Never in my life have I known a community as supportive of each other as the Asperger’s/autistic community here on WordPress. Holy cow, you guys are amazing! ❤
Before I get started, I’d like to send out a massive thank-you and shout-out to the lovely author of An Autism Observer in particular for her especially kind support! She knows what I mean. We’re working on processing as we speak! 🙂 ❤
I wanted to let everybody know what’s been cooking over the last few days!
First, I did indeed create a The Silent Wave YouTube Channel. It does not have any videos uploaded yet, but they’re coming soon! There’s a bit of a learning curve to “doing YouTube”, especially if you’re a perfectionist like I am and want to do it “right” (well, “right” for me, anyway). 😉
Before now, I hadn’t been involved much with YouTube, other than watching the cat videos and comedy snippets that made YouTube famous lol. So, I look forward to branching out and meeting new people on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum on YouTube as well! It looks like there’s a whole community out there. Much like I hadn’t known about or really searched for Asperger’s/autism blogs before realizing I’m on the spectrum myself, the same holds true for YouTube. I’m not exactly proud of that, but I am working hard to change that. There’s a whole other world out there to explore! 🙂
Blog Ads or No Blog Ads? NO Blog Ads.
Next, I’ve been looking into several options of how to make a tiny bit of revenue with the work I do here. (Well, actually it’s not really “work”, because it’s fun, but it does take some time.) I’ve been looking for the least invasive ways to do this, and I’ve specifically, staunchly avoided pandering and what some call “cyberbegging”. I don’t have anything against people who do this, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing it myself. (Please don’t take “I don’t feel comfortable doing this” to mean “I look down on you for doing this”; it’s just a personal modus operandi.)
My partner and I had looked into various ways to “monetize” this site (ugh, no, bad!), and so I decided to humor our curiosity by doing my own research on the topic. In short: NOT HAPPENING. The ad revenue is quite piddly unless you reach millions of views per year (hundreds of thousands per month), and even then, it’s a modest “revenue stream” at best. (I’m putting words like “monetize” and “revenue stream” in quotes to indicate a snarky sarcasm and my distaste for those words because they sound so slimy. I’m a former Business major in college/university, and I still think the majority of the sales industry and many of today’s business practices are quite underhanded and cheesy.)
So anyway… Not only have I decided NOT to opt into any ad-revenue-generating programs for this site, I’m actually considering going the other way…
…into a totally AD-FREE site (!) As in, any ads you see at the bottom would be REMOVED, and there would only be clear, white space. (Yay!)
To do that, I’d have to sign up for one of WordPress’s paid plans. If I’m going to pay for a WordPress plan, I might as well go for the gusto and opt for the best plan they’ve got, with the most options and capabilities. They call this the “Business” plan, although I have no intentions on turning this blog into a business. This blog has been active for a year and a half, I’ve been blogging actively for over nine years, and I haven’t used any of those blogs for business yet, so I probably never will?
Instead, I’d rather take to heart some of the awesome advice offered by a few of my lovelies here on WP, and create a crowdfunding account.
Actually, I’ll set up two types of accounts, one for an ongoing monthly pledge and the other for non-recurring single/periodic donations, so that anyone who wants to donate has a few options.
Option 1 ~ Patreon:
For those who would like to donate on a monthly basis, I’ve already opened a Patreon account, which has three tiers so far, ranging from $5USD to $25USD. I’ve got it set to where it’s a monthly recurring thing, not a pay-per-post. I’ve seen some bloggers refer to it as sort of a “tip jar”, if you will. I’ve got the first goal set at $300, in order to bring this site into the ad-free Business plan status, and then $300 each year to maintain that status. This way I can break even 😉
The Patreon account is not yet live. I’ve got it built; all the specifics have been filled in. You can view a preview of the page here, and I’m humbly asking anyone (given that you have the time and energy) to click on that link and share any feedback you have before I turn it on officially (which I hope to do in the next few days!).
Option 2 ~ PayPal (?)
The other option, for those who would rather make one or more donations whenever they like, without committing to a monthly pledge, I’m thinking about using PayPal.
I don’t have the PayPal account set up yet, nor have I committed to PayPal specifically, but that’s looking like the front-runner right now. Any ideas or suggestions in this area are welcome, too!
(I realize that WordPress opens up several “monetization” options once you go to the top-tier plan, but they just don’t pay out that well, and they clutter up the site. The site admin still retains little control over the ads that are shown, and the income generated is peanuts. Plus, ads are annoying and jarring for readers, so I’d rather keep this blog as an ad-free space. At the top tier, they DO allow you to put in a PayPal button, I think, which is one of the reasons I’m considering PayPal – that and the fact that PayPal is pretty common and established; many people already have a PayPal account.)
My Ultimate Goals…
My current plan is for both the Patreon and the PayPal accounts to be directed toward the same credit union/bank account, which will be completely separate from our regular living expenses account. My goal is to fund my Asperger’s/autism community-supportive efforts, ad-free blogging first and then YouTube video production second.
I’ve already covered the goals and whatnot of this blog above, so I won’t repeat myself here. However, I haven’t yet talked much about the YouTube aspect in pragmatic terms, so I’ll do that now….
What’s involved in the YouTube production in terms of a desire for funding? There’s an awesome (but pricey) Adobe software suite with which we can create logos, images, and video intros. My partner is a student, so we get a great discount on the Adobe suite, but it is an ongoing monthly cost. We already have it for business purposes (we’re self-employed, very small), but we were thinking about discontinuing it because of the expense. But then I thought, hey – we can use the Adobe suite for The Silent Wave blog/vlog stuff, too (!).
And if there are paid tiers for YouTube (especially without ads), I may be able to keep the YouTube Channel ad-free for longer, putting off that (ugh) “monetization” for a while longer, depending on how much can be raised in donations.
I’ve not yet figured the YouTube expenses into the Patreon account yet, but if there’s any surplus beyond my ad-free-blogging goal, that’s where those funds will likely go.
(“Warning”: the YouTube Channel will likely feature me talking, so you’ll get to laugh at my Texan accent! Should be a hoot 😉 )
Any feedback, ideas, etc y’all have is always greatly appreciated!!
Y’all have been extremely inspirational and supportive, and I can’t express how much that means to me. I never even imagined I’d be writing a post like this, about all this new stuff and new ways to branch out to support the community through several avenues like this. This community has made my whole world! ❤