Membership Update



Six weeks ago I announced that I was taking the site full time and that to make it happen I would be offering a membership to the site. There was a month-long membership drive with the goal of promoting membership sign-ups before I started my first day as a full-time writer for shawnblanc.net. (Which was yesterday, by the way.)

Here is a quick update on where things stand as of today.

For starters, I’m sure you will be delighted to know, the membership drive was a success. There are two benchmarks I have for the membership subscription base:

  • There is the minimum number of members which is needed simply to cover the necessities of life and the hard costs of running this site.
  • There is an ideal subscriber base which would cover the additional expenses now equated with publishing this site full time.

Up until yesterday the income I got from this site was all “extra” income. I had a full-time job and didn’t need the income this site was generating. The Fusion ads and RSS sponsorships covered the hard costs (primarily hosting and my internet service provider) and then what was left over I used to pay for software, hardware, and the other things I write about here.

But now that I’ve quit my full-time job, the income this site makes has a new priority: food and shelter. Or, put another way, the RSS Sponsorships help me buy food to eat instead of software to write about.

Thankfully, the membership numbers have gone above that minimum level needed for me to sustain this site as my full-time gig. Moreover, people are still signing up — every day the membership base grows a little bit more. (Thank you!)

Once the membership numbers reach my ideal goal I will be able to budget for the purchasing of software and hardware as needed, and even set aside enough funds for things such as traveling to Macworld in 2012. I try to run a tight and frugal operation, but at the same time being involved in and writing about the design- and tech-savvy community isn’t exactly a free ride.

All this to say that the lights in my office will stay on, my internet service will not be disconnected, and if I skip lunch one day it’s likely out of forgetfulness rather than necessity.

I cannot express how very grateful to have this opportunity. I get to work from the comfort of my own home, keep my own schedule, and be involved in the things which I love and am passionate about. Not to mention I get to write for and interact with fine readers such as yourselves all day long. Thank you for helping make this a reality.

Regarding the Membership Drive Giveaway

For those of you who signed up for a membership during the membership drive, all the emails have been sent out to the winners. They were sent to the primary email addresses in your PayPal account, so if you don’t check that email often, you may want to.

There were 84 prizes in total, worth over $2,000. Many, many, thanks to all the writers, designers, developers, and friends who donated to the membership drive:

Another Shameless Plug to Sign Up for a Membership if You Haven’t Yet

Membership subscriptions are still available and will be indefinitely. Membership to the site is just 3 bucks a month — like a good cup of coffee — and includes some very cool members-only perks. Primarily that you’ll be supporting the full-time writing and growth of shawnblanc.net, and you’ll get access to Shawn Today, the daily, members-only broadcast.

And, what the heck? So long as we’re at it… Another fantastic way to support this site is to sponsor the RSS feed. Sponsoring the feed is a win-win-win situation: you get your product or service promoted to a large audience of design- and tech-savvy readers, the readers in turn get to discover something new they may have not known about, and I get to put food on the table.