Yes, I’m a full-time blogger; but that’s only because I’m retired. I would starve to death (or if not starve to death I would definitely be homeless) if it wasn’t for my social security and my two pensions. Still, blogging allows me to put to use the MFA in fiction writing that I got from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006. Blogging also allows me to indulge my passion for flash fiction and it allows me to connect to other people. Connecting to other people is important when you live alone and have no children and you’re a senior citizen with a very modest income. Connecting to other people is why I love karaoke so much. Plus, I’m good at karaoke.
I got into the graduate writing program at the University of Pittsburgh because of flash fiction. And I won a K. LeRoy Irvis Fellowship for graduate school because of my flash fiction. I submitted 50 pages of type script, doubled spaced on one side with my application to grad school. So, when I started blogging, oh lets say 18 years ago (years before the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette) I knew that eventually flash fiction would be the focus of any blog that I published.
I also knew sex would be an important part of my blogging career. There are more sites about sex on the Internet than any other kinds of sites (sex is popular). And ever since I’ve been connected to the Internet, I’ve been fascinated with porn, especially amateur women doing porn. How could they? Why did they? What were their stories? How could a woman who had no intension of being a porn actress allow herself to be gangbanged on camera for the entire world to see? And we are not talking about women who are losers. We are talking about intelligent, successful women in their chosen professions, too; I am really dumbfounded. And then when I came across data that said at least (at least) %30 of American women consumed porn on a regular basis, I knew that sex would be a winning topic for any blog that I published. I didn’t want only men to read and like my blog. I wanted women to read and like it, too.
Of course, I knew that I couldn’t create all the content myself for any blog I published; so I sample content and I publish (and pay) other flash fiction writers. And I wanted to publish a blog that was less like a personal journal and more like a magazine. Which meant that the blog had to be about more than just flash fiction and sex. But I had to blog about what I know. So, the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette covers things like my interest in politics, relationships, karaoke, crock pot cooking, The Doors and so on and so forth. And even though the blog would be Pittsburgh centric, it had to also appeal to an International audience. And it does.
Then I wanted my blog to be more than just a hobby. I wanted it to be a real magazine, a real business. It had to make money. And even though the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette has made me only $165 this year so far, readership increases every month. I’m averaging around 10,000 readers and 30,000 page views every month now and if I continue to add more content and work on getting better as a blogger and do the things I need to do, my readership should increase which means my income from this blog should increase.
I hope that in a relatively short time (let’s say two years) I will not only break even, but I’ll also be able to pay myself a small ($50?) salary every month.
Hail to Pitt!
I returned to my beat in Little Italy earlier today. I sat on my usual stool at the bar in Armand’s. I drank 16-ounce cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and ate bags of peanuts and watched Law & Order on the television at my end of the bar and I watched Liberty Avenue. The sun was bright and outside it was around 89. The air conditioning in Armand’s felt great.
I’m happy to report that yoga pants are still in style in Little Italy in Pittsburgh. Young women wear them and older women wear them, too. I guess that makes me a butt man. Let’s just say I’m a woman’s man.