Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #40259
    HSN Admin
    Keymaster

    Hi all, just a quick opening discussion about the funding of the site.

    In recent weeks Google has effectively disabled my advertising account due to the sexual content on the site. This has meant that the money generated through advertising has dried up. I was sort of expecting this after numerous warnings but was still a shock when it happened.

    What this means in the short term is that the website will be costing me money to run, it’s not a massive amount so there’s no danger for the site itself however the money that was previously being generated incentivised me to work on site improvements and upgrade the website hosting as and when required.

    The site itself is booming, each month we’re getting over 750,000 page views from 150,000 visitors and it’s clear that at certain times of the day the site is running a little slowly under that strain. Of course this is a good time to thank each and every visitor and secondly the amazing authors who contribute work to the site. It really feels like we’ve got a community growing here.

    So…in the spirit of an open discussion I’d like to ask for some ideas on how to fund improvements going forward.

    What I don’t want to do is try to profiteer off the author’s work but providing the platform and building it up over a number of years has taken a fair amount of time and money. I’ve seen these sorts of growing pains with other sites I visit and I’m going to list some funding methods below to gauge the community’s opinion.

    • Patreon – Add an improved experience for website users who pay a monthly “subscription”. I don’t know what the improved experience would be yet!
    • PayPal – One off donations from website users keeping the finances topped up
    • Amazon Affiliates – Encourage website users to use an affiliate link when buying from Amazon
    • Google – Create a ‘clean’ version of the site and move any xxx stories to a separate site which can’t be monetised
    • Adult Advertising – Use an adult advertising network to show ads on site

    Any comments or suggestions welcome.

    There’s a poll available here.

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by HSN Admin.
    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by HSN Admin.
    #40266
    klaatu48
    Participant

    … I feel kind of bad now if some of my stories added to the troubles with Google.

    I’m going to hold off on voting until I think about this a bit more, but my initial reaction is–to protect anonymity–go with the Google option, but how much more work would that create for you? And I’d imagine it could create some issues if people have different views of what constitutes XXX, thus leading to more trouble you have to deal with.

    I’m going to have to think on this a bit, mostly in regard to my own holdups about direct financial support — you absolutely should not be carrying that burden (however manageable) on your own.

    Thank you for all you’ve been doing!

    #40271
    HSN Admin
    Keymaster

    Hi klaatu48, I can assure you this is no one’s fault so please don’t feel guilty. This is a fetish based website so the fact that we’ve got away with it up to now has been a miracle!

    Creating a xxx section would be the most work out of the options but that doesn’t mean it’s the worst.

    #40340
    Ginger Herten
    Participant

    So, I voted for adult advertising, but I do think it might make sense to do a combination of the above suggestions. Having adult advertising doesn’t mean you can’t also put up a paypal donation link.

    I would be hesitant to rely on people using anything that requires electronic paying. It’s not like we can drop a couple of dollars into a tip jar anonymously. My paypal account has my name on it. My real actual name. The name I am known by professionally, the name I have on school contact forms, the name I was asked to consider running for a local political office under. A few of us might not have a big investment in being completely anonymous here, but most of us do. So very few are going to be comfortable using anything that tracks back to us. So setting up a paypal donation option and amazon affiliate link might bring in something, but probably not enough.

    Trying to censor ourselves to please Google ads seems like a trap. Do we even know where their line in? Like is it ok to say “I went down on her” but not ok to say “I sucked her clit” or are they both a problem or both ok? Do we just have to avoid certain specific words (dick, pussy, etc) or any adult content. There are hundreds of stories here, and many of them fall into a gray area of PG13 to R rated content that might or might not be a problem for google. Even if we can, do we want to?

    If you did set up a patreon, the obvious bonus would be no ads. Access to curated collections would be cool, but probably too labor intensive to be practical. Could theoretically combine with making the main site google ads friendly, and access to the XXX area is limited to patreon patrons. I’m not really loving this idea though.

    As for worrying about feeling bad about profitting off the authors who publish here without compensation, I get that, but speaking for myself I appreciate having a site that I can just publish to anonymously and easily. I don’t go to the trouble of publishing on amazon unlimited where I could make some money for a variety of reasons, but I do get something out of sharing my stories. If it would help assuage you guilt, maybe commit to donate all profits above and beyond a certain amount. If you want it could be anything over: actual cost; taking yourself and any significant other out for a nice dinner once a month because you deserve it for the work you put in; and an emergency fund equal to three month of operating costs.

