In this post
Today, an idea I've been working on for quite some time is coming true, and I'm describing it to you in an entry that I've had a hard time writing because I don't want it to look like what it isn't, while at the same time I want to show you the importance of receiving support from the readers. I suppose the easiest way is to go to the classic "what, how, when and why", so I encourage you to read the whole entry and not to get stuck with a generic (and probably wrong) idea.
I'll start with a summary : from today there is the possibility to become a VIP subscriber of the site. How? Paying to read Running a Marathon? No, it's not that, not at all. The first thing I want to make clear is Running a marathon and the tests I do here will still be freeNothing is going to change about that, and I'm glad I cleared that up before I finished the second paragraph, but now I offer another way to thank you for all the content I create in this blog.
You want the longer version? Keep reading.
A little history...
I have been creating content for this page for more than four years (how time passes). From the beginning one of the main premises has been avoid the Content MarketingThe media exposes the product and the brand pays for it.
Something that is done correctly does not necessarily have to be bad, but the reader will always be left with the idea of: "have you told me this story because it is true, or because you have been paid to say so". There is also the B side: who is going to bite the hand that feeds him? The truth is that very few would be in a position to do so. In my case, transparency and honesty have been the most important thing from day one. I do not owe myself to the marks, I owe it to the readers who support this page.
Of course there are the technicians like the server, but there are many other things that take money: licenses, CDN for more speed, external services, etc. We must add that to be able to make the tests I need to have other devices for the comparisons, which of course you have to buy, plus the devices I buy because they are not given by the manufacturers.
The income comes from only two sources: Google ads and commissions from product sales (mainly Amazon). The first one is practically derisory, in fact I've been many months without showing such advertising since the truth... I didn't see any sense in it. Amazon's commissions had a good progression at the beginning and allowed to make the page self-sufficient as well as generating a surplus as a compensation for the work I do, but in the last months this has also fallen significantly.
You no longer buy the same amount of products through the links on the page (although visits have not dropped). Reasons? I suppose there could be several, starting with the proliferation of pages and accounts in social networks of offers. So the user gets the information here but ends up "buying" on another site, which does not generate any commission.
Many of you have asked how you can support the site and the answer has always been the same: "through Amazon shopping". But it is not always practical for a variety of reasons - because you are not going to buy a product, you don't want to do it on Amazon or you have already bought it. I think that offering this possibility can satisfy those who want to support the site, but don't want to do it through an Amazon purchase.
I want to get the money out of you
I didn't create running a marathon to make money. If the motivation was financial I certainly wouldn't have chosen this sector and would be into anything much more general. I would also do short publications full of affiliate links instead of 10,000 or 12,000 word analysis. I can think of dozens of ways to make my time more profitable than this.
It would be impossible to make a living from the blog even though the number of hours of work per week makes it look like a real job. No one can imagine the dedication and number of hours involved in this project. Each test you see here can involve about 10 hours just in writing; to which we must add the images (taking photos and editing them), the tests, study and comparison of data, response to messages and questions, communication with the brands, etc. If we had to "bill hours" to each of the tests, they would be between 16-18 hours on average for each of them.
And as I say it is not only time invested, there is also an economic investment. Many of the tests are done with watches given temporarily by the brands (they are not gifts, they are loans), but there are others in which I must buy the watch in order to offer you all the details. The most recent example is the Amazfit StratosIn addition to reversing those hours I refer to, the watch was bought by me for the test. Do you know how many watches have been sold through the test links? Zero.
As you see I make many "absurd investments", but I think it is always worth it because I understand that these are things you want to read about and need detailed information about. And I am not surprised that I did not have any commission from that product, I knew it was going to be like that from the beginning (because the main sales channel of that product is the one I described above) but I understood that it was something necessary.
All this is what made me think of this subscription option.
Will running a marathon change anything?
Nothing. Everything will remain exactly the same as it has been up to now. If you don't want to subscribe you don't have to and the page will not be cut one iota from what it is and has been up to now. There will be no specific entries for some users, no different publication calendars - you will all see the content at once, it will not be delayed for the "free user".
I want to emphasize that your experience of use will not be reduced at all, for me that is the most important thing. Of course I will continue to answer the messages you leave in the comments of the articles (which at the time of writing these lines already total over 10,000), as I have done so far.
So, if everything stays the same... where's the change?
What I propose with Running a VIP Marathon
I don't want a subscription to be a limitation, I want it to be an extension, . to offer more to those who are more identified with the project, those people who want to help maintain my ability and freedom to express impressions of a product how and when I want toIt is for those who believe that the additional advantages I offer are worth it, and for those who have been reading the site for a long time and want to continue to have the possibility of reading it.
These will be your advantages if you decide to support the site through the VIP subscription:
- First and foremost, you'll be supporting this site and all my workThat's the most important thing. You'll do it without having to depend on making purchases in a certain place. Not only does it lead to a higher or lower payment, but also greater independence when it comes to having units to test. For example, having units as soon as a model comes on the market, instead of having to wait for the brand to supply it (which I don't know why it's becoming more complicated...).
- You'll have a dedicated chat channelFaster and much more complete answers than you can get in the comments of any entry, and of course in a private way.
- A newsletter from exclusive mail where I can discuss things with you more intimately and personally.
- Navigation unadvertisedOnce you have subscribed, all the banners on the page will disappear from your screen so that your user experience is as good as possible. You will gain in loading speed and above all you will avoid seeing that ad that has been chasing you for three days in a row.
- Discounts and exclusive advantages which are reserved for VIP users only.
The price of all this is only 20 euros per yearOr what is the same, less than 2 euros a month. Or 5 cents a day. You can look at it in another way: if every time you read a test you are left with the desire of wanting to pay me a coffee to thank me, this is the way to do it.
Is this all the subscription offers? For the moment, yes. I don't want to make promises or sign checks that I can't pay later. I can't promise a monthly draw if at the moment of truth there are only five members subscribed. I assume the mantra of "everything is free on the Internet" and I know that this is not going to become 10,000 VIP users. Given the economic situation, paying for something that has been free until now - and that will continue to be so - is very complicated.
That's why I also tell you, what else could I offer you to make you consider this subscription to Running a VIP Marathon interesting? What do you think of this new possibility I propose to help the page? I expect all your comments, both positive and negative. Ideas, proposals, suggestions... because in the end this becomes what the reader - you - wants. So... comment!
Today more than ever I repeat it. Thanks for reading!