I was impressed with a blog, The Becoming Minimalist Business Model (http://www.becomingminimalist.com/business/), by Joshua Becker. In it he described how his site earns money and how he works his day. As a person newly interested in blogging, it was enlightening. I had already done some of the things that Joshua mentions, but I didn’t have a rationale or model to put those actions into. His model gave me that structure.
How We Have Incorporated Becker’s Model
As you have seen, Serene Women has no advertising. I can’t imagine anything less serene that pop-up ads! By intent advertising is not an income stream. (At this point in our development “an income stream” makes me chuckle. We do not have an income drip, let alone a stream!)
If you are a fine print reader, you will see that we have not bought e-mail lists either. (The fine print is at the bottom of the page where it says we have 7 subscribers – and Leslie and I are two of them! You don’t get those numbers by buying lists!) We want this site to grow because people value it enough to tell their friends about it. And we want it to grow because we believe that an island of positivity and beauty is needed more and more as our world goes faster and faster.
How We Are Funding the Website
Early on we started talking about the gifting economy to support the site (here is the blog that started that thought process: http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?sid=65). We tossed around many ideas about how we could use this to generate income for the site. We thought about having offerings and suggesting people “gift” the site for the offerings that they used, but we finally settled on having the major funding for the site come from generic gifting.
As Becker described, we also set up an Amazon Associates account through which we earn a commission on purchases from Amazon made through a link on Serene Women.
What the Site Costs
I jumped into blogging knowing virtually nothing about what blogging and developing a website meant. The right person fell into my life who knew a lot about how to make websites work. (Eventually she told me that she thought I had a lot of confidence – probably not the word she used! – to think I could just do that.) She encouraged me and made suggestions and was there when I recognized website development was not something I could do! With her guidance I started buying things – like a domain name, and a website hosting group, and themes, and pictures, and … the list goes on. We now have a wonderful arrangement; I write and tell Leslie what I want and Leslie makes it work and look beautiful.
We also have plans to generate enough income on this site to help make the world a better place through donating to a charity or two. As our income develops beyond covering our costs, we will be identifying those charities – most likely with your help.
As I said, we decided to fund the site by gifting. We have also never told our readers about that decision (savvy business person, eh?). This blog is our offering of transparency. The costs of the mechanics of the website per year run about $300-$400. Maintaining the website is roughly another $500. Happily, I enjoy this and do not need to use it to put food on the table and a roof over my head; no salary is involved. At this point in the site’s development, it requires just under $1,000/year to keep it up and going.
How much Have We Earned
The other side of the ledger is site income. At this point we have earned $0.94 through the Amazon Affiliates link. Since we have asked for no gifts, we have received no gifts! That gives us a total income of $0.94 (we are trying not to spend it all in one place!) No complaining here, we have not been focusing on income. We have been focusing on building a site that has value.
We now have a beautiful website (proud mother!), interesting content, beginning conversations, and few readers. Time to ask for your assistance.
First, if you have found the site interesting or thought provoking or calming, consider subscribing (at the bottom of the home page on the left). We would love more that seven subscribers!
Second, if you enjoy the site, share it with your friends or share it with your Facebook friends. We want to grow! It will be more fun for all of us if we have more voices conversing! And we want to grow by word of mouth.
Third, look through the items that we have listed in the Library under Books We Like. If you are interested in any of them, order them through our link . Your cost is the same as if you ordered directly on the Amazon site (which you are doing) and we might earn another $.94!
Finally, if you would like, consider gifting the site (on this page or at the bottom of the home page on the right). I would love to see 200 people gift us $5 a year! That would cover our costs. All for the price of a cup of coffee and a muffin to share at the Kitchen Table.
Looking froward to growing with you!