    #40341
    Ginger Herten
    Participant

    Klaatu48, Your stories are very far from the most X rated on this site. Not a criticism, your stories are great. They are well written and happen to lean towards my personal taste.

    #40342
    Ginger Herten
    Participant

    I notice that very few people have voted. The forum is rather under utilized, so it might help to put an announcement on the main page.

    BTW, I still see ads, so I hope you are getting something from them.

    #40380
    HSN Admin
    Keymaster

    I’m afraid that although the ads are still showing no revenue is being generated. I need to take the code off the pages but haven’t got round to doing that yet.

    I’ll perhaps put an announcement out on the front page.

    #40382
    klaatu48
    Participant

    Thank you, Ginger — that’s very kind of you to say!

    To add on to what else Ginger said:
    “As for worrying about feeling bad about profiting off the authors who publish here without compensation, I get that, but speaking for myself I appreciate having a site that I can just publish to anonymously and easily. I don’t go to the trouble of publishing on amazon unlimited where I could make some money for a variety of reasons, but I do get something out of sharing my stories.”

    I agree with this completely. Any profits you come up with from the advertising on this site is monimal compared to the work you put in, and I post my stories here knowing full well that could happen. I consider it part of the trade-off in being able to share and interact with the audience. It’s not like you’re charging a membership fee, you know? So don’t feel guilty about that, HSN.

    #40386
    Dapps92
    Participant

    Hi, your site is pure joy and a pleasure to be part off, it is my go to site for my hair fetish, I’m on it every night, I have my favorite authors and favorite stories/ scenarios. And I’m currently writing my first story.
    Perhaps I’ve got the wrong end of the stick, I would gladly pay a monthly subscription to keep this site as it is. I don’t want it watered down after all it’s a fetish site and having xxx stories is a massive part of the site.
    Also I think we all should take our time to decide what is best for you and for the site .

    #40389
    Dreadlocks
    Participant

    I wondered when the net sensors would descend. I, being somewhat sexually explicit with many of my writings feel a bit responsible for google dropping the gauntlet on advertising. I hate to think of you shelling out your hard won money to fund the site. I so love contributing to this site. It has been a great refuge for my more recreational work.
    I guess I would almost go with a Patreon sort of format for funding. I hate to think of limiting certain stories to a pay only level, but I’m game to do it if that is what it takes. Glad you’re not too discouraged, in any event. I will keep writing and contributing as long as I am able. Thank you for letting us know and for all your efforts.
    Claire

    #40399
    f35h
    Participant

    Firstly I want to take the time to say thanks to HSN Admin for the time and effort they put into maintaining the site. It’s a pretty thankless task, I’m sure.

    I haven’t voted, mostly because I think Ginger makes an excellent point that it doesn’t have to be just one thing. If I was you, I would definitely add a paypal donation button. That’s presumably the easiest thing to do, and *some* people will be able and happy to donate to keep the site going.

    That may bring in enough money on its own, but if it doesn’t, then it’s time to look at the other options that will take more effort.

    #40403
    Dave Webster
    Participant

    I’d rather stick a couple of $20 bills in an envelope than pay digitally. Anonymity

    #40408
    Gabriel
    Participant

    My first post of this evening is lost… so be it. I just wondered for some time when this question about funding, would pop up. I see the site growing, getting slower on my tablet (android), even having errors (without consequences though: at the bottom of a story I get an android notice “site not available”).

    I had written about my preference to be able to post and read explicit adult material. It is what joys me, arouses me (let’s make it clear 😉 ) in the combination with haircutting. Some authors I envy, their stories hit the right button on me. I’d like to keep them posting their stories.

    I am in favour for a fee / donation / subscription. And I didn’t realize the good point about what Ginger wrote: personal data available to ???.
    I doubt on the other hand that Big Tech doesn’t know about me, knows who’s Gabriel. Nevertheless it’s none of their business. So my idea of a contribution per added stories may be forgotten (if it still pops up as my previous post).

    I am not seeing any advertisements, so put whatever you like, whatever gives you money.

    Now see where I can vote…

    #40409
    Bill Harter
    Participant

    I’d suggest you go with adult ads, as that is something you can control directly. I think soliciting donations will prove frustrating and unproductive.

    I like the idea of a paid upgrade, and would be interested if you offered something like that.

    Thank you for all your hard work.

    #40414
    snatcher
    Participant

    I tend to agree with the option of a few options.
    While i generally dislike adult ads, it seems like the best option for the site. I would love an option to donate through paypal.

    You’re doing a great job, Admin! You’ve built an amazing community.

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