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.

89 thoughts on “Joining The Merchant Right

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

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • I was talking with Greg Johnson about this when I was still noodling the idea. He told me he bought a book on publishing and learned what he needed to start his company. He publishes himself and others. It seems to me the two things you need to do to self-publish is hire a proofreader/copy editor and pay for some cover art. The rest is just a process anyone can master.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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. I think they’ll give it. I will. Of course there is the caveat. We are cheap motherfukers. PO Box is a good idea. To those who have indicated they would only contribute anonymously. I get where you’re coming from, believe me. On the other hand one cannot go into too much of a defensive Crouch.

    • 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”

  11. 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.

  12. 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 is no longer possible to support Z man through actual money – by whatever venue, including the mail – without leaving a footprint that our controllers will find and deal with. I vote for supporting Z man with meat, light bulbs, canned fruit, treated lumber, tanks of propane, whatever helps him live life.

    • 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.

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

  13. 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 long time ago.
    Good luck.

    • 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

  14. 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 was stupid enough to call a book “The White Nationalist Manifesto.” I mean, really.

    2. The second vital genre, and one probably right up your alley, is a serious-minded book that is both common-sensical and easy to read. Something with substance that keeps the reader readily engaged. Above all, something so clear to understand that’s damn hard to refute, and just seems flat-out obvious). That’s of course because it is: the essence of the dissident movement is perfectly lucid, exists within a logically coherent framework, and is rooted in the fundamentals of plain accurate observation and the accumulated insights of all human experience and history. What is there to object to, really, expect from BadFeelz?

    3. The third genre is something which must be done, can be done easily by you, and could be a real money-maker for you without too much effort. It is this:

    There needs to be a series of small, short, easy-to-read documents, physically published in a small pamphlet or chap-book form, literally pocket-size, addressing simple to understand issues of the dissident movement, which can be bought in bulk by supporters and then easily distributed in a casual, non-obtrusive fashion by individual supporters in public places. Sort of like a Chick tract, only persuasive.

    The model works like this. You edit together from your old posts a chap-book composed of a set of perhaps five of your related blog posts, along with selected comments, grouped around a particular theme. Print up eight or ten separate chap-books for starters. Give them catchy, friendly titles so they don’t look like a WN rant. Have them printed cheaply, on paper, but with a respectable look and feel.

    Then make them available to your readers in bulk, say 50 copies per mailing for a fixed donation. Your readers in turn leave them in coffee shops and on bus seats and on pizzeria counters etc. Price it so it’s cheap and affordable and you still clear a profit. Hell, the Chinese will get anything printed for you for a song. Lots of your readers would like to take a more active role in winning over support but can’t just strike out on their own. This is an easy way to spread the word and drum up $$$$ for you back at HQ.

    Make the books look hip and smart and inviting. Make the titles inscrutable and interesting. Don’t use slogans or buzzwords.

    Plenty of sensible but weak-minded people think all the same things that we think, but can’t articulate it without sounding angry or unreasonable. Give them that voice. And give your readers a fun project to play around with on weekends.

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

      • 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.

        • 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.

  15. 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. You don’t want your personal income from your job muddied up with these expenses and income streams. Even if you don’t show a profit, you essentially carry on your activities at no personal cost to yourself.

    2. There’s a good chance that your server fees and other costs associated with the site can be deducted as corporate business expenses from your writing/publishing corporation (viz it would be quite easy to show that your site-maintenance expenses are a form of promotional expense for your book-publishing venture). Also the costs of hiring a book editor, and quite possibly, going forward, your travel expenses to these various conferences you attend could be deducted as business expenses with the proper documentation. Be meticulous. Establish a paper trail of your correspondence and interactions with well-known above-ground figures like Derbyshire. This proves you are a known figure in various writing and publishing circles, establishes your professional credibility, and shows your attendance at conferences (plus travel, meals and entertainment) to be necessary promotional expenses in building your audience and readership.

    Many good tax accountants are also tax attorneys. Best for you would be to find a guy who is credentialed in both areas.

    If you’re at this step of going big, it would definitely benefit you to explore this option.

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    • 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 PO Box is so freaking obvious, like the Russians communicating in the clear at the Battle of Tannenburg, which worked out not so well.

      By 2025 at the latest all this will be not only common sense, but survival instinct for the remnant.

      • “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.

        • 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.

  19. 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 don’t do books, a “greatest hits” section on the site would be great.

  20. 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.

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

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

  23. 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.

    • The site seems to force you to setup tiers, but I can’t figure out what to do with them. I think it is just suggested contributions, but again, it is not all that clear to me what tiers are for.

  24. 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 not, it illustrates how the simple change of one vowel in an otherwise “correctly” spelled word alters meaning profoundly. Hence the need for a sympathetic editor. QED.
    Please don’t take this as pedantic criticism. I attribute much of these lapses to your oft-spoken claim in your podcasts that you bang out these daily gems in twenty minutes or so. As a former managing director of legal publications, I know how rare it is to find an author who is both prolific and consistently profound. Given the quality and quantity of your writing, it deserves a much wider audience. So, again, do the book!

    • 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.

  25. 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 I want more of. It does no good to bitch about the pozzed media if you don’t support alternatives.

    The thing you might want to consider is a paywall is going to demand that you make more content. Maybe you can put the podcasts behind they paywall so the non-paywall listeners get it a week later.

    Not to add to you overhead, but you might think about a P.O. Box, given the possibility of de-platforming it would be a good backup for checks and money orders.

    • Some of the more popular names have told me I should do this as it encourages our people to support our media. People don’t think twice about giving money to NetFlix or blowing five bucks at Starbucks every morning. I think they are right.

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

    • Once I figure out how to ask the service questions, I’ll see if there is a FAQ fro these types of issues.

  27. 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 to creating content.

    I appreciate what you’re doing, so I’ll be subscribing. Not for the additional content, but just because I believe efforts like yours ought to be rewarded.

    And yeah: publish that book!

    • I’m thinking maybe a short podcast for subscribers may be a good idea. The YouTubers do that. Like my other projects, I’ll probably try different things to see what works best. Trial and error is underrated.

      • 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.

        • I think that is what RamZPaul does. He releases his videos to subscribers first then the public the next day. There seems to be two camps on this matter. One camp says you need subscriber-only content and the other camp that insists you should not divide your audience. I’m going to research this a bit before doing anything.

  28. 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.

      • Yeah, that was quick. Looks like I have a lot to learn about the merchant right game 😉

          • Extreme Z-Man Force Pills

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

          • That would be a great gag. The Power Hour Brain Juice. Gen-X Strong Pills. Maybe “The Real Gen-Z” t-shirts.

          • 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.

          • 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.

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

          • 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 it? It’s just another sweatshirt, man.

            A particular brand of soap/shampoo/carpet cleaner/canned chili available on Subscribe-and-Save? Several sizes, one $10 or $20 or $30 bottle every 3 months, free shipping. I’m pretty sure the Chinese can show you how it’s done….

          • 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.

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

    • 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.

    • That’s a good idea. I recently learned that this is much more popular than I would have guessed. I talked to someone in this space who says it is very popular for our people. It makes sense when you think about it. It’s on the to do list.

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

    • 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.

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

      • 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.

    • 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.

        • 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 to me here in Chicago that bill stands under a fifty-percent chance of actually reaching me. It likely would be stolen.

          Encrypted digital currencies are your best bet according to current understanding if you wish to preserve anonymity. Another mechanism is to buy gift cards with cash and have them charged with value at the register if possible. Incidentally, this is how I buy my burner phones.

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

    • 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 ask about it at some point. We have to support those who support us.

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