2020…The Year That Was… Or Wasn’t!
I’ve been writing Phicklephilly for over 5 years now, and it’s been an incredible journey of dating, love, relationships, and discoveries.
I’d like to first express my incredible gratitude to everyone who’s chosen to read, like, comment, and most of all, follow my blog. I appreciate every one of you and will always try to respond to any of your comments on any of my stories.
This year’s been one of many challenges. I’m not here to talk about the number of cases or deaths from this virus. We all hear enough about that every day. We’ve all lost loved ones during this dark time. I hope we’ve all learned some things through this.
I’m just going to mention a few people here. I lost my childhood friend Michael back in March and that was a shock. To lose one from your generation at such a young age is jarring.
We also lost our former bass player Mark, from the band, Union Jacks this year. Another devastating loss.
Rest in power, gentlemen. You will be missed.
I’ve realized something very important during this pandemic. You really find out who your real friends are. I’ve reconnected with some wonderful people from my past and it’s been glorious. My current lineup of friends is going strong and I love every damn one of you! Also, I have to mention my three wonderful sisters. I love you all and I’m proud to be a part of this family!
But, I’ve also had to release some toxic people from my life. I realized through this I have nothing in common with any of them and simply acquired them through my jobs. I had to let them go. Some I wanted to cut off 2 years ago but didn’t have the heart. I knew they’d only stalk me at work. But in 2020 they made the decision simple. They just don’t fit into my life anymore. I’m not going to mention any names. I have no malice and hope they all find their way in life.
Anyway, let’s move on to brighter subjects.
Here’s where my life’s been in 2020.
I remember working 55 to 60 hours a week at my job earlier in the year. One day I came home feeling tired. I looked in the mirror and said, “I wish this would all just stop.”
And it did.
My daughter and I were both laid off from our jobs in March. We waited a week, and then both filed for unemployment.
The first week or so it was just strange. Then we sort of settled into the fact that we couldn’t go to our jobs anymore.
What would we do with this sudden, paid free time?
We had some ideas. I decided to make phicklephilly.wordpress.com into my own domain. I bought Phicklephilly.com four years ago and own it. So I called the nice folks over at GoDaddy and had that integrated into my site. Now it’s more searchable on Google and has brought so much more traffic to the site. If you google phicklephilly now, it’s the first thing that comes up.
With that came WordPress ads. They run ads on your site, and that generates revenue. You have to complete a bunch of forms for that and give them all of your tax info. Because it’s real income.
But here’s the thing… the revenue for the ads run is minimal. They’ll serve thousands of ads on your site. But the return is tiny. Phicklephilly’s been around for over five years and I have tons of content. (Over 2,000 posts) I figured more content, more page views. It worked, but I’d probably need millions of page views to make any money from these free ads thrown to me by WordPress.
I’m not complaining, but I felt I needed to do more. So I signed up for Google Analytics. That opens up the world of Adsense. Once that processed it generated ads on my site which will equal more revenue. The site’s really coming into its own. So, we’re growing.
I have all of this free time. I’ve never had this much paid time off in my whole life. What to do?
Write and publish some books!
They’re all right here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss
(If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow and read the digital versions of my books for free!) Everybody else has to pay.
Thanks to the amazing team at Amazon Kindle. Without you, I’d be lost in a sea of technology. I can write the words, but you guys help me turn them into books.
Thanks to everyone at Amazon. I became a member over 20 years ago when you were just a giant bookstore. After crawling on my hands and knees to agents and publishing houses for years, Amazon finally gave me the biggest platform on Earth to bring my literary work to the world!
A special thanks to everyone at WordPress. Without you, I couldn’t publish Phicklephilly every day for the last five years! Now we’re a dot com and I’ve monetized the site with ads! You gave me a home to bring my work to everyone! Thank you!
Thanks to all the folks over at GoDaddy. You made the transition from just another blogger to a dotcom look easy. Thanks for always being there when I needed you. You’re the best!
