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MrsMoe
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« on: July 01, 2022 @276.25 »

So, something I've been wanting to do for a while is run a blog where I can post both film reviews and short stories. I plan on making a proper Neocities site eventually, but I'd like to have a space where I can actually earn ad revenue for my work.

However, there's something that might be a huge problem: I want to write horror short stories. I've always loved horror and I can't imagine myself making stories for any other genre. I know that sounds small-minded, but it's true. My main concern, however, is that Google seems to only grant ad spaces to websites that are deemed "ad-friendly". I'm not sure what that means for me if I have stories involving violence and gore. Is there a way of getting around this? Or is there any other way I can get regularly paid for what I write?
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2022 @805.66 »

Relying on Google ad-sense may not be your best bet. You could look into other ad networks, or even selling your own ads privately; but a better option, in my opinion, is to look into publishing your stories in a magazine instead. A lot will pay you for first-publishing rights.

I have never looked into doing this for horror stories, but I quickly googled "horror short story magazine" and got quite a few results, including this list on Medium.

Getting accepted can be difficult though. I submitted a few times to sci fi and poetry magazines like Neo-opsis and Arc and was always rejected. Just remember that doesn't necessarily reflect the quality of your writing and not to be disparaged. You could be rejected for any number of reasons, like how much space they have available in the upcoming issue, the editor's personal taste, or maybe they prioritize known authors.

To address that last possible reason for rejection, you could try publishing somewhere for free at first. There are sites like Creepypasta or you could find a horror-themed wiki. Or, if you're a college/university student, it's very likely the English department has its own student magazine. Although I agree the concept of working for "exposure" suuuuuuucks, getting your name out there as an author can be an important first step.

There are a lot of hurdles, but if you're looking to make money from your writing I think it's better than the ad-based approach.

Oh, and if you do publish your stories anywhere, definitely let me know. I'd love to read them.
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2022 @882.08 »

~Moved to the Writers Corner as this seems to be more about blogging and getting paid for writing.

Everything Mambo said is great advice, I don't have much to add other than consider Patreon or Ko-Fi as payment sources! They both depend on you having an established fan base though; and they tend to rely on you doing extra work for your patrons but if that can fit into your plans that might be a great way to get some cash from your work :grin:
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2023 @208.53 »

So, something I've been wanting to do for a while is run a blog where I can post both film reviews and short stories. I plan on making a proper Neocities site eventually, but I'd like to have a space where I can actually earn ad revenue for my work.

However, there's something that might be a huge problem: I want to write horror short stories. I've always loved horror and I can't imagine myself making stories for any other genre. I know that sounds small-minded, but it's true. My main concern, however, is that Google seems to only grant ad spaces to websites that are deemed "ad-friendly". I'm not sure what that means for me if I have stories involving violence and gore. Is there a way of getting around this? Or is there any other way I can get regularly paid for what I write?

As somebody who had published a couple of novels through a small press but is now out of print (because the small press went out of business in 2019): getting paid to write fiction is hella difficult. Even if Google doesn't penalize you for putting horror fiction online, the ad revenue you get probably won't support you. I publish fiction on my website, but I don't run ads. I've always been a writer with a day job, and I honestly think there's no shame in that; being able to write full-time is an enormous privilege beyond the reach of most. You either have to come from money, marry into money, or be extraordinarily lucky or good at marketing yourself.

Nevertheless, I have some suggestions that might help. If you want to run Google ads on your website, publish horror online, and are concerned about getting penalized by Google, what I would suggest is that you skip Neocities. Instead, rent space on a host like Dreamhost or Nearly Free Speech. Rent a domain for your site. You only need one. You could also create a separate Neocities account for your horror stories, but that might run afoul of the NeoCities terms of service so I'll assume you rent space on a host and rent a domain.

Suppose you register mrsmoe.org. Your main site should be served on both mrsmoe.org and www.mrsmoe.org. Don't put your horror stories here. Instead, you should create a separate website for your horror stories on a subdomain like horror.mrsmoe.org. The "horror." is the subdomain part, just like "www.". You can link to horror.mrsmoe.org from mrsmoe.org with rel="nofollow" to tell search engines to ignore this link. You can also add the following in the meta tags for every page on horror.mrsmoe.org:

Code
<meta content="noindex, nofollow" name="Googlebot" />
<meta content="noindex, nofollow" name="AdsBot-Google" />

The first meta tag shown above should ensure that pages on horror.mrsmoe.org don't show up in Google's search engine. The secondline specifically bars Google's ad bot from indexing pages on horror.mrsmoe.org or following links from such pages.

I hope this helps and isn't too confusing.
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