Philosophy, Film, Politics, Etc.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Monetizing Specter Of Reason

I've decided to monetize Specter of Reason. According to Blogger, Specter Of Reason has received 200,599 page views since its inception on October 28, 2007. For the past year or so, it was averaging around 100 to 150 views per day. This year, the numbers are going up rapidly. For the past week or so, it's been getting around 600/day. Yesterday, the blog received over one thousand page views.

I've been blogging for almost nine years, and never wanted to earn money from it. It's always been primarily about two things: (1) developing my writing and critical reasoning skills and (2) influencing philosophical debates (both academic and popular).  It's hasn't only been about philosophy. I've used the blog to pursue some other interests, as well. I've been writing a lot about politics lately. I also write film criticism and reviews, and I incorporate musical interludes from time to time, too. However, philosophy has always been the focus, and I thought monetizing would be counterproductive.  I was afraid that if I monetized, people wouldn't take my arguments seriously.

Monetizing does open me up to a certain line of criticism:  If somebody thinks one of my arguments is weak or superficial, they can accuse me of posting garbage just to increase my income. It's an easy way to dismiss an argument. However, if somebody wants to dismiss an argument, they will find a way to do it. The ads might give them an easy tool, but it won't give them the motivation to dismiss me in the first place. If somebody wants to take me seriously, the ads won't stop them.

The only issue for me, therefore, is whether I want to participate in online advertising at all. I don't have strong feelings about it yet, so I'm giving it a shot.

I'm not sure how this will influence my posting habits. I will, as always, try to develop a more accessible writing style. I will probably also try to include images and other elements to grab attention, but always in a way that is both relevant and interesting. I might try to post more regularly. I might try to post on topics that I think will be more popular.  You might think politics, film and music are likely to generate more page views than philosophy.  It could be that I'm getting a lot more hits now because I'm writing more about film and politics. However, I'm not sure.

Most hits go directly to my home page. None of my specific posts from 2015 or 2016 have received a huge number of views, though the most successful are indeed about film and politics.

The most successful from 2016 are:
From 2015:
If we look at my most successful posts overall, however, philosophy takes center stage.  The posts that seem to be getting the most attention lately are from 2013, and they are all related to philosophy (with one--on the Ball State controversy--related to the intersection of philosophy and politics):

I'm glad to say I'm happy with all of those posts.  Most of them have received over 1,000 views since their original publication, but three of them have not:
For the adventurous and bizarrely curious reader, here are all of my posts which have received over 1,000 views so far. Most are related to either popular or academic philosophy:
I'm not sure what lesson, if any, can be learned from these numbers, so I'll just try to produce more of the same and see how it goes.