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About Fundraising, Advertising, and Sales

As is certainly no news at the time of this writing, the way we think about earning a living is changing.  It’s no longer an ironclad guarantee of success to forego your personal interests for a job.  As time goes by, more and more people are looking outside the traditional models and more toward crowd-funding and self-employment. 

For me, this site and the videos I post here and the conversations I read and participate in that lead me to news and tell me what people care about are ultimately my only source of income.  I’m slowly making my way up out of over a decade of abject poverty – and I mean abject as in homelessness.  I currently don’t own a vehicle.  I’m attending a large state university in southwestern Michigan in pursuit of a Bachelor’s in Arts as a media producer right now, and I can’t access enough loans to cover even the projected cost of attending.  So I do what I can to monetize my work; that includes running advertisements on my websites and videos, as well as selling merchandise and collecting cash contributions.

In addition to pursuing my education, my long-term goal is to have a production studio capable of generating at least one half-hour program per week as well as other special projects from documentaries to comic shorts and music videos to feature films.

You’d think all that stuff would mean I have a ton of cash, but I’m actually REALLY REALLY broke at this point in my life. I don’t mean “broke” like “I had to trade in my SUV,” I mean broke like I have trouble paying rent and eating. Often. I don’t own a vehicle and haven’t for almost three years, I haven’t bought decent clothing in years, etc.

There’s no need to go through the gruesome details here; there’s video on my YouTube from when I was homeless in 2009 and plenty of other related material that you are free to watch and share as you see fit. Ultimately, the reality is that I’m very, very poor right now and have been for quite a while. I’m recovering from basically a decade of poverty, and one of the purposes of attending school is to gain not the credentials for a job but the skills to be confident in working for myself and employing others.

It’s not a matter of “I will recover,” it’s a matter of “I am recovering, and this is the path that recovery will take.” The bottom line is that I’m not a “good employee” and probably never will be. I’m a good employer! I just can’t afford to hire anyone yet. I’m working hard for it every day, and I hope you’ll see that reflected in my work and share it as widely as possible.

My writing and video work that I post here is my ONLY source of income other than student loans which don’t even cover the cost of living in the cheapest possible housing. I take contributions via PayPal via a link on my website, Occasionally I will post a message asking you, my readers, to contribute. You don’t have to. It’s not mandatory. I won’t hate you if you don’t, and I hope you understand that if I didn’t have to ask I wouldn’t.

So Why Do You Have To Ask?

There are a lot of sites out there who spend all their time just creating big collections of cloned, unimaginative sites.  They’re constantly worrying over making “deals” with each other to share content.  I don’t have time for that; I’m trying to create quality, original content.  I’m not interested in spending all my time and energy trying to shortcut a system that works just fine when you operate within it ethically.  It’s easier to just operate within it ethically.

This means I don’t have time to roll a bunch of fake ID’s and spread my links all over the ‘net.  I’m busy trying to do what I came here to do, and that’s spend whatever is left of my little life to nudge humanity toward sustainable and dignified life for all human beings.  Instead of constantly shilling and making up easy-mode salacious headlines to attract empty traffic, I work on creating high-quality original content that informs and entertains.

Because one of the hallmarks of the “used car salesman” sites is the “LIKE AND SHARE IF YOU LOVE PUPPIES” nonsense, I avoid it like the plague.  Unfortunately it works, and not doing things that way has a huge cost in terms of my ability to extend my virtual reach.  I am, in short, as “underground” and “independent” as it’s possible to be, and with all of the highly-trained and heavily-funded machines out there operating to drown out independent voices, it’s more important now than ever that you stay engaged and help share content you enjoy.

The entire situation becomes problematic for me because of my whole approach to things. I don’t do what I do “for the money.” I do it because it needs doing and I’m good at doing it and I enjoy doing it. Unfortunately, that’s not a recipe for financial windfall. If I just wanted to make money I could do that a million ways. I can only do *this* one way, and that includes getting as many folks on board this ride as I can, planting the seeds and challenging the assumptions and doing all I can to ensure I’ve done my little part with my little life to push this species toward the day when we are all respected, loved, healthy, educated, and happy.

I promise to do my best to keep you thinking, informed, and entertained without stooping to the easy-traffic methods so many other supposed information sources engage in.

I hope you’ll find it worth sharing (or contributing if/when you can) with others not because I want to get rich, but because a message is only effective if it’s heard. It happens that if enough people are listening, I’ll earn enough as a factor of audience size to not need to ask for contributions in order to eat or pay my rent; basic math. I also have some merchandise available and other things pending or in process or planned. I tend to post about those when they happen, as well.

Thanks for your time and attention and engagement, and most of all for letting me be part of your ride.

-jh

How you can help!

In a nutshell there are four important ways you can support this site – indeed, much of this information applies to all independent workers whether they’re musicians, writers, filmmakers, or all of the above.  These are the things you do that help us acquire the resources and education to do what we do as well as it can possibly be done:

  • Social engagement
  • Direct donations of cash or goods
  • Merchandise sales
  • Affiliate links

Social Engagement

This is the number one most important thing, period.  In my case (and that of anyone running a website that accepts advertising), the more traffic there is, the more I earn organically through advertising and the less often I have to ask for help from readers.  Every page – including this one! – and nearly every site including YouTube, Google Plus, and Facebook – has tools to share this content wherever you happen to be online.  The more you use them, the more people will see them, and the more people will read and watch my work.  For more about sharing and social engagement, please see the Sharing page.

Direct Contributions

Please see the Direct Contributions page for a more thorough explanation of the various options for making single contributions or recurring “subscription”-style contributions, as well as wish lists and other ways you can make a direct contribution other than cash.

Single Payment

Click To Make A One-Time Contribution

Recurring Payments

Due to restrictions of PayPal’s billing system, it is not possible to set up recurring payments at a user-defined price.  Contributions can be made weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly, in varying amounts.  To review options for recurring contributions, please click here.