Joining The Merchant Right

For a few years now, I have been getting requests from readers wondering how they can donate to my efforts. I’ve always told them to donate to VDare, Steve Sailer or a good YouTuber like RamZPaul, as I don’t have a mechanism for accepting money. It’s not that I don’t like money or I am selfless. It’s just that the costs were minimum and there are others out there who could use the money. There’s also a cost to setting up a finding apparatus, especially in an age of woke capitalism and systematic de-platforming.

I’ve also been asked by other content creators to join the merchant right, because it helps reinforce the notion that a culture war is not won on love. It takes money to run these sites and many of the people doing it have no other way to make a living. If you are a guy who has been anathematized due to your politics, you need to get support from people in this thing so you can live. Part of building that support structure is building a culture of giving where we support our guys with more than just snarky comments and clever banter.

While I like money and the culture argument is persuasive, I’ve been slow to come around to the idea. The recent issue with upgrading my server has caused me to rethink things, as there is now a real cost to running this side. The new server now comes with a hefty fee every month, compared to what I was doing. Now is probably a good time to test the waters and see if being a media whore is for me. I’ve created a SubscribeStar account for people to contribute to my work. If you feel generous, please sign up.

Now, I’m not entirely sure I am cut out to be a media whore, so I’m starting with a modest goal and one funding mechanism. I think I should begin creating some premium content as a reward to those who contribute. That seems to be the model popular with independent media, but I’m still noodling that one. RamZPaul does videos just for his subscribers. The TRS guys have a paywall that does the same thing. I’m still investigating how others handle that part of it, so feel free to offer suggestions and examples.

The other thing I’m looking at doing is crowdsourcing a book effort. I have been working on a book. I hope to have the first draft done this fall. Since I’m a terrible editor, I will need to hire a professional to edit the copy. I’m thinking the way to do that is with a crowd-sourcing effort, but I’m still looking at how that works. I might just setup something myself, but that would require a merchant account and some changes to the site. Alternatively, I could raise money for the project and then just give the book away on the site. We’ll see.

The bottom line is I am sticking my toes into the merchant waters. If anyone has suggestions on this front, feel free to offer them up. There are a lot of people making a living as a solo content producers, so I’m not breaking new ground, but maybe doing what everyone else is doing is not the right course for me. Like it or not, I’m a bit of an outlier in the dissident media, so I may have to be an outlier in the merchant game too. Therefore, I’m open to suggestions. Sometimes old puzzles need new solutions.

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Guest
Guest
1 year ago

Would love to donate, but will only do so anonymously. Prying eyes are watching. Recommend you get a PO Box to receive cash donations.

MemeWarVet
MemeWarVet
Reply to  Guest
1 year ago

Second this, and make sure you’re keeping excellent records and reporting everything so the commissars can’t accuse you of money laundering or tax evasion.

Range Front Fault
Range Front Fault
Reply to  thezman
1 year ago

I second that emotion…. and vote for a PO Box. Would be happy to then subscribe.

Epaminondas
Member
Reply to  Guest
1 year ago

Concur. As soon as I see a P.O. Box address, my cash is on the way.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Epaminondas
1 year ago

My cash to support Z and our community

Two Fat Ladies Window-Shopping
Reply to  Guest
1 year ago

DO NOT get an actual formal USG Post Office Box, under the official gubmint Eye of Sauron. You can quite easily get a private mailbox at a place like Mailboxes Etc or your local UPS. Very often they assign you a regular street address, with a “suite” number instead of a “box” number. Looks more privatized and professional (like you have a suite in an office building) and keeps you one further degree of separation from the commissars.

Range Front Fault
Range Front Fault
Reply to  Two Fat Ladies Window-Shopping
1 year ago

Great idea!

Pinochet
Pinochet
Reply to  Two Fat Ladies Window-Shopping
1 year ago

The trade off is that a private company can deplatform you, but the Post Office as an arm of the federal government cannot.

