Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Donations Welcome!

I've thought long and hard about this but I've finally decided to add a Donations button to the blog. Allow me to explain why.

Affiliate Schemes
For the first couple of years of From the Fang I didn't have any advertising at all on the site. It used to annoy me seeing banners all over my favourite blogs and so I wanted to avoid them on From the Fang. Eventually I succumbed though and started to run adverts for Wayland Games and Total Wargamer. These were part of their affiliate schemes with gave me a small percentage of any sales that were generated as a direct result of clicking on a banner on FtF. Over the time I've had banners on the site I've probably only had about £20 from Wayland. Not bad but clearly not much over the time period. I had sales with Total Wargamer too but despite chasing them up they still haven't paid me the commission I was owed.

Frankly I don't really like to advertise either company.  I don't use them myself as Dark Sphere offer 25% discount so if I'm making a large order I use them (as they charge for postage). Alternatively, if I'm just picking up the odd box or a codex I head to my FLGS, Wargames Emporium, who offer 20% off and since I don't need to pay for shipping it works out cheaper than DS. Anyway, neither of these companies have Affiliate Schemes so by recommending them I don't make a penny, but you should still check them out!

Anyway, the point is that I'm barely making anything from affiliate schemes and I'm not particularly fond of the companies so I'm going to remove their banners from the site. In fact I've done just that right now.

Google Adsense
Once again, I resisted using this for a long time and it's probably only been about the last six months that I've started using their ad content. So far I've made something like £30 which is better than I've done with affiliate schemes for a much longer period. Still, when you think about it that's something like 16p a day. Hardly a living wage eh? I'm also not a huge fan of their system of targeted ads. It scares me sometimes that I get adverts for something I searched for. It's an obvious revenue stream for Google and I don't think anyone is naive to it anymore but it just doesn't feel right somehow. That being said I now use the excellent Ghostery and Adblock on my Chrome to avoid tracking and to block any site ads. If the ads on FtF annoy you I heartily recommend you install Adblock to your Chrome so they vanish. I'm sure there are similar apps for IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.

A Brief History of FtF
I started this blog as a means of cataloguing the games of 40K we played between our little group of friends. It's been an online diary of my gaming since getting back into 40K after a long absence in my late teens/early 20s. From that it's evolved into something more though. Still, I never expected anyone to read my blog and I'm amazed that I'm currently averaging around 1,500 pageviews a day! That's still nothing compared to some blogs but remember I'm doing this solo. The problem is that it takes quite a while to write a post (since I usually write too much). My recent series on the Ork codex took around an hour per post. That's because I have to sit with the old and new codex to compare and find the changes and have a rulebook on hand for those rules I can't remember off the top of my head etc etc.

As I've said before I write those posts for my own benefit as much as anything else. By blogging about a new codex I really start to understand it and it forces me to think about how the units might perform. These are by far my most popular posts with the peaks in my pageviews corresponding to the Tau, Eldar, SM, Tyranid, and Ork reviews I've done recently. I'd like to carry on with these (and maybe finally finish my AM review) but with my little boy I find I have less time for the hobby in general. I've barely lifted a paintbrush this year despite my incredibly optimistic targets I set myself in my hobby resolutions post! When I get some spare time I tend to sit and blog. Usually because it's dark and I like to paint with natural light but also because GW are releasing stuff at a relentless pace now and I feel like I need to keep the reviews going.

Anyway, back to the point (if ever there was one) and the TL:DR version if you like. From the comments I receive and the emails I get it seems like people are enjoying my reviews. If you've found a review useful or you've generally enjoyed what I write and you'd like to donate something to show your appreciation then now you can. If you don't want to that's fine, thanks for reading anyway. I'm not for a second forcing anyone to pay to read the blog, just giving people that option if they feel they want to. I'm not going to call it something daft like "buy me a beer" because we all know I'll spend the money on plastic crack!

I'm not trying to make a living from blogging, far from it, if I can buy the latests books and the odd kit here and there then great. If no-one donates then it won't stop me posting but I'll be very grateful to anyone that does. As ever, thank you for reading this little blog and I hope you all continue to do so.


  1. Good idea. I hate adverts on blogs in general and on some it almost overtakes, especially when viewing on my phone. Bell of lost souls and Faeit are the worst ones in my opinion for adverts, which is a shame as the content on them are great. i have just started my own blog with a friend and we decided to go down the non advert route so far as we both dislike them and we have started for similar reasons to you. Shameless plug
    . Keep up your blogging and reviews. I really enjoy what you write and have been following for a while

  2. I tried the affiliate scheme for Wayland, never got anything, though I'm sure at least one of my friends ordered something through my link, I also got annoyed that the best graphic they had to suit my blog - for the Dark Vengeance release, eventually pointed to a dead page on their site.

    I've always had adsense though and currently have £45 in my account, after about 3 or 4 years, no it's not a living wage is it! ;) It did make me want to click on other blogs adsense links though, as and when I came across them. So right now I've clicked on two of yours because they were targeted to me and cost me nothing to support your blog.

    I see no problem with having a Donate button on your page, it's like when you have a child and you really just want to ask people to give cash as birthday/Christmas gifts but it seems rude. Instead you end up with a house load of toys, usually plastic[but not the good plastic toys ;) ] and you feel miserable when a simple fiver would probably have been cheaper to the gift giver and been more useful in the long run.

    What I'm saying is that perhaps if more of us had Donate buttons it would seem less difficult to monetise the blog somehow. I give away loads of stuff free and I've always stood by that, sure I want some pennies for paint and that £45 is going towards an Imperial Knight [one day], I'll stick with adsense for now, it's slow but there needs to be a bit more of an attitude shift before I can join you in the Donation stakes.

  3. There just isn't that much to be made bloging about our hobby. Please check Google terms on taking money on-line. Nafka has stated his site just about breaks even. Mine looses money. I've never had a donation.

  4. I steer clear of adverts and donations, I dislike them on blogs, getting in the way on BoLS and Natfka has gone that route too. It takes an eon to download pages with pictures at sea, even more disappointing when it's adverts.

    That said tho, fill your boots Alex mate. If you get free plastic or resin crack from it then we'll done you!

  5. Do what you have to, so long as the content doesn't change. keep up the great work.

  6. Your reviews are probably the most useful thing I've found in this hobby. As a fairly new blogger, I know how much effort goes in to posts half as insightful as yours. Happy to support fantastic user-generated content. Keep it up!


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