We believe that everyone deserves to make a living doing what they love - our mission is to empower that.
A few years back, when I was still in college, I decided to start a campus newspaper so that I could stay up to date with college events. I created a digital newspaper - an app where students could post their articles and everyone else could read them in a chronological feed. It eventually moved beyond college news and began featuring more general blog posts - poems, short stories and articles on more serious topics. It was great! I discovered many hidden writing talents on campus. The next step was to see if I could help these budding writers monetize their work.
But blogging is hard. I figured I'd use myself as a test subject to see if it was possible to make a sustainable income by writing on the Internet. I obviously needed a larger audience to support advertising. So the question was, what kind of stuff do I write that has a high chance of going viral? I began looking at everything from the angle of “appealing to a large audience” - getting more people to like it.
I tried but soon realized that I didn't particularly like what I was writing. My own writings started looking alien to me. I wasn’t being authentic because I wasn’t writing for myself. My heart wasn't in it. I'm no great writer but I was watching the quality of the content I create decline in real time. Then I asked myself, why was I trying to create something viral? Why was I chasing a massive audience? Because the world had taught me that that was the only way to make money on the Internet - large audience, more ad views, more money.
It didn't make sense that one could only make a living by having massive audiences. This also pushes creators to create content which more effectively captures a user's attention and content made for virality generally lacks quality (think click bait and sensational news).
But then, I met someone who told me that he had read every article I'd ever written. I would have exchanged a thousand lukewarm fans for one fan like him. That made me realize that all I or any creator really required is a small group of super-invested fans. And by turning those fans into patrons, one could make a living from them. I evaluated current patronage platforms and concluded that maybe they could be improved so that your real worth as a creator can be gauged by recognizing and rewarding your 'true fans'.
And so, the idea for the Pencircle patronage platform was born. Then, I asked my dad if he would be interested in joining me and he jumped on board.
We're just getting started, thanks for being a part of our journey!