You may have noticed a makeover around here. I’m not thrilled with this new look–I’ll always be partial to the super-minimalism of yore–but this is the least-offensive of the free “Ad Optimized” templates WordPress has. As you know, there are ads on this blog, some of which are (to me at least) eerily appropriate (always Aveda. So much Aveda. STOP IT AVEDA, I have already spent more money on “chakras” than any barely-employed individual has a right to!). I had a brief moral dilemma about sucking the Capitalist teat back in June when I enabled ads, and I still am not in love with what they do to the layout–but, on the other hand, as much as I dislike capitalism, it’s the shitty system we’ve got to live in, and I don’t write for free anymore, not even for myself.
The first month this site had ads, I made $6.33. I thought that was pretty generous, given the quality of my prose. The second month, I made $14.50. The third, $20. Last month, $30. My traffic has gone up progressively every month since “Thesis Hatement” (before which my average monthly views were something like 14, and my average yearly updates was between -3 and 0.5). I am quite uncomfortable with all of the self-promotion I’ve been doing for the past half-year (follow me on TWITTER! follow my LINKS TO PUBLICATIONS! LOOK AT ME! ME ME ME ME ME!). 1999-era me frowned upon self-promotion–which is hilarious, given the fact that I worked as an editorial assistant for a book publisher, and knew full well that the only thing keeping most books from going directly from the press to the remainder bin was an author willing to Get Out There. So here I am, Getting Out There, and maximizing my “ad impressions” so that October–in which I’ve gotten the most traffic in this blog’s ten-year history by many exponents–can put me over the $100 mark that will actually require WordPress to transfer me some actual human money. I’m uncomfortable with myself. I’m so desperate for 18 more Twitter followers I can’t even tell you. It’s gross. I know. But that is how the freelance milieu works–if His Franzenness Himself were trying to come up today instead of twenty years ago he’d have to do all this shit too, and sort of hate himself for it, and sort of be morbidly fascinated about who comes to his website from where and why (pro tip: if you are getting a lot of traffic from a message board, whether that be a bunch of knitting enthusiasts or Reddit, stay the fuck away, and let those idiots continue to talk about you behind your back unabated).
Anyway, I have some more anti-capitalist rage brewing in the next few days; we’ll see how it manages to express itself (or if it does). All I can hope is that it will hit enough of a nerve that it’ll bring me metric fuck-tons of traffic, and thus money, because I am the world’s biggest hypocrite. Speaking of which, we’re doing the Inferno in my class tomorrow, so I’ve got to get back to reading about the Hypocrites and their lead robes, and Ugolino and his gnawing, and Brutus and Judas and terza rima and all that. Meanwhile, I hope that more readers continue to come to this site, and enjoy a continuing taste of Capitalist Hell.