Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: west coast steelhead/salmon, BC/Alberta trout
Ad Revenues etc on the Spey Clave, or "How to go Broke in Hurry on the Internet."
Hi Fred and everyone!
First off, thanks Fred for the positive press in the “Please support the Spey Pages/Spey Clave” thread and your on-going support of the site—much appreciated! In looking over your post on the old board this morning though I thought it was a good time to talk a little about the Spey Pages and Spey Clave.
Judging from some of the questions and comments I’ve received about the site moves, I think it’s important to clear up a few misconceptions that seem to be floating around out there. While the running of web sites might seem like a glamorous and lucrative undertaking, the realities are much different. Here’s the straight goods:
1. Site Hosting: both the msn and Yahoo/geocities sites were set up under the programs those companies have in place to provide free hosting for anyone interested in starting their own web site. In exchange for free hosting, msn and Yahoo populate web site banner space with ads of their choosing, and collect all the revenue. Webmasters receive none of the ad revenue nor have any control over what ads appear on their sites. In fact on Yahoo they were shutting the Spey Pages down regularly in an effort to get me to pay them for site hosting. I thought this would be okay if I got some of their ad revenue, but of course they wouldn’t have anything to do with that idea. Let me be very clear—I have never received a penny from msn or Yahoo/geocities while Spey Pages and ISC were on their servers.
2. Site Move: I moved the sites over to join the World Wide Flyfishing Forum because I believe that this approach offers my audience the best and most reliable access to the Spey Pages and the Spey Clave. I share the philosophy of Juro, Sean and others involved in the Forum—namely “passion before profit”—we exist because we love fly fishing and want to provide people with a great place to be entertained, gather information, exchange ideas and have a sense of community. This is a great place to be, and I’m proud to be associated with the Forum and the wonderful people that work and play here.
3. Ad revenues? Well, let’s talk about revenues in general: in the past 2 years of running these sites I have had roughly 60 people subscribe to my newsletter. That’s site based income of @ $1200 US. In those 2 years I have purchased and upgraded software and hardware, dealt with system melt downs and virus attacks, paid to have tackle transported around North America so I could provide objective and useful reviews for my readers, plus spent thousands of hours researching, writing, filming, editing and publishing all the material you see on Spey Pages, as well as regularly monitoring and participating in the discussion boards. When I convert all that into numbers and crunch ‘em I’ve invested thousands of my own after tax dollars and thousand of my own “after tax” hours (that’s late evenings and weekends after working a full week at a “real” job, raising a family and trying to be a good life partner) into these sites. So, in the end these Spey Pages sites are supported by 60 of the over 300 active members on the original ISC site (not to mention hundreds more visitors), my own personal finances and time and energy resources, and the great behind the scenes help of people like Juro, Sean, Brian, Kush and others —all of whom donate their time to this site and the Forum itself in one way or another.
4. Okay, Ad Revenues: what ad revenues? I don’t see much advertising on either Spey Pages or the Spey Clave, and I see a limited amount on the Forum itself. This is a little disconcerting at times because what I do see is a number of members who are involved in the tackle industry in a variety of ways—pro staffers, product designers, fly shop owners and staff, casting instructors, etc etc--who use the site essentially as a form of free advertising for themselves and the companies they represent. In some cases the stature and influence they have gained is in no small way the direct result of the existence and availability of ISC to gather together an audience of Spey casters; without this Forum these people would be virtually unknown outside a circle of friends and casters in their immediate area. On other web sites like VFS and the Steelhead Site the webmasters are vigilant about such stuff, and it disappears as quickly as it arrives. This is interesting because on those same sites you will see banner advertising from the various manufacturers, fly shops etc, the same ones who essentially get free advertising here. We have a different approach because we believe in the free exchange of information and want to provide our audience with a place where they can get information they can’t find anywhere else on the web. We do offer advertising opportunities at very competitive rates but few take advantage of it. We are hoping this will change as people see the value of supporting us—we heavily support the fly tackle industry by providing a very popular series of forums where their products and services are highlighted and discussed; it just makes good business sense for those who we support to support us in return.
I don’t want to come across here as cranky or lacking in gratitude. I get a lot of enjoyment out of what I do with the sites, and greatly appreciate the support that many of you offer—thank you thank you thank you! But I am not going to get rich or even make ends meet running a Spey Casting web site, and if the motivation was income I’d have stopped a few months after I started. I get the most enjoyment and benefit out of the many great friendships that have developed for me as I have corresponded with and met many of you over the past two years, and I look forward to keeping the sites alive for a long time. It would be great to have more support. If you value what you see here and in the Forum, subscribe to the newsletter, become a contributing member, buy some advertising or talk to someone who can. And above all support those advertisers who do step in to help us keep the Spey Pages, Spey Clave and the World Wide Flyfishing Forum delivering the kind of open exchange of ideas that define us and make us unique.