Dear super peeps,
Single Dad Laughing, the blog, has become slightly muddled.
I approach you today the way a man approaches the executioner. With a belly full of his favorite food, and not quite ready to die just yet.
Because I need your help if Single Dad Laughing is going to survive in the long term.
But first, I’d like to discuss relevancy.
In order to survive online, one has to stay relevant. One has to consistently put out quality content and original content. One has to give his or her readers’ a reason to keep coming back.
That used to be doable. A daily Single Dad Laughing blog post was enough to stay relevant in a world where quality content could be more easily found and appreciated and debated.
Then mega sites like Buzzfeed and Mashable sprang up, and grew, and grew, and grew, and changed everything. Especially the last two years.
These sites (each which generate tens of millions in revenue each year) have all but destroyed the ability that so many of us writers and bloggers and Internet entertainers previously had to stay relevant, and they have done it by developing a ruthless yet simple business plan. Their business plan is to come up with mindless, cheap, random content, pump it out at the tune of often 30 or more new posts per hour (on each site), and just hope that at least one or two of those 30 or so posts goes viral.
29 Ways that a Puppy Licking Your Face Leads to Actual Insanity!
14 Things You Did TODAY That Would Embarrass Your Great Grandma!
100 Different Super-Idiot Moments that Will Make You Laugh for the Next Three Decades!
The 44 Weirdest and Most Random Pictures of Cat Butts on the Internet!
You get the idea…
And because their ruthless business plans work, and as these sites have gotten bigger, and brought on more and more (and more) paid content creators so that they can pump out more and more (and more) cheap mindless content, the rest of the very real people trying to create very real and mindful content on the Internet have become buried and hard to find. Kind of like Walmart coming into town and pushing all the small business owners out. At least on social media outlets like Facebook.
This is where Single Dad Laughing has become muddled.
I make my living off of this blog. As in, I make my full living. You see, to run a blog like this all by myself takes anywhere from 60-90 hours of work every week. It’s more than a full time job. Often more than two full time jobs.
And these mega cheap content sites like Buzzfeed and Mashable have not only been pushing us smaller sites out of social media feeds with their unending barrage of posts, they also are driving down the value of web advertisements for everyone. There are, after all, only so many advertising dollars to spread out over the Internet, and those dollar amounts are dropping as cheap content is becoming king of the internet because advertisers don’t necessarily like putting premium ads onto cheap mindless content.
And so, to make a living, and to stay relevant, I have tried to start playing the cheap content game here on Single Dad Laughing, by introducing my own cheap mindless content posts to the mix in order to keep my traffic up so that I can continue making a living doing this.
At first I just introduced one here or there, supplementing the usual Single Dad Laughing blog posts. And, I learned, that doing that both drives traffic, but also drives the time commitment to this blog. And so, I eventually had to hire someone (Jeff) to help me. And that started driving other weird dynamics in which I had to put all sorts of extra emphasis onto the cheap mindless content to keep Jeff’s position relevant. And all of that started just kind of changing Single Dad Laughing from what it was, and (in my opinion) not for the better.
In the past almost four years now, I have built Single Dad Laughing to be a community where we could laugh with each other, debate important topics, and where my readers could always come for original, well thought-out, well written content.
And now, I don’t even know what this site is. If I’m being honest, I feel like a sell-out and I don’t even know if I enjoy this anymore. Not when I am having to play the cheap content game just to survive.
So, I’ve been wondering how to go back to how it was. How do I take Single Dad Laughing back to being Single Dad Laughing. And how do I do it even as ad prices are dropping, and it’s becoming harder to be heard above all the cheap internet content being put out by these huge sites? Is it even possible? Is it the end of Single Dad Laughing?
Well, as I’ve tried to somehow figure all of that out the last couple months, Facebook came along while I was on that sabbatical last month and nailed yet another big fat nail into the Single Dad Laughing coffin. They drastically changed the algorithm (yet again), and made it harder and harder for people with pages like mine to drive traffic through Facebook (which is where 90% of my traffic comes from). It is now showing my links to (maybe) 20% of the people it was before the algorithm change, and unless I pay big bucks to have my posts show up in people’s feeds, there’s not much I can do about it. There is something we can all do together which I’ll get to.
You can take my word for it, but I hope you’ll watch at least part of this video made by another blogger to understand the problem.
Yes, this latest Facebook change is affecting content creators and bloggers everywhere, in major ways. It is driving us to extinction. It is making it so we can’t do this anymore. My guess is, you’ve already heard about it if you follow any other blogs.
And this newest Facebook problem, along with the unbelievable decreases in ad prices lately, along with the mega sites like Buzzfeed drowning out all smaller sites with cheap content, along with all the resources no blogger really has to fight it all and actually stay relevant, yes all of this has caused one major truth for me.
I can’t keep going in this. I can’t keep doing Single Dad Laughing.
Not without your ongoing and serious dedication to helping me on Facebook.
Sadly, I had to layoff Jeff last week. I don’t have the incoming resources to keep him (not after this latest Facebook change). I had to layoff Sarah (the Farmer’s Daughter). She was helping me in a part time capacity still.
And I’m again on my own.
I can’t put any more cheap content out there. Not to keep this thing going. It’s not just muddling Single Dad Laughing. It’s ruining it. I can’t keep trying to play a game that I wasn’t meant to play.
And… I approach you today the way a man approaches the executioner. With a belly full of his favorite food, and not quite ready to die just yet.
But it’s not all bad.
I have an opportunity here to immediately eliminate “the game” I’ve been forced to play. I have an opportunity to bring Single Dad Laughing back to what it always was before: a good blog, well-written, well thought-out, entertaining, and not muddled or ruined by cheap mindless content with no purpose but to drive clicks.
