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Website DIY #4: Monetization (Quick Overview)

a few ways you *can* make a buck with a site like ours. not that we have.

Let’s say in between the last post and this one you did the part where, ya know, you actually built out your site. (Again, we’re taking the easy way out and just saying you should look around YouTube or use a site dedicated to this like WP101 or use the platform’s docs (or, again, YouTube) if you’ve gone with, e.g. Ghost.

Monetization

We’re going to just brainstorm a few ways you can make money off of it. All this fucking talk of ‘five-figure MRR’, blah blah blah, I don’t know what to say except ‘must be nice.’ Never mind doing it ethically, though maybe those rumours of other comedy sites selling user data to advertisers are fiction… 🤷‍♂️

Web Monetization (e.g. Coil)

How tech savvy are you feeling? This may be a bit challenging if you basically hate managing your website. But if you’re comfortable with this sorta thing and/or want to try something new, read on… (Though if you have an – understandable! – aversion to all things crypto-adjacent, you might want to skip ahead as well. This shit may be all climate apocalypse garbage, like so much of the crypto world I don’t rightly know.)

Well, the nice people at Coil had a hand in us getting our Grant for the Web funds, so of course they get pride of place. (Yeah, we’re sellouts! Yeah, we’ll kowtow to our sugar daddies and sugar mommies! Was there ever any doubt?!)

In layperson’s (?) terms, Coil is a subscription product that lets you ‘stream’ money from your subscription funds to any Coil-monetized sites you visit. It does this via a browser extension.

Let’s not get in the weeds: Although there may not be the network effects – am I using that right? – of a huge pool of users, nevertheless, it’s basically the possibility of ‘free money’ if you take the time to set this up. In other words, a ‘set it and forget it’ type of deal. If a Coil subscriber visits your site, you get some cash. Probably not enough to retire on, so you be the judge. If you think you can do this in an hour, what’s an hour worth to you, and do you think you might make more than this from it?

Okay, if you’re going to set it up, just work through the instructions here. There’s some crufty parts where you need to also set up accounts with a digital wallet app, and probably go through an approval process, blah blah. Can be something to chip away at over a few days. Or maybe too much a pain in the ass if you’re no

If you’ve gotten this far and you have Coil working, you may as well look into Brave’s publisher program too – similar deal, except with users on Brave’s browser visiting your site and being able to tip ‘BAT’ tokens.

Subscriptions

Like we said in the last post, if you’re just looking at doing a paid newsletter/paywalled site, you might want to look at Ghost. Their pricing and implementation definitely have us curious…

But if you’re sticking with WordPress, you might want to look at Pico and Memberful. Those are the two options we’ve looked at, anyway. Pico has nicer pricing, Memberful seems to be a more mature product at this juncture (though Pico just rolled out a new version, so their docs can probably be assumed to be soon-to-improve). And, look: no ethical consumption under capitalism alert – we have no idea if these companies are in the process of enriching Marc Andreessen or whatever. Unlikely they’d have the backing they do without some Silicon Valley child-blood-drinker standing to make a buck off them. So, what can you do. This world is shit. … On that cheery note!

Donations

Obviously, you could just encourage support to your Patreon, or via Venmo, or via Ko-Fi, etc. You might not necessarily offer complex website features depending on the donation. (Though I think it’s doable, at least with Patreon.) This would be more just like a tip-jar that you could steer people to if they enjoy the site.

E-commerce

WordPress makes it possible, if not ‘easy’ to set up a store using WooCommerce, their proprietary e-commerce platform. You can use this to sell digital products – albums? e-books? – or physical ones – t-shirts, etc.?

Sorry to say ‘uncle’ again, but if you want to explore this, probably worth going through lessons either through searching YouTube till you find something promising, or with something like WP101, or LinkedIn Learning or Udemy or other platforms that have this sort of thing.

As far as clothing goes, we have looked (briefly) into drop-shipping – the idea where you upload your artwork to a site and they only manufacture and ship your product when it’s ordered; i.e., you never have boxes in your garage – but insisted on only considering it if it doesn’t exploit globalized, exploitative relationships. Naturally. In our brief searches, no one jumped out as, like, the union-made drop-shipping service. If you find anyone awesome, let us know. So we can try and sell onesies to our 5 diehard readers.

More in the series

  1. Website DIY #1: Intro & Domain
  2. Website DIY #2: On Starting A ‘Magazine’
  3. Website DIY #3: Site Setup
  4. Website DIY #4: Monetization (Quick Overview)
  5. Website DIY #5: Newsletters
  6. Website DIY #6: Social Media
  7. Website DIY #7: Pitches/Submissions
  8. Website DIY #8: Analytics/Traffic
  9. Website DIY #9: Accessibility
  10. Website DIY #10: Podcasting
  11. Website DIY #11: Equity
  12. Website DIY #12: Email & Responding To Pitches
  13. Website DIY #13: Payments
  14. Website DIY #14: Admin Tools/Apps
  15. Website DIY #15: Networking
  16. Website DIY #16: Audience
  17. Website DIY #17: Stock Assets (Photos/Illustrations)
  18. Website DIY #18: Finances (How To Lose Money!)
  19. Website DIY #19: Wrap Up: Wins & Losses
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