I’M FREE ! I won’t be relying on money from advertisers anymore ! I believe that this will impact the volume and the quality of my work immensely. You might have noticed that I never had ads on moretreeslessassholes.org, but you might not know that I do the same work in French and on my French blogs I had advertisements for the past two years. I disabled them this week and let me tell you why this is actually a big deal for the work that I’m doing.
Click-bait marketing culture
I need money to sustain myself and keep on doing what I like to do, which is spreading awareness about environmental issues, deforestation in particular. By inserting advertisements on my websites I created a very big problem for my work. At first I got really excited about the new influx of income, but over the years I realized that these ads were jeopardizing the entirety of my work. In order to get money from advertisements I need to make a maximum amount of people click on the articles that I write. When this became my source of income it created a very negative incentive for the kind of content that I write. In French I have two blogs, one focused exclusively on deforestation and climate change. I created another where I initially intended to talk about meditation and artificial intelligence, not the most profitable subjects either. But I quickly realized that I can write pretty much anything on it and share it through my French social pages. Without noticing, I allowed the clicks to take control of the type of content I create. As you might imagine, stories about climate change or deforestation take time to research and write and and yield almost no money whatsoever. The subjects are tough, the advertisements on these posts are less lucrative, and few people are eager to engage with that kind of content.
The trap snapped
I quickly started to see what kind of subjects work good, and its stuff that has nothing to do with the environment and social change. Before I knew it I was writing pop-psychology articles with the goal of generating the income I need to do my important work. What does it matter if I have to write posts about relationship issues, “toxic” partners and “energy vampires”, when it will give me the resources that I need to finance the work that I’m passionate about? But doing this took much more time and energy than I anticipated. The fact that I wasn’t excited about the stories that I wrote was really draining, I was feeling that I’m wasting my time. And it wasn’t just a feeling, during 2017 I had the best finances, and the worst content.
A move in the right direction
During 2018 I already started to transition away from this model. I managed the pages better and wrote more about the environment. The fact that I was working more on deforestation and climate change regenerated my motivation. I held on to the advertisements on one of the French blogs, and this still gave me the pressure to create content to make money. It also made me diminish the credibility of the good articles that I wrote by placing random ads from Google on them. Advertisements were directly hurting the important messages I was trying to share. How could I be really serious about the urgency of climate change while trying to sell cars … Or how could I motivate people to decrease their meat consumption while displaying burgers ads?…
A leap of faith
Despite the fact that I don’t have the crowdfunding money that I need I decided to take a leap of faith and disable the advertisements completely. I’m already feeling the positive effects of this change. I’m full of hope, ambition and inspiration. Gathering the funds that I need through crowdfunding won’t be easy, but I believe that it’s possible. I manage two sizeable, vibrant communities of forest lovers, I’m confident that we’ll work things out, even if it takes some time.
Thank you for taking the time to read about this, I really appreciate it. If you think that you can support my work with a monthly donation, FOLLOW THIS LINK and become a Tree Patron . You’ll learn more about the nature of the work that I do, and you’ll find out the list of people who already support me.
See you soon on More Trees Less Assholes,
Steve the Bartender