I have an opportunity to just be Single Dad Laughing again.
That’s what I want to do.
It’s what Single Dad Laughing should be. It’s what I need it to be because if it’s not that, it’s not fulfilling. And who would want this gig if it ceased to be fulfilling?
I don’t. And so I humbly ask for your help. All of you. This is how we can all thumb our noses at it all and keep this thing going.
The following five things are what I really need from you. And believe me, no part of me likes asking for this, but these five things will change everything for me.
And here’s the catch. I need you all to not just do them once or twice, and not just do them for a week or two, but to actively remember to do them forever. It’s the only way this will work.
1) Click like on the Facebook LINKS to my blog posts as often as you click like on the memes. If you enjoyed the content, click the “like” button. Please. Also, it would be helpful if you’d click like on each link as soon as you see it since it’s often gone and buried when you go back to Facebook.
2) Leave a comment on the Facebook LINKS to my blog posts as often as you comment on the memes. Please.
3) Hover over the Facebook “Like” button on the SDL Facebook page (you’ll have to do it on the desktop version) and click “Get Notifications.” Please. This will make any new links I post show up as notifications for you on Facebook and you won’t miss the links.
4) When you see a meme or a status update from me in your Facebook news feed, use it as a reminder and go to the SDL Facebook Page and find the link to the daily blog post. Every morning I’ll pin that day’s new link to the top of the page so you can always easily find it!
5) Click on the links to my blog posts when you see them! I do my best to come up with blog titles that will catch your eye, but sometimes I miss the mark. Please don’t judge every blog post strictly by its title. Come read at least a few paragraphs and decide if it’s worth reading more. I bet you’ll find you were a lot more interested in whatever we’re talking about than you thought! My challenge is to do that on the next three blog posts of mine that you think you won’t be interested in, and if I’m not right, you’re off the hook.
It’s all dependent on us working together. I’ll work hard to create the content that you come read for free. And if you’ll hook me up by doing those five things, we’ll be a real team.
And just as importantly… If we work together, Single Dad Laughing can be run much more the way it needs to be run, which is without all the gimmicks.
If we work together, it means higher quality blog posts from me. Fewer of my links clogging your feeds. Fewer memes to keep it all going. It means more engaging updates and witty statuses.
This is how I’d *rather* have it. Wouldn’t you?
But it won’t happen if a big percentage of you don’t jump on board and really help me keep going in this. I hope my blog content has been engaging enough the last almost four years that I can ask this. I feel like we have an amazing community. In fact, I LOVE what we have here. It has grown into something awesome, and amazing, and… big…
One of the problems of big groups is that almost everyone expects everyone else to do it all, and to be the vigilant ones, and to click the “like” button, and to leave the comments. This is evidenced by the fact that even on my most popular posts (the ones people are laughing at or lovin’ on), only about 0.05% of people will click the like button who actually click the link itself. That’s one twentieth of one percent. Or in number terms, 1 out of every 2000 people who see the link and click on it.
Yikes. No wonder Facebook doesn’t show the links to more people.
And yes, I’m not too prideful to say that I really need you Facebookers’ help. Each Facebooker’s help.
Here’s why your help will work:
Besides making more money for themselves, Facebook has one goal any time it changes its algorithm: to show YOU what you want, and show other people what will be of interest to them. After all, if you don’t enjoy what you see, you won’t keep coming back to Facebook. So, if you want to see links to my Single Dad Laughing posts, you need to click “like” on them as often as possible, even if they’re heavier or deeper or not happy. “Likes” matter more than probably anything right now. If you like something you see, Facebook believes other people will want to see it as well. So please, start using the “like” button with wild abandon to help me keep this thing alive.
Comments on Facebook are nearly as valuable as likes. Sometimes on big blogs or pages like Single Dad Laughing, people feel like their comments disappear. I actually read most of them. But even if you just write “awesome!” or “I disagree!” or “this is quite honestly the best blog post ever written in the history of blogs!” or my favorite, “who are you and how did I like your page in the first place?”… Commenting and commenting often will make a HUGE difference. So please, start commenting on the Facebook links to my Single Dad Laughing blog posts. Do it with wild abandon to help me keep this thing alive.
That’s all. I don’t want money from you. I don’t want anything else. Just likes, shares, and interaction so that Facebook shows my links to others. As long as I don’t disappear within Facebook, Single Dad Laughing will go back to what it was and it will be just fine.
And whether you’re a Facebooker or not, there are other ways you can help keep Single Dad Laughing going.
You can always subscribe to the blog by email so that you don’t miss posts.
You can also share my links a lot more often if you enjoyed my blog posts. That’s *super* helpful too! And I mean super super helpful.
You can set the Single Dad Laughing home page as your home page.
You can also request a personal daily phone call from me to remind you to check for new blog posts.
Okay, maybe not that one.
We can all keep having all sorts of Single Dad Laughing fun.
As of this moment, I have already made the changes on my side. No more cheap content posts. No more daily videos just to get clicks. Only good quality, well thought-out and highly entertaining (sometimes with the help of you!) content. This isn’t to say I won’t do fun posts with random content from time to time. It’s to say that it will only be when it’s something that I truly feel adds to what’s going on here.
Maybe I’ll put something out once a day, maybe twice, maybe only a few each week. But I’m done playing the game that I, and so many other great bloggers, have been pushed into playing.
Will you please commit to helping me with this long term? Will you commit to helping me save Single Dad Laughing? Please.
Thanks so much for listening to my plight. I love y’all. So much.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. PLEASE start by “liking” and commenting on the link to this post over on the SDL Facebook Page. I need as many people as possible to see it!
PPS. This doesn’t just apply to Single Dad Laughing. It applies to the blogs of every blogger you love on Facebook, so make sure you show them all the like & comment love, too!