Up until a couple of weeks ago I had never made a penny from my internet presence. Not a dime. Not a peanut.
For some reason Bravissimo don’t consider my physique at all suitable to advertise their buoyant range of bras and glandular support devices – this despite my enthusiastic championing of all the marvellous work they do – and so my pleading to feature one of their banner ads on my web site fell on deaf ears. Even after I’d offered to do it for next to nothing.
Clearly their business brains are suffering from a poor blood supply. They might want to consider a cross-your-heart bra in future.
So I had reconciled myself to a life of non-monetary recompense for all my wonderful web work. I even turned it into a virtue.
Ha! Let others whore and sell themselves for baby wear lines and cholesterol lowering products. For me it is all about the writing. The written word. The art, my luvies, the art.
And then Marks & Spencer – or rather an advertising agency working for Marks & Spencer - approached me via email and offered to pay me $90 (yes, you heard that right: $90) just to feature a text link to their wine page on my main web site, pocketropolis, for a year.
Ha! I thought. Easy money if it’s kosher.
‘Cos I must admit I was a bit dubious about the payment actually being made. Despite my Willo The Wisp and fairy light demeanour (ahem) I am a cynical soul who wouldn’t so much look a gift horse in the mouth as give it a CT scan.
But – and this is what persuaded me – I haven’t updated pocketropolis in about 2 years. I’ve neglected it badly. It’s like a garden slowly going to seed. You know how it is – too many other pressing things to do; too many other creative projects, work, kids, life. But nevertheless this is where M&S and their advertising lackey wanted the link. Not on my blog (whose stats are looking so good they could be on a catwalk). But on my main web site that is starting to resemble a torched car left on a roadside in Essex.
Money for old rope then. (Hey, wonder if Bravissimo have ever thought about designing a bra made from old rope?)
So I added the text link. Not exactly in pride of place. And waited for payment.
It took a while. The old cynic in me began to hover its index finger over the delete key. All those prompt replies from the lackey when they were chasing me had stopped. I heard nothing for days.
And then just when I was about to give up the money arrived electronically.
Just over £50 given the current crap exchange rate.
Shit. I’ve finally made money out of this internet thing. Money for nothing. My chics for free.
And I don’t feel like I had to hack off a bit of my soul and hide it in an old locket for Harry Potter to find at a later date either.
It’s good. I think I have the bug. Now I want to make some real money. Big bucks. Amounts that would make a Swiss banker cry.
See, I have this idea for a web site... kind of a social networking thing where people can upload photos and tag people in them only I’ll assume copyright of all their images and then secretly deploy face recognition software which can be abused by third parties to identify everybody on the site and all of them can pay me loads of money to trample all over everybody else’s human rights...
Or do I need to hack off a bit more of my soul before I'm able to leap onto the Facebook bandwagon?
P.S. I was going to illustrate this post with a nice picture of a fulsomely filled bra. A rope bra. 'Cos it would fit the gag I made above. I typed "rope bra" into Google's image search.
Sweet Gee Zus. I thought I'd seen everything and could stomach about the same.
You learn something new everyday.
I need to start practising my double carrick bend.
It's a type of knot (in case you were wondering).
I am impressed. Not so much with the idea of the £50 (as you are worth so much more) but at the idea of a rope bra.
Misssy M: I would remove the anchor first (just in case you were wondering).
I'd never even looked at your Pocketropolis site. Have just had a look. Very nice. I clicked on the M&S link in case that gives you another tenner.
Trish: alas, no. But if you drink lots and lots of wine I might ask you to give me some money just before you pass out. That usually works for me. I'm too nice to commit an actual mugging.
a rope bra? To be honest I'd be better off with one made of scaffold.
Heather: really?! I've got some welding goggles in the garage... give me 5 minutes and I'll be straight over. Do you want the bolts poking in or out?
Oh...kerchiiiiing!! I thought you were going to write about some dubious activity in the local public conveniences with George Michael...
Nota Bene: actually, you need to read Rol's blog for that kind of thing. Seriously.
I took a similar payment for plugging another high street name recently. They paid me upfront but I'm still waiting on clearance to post the post in question.
Any other business ideas you have, Steve - count me in. I'm looking to the future once the bad days of gainful employment are behind me!
Hmm... just read the comments... how much are you billing me for that link to my own blog?
Rol: we could always co-write a film or TV script and sell it to the biggest bidder. Yeah. I know. I'm dreaming. You wouldn't be able to stand the thought of working with me.
As for how I want to be paid for the link... let's discuss that next time we see each other in the toilets.
Get you Mr. Money pants.
Seriously a rope bra, sounds kind of nautical... can just see them now in my shop (not with you modelling though - sorry :)
Suzanne: what if I brought my own snorkel?
You realise, of course, that your stats are now going into orbit, don't you? And 'rope bra' is the search term that's taking them there.
Don't come the innocent with me!
You don’t need to waste good time and money with ‘rope’ Steve. Just twist up all your old Tesco bags and tie them altogether like we do. Tried rope bras once. Too prickly and abrasive for me, and they always shrink down a few cup sizes when wetted. We call them ‘Pretty Polly Bag Bras’ and ‘Polly Thongs’. Come in handy too when you’re out shopping and one of your bags breaks in the high street…just whip your underwear off and break out a fresh new bag. Simples.
