PayPal on WordPress. The road to riches?

There are three different ways of approaching a project. My way, my wife’s way, and everybody else’s way. Let’s take painting a cupboard as an example. Here’s what everyone else seems to do;

1. Measure the cupboard.

2. Go to the shop.
2.a Buy enough sandpaper or paint stripper to strip off the old paint.
2.b. Buy enough masking tape to cover the hinges and locks.
2.c. Buy some primer.
2.d Buy some paint.
2.e. Buy some paintbrushes.
2.f. Buy some solvent to wash the paintbrushes with.

3. Lay out some old newspaper on the ground outside.

4. Take out the cupboard.

5. Strip off the old paint.

6. Cover the hinges and locks with masking tape.

7. Paint with primer. Give it a day to dry. Wash off the brushes with solvent.

8. Paint a first coat. Give it a day to dry. Wash off the brushes with solvent.

9. Paint a second coat. Give it a day to dry. Wash off the brushes with solvent.

10.Take the cupboard back inside.



This technique will give you a sparkly, new looking cupboard. It will also leave you feeling hollow. Empty. Unfulfilled. Your cupboard will look just like everyone else’s. How sad your life is. Next time do it my way;

1. Go to the garage and find a half empty, congealed can of paint.

2. Find a bottle of solvent and pour half of it into the congealed paint. Shake.

3. Find an old, used brush. Smack it into the ground a few times to loosen up the bristles.

4. Take the cupboard out onto the driveway. Don’t worry about newspaper. You’re not going to make a mess are you?

5. Paint the cupboard. There is no need to use a primer since there’s sure to be a layer of it under the old paint that you’re not stripping off. Try not to get too much paint on the locks and hinges.

6. If anyone asks why the paint is all streaky, describe it as “a decorative paint technique I read about in “Better Homes and Gardens””.

7. Do not, under any circumstances, apply a second coat. If it looks this bad after one coat, imagine what it will look like after two!

8. Leave to dry for two hours.

9. Take the cupboard back inside. This will leave you covered in streaky white paint, but don’t worry, you still have half a bottle of solvent. If anyone asks why the driveway is covered in streaky white paint, describe it as “a decorative outdoor paint technique I read about in “Better Homes and Gardens””.



This technique will leave you feeling practical. Independent. Fulfilled. It will also give you a cupboard that is a one-off. Unique. A work of art. It will also be ugly, but, hey, you can’t have everything.

And my wife? She’s the most fulfilled of all;

1. Buy a single can of white spray-paint.

2. Shove a single sheet of newspaper under the cupboard.

3. Spray-paint in situ.

4. Throw away cupboard. Be sure to buy a new one that is big enough to hide most of the spray-paint stains on the carpet.



Why am I telling you about cupboards? Well, I’ve been messing around with my blog. While my technique may work a charm when it comes to interior decorating, it has let me down when it comes to blogging.

As those who follow this blog may know, I recently resigned, so I’m keeping an eye open for ways to support myself. And the other day I found one. WordAds! WordPress will put a few advertisements up on your site, and in exchange, will give you a share of the revenue they generate. Yay!

I immediately went and signed up for PayPal. This might be easy where you are, but not here. First of all, I needed to open a new bank account (there is only one bank here that will let you withdraw funds from a PayPal account). I had to wait five days for my new credit-card to arrive before I could sign up to do internet banking. Then I had to wait three days for PayPal to withdraw and redeposit some money from my account so that they could leave me a code in my bank statement. Then I had to wait for another three days for the bank to explain why my account had mysteriously disappeared.

But I made it. I had a PayPal account. I was ready. I had already picked out the colour of my new Mercedes and was trying to work out where to berth my yacht when I decided that it might be time to actually look into WordAds. Oops.

It turns out that you don’t choose WordAds. WordAds chooses you. And even if they were to choose me, it turns out that a humble blog like mine would make about $2.00 a month. You can only withdraw the money once you reach $100.00. So I would have to wait for four years before getting anything out.

I am willing to concede that this might have been something I could have found out about before signing up for PayPal, but that bird has flown. So here I sit. With a PayPal account. That I can do nothing with.

Never mind. They don’t call me “Mr Glass Half Full” for nothing. In fact, they don’t call me “Mr Glass Half Full” at all. But that doesn’t stop me from making the odd stab in the dark. I’m going to work out how to make money from my PayPal account. And you’re going to help me. I feel a poll coming on!

I’m going to throw a few ideas at you. Let me know what you think!


Not quite one of the Medicis

Not quite one of the Medicis

This one is a real shot in the dark. But I feel it has real potential. In days gone by, artists were supported by wealthy patrons. The patrons got to bathe in glory reflecting off their pet artists, while in exchange, the artist got to eat. The patrons could even go a step further and commission specific works, like the Sistine Chapel or Michelangelo’s David, and get themselves associated with them in the minds of the public. And we think marketing is a new thing!

