I think I might need a new job

Any got a writing job going?

Traffic at one place I write appears to have fallen off a cliff. And I’m paid by traffic. No, it’s not just me. It’s a general site thing. I’ve seen this before and it doesn’t end well.

So, a new writing job, anyone got any ideas?

58 thoughts on “I think I might need a new job”

  1. I don’t know what the pay’s like but Reason.com could use a decent economics writer. I think you’d fit in well with the general tone of the place.

  2. Mal Reynolds (Serenity)

    Second MattyJ. You’d also be an improvement on many of their writers *looks at Robby Soave* whilst still remaining within the same political-philosophical area.

  3. MR doesn’t pay, no. ArsTechnica are really a bit precious. I did some test pieces and they were all arts graduates about details of expression etc. Near no interest in the actual ideas, it was all about language.

  4. If the site in question is Forbes, tell them to fix their site.

    Going there to read your articles is a real pain. The site is so slow due to the massive number of ads tacked on – and pop-up video ads are just unacceptable.

    I expect many people close the window before getting to the article & don’t go back. I’m at the point of giving up.

    Having content paid for by ads is OK – but they have to show some restraint.

  5. Mal Reynolds (Serenity)

    Second MattyJ. You’d also be an improvement on many of their writers *looks at Robby Soave* whilst still remaining within the same political-philosophical area.

    While you *have a point* – Soave’s got really good hair to make up for it.

    Tim Worstall

    I did speak with Reason years ago and from what I recall the pay is terrible.

    Probably – but it beats nothing.

  6. Why don’t you post a link to some of your work on the site in question – its possible that its simply one we don’t know about and if the site is worth a damn they might get some sustained eyeballs.

  7. If the site in question is Forbes, tell them to fix their site.

    That was my first thought too. I have given up reading there – I now just read whatever is “above the fold” on the RSS feed.

    And have you seen – Ritchie is hiring! (Not linked, per blog policy)

  8. “Tim Worstall

    ArsTechnica are really a bit precious.”

    Plus, frankly, they’re not exactly ‘classic liberals’ over there. Support for state interference in a lot of tech issues – they were *big* supporters of net neutrality – and they tend to the SJWy side of of social issues. Commenters are often Full-on-Progressive for most things. ‘Free Markets’ is not something they like.

  9. The core issue is the lack of traffic to the websites. I think we are moving to ‘information overload’. Remember how important this topic was a few decades ago? Well we are picking the fruit.

    Because every man and his dog can start a weblog, the cost of the written word has fallen. There is very little a computer can do to distinguish between a worthwhile blog and just plain rubbish.

    You are not the only guy worried about getting paid for writing articles and comments. Once you find a solution to predicament please tell us, unless it is not in your best interest.

    A standard fallback for any aspiring writer is porn, it sell, 50 shades of gray, case in point. Start with a catchy title: Shagging in the Shard, and fill the pages.

  10. It’s not that at all. It appears to have lost its search engine mojo. And that’s always where the majority of traffic will come from. Lose that and a site is effectively dead. At this time of day I should be getting x traffic just from the archive. I’m getting perhaps 5% of x.

    It could be a temporary thing but…..

  11. Having had a scout around some search engine metrics, it looks like Forbes got hit by the latest Google update. Definitely time to find a new writing job – generally it takes a long time for a website to recover, if at all.

  12. Depending on what sort of terms you’re on with Mr Martin these days, there’s that ‘Reaction’ site he set up recently?

  13. Mal Reynolds (Serenity)

    Agammamon

    While you *have a point* – Soave’s got really good hair to make up for it

    You know who else had really good hair?

  14. CapX? I wrote for them a couple of days ago. Doesn’t seem to have made it through the process though. And while I’ll keep trying there (I’ve had some success in the past) freelancing means you need one base, solid, contract, to make the process work.

  15. I think you should run a lottery amongst your fans.

    I used to love your articles for The Register. (Basic economic principles explained to people who aren’t stupid but who come from other disciplines).

    I would happily pay a small weekly fee to read articles like that and to get the chance of picking the next title.

