An account of how self-promotion feels like panhandling, and all the crazy ways bloggers beg for hits.
Every Little Hit Counts
Standing on the offramp of the information superhighway, we’re not panhandling, we’re directing traffic. With our thumbs up, we’re not hitching rides, we’re asking for “Likes.” With our signs held high, we’re not pleading for sympathy, we’re giving you something to skim as you pass by. Pull into the overpass and follow our links. Roll your windows down and leave a comment in our caps.
Pay what you feel. If you can’t give us a dollar, give us your attention. If there’s no room in your cart for another piece of art, we’d be happy to make your wish list. If you already have one, gift a second to a friend. Feel free to embed a copy in your gallery. Feel free to put our writings on your wall for all the world to see.
Every little hit counts.
It doesn’t matter how you found our site, we’re just glad you came. Stumble out of the cold. Join our circle, around the bonfire of the blogosphere. Lurkers are always welcome. If you’re hungry, you can always dip into our RSS feed.
We all have stories to tell, and knowledge to impart. We’re all down in the same dump searching for an audience. Don’t worry about anyone talking your ear off, we can count our points on our fingers. We can make our statements in five-hundred words or less. Holding your attention with drawings in the sand, we all use the same hobo glyphs: the guy punching a hole through his screen, the woman taking a hammer to her monitor, the age old ax through the keyboard.
There is wisdom in our ravings, observations in our obscenity, proverbs in our profanity. We don’t have much to say about Miley Cyrus’s joint puff, but we can tell you all about our own addictions. We don’t have much to say about Jennifer Lawrence’s haircut, but we can tell you all about the issues we have with our own appearance. Subscribe to our sage advice and we’ll give you something you’re not going to find in any BuzzFeed.
The information superhighway is littered with bad neighborhoods. Ours is just past the image boards, the revenge-porn shops, and the Youtube comments sections. We may be a shanty town of tiny websites, but there is camaraderie in our community. We’re the light in the smog, the diamonds in the compost, the cream that has risen to the top of the cesspool.
We dared to follow our dreams and this is where they led us. We’re beggars with biographies, hermits with head-shots, streetwalkers with stat counters.
See something you like? Make a connection. Get kinky. Share us with your friends. Pin us, press us, dig us. We’ll leave the paddles out if you’d like to be the one to submit. We’ll leave the star-shaped brand on the grill if you feel like rating something.
Every little hit counts.
Kickstart the fire under our asses. Free us from our day jobs. Direct us away from these roads to nowhere. Show us to career paths. Back our campaign to get us off these polished streets, the back alleys of customer service, and the harsh benches of tech support. Pledge a contribution to us brainstorming victims, us role-play session survivors, and white collar wash-ups, living out of cubicles. Donate to the refugees of corporate culture, get us off the Kool-Aid, and make the voices in our headsets go away.
If you’re all out of publishing contracts, leave a kind word. If you can’t give us work, we’ll settle for an endorsement. Vote us up on your way out.
Every little hit counts.
Blowing into the same handkerchief, we guest-blog, but nothing ever goes viral. Passing around the same bottle, we make Star Wars references, but nothing ever spreads. Sharing the same toothbrush, we name drop Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams, but nothing catches on.
We learn so many new tricks, our bindles weigh down our sticks. We set up our grifts in direct messages. We draw out conversations, to bury our pitch. We play shell games with links. Guess which cup the article you want to read is under? We run the old misleading title bait and switch, anything to score another hit.
We ain’t too proud to beg. We’ll take your charity.
WILL WORK FOR A RETWEET
WILL REBLOG FOR FOOD
WILL REPOST YOUR LINK, FOR A GOOD REVIEW
We have no shame, tumbling into random chat rooms, waving our signs about:
FLAME WAR VET, PLEASE SHARE
HOMEPAGE-LESS, NEED MONEY FOR A FACEBOOK AD
SPARE A LINK EXCHANGE, EVERY LITTLE HIT HELPS
Some of us get hired, not to hawk our wares, but to spin the arrow in another retailer’s direction, to mooch for merchants, to hustle for wholesalers, to panhandle for perspective clients. When no one is buying what we’re selling, we sell our ability to sell.
Some of us never figure out how to ask for money. We go to unfamiliar stores, leave our books on the shelves, and walk away. We scrawl our messages on bathroom stalls, and hope that someone finds meaning in them. We travel from site to site, hopping trains, singing our songs to likeminded travelers.
We fear an internet archeologist will find our remains off the beaten path. Our legacy will be reduced to an abandon page with inactive plugins, dead links, and a handful of mis-tagged thumbnails. They’ll scavenge a few clever lines from our prose, and leave our dated references to fester in the hot desert sun.
We need to believe that we do this for the joy of it. That we are living in the now, and not a five-year plan. That there’s no carrot at the end of the stick, just sour grapes. That the journey is our destination. That our meager audience is intimate. That our few followers are engaged. That our message gets to the people it needs to. That our words fall on both deaf ears, and wide eyes. That we prefer friendships to fame. That we’d rather have a family than a fan base. That one lone solitary reader is validation enough.
Still, every little hit counts.