So here’s what I’m seeing; all I need is one obscenely rich follower. If you are that follower, you don’t even need to contact me, just deposit the odd pile of cash in my PayPal account. Not too much- just enough for me to educate my children, buy a house, and take my family on the odd skiing holiday. In exchange, you get to describe yourself as a “patron of the arts”, and you will be allowed to describe 23thorns as “A little project of mine” while stroking my head in front of your rich friends.

Ideally, I would want someone who wasn’t too shy to commission the odd vanity project. Someone like Donald Trump. I can see it now. Once a month, a big old pile of cash would flow my way, and in exchange, you guys would be reading posts like “Gold Plated Toilets; Who Says You Can’t Buy Class” or “Comb overs; Too Sexy For The Average Supermodel?”

Comments. Part One.

I’m constantly taken aback by the things people come up with. I read the other day that you can get paid a respectable amount of money for posting positive comments on other people’s websites. But here’s the thing. Those are commercial sites. You’re getting paid to lie about products;

“Never before have I purchased a coffee mug so well made that it has brought me to tears. You guys at The ACME Coffee Mug Company have changed my life! I tried to send you one of my children in gratitude, but my wife threatened to break my new mug if I did. Damn tea-drinker.”

I am proposing to do the same thing for all of us ordinary bloggers out there. I won’t cheapen your products by lying about them. I’ll just make you feel good about the stuff you do for free. For a dollar, I’ll give you a like. For two, I’ll give you ten. And for ten dollars? Behold;

“Wow! Just WOW! I’ve just finished reading your poem about how you sometimes feel sad because no-one is smart enough to “get” you. What a breath of fresh air! It’s so hard to find truly heartfelt angst these days!”

“At last. Three years ago today I downloaded a picture of a crocheted monkey off the internet, and today, after months and months of searching, I finally found him a little friend. Those dangly arms, those googly eyes, it’s all just perfect. Can I just say that I would never have expected such detailed work from a fireman. Bravo, sir!”

At last! A special friend for Mr Binky.

At last! A special friend for Mr Binky.

“Hey, nice picture of your own feet on the beach! With a little practice, any fool can learn to focus and push a button. For photography to ascend to the height of art, it needs originality. And you, without a doubt, are an original.”

Why didn't I think of that?

Why didn’t I think of that?

Comments. Part two.

I’m not a hater by nature. But, for the right price, I’m willing to learn. Not everyone wants nice things said about themselves. Some people will settle for bad things being said about others. Again, in the world of commerce, this already happens.

“I bought one of these hideous ACME mugs for my pet rat to use as a toilet, but he refused to go near it, and now I have a problem. I can’t get rid of it. I tried to throw it in the rubbish, but the guys from the landfill returned it with a threatening letter. I assure you I am not being paid ten dollars by Pinnacle Porcelain to say this.”

Again, I’m proposing we make this service available to ordinary bloggers. Does your hated neighbour have a blog? Does your mother in law keep the world updated about the imagined life of her antique doll collection? I can help. For the full ten dollar package, I will guarantee that I will include the word “Asshat” at least twice.

“I know it’s not my place to tell you what to do with your own blog, but instead of writing all those unhappy words in a funny shape, why don’t you try writing a poem?”

“Crocheted monkeys? By a fireman? Why don’t you tighten up those panties and go and find a proper hobby? Real men do macramé!”

Macrame. Or mancrame, as we call it round here

Macrame. Or mancrame, as we call it round here

“Nice shoes, asshat!”

feet on the beach for blog


This is it! my master stroke. I’m gonna be rich. I’m going to go on holiday once a year. To Greenland. A working holiday. I will sit at a computer for the entire trip, not eating, not drinking, and not sleeping. And I will like posts on WordPress. For a price. And slowly but surely, all those huge, accusing blank spots on your stats maps will begin to fill up.

Damn you, Greenland! Damn your icy white heart!

Damn you, Greenland! Damn your icy white heart!

At a price. A stupidly high price. And you know you’ll pay. Because that blank spot haunts your dreams. It screams at you when you check how many hits you got on your latest post. It mutters at you while you walk your dog. It whispers at you, just at the edge of hearing, while you try to work. And I can make it go away.

And if that works out, two words; Mainland China!


Warning! Contents may not match those pictured on box.

Warning! Contents may not match those pictured on box.

My father used to tell us a little rhyme when I was small;

“There goes a happy moron, he doesn’t give a damn!
I wish I were a moron. By God! Perhaps I am”

I am that happy moron! I don’t have any issues. But many people do. I think I can help. Send me a comment outlining your issues, and I will help you to cope with them by pretending they’re not there. If my advice helps, you can reward me handsomely. If not, go away. Nobody likes a whiner.