    Working out whether the number of people who would be interested, and how much they would pay, and the admin overheads would be a job for… an economist?

  16. Forbes used to do surprisingly well in Google rankings, despite its horrible ads policy (especially the interstitial Thought of the Day).

    Quite a few bloggers simply beg their readership for donations: what the Americans might call the PBS or NPR model. I’ve no idea how successful they are. I imagine it helps if you tailor your blog content to attract people with lots of spare dosh and an vague desire to help others.

    Hence your next headline should be: “Why donkey sanctuaries neither need nor deserve your money”. The idea is that you draw in people with an interest in donating money to donkey sanctuaries, then re-target their funds to yourself with a polite bleg a few posts later. It helps if you post adorable pictures of ragged kids (they don’t have to be yours, it’s merely implied), sorrowfully playing with a cardboard box at Christmas because that’s all you can afford. On no account mention Algarve, pubs, enjoying life more than your donors, etc.

  17. I understand Google’s last big update penalised sites that are shite for mobile. The talk was of sites that have automatic pop-ups blocking the content, but I’m sure Forbes, with their fucking annoying “Quote of the Day”, their insistence on spreading small articles over two pages (what, because of the size of each sheet of paper?), their script-addled site that takes a week to load, and their tiny tiny print on mobile screens, could have qualified for a punishment too. Your pieces there are good, Tim, but their Web designers are simply morons.

    The Register’s gone badly downhill since you and Page left. It’s not just yet another instance of O’Sullivan’s Law; it’s that they can’t even be relied on to cover tech stories any more. I see a tech story make the news, I go to The Reg for decent coverage. Or I used to. These days, half the time, it’s simply not there.

    No, sorry, I don’t have any suggestions.

  18. The elephant in the room is that lots of people like writing. So much so that they do it for free.

    Obviously the quality can be highly variable, but then so is the readership.

    Difficult to compete with that.

    And another thing is that people just read less (or they seem to, this might just be grumpy-old-fart mode).

    I really like MRU, but (last time I looked) it never remembers where I’ve got to, and neither do I, so I kind of stalled.

    Maybe you could mix something like that (though written instead of video), with your Reg-style “economics for not-dummies from other fields”. Presented in a systematic, orderly fashion. Possibly even delivered to mailbox (for non-RSS-type people). Don’t know how much money there would be in that though.

    Might have to tweak your persona as well. Given the blandification of El Reg, the “provocative extremist” role may be part of what got you purged. That said, it seems to work for Trump 🙂

    In short, I dunno.

  19. Tim, it seems to me that you have the gift of an old style newspaper man, mostly in the polemical but also sometimes in the investigatory traditions.

    Rather than finding a berth elsewhere, is it open to you to create one of your own?

  20. Mal Reynolds (Serenity)
    October 14, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Agammamon

    While you *have a point* – Soave’s got really good hair to make up for it

    You know who else had really good hair?

    Postrel?

  21. If you just got Google to index this site you might get a bit more interest.

    It’s impossible to find anything on here that didn’t happen in the last couple of days!

    Get some more traffic here and throw in a couple of ads.

    Also, Youtube, £1 per 1,000 views. Naked Economics 101, it’s a guaranteed hit.

  22. Lud

    “Rather than finding a berth elsewhere, is it open to you to create one of your own?”

    That could be interesting!

    I’m reminded that the Breitbart London site started from pretty much nothing not that far back. Having Delingpole lead it was obviously important. Tim, don’t you know some of those guys?

  23. I’m sure your daft appearances on Sputnik aren’t going to do you any favours. It makes you as nuts as all the people you detest.

  24. Forbes no longer ranks in Google simply because nobody links to articles in it, same with the Times, the Sun. The BBC online is going down the pan for the same reason.
    Daily Mail gets linked to from all sorts of places and I see lots of Graun and Telegraph links.

    You could try Medium.com, doesn’t pay but would give you exposure. You could just post all your old reg. posts, one every two days. Make sure you link back here.