Alan
Alan
Reply to  Two Fat Ladies Window-Shopping
1 year ago

I agree with the private mailbox, but with one caution. I have had a private mail box for several years, but last year they demanded I appear in person to fill out a new federally-required form where I have to list my real name and a real address and I had to show them two forms of ID that they copied. It was creepy.

DraveckysHumerus
DraveckysHumerus
Reply to  Guest
1 year ago

USPS images and stores records of nearly every piece of non-commercial mail transmitted in the US. The technology is powerful enough to image the internal contents of an envelope and read the characters accurately. I was directly involved negotiating deals for the equipment and attended private screenings demonstrating what the technology can do. That is all.

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  DraveckysHumerus
1 year ago

So you’re saying sending cash isn’t anonymous either?

DraveckysHumerus
DraveckysHumerus
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
1 year ago

Strictly-speaking that statement is correct for bills. Each dollar bill contains unique identifiers including its serial number. If the feds wish to track handling of a bill from USPS node to node they can do it. The machines I negotiated cannot read fingerprints, they only use very bright lights to shine through the layers like an x-ray while distinguishing between dark and light with high precision, Yet the feds do know how to lift fingerprints from envelopes manually. The same reality applies to checks and other forms of payment by paper. Practically-speaking if you were to transmit a dollar bill… Read more »

Epaminondas
Member
Reply to  DraveckysHumerus
1 year ago

To thwart the xray machines, wrap your correspondence in aluminum foil.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  DraveckysHumerus
1 year ago

Thanks for that info. It’s not going to dissuade me, but it’s good to know.

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  Guest
1 year ago

Good call. Interestingly, I was following Z’s plan before I knew of Z, i.e. I contribute to Sailer and Ramzpaul. But I have begun to wonder if using my CC to do so is such a hot idea. Sooner or later, someone is going to put me on a “person of interest” list. Cash is the better way. I noticed that Sailer accepts (or accepted) Bitcoin. (I hope that somehow made him rich, btw.) However, I don’t know a thing about donating by Bitcoin so I didn’t look into it. Anyway, glad Z is accepting money. I was going to… Read more »

Member
1 year ago

The PO box is a good idea, you can assume that you will eventually get booted from any funding platform. Gab is doing something but I am not sure how it works and it probably involves bitcoin.

Member
Reply to  Arthur_Sido
1 year ago

Looks like you already hit your goal, happy to help!

Vizzini
Member
Reply to  thezman
1 year ago

Maybe you’ll discover you have a knack for being a right-wing grifter! 😉

De Beers Diamonds
De Beers Diamonds
Reply to  Vizzini
1 year ago

Extreme Z-Man Force Pills

Show the Millennials who’s boss with the Z-Man Gen X coffee mug

Tono Bungay
Tono Bungay
Reply to  thezman
1 year ago

I was thinking of “it’s okay to be white” on a T-shirt, with the reverse showing astronauts, the space shuttle, doctors coats and penicillin, all white color themed.

Exile
Exile
Member
Reply to  thezman
1 year ago

Power Hour kruggerands & survival gear. Goldbugs are always good for a few shekels. Kidding aside, no shame in making $$ on this, will hit the jar.

Guest
Guest
Reply to  thezman
1 year ago

How about relatively small, adhesive back stickers with a big, black Z and “thezman.com” underneath? I could probably dispose of 50-100 of those every month in various airports and other locations around the world.

George
George
Reply to  thezman
1 year ago

Maybe not as funny as it sounds. Consider: Z-Man gizmos, widgets and whatnot on Amazon at prices high enough to generate the supporting profit necessary. Instead of sending cash by USPS (it’s scanned and recorded,and some contents identified (and the aluminum foil idea is fine except that one is absolutely guaranteed to get “special handling”), credit card charges are already an open book, etc., etc. Cash-bought gift cards, maybe, but they’ll still have to be delivered somehow. But $25 for a $4 shirt on Amazon? Especially if it doesn’t come from “Z-Man Enterprises, LLC” or have the Z-Man logo on… Read more »

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  De Beers Diamonds
1 year ago

I’ve wondering about that for a couple of years, selling merchandise to support our cause and raise awareness. They’d have messages that only insiders would understand.

