walking-thin-lineThere is this line I have to walk most of the time as a blogger. It’s very thin. Long. Overly fragile. I suppose it looks like this.

Usually I’m walking it like this, too. Head high, confident, happy.

But, every so often I make some silly mistake as a blogger, or spout off too hard in the wrong direction, or give too strong of a hyperbolic opinion, or whatever, and the line becomes shaky. I get all nervous and have to put lots of effort into balancing again.

Single Dad Laughing has become what it has become largely in part because I have been willing to (or stupid enough to) tightrope-walk the line over dangerous waters that other bloggers often don’t want to tread. I’m not blind to that. I know it’s what brings me the biggest blessings and the most flack.

Usually my more risky work ends up doing a lot of good for a lot of people (such as my 16 Ways I Blew My Marriage post or my I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay post). Other times I write something that half the masses agree with and the other half become angry at me for (such as my Mom Pushed Daddy Out the Door) post. I remember that was the first post after which thousands of readers headed for the door the day I wrote it.

But it’s not just everything I write and share here on the blog, it’s every status update, every tweet, every everything I do over on the Single Dad Laughing Facebook wall.

As I’ve talked about briefly before, I recently started offering optional memberships here to the site. My goal when I setup the different packages and programs was to never make it a big part of the business plan and to never send links to non-members for posts that couldn’t be viewed by those non-members. Last week I slipped and sent a link to an old and funny blog (member-only) archive post about Noah sticking a pistachio up his nose. Within ten minutes I had received multiple comments, wall posts, and emails, all from readers declaring their extreme displeasure. Some even said they were out of here, and would never be reading my stuff again.

I was like, wow, for a mistake? You’re not even going to ask why or if it was on purpose?

But I get it. I mean, there is a reason I never want to make memberships a big part of this site. I don’t really want to, and I don’t want to be that pioneer who tries to make it happen. I want to stay walking the line, not dangling precariously from it, because walking the line works.

Frankly, I hate running ads, and I hate that I have to make all my blog decisions based on running ads, and I have to split posts into multiple pages to be able to make what I need to through ads. If it were up to me, everyone could pay a buck or two each month and I would never have another ad on this site again.

But, I get that that will never work, either. The internet has, more than any other invention, made us all believe that paying for anything is paramount to a crime, and that everything should be free and ad-driven so that advertisers are the ones who pay for everyone to get what they want on the internet. And believe me. I’m the same way. I don’t want to pay for anything, either, and if I occasionally visited a site, I wouldn’t want to pay to be a member of it, even if it was a just a buck or two.

And so, I only offer the ad-free membership experience to those who value it, those who want to support the site, and those who would find use for it. Everyone else gets to experience this blog the way I get to build it, with page views and ads in mind. And I’m okay with that if you’re okay with that.

Anyway, I quickly caught the locked-post blunder on Facebook and fixed it. I probably only lost a few dozen readers, thank goodness, but other times I haven’t been so lucky.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 1.4 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!