So as I’m sure many of you noticed, we’ve ditched the plethora of ads we were trying out at the bottom of the page. You didn’t like them, I didn’t like them, and frankly, they weren’t bringing in so much money that it was worth the bile creeping up my throat every time I saw them.
The video ad, however, did have very good returns, and so long as we can work with the provider (or find a different provider if need be) to ensure they remain silent, that will be something we will continue to explore.
The bottom line, though, is that online advertising across the board is in decline. The whole industry is suffering; you can find tons of different reports on it with various reasons and data. The long and short of it is that things are very different than when I started fifteen years ago, most of it is automated, and it’s a lot harder now to support a website solely on advertising.
As a result of something like that, things naturally start shifting and evolving into other avenues, and for me that has been Patreon.
Patreon facilitates a very simple arrangement: A reader can support the work I do here on the website in the most direct manner possible and also, in exchange, receive additional comic strips, videos, wallpapers to boot.
Even just one dollar a month, and assuming I put out roughly twelve comics a month (3 a week), that averages out to about $0.09 per comic. And it helps keep the lights on.
I bring it up because I know that it’s easy to not really think about it as you swing by, read the comic, and then go on about your day. After all, for the past fifteen years the website was largely supported by advertising, so the status quo was literally “As long as people visit, I get paid for the work I’m doing.”
But as the advertising industry’s health continues to decline, I need to be more proactive about making sure bills get paid, and that’s going to mean asking my readers to be more proactive as well.
So if you visit on a regular basis, if you generally enjoy the work I’m doing here, if you use ad blockers (again, I understand), and if you can spare a dollar or few a month, I ask you to consider becoming a Patron. I’ve put out the majority of the nearly 3000 comics I’ve drawn in the past decade and a half for free, and I want to continue being able to do that regardless of what happens with ads. And if someday the only options for ad support ends up being clickbait malware or popups or some other horrible shit, I want to be in a position where I can say “Nope, not going to do it.”
I actually went ahead and put in a buck towards your patreon after reading the previous article/comic about this. I of course use adblocker since it cleans up the page half the time into a clean layout (While the other half of the time it reminds me I have adblocker and the website doesn’t like that), though it leads to a feeling of “I could support them… but I prefer my clean layout.” Once I got my job however, I’ve started to slowly take a more proactive path towards supporting. Hope others will read your post and/or my comment and… Read more »
So Tim, quick question. What’s your general thoughts on solutions similar to Coinmill? It’s pretty new concept.
What do you mean? That just looks like an currency exchange calculator.
How many ads would I need to click to give you the equivalent of a $1.00 Patreon subscription a month? Or is it no longer based on clicks but based on ad impressions? If so, how many page loads or ad impressions would it take? When the ads go away, I’ll support your Patreon. But in the mean time I can impress the ads or click them to provide the same revenue if you tell me how many impressions/clicks it takes for an equal corresponding Patreon subscription.
I think it’s just impressions these days. I don’t think there’s a standard conversion; different ads bring in different amounts I think, based on what the company bid at the time, etc.
But even if you just refresh a bunch, eventually you’ll stop seeing them I believe. They have stuff in place to make sure they aren’t wasting impressions.
I have been out of the loop for a while and I was an an avid daily reader up until the main story came to a possible close, you weren’t sure if you would continue them main story or not then I kind of dropped off. This said, I know you also did some publishing and stuff. Will you be creating a temporary Patreon or other purchase option for a published copy of the main story arc up till now? Is this already available somewhere I am not aware of?
Nevermind, I am an idiot, you have a shop link, I will have to scroll through your online archive to see when you jumped back into the story line. Thanks for the years of dedication to your craft!
Josh, I have a 3 volume book set that includes everything from 2002-2012 that is still available in the store. In the near future, I hope to release some new books that collect everything from 2012 to now 🙂
Am I allowed to not feel bad for using an ad-blocker if I support you on Patreon?
