First up: Patreon. It's a website which, in their own words, 'helps creators of all kinds connect and get sustainable income.' Basically, creators - bloggers, vloggers, authors, musicians, artists, film-makers, actors, illustrators, and many more - can sign up, make a page, and set up a bunch of rewards and exclusive content not available anywhere else in return for monthly pledges from kind members of their audience. These pledges can be as little as $1 a month (about 50p). It all adds up, and means creative people can keep creating.
Blogging, vlogging and all that jazz is expensive. 'You don't have to do it,' you could grumble - but there are many things we don't have to do, and yet we do them anyway, because they fulfil us, give us a sense of purpose, fill our lives and generally just bring us joy. In that case, we kind of do have to, otherwise we're not being very nice to ourselves... Oof, that was deep. I was about to tell you about the kinds of expenses that can crop up, because if you're not a blogger, you've probably never considered it. Let's just do that.
- Domain name
- Blog design
- Coding help
- Postage for giveaways
- Boosting social media posts
- SD card
- Props for photos/videos
- Travelling to events
- Guest posters/authors appearing in videos (I can't pay for this at the moment and it makes me uncomfortable. These people deserve payment for their work. This is something I'm desperate to sort out when possible)
- Your time (if it's your job)
- WiFi (nearly forgot that one!)
I doubt anyone pays for all of these, but I bet everyone pays for at least two things on this list. I don't pay for props, for example (though I would LOVE to because how fun would that be, and also, how much better would photos/videos look?) I don't pay to boost my social media posts, either, though again I wish I could. Anyway, there's your insight into the running costs of a blog.
So... to the point: I've decided to make a Patreon. I did a poll on Twitter just to check it wasn't the worst idea ever, and the overall answer was 'do it!' so... here we go. It's the sensible thing to do - the only thing I really can do, unless you want my blog to start looking like the classifieds of a newspaper - and I explain that in more detail over on my Patreon page. It's what needs to happen for TMLB to grow, and for my big plans to actually become a reality. Pledging is completely optional, and if you're really struggling to buy your own necessities, please don't try to fund mine - you come first! If you would like to pledge (or become a 'Patron', as I think it's called) you can do so here, and pick up a range of rewards for your generosity. This includes but isn't limited to:
- A bookish mug designed by moi
- Bookmarks, again, designed by me
- Access to an unpublished blog post or video
- A personalised thank-you video from me
- A box of surprise gifts I've picked out for you
- Book recommendations personalised and tailored to you
...and more! It wouldn't be fair if I didn't offer things in return, and I wouldn't want to do it without giving you something for your money, anyway. (If you have any suggestions, or anything in particular you'd like me to offer, please do let me know.)