A few years after I started this blog way back in 2006 I ran an annual “Stick ’em up!” campaign in which I asked readers to donate to the costs of running the blog.
At that time the blog was a pretty simple affair. I just blogged and it didn’t cost much to host and maintain, improve, promote and run.
Then I was invited to move my blog over to Patheos. Patheos was a commercial enterprise with lots of ads running. They paid me for blogging, and on the back of that writing I also started writing for Aleteia, CRUX and other websites. They all paid a little bit for my blog posts and because there was a revenue stream in that way it helped with the other costs of this apostolate.
As a result I stopped my annual “Stick ’em Up!” campaign asking for donations. It wasn’t fair to ask for donations from people when I was receiving remuneration through the ad revenue on the commercial sites.
The problem with writing for those other sites is that I had to adapt my opinions and writing style to help their broad audience appeal and because I was being paid by number of clicks, the temptation was always there for me to write stuff that I knew would attract more clicks…what came to be called in the online world “click bait”. These two trends weakened my writing and softened my bite. I was also increasingly frustrated not only with the number of ads, but the annoying pop up ads and stupid ads for the Mormon Bible or men’s underwear or those dumb ads which lure you in by appealing to your worst nature…you know the type: “You’ll never believe how much weight these celebrities have socked on! Click here for the freak show.”
So last year I got together with web designer extraordinaire John Flynn (by the way, check out his website. If you need web work done he’s fantastic. He’s always on hand to help and will do terrific work for you. Go to Kickstart Media) He helped me design and set up this blog-website which now combines my new blog posts, archived material, my Benedictine spirituality blog and now my podcast stream. It also includes my bookstore and help to contact me.
The idea was that all my new blog posts would be free, all my archive from twelve years of blogging would be free and the majority of my new podcasts.
There would be no advertising. Zero. No pop ups. No annoying videos. No tacky ads about celebrities. No Mormons. No New Age stuff. No underwear ads. Nothing.
However, while the blog and podcasts are free, they are not free to produce. John has a living to make and the Longenecker family budget is still facing some kids in college. I don’t often advertise the fact, but part of my deal as a parish priest is that I do not receive anything more than what our diocesan priests are entitled to. As a married man I didn’t think it fair that I should get preferential treatment. The Bishop has therefore authorized me to add to our family income through other sources of revenue.
I say all that to say this: for a couple of weeks at the beginning of November I’m running a membership drive. A bit like the old “Stick em Up!” campaign I’m asking for your help towards the costs of keeping this blog free and free from ads. Your monthly donation as a Donor Subscriber helps with the development, design, maintenance, hosting and promotion of the blog-website.
Some of the online apostolates have a Board of Directors–Catholics with deep pockets–who pour millions into the ministry. I have no one like that. It is a one man show. I write the blogs, work hard to produce the podcasts and spend a lot of time writing and promoting the work. I rely not on major donors, but on your assistance.
Therefore please consider being a regular Donor Subscriber. There are now two levels of support: $8.95 a month are Premier Donor Subscribers. $4.95 a month are Podcast Donor Subscribers. If you go to this page you can learn about the benefits of being a Donor Subscriber and you can also learn how to receive one of my books free of charge as a thank you for joining.
If you can’t make a regular donation by being a Donor Subscriber would you consider a single donation to the work? You can use the yellow “Donate” button in the right side bar of the home page.
Thanks for listening and thanks to all the folks who already support the work.
I remember you in my prayers at the altar and I ask you to remember me and my work in yours.