    Whilst you’re at it, collapse the archives, categories, h.trivial and vainglory into links on the right and put some google ads all the way down the left, all I’m getting at the moment is four ads for Amazon.

  25. Change your name, change your philosophy, preferably change your sexual orientation with a bit of radical surgery and the whole of the Guardian is your oyster

  26. “Try the spectator.

    Try Taki mag.”

    Interesting….but I have in fact been fired from both already.

  27. Tim
    Work the phones/email to get yourself slots on the BBC. And The Times. Ask Matt Ridley for connections?
    Once, I could have offered you a direct link to the editor of the Economist; but he divorced my cousin.

  28. Doing the Beeb on Thursday, might well be back at the T in a few weeks. Economist doesn’t hire freelancers….

  29. Interesting about the Beeb – I understood the BBC exercised positive discrimination against male “economists”.

    That’s what our petulant Professor Murphy alleged when he was excluded from a series of appearances there.

  30. Tim W; That actually is the next plan

    I thought that’s what you had in mind the other day when you were asking about three column layouts or some such stuff that went over my head.

  31. I have been looking for an option to make money that I find morally acceptable. The current ad-slinging method isn’t acceptable to me which is the major reason I haven’t bothered to start my own site yet. I do have one idea but I am still developing the concept. My biggest problem is that if I share it too widely someone with more resources will just use it and I will end up with nothing. I don’t see any IP that deserves to be protected. Being the first useful platform is important IMHO. Unfortunately this makes it hard to trust others to help in development.

    In my personal view Forbes’ problem isn’t the content. I see plenty of stories(or at least used to) in news feeds I want to read. The problem is that the advertising is so overwhelming I don’t want to go to Forbes in the first place. I don’t link to articles from Forbes because I don’t want to subject others to the mess that is the advertising structure.

  32. @Squander Two, October 14, 2016 at 10:30 am

    I understand Google’s last big update penalised sites that are shite for mobile. The talk was of sites that have automatic pop-ups blocking the content, but I’m sure Forbes, with their fucking annoying “Quote of the Day”, their insistence on spreading small articles over two pages (what, because of the size of each sheet of paper?), their script-addled site that takes a week to load, and their tiny tiny print on mobile screens, could have qualified for a punishment too. Your pieces there are good, Tim, but their Web designers are simply morons.

    +1 My bold

    Disable scripts, trackers, ads and other crap and Forbes is OK.

    The Register’s gone badly downhill since you and Page left. It’s not just yet another instance of O’Sullivan’s Law; it’s that they can’t even be relied on to cover tech stories any more.

    +1 El Reg is rubbish post mid Oct 2015

    I see a tech story make the news, I go to The Reg for decent coverage. Or I used to. These days, half the time, it’s simply not there.

    Yep, one recent I remember is DM story on: ARM competitor (Ha ha ha ha ha) Microfocus buys… Nothing on El Reg.

    El Reg – Alexa

    Sad to watch a good site commit suicide by PC lefties.

  33. Heisenberg,

    The layout is ugly but at least it loaded without 734657 scripts. I am more likely to go there than Forbes.

  34. @Tim Worstall, October 14, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    “@Andy, October 14, 2016 at 11:26 amTry the spectator.

    Try Taki mag.”

    Interesting….but I have in fact been fired from both already.

    When? Why?

    Try DM, Express, Breitbart, Politico, The Scotsman, Aberdeen Press & Journal

  35. Ad blockers are the problem with Forbes. It’s a standoff between the website and my ad blocker (which I have everywhere including my phone). Forbes is unique in that you have to take off the ad blocker or you can’t read the site at all.

    So I can only read your stuff there in my Feedly

  36. My script blocker hates CityAM as well. Wired does the same(Or used to, I haven’t been back since). I wouldn’t say Forbes is unique.

  37. What Feyi said. The turn off ad blocking requirement made it all too hard to bother reading Forbes. Completely up to them, of course…

  38. The real problem is we are getting ready for civil war.

    Both sides now think that there are too many words not enough violence.

  39. You should approach the trusts that fund Ritchie and suggest they give you the same amounts in the interests of balance.

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