If you’re anything like me, you can’t stand advertising. I record all my TV shows so I can skip the commercials, I prefer to listen to music from my iPhone versus live radio, and I’ve trained my eyes to skip past any ads in online and print media. Unfortunately, as an online content provider, I also realize that ads are what pay the bills. Despite that fact, I am going to conduct a little experiment. For the entire month of February, The Coaster Guy is going ad-free. I am going to remove all of the banner and sidebar advertisements from my web site.
The reason for this change is because I really don’t want there to be anything on the site that detracts from the content I’m providing you, my reader. I think they’re very distracting. Most of the ads you see now come from a service that tries to match the ad to the type of content I’m providing. Most of the time you will see ads from companies like Disney, Sea World, and Universal Studios. However, since I can’t control it, you may occasionally see ads for non-theme park related sites and services. And since I really don’t have the time to go out and sell the ad space myself to the companies that I’d like to see on my site, I’d rather just do away with the ads all together.
Now, I know what you’re all thinking – “Yay!!” But just because I’m removing the ads doesn’t mean that the bills go away. I still have expenses that need to be covered to maintain this site – things like hosting fees, park fees, cameras, computers, etc. Blogging about roller coasters, and more specifically Six Flags Magic Mountain, is a passion. Most people, myself included, don’t blog to make money. I do it because it’s fun, I love doing it, and it’s extremely satisfying when I hear you folks tell me how much you appreciate this site. However, it is more expensive to visit and blog about a park than just visit and enjoy it as a guest.
Here’s where it becomes an experiment. People tell me all the time how much they love the site and how glad they were to have found it. I’m going to see how much people really like it by going to a pure donation model. How valuable is the content on this site to you? Is it worth $0.50, $1.00, or $5.00/month? Is it worth a one-time donation of $10.00, $25.00, $50.00? Many people spend $5.00/day on a premium coffee. Isn’t a month’s worth of content from your favorite theme park worth at least that?
The process is simple. Just click on the Donate button below and make a contribution through a secure PayPal connection. You can choose how much to donate, and no you don’t need a PayPal account to donate. It’s like a tip jar – entirely up to your generosity.
I know some people will donate and it will turn some people off. I don’t expect anything from anyone, and I’m not looking for charity, so please don’t feel obligated to donate if you don’t want to. Like I said above, it’s just an experiment. As long as I get enough money to cover my blogging expenses, even if it’s not as much as I was making on the advertising, I’ll keep the site ad-free. However, if my expenses aren’t covered, I’ll go back to advertising in March and you’ll probably start see me experimenting with different ad locations, including inside individual posts. I really hope I don’t have to do that. Help keep The Coaster Guy ad-free!