Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sponsors | With just days left, a $40 contribution; but your donations overall down by more than half

The $40 I just received from a Florida reader is actually worth $60 under a matching gift offer from a generous reader in another Southern state. That Alabama reader will match 1:2 every contribution I receive up to a maximum of $400 through Saturday, the end of the quarter.

[Updated at 10:03 a.m. ET] Since posting this, I've just received another $30 in gifts that are worth $45 with my Alabama reader's match.

Still, I'm way, way off from my quarterly goal of $4,000. With advertising sales, I've reached only $2,775. Indeed, I'm likely to finish this quarter with the lowest earnings in nearly two years. That is because reader contributions are down by more than half from the typical amount.

Here's the breakdown so far:
  • Reader donations: $650
  • Advertising: $2,125
I'm trying to earn $4,000 quarterly, through donations of $5 per reader, plus advertising sales. Please use the PayPal "Donate" or "Subscribe" tools in the green rail, upper right. Or mail cash and checks payable to: Jim Hopkins, 584 Castro St. #823, San Francisco, Calif., 94114-2594.


  1. Do you think, Jim, as the design studios roll out and editorial staff is reduced, your core readership is also down? Consider how much less we're hearing about New York and New Jersey.

    While I applaud the more aggressive moderating, it has resulted in delays in post approval, which means I can 'catch-up' with fewer visits as well. As we've found out, if there's not compelling fresh material at every visit, readers perceive less value.

  2. 7:22 It's hard to say.

    Using very, very rough figures, my comment volume has been down in the past month vs. the preceding months.

    And, yes, that's been a period when I've been moderating comments more aggressively -- a shift that tends to slow comment flow.

    Since your comments are the most-read posts on this site, any reduction impacts the amount of fresh material.

    On the other hand, my advertising sales -- which generally account for 75% of my blog income -- are relatively the same as in previous quarters.

    Bottom line: Most of my donations have always come from a small number of my core readers. So, the absence of donations from a few can really affect my overall results.

    This the dilemma of relying on voluntary contributions rather than a paywall that would force readers to pay for access.

    But I've always tried to make this blog available to the widest number of readers, which is why I've never mandated subscriptions.

    Obviously, I hope, this site is more of a public-service than an effort to make big money. If my only goal was to make money, I would have given up long, long ago.

  3. Funny that an editorial guy wants money. No one cares about newspaper info anymore...it is dead we know it is dead so why pay for dead news.

  4. Jim are you considering going back to regular full time work in some capacity or are you truly retired?


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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