While writing my first work of fiction, Angel with a Broken Wing, there was something nagging at me. The itch I had to create was being satiated by writing the book, but I felt there was something more I could do for Phicklephilly. The little blog that started me on this journey shortly after the death of my father in 2016.
I started to think… I’m putting all of these pieces together, is there something else I could do?
While creating Angel with a Broken Wing I would listen to music on Youtube. I’ve been listening to everything! It’s been great, but sometimes between songs, they run these commercials. I don’t really mind it if it doesn’t go on too long. I grew up in a world where radio and TV were supported by commercials.
I worked in advertising for 10 years when I returned to Philadelphia from New York back in 2007. So I understand the importance of ad revenue to support these sites.
I remember as I was typing one day, this ad came on for a company called, Dr. Squatch. I stopped what I was doing to watch it. Normally, when people are enjoying a show or listening to music, all they want to do is skip the ads. But Dr. Squatch’s ads were so good, I was captivated by their brand. It was a brilliant, fun campaign to promote their male hygiene products. You know an ad is good when you WANT to watch it because it’s so engaging.
Here’s an example of a tremendous, creative ad. Its incredible imagery and music make it unforgettable. However… the ad was so fun and engaging most people didn’t realize that the ad was for the new Nissan Maxima.
It got me thinking… all I did for 10 years in Philly was sell advertising. Digital advertising for Philly.com. Then for a happy hour website, and later, Philly Weekly. I started with nothing at all three of those companies and made it work. Most people don’t like to sell, or can’t sell. Either you have it or you don’t. No one likes rejection, and that’s 95% of sales. You need mad game to sell. It’s a ruthless, thankless business. But perfect for me. An overachiever, and a track record of closing impossible deals. In banking, as a broker, I was a million-dollar producer every year. At Philly.com I was billing $40k a month. It all comes down to who will relentlessly make calls on clients, meet with them, close them, cross-sell them, and get referrals. Then repeat that over and over again. That’s sales. Just run down the game and kill it every day. Like a lion on the savanna, you hunt every day to feed your cubs. Most days you go hungry. But you keep at it. Most don’t have the will to keep at it. But if you do, like anything else, eventually you’ll make a kill.
So, here I am creating content for my dating and relationship blog here in Philly during the quarantine. How can I write a blog like this in quarantine? I feel like I’ve been grounded by my parents and I can’t go out and do what I do socially.
But, while I’m waiting for WordPress and google analytics and AdSense to all come together for me, I should maybe try to do what I’m good at.
Sell digital advertising while I’m waiting for them to get their act together. It’s what I’m good at. Selling stuff. Any job I’ve ever worked where I don’t get to create or sell stuff I usually fail. Because we have plenty of people that are built to take orders and work hard to build somebody else’s dream. Business leaders love cheap labor.
Don’t get me wrong… Phicklephilly and writing books isn’t my dream. The only dream I ever had died 40 years ago in Los Angeles as a failed rockstar. Now the only dreams I have come to me during slumber and that’s just my brain dumping thoughts, feelings, and images.
Phicklephilly’s been a glorious hobby. Yea, it’s a hobby. If you don’t have a hobby, you should think about maybe getting one. It’s a lovely release from all of the things you HAVE to do every day to survive. It’s a sweet little pleasure that you get to create.
It’s kind of cool to watch something that started as a passion or a hobby become something bigger. It’s like a garden. You tend the seeds and the plants and vegetables, with water, care, and sunlight. It starts to grow. Because you care about it. You like it. It’s fun. It feels good. It’s not a job to pay the bills. It’s your thing. It belongs to you.
I don’t know why I never thought about this back in March, but I guess I was busy writing my book. But it started to work on me about six months ago. Back in May, I decided that part of my day would be dedicated to going through all of my leads and contacts. I have hundreds from New Jersey, New York, and obviously Philly.
I would spend only one hour a day for 60 days going through all of my contacts, corporate contacts, business cards, Linkedin, old sales files from the last 20 years, and see what that would yield. I called on every advertising agency in my old book of business. I knew if I dug into all of my New York contacts, I could mine some gold. Sometimes the one-hour goal would stretch beyond that, but I wanted to do it every day consistently. I didn’t talk about it to anyone, in case it never came to fruition.
