Appleton resident Joanna Dane is optimistic that the Paypal gadget she recently installed on her blog will earn her enough money that she won't have to get a real job. With her three children all in school, Dane's husband says, "I'm not taking the I can't work because I have to take care of the kids excuse any longer."
Dane started her blog, A Terminal Case of Whimsy, in August of 2011 as a way to explore her creative side. "I certainly didn't start it as a way to make money," Dane says of her blog where she regularly posts stories and drawings that would never have a chance of getting published in a regular magazine.
Dane looked into the Paypal gadget after her friend Adam Levin sent an article from the New Yorker citing crowdsourcing as a hot new trend.* "You should totally do this," Levin texted Dane. He was a little surprised when she actually did. "I told her I would donate $5 a month, but I didn't really think she would figure out how to set it up."
"It was a lot easier than I thought it would be," Dane reports with a smile. After receiving the link from Levin, she intended just to look into Paypal, to see what it was all about. But within 10 minutes, she had the subscribe button up and running on her blog.
"There's no turning back now!" Dane says with a chuckle.
She wasn't comfortable at first with the idea of asking people to give her money, especially friends and relatives. But Dane admitted, "There's a lot of awkward things you have to deal with when you have a blog, like when you post something really embarrassing about yourself and all the world can see it. So I'm kind of used to it by now."
Even though she has only 7 blog followers, 13 who receive email alerts when she posts, and almost no commenters, Dane said she's confident that this is her best chance yet of earning a regular income.
"I've always believed in the power of positive thinking," she said.
When asked if a thousand subscribers seems like a realistic goal, Dane replied, "One-thousand seems like a big number when you look at it, but if you just think of it as a small number then it doesn't seem so big anymore."
She admits that people can still read her blog for free if they want.
* Can Crowdfunding Replace Artists' Day Jobs (Even If They Have No Job?)