With literally ZERO capital, can somebody build a profitable media business on the web?
You may immediately say "yes" to that first question, since many have already built popular and profitable internet businesses (as well as popular though unprofitable internet businesses). But have they done so without venture capital, Kickstarter crowdfunding, credit card loans or other financial assistance? I would say there are maybe a few, if any.
The reason I bring this up is that I am going to explore this very idea, and really without a choice. I have to do this to continue along my career path, lest I change it to something less desirable.
I've been looking for new creative work these days and lately have been running into some businesses that want employees to work for nothing, or close to it. I don't know when or where this all started- I believe the collapsed economy gave some less-than-ethical business owners the perception that it's their right to exploit their workers so they can squeeze some precious extra bucks from their payroll. Or some new "start-ups" who believe content creators should be 'grateful' that "millions of people" will be "exposed" to your (UNPAID for) work showcased on their internet stage.
But also part of it is there are many creative "professionals" giving their work away for FREE (to unscrupulous other "professionals"), or at most for a pittance, in the hopes of gaining "future work" (ha ha!) which never happens, as the low-baller is always looking for the next lowest bidder, and if that's you again... you're probably losing money on top of losing money. Not the type of "future work" you want to be doing. (I'd love to share my job hunt stories here, but I think they'd make great reading for another time.)
I wish I were loaded or had people willing to invest in a creative venture, but I'm not loaded and most of my friends aren't either, or they're too immersed in their own careers to take any outside risks, creative or financial, and in my case, creative AND financial. So that means if I want to accomplish anything I believe in, I have to, as your Nike shoe salesman will advise, "just do it." Go forth. With or without.
"Dog Park: A Social Network."
So what is this book? It actually emerged from a photo shoot I did a while back for this "free" blog here on Patch. Of course, THIS type of "free" is a little different than THAT type of "free" I previously mentioned.
That "free" belongs in the "Food, Copy, Credit" kind of "free", where usually the "food" is a bargain pizza and a bag of chips- the "copy" is a crappy YouTube video- and the "credit" actually becomes an albatross around your neck, enough so that you're willing to pay whatever it takes for one of those internet "reputation cleaning" companies to erase your attribution (to that sucky project) from within the deep, dark bowels of Google.
I do the "free" blog for Patch because I want to share my creative ideas and I feel in doing so, readers can be entertained, inspired and informed... informed in general but especially informed about the things I do that will help me earn an honest income so I can continue to willingly offer this "free" creative content to the Patch readers.
I know many others have the same idea when they post for "free" here. Some want to share their politics. Some want to share advice. Some want to express their creativity, like myself.
But also, we do all this so we can get some recognition and self-promotion in a public way. Some are experts in their field who make a living on their consultation and opinion. Some are like me, wanting to make a creative dent in the world while also earning a real living from making stuff. (As opposed to making stuff up.)
The internet has become our "town square," especially since everyone is now embracing the spaces that are "social" and "mobile" through their smartphones and tablets. And sharing "media content" here is our current form of communication. It's not just text anymore, but sound, pictures, video. And it's all the good things and the bad things the world has to offer. All of it. Right now. In our pockets and at our fingertips.
With zero capital, can I build a creative media business that can make a positive impact in our society (inform, entertain, inspire, and even ethically employ) and which will eventually provide me with enough income to keep doing it? I hope so, because I have to.
Here's my first book. It's on a FREE promotion this weekend at the Kindle Store on Amazon.com. This is another type of "free" in the realm of internet economics- offering a FREE full-version product as a way to get people to experience it, and hopefully the receivers will give good word-of-mouth recommendations to others that it's worth buying for the $8.25 normal price!
So for TODAY and into the weekend, you can get my e-book, "Dog Park: A Social Network" for the promotional price of: FREE! for a very limited time.
Anybody can go to this link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B009JAHZKU/
and you'll receive a free e-book (digital book only), and all I hope is that you'll VIEW it (its a picture book!) and then tell your friends.
Note: You do not need a Kindle Fire tablet to view this e-book. You can view it on your iPad, iPhone, Android devices, PC and Mac computers, using the Kindle Reader app for your device. You'll see this info at the link above.
I hope you can download your "free" copy so you can view it and help me promote it in a "grassroots" style. After the free promo period, I hope through your word-of-mouth to actually earn some money from this e-book to fund my next publishing projects.
(And if you know of any honest-paying places looking for creative help right now, let me know!)
Thanks so much, readers!