CGP Grey literally calls his bottom tier on Patreon “ad blocker absolution”
Tim, I have been an avid reader of CAD for a while. Not as long as the people who have read it since the 2000s, but for a fair while. And I am very sorry to say that I have given it heavy consideration, and I really don’t care about the implications of monetization. I will gladly continue reading your comic 🙂 I am, however, currently unable to do patreon because I am in the middle of some crazy but fortunately not too serious financial stuff. Have a nice day. Also, you are amazing, you really have gone far since… Read more »
That’s fine man. I know not everyone is going to be interested or able in supporting financially. I appreciate that you enjoy the work anyway 🙂
I’ve been a Patron for over two years (!?), and I love the bonuses I get. I’m thrilled to be able to help support your work, without the ads! (Confirmed: Donating to Patreon takes away 100% of bad feelings regarding the use of an Ad-Blocker)
Keep up the awesome comics
Thanks, Dread! 😀
I only now encountered the video ads and had quite an unpleasent experience. For some reason the ad forced my firefox to scroll back up to the top of the page whenever the ad reloaded itself, which in turn made me accidentially mouseover the video. This turned on the sound which couldn’t be muted other than by muting the whole tab in FF. The forced scrolling made reading the comic, for which I had to scroll down to read the bottom panel, quite annoying. Otherwise I completely understand your reasoning – which is why I have an exception for CAD… Read more »
Hrm, I haven’t encountered that particular issue, but let me know if it happens again. That might tell me if it’s the particular ad, or an issue with firefox.
Hey Tim. Just wanted to let you know this has made my decision to support you on Patreon. I appreciate all the work over the years and now I get to actually support you 🙂
Thanks again and keep up the awesome work!
Thanks, Matt. 😀 It’s definitely appreciated!
I personally don’t mind the ads, I understand. Although, while on my mobile, a pop up ad came up wanting me to install something. I know the ads are hard to police, but is there any way on your side to block ads that take over the whole site and try to trick people into installing stuff?
Thanks for all the years of great work :- )
The only recourse we have, Erik, is reporting them when they happen. They usually disappear quickly, because obviously ours isn’t the only website using the ad exchange, so even if we don’t report it, someone else does.
But these companies just turn around and insert their code into a slightly different ad. For every one we report, another pops up :/
I didn’t figure there was an easy way to block, was just hoping there was a way to block ads that take over the entire screen as a pop up.
Thanks again :- )
I actually have been a little frustrated since becoming a Patreon which was day 1 when you offered it at the $3 / mo mark. I personally felt like the quality and quantity of things went way down after you realized you could make a buck holding out extra content till people chip in. Before Patreon you were posting a lot more content even it was just the sillys – and I assumed that was because more posts equivocated to more traffic which auto-helped revenue. Since you turned to Patreon I’m sure you are seeing visits going down – I… Read more »
CK- I have to disagree with you: The idea that I’m producing less content is categorically untrue. I am currently putting out more content than I ever have before. I have never been as busy as I am trying to put stuff out each month. A lot of it is Patreon exclusive, but I didn’t take anything away from the website and move it behind Patreon. Everything I offer Patrons is something I wasn’t doing otherwise. I was not putting out monthly wallpapers. I was not doing Chef Brian any longer. I was not doing Ethan and Lucas one-shots when… Read more »
Okay, videos are back. There’s a Clorox ad that loops, and every time it hits the end and loops back to the start, it plays a second of sound. Other ads don’t seem to be doing that. Death to Clorox!
Still occasionally getting unexpected audio from the video ad for Nationwide insurance.
Hi Tim, Would you ever consider using an alternative to Patreon? I’m a long-time fan, and lately I’ve started helping out a promising webcomic publisher called GlobalComix (www. globalcomix. com) which has an eye on making it easier for webcomic creators to monetize their work. It’s got a lot of nice features like frame-by-frame viewing, a donation button, reader analytics, but pretty soon we’re going to be rolling out our paid access program which allows creators to charge per page if they choose. We hope to become the new, creator and reader-friendly site for webcomics and right now we’re reaching… Read more »