Saturday, April 21, 2012

Adulterated Writing

My eighth post, and I’m still conflicted about a choice I had to make when I set the blog up. 

Going through Blogger’s opening steps, under “Settings” I came to this: “Adult Content, Yes or No?”  

Wow; a tough question already, and I’d barely started. 

I like to think my ”content” is written at adult level for people who can read accordingly.  I can reach back far enough in my memory to a time when I could have answered “Yes”  -- if anyone had thought to ask. Of course I had to check the “No” box this time, though, or be banned from polite blog society. (I assume that’s why they ask.)   

So where does that leave me? My writing is childish? [Oddly, that would have won me a job: the buyers wanted material for their financial advisory newsletter, but written at 4th to 6th grade level. Versatile though I am, I missed on that one.]   

The irony of it all is that my writing really is adult, while “adult” material is juvenile, or sophomoric if you’re generous. It was fairer when my stuff was adult and theirs was pornography, back in that earlier day when folks called a spade a spade and a vibrator a dildo.  
The really painful comparison, though, and I don’t often like to remind myself about it, is the relative success and pay scales involved.  Pornography is maybe the biggest business there is, worldwide audience, and here’s me: Len Diamond Writes. Eighty-seven  ”views” of my page the first month, eighty-four of them my own as I struggled with setting it up.  

What about equal pay for equal work? A joke! Porn stars make big money. Writers prostitute themselves all the time – think SEO articles -- but for four or five bucks a trick.  

But -- porn is off the table; so what’s the second biggest money-maker “content” you can write?   

If you think of gross, you immediately have to think about those SEO articles. Not quite as big as and a little less obscene than porn, for sheer volume of demand search engine optimization is a big industry. I mean, buyers order SEO ten, twenty, fifty, a hundred yards at a time. (Just thinking about all those words that could have been used better… ) But at the retail level where the writer works, earning money with SEO is all about that kind of volume. Word for word, SEO doesn’t pay well – in fact, word for word, SEO pays about a penny.  So if you hope to make money at SEO, you have to be able to stuff a lot of SEO into your SEO article. And do it unobtrusively. SEO. 

I’ll try to be fair; you can argue that this stuff is a training ground for new writers. You have to break in somewhere. But it’s not for me. I won’t do it.  Not at those rates, anyway. I’m gonna hang out on this corner and wait for a better offer.

Next: Oxymorons and homonyms