So this is a bit of a different post. But it is that time of year. As of yesterday, the payment to keep both the site and the webdomain running for another year—ad-free—has been paid.
I want to focus on that for a moment: “Ad-free.” As you might imagine, I get a lot of pressure from both the domain hosts and other sources, such as Google, to put advertising on the site. Just clicking to my daily stats for the site quite often puts me face to face with an ad that advertises the “financial virtues” of advertising to all of you.
I’ve steadily ignored that for years. Why? Because online ads suck. And I wouldn’t have control over them either. The last thing I want to hear about on this site would be someone reading a Being a Better Writer article to find their text split by an advertisement that had nothing to do with the site. Or worse, advertising something I myself wouldn’t agree with having on Unusual Things (which could be anything from competing books, to autoplaying noise, to lewd ads).
So no, Unusual Things remains ad-free despite these constant bombardments to me “explaining” to me how much money I’m missing out on. In a similar vein, I’m also constantly advertised at that the site could be running on a subscription model. Being a Better Writer, WordPress really wants me to know, could be behind a paywall! As could all my other content.
Now, there is one “upside” to all this. I could, if Amazon made changes I absolutely couldn’t stomach tomorrow, sell all of my books direct from the site using this service. Yes, it would let me sell files. So there is that option if I really needed it. But that’s a small upside I hopefully won’t need to take advantage of anytime soon.
Okay, so what’s the point I’m getting at here? My point is that there I receive constant encouragement to monetize advertising on Unusual Things. Which, given the regular traffic, isn’t that surprising. I choose instead not to monetize the existence of the site through ads because ads suck and make the site a lesser experience for everyone. Instead, I pay out of pocket to keep the site going while remaining ad-free.
Again, because I hate ads, and don’t think they’d add anything (hah) to the site.
I do, however, have a Patreon account set up, and noted with a single button on the side on the right. Because, well … Unusual Things isn’t free to run. But past that it also requires a good amount of time and dedication. To date, Being a Better Writer has been running each Monday (barring a few holidays the like) continuously now for almost six years. And along the way it’s become a staple of some writers’ Mondays. It’s featured in various college courses, cited/quoted on Wikipedia, linked to from Reddit and Facebook … Being a Better Writer has become for many a source of writing advice akin to Writing Excuses.
All right, maybe I am singing my own praises a little bit in that last statement, but the idea wasn’t to aggrandize things. It was to draw attention to how much Being a Better Writer has done over the years, and continues to do, while being given with zero up-front cost or adveritising.
But it’s still a lot of work. Hence, the Patreon.Continue reading