Doing this is hard work. Very hard work. I don’t get paid. I’m not eligible for grants. The subject matter is often challenging and difficult to present in a way that people can understand.
I have to sift through over-lengthy speeches and some of the most mind-numbing grey literature you can think of to get down to the facts.
Think back to school or university when you had to do essays and/or a dissertation. Now imagine having to do 10-15 a fortnight and two dissertations a year. That’s the workload…..and there are no guarantees people will read it.
A series of posts (like the ones on currency) takes about 6 months on-off work, going through academic reports and government papers, having umpteen spreadsheets open at once and constantly drafting and re-drafting to get it as close to correct as I can without overburdening you with unnecessary information.
It takes a certain level of commitment which clashes with other commitments and leaves me out of pocket in both time and money.
Why keep doing it then?
This stuff – whether it’s read by 10 people or 10,000 people – is important. It actually matters (whether you realise it or not) and doesn’t get the coverage it deserves due to the lack of a strong and distinct Welsh media.
Having done it for so long though, it’s come to the point where I don’t want to be out of pocket anymore. It’ll be down to you whether this lasts another 5+ years, or I call time in a matter of months.
How much does it cost to do this?
At a bare minimum – electricity, broadband, hosting costs, computer upgrades/issues and other one-off costs etc. – it’s about £350. That’s roughly how much it directly costs to do this each year.
The main indirect cost is labour. I estimate I spend a minimum (that’s bare minimum) of 12 hours a week doing this for about 48 weeks a year. At living wage levels (£8.45), the labour cost rounds up to around £4,900 a year.
There are, however, many things I want to do which require investment. This includes advertising, the possibility of running polls, buying professional versions of products/add-ons for the site where I currently use free versions etc. Whether I do any of that depends on how much you’re willing to donate. Call that an additional £500 a year.
Yes, ridiculous isn’t it?
You all know I’m a realist; I’m not expecting to get anywhere near that figure every year so don’t worry too much about it.
Having said that, if every regular (once a week) reader of the old Oggy Bloggy Ogwr and these sites donated, for argument’s sake, £20 a year each I’d comfortably reach five figures.
Realistically, I can only count on less than 5% of regular/hardcore readers donating whilst getting nothing from passing visitors.
So as long as I hit that £350-a-year figure in order to not be directly out of pocket, it’ll be enough of a signal for me to keep going for another year at least. That applies to all three sites.
I don’t think I’m being greedy and I’m probably under-selling myself. Whether you think it’s worth it or not, or think someone else is going to do a better job if I stop, is down to you and your wallets.
I’m not going to give a running total of how much I raise because it would give the game away (some people have already generously donated, I’d like to add). What I will say is the “donation year” will run to 30th September 2018 (and each subsequent year) after which the counter goes back to zero.
How can I donate?
At the moment it can only be done via PayPal; click the link below.
You can donate via PayPal using a debit or credit card even if you don’t have a PayPal account (though it’s probably easier if you do).
As of February 2018 you can also set up a regular monthly donation via Patreon. For info on how to do that click the link below.
The site’s Donations Policy is available here, READ IT CAREFULLY.
What happens if you don’t hit the figure?
I’ll have to reconsider how I do this and/or whether I continue at all.
I don’t see myself stopping completely (at least not at first), but it’ll start with Senedd Home (which might, for example, be scaled back to monthly updates) – simply because it’s the heaviest burden in terms of workload with the least amount of return.
State of Wales isn’t as much of a problem because it’s quarterly anyway, but I might lose interest if I don’t think it’s getting any support.
Oggy Bloggy Ogwr proportionally has the biggest reach of the three because of the larger audience on social media, but I’m not expecting many donations on that front – plus it’s the easiest to update/manage. I could probably drop it with little consequence.
I don’t want to donate, but still want to support your efforts; how can I do this?
Make sure people read the posts – whether you like it or don’t like it.
That’s just as important as money. I don’t have anywhere near the social media following I should have based on audience figures – so like, follow and share is all I can ask.