Blogging for Hire

One of the burning questions (in some circles) is whether to accept compensation for blogging. Some say it is reasonable to be paid for writing, and (especially if you are open about it) claim that it does no harm. Others feel that being remunerated for blogging (especially posts which recommend or review products) can create a conflict of interest and may compromise the integrity of a blog.

For many, this is a moot issue: nobody will pay them for blogging, so it doesn’t really matter which side they choose. Until recently, I fell squarely into this category … but no longer. In Kathy’s quest for sleep, her desperation has reached new levels, and she is now offering payment in poker chips, which I can redeem for additional computer-game playing time.

Here’s the pay scale:

  • a basic, no frills blog = a 1/2 hour chip
  • a good post = a 1 hour chip
  • a really top-notch, world-class entry = a 2 hour chip

“But I don’t really have anything to say,” I demurred.

“Look, do you want the chip or not?” Kathy challenged.

Truth be told, I’ve burned through nearly the whole week’s poker chip allotment, and there are two more days before my supply is renewed … I need the chip. It is in this way that even the loftiest ethical standards can be eroded. The problem is, there really are two things I’d like to write about, and I don’t have anything particularly witty to say about either. I guess I’ll just pick one, knowing I’m doomed to a half-hour chip.

The Best Piano Recital, Ever

Today we hosted a piano recital at our home, with Rachel, Daniel and David performing to a small audience entirely comprised of family members. As was confirmed by several of the spectactors, “It was the best recital, ever.” I’m sure it had very little to do with the fact that it was also one of the very shortest recitals, ever.

Recital Programme
Kathy whipped out a programme, to add a touch of class.

Rachel has been taking piano lessons from Mrs. Nancy, as arranged by my Mom. In many ways, the whole thing has been very painless for us — my parents pay for the lessons, and they even arranged for a piano to be delivered to our home (since we left ours in the Duckabush). Rachel has made good progress, and we’re very proud of her, although she speaks in considerable self-deprecation and sometimes dreads her lessons (especially when she hasn’t practiced).

Doting Grandad
Having Mamie and Grandad here to witness the recital was a great treat.

Recently, there has been a new development: David became interested in the piano. Rachel would call David to sit by her when it was time for her to practice, and he started to pick out simple songs on the piano. The next thing we knew, he had somehow wheedled lessons out of Mrs. Nancy (and Grandma) and was playing from his own little songbooks.

A study in concentration
David takes his role of piano student very seriously.

Not to be left out, Daniel began to attempt songs from David’s book, apparently belonging to the self-taught school of piano mastery. And so we had three performers in today’s recital. Each of the three made selections from among their favorites, and (after a short introduction), played away happily, basking in the adulation of all four of their grandparents.

Not to be outdone ...
Daniel couldn’t let his little brother surpass him in musical achievement …

Cream Puff Connoisseurs
A Cream Puff improves any recital, in my opinion.

My Mom brought her famous chocolate-drizzled cream puffs, which contributed substantially to the success of the event. She also brought each of the budding musicians a gift, which brightened their day considerably. Indeed, each of the kids wanted to play their selections a second time, once they got over their initial nervousness.

Canned Raccoon
Rachel received the coveted ‘canned raccoon’, a prize she has sought for several years.

We clapped and took pictures and munched happily on cream puffs, swapping stories of recitals we had attended. My sister Posie figured prominently in some of these tales, to the great interest and amusement of the children. I managed to play the one song I know on the piano, although Mom put a bag over my head in the middle of the piece, which (I felt) somewhat lessened the dignity of the moment.

Post Recital Euphoria
Rachel was quite glad to be done with the whole ‘ordeal’.

Feel free to comment on how the subtleties of wit and phraseology of this post combine to make it worthy of a full hour chip.

Project 366, Day 38

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16 thoughts on “Blogging for Hire”

  1. oooh, British spelling of “programme” really adds class … the sheer number of photos surely merits 15 minutes of chip-ology… catching a grandfather in mid-cream puff-bite is worth something, and the use of many active verbs, no passive verbs, sentence structure variety and long words correctly spelled (“remunerated”, “adulation”, “subtleties”" and “phraseology”) certainly qualify the writer for that 1-hour chip! Though a photo of all 4 grandparents in one shot would be tough to beat for the 2-hour chip.

