Do you ever internally struggle with something so much that you start to make yourself crazy? That’s how I’ve always felt, since day one, about monetizing my blog. On the one hand was the voice saying, “You’d be selling out. You don’t write to make money. You write to spread information. You write for the love of it. You can’t ask these devoted people for money.” On the other was the voice saying, “What on earth is wrong with getting financially compensated for something that you’ve worked really hard at? Something that provides a value to other people? Something that requires a whoooole lot of time, and energy, and blood, sweat and tears?”
These two voices have been at war for a very long time now. I am extremely uncomfortable asking for money – from anyone, at any time, for any reason. If you have any doubts about the veracity of that statement, ask me about my pitiful track record trying to sell an embarrassingly high number of different MLM products.
Like a lot of bloggers, I’ve (somewhat reluctantly and very half-heartedly) tried things like Google ads, affililiate sales, etc, which brought in a few dollars here and there. But they never felt right. And at the urging of a trusted mentor, I put up a virtual “tip jar” for a time too. That felt funny too, but at least it felt a little more genuine, and a lot more personal than waiting for the couple of cents I’d get when a random stranger decided to click on a Google banner. Several people were generous enough to donate (thank you!!), but it didn’t take long for me to realize it was an extremely limited method, as well as uncomfortably one-sided. While it gave you an opportunity to say, “Hey I appreciate your work; thank you,” it provided no method for me to thank you in kind for the support.
When I first heard of Patreon, which was only fairly recently, and of course well after my kids knew about it (“What do you mean? Of course we know what Patreon is.”), I was intrigued. It seemed to answer all of my problems. It’s a platform that operates separately from my blog (ie: nothing about my blog will change), it gives people who wish to support my work financially an easy way to do so, AND it gives me a way to give back to those supporters by providing them with little perks and extras, much like a Kickstarter or other crowd-sourced campaign.
Patreon works on a monthly basis. Should you choose to join the community and contribute, you’d make a recurring monthly payment of anything from $1/month up to $25 or beyond, and anything in between. In exchange for your generosity, I’d thank you with content just for you over at Patreon such as written posts, videos, or behind the scenes looks at what I’m working on next. Depending on your donation tier, you can also make requests for upcoming blog posts, and have access to an exclusive email for one-on-one parenting and/or unschooling support. It allows you to be a part of the process in a way that you’ve never been before, it allows me to give you extra little perks for your trouble, and it allows me to keep my internet bill paid on time so I can keep sharing those blog posts. 🙂
So what’s going to be changing about my blog?
NOTHING. That’s the beauty of it! It’s not going to be covered with ads, and there aren’t going to be any annoying pop-ups asking you to join stuff. My blog has always been free, and will continue to be free. I’m not taking any content down, and I’m not making anything off-limits. If anything, I will be posting even more often, as I am finally (after ten reeaally long months) feeling like my old self and ready to fully dive back in. You are welcome to read, share, and comment – as always – without donating a penny. And you will be loved and appreciated for doing so – as always. 🙂
If you appreciate what I do & want to join me in this endeavor, you can hop on over to my Patreon page for all the details (including a dorky welcome video from yours truly) No matter what you decide, the support, the views, the comments, and the shares over the past 12 years have meant the world to me.
In case I don’t tell you often enough: You guys are truly the best, and I so appreciate each and every one of you. xo