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.”