Which brings me to this.
The sight obviously looks different. Especially the sidebar. I wanted to fit them all in where I could.
At least for now.
What’s weird is… I remember being contacted years ago by acquaintances that had attached themselves to me like sea lampreys in the industry. They had their websites about Philly, or food, or music. They always wanted me to sell ads for them on their sites. I have no idea what their business plan was for their sites, but I can guess. Write a blog with some relevant content about something they were passionate about. But somewhere they thought they’d like to run ads on their site and make money. Sadly, they didn’t possess the ability to execute that part. So they approach some schlub to do it for them. They have no revenue to pay the individual. Sadly, all of those sites have failed, and hopefully, those folks found jobs somewhere. I get it. Great idea. Poorly executed.
But don’t be nice to me thinking I’m going to do your job for you. That’s just fiction, man.
Most writers can write, But there aren’t really any writers out there that can sell.
So, I’ve been digging in hard every day for the last few months to maybe monetize Phicklephilly. There’s no way I’d do this for free for someone else’s little dream, but for my little hobby…sure.
I haven’t sold advertising since 2018. But I still have all of my contacts from my corporate life. I haven’t had a platform worth selling anything on. But the cool thing is, Phicklephilly just sort of grew like a weed over the last 5 years. It grew because I gave it a lot of love. (Along with all of you reading this!)
So here we are.
Funny what you can accomplish when you don’t have a job to go to.
I know for the moment the site’s looking a bit cluttered, but I wanted to show everybody that decided to run on my site. I’ll clean it up, and WordPress and Google will help me out.
I’m blown away by the support that all of these brands have brought to Phicklephilly.
I want to take a moment and thank everybody!
ALYAKA, AQUATALIA, BERETTA, BERRYLOOK, HARD TAIL, TRETORN, BUXTON, EVERLAST (You guy have been great! I appreciate all of the rapid responses!) FREDRICKS OF HOLLYWOOD (I have a story for you guys from my youth when I first saw your ads in a Hollywood gossip mag!) GRAND SLAM – NEW YORK, JACH’S – NEW YORK, KATY PERRY (Katy… your agency is a delight to work with!) LANCER, LIFELINE, LUVYLE (I love you guys! Thanks for Berrylook!), MADDA FELLA, MADISON STYLE, PURLISSE, ROYAL DOULTON (Thank you guys in London for being first!), SLEEPSTAR, SMOKO (Beautiful ads, guys!), WATERFORD, WEDGWOOD, YOUNGBLOOD, and MINERAL COSMETICS.
You guys rock! You’ve all been so kind and patient with me. I can write, but I suck at all of the technical stuff. I just love that I was able to pitch you guys and you got it. I can’t run all of your stuff all of the time, but I’ll do my best to promote your brands on the site to the best of my ability.
My daughter’s had the opportunity and time to create new music! A lifelong singer and musician, (like her dad!) she’s started composing her own original songs! (And videos!)
I’m so proud of her! She wrote all the lyrics and music for these songs!
Check it out:
And on Sound Cloud:
I’m super proud and happy about what my daughter’s creating. We both agree that if you had something you always wanted to do, then this was your opportunity to do it!
She’s currently in the process of producing an EP of all NEW music due out in early 2021.
Even I got into the act and dug out some of my old recordings and got them online!
Check out this old rock ‘n roll geezer!
And… while visiting my sisters at Christmas, my little sister converted an old VHS recording of me attempting to do stand up comedy at Stockton State College back in 2003!
In reference to new beginnings, a dear friend of 20 years recently got married! After a few delays due to the pandemic, they finally got it done. My daughter and I had a great time, and it was nice to reconnect with some dear old friends. My daughter even did a reading at the reception.
Despite all of the bad things that are happening, we’ve managed to make a lot of good things happen! so, to us, 2020 has been a fantastic year!
Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.
You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1
Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!