The Leonardo Network

A six figure part time income by blogging is possible through the Leonardo Network Leonardo is a multi pathway system of induced viraliry based upon mutually beneficial behavior among its members.  Authors will have 140+ D15IQ, be polymathic and be excellent thinkers and writers.  Readers will be from the top 5% of the population in intellectual sophistication.  Leonardo Bloggers will be the primary source of article writers for The Polymath.

Leonardo Theory
Leonardo will become a kind of hybrid super intelligence in which each node of the neural network, a Leonardo Blogger, will make a 
determination of the importance of each article they receive and pass on to their subscribers about 25% of them. In this way, virality will not be based solely upon 'least common denominator' (kitten videos and celebrity gossip) but also upon an intellectually sophisticated consensus of Leonardo Bloggers.

This will be extremely disruptive to the current, highly partisan and demagogic status quo.  The controversy these articles create will only serve to increase Leonardo's reach.  I have found this with 'The Inappropriately Excluded'.  Because it is controversial, it is approaching 100,000 views while most of my articles only get 3,000 to 5,000 views.

Practical Careers
Being a Leonardo Blogger is definitely designed to be a paying gig, low six figures USD in the first year and high six figures by year three.  And, that is part time.  The purpose is to provide a productive activity that is fulfilling and with sufficient income and enough time to pursue a diversity of other activities.

I know that many people think that blogging is a good way to starve.  I know this because they want to argue with me about it.  It is true that if you set up a blog, monetize it through Adsense and/or Amazon and promote it to your warm market, you won't make much money at all.  But then, imitating people who are failing has never been a good strategy for success.

My claims may seem implausible to some, but "State of the Blogosphere - 2017" found that the average professional blogger earns 138K USD per year. So, it is simply a matter of finding more efficient ways of building circulation and profitable monetization.  With a promoted subscriber list and proper monetization, the blog model works; it simply needs different implementation strategies.

By way of example, let's look at Dick Morris.  He has built a subscription list of 460K readers.  He did so by promoting his site on Fox News.  Now, his business model is complex, as yours will undoubtedly become over time.  But let's just start with a weekly article with 5 ads and a net $8 CPM to you.  This would give you ad revenue of nearly $1.0 million per year.

You, almost certainly, cannot go on a highly rated television show to promote your blog.  However, I have found a different way to get a similar result. 

By joining and participating in the Leonardo Network, you can build truly significant traffic.  We have also created a plan for a more appropriate and market standard $8 CPM ad rate for your monetization strategy. 

This is being organized by The Polymathic Institute, whose mission is to promote polymathic research, education, careers, community and lifestyles.  The Polymath and Leonardo will do this generally but also specifically for about 1,200 Institute Members.

The Basic Mechanics
First, Leonardo is not meant for all bloggers.  It is the affiliated blogosphere to The Polymath, a weekly PDF magazine publishing articles at the highest level of intellectual sophistication.  The Polymath will publish articles of general interest aad Leonardo will allow readers to supplement their reading in areas of special interest to them.

Since The Polymath and Leonardo will have a readership with a mean IQ around 2.3σ or a D15IQ of about 135, according to the Simonton Gap (persuasiveness maxima at 1.2σ IQΔ), Leonardo Bloggers will have a mean IQ of 3.5σ ± .8 or a 15 point deviation IQ of 140+.  Of course, erudition and quality writing skills are also critical.  However, they can be developed and one's IQ is pretty much what it is.
So, here is what we are planning to do.  

If you haven't already done so, you will first start a blog.  Don't get too deeply into presentation at first.  Your readers are driven by ideas, not graphics.  WordPress is the biggest blog service with blogger second.  But you may choose whatever blog software you want and vlogging is also an option.  

You will also need to get an email service.  I use MailChimp which is free to 2,000 subscribers and reasonable thereafter. I have one account for The Polymath and one for my personal blog.

Your next objective is to get your 'Warm Market' to subscribe.  When I did this I got 350 of my 1,100 Facebook Friends to subscribe immediately.  I got another 400 from other social media networks, primarily linkedin, twitter and Google+.  Your goal is 1,000 subscribers to start, which I exceeded in about two months.  Over the first few months through SEO, links in your social media and organic virality, your average views should be around 3,000.  That is because you will overtly encourage sharing of your articles.

With an 8 page blog post per week and $8CPM, your weekly income is $192.  However, even though $8CPM is sort of an industry minimum, you won't get anywhere near that relying on Google or Amazon.  That's where a lot of blogs die.  They get a couple thousand page views, but they earn less than $20 per week and they just give up.  Leonardo fixes that, but I'll talk about that later.

Next, having joined The Polymathic Institute you will next join the Leonardo Project.  There, you will subscribe to about four Leonardo bloggers and strive to get four of them to subscribe to you.  That will be the average.