For example, I’d definitely wear a T-shirt with “iSteve” or “The Z-Man” on it. 99% of people wouldn’t have a clue what it meant, but dollars to donuts you’d get some thumbs up here and there.

Of course, the best would be a Steve Sailer Charity Golf Tournament.

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

Sam Harris has an interesting setup: he offers some stuff for free, but also accepts subscribers, who get access to additional content. He also says that he doesn’t want poverty to stop anyone from fully accessing his site; so if your circumstances are such that you truly can’t afford to subscribe, to email him and he’ll put you behind the paywall for free. The notion that ‘information is free, so everything on the internet ought to be free’ is a misguided one: as you point out, it costs you to maintain your site; not to mention the time you devote… Read more »

Member
Reply to  Bill
1 year ago

I wouldn’t trust Sam Harris to do anything but turn Z over to the feds.

Reziac
Reziac
Reply to  thezman
1 year ago

Newt Gingrich makes subscriber content immediately available, then a week later it goes out for free to everyone. This allows for both voluntary support by the impatient, and keeping those of us on poverty row in the loop.

Me, I can’t afford to support more than a bare handful, so when others go behind a paywall, I just drift away.

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

Just tried to subscribe, got a message saying “The payment gateway isn’t responding, please try later”

EDM
EDM
1 year ago

Jim Goad recently started taking donation ($10 minimum) for questions that he answered on his show, that may not work for your podcast format. But maybe a separate thing. I subscribe to the TRS paywall and Compound Media (comedy). I would welcome a paywall. I was listening to a old TRS episode from December 2015 and Richard Spencer made a good point: “more guys on the right need to be like the [Volcano Demon cult]s, sure they are cheap when buying a house, but when it comes time to support their causes they are generous.” I financially support the content… Read more »

Maus
Maus
1 year ago

I favor the “book” route and would be willing to offer my services as editor. While I love your stuff, two gaffs today illustrate the need. The first is rhetorical and shows poor optics. Your “mercenary” announcement, though completely appropriate and understandable (particularly given the server upgrade costs), immediately follows yesterday’s diatribe about grifters. The second is your delightful lapsus linguae in the lead paragraph substituting “finding” for “funding” in a sentence noting by implication the increased prevalence of doxxing, deplatforming and general economic warfare by unhinged leftists. If it was intentional, then kudos for a well-played ironic twist. If… Read more »

Maus
Maus
Reply to  Maus
1 year ago

Just to be clear, I am offering my services as a book editor free of charge. I don’t mess about with payment platforms (for reasons amply illustrated in the comments), but I would like to contribute to our thing.

james wilson
Member
1 year ago

I think it is a mistake (for you) to create two tiers of readers. It is more important that your readership continues to grow exactly as it has, unchanged. First discover to what degree your present readers will contribute. Perhaps we shall surprise you. I would prefer to send a yearly check, but if that is not an option I will subscribe.

james wilson
Member
Reply to  thezman
1 year ago

By tiers I meant types, paying and non-paying readers.

Juri
Juri
1 year ago

I also recommend anonymity. There has been no genetic mutilation of any kind recently so that communists are as bad as they were 100 years ago.

Range Front Fault
Range Front Fault
Reply to  Juri
1 year ago

Being a red diaper baby…….yes, they are still bad……shapeshifting you don’t recognize them bad.

Yves Vannes
Yves Vannes
Member
1 year ago

At conferences or IRL meetings never pass up the opportunity to pass the hat or ask for recommendations and referrals. In person appeals can put a lot of things into motion.

Tank
Tank
1 year ago

Yes, a PO Box. That’s how I support Sailer.

