A reader contacted me recently to ask why they are seeing ads on the blog now. It wasn’t that many posts ago I proudly proclaimed the site to be ad-free, after all. I have, so I have been told, broken a promise to my followers. Well, yes and no. After I explain I hope that you will support my plan.
When I first purchased the No Ads option from WordPress it was a stand-alone option that cost $30. I purchased it in December which is a month I’m usually short on cash not just due to the holiday but also because as an independent consultant if I’m not working I’m not getting paid. December is a slow month for me due to all the holidays, year-end code freezes, and budget cycles. But for $30 I was able to splurge last year.
But what about all the other services that renew in December? I don’t know about you but I first purchased Amazon Prime during the Christmas shopping season because it saved me money. After having it all these years I no longer count the cost of shipping in my gift budget and now the Prime renewal feels like just another large cost I don’t need in December. Amazon doesn’t offer any partial-year option or give a few months extension. Even long time customers who have spent more than $30,000 with them don’t get the courtesy of sifting the renewal forward by as little as a month from “the best customer service company in the world.” Go figure.
Then there’s the magazine subscriptions, some professional dues, and a bunch of other stuff all falling due in December. But for $30 I can afford to buy the advertising off of my blog. Even in December.
Problem is, WordPress did away with stand-alone options last year. Now the only way to get ad-free is to buy a bundle for $99. Due to my timing on the original purchase, that renewal now falls in December. There is no pro-rata pricing or sliding scale. Heavily trafficked sites pay the same price as low trafficked sites. In my case my readership is so low that removing ads from my blog costs WordPress at most a few dollars a year, and that’s assuming both of you read every post and click every ad.
But it was never about profit and loss for me but principle. Advertising is known to carry malware and I do not want to support that business model. But I also don’t want to have yet another $99 (and rising) bill in December every year so I’m waiting until March to buy up to the Ad-Free version again.
Did I break a trust with you? I sincerely hope not but if you believe I have I’ll understand. I like to think of it more as having suspended a promise. In either case I hope you will rejoin me on March 1st for more ad-free posts about underwear, cats, fatherhood, weight loss, consulting, and food. Most of which I’ll probably have written in February.