If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve begun to offer a subscription service on the site. Hopefully by the end of this article, I can convince you to subscribe to The Renegade Coder.
Table of Contents
Trials and Tribulations
For those who care, I’ve been writing since 2016. In that time, I’ve started two blogs, published over 200 articles, and tried just about everything in the book to get traffic. Ultimately, my goal has been to somehow monetize my work, so I’m not writing for nothing.
In an effort to make some money, I’ve tried a lot of things. Awhile back, I tried Amazon Affiliate links and Google Ads. Then, I cleaned up my site and tried to open a store. Shortly after that, I decided to offer some tutoring. More recently, I reintroduce ads to the site using Jetpack.
After all this effort, I’ve maybe made $6, and I’ve spent significantly more than that. So, I’ve decided to try something different. As of late last month, I’m offering a subscription service on my blog category. If you’re already sold, head on over to the membership page.
The Cost to Run a Site
For everyone else who needs a bit of a push, let me state my case. Currently, my yearly expenses for the site total $278. Here’s the breakdown:
- Domain: $15
- Hosting: $95
- OnePress Plus: $69
- Jetpack Premium: $99
Now, I’d love to improve the site by purchasing the pro features from some of my favorite plugins like Yoast SEO and Wordfence, but it doesn’t exactly make sense if I’m not breaking even. That said, here are some of those costs:
- Wordfence Premium: $99
- W3 Total Cache Pro: $99
- Yoast SEO Premium: $89
In other words, websites need some sort of monetary support to continue running. To be clear, I’m not even talking about making a profit. I’d be happy making $300/year to cover these basic expenses.
The Return on Investment
Of course, I’m not asking for a handout. I believe what I have to offer is worth your while. Let’s take a look!
How My Site Works
The code category is reserved for coding tutorials while the updates category is reserved for newsletters. Everything else falls under the blog category.
The code and updates categories have always been and will always be free. After all, I believe in easy access to education, and putting up a pay wall would not align well with that belief.
That said, I’ve decided to make my personal articles, the blogs, subscription only. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to pay. That just means that you’ll need a membership if you plan on reading any of my blog articles.
To make things easier, I’ve broken down the subscription model into two tiers: free and paid.
The Free Subscription Model
In general, Free Subscribers have access to my clean blog articles. For instance, I plan to keep as much of the PhD journey series open to free membership as possible. These articles will provide the average reader with a lot of value for very little in return. Don’t believe me? Take a look:
- Our 5 Favorite Places in Atlanta, Georgia
- Procedural Spell Generation
- The Grifski Wedding
- The Coolest Programming Language Features
- 11 Reasons Why I Quit My Engineering Career
All I ask is you provide me with an email address that can receive weekly updates. In return, you’ll gain access to many of the articles in the blog catalog as well as commenting privileges. If that sounds great, head over to the registration page and create yourself an account.
The Paid Subscription Model
So, what’s in it for you as a Paid Subscriber? To put it simply, you get access to every article ever written on The Renegade Code. Is it worth it? Well, that depends on what you like to read.
In the words of The Minimalists, I’ve been able to “let my hair down” in the paid articles. In other words, you’ll get to know me a bit more intimately. For instance, if you choose to become a Paid Subscriber, you’ll gain access to the A String of Unfavorable Roles series which contains my personal commentary on the engineering industry.
Likewise, you’ll gain access to plenty of personal rants and discussions on various topics such as:
- The Slumlords of Atlanta
- My Ideal Job
- When Vacation is More Stressful Than Work
- The Irony in Coder Infallibility
- The Nightmare Before Grad School Application Deadlines
In the future, I’m looking to tackle some concepts like narcissism and small towns. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, head over to the membership page to get purchasing details.
Goals and Milestones
Awhile back, I wrote a list of goals—most of which are personal. I figured maybe I could accelerate the trajectory toward those goals by linking some of them to special milestones.
For instance, I’m interested in upgrading some of my plugins as already stated. If I hit a certain number of paid subscribers, I’ll upgrade one of them. Up first on that list is Wordfence, a security plugin.
Of course, I have some loftier goals such as hosting a hackathon and starting a scholarship. All of these goals and more can be found on the membership page, so check it out!
If you have any requests for milestone rewards, let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for ways to grow the site, and that requires your input.
Think of the subscription model a bit like Patreon. You can choose to support The Renegade Coder whether you care for the perks you’ll receive or not. And, I think that’s great!
At the end of the day, your small contribution will go to improving the site as well as providing my wife and me with a modest living. If you can afford a Netflix subscription, why not share some of that same support for The Renegade Coder. You won’t regret it!
I don't like to share about personal stuff too much, but I figured I'd share some early news of 2021.
Today, I'm whipping out some philosophy jargon to characterize some of the problems I see in the tech education community.