On Achieving My First 1,000 Page Views on Yahoo

As I write this, I am hovering on the brink -$1.49 and 990 page views – of my first Yahoo paycheck. It has taken me nearly 3 months and 22 submissions. I told my husband that when I cross that line, the champagne is coming out. Of course, it will cost me my next three years salary, but some things are worth it.

Every morning for the past three months, I’ve checked my Yahoo page views along with the stock market. I consider my Yahoo account a poorly performing money market fund but at least I don’t have to worry about it disappearing, unlike our retirement funds. My husband has been following this journey as well since he was hoping for a sailboat out of this. “So what’s the count today?” he queries every night at dinner. “Fifty-two cents and counting!” I exult.

Now, I’ve been trying to decide which should be the most positive way to calculate my earnings. If one wants to calculate it as daily earnings, my $1.50 averaged over 3 months comes out to 1.6 cents per day. I kind of like this one because I’m getting paid even on the days I don’t write. My average post takes three hours of writing time. (OK, I realize I need to speed this up.) So 22 posts written over 66 hours and paid at a total of $1.50 nets me 2 cents an hour for actual work time. Alternatively, if one wishes to calculate a per-post profit, 22 pieces paid at $1.50, it comes to 6 (well, almost 7) cents each. Each has its own psychological advantages.

The wild card in all this high finance, however, is whether to calculate in all the time I’ve spent dealing with Yahoo’s IT-disabled site. If readers hadn’t helped me along the way, I would never have reached this first-paycheck milestone. I would have taken out my Uzi and hunted down the morons who allegedly run this site, and now be serving 30 years. It was a full month (and 9 messages to the Help Desk) just to get my flower pot avatar up – a problem endlessly posted on the Forum and endlessly ignored by Yahoo “tech support” (a term I intentionally put in quotes). (Turns out it won’t load it via Internet Explorer anymore; you need to use Mozilla Firefox which I had to load just for this purpose.) I won’t belabor the other technical problems on this site since you all know them too well. But from a financial point of view, if you factor in the hours dealing with Yahoo, I’m afraid this whole project is a dead loss. So I’m going to ignore this and chalk it up to higher education.

But here’s the part that really DOES worry me. I couldn’t help but notice that Michele Starkey, whose work I love and read regularly, has some 400,000 page views. At my current rate of 1,000 page views per 3 months, or 4,000 per year, it will take me 100 years to match that. I realize that she is one of the top posters and that maybe I need to set my sights a little lower, so maybe I should be shooting for 185,000 page views of Lorraine Yapps Cohen, my dear friend and the person who introduced me, over coffee at our local Starbucks, to the Yahoo Associated Content website. That would be achievable in a far more manageable 46.25 years.

One thing is clear: if I’m ever going to give Lorraine a run for her money, I’ve got to up my game. But meanwhile, getting that first pay check will be a huge psychological boost. I’m already planning to get up early tomorrow morning (a Sunday yet) and check. So please: make my day.

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