Perhaps I should have written a post like this a while ago, but didn't. Seems appropriate now. A quick word on the monetisation elements of Got A Ukulele.
Why am I bringing this up? Well, if you are a regular reader you probably see me repeat the mantra that I want my reviews to be impartial and free of corporate funding. You may have also seen me critisise some other new 'review sites' that are nothing more than Amazon Affiliate sites that give the author money from sales made from a 'click'. I've also had a couple of critisisms lately..
But hang on Baz. You DO have adverts on your site, you have PayPal donation buttons and you yourself use Amazon Affiliate links for items for sale. How is that any different? Are you not doing the same thing?
Well, no. And here's why:
1. What about those adverts? You must be raking it in?
Yes there are adverts on my site. Any money generated by those goes back directly into the website. It's invested back into keeping Got A Ukulele going. Without them, the blog would be massively infrequent if it continued to exist at all. Put simply, whilst many ukuleles are kindly loaned to me for review, many are not and I buy those so I can write about them. But trust me, the money is not particularly significant. I'd have ukuleles backed up for review for several years if it was.
2. But if you buy some of them, surely you are just growing your ukulele collection? You must have loads!!
Well, again, no. I dont WANT a bigger ukulele collection - I have a growing daughter and I dont have the space in our modest house to have endless ukes. If there are ukuleles that I have bought they then get given to local charity stores / local primary schools / ukulele festival charity raffles to make sure the purchase gets given back to the community. Some of you who run festivals will know about those.
3. But I've seen you selling ukuleles, what about those?
Yes, if the ukulele is considered by me to be too valuable to give to a local charity shop who will under price it, I put them on eBay and then use THAT money to re-invest in more cheaper ukuleles for review. Those cheaper ones then get donated. Like I said, I don't want to grow my collection. In fact my collection is not as large as you might think it is. I counted up the other day at 14 ukes...
4. What about the Amazon links - I thought you didn't recommend Amazon for ukes?
I don't and I don't use them for every instrument. In fact I only use them where the only sensible place to buy them IS Amazon (like the recent review of the Enya Ukulele). If the instrument I am reviewing is available in a reputable bricks and mortar ukulele store, there won't be an Amazon link.
5. And what about the Donate button?
That's just another option to help grow the reviews list. There is no compulsion on any reader of Got A Ukulele to donate if they don't want to. Those that do have my huge thanks (and BIG thanks to those who have done!). They DO help. But I will categorically state that Got A Ukulele will NEVER go down the subscription model or a model where paying gets you extra content. I use Patreon, but it's not a two tiered system for me - everyone can see everything. It will ALWAYS be free to read. Some sites choose that model, but not me. The donations are purely voluntary.
So, you know, yes.. advertising is a thorny topic that makes some people feel uneasy. I have NO issue with you using an ad blocker if you want to. I dont want you to be uncomfortable reading the site. I'm just a blogger trying to get information out to you. But hopefully this post gives a bit of an explanation as to why it is there. And all of the above says nothing about my own personal time put into the site!
And believe me, I have had LOTS of offers to really try to monetise this site and take advantage of my readers. That is of NO interest to me!
Thanks for reading and forgive the crisis of confidence!
© Barry Maz
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