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You Can Make A Living From A Thousand True Fans — Ben Thompson Is Proof – Yahoo Finance

Online sales tax still stymied, Womack learns | Arkansas Blog | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

SALES PITCH: This is along the PR work of the Alliance for Main Street Fairness -- retailers and others working to close the online sales tax loophole.

He is now making the vast majority of his living from those memberships (although he also does some consulting on the side). He says he used to have sponsored posts, but they made up too large a proportion of the content since he only posts a few items a day and they involved too much administrative work. Thompson also echoed something that Andrew Sullivan told me about his model at the Daily Dish, which is that he prefers to keep the relationship between himself and his readers as pure as possible to feel as though he is working directly for them, and pleasing them is all that matters. I really like what it does for my incentives my pay comes from my readers, so my job is to just deliver a kick-ass daily update every day and to write great stuff for the blog. What I like about it is its very clear: it feels like people value what I have to say, so what youre getting if you subscribe is more of what I have to say. Since I wrote that initial post, Thompson says he has simplified the model even further, to the point where there is only one level the $10 a month/$100 a year level. In the beginning, he had three levels of support, including one that gave readers things like a T-shirt, as well as a higher level that cost $30 a month or $300 a year, and included private meetups and the ability to email Thompson directly and get advice or analysis. Those have been dropped. The internet is good for media The membership structure now is much simpler (those who had paid $300 were given the option of either a refund or a credit, or to donate the excess to Thompson about 20 percent chose the latter, he said). But the blogger notes that without those initial members paying $300 for a year, he wouldnt have had the money in the bank with which to continue, or the confidence that he would be able to survive.
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Stephens Media reports that U.S. Rep. Steve Womack has been rebuffed again by House Speaker John Boehner in hopes to move ahead in the final session of Congress’ current term with legislation to end exemption of on-line sales from sales tax collection. Boehner is apparently only to open to continuing a ban on taxes on access to the Internet or e-mails. Womack had hoped to combine those two ideas. Walmart, headquarters in Womack’s district, is among those pushing the legislation. It’s meant to level the playing field with outfits such as eBaythat are exempt from collecting local and state sales taxes for lack of brick-and-mortar operations in many states. (Amazon, once a beneficiary, has now joined the coalition backing Womack’s bill.) The loss of the revenue has been crippling to local governments as commerce migrates from local retailers to web-based operations. I’m with Womack. But there’s a deep division in Republican ranks, with the ardent anti-taxers (think Grover Norquist) strongly opposed.
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