At Rhythm Changes, an organization approached me and asked to talk to me about ways that we could support each other's endeavours. I immediately reacted, "I think I know what's going on here." And it's something that I've never done before in my independent media venture yet: something I have no plans to do. I'll tell you what that is, why I don't do it, and why I can decline this offer and have it be totally fine.
It's sponsored content. Apparently everybody's for sale, all the other publications other than mine in the local arts space. They do spon-con, they'll put up an article that says "Sponsored by so-and-so," and they'll charge fees for however many of those you want to do. They'll write whatever you want and put it up there, right alongside their regular content.
This is also called advertorial. You see it in magazines, it's common indeed. And these folks were telling me, "Hey, I heard you want to make money doing Rhythm Changes here. I know a way that you could make some more money! How about you present a package to us and then partner with us?"
My response? Well, I'm not for sale, and you can't put a price on that. I get to write about whatever I want, whenever I want.
I've never considered doing any sponsored content, and I'm totally chill with that. If there's a situation that's appropriate for you to place advertisements inside my content, I would consider doing that. But sponsored content? No, it's not part of what I'm doing at all.
The value of being not-for-sale is so much higher than what people in our small community could buy me out of, by making me do sponsored content. So, you know, I had a fun conversation with them. I found a nice way to say that.
But this is where it gets real, right? This is why I have subscribers: so that I can say no to people like that, say I'm not for sale, continue to do what I want to do. I think that's how I can have the most fun with you and do the most useful work; this experience only reinforced that I made a good decision when I set out on that particular path.