Every Leonardo Blogger will send a weekly email newsletter to their subscribers that will include  a relatively short introduction and Abstracts (with link) to his or her weekly article and about four articles received from Leonardo Bloggers to which they have subscribed.  This means that on average, each Leonardo Blogger will be presented to their three thousand readers and the 12,000 readers of four other Leonardo Bloggers.

This is income of 15×8×8=$960 per week or $49,920 per year.  That is a good goal at 3 months.  For many participants this is sufficient to quit their job.

But, this is only the beginning.  SEO, backlinks and downstream subscriptions will grow your circulation.  Most will come from the induced virality of the Leonardo Network.

The average article will go to the subscribers of four other Leonardo Bloggers before dying out.  In other words, four Leonardo subscribers will include your abstract in their weekly newsletter.  These, mostly, will be in the next three generations after which the interest gradient (explained later) causes virality to die out.  So, there are 4+16+64=84 Leonardo members that over time receive one of your articles and, presumably, may pass your article on to their subscribers. That is 84×3,000=252,000 potential subscribers.

However, it is actually much more than that because the 2,000 readers reached through shares will differ among Leonardo Members and with each article.  In reality, with time, the number of unique readers will reach into the millions.  

With millions of readers over time, if the articles of a Leonardo Blogger are of sufficient quality, direct subscribers will increase, perhaps dramatically.

That is the basic structure of Leonardo and, if you think about it deeply, you will see why it works.  You may even have a visual image of articles being like electric impulses in the brain, heading out, every one, by a different, almost unique set of pathways.

So, a first year readership goal can reasonably be, say 50K readers per article with, perhaps 4,000 to 5,000 subscribers.  That translates to 50×8×$8×52=$166,400.  There, as I promised, is your route to six figure income in under one year.  

But, that is hardly the end of it.  By the end of year two or three your total readership at this growth rate will exceed 200,000 and your income will be around $650,000.  Because of Pareto, top bloggers may reach seven figure income.

The Interest Gradient
The Leonardo Network creates an interest gradient that enhances the effectiveness of the induced virality.  That is because when you go to Leonardo to get your four Leonardo subscribers, the four that subscribe will be the four who are the most interested in your articles.  Their subscribers, including their 16 subscribing Leonardo Members, will generally be interested in your articles, but not as interested as your direct subscribers.  With each degree of separation the interest level decreases until your probability of being forwarded decreases toward zero.  We refer to this as the interest gradient and it is very critical to an understanding of Leonardo as a hybrid superintelligence.  It also keeps the system from getting swamped with articles.

Also, Leonardo is dynamic and self curating.  What I mean by this is that the connections are constantly changing as the system searches for the most efficient lines of communication.  An example would be if Leonardo Member A (LMA) sends out an article to LMB, LMC, LMD and LME.  LMB likes the article so he chooses it for his next week's email.  His LM subscriber LMF decides that LMA is actually a closer match for her, so she unsubscribes from LMB and subscribes to LMA.  Now LMB needs to find a new LM subscriber.  On the other hand, on the basis of the article, LMC decides that LMA is not the best choice, unsubscribes and goes back to Leonardo to find a different upstream connection.  LMA lost one and gained one, so he's even.

These changes in subscriptions will, over time, create a more efficient interest gradient and fewer articles of little or no interest landing in people's inboxes. 

Far Better Than Blog Rolls
When blogs were new, blogrolls were touted as a way to induce virality.  They generally had little impact and are relatively uncommon today.

The newsletter format will be far more effective.  The reason is that the articles you choose will be placed front and center for the reader with an abstract to entice them to click on the "read more" link.  With a subscription pop-up at the destination, not only will the format likely exceed the critical r>1 threshold but sign ups should be significant.

It is important to understand that as a Leonardo blogger, you are also a publisher of a highly targeted newsletter.  Your subscribers will not only eagerly await your email to find out what you've written, but also what editorial choices you made with regard to what other articles you have chosen to include.  Your open rate is critical to your success and all five articles you publish contribute to that.

It may not be immediately apparent, but Leonardo is designed to automatically evolve into the dominant Blogosphere on the Internet and one of the leading, if not the leading, news sources in the world.  That is because there are built in evolutionary mechanisms.  They are:

  1. Readers are constantly being exposed to other bloggers.  That means that readers will be inclined, over time, to unsubscribe to inferior bloggers in favor of superior bloggers.
  2. Successful Leonardo Bloggers will constantly scour Leonardo for the best bloggers so that their newsletters will constantly improve.
  3. Superior Leonardo Bloggers will get more virality both from their own newsletter and the downstream newsletters in which they are published.
  4. Over time inferior bloggers will lose their Leonardo subscribers. Simultaneously increasing blogger incomes will attract new participants and the best will likely find acceptance. 

