Hello and happy December!
In this post, I want to share some updates about Better Health While Aging (BHWA). And, I want to invite YOU to help me plan for 2020 and beyond.
The brief version of the update is this: I am no longer able to sustain BHWA using my own time and financial resources.
For this reason, unless we can generate enough reader donations to keep the site ad-free, I will need to start running ads on the site early next year.
The donation amount I’m requesting is pretty modest: $2 per month, via Patreon, which accepts credit cards or Paypal.
Now, to put things in perspective: BHWA exists because I have personally worked unpaid creating the content and running the site since 2014. It takes me 25-35 hours per week.
It also costs hundreds of dollars per month to pay for the services running the site and the email system.
I feel very privileged that I did have the ability to contribute all this time and effort to the site. Years ago, I told my colleagues “we can teach geriatrics to the public online!” I was sort of waved off, but I really felt called to do this. So I did, and I have loved doing this.
But, I’m reaching the limits of what I can do under current circumstances, and more revenue is needed.
I also never intended to work unpaid for BHWA permanently, and I do need to start having some of my time paid for within the next year or so.
Now, some readers may have noticed that we do offer a few paid programs, the main one right now is the Helping Older Parents Membership. This does bring in some revenue, but it’s not enough and barely covers the costs of running the membership.
At a minimum, more revenue is needed to keep paying for the maintenance of the site and the various services that keep the basics going.
And even more revenue is needed if we’re to expand on what we’re already doing, whether that’s create more useful free articles and podcast episodes, or develop the next affordable paid course or program. (I have been longing to create something for those of you who’ve asked for help addressing your own aging concerns.)
For this reason, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to seriously consider adding ads to the site.
We do have a lot of traffic and it would probably bring in a good amount of revenue, with little to no effort required from me and my small team.
And I know that with more revenue, BHWA can have an even bigger impact on more people’s lives, and can do more to improve the lives of older adults and families.
But I have been hesitating on the ads, and here’s why: I believe that adding ads would diminish your experience as readers. And, your experience as readers is very important to me.
So, before I go ahead and resort to trying ads in order to bring in our needed revenue, I’ve decided to try something first: a campaign to see if we can raise enough money through Patreon donations.
Announcing: the BHWA Community Campaign to Keep Us Ad-Free
Here’s how it works: Patreon is a service developed to help creators get funded by their communities and audiences.
Today BHWA is approaching 300,000 page views per month and over 17,000 email subscribers.
If we can get a certain number of our readers to donate just $2/month, we will be able to replace the revenue that ads would bring in.
So over the next 4-6 weeks, I will be inviting our BHWA Community to support us.
If we can get enough reader support, we’ll remain ad-free. If we get enough reader support that I can actually hire someone to help me create more free content, we’ll do that too.
So if you appreciate Better Health While Aging and are able to spend $2/month to help us remain ad-free:
The Upcoming Better Health While Aging Town Hall Session
Since I know some of you may have questions, I’ve also decided to host a free online Better Health While Aging Town Hall session next week, to talk about what’s going on with the site and answer any questions you have.
This will be a fun opportunity to tell you more about what’s been going on behind the scenes, and also to get your input and feedback about what you’d like to see the site do over the next few years.
If you’ve ever wondered “how does she do this?” or anything else about what it takes to create and maintain what you’ve found on this site, here’s your chance to find out 🙂
To learn more and register for this free live session, click below:
My commitment to you and our BHWA community
I’ll be honest: I have no idea whether or not we will be able to raise enough money to remain ad-free next year.
But even if we do end up running ads, I am optimistic that it won’t change much.
It certainly won’t change my own personal commitment and motives. I started this site because I am committed to making it easier for older adults and families to access the expertise of geriatricians.
I do have to respect certain financial realities. But I will always be thinking about how we can be of service to as many of you as possible, and we will always do our best to prioritize purpose over profits.
I’ll close by sharing some of the feedback we’ve gotten this year, from appreciative readers. These are some of the messages that lift me up and help me keep this work going.
Again, if you appreciate Better Health While Aging and are able to spend $2/month to help us remain ad-free:
And whether or not you join the campaign: THANK YOU for reading and for being part of our community!
Questions? Comments? Please post them below!
Or, register for next week’s free Town Hall Session so that I can address them in real-time. I’d love to hear your ideas and tell you more about what’s been going on with Better Health While Aging. Click here to register for the free online Town Hall.