  2. Definitely a full-chip performance, not up to your devastatingly witty standard of yore, but credible, credible. Can you get retroactive chips from some of your best efforts in the past?

  3. Wow! Awesome post, Tim.
    I wept through most of it. With all of the imagery and emotion, I felt I was AT the recital. So well-written, it brought me to my knees. I begged God for forgiveness, since I have been skimping on my own posts, not even coming close to what THIS post is.

    Therefore, be sure to let Kathy know that I say this is a “2-Chipper.”

  4. Gosh…I didn’t know that there was such controversy over being paid for blogging. Seems so silly to me. Maybe it’ll help to see how much you earn when you do such a thing. I’m hosting a book discussion for War of Words. I used an Amazon link and I had the whopping possibility of earning a few cents per book sold. I think it’s 4%. But you only get paid if you reach $100.00 in a month. Last month, I earned something like .54 cents, and hence I”ll never be paid. LOL

    Thanks for the perspective on blog advertising though. I used the Amazon link simply as a way to make it easier for folks to order the book with a cool graphic included. I did, however, hope to bring in some bread and butter money. It’s hard for us moms to help our husbands…especially when we’re hardly making the electric bill each month. But at any rate, after praying, and during the blog design process I chose not to advertise on my new blog at all.

    That said, Tim…I think you deserve your poker chip.

  5. For mentioning chocolate, you clearly move up the pay scale. And the coveted canned raccoon also bumps you up a notch. Photos HAVE to count for something. So yup, I say she owes you BIG. I’m glad she’s paying you. Maybe we’ll hear from you more often now. You make me laugh. :)

  6. Gasp! No! Don’t tell me Rachel actually opened the canned raccoon? Why, it’s been gathering dust in Grandma’s kitchen for as long as I can remember. Sacrilege.

    Anyway, though I see someone suggested it before me, I think Aunt Koffee should take to bribing her children to blog. Or make it a school assignment, a sort of practical implementation of writing skills. It might be fun to hear from the younger generation of PTums.

  7. Sniff, sniff. Thank you, all you dear people, who are so supportive of my efforts. So far I’ve only received the half-hour chip, but Kathy is definitely weakening.

    Ronnica, that’s a GREAT idea, except that the two oldest children are chip-misers, and have current chip-balances of more than 50 hours. Daniel’s not the fastest typist, but there are definitely some possibilities there.

    … And it sure was incredible to see the husband/wife paired comments of Mark and Liz, Scott and Cindy! How can I not blog with such encouragement!

    Yvonne — I must admit, I was mostly tongue-in-cheek about the whole ‘controversy’ about pay-for-posting — I don’t really know anything about it, except that Kathy has read a few discussions about it. Of course, in spite of my ignorance, I do have an opinion. :)

    I think that one of the great things about blogging is that it is relatively free from agenda (apart from whatever philosophical agenda the author may be pursuing). Indeed, I suspect that it is this freedom from agenda that is so threatening to the traditional media establishment, especially among the news-blogs. Pay-per-post arrangements seem to undercut this advantage, and I suspect that the amount of money paid (for all but the most wildly popular blogs) is not enough to compensate for the loss of ‘integrity’ in the blog.

    On a more serious note, sometimes Kathy and I write about spiritual things, and we see our blog as having some level of ministry to others (or at least to us, as we work out our thoughts through our writing). I’m not very keen on diluting my credibility on spiritual matters in exchange for a few pennies from advertising.

    My plan is to wait until our blog is on the must-read list for at least 200 million readers, and only THEN to shamelessly exploit our readers for personal gain. :)


  8. (200 million readers…) LOL! Tim and Kathy…I love your blog. I was being a bit “tongue and cheek,” about the “controversy,” too. But honestly, I’d never thought about the integrity issue before…especially when it comes to pennies….so I appreciate your thoughts. : )

  9. Loved the pictures!! Wish I could have been there- for the music AND the creme puffs.

    Good job, dear Timothy. Several chips, surely. And maybe more blogs, too??

    Love you kids, Aunt Kate

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