Severian
1 year ago

Kind of an off the wall suggestion, but it seems that blogs like this one could monetize their comment sections, too. Lots of people on here with very particular sets of skills. Short downloadable .pdfs, each downloadable after a “donation.” I’d contribute something for free (“How to MadLib a College Humanities Paper” or something like that) to support the cause, but if someone wanted/needed a kickback maybe that could be done (no idea if/how to do it, IRS-wise). Maybe it’s impossible, but a sort of information clearinghouse for Our Thing — the Essential Knowledge series, but broad.

George over there
George over there
Reply to  Severian
1 year ago

Severian, when are you going to create a “greatest hits” section over at Rotten Chestnuts?

George over there
George over there
1 year ago

Just signed up. Don’t spend those 5 dollars all in one place, LOL. One way to pick up a little dosh and give people something at the same time is to collect your old posts into books. The economical or highly motivated could still get them for free from your site, but time-pressed readers would shell out a few bucks for a curated version. Even if you don’t want the hassle of putting out paper books, you could do e-books. You could even use old catchphrases as titles: This Will Not End Well Hurled into the Void Even if you… Read more »

Soverytired
Soverytired
1 year ago

What you subsidize, you get more of, right? I’m in, (and bloody well about time Zman.)

Oh, and anyone who trusts the US Post Office with cash in an envelope; especially Lagos on the Chesapeake (!) USPS is smoking crack. Federal employees have sticky fingers…it’s in the job prerequisites.

Short of slinking into a secret handshake meeting and doing a Cold War spy style envelope drop, there’s no such thing as anonymous donating.

Soldier on Zman.

De Beers Diamonds
De Beers Diamonds
Reply to  Soverytired
1 year ago

Postal money orders. Probably the hardest form of finance to legally deplatform dissidents from using.

Bill
Bill
Reply to  De Beers Diamonds
1 year ago

My thoughts exactly

pimpkin\'s nephew
pimpkin\'s nephew
Reply to  Soverytired
1 year ago

Crucial point. I don’t know about the crack or sticky fingers, but once the DHS or FBI decides that cash in the mail is an “object of concern”, the USPS – with energetic approval of the federal court system – will be authorized to open mail suspected to contain cash payment for ‘terrorism’, aka dissident thought. We need a multi-layered system of couriers and messengers, a la the Soviet network of agents as depicted in all those J Edgar Hoover counter-espionage films of the 50s (and intricately described by Whitaker Chambers). Sending cash in the US mail to a publicized… Read more »

MemeWarVet
MemeWarVet
Reply to  pimpkin\'s nephew
1 year ago

“If three people are having a conversation, one is a SAVAK Agent”

-One of my College Professors, who came of age in Iran in the 1970’s

OpSec is gonna be damn near impossible going forward.

De Beers Diamonds
De Beers Diamonds
Reply to  MemeWarVet
1 year ago

SAVAK lost though. They concentrated efforts on defeating the communists, and ignored the Khomeini supporters in the seminary that were under their nose.

The key is to hide in plain sight.

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

Zman have you a like minded editor in mind? Vanderluen over at American digest seems sympathetic and may can point you in the right direction.

Tim
Tim
Member
1 year ago

Was happy to help. We’re getting more than essays and a weekly podcast here. Your attending the meetups and conferences to spread the word and help push things forward is important, and that doesn’t come free.

Two Fat Ladies Window-Shopping
1 year ago

If you’re going to be accepting donations and contributions, whether through a payment portal or a PO box, and you’re also planning an independent book-publishing venture, you should talk to a good tax accountant about the possibility of setting up a personal-services corporation. Having a personal corporation and running payments and expenses through it has several advantages: 1. It makes tax accounting much simpler and more transparent. You keep your publishing income and expenses separate from your job income (you file two returns, one individual and one corporate). This makes everything clean and easily explicable if the Feds come calling.… Read more »

Range Front Fault
Range Front Fault
Reply to  Two Fat Ladies Window-Shopping
1 year ago

Have saved your comment/good suggestions just for ducks. You have a “way visual” handle. LOL Bet instead you’re one skinny guy.

