Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Ning is now going to charge $20 per month to host BLF for us. Please note that we will lose the video function for this (otherwise it would be $50 per month).

 

Options are probably:

 

a) just pay the new ning fee ($20 per month) and make a net loss

b) charge flat fee for BLF ads to cover the $20 per month (not sure how I'd collect the money)

c) create revenue using GoogleAds and GoogleSense (advertisers pay to advertise using GoogleAds, GoogleSense places these ads - by keyword - in the BLF ad-banner space - like it does now - and pays BLF about half of the fee the advertisers paid - per clicked on ad - whereas at present ning get that fee). There is a potential (but not a likelihood!) that this would cover the $20 per month and could even turn a profit.  I think you can also ad your own ads (eg in BLF's case this could include subscribers who haven't paid money to GoogleAds but wish to advertise services on BLF). Note that I only think you can have GoogleSense and customised ads at the same time - but am not positive - need more info from ning - which is coming but not available at the moment. 

 

I've always said that BLF is not for profit. I'm thinking it would be nice if it's not for loss as well :)

 

Note that profit could be put back into the BLF community - e.g. events, seed saving equipment (e.g. sieves!), etc..  (NB profit is unlikely with small traffic volumes such as ours)

 

What do you think about these options? What would be the disadvantages to the different options?

 

(we need to make sure we don't do anything awful I guess)

 

Note that you, the members, will not have to pay anything.

 

Help me make a decision please.

 

cheers

Scarlett

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Florence, I'm not happy putting a compulsory cover charge on GV at all. Rather put a donation box in a prominent position and if anyone wants to donate they are welcome.

Quite often new members who have nothing to swap have asked if they can 'buy' seed. I never want to actually sell seeds, for me kind of defeats the purpose - however if they feel that they would like to make a small donation then that would be something I could live with. Especially knowing that it is only going to partially cover actual 'real' costs not make anywhere near a profit :)

However in saying that, it would be completely used at my discretion and not accounted for anywhere. There is no way I will be giving receipts or even counting it each month and putting a total in any accounting ledger. Not sure how legal that is, but might be alright considering that I am not envisaging a huge total at all.
sounds like you don't have plans to develop a giant city-wide seed saver's network :) pity!
but small is beautiful :)
Maybe when I am not waking every hour... on the hour! Remembering that my youngest is 7 mths old, might expand when I have time... ie in about three years time! lol

Although no matter what, IMO the people that have the money to continually buy seeds will keep doing so... those that can't will save their own and share them likewise! Unless they are obsessed like me :)
Donna, I agree it’s not the best to charge a fee to attend meetings, but I am sure most people would be more then happy to make a donation for free seeds..

Scarlett, is there anyway to find out how much traffic BLF gets? I find BLF comes up frequently on many Google searches I do .. we maybe getting more traffic then we think..
yes, it does seem to come up a lot these days

I think you can get counters etc if you have the pay-for-service model - so in the post July version we should be able to see - but I don't think I can get it now unless I start the subscription - but good idea, I will investigate
OK - I've added GoogleAnalytics code to BLF and signed up for GoogleWebmaster which should be able to give me good stats on BLF usage (exciting!)

Now we just have to wait for it to do its counting spider thing - I'll let you know what the results are in a day or so!
OK, the analytics has been on for one day and we've had 171 visitors, and 132 of those are new visitors! The visitors are from all over the world (!) and about half of them are coming in through search engines, 10% through referrals on other sites, and the rest are people coming in direct (members I guess) .Check it out on the screen capture..

I'm a little amazed actually...

Scarlett, just re-read the original post. Who do you envisage being able to charge a flat fee of $20 per month for BLF advertising?

This might be like what I was thinking when I suggested 'sponsorship'... more like charge a company (or a few small ones maybe) a certain amount for advertising per year. In the scheme of things it is certainly not a huge amount for advertising from a company perspective, especially if it was a company that members would actually benefit from.

Although in saying that, not sure if I am happy for new members to think that we are affiliated with a specific company or make any assumptions about their products either... so guess it would depend on the company.
If at all possible, I'd be happiest if we remain independent of any commercial enterprise. From my perspective, the only possible exception is members advertising their goods and services in a dedicated section.

A voluntary donation box would very probably bring enough money - for every Scrooge there is a dozen generous souls. Even though we have a limited income, the benefits and friendship this site has brought to both of us, is well worth an occasional donation of $20 or a donation at a garden visit.
that's so nice Elaine :) I'm so glad
I agree, I would be more than happy to contribute some bucks in return for all the benefits this Networks brings :-) I don't think its fair that one or two ppl - Scarlett and Donna - should pay up for everyone, let us share the load. I would prefer this to outside advertising.
Yes it will certainly to be interesting to see! I'll have to get serious about tagging content.

The new site arrangements will mean we get a domain name too (like homegrowers exchange had, which was a ning site that was using the pay for service option) - will be able to tweak it so it comes up on search engines more readily (although we're getting close to the top on lots of searches now - friends keep finding our site when they search and then recognising it and telling me!)

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