"You need a club."
That's what he said. He will remain nameless but I'll go as far as to say he's a qualified business owner who's gifted with the Midas touch.
That was his sage advice to me and our mutual friend and colleague, Vicki Warner of WarnerWords.
We take this man's suggestions quite seriously, and for the couple of ensuing months, we both pondered the how-to aspects of establishing a club for indie biz owners that do similar work to what we do. When we finished our pondering, we compared ideas and the Virtual Buskers' Guild was established.
The scope of this club predominantly includes, writers and videographers and those two titles can break down further (although not in all cases) to bloggers and vloggers. By the way, to ensure you're in the know, blogger is the short term for web-logger and vlogger is the short term for video-web-logger.
The point of the club is to gain ground in not only helping you, as a reader, keep up with your favorite bloggers and vloggers, but to go a few steps further in introducing you to new ones you may have interest in and to give you an easy method of tipping them when you're enjoying their work.
A new & simple indie biz concept
A new author and blogger that joined our ranks recently asked why readers would ever tip bloggers. I explained that bloggers can earn tips the same way street performers do, but in a virtual setting. Tipping a writer for a job well done is the same as tipping a hair stylist, or a manicurist or even a funeral service professional.
The difference for the writers is, we have a virtual office we work from, and the same goes for our tip jars, piggy banks, coffee cups, whatever virtual images we might use to represent the option. The tipping is electronic and done via PayPal, Bitcoin, etcetera.
If we're producing content, text and imagery, that readers enjoy, some readers exhibit appreciation by leaving us a tip. And, because they do, it allows us to maintain our own websites, which are our virtual storefronts within the indie biz community, where we provide our readers/viewers with a variety of content unique to each writer and or videographer. It can be news, short stories, instructional articles, consumer reviews, promotions, etcetera.
The difference in those of us who earn an income via tips is we don't have to resort to plastering advertisements on our sites, and we have no subscription fees. It's free and the monetary gratuities we receive are completely voluntary.
Producing quality content in blogs and vlogs takes work. It takes planning, the use of techno-gadgetry and time. On VBG's website home page, Vicki Warner stresses that members have to actually put some effort into their work if they expect to earn tips. A poorly maintained site, with poor content will result in a poor business owner. Not many of us who visit a site that hasn't been updated for ages, or has sloppy content, are gonna be inclined to leave a tip for the site owner.
So, if vloggers and bloggers wanna earn an income they'll actually have to work for it, or get someone else to do the work for them but somewhere, someone's gonna be working if they expect to earn tips.
The club is a free-to-join group. The requirements are that the members have their own website and offer their site visitors a method for virtual tipping. Here on flashPress, the methods I have in place are PayPal and Bitcoin with instructions to use them in the sidebar of my site's blog pages. Other vloggers and bloggers may have alternative tipping options. What the club doesn't support is donations. Reason is, donations are what are given just to be giving. They aren't issued as a gratuity for work well done.
Virtual Buskers' Guild members take pride in the work they produce, and are in no way asking for a charitable contribution. Tips reflect earnings from work.
If you're a blogger or vlogger, I hope you'll visit the Virtual Buskers' Guild website and consider joining us. If you're not a blogger or vlogger, and know someone who is, please consider passing this article along to them. Maybe it will help them gain ground with bettering their income and the networking benefits and support within the indie biz community are amazing.
I also hope you'll take a bit of time to have a look at a few other recent posts produced by some awesome writers.
That's it for this one!
God bless you, thanks for the read and see you next week!
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