It’s been a couple of months now since I launched a Patreon for iFanzine, and while the initial outpouring of supportive words and encouragement from readers and game developers was genuinely heartwarming, the campaign has yet to secure a single patron. It goes without saying that that’s not great and doesn’t bode well for this (perpetually struggling) site’s future. I’m a pretty positive person though, and apparently the trickiest part of running a Patreon is convincing the first few people to pledge their support, so I’m still holding out hope that it will pick up and take off soon.
With that in mind, I thought it might be worthwhile to post this gentle reminder of a) why I’ve turned to Patreon for help, b) how I’m planning to use any funds raised, and c) what happens if the worst comes to the worst and the campaign fails.
So Why Has iFanzine Turned to Patreon for Help?
Rewind a few years, and most mobile gaming-focused sites — iFanzine included — were doing pretty OK out of selling advertising space to game developers and publishers. But sadly, in 2018, the demand that used to be there for ad space has all but dried up. A large number of sites in the mobile gaming niche have already gone out of business due to the resultant loss in revenue, and I’m seriously concerned iFanzine might be next. To be honest, I’ve only managed to keep the site going as long as I have by cutting its ad rates down to the bone and laying off my small team of freelance writers (one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do). And still, even with these sacrifices, iFanzine rarely turns a profit and I’m unable to pay myself a fair living salary for the work I put into it every day.
What Will the Raised Funds Be Used For?
Ideally, I’d like to make enough through Patreon to be able to run iFanzine comfortably. What I mean by that is, not having to constantly worry about where the money is going to come from to pay for things like web hosting/maintenance fees and salaries for writers. If by some stroke of luck the Patreon reaches its goal(s), I’ve also got a ton of ideas for how to improve and expand the site that I’d love to put into practice.
What Happens If the Patreon Fails?
The long and short of it is that, unless I manage to secure a consistent source of income for iFanzine, the site probably isn’t going to survive the end of the year. I’ve invested of lot of time (close to a decade) and effort into building this business from the ground up, so naturally I’ll do everything in my power to keep it going for as long as possible, but I can see myself running out of money and enthusiasm if things don’t improve soon. So if you’re interested in me and the site sticking around, what I ask is that you please consider backing the Patreon. Even a few people becoming patrons at the lowest tier ($1 a month) would would be a huge help and much appreciated.