Here comes the post I hate writing. Money. And me. You see, I think there’s a misconception out there that people who do sites like EP or many of the other ones you probably visit daily are somehow making money because we have advertising or things like that. Problem is, most of us don’t. A few have managed to make this whole blogging thing work (and I want them to come to my house and tell me how), but by and large, many of us do this out of love and the hope that we can continue it.
Personally when I started I had some funding from my graduate school program and didn’t really care about the finances. That’s why EP was ad-free for ages. Then funding ended. And I no longer TA because I don’t truly enjoy it despite it bringing in some cash. I added ads to EP and you’ve seen sponsors and Google Ads and I think some people even think that I must make at least something good from it all, but sadly (for me) that’s not the case.
I thought I’d break down what I’ve been making and what the costs of EP actually are for you.
- I made $538.47 for first 5 months of 2013 (the biggest 5 months in EP history) in advertising, including sponsors and AdSense, after paying costs
- This works out to $107.69 per month
- During this time, there have been 69 posts, but 3 were giveaways and we had 1 guest post so really 65 (though I still spend about 30-45 minutes on a giveaway without review and a guest post to get them set up properly)
- That works out to $8.28 per post. I average about 2 hours per post (some take an hour, some take 10+, depending on the amount of research I have to do, but the bigger ones are fewer so I average to 2 hours, though most likely it’s an underestimate)
- So that’s $4.14 an hour
- I spend $30 per month on hosting fees which brings my hourly rate down to $2.99 (or $5.98 per post)
I couldn’t hire the cheapest babysitter for $2.99 an hour where I live. Each post is just slightly more than a cup of coffee at Starbucks. And there are other hidden costs that aren’t considered. I spend $10 a year on domain registration and any new theme costs approximately $80 (why you don’t see the EP theme updated regularly).
Why do I tell you all this? Because you should know. It doesn’t have to change what you do or how you interact here, but you should know because I’m changing gears.
For the longest time I couldn’t fathom asking readers for a handout. It seemed so… tacky. Then I saw this video:
Suffice it to say it changed the way I viewed things entirely. Screw trying to get bigger places interested, screw letting others pay for what we want or assuming others will cover the cost of providing something of value to those who want it. I have to ask you, the people who hopefully appreciate what you read, to decide what EP is worth to you given what you can afford.
I don’t ever want to get to a stage where any parent can’t access the information on here. I believe so strongly in families having access to research-based evidence so they can make the right decisions for them and their families. But I’ll be honest. I also can’t keep going with no real income coming in. If I stopped EP, I could TA and make some money without it cutting into my dissertation writing time too much, but honestly I know TAing has such a minor impact compared to sharing the information I do (and again, I don’t really like it). However, I can’t do it for nothing. I could get another part time job, but again, that’s not helping people and when people ask what I want to do with my life, it’s help others. A mother or father should be able to google “crying it out research” and have EP come up with research-based information on the practice (which it does).
So here I ask… what is EP worth to you? If it’s worth a cup of coffee a year, please consider that donation. If it’s worth a cup of coffee a month, consider subscribing. At the end of the day, no amount is too small. It’s up to you to decide what it’s worth for you. I know that for some of you it is worth something you can’t afford, and I totally, utterly respect that. I never want anyone to have to pay for this information, especially if they can’t afford it.
The options, if you’re interested (and these will remain on the site on the left hand side) are to:
1) Donate a one-time payment (or two if you feel like coming back again) using this button:
2) Subscribe on a monthly basis using this button:
3) Shop Amazon via EP. You can access Amazon here and a small portion of your sale will be diverted to Amazon and sent instead to us :) We like that!
4) Support EP Sponsors by clicking on their links. If they feel they’re getting their money’s worth, hopefully they come back and spread the word.
5) Do nothing and just keep swimming… I totally understand this one as well. And know we appreciate your support of just reading this work and sharing with friends
UPDATE: Since switching advertising streams and implementing this, I am so pleased to say that we are making, on average, enough to keep the site afloat. Still not enough to live off of (approx. $200-300 a month) but I see that we may be able to make EP viable in the future which would be the best thing ever