So, I’ve been running this blog for around a year and a half now. I enjoy being able to share my experiences, tips, tricks and ramblings (along with tales of what not to do) and I will continue to do so. But, running this blog costs a little money Not a lot, but a little. Which is why there is an eBay ad panel at the bottom of all my posts. And the little “Support the Blog” blurb over on there right where you can “buy me a coffee” if you feel like it. These are forms of monetization, but I’m not really trying to make bank by doing this. The blog is just part of how I contribute back to the Metal Earth community that welcomed me in with open arms when I started building.
This blog and it’s content will always be free. That’s my intent, and I plan on sticking to it. But… I haven’t really recouped much of anything with the eBay ad panels. I have been bought a few coffees, though, and I really appreciate those gifts. I’m humbled and amazed that people have felt like supporting me without expecting anything in return. So please don’t think of me as unappreciative or greedy (I don’t think of myself that way, at least). I just wonder if I can change things up and end-up with a little extra to save up for some of the bigger models (one of these days I’m going to have to bite the bullet and try out one of the MU Transformers models, or a decent sized Microworld model). But I have trouble justifying them when I can get several Metal Earth models for the same price as just one of those (though I have splurged on a select few big models).
One option I’ve considered is adding “affiliate links” for the models that I’m reviewing. Links to places where you can purchase that model, probably eBay links, or maybe Amazon. These links would have an id in them, and I would get a small commission if someone made a purchase after following the link. I’d probably place them below the gallery in my posts, because I realize that I’m too long-winded for most, and that would be the most effective location. But at the same time, I worry that it might make this site seem more pushy / greedy / sales oriented, and I don’t want that. I have been working on a way to make the little eBay ad panel at the bottom a little more relevant to the subject of each post, but I wonder if simple links for the specific models might be a better idea.
One thing I do not want, and will not do, is load the page up with piles of advertising. I’ve placed the advertising at the bottom of the post because I don’t really like having to scroll pasts ads in the middle of articles I’m reading, so I assume that’s probably true for most of you as well. I have thought about adding a single advertising panel to the sidebar on the right (which gets pushed to the bottom for mobile readers), something small and simple. Just so it’s more visible for those that don’t read to the end. But I don’t know. Am I just being greedy by considering that?
Also, there’s this little thing called Patreon you might have heard of. I have to admit that I’ve thought about starting a Patreon account, even though the idea of people supporting the blog monthly seems absurd to me. But I watch YouTube, and I see people thank their Patreons all the time, so it was unavoidable that I could avoid the thought. Absurdity aside, I’ve also dismissed the idea because Patreon subscribers are usually rewarded with bonus content. I don’t like the idea of holding any of my content back behind a paywall, of any sort. Because I’m not doing this to make money. So, yeah. Not sure I want to go down that road.
What do you all think? Am I being greedy? Would affiliate links for purchasing the models cheapen the site? Is there another option I’m not thinking of that might be more appropriate? Originally, I had Google Ads at the bottom of the posts, but nothing relevant was ending up in the ad panels, so it was a complete waste. I figured eBay ads would be more relevant, cause they might help people find new models, so I switched to that. Anyways, I’m just rambling now. If you have the time, leave a comment and let me know what you think. Or tell me that I should just shut up and keep the blog as is. Whatever you feel like.
Oh, and I do want to shout out again to those people who have been super-kind and gifted me a coffee. Thank You!!! I don’t actually drink coffee, so that’s been converted to helping pay for hosting expenses and recording equipment (for recording the reference video).