Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Brush Wizard, Amazon Ads and Ko-fi

If you've been coming to the site for awhile, you may have noticed a bit of housekeeping going on and some new additions to the side bar.

I am an Amazon Affiliate and also have started up on Ko-fi.

Here's the run down. It's a bit of a wall o' text, so bear with me.

A couple years ago I tried using ads to build revenue to help with site hosting via Google Adsense. The ads the came up never seemed to be relevant to the site content and some of them looked super sketchy.

The site gets decent enough traffic, for a small hobby blog dedicated to my own projects and such. But the content that Adsense was showing generally never related to the content that I am producing. I don't remember how long I had them on the site, but in the time I did I think I made all of ten cents.

I wasn't a fan and decided it wasn't worth it. Especially due to the previously mentioned sketchiness of some ads.

Hosting costs and travel expenses to conventions being what they are, I thought again to myself about ad revenue. I remembered that when my buddy and I had previously ran websites we went through the Amazon Affiliate program and had solid success with it. Nothing that would pay the bills, but it covered hosting fees and such.

Well, over the last year I debated it with myself and finally pulled the trigger a few months ago. If you've been a reader for awhile you probably noticed them pop up right away.

I've tried to cultivate the Amazon ads to be as relevant to the site's content as I could and they seem to be working well, with only the occasional "why is this here?" item popping up on them.

If you're not familiar with how the Amazon Affiliate program works, its basically this; when you click on the ad it takes you to Amazon, then you do your shopping as you normally would and after you've completed your purchase Amazon credits me a referral fee. You, the customer never are paying anything extra. You get your items for the same pricing you normally would. But Amazon gives me a percentage for driving traffic to them. Easy!

It seems to be working well, as I've broken the $10 minimum threshold both months, so that's awesome. Thanks to everyone who has helped with that.

The other announcement is that I've started a page on Ko-fi.com.

Previously, I have had friends and family tell me that I should try using Patreon to help support the site and my convention trips.

The thing is, I have always equated things like Patreon,  Ko-fi  and Go Fund Me to panhandling and not support from the community. I've also always undervalued my own worth. It's a mental hangup I've had for a long time and have been working changing that outlook.

If you're unfamilar with Ko-fi, it is a site where folks can thank creators, who's content they enjoy, by "buying a coffee" or in monitary terms $3. Basically, think of it as a tip jar. If you like my content, you can toss me a few bucks as a thanks.

On Ko-fi the creator can set goals, with the coffees going towards said goal. Currently on my page, I've got the goal set to buy a new camera. My old camera is over 10 years old and isn't up to the task of taking pictures of miniatures. In the meantime, I've been using my Google Pixel camera for most of my photographs and while it works well I do really need a nicer DSLR that I can mount to my tripod to get the best out of my pictures.

For the time being, I'm only using Ko-fi so that folks who enjoy my work can support me if they wish to, without me having to worry about producing exclusive content or rewards for Patreon supporters. Maybe one day I will set up on Patreon as well, once I have a solid back log of videos and can share them early for supporters.

So, if you enjoy what I do and want to add your support, head over to Amazon and buy some cool stuffs, or toss me a few bucks on Ko-fi. Every little bit helps, and with it I can get updated gear for improved photographs and even more fancy models to paint for your viewing pleasure.

Thanks for reading!