I have a fair idea of what to do with the humble comma. I know how paragraphs work. I am an expert at using spellcheck. If you need something written, give me a shout. If it works for you, and you decide to use it, you can pay me for it. If not, you can walk away feeling slightly superior. I’m even willing to do funny spelling for you if you’re American. Humor. Color. Look at me go!

You won't even need a real wastepaper basket.

You won’t even need a real wastepaper basket.


This might be little bit too close to the bone.

This might be little bit too close to the bone.

I wouldn’t even need a cardboard box. Just a donate button telling you how ill I am and how hungry my children are. And just like in real life, you could pretend not to see it!

That’s all I’ve got. If you have any better ideas for becoming idly rich with PayPal account and no actual products to sell, I’d love to hear them.

If it doesn’t work out, don’t worry about me. My wife and I could always open up a home-based furniture painting business.

In the meantime, I’m healthier than I’ve been in years, and my children seem to eat like silkworms from the moment they wake up ‘til the moment they go to sleep. Buy me a beer instead. The button is on the right.


43 thoughts on “PayPal on WordPress. The road to riches?

  1. pfstare says:

    The picture of your children and the paint alone and I’d have signed up…. I think your wife deserves a beer too 🙂

  2. Max Shields says:

    Reblogged this on Max Shields and commented:
    23thorns is one funny guy. You think you can make money with your blog? He’s got some thoughts for you.

  3. araneus1 says:

    You liked something of mine and I wanted to say thank you….Thank you……… so naturally I clicked on one of your posts to learn a little about you……….. wow, did I hit the jackpot. I read a lot of blogs, I mean A LOT OF BLOGS and I rarely come across someone as talented (and funny) as you are. Like everyone else in this short attention span world, it takes a bit to keep me interested long enough to get to the end of a ‘long’ post………. but when I got to the end of this one I was hoping for more.
    About a decade ago we were quite well off and I did contribute to a few artists that I admired (not a lot but regularly). In recent times I find that I’m on the other side of the coin. If I were reading this ten years ago I would be pressing that button; a talent like yours should be encouraged.


    • 23thorns says:

      Thank you kindly. I rather fear that whole “long post” thing will be my undoing. An obscure English playwright once said that “brevity is the soul of wit”, and that was before the age of Twitter………

  4. anna mosca says:

    Oh my! this was probably the longest post I read but it had me laugh so hard I could not stop!!! you have done a great job, thank you. meanwhile being in a almost simar situation and looking to raise some money to go to the Emirates for a Poetry Festival this month (true!) I will be bold and look for Patrons, starting from Donald Trump. will keep you posted.

  5. You could always pretend to be an online psychic and charge by the minute. Or better yet, solicit questions from readers and start your own advice column, charging for advertisers like drug companies, law firms, bond companies… 😉

  6. narf77 says:

    AAARRGGHH! Bugger…I just had a BUGGER moment…that comment wasn’t for you and neither was the crowded house vid! Oh well, enjoy! And for you Jess…that was the first part of your early morning email MAN I am laughing now (you aren’t laughing…you are looking for better spam protection) but if you disregard the first bit and the youtube vid (although it IS a particularly good song 😉 ) the rest is ALL YOURS sir… (bugger….)

  7. narf77 says:

    Even live this song makes me tingle.No-one can explain our peculiar souther hemisphere condition like Mr Finn :). This song got played a lot when Steve and I were far apart…

