I Hate Ads...
I do, with a passion. The first extension I install on any browser is AdBlock. That's how much I hate them. I also hate when blogs write a "review" or other article for the sole purpose of selling that product. You know the kind I'm talking about. They read like a commercial and are full of keywords and buzzwords about the product. I can usually spot them a mile away and they annoy the crap out of me.
I also hate when content is stuck behind a paywall for no good reason. The primary purpose of my blog is to share my knowledge with my audience. While I have no problem with the "freemium" (or even just premium) model for applications, I'm not keen on them for article-based sites -- at least not for mine. I think information is best shared freely, especially when it comes to some of the topics I cover.
...But Running Blogs Cost Resources
It does, however, take time, money, brainpower, equipment, etc. (ie - resources) to write my posts and maintain this and my other sites. The holy grail of arguably any hobby is for it to pay for itself. Now, obviously, brainpower (mental energy) isn't a currency society can deal in (how cool would that be, though? And I'm still waiting for the tech that would allow me to just download my stream of consciousness to my computer), but hosting and keeping my domain name do require monetary resources. As a result, I offer (and may, in the future offer more) various ways to help defray these costs.
How I Make Money
Since I don't do ads, and I don't do paywalls, I need to implement other avenues from which to bring in money. Those methods are detailed below.
All methods are completely optional and you are under no obligation to use any of them or give me anything. The hope, though, is that the content of my site (or maybe some other interaction you've had with me) has provided you with such value that you want to give back somehow, and in those situations, I want to make it easy for you to do so.
Oh, and 10% of my income goes to a charity or project each month. More about that later.
Another way to give back is to purchase things through my affiliate program. If I have something available that you are looking to buy, simply buy it through me, and I get a cut of the purchase at no extra cost to you.
This differs from ads in that the items and brands available via the affiliate program are ones that I've used myself and would recommend. Additionally, they will only be linked to when I'm actually talking about them. I figure that if I'm going to review things and recommend them to my audience, anyway, I might as well provide them via an affiliate program.
Amazon Affiliate Store
I like Amazon's affiliate store, since it keeps most of the things in one place, which makes for easy browsing. I also buy a lot of stuff from Amazon, so the things I link are pulled directly from my order history and/or my wishlist. The items listed in my affiliate store may or may not have made an appearance on this site as a dedicated review, but they are still things I've used, myself, and recommend.
Go to the standalone store, or shop from here:
Selling My Own Things, Directly
I sell some of my own things, as well, since I have a couple other hobbies. The funds from those things help pay for my sites, as well (as well as meatspace supplies as needed).
As I mentioned previously, 10% of my income is donated each month. This is 10% off the top of my after-tax income, before other expenses.
To whom I choose to donate in a given month is somewhat random (it's who I decide to donate to that month), and whether it's an official non-profit organization isn't of particular concern, because I'm not doing it for the tax write-off. Instead, I do it for the sake of giving back. I work with a lot of open source software, and am part of a number of communities that would benefit from a little financial backing. So, I do what I can to show my thanks and help support them.
What projects/organizations do I donate to? Here are a few:
- GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
- Apache Foundation
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Trevor Project
- Autism Self Advocacy Network
- GoFundMe campaigns (usually for someone facing a hardship)
- PCOS Foundation
- Do Yoga With Me
- Kickstarter projects, including:
- True North PHP
- The community of Bula Batiki, Fiji, who are building sustainable income through the export of coconut oil
- Blessed Designs, a trio of women of color starting a sustainably- and ethically-made shirt company
- Anka Cooperative, empowering Syrian refugees by employing and training them to make hand-woven rugs
- ...and many others
So, by helping me fund my projects, you'll also be helping me fund many other projects. :)