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Just a little update

I’m working on a blogosaurus which ought to turn up here in the next few days.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a few links to post and I’ll try to do that late this afternoon or early evening.

But this is just a little update following Amazon’s FU “Warmest Regards” message.

A couple of years ago, when Amazon nerfed their commission structure for associates, an angel stepped in and began making up the monthly deficit. He’s still with us. I thank him every month — and if you like this blog, you should, too, because I don’t know that I’d still be here if D3 hadn’t flown to the rescue.

Now, with Amazon revenue completely cut off, another long-time blog angel has stepped in to offer a one-time contribution that will replace Amazon revenues for many, many months. Bless you, G.

I love those angels with the big, shining gold wings!

But equally important, now and especially in the future, are large numbers of small monthly supporters. On that note, thank you KMcM, BT, and RZ, who all slipped in unasked and upped their existing subscriptions to my Patreon page.

Here’s what I’m thinking of doing next.

As I’ve already said, I’m not going to conduct any big fundraiser. What I would like to do, with the help of every reader, is restore the broad, easy base of support that Amazon was so good at providing (until it wasn’t). That means:

In addition to the Patreon page, I’m looking at setting up accounts at SubscribeStar and Buy Me a Coffee.

The former is similar to Patreon in enabling monthly subscriptions (but so far without the “dark side” implications). The latter is geared to small one-time “tips” (though tips can also be made monthly).

It’ll be a few days before I set those up, so if you have thoughts on those sites or others like them, I’d like to hear what you have to say.

At the suggestion of several friends, I’ll also be looking into other affiliate programs and ways to better market the blog. I don’t have a lot of faith in these methods. Many affiliate programs look good “on paper” but don’t deliver results. Marketing successfully could mean dealing with FB or Google, the very thought of which pollutes my soul. I’m not sure I could do it. But I should and will look into other methods than asking for tips, being happily surprised by donations, or praying for angels.

For now, though, the immediate important thing is to establish a broad, and reasonably regular, base of support. Doesn’t matter if it’s $1 a month per contributor. What matters is that it’s steady and sufficient overall to keep the blog going.

It’s hard to ask this at a time when I’m blogging less frequently. I’m sure plenty of readers will think I’m giving less value now than I did in the past, and if that’s the case, so be it. I couldn’t fault anyone for thinking that.

But within my limited time online, I’m going to do my damnedest to make your time spent here worthwhile.


  1. Pat
    Pat August 23, 2019 1:54 pm

    I was reading about SubscribeStar when you mentioned it the other day, and kind of liked it.

    Am not sure I understand how Buy Me A Coffee works, in terms of ensuring you a trustworthy “income”.

    I was wondering, too, if any attempt to ensure an income will mean you have to go back on the internet — though paying for it will now be harder to afford. A Catch-22.

    I thought there was an affiliate program with Walmart. Don’t know how true that is, if you might be interested, or the terms and policies involved. But it might incluse Sam’s Club as well.

  2. Claire
    Claire August 23, 2019 3:42 pm

    Pat — You’re right; Buy Me A Coffee is mostly geared to one-time tips of under $5. But it is possible for someone to sign up to give a monthly tip. And even small one-time tips, if they’re easy to give and given by a variety of people, can add to the mix.

    And yes, there is a Walmart affiliate marketing program. I either didn’t know or had forgotten that. So thank you.

    Unfortunately, it’s not even remotely as open-ended as Amazon’s. If I understand correctly, the blogger has to put up specific banners and links, and credit is given only when people buy those specific items.

    In all those years of using Amazon links, I found that people almost never bought the linked item. They’d use the link to go to Amazon, then buy other things — and Amazon would credit me with all of those purchases.

    If I occasionally linked to, say, a brand-new, red-hot book, I might make three to six sales of that item. But considerably more money would come in from other purchases made during the same visit to Amazon.

    I will definitely look further into Walmart’s program. Because only Walmart could rival Amazon in volume of purchases. But if the terms are as I currently understand them, Walmart would pay only a fragment of what Amazon did. Still, it’s a start, so I’m glad you mentioned it.

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