    I think you are mistaken my African friend…”Your way” is to be known as “The man’s way” from this point on… why would you want sparkly new white paint when we have half a can of burnt orange and this lovely old can (inherited with the property) of 70’s lime green that might have a 1 inch skin on top of it BUT under that skin it’s perfectly good and if you mix it with the burnt orange you are going to get next seasons top colour mix (that last sentence was uttered in a badly concealed effort to remain in possession of the money that would otherwise transfer hands in a large hardware shop AND to try to appeal to the apparent need for all wives to be in front of the latest interior decorating trends…). You have solvent too? Do you guys KNOW that solvent is good for lighting fires as well? I will just point out that it’s wise to have the emergency department on speed dial if you are prone to using solvent to literally “solve” all of your problems… Why bother with brushes with bristles? You Africans are spoiled! Smearing with a stump is the new black guys! Why drag the cupboard out of the long suffering shed? The floor is covered with oil leaks and past spraypainting events anyway? Newspaper is for using to line the budgies cage and for combining with solvent to start bushfires. Looks like the “distressed look” that is so favoured by Vogue and as props for the latest Donna Hay magazines…are you sure you sold books? I am starting to think that you were fibbing…you are obviously an artisan craftsman.
    Now your wife is a clever woman…how do you get rid of an ugly cupboard when your husband is tight as a ducks derierre? You “pretend” to be useless at painting it and you cry (strategically) over how “USELESS I AM” and you get his sympathy (men always fall for the crying bit, especially if the wife is usually a violent harriden who is prone to “withing reach” destruction on a regular basis and crying is out of the ordinary (the things we have to do to get a new cupboard!) )…and your husband feels terrible about how useless you are and falls for the oldest trick in the book…you guys never learn 😉 (oops… did I just let the cat out of the bag ladies? Please don’t hate me!).
    I think I would actually have to PAY WordPress for advertisments on my blog…2 penniless student hippies are not going to supplement your income…Jess is a bit strapped at the moment as well so I think your Antipodean chapter has been a bit of a let-down unless we find opals or gold on Serendipity Farm (not entirely unlikely as there IS a gold mine, albeit defunct now, in Beaconsfield 5 minutes away…). Sorry mate, you know how fickle we Aussies are ;). My daughters want to live in Greenland (don’t ask)…let me know when you move and you can drop them off on the way ok? As for making money, I guess penniless student hippies are probably the last people that you would want to ask about money making ventures…ask Jess…she is onto it! 😉

  8. dhonour says:

    I want a patron! Actually, I want someone to just come along and say “You are a brilliant writer, let me give you an idea, you write about it, we’ll market it and publish it and then you will be rich, rich, rich!”. Sigh.

  9. Winnie says:

    Unfortunately I’m not in theposition to be able to buy you beers, but I’ve got connections in mainland China that could possibly help you out with that Greenland business of yours. Partners? 0v0

  10. Blake says:

    Thanks for liking my article yesterday. We’re a new blog, so it’d be great if you enjoy our stuff and could help spread the word by sharing our articles on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    So you want to make money, eh? Sounds familiar. 🙂 Try adding Amazon Affiliate stuff to your pages, too. A free, easy way to bring in a little extra.

  11. Brilliant and a half 🙂 Love the polls- they offer very accurate responses!

  12. Khaula Naxir says:

    And here is a gift:
    Some beer and a bunch of flowers along with a hug and a big thank you for making me laugh out loud.

  13. Art Brûlant says:

    Speechless not too far from Greenland!

  14. amb says:

    Holy bananas that made me laugh. You should add “irreverent poll-master” to your list of services you’ll provide for people’s blogs. Who wants to answer a poll about “how many pictures of my cat should I post?” ?!?! This is so much better!!

  15. Joanna says:

    Flowers and beer coming your way 🙂

    • 23thorns says:

      I am quivering with anticipation. Just as a brief aside, my kids suffer from allergies, so the flowers might not be the greatest idea. Do you mind if I replace them with something a little more benevolent? Like beer?

  16. Annabel Young says:

    Love it.More please

  17. Blogging for beer! Good grief, husband! I think I might head over to the advice page right now to establish what a long-suffering wife should do under such circumstances. I’ll leave twenty bucks under your pillow – Paypal hurts my head and good advice is hard to come by. If you felt like using some of the change to buy me a bunch of flowers, it might be a nice gesture. Just saying.

    • 23thorns says:

      I would love to. But I’m afraid I can’t. Linne was very clear. She wants me to buy beer. It would be insulting and dishonest to spend the money on anything else.

  18. lylekrahn says:

    With ideas like that, I am so thankful I noticed you before all the money starts flowing in. I think it gives me a better chance of getting in on the take. Of course you will share, right?

    • 23thorns says:

      I couldn’t help but notice that you live right next door to Greenland. And you do seem rather fond of snow. I’m seeing the potential for a partnership here!

  19. Excellent! That made me smile. 🙂

  20. javaj240 says:

    That monkey has a pretty well-placed banana.

    I have a few pieces of furniture that need painting, but if it’s all the same to you, I think I’ll just go ahead and hire a professional. Perhaps a fireman.

  21. Linne says:

    Loved the poll, too, by the way. What fun! ~ Linne

  22. Linne says:

    You SO deserve a beer (and so does your wife!) So I am buying you each one. Not the kids, though. They didn’t clean up their mess . . . Linne (LMO for the initials of the name when you get that wee bit of $$) I always know I’ll have a laugh when I come here. Thank you very much!

    • 23thorns says:

      Yay! Thank you! You have started us off on the road to riches. I’m not going to give my wife her beer, though. She’ll just sell it and use the money to buy beer.

      • Linne says:

        😉 You are most welcome. Glad to be the first; hope I’m not the last. BTW, have the kids cleaned up that mess yet? Do you still HAVE kids??
        Don’t they love to be helpful . . . ~ Linne

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