than the membership cost me, but nothing like what a real, supportive full time job or good husband (yes, I have female bias due to being female) but the second time I lost money. In one case, I earned about $0.70 from the “affiliate marketing”. In the other case, I didn’t make money any better from that than I did from selling my own products and services via the same website.
The people who were members came across as very pleasantly friendly. It was fairly easy to connect with them online and sharing information was smooth.
There was a large contingent of us who were dealing with websites that were low-cost but were only even functioning within the realm of the Wealthy Affiliate zone.
It was possible to free ourselves of that situation, but it required spending a lot more money. Given that our need was to earn money, a lot of us got sort of locked in or ‘locked down’ at that stage of the process.
SBPRA is the publishing company of both of the novels that I have released so far. They have provided author websites that can be accessed from the outside but both have their name on them still. I have had to both spend more money and have had to learn in an effort to even get the website to function beyond ‘in system’.
I have mixed feelings about SBPRA. I am very happy that they did or claimed to have accepted my manuscripts entirely because they are good enough and not because they are self-publishers who don’t care whether or not it is good as long as I will spend. I am very grateful and happy that they have helped me to get respectable quality bound novels with good covers. I am grateful that they provided me with a literary agent for one year for my first novel.
I am aware that really don’t have a good reputation, so much so, that they can be found on Writer Beware. I realize that it is both true that innovation which threatens the status quo can get a ‘bad rap’ and it is also true that often a bad reputation develops as a direct consequence of bad practices. SBPRA tried to charge me fees for services which a traditional publisher would provide me with at no fee. Instead of paying me, the author, for the privilege of publishing my book, they did not. However, they did grant me a nonexclusive publishing contract; they have produced respectable copies of the novels. They have provided websites. They have offered other services to support the work. In my view this is much worse than the kind of publishing deal that I would like and vastly superior to what the situation would be like had I been limited to self-publishing. It is that another publishing company did pick up one of my novels in another variation of deals that are horrible compared to excellent publishing deals and great compared to “shark tank victimization” deals. The other publishing company offered to publish at both no fee and no pay out to me of an advance….in an exclusive contract but then didn’t release the book within the year and a half that they had the book. They did get the cover together during that time.
The websites had an ‘in system’ look about them, but I have spent on a domain name so they hopefully won’t have this kind of problem.
Here we are at WordPress, having our blogs. We can spend enough to make it so that our blogs won’t be limited to having an ‘in system’ type of circulation. It could be argued that WordPress has tacitly told us that as long as we promote WordPress using their logo on our blogs they will let us blog without spending a lot more money but society has also told us that we may be frowned upon as being insufficiently professional in approach and online appearance, unless we operate without these other organization’s labels.
You (plural) i.e. You all
I’d love to read responses or comments from any of you about this. Is this a great topic or does it seem too elementary: intro to use of the Internet for business?
Have you (plural) had the same kinds of experiences? How have you overcome these challenges?