TheDotterel: honestly, I was totally shocked by what Google threw up - my hands knotted together instantly with... er... stress.
Phil: let's be honest, they don't make plastic bags like they used to. A couple of oranges or even a single melon and they split open and the contents fall out into the road.
Whoa. I see what you're saying.
Hold on... I'm ringing the patent office right now.
There ya go…the birth of ‘Boobopolis’ right there. Worlds first recyclable plastic underwear with built in corporate branding exposure. You can even use the split bags as well in a ‘lust & temptation’ range. You can fiddle around as the head of R&D. I’ll handle all the photoshoots…
Oh my goodness... it was the "images" page on the Google Rope Bra search that left my jaw hanging... I must be living in a parallel universe, or something, never even heard of a rope bra, let alone imagined pictures of such a thing could jazz up my Monday so quickly here. Trust Steve to find something titillating for us without fail ! ... pardon the bad pun... But will you remember us when you're filthy rich, and dressing your harem in rope bras instead of writing on your blog ???
Phil: R&D eh? Well, I'm kind of a hands-on kind of guy so I'd be quite happy with that role. I wonder if we could recycle the net bags used to contain oranges?
Owen: I must admit it was only one of a handful of times that Google left me goggle-eyed. And of course I'll remember you, Owen. I'll need someone to weave all that rope together...
Recycled orange net bag bras eh? Outstanding idea. Think of all the designer suntan opportunities. We could start a whole new fashion in noughts & crosses style boob tan lines with a great big naught in the middle just to ‘game it all up’ a bit?
Phil: or even chequers or chess! How fun it will be to cry "king me! king me!" on a well rounded board whose pink queen stands erect and proud!
To quote a modern Chinese proverb, fortune of a million dollars starts with 90 bucks. Your next step should be to send Bravissimo photos of you wearing their bras and jockstraps.
Gorilla Bananas: I already did that. I received a very nice restraining order by return of post.
Great idea for a social networking site. Just remember NOT to post a picture of your Weiner Dog on it unless it looks like this: http://www.tonyrocks.com/wp-content/weinerdog.jpg
Emma: where's the barbecue sauce?
Rope Bra...what if there's a loose thread?
As for the 50 quid, not a bad little earner. From small acorns and all that...nice one
Take the money and run...or take the money and keep writing, I'll click and hopefully they'll give you groceries for a year...or a singlet at least...
Löst Jimmy: what if there's a loose thread? Well, it would be an absolute tragedy to watch as it all unfolded. But someone would have to do it.
About Last Weekend: a Marks & Spencer singlet? Now I know I've arrived. Click twice and I might get a pair of briefs. ;-)
Brilliant for making this all pay. I foresee a bright future for you, stock market flotation and everything.
My friend and I once dreamt up Brillo pad underwear, so I'm thinking we should go into business - a sort of chafing Anne Summers.
Keith: chafing but self cleaning underwear? I like it. We could have wire wool bras and everything. "Get dirty but be clean".
I had something to say, I'm sure of it. But I lost my train of thought after your reply to Rol.
p.s. if you two ever find a way of working collaboratively (on WRITING) I would love to read that.
Being Me: you mean WRITING as in writing, right? Not as in euphemism? Although my penmanship is pretty damn good. ;-)
No, most definitely meant writing. With pens. Biro's. Keyboards. Quills. Oh, damn #flusterednow
Being Me: or wax crayons or big, bristly paintbrushes, or a big sleek pump action airbrush...?
That kind of thing?
How did I not know about pocketropolis??? Funny, funny stuff you write. You should be making lots of money from it!
Femminismo: alas, the BBC have threatened legal action unless I stop harrassing them for a job.
I was also unaware of your pocketropolis blog, I just thought it was your twitter handle that I always have trouble spelling!
Why did M&S pay you in dollars?
And.... how upset will I be if I google rope bra, bear in mind I've just eaten?
Very Bored in Catalunya: pocketropolis isn't so much a blog as a "thing". It's what I did before I had this blog. It needs a huge revamp but I just can't spare the time right now. As for the Google thing... it won't put you off your food but it might put you off knitting for a while.
Ah man... real money?! You're just like an angel. Your skin make me cry. I wish I was special...
Wanderlust: my bank confirmed it was real. I was in credit. It was like hearing the voice of God.
Well done! There are so many rubbish blogs around that make money, at least yours is really interesting and well written! Forget the rope bra, write about nappy changes and the money will flow in! Ciao. A.
Lunarossa: nappy changing? Damn, I assured my bank manager that I would never discuss his secret lunchtime pursuits...
I didn't realise there was such a demand for middle class angst; but then I don't shop at M&S.
Marginalia: I didn't realize angst was a class thing.
Don't forget the little people.
The people who made you who you are today. ;)
MissBehaving: the people at work who have made me cynical and embittered? The sooner I forget those bastards the better! Oh, you mean...! Whoops. No, I will never forget you guys!
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