An Admonishment about Pareto
As with nearly all opportunities a Pareto style distribution will describe the distribution of subscribers.  However, in this case it will likely start at around 1.5 million readers and decrease at a rate of about 1%.  This implies 150,000,000 article reads per week and an average annual income of $499,200.  While the average income is high, because of the very long tail, the medisn is income will be substantially lower.  Consequently, Leonardo will be, for many bloggers, a part of a more robust monetization strategy.

This will disrupt the Mainstream Media
Right now nearly all 150+ D15IQ people are inappropriately excluded.  Many of them are actually thinking of superior solutions to problems, seeing errors in conventional wisdoms, etc.  However, they have no access to large scale communication channels.  They are effectively silenced by the exclusion that results from their intelligence.  Leonardo changes that.  Leonardo gives them voice and gives them audience.  In essence, the 150 IQ Leonardo Blogger convinces his or her 130 IQ readers who influence the rank and file 110 IQ voter. 

Leonardo works as a vehicle for building mid six figure part time careers for polymaths and it begins to do so when our Network reaches 100 to 150.  But, when it reaches 1,000+ it will begin to behave like a hybrid super intelligence and thwart the partisans and demagogues.  That means that, if you are appropriate for Leonardo, you will gain benefits both personally and of a more altruistic nature.

Do the Numbers Work Out?
Time and again in my life I have encountered income producing ideas that look good, but, when you run the numbers, they don't work out.  Commonly, the rosy picture requires the market to be far larger than it actually is.  That is not the case here.  Let's look at the mature scale of 1,000 Leonardo Bloggers.  In order to hit the numbers, they must have, in total 5,000 X 1,000 = 5,000,000 subscribers.  A population with a Gaussian distribution centered around 130 D15IQ in Western civilization alone is about 60,000,000.  Also, it would be an incorrect assumption that none of those 5,000,000 represent people who have subscribed to several blogs. 

To hit the income expectations of $665K X 1,000 = $665 million, there would need to be $665,000,000/(8X12)X1,000 = 6.9 billion page views per month or 6.9 million page views per blog.  By comparison, Yahoo, in February of 2011 averaged well over 20 million page views per blogger.  So, while very large, by today's standards Leonardo is not unprecedented.

The Monetization Problem
When you advertise with Facebook, you are lucky if you get less than $10 CPM.  In fact, in 2017, it averaged $11.71CPM.  While Google charges on a per click basis, most of their ad rates work out to well in excess of $10 CPM.  However, if you can get $1CPM from any of the standard blogger ad sources you are doing well.  This is a major contributor to the poor income for bloggers.

It is not a universal problem.  Dick Morris, who has a subscription list of 460,000 charges $10 CPM.  HuffPost DE charges 10E to 90E CPM per ad.   Native advertising, which is now very popular, typically runs $10 to $16 CPM, but some very high value formats can cost as much as $250 CPM.  Its easy to see that independent bloggers are getting the short end of the stick, primarily because they have little to no negotiating power.  Matters are different when 1,000 blogs are aggregated, however.

As part of PEN, we will start Ad Agency projects that will maximize the value of Leonardo Blogs through matching article content with product or service.  This will likely bring CPMs as high as $20.  However, for the sake of conservatism, we assume that the Ad Agency will place the ad at $10 CPM, take a 20% commission and remit $8 CPM to the blogger.

Why a Charge for PEN Membership?
I find that a lot of people think these kinds of things should be free.  Well, that is not how it works.  This only works if some people work very hard to make it work. The $300 lifetime membership is only enough to pay for the cost of recruitment.  The LinkedIn Professional Membership is about $720 per year and will  likely be comparable to the Institute's membership cost.  That is what must be charged to actually make a profit.

You actually can do it for free.  You simply build up your warm market, do a Kickstarter campaign, then then use that to get set up.  $1,000 should do it.  Then when there are 4.2 million subscribers to The Polymath, do another reward crowd funding and not only will you get more money to acquire subscribers, you will directly get subscribers from the Kickstarter campaign itself.  Crowdfunding, patreon style fundraising and style fundraising will all be provided by The Polymath at no cost to Founding Members.  Of course, these campaigns will slow down your participation, but the extra funding will allow you to acquire subscribers faster, too.

Don't Dawdle
I have had the experience of everyone standing around waiting for other people to go first.  Of course, if nobody is willing to go, then it never happens.  So, we are providing incentives.  Right now, new PEN Members will get a lifetime Membership for the first year membership fee.  Also, remember, LinkedIn is charging $720 per year for a similar membership.  Consequently, there is a financial benefit for joining immediately.

Right now we have 20 Founding Members with 130 left to acquire.  However, signups appear to be accelerating.

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