Over the past month, I have been testing out Patreon-exclusive, paywalled blogposts on my blog. For example, if you are not a Patreon patron (more info here), you would only see a paywall message when you click on the link below. (By the way, this post is, by far, the most popular blogpost on my blog, mainly because it is the first result when people do a Google search for “vrchat adult”.)
UPDATE May 9th, 2022: After watching BrandonFM’s documentary (more details here), I have made the decision to un-paywall that particular blogpost.
I set it so that you would have to sign up to be a patron of my Patreon, and have paid me at least US$1, to be able to access and read this blogpost (which, by the way, is quite safe for work AND DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY LINKS TO NSFW VRCHAT WORLDS, talking about the topic in a very general way only). I just got so tired of having a page with so much traffic, and so I put a paywall on it! It doesn’t seem to have dented the traffic one bit.
And, as I have discovered, people are indeed willing to pay me a dollar just to read that particular blogpost (or one of the other two I set up in this way). So, moving forward, I reserve the right to begin imposing such a paywall on some of my content.
But I know that many people would rather just make a one-off donation (which, by the way, you can certainly do with Patreon), instead of making a monthly contribution to support the RyanSchultz.com blog and the Metaverse Newscast (which will be returning for a second season; Carlos Austin and I are going to be co-producing the show).
So to make it a little easier to say “thank you”, I have added a new widget to the RyanSchultz.com blog. See the round red button with the coffee cup icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen (blue arrow in the image below)?
You’ll notice that this button stays on your screen as you scroll down. Click on that red coffee button, and you will see the following display:
This red button also now appears in the lower right-corner of your screen when you visit my blog on your mobile device; here’s what it looks like on my iPhone:
If you were helped, informed and/or entertained by something I wrote, you can choose to buy me a single coffee (US$3.00), 3 or 5 coffees (my average daily coffee consumption), or you can—gasp!—enter any number of coffees you want into that little box! Then enter your name or Twitter handle (this part is optional), and a message (also optional), and click the big red Support button.
I do want to test this new widget out, so if you are in a beta-testing mood, or if you have simply appreciated something I have written lately, then please consider buying me a coffee! Thanks 😉
You see, it was almost exactly one year ago today that I entered into an agreement with them, where I would become an “embedded reporter” for Sinespace, and write sponsored blogposts about the people, news and events on that platform.
There are a couple of reasons for that lapse (the coronavirus pandemic, and the demands of my full-time paying job with the University of Manitoba Libraries), but part of the problem is that I have not been paying sufficient attention to the company or its products, so this is an apology, and a promise to do a better job!
I just find it ironic that I am writing much more about Second Life (when they aren’t paying me) and next to nothing about Sinespace and Breakroom (when they are!). It’s time to pull up my socks, pull my head out of SL, and focus. What started out as a tiny little hobby blog devoted to Sansar has grown and evolved over the past three years, and is turning into a business.
And if I really do intend to to follow through on my dream to become a full-time blogger and vlogger covering “News and Views on Social VR, Virtual Worlds, and the Metaverse” after I retire from the University of Manitoba Libraries, then I need to become a little more business-minded about what I do here.
My plan is to earn a side-income from my blog containing “news and views on social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse” (which is the tagline of my blog) when I finally do decide (hopefully, at some age before 65) to take my retirement. I already have a small but devoted following, and I want to grow that audience.
And yes, another thing I need to do is completely rethink the benefits that I do offer my Patreon supporters (another group of people to whom I owe an apology). And I want to once again, express my gratitude and appreciation for my existing patrons.
Between all of these ventures, I make a small amount of money (but you aren’t going to see me on the cover of Forbes anytime soon!). And I may tinker a bit with other ways to monetize what I do here, more often. For example, did you know that you can express your support by something as simple as buying me a coffee?
Well, today I just checked my Patreon page and I was happy to discover that I have reached my first Patreon goal: $30 per month, which almost exactly meets my blog hosting costs on WordPress!
I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank all of my Patreon supporters, both past and present, both those named on my Patreon patrons list and those who wish to remain anonymous. Your support means the world to me, and it is very much appreciated!
I know that I need to rack my brains to come up with even more perks and benefits for my wonderful Patreon supporters—a new project for a new decade! And I will always welcome anybody who wants to support my work via Patreon.
A tech blogger whom I recently have started following, Lily Snyder, has set up something I had not seen before. At the end of her blogposts (like this one, which mentions one of my recent editorials), she mentions that the reader can buy her a coffee!
How it works is, you can set it up to use either PayPal, Stripe, or both, to allow users to make a single, one-time donation of $3.00—just enough to cover the cost of a coffee! I think this is a great idea, so I went and set one up for myself (although you can certainly make a one-time donation through my Patreon page, if you wish). Coffee is always greatly appreciated!