the story + soundtrack of our second year in business
In 2015 we got to blow out a first candle and, believe me, we were quite happy to be where we were. We learned a lot, which made us realise that we still had a lot to learn. By the end of September 2015 Merchants Of Air began to turn some heads. From then on, the journey has gotten more and more satisfying and amazing, even though most of it takes place in a comfortable couch in a town called Berchem.
Since 25 September 2015, we not only doubled the age of Merchants Of Air, but also our visitor count, or even tripled it. Thousands of pages are being read every day by several hundreds of guests, with peaks up to 2200 unique daily visitors. Apparently, news items from Belgian sludge act AmenRa and American post-rock masters Russian Circles were responsible for these peaks, followed by Japanese post-rockers Mono. That's three peaks, caused by bands from three different continents. Our readers come from all over the world too. I didn't even know that there were 131 countries in the world but we've hit them all.
Again, I don't mind. At Merchants Of Air, we don't do 'pressure', that's what day jobs and mothers-in-law are for. All our writers are volunteers, I'm the only one profiting from all the millions and millions that come in each and every day. Being a billionaire is easy if you keep your mouth shut to everyone and just secretly spend the money on drugs, hookers and tattooing hamsters. I just let everyone do whatever he can and wants while I publish the whole thing from my yacht in the Caribbean.
Just kidding. We're all poor...
Wagner not only helped us getting through a lot more albums but he also kinda revived the A Small Neat Journal section. With movie reviews, poetry and other great articles he brought a breath of fresh air into Merchants Of Air. Some of those articles inspired me to restart writing some other stuff as well. Not that I had forgotten about A Small Neat Journal but my mind was occupied with something completely different, a deck of cards to be exact.
Frankly, I was sick and tired of outside ads, and with The Metal Deck I finally had something to replace them indefinitely. From then on, Merchants Of Air would become completely independent. Everything we sell, we made or designed ourselves. The shirts are printed and shipped by Spreadshirt and we receive a percentage, which gets us through the hosting costs and pays us an occasional beer. Other goodies will appear in our shop as well in the near future, not because we desperately want your money but because we're creative generalists.
The idea also moved over to the news section on Merchants Of Air, resulting in the birth of 'The Rock 'n Scroll'. Again, these are several news items, pressed into one big article and shared over social networks together. Again, more bands can be recommended to more people because they go over the whole thing instead of that one article. Both these and the "Brieviews" lured a lot more visitors in, not only on the site but also on our social networking profiles.
On the other hand, if Vince McMahon ever asks me to write for him, screw you guys... :-)