travis vachon

hey blogger, get paid

I'm part of a writing club whose challenge I've failed to meet for the last couple weeks. I could make some protestations about moving and maximum work energy but I'd rather just make the money back, so I'm going to tell you how to get paid to write blog posts, and how to get us all paid going forward. Getting paid is a little stinky for me as a core motivation for doing stuff, but I gotta pay these writing club bills.

pay me

To start getting me paid when you read my content, you'll need to put some money into the system. The good news is, the system you're putting money into already gives you a bunch more benefits than just paying greedy li'l me. Web Monetization is an emerging web standard that lets website publishers tell web browsers how to pay them. Many web browsers now have extensions that let you tell your browser that you'd like to pay people a little bit every time you look at a website, and a company called Coil runs a $5 per month service that gives you a way to let your browser do that.

The extensions all pay on a flat, per-second rate - that is, for every second someone with a Coil account and the browser extension looks at your website, you get paid a small, set rate. In the future, extensions and browsers that provide this service will need to provide more fine-grained controls for allowing us to determine who to pay, but for now it's pretty simple.

Websites that support Web Monetization can detect whether or not web monetization is enabled in your browser, and change the user experience based on that information - the ability to let website owners hide or restrict content based on Web Monetization is likely to become prevalent in platforms that support this new form of content monetization.

To get started paying me, sign up for an account at coil.com and follow their instructions to get set up with Web Monetization. Also check out all the rad content you get access to with your Coil membership on their explore page.

get paid

To start getting paid, you'll have to do just a liiiiittle bit of nerd-ops. The publishing platform you're using to write your blog produces HTML somehow. Within that HTML there's a section bounded by two tags, <head> and </head>. In that section you need to add a "meta" tag. You can use the meta tag generator on the Web Monetization website.

That tool, however, is going to ask you for your "Payment Pointer" and you'll need to do a little more work to get that. The easiest way to get a Payment Pointer is to use a service called Uphold that will create and manage digital wallets for you. You'll create a pointer to one of those digital wallets that you can use to generate your Web Monetization meta tag.

First, sign up for their service. This is a little bit annoying, but you'll be getting paid real money so they need to be a little more careful than most services you use. You don't need to configure your account for withdrawals just yet, but don't forget to do that once you're set up with Web Monetization. Once you've signed up, follow the instructions in Uphold's Documentation to create your Payment Pointer.

Finally, plug your Payment Pointer into the meta tag generator, stick the meta tag that tool generates into your HTML <head> section, hit save, publish your blog, and away we go! Next time you visit your blog you should see a little green badge over the Coil extension in your browser and you'll be paying yourself!

stay tuned

This is a little complicated right now, but we're trying to make it easier to publish content in a place you control, monetized the way you choose, with itme.online - we're working hard to build you a next-generation platform for self-sustaining communal thought!