I’ve decided to blog less. I posted daily (mostly) for two years, with the theory that my efforts would be compensated in four ways.
1. Advertising dollars
2. Compiling the best posts into a book.
3. Growing the audience for Dilbert
4. Artistic satisfaction.
Readership of The Dilbert Blog is growing rapidly, but at about the same rate people figure out how to use RSS feeds to get the content without the ads. So there’s no longer a correlation between how hard I work and the ad income I earn. It topped out at “trivial,” even while the audience grew to substantial.
My book based on the blog posts, STICK TO DRAWING COMICS, MONKEY-BRAIN! got great reviews for content, but angry reactions in people who feel that other people, who didn’t read the content on the Internet, and never will, should not buy the book, to protect the rights of the people who already read it on the Internet, and might want to read it again for free sometime. You win.
I hoped that people who loved the blog would spill over to people who read Dilbert, and make my flagship product stronger. Instead, I found that if I wrote nine highly popular posts, and one that a reader disagreed with, the reaction was inevitably “I can never read Dilbert again because of what you wrote in that one post.” Every blog post reduced my income, even if 90% of the readers loved it. And a startling number of readers couldn’t tell when I was serious or kidding, so most of the negative reactions were based on misperceptions.
Lastly, the blog has been a source of tremendous artistic satisfaction. I enjoyed being relatively uncensored, and interacting with the readers on fun topics. That’s why I will continue blogging, albeit less controversially. I’ll just do it less often, especially over the holidays. It’s hard to tell the family I can’t spend time with them because I need to create free content on the Internet that will lower our income.
Try www.reader.google.com to see blog posts without the ads.