Monday, March 19, 2007

The Blogging Double Bind

(Updated Below -- Updated Again)

You may have noticed that I've added advertising to this blog. I have applied to become an Amazon Associate. Assuming I am approved, I will receive a small percentage for all sales that click through the ads posted on the left. Reading through the Amazon rules and regulations it appears that I can't game the system by clicking through for my own purchases. I must rely on you, my loyal readers, to click on the boxes to the left and purchase thousand or hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from Amazon.

My purpose is to earn enough revenue to retire and begin living the style of life to which I'd like to become accustomed. Unfortunately, I am caught in the blogging double bind. In order to generate traffic, I need to post new material on a frequent basis. If I retire, I can assume that traffic on this blog will decline and therefore ad revenue will fall off.

As a student of the effect of advertising on our culture, I should point out that by making a purchase through Amazon you are not just purchasing a book or DVD. You are purchasing a place for yourself as part of that corporate entity called "Amazon." Putting on the Amazon corporate mask connects you with the power and identity of something much larger than yourself, just like wearing the Nike "swoosh" or the Coca Cola "Coca Cola." When you show off your copy of Lance Strate's recent book, Echoes And Reflections: On Media Ecology As a Field of Study, you can say that it's not just any copy of the book. It is a copy you purchased on Amazon.

I can prominently feature any authors, books or DVDs I discuss in my postings and generate some sales. Let's see. For a $25 book I will earn about $1. So if 1000 readers click through and buy Paul Levinson's latest book, The Plot to Save Socrates (in hard cover of course), I will earn at least $758 (the percentage I earn rises with volume of sales in ways I don't quite understand).

UPDATE: I have been told that I shouldn't get my hopes up for generating substantial revenue, that the title of this post should really be "Sense and Non-Cents."

This is a shame. I was hoping to become one of those people who earn substantial income while working at home in my pajamas.

In light of this, I think that it make sense to mention in this blog only books that retail for $100 and above. That limits me pretty much to coffee table books and some textbooks, mainly medical.

UPDATE II: I'm in! I'm officially an Amazon Associate! You can start clicking away while you finish reading this update. I'll wait.

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