Housekeeping: It’s Sellout Time

In the summer of 1997, I started the “BMX Basics” website. It started as an Apache subdirectory of a local internet provider (there’s a 1998 snapshot here) and ended up as www.bmxbasics.org. Once I realized that Internet newbies only understood dot-com I opened www.bmxbasics.com. At one point I was serving over 560,000 pages a month — even though I only wrote one new piece a week. I closed that site and opened squidcar.com around 2005. Finally, I closed that site and opened this one up a decade ago, eventually moving it to the WordPress site that you all know and tolerate today.

Over the past twenty years, I’ve never had a single banner ad, promotional tie-in, sponsored marketing piece, or any for-profit content whatsoever on any of my sites. The most I’ve ever asked you to do is to use my referral codes for Club Eaglerider (thank you for that, I’m up to 18 free days in the bank!) and Massdrop (28 referrals so far, they sent me some very nice notebooks and pens.) That’s about to change and I’ll explain why in terms that I hope make sense to all of you.


I’ve spent about $30,000 on the servers and bandwidth that have hosted my various sites since 1997, but I’ve always been able to share that cost with my various endeavors in technical consulting, website hosting, and software development. In 2009, I began winding down my tech-consulting business and earlier this year I said goodbye to my final support client. I currently host just one client on my co-located server and I’ve asked them to make a transition plan to leave next year.

In other words, I no longer have a way to pay the rent here.

By running some ads, I’m hoping to recover the $1800 or so I’m currently spending every year on my co-location. This will save me from having to move the site to a “cloud provider”. In the unlikely event that I earn more money than $1800 a year, I’ll be funding the race team with the extra money. You can expect that there will be some general transparency regarding how I use the revenue and why. If you have questions, or if you see something you don’t like in the ads, please let me know.

As always, thank you for reading this site and for supporting my writing. I know it’s not easy to read me — I don’t flatter the readers, I don’t engage in false humility, I don’t communicate at a fourth-grade level. I also know it’s not easy to support me — I’ve been an arrogant, entitled jerk who likes showing-off bespoke clothing and sleeping with other husbands’ wives. When I meet and communicate with my readers, and I see the (genuinely) amazing things they’ve accomplished in fields as diverse as international real estate and foster parenting, I don’t feel entirely worthy of them. It’s no surprise that I would eventually try to monetize this demographically golden group in an attempt to feather my grungy nest!

Last but not least, if you’re really angry with me, I want you to know it was Bark’s idea, not mine. PEACE!

38 Replies to “Housekeeping: It’s Sellout Time”

  1. ComfortablyNumb

    Well, OK….but one autoplay video, and I’m done.

    But seriously, do what you gotta do. This is just like patronizing the local deli or oil change shop. The personal relationship and appreciation from you and Bark are great, but I don’t expect that you would let that affect your bottom line.

    Reply
  2. phr3dly

    Silly question… Why do you need colocation for this website? I forget how much I pay per year, but I think it’s something like $80 for hosting several websites at dreamhost. None of them get the traffic of, say, reddit but I can’t imagine this one does either. For that price I get shell access, and I can spin up MySQL servers, WordPress, Mediawiki, etc… at no extra cost.

    Couldn’t you just hang your shingle there or somewhere equivalent and put that $1800 into tires?

    Reply
  3. PaulyG

    Not a problem from my end. Why should you guys foot the bill and contribute the majority of the content when a third party is willing to do do?

    While I don’t always agree with your opinions, I respect them and are often challenged by them. One of the few sites I read, dare I say, religiously.

    Reply
  4. E. Bryant

    No problem from this frequent-reader/infrequent-commentator. Considering the quality of the content here and the way that the funds will be spent, I’ll even white-list this site.

    But, yeah, please no autoplay video.

    Reply
  5. Bark M

    As it stands right now, the plan is for two to three banner ads per page. It would be nice to have a clickthrough rate of about 5 percent. No autoplay video.

    Reply
  6. Ronnie Schreiber

    You guys should put videos on YouTube. The podcast you two did with Farah was genuinely funny. Whether it’s just shooting the breeze about cars or music, or cars and music, or actual reviews you might generate more revenue than from ads here. A relative handful of videos of mine have someone grown long tails and generate about $100/mo. That’s not too far from your $1,800 nut. They don’t even need good video, there are some very popular commentary videos on YT that have just talking heads or even static video with a voiceover.

    Reply
  7. Jeff Zekas

    As long as advertisers don’t dictate your opinions, i see no conflict of interest… life is good… btw i really enjoy reading both you and your bro… always keeps me thinking!

    Reply
      • Opaddington

        You threw chum in the water regarding Franken and I couldn’t help myself. Disappointed that you’re throwing Moore to the wolves, though. Let’s demand concrete evidence first, man. The allegations are from 40 years ago and flimsy as hell. Dems have been obfuscating on sexual impropriety for over 20 years and now they’re trying to stake the high ground. Eff that. They were claiming morality was a right wing social construct before Weinstein the fern fornicator was outed.

        Reply
  8. Frank Galvin

    Bout time. Seriously, put that Amazon button up here, and I’ll be glad to click through. Second request – you’ve spent a good deal of bandwith promoting made in the USA products, please consider using this new revenue stream to support those products you advocate for to the extent its possible. I may not be able to afford a Cameron Weiss watch right now, but I’m always looking for decent jeans and footwear.

    Reply
  9. Yamahog

    The commitment to transparency is endearing – as if Jack could earn/spend money without telling people about it.

    It’s endearing to see another Trap Star make it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Looking forward to the ads, time to monetize this!

    Reply
  10. Harry

    Here is my absolute limit on how many ads are tolerable.

    http://www.wildsnow.com

    It is a great special interest blog with all original content, I think the author pulls a reasonable amount of income out of it both directly and with increased book sales. It helps that the advertisements that are on the site have more to do with the content than whatever my wife was recently shopping for while I was logged into gmail.

    Reply
  11. Joe

    I am good with this, content here is better than many other word press sites, hopefully you can throw a couple of sets of tires on the race cares

    Reply
  12. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Good deal. This and one other site will be the ONLY 2 that I have whitelisted. The other is also an information/opinion site where I also respect the opinions and (most) commenters.

    Reply
  13. Hop

    I’ve enjoyed the site for free for a while, it’s only fair to pay for more with a little bit of eyeball-bandwidth.

    I doff my AdBlock to you, sir.

    Reply

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