This weekend I’m off to my ancestral homeland for a family reunion up in the Rocky Mountains, and I assume I’ll be mostly out of communication until Monday night.
While I’m gone, you have the chance to reflect on the gaping hole left in your blog reading routine by my absence! You see, this site only exists because of the support of readers, just like you, who sign up for a monthly blog subscription.
There are lots of revenue models used by different kinds of websites. Some travel hacking websites are ad-supported, and require a huge number of page views in order to make money. Unfortunately, my peculiar brand of no-nonsense, hard-headed analysis and advice doesn’t attract that number of visitors, so my monthly ad revenue remains humbly in the 2 digits. By the way, thanks to all my readers who whitelist my site in their adblocker, and to those who don’t know that adblockers exist.
Other websites accept money from banks and credit card affiliate networks to promote their products. Long-time readers may remember that I actually briefly tried that model, but when you enter into those kinds of relationships, you turn over editorial control of your content to the people cutting the checks. For obvious reasons, that wasn’t going to work for me, and I was soon cut loose. I never even got paid, not that I’m sore about it.
Because I know I have a core group of dedicated and loyal readers, I finally decided to go a different direction, and allow readers to support the site directly by signing up for a blog subscription. This way, my readers always know exactly who I’m working for (hint: it’s you).
Today, I’m lucky enough to have over 100 monthly subscribers, some of whom have been supporters for over 2 years. I’m incredibly honored to have the lasting support of so many travel hackers for what started as a side project to promote an ebook. The ebook never took off, while the website and blog have become my full-time gig.
Unfortunately, the model is starting to show signs of strain. Earlier this month I moved from an affordable Midwestern city to a gentrifying East Coast metropolis, and my rent went up correspondingly. While the plan was never for this site to make me rich, grinding poverty doesn’t have much appeal to me either.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: readers just like you can sign up for a monthly blog subscription. You see, if everybody who appreciates this site thinks somebody else is going to pay for it, then the site won't get paid for at all. If that happens, it means I'll go get a job doing something else: a classic lose-lose situation. On the other hand, if readers just like you individually decide that this site is worth keeping around, together your blog subscriptions will make sure the lights stay on around here.
Additionally, it’s always a good time to sign up for a monthly blog subscription, because the sooner you sign up, the sooner you lock in your price. Since the price of a monthly blog subscription goes up every 6 months (the next increase will be November 1), the longer you wait to subscribe, the more you’ll pay in the long run, or even in the not-so-long run.
Besides the fresh, honest takes on the world of travel hacking that you already enjoy here on the blog, as my small way of expressing thanks for the support of my beloved readers, subscribers also receive my occasional subscribers-only newsletters, access to the entire archive of past newsletters, and invitations to subscribers-only meetups around the country. So far I’ve met up with readers in Chicago and New York City, and additional meetups are always in the works — hopefully coming soon to a city near you!
As always, thanks for reading, and for your support.
—The Free-quent Flyer