Secondly, a couple of years ago, the model that had worked since our inception (put some ads on your site, get paid enough to keep running it) cracked. The ad rates dropped significantly. Many sites’ revenue was cut dramatically. Some sites (like the long-lived MacNN) didn’t make it and closed up shop.
As our regular readers know, and as we’ve discussed with many longtime readers behind the scenes, our stopgap measure was to put up more ads to make up for the shortfall. And, it worked to the point where we can keep financing the site. But, it’s certainly not optimal. In fact, it’s a mess. We know it’s a mess. You know it’s a mess. And it makes us sad, along with and many of you from whom we’ve heard.
We long to go back to the old days of fewer, better, more relevant, and less annoying ads making for a much less cluttered site. Being freed, even partially, from dealing with “The Ad Situation,” as we call it (maybe with an additional adjective or three), would also give us more time to concentrate on content.
A good number of our regular readers have suggested we try something like Patreon. Basically, we’d be asking readers to patronize the site (as opposed to patronizing our advertisers) by contributing a few dollars each month. Most Patreon sites offer something extra for patrons and we’d certainly do that (readers who patronize MacDailyNews would get extra articles written by SteveJack, for example, that would only be available to our reader patrons), but, if we did this, we’d also like to offer a twist that benefits all visitors:
Eliminate ads as the income they bring in are offset by Patreon.
So, not only would our patrons be getting something extra, they’d also be purging the site of ad positions. We’d simply remove ads as each ad position’s average monthly revenue is offset. Theoretically, we could get to the point where there would be no ads on the site at all. But, even along the way, everyone would benefit, thanks to the patrons.
Anyway, what do you think of that idea or do you have a better or additional ideas?