Two Fat Ladies Window-Shopping
1 year ago

There are three genres of publishing that are very much needed at present by the dissident movement. 1. The first (hardest to do and with the smallest audience, yet vital) is a lucid well-written book of genuine academic quality which makes the intellectual case for the dissident right in a solid and intellectually defensible manner. I have not yet read Richard Houck’s “Liberalism Unmasked” but it sounds like that is his project. You might not be the man for this b/c as I say, it needs to be of academic-level rigor. Greg Johnson is probably up this alley but he… Read more »

Primi Pilus
Primi Pilus
Reply to  Two Fat Ladies Window-Shopping
1 year ago

Pamphleteering? Not a bad idea. A major activity in the leadup to the American Revolution.

Primi Pilus
Primi Pilus
Reply to  Primi Pilus
1 year ago

I’d add a 4th — Fiction. We need to begin working on the myth machinery. Just saw part of a cartoon (series) targeting young children. Character array and issues right out of a panting SJW’s deepest fantasy to-do list. This stuff is everywhere …. no guessing their intent and methods. Can’t even let an infant watch this stuff.

Codex
Codex
Reply to  Primi Pilus
1 year ago

We’re working on that (TempestinaTeardrop) as is Arkhaven Press (The New Q book is good fun). Superversive Press isn’t doing comics, but has some good (and great) fiction lined up.

Not for the Christophobic mind you, and I’m fairly sure that Superversive won’t touch anything that is even scented with race > culture because Christianity is culture, and bigotry makes you stupid.

I’m sympathetic to the dissident right, if only because I want to love my fellow man, and if we do not hang together we must all assuredly hang separately. Best wishes.

Compsci
Compsci
1 year ago

Lots of interesting suggestions and caveats. When all this gets figured out and tested, have an option for an open ended donation. I get mellow every once in while and am a sucker for a quick donation. 😉 Also, ignore those who point out the irony of your request for donations and your stand against grifters. As I repeatedly argue, grifting is more, much more than a request for money. It (to me anyway) is at its essence whether your beliefs are heartfelt and true, or you are just playing your audience for their money. You passed my test a… Read more »

Maus
Maus
Reply to  Compsci
1 year ago

My ironic observation was not a condemnation or even a critique of monetization. I certaintly don’t think Zman is a grifter. I merely suggested that good editing, which is more than correcting grammar and spelling, might improve the optics and strengthen the rhetorical force of Zman’s excellent content and style. Professional editing makes good writers better. One reason MSM has declined, aside from the increased patency of its bias, is having eliminated vast numbers of copy editor positions. /rant

pimpkin\'s nephew
pimpkin\'s nephew
1 year ago

Another possibility: Uncle Clem from Alberta sends the Z Man 25 pounds of bison, in varied cuts, for his birthday for example, with a card. No money, just love – and meat – from good old Uncle Clem. The enemy understands money but doesn’t understand gifts in kind or the affection of relatives. It’s all very confusing to them. Plus, on the off-chance that all this Z-blog stuff is his long-game grift, we can bury him in meat, furniture, potted plants, cartons of canned soup, free tickets to soccer matches, lifetime memberships in garden clubs, and so on. Seriously, it… Read more »

bilejones
Member
Reply to  pimpkin\'s nephew
1 year ago

Vanderleun at Am Digest was burned out by the Paradise fire and I gather his readers looked after him. I was happy to send him $50 despite his vile Zionism.

If the Nephew’s approach takes off, he’s going to need a hell of a PO box.

Saml Adams
Saml Adams
Reply to  pimpkin\'s nephew
1 year ago

Can you keep livestock in Lagos? We could all sign up for that charity that sends live farm animals to needy recipients.

