Today is Bilerico's birthday. We've been a blog now for seven years. My first post wasn't pithy or in depth by any means. In fact, I can reproduce it in its entirety here.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Everything changes though. Here on the site, most pieces have become a wee bit longer. Posts like that one are now a daily feature in our "Quote of the Day" section. Instead of one or two people stopping by occasionally, we have thousands of folks showing up each and every day.
It's been a long, strange ride. The site has taken me in places I never expected. When I started the blog, I was a barely-above-minimum wage retail salesman at a watch store. Now I'm listed in a handful of LGBT history books and have won several awards for my writing.
One thing that hasn't changed though is the lack of a good paycheck that will actually pay my bills. For a while, our ad revenue was going strong, I got a grant to continue the site's work, and I was even able to pay an editor a small wage to assist me. Now the ad profits have dried up, there's no more grant, and my cost of living has quadrupled because we moved to DC.
I've mentioned before that I'm on disability for bipolar disorder. In Indiana, the amount I get every month would pay our mortgage. Here it barely covers half the rent. That monthly payment has given me the opportunity to pursue my dream of writing while allowing me to avoid the stress of a job that will set off my illness, but it's not a livable amount by any means.
Unfortunately, that's no longer possible. I have to get a real job. The consulting work I've been able to do has helped supplement my income, but there's also quite a few more social media and blogging experts in DC than in Indiana. Our fundraising pitches haven't done as well as they did before the economy tanked and I don't feel that it's the readers' job to support me. I started out doing this for minimal ad revenue instead of begging for cash from online friends and colleagues.
So while I've loved the past seven years of working online, I know that it's no longer feasible; I can't keep putting all of my eggs in the Bilerico basket. I know that I still want to write. I still want to put my thoughts out for discussion, but I also want to eat. If you know of a good job in communications, public relations, or social media, be sure to drop me a line and let me know.
This doesn't mean that the site is going away. I'm going to continue plugging away until I can't. I'm just looking for a job - most likely a part time gig because of my disability. It does mean though that when I find one I won't be able to put in over a dozen hours a day editing and writing and doing all the social media work, etc. The site will have to change somewhat - and we're currently talking with a handful of contributors about helping us to make those changes. No matter what, Bilerico will continue in some form or another.
So happy birthday, Bilerico. Now go get a job. It's time you paid your own way.
(7th birthday cake graphic via Bigstock)