Few websites make money without corporate sponsorship, prestigious grants, generous donations, or intrusive ad campaigns. Be Your Own Birder has none of these, but still has costs that are nowhere near covered by the few affiliate links on the site. But you can help!
Be Your Own Birder‘s Costs
Each year, the site must register its domain address, which includes a variety of taxes and fees. At the same time, there are significant fees associated with hosting the domain so it remains accessible and online for readers.
There are no costs for the site content (which I create myself, without assistance and without compensation), nor for the photography (which is used under appropriate copyright permissions from various photographers). The time to maintain the site, however, is time I am not working on paying projects, so there is a “hidden” cost for every post and article.
I pay these costs willingly, simply because I enjoy this creative outlet and connecting with readers and birders around the world. Yet as economic times grow tighter – the coronavirus pandemic dismantled 80 percent of my writing business – there is no reduction in costs for this site.
What Be Your Own Birder Won’t Do
This site is maintained with a minimum of costs, and because of that frugality, those costs cannot be cut. There is no staff to furlough, no programmer to lay off, no designer to pay less. But there are many ways other websites have implemented to increase income, such as:
- Paid content or advertorials from retailers, merchants, etc.
- Increased advertising with pop-up ads, auto-play videos, or banners
- Registration and sign-ups, possibly selling emails or personal data to marketing firms
- Outright asking for financial donations and monetary support
- Limiting access to site content except for paid registrants
Be Your Own Birder will not do any of these. So long as this site is active, and I have no plans to discontinue it, there will never be payment accepted for advertising (see the full disclosure policy for a discussion of the minimal affiliate links permitted), nor will there be unrelated ads, banners, or videos on the site. There will be no sign-ups or registration required, no special content for paid subscribers, no campaigns for donations.
What there will be, however, is continued new content of monthly featured birds, informational bird-related articles, some fun birding jokes and memes, bird photo galleries, tips for bird name pronunciations, and a lot more interesting content, no fees required.
How You Can Support Be Your Own Birder
It can be tight, however, to continue paying the site’s costs (the small amount generated by affiliate fees covers less than 15% of the site’s overall operational costs). There are ways, however, that you can help.
- Visit frequently. The more visitors the site receives, the more Google and other search engines will recognize it as a valuable resource, and the more popular it will become.
- Be involved by commenting on posts, joining in giveaways, or voting in polls. This engagement catches the attention of search engines and lets them know the site is valuable.
- If you have your own blog or website, consider recommending Be Your Own Birder or sharing links there as appropriate for your own readers, if they would be interested.
- Share the site on social media. Spreading the word to other birders and bird lovers will generate more traffic, and thus more interest, bringing more value to the site.
- Follow Be Your Own Birder on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Share, like, comment on, and help raise awareness about the site to bring more birders to the BYOB flock.
- Buy a copy of Migration: Exploring the Remarkable Journeys of Birds (written by yours truly). A portion of the book’s profits will also help support bird conservation around the world.
- Review Migration: Exploring the Remarkable Journeys of Birds on Amazon or any other retail site, or on the reader site Goodreads. These reviews all help raise awareness and interest.
- Shop through Be Your Own Birder‘s Amazon affiliate links. You do not need to buy the recommended products (but it’s great if you do!), and there is no price change for you just by using BYOB’s links.
- Contact Melissa Mayntz for other freelance writing projects or editing work, including proofreading of fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. This helps keep the overall bottom line healthy.
None of these options (except the last one) have any cost to you, but each one can help support Be Your Own Birder and keep it active, viable, and engaging for everyone. Every small mention is most welcome and helpful!
Thanks for helping keep Be Your Own Birder flying!