AHfOH
AHfOH
1 year ago

yeah, no offense but my donation card would be the same I use for business and, as luck would have it, is through Chase. Check or cash or paypal, maybe.

SidVic
SidVic
Member
1 year ago

I have no natural inclination to donate to people. Yeah, I have donated Derbyshire and James lafond. I am 99.99% sure they are honest, certainly not cucks. Never really thought about it before. ZMan falls into that category as far as I’m concerned. In short, Z has a tremendous amount of credibility in this community such as it is. I strongly support any effort of his monetize. I find it almost sweet that Z would mention his server cost. His time, his intellect, in short what Z contributes to this community is of great value. Fourthrightly ask for people’s support.… Read more »

Saml Adams
Saml Adams
Reply to  SidVic
1 year ago

Ironically, more gets accomplished when resources are precious and constrained. Go back to 1550. Who would have guessed that Holland and England would be the two most commercially powerful nations on the planet 150 years later. Both were small and relatively poor. But each was literate and clever, and to borrow a more modern term “pinched a nickel till the buffalo crapped”

Cerulean
Cerulean
1 year ago

Well, Z, lots of potentially good suggestions here. Beyond that, the most important thing about this comment thread is that many people regard you as a valuable resource and an investment in the future.

There’s at least as much hazard in underestimating oneself as overestimating. So be proud of what you are and what you do.

Galactic Transvaal
Galactic Transvaal
1 year ago

I do copywriting, copy editing, as well as every kind of writing ‘job’ under the sun as a side gig. I can take a look at your book and give you a reasonable quote. Can you see my email address?

Member
1 year ago

Zman, shut up and take our money. No need for special gifts or special access. Give us an opportunity to contribute to your efforts. The bible says that you should not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn – in other words, if you are working to enrich our spiritual/philosophical lives, you are not demeaned by accepting funds from those of us who are grateful and who benefit from your ruminations. We don’t want any special shit from you. Your normal shit will do.

Reply to  Chestertonrocks
1 year ago

It’s not like we are going to give you a lot of money, since we are all cheapskates. But you need to graciously accept our desire to contribute. It’s important. Set up something that allows us to and move on.

onezeno
1 year ago

I rarely donate directly to the merchant right, but will always buy their books, DVDs, etc. I even bought Stefan Molyneux’s book, which is terrible.

JR Wirth
JR Wirth
1 year ago

I like the cash P.O. Box idea for anonymity.

UKer
UKer
1 year ago

Subscribed, happy to say.

Nathaniel Bell
Nathaniel Bell
1 year ago

Vis a vis a book;

I currently have two published. While not deliberately so, some of the subject matter is incendiary enough to make any publisher who fears the woke mob (which is all) run screaming for the hills.

I would highly suggest self publishing. The cost of doing an ebook this way is negligible, and even formatting for print copies and finding an on demand printer can be done for >2K.

Eric
Eric
1 year ago

Dude, you and Vox Day both helped save my soul (Christian now), and brought me to the right. Have my money, little as it is. God bless you. I signed up for the most I could.

Saml Adams
Saml Adams
1 year ago

Ok. I’m in. But if you take your newfound grifting wealth and starting hanging in bars with Max Boot….

Karl Horst (Germany)
Karl Horst (Germany)
1 year ago

Sound like free speech is getting more expensive all the time! 😉

S Bishop
S Bishop
Member
Reply to  Karl Horst (Germany)
1 year ago

Yeah, but I rather pay for free speech with ‘treasure’ than with ‘blood’…

james wilson
james wilson
Member
Reply to  Karl Horst (Germany)
1 year ago

It is not free speech which our masters object to but free listening.

Ryan
Ryan
1 year ago

Re book: you know your good, good friend Vox Day owns a publishing company.

Nick
Nick
1 year ago

I’m glad you finally set this up. I’ve donated and subscribed. Hope your pleasantly surprised by the support you receive.