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It's time to monetize, the question is how?


immamac

How to monetize?  

349 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you prefer to monetize?

    • Purely donation based
      160
    • Light ad support with no monetization after covering costs
      151
    • Heavy monetization and investing back into the community
      38
  2. 2. Would you commit to donating, if so for how much?

    • $2/mo or $24/yr
      135
    • $5/mo or $60/yr
      98
    • $10/mo or $120/yr
      25
    • Big daddy club over $20/mo
      9
    • No, fuck you, you pandering cunt.
      82


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All,

We have had a very awesome community going strong here for the last few months and lots of posters, lurkers and guests have been familiar with each other for years. 

Currently the site resides on a pair of older servers with some room for expansion in a colocated space in downtown Austin, the current cost to keep the proverbial lights on is around 1k/mo all said and done once you count the amortized cost of the hardware, colo space, and some incidental costs associated with running a website. Now as we all know the site is able to make about treefiddy fairly easily with joining forces with any number of ad networks. My goal for Surly is to break even and have about 6 months of runway in the account before demonitizing.

That being said, there's a few options for us to pay the bills:

  1. Run no ads and go to a purely donation based support model
    1. We would need at least 500 $2/mo or $24/yr subscribers to meet that goal and if we are anywhere even close after about a week after this post this will be the de facto way we will be going
    2. We could also have some whales come in that drastically reduce that number and without revealing who I will be very transparent if we have someone who has stepped up to cover expenses
  2. Run ads, accept donations, turn off ads when we reach our goal for padding.
    1. Self explanatory, but we would still need roughly 200 $2/mo donators to get us through the early part of football season if we didn't want to plaster ads all over the place
    2. More ads for non-members similar to the way other sites operate
    3. No ads at all for donators
  3. Sell our souls to the devil and do cool shit with the extra $$
    1. Surly tailgates all season?
    2. Stripper parties at the Yellow Rose?
    3. Ticket giveaways to home and away games?
    4. I'd estimate that at our current traffic levels and user-base at full scale monetization the site could produce close to 6,000 per month excluding any donation revenue, this number could easily be 7-8k with donations if properly managed. That gives the community and it's moderator team some flexibility in how we want to grow as this cash will not stay in the account and will not be used as "take home income" for the owner, which some of you may have figured out is me.

Now each option comes with it's set of tradeoffs and there's not really a nice way to put it, but as much as I love all you assholes I'm not bankrolling our 1k/mo habit solo. The great part about #1 is we have no one to answer to and can pretty much do whatever we want forever on this site, from there the level of control over what content and what kind of stuff we can do with the board starts to go down for very obvious reasons. With ad money comes ad network rules etc. We will never be a heavily moderated community, but some of you have been around long enough to know what happens when heavy monetization happens.

 

 

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I've never paid for an online forum, and I won't start now, (was active on something awful until they went and got greedy) but I have donated in the past and will in the future. I just don't like monthly bills no matter how small..

 

 

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14 minutes ago, pyrohornIII said:

I prefer to go non ad.  The ads on TOS used to really slow down things in my browser. 

I also think that it would be good to delineate those who are financial contributors and those who aren't.  I would think it would help to recognize trolls and socks. 

Agreed. Happy to donate but would like at least a little exclusivity for it.

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  • immamac unpinned and unfeatured this topic

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