We are about a month in to our contribution program, and it’s been going better than I could have imagined. We’ve added ad-free browsing at our top two levels and are close to distributing a few other fun goodies to those of you who have already signed up.
We still have a long way to go, though.
I’d like to get to about 250 contributors by the time the Tulsa game rolls around. Right now we’re at 175. What does 250 allow us to do? Well, it more or less solidifies our financial position with our current staff and allows us to start thinking a little bit more about expansion.
It’s been fascinating to see how sites are transitioning into either A. Pay-only models (like Stewart Mandel’s new venture) and B. A combination of contribution plus advertising. I thought we were getting out ahead of the curve a bit, but maybe we’re just right in the middle of it. Who knows?
What I do know is that I’m thankful for the 175 of you who have contributed. It has allowed (forced?) me to start thinking about the future of our company (because that’s what it is now) in a different way. I think I said this the other day, but if we can reach ~750 contributors at some point, we can start planning on hiring a full-time employee. That’s thrilling, and it will provide you with even better, more in-depth coverage of Oklahoma State athletics.
Here are our back-of-the-napkin (literally, because I’m on a plane right now) checkmarks for the future of the site.
- 250 contributors: Solidifies current staff
- 500 contributors: Additional podcasts/videos and better production
- 750 contributors: Look into hiring a full-time staffer
- 1,000 contributors: Probable website refresh
- 1,500 contributors: Look into hiring another full-time staffer
This future is totally in your hands. Will we get there eventually without contributors? Maybe, but it can be sped up by you guys this week, next week, next month etc. When people say, “why would you give to a site that’s already free?” The answer is almost always, “Because you can make it even better than it was.”
I listened to this podcast yesterday morning about patronage and the future of the creator-getting-paid model. One part of it that struck me is that at some point we (those of us who produce digital media) are going to bump into a ceiling where consumers only have the capacity to contribute to or pay for three or eight or 10 or 14 outlets because only so much money exists. I’m hopeful that for you PFB is and always will be one of those places.
I think we offer a really good model that other sites either can’t or won’t. All of our content remains free, but if you contribute you get better access to it (i.e. no ads) as well as some other premium PFB goodies in the near future. We always want everyone’s PFB experience to be good, but if you’re contributing we want it to be great.
Anyway, if you haven’t started contributing we would love for you to do so. Tell a friend about it. Tell your parents or your grandparents about it. Our coverage has become more robust over the last year because there is a market for it (you) and because you have supported that.
If you don’t want to contribute monthly, we have a yearly option for $100 also (please note that this also renews annually unless you cancel).
- White/Gray reward: The joy of supporting a site built by you and for you.
- Black/Orange/Annual reward: Ad-free browsing
We plan on adding to these rewards in the near future, but for now ad-free browsing will be given to those who sign up at the Black, Orange or Annual levels. FAQs are here.
By the way, we still need a good name for our contributors. If anybody has any good ones, leave them in the comments and we’ll start using them/print the shirts etc.
Oh and last thing, if you’re an organization looking to advertise with us, we have a few slots to fill before football season begins so email us at pistolsfiringblog at gmail dot com, and we can chat about that.
Thank you everyone, as always, for supporting PFB.