Troubles….

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Donations have almost completely dried up. This is not your problem, I realize. But it’s a serious problem for EPautos.compoor pic

Though we have a six figure audience – averaging about 100,000 “unique visits” each month – only a relative handful of those visitors are supporting the site with donations. That would be ok if I were financially independent and could devote full-time to this solely because it’s enjoyable and because I believe it’s important to get a non-authoritarian, pro-liberty message out there.

The problem is I’m not financially independent – and the site costs money to keep going.  Besides which, Dom needs to be paid. And there’s also the little thing of my needing to earn a living, too.

Again, that’s not your problem. I understand completely. I’m not begging – but I am telling.

EPautos.com isn’t paying for itself – isn’t paying the bills.

It sucks, but it’s reality.

I hate having to make these fundraising pitches. If even 10 percent of our readers committed to sending us $10 a month on a regular monthly basis, I would not have to make these pitches.

We’d be fine.

But – so far this month – we’ve received a bit more than half what we need to cover the cost of our servers. And then I need to pay Dom.

And taxes.

Were in the red – have been since last month.

I am seriously considering going back to Google, much as the prospect saps my will to live. Because I have to do something.

So, please. If you value this site – and want to keep it Google-free (and going) … then please support this site. Just a couple hundred of you throwing Starbucks Latte money at us once a month would fix everything – and take a big load off your humble narrator.

Our donate button is here

Or, you can send via the mail in c/o EPautos.com at:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Just donated what I can. I have website has used your website several times in my classroom to discuss free markets with my students. I hope enough people help out so you can avoid using google, if possible.

    Best of luck!!!!!!

  2. MasterNewMedia Joins The Federated Media Advertising Network: John Battelle Video
    http://www.masternewmedia.org/masternewmedia-joins-the-federated-media-advertising-network-john-battelle-video/

    from @JohnBatelle
    A Founder of sovrn, Federated Media, NewCo/OpenCo, Web 2 Summit, Wired, Industry Standard; writer on Media, Technology, Culture, Business, Marin, California

    http://battellemedia.com/archives/2014

    John Battelle – If At First You Don’t Succeed
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpDfaDkfQrc

    Leveraging the Database of Intentions
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgGuUR_P_ss

    John Battelle – wiki
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Battelle

  3. I wish, as we’re all getting squeezed.
    We need to move up here (again, will be fourth time in three years) because the owners sold the property, and there’s an assisted living place to go into our town. On the land our rental house is currently on.

    Yippee… 😛

      • Mike Shedlock wrote about Google taking on the hotel booking market, “the more competition the better”.

        http://www.safehaven.com/article/33407/google-enters-the-hotel-business-takes-on-advertisers-priceline-expedia-and-trip-advisor

        However; will Google soon have a monopoly on the travel agent gig, just as it seems they do RE: “Might be time to go back to Google” ?

        In the advertising click-thu scheme of things, are there no online rivals similar to Google to choose from?

        • We’re looking at Federated Media… recommended by a friend in PR/marketing.

          It’s just very disappointing to me that we can’t seem to get even 10 percent of the site’s audience to toss us $5 or $10 or so a month on a regular basis. If they did that, we’d be in great shape – none of this Google Agony would even be on the table.

          I’m sure what EPautos is struggling with is fairly common.

          The big sites are million-dollar operations, with paid staff.

          Then there are the millions of personal blogs that are mostly done for fun – by people who earn a living doing something else.

          EPautos falls in the middle. I do this (write) for a living. Or rather, I need to make a living from my writing. I used to be able to do that by working (writing) for other publications. I thought it would be better to launch my own publication, because I’d have complete editorial freedom and would not have to pull any punches or (worse) simply not write about certain untouchable (at corporate media) subjects.

          It’s been a lot of fun, but also very frustrating.

          Epautos has achieved a readership comparable to a successful monthly print magazine. That ought to spell success – or at least, stability. I honestly have no driving desire to become rich. But I do need to earn enough to keep my head above water.

          So far this month, we haven’t received donations enough to even cover the cost of our servers.

          • Plusbig problem of course is that so many people are hurting. For some, sending $10 a month may mean not eating for a few days.

            Another problem of course is that people have become accustomed to getting internet services for free by becoming the product themselves (such as Facebook and Google users), usually without even realizing they are being used.

            Things are not quite that bad here, but do get tight at times. I’ll be sending a few bucks at irregular intervals when I can, and am planning to do so in the coming week. I would encourage others who find this site enjoyable and educational to do the same even if they can’t commit to regular monthly contributions.

            • Thanks, Jason – and “ditto” all you’ve said.

              Everyone I know is dealing with tough times. It’s like the Perfect Storm…. if it all goes south for me, I may just sell off what I still have and use the money to buy a small cabin (paid for) and retire.

              You get to mid-life and realize there are only so many warm summer days left. I’m not at all interested in spending them at a cube farm (or worse) just so I can pay a mortgage (and taxes) until I’m too got-damned old to enjoy summer days anymore.

        • Hi David,

          The problem was they summarily/unilaterally “de-listed” us, which means our page ranking fell to the lowest possible, and with it, our revenue from Adsense – which had been supporting the site. That was bad. Much worse was that we literally could not get them to tell us what the issue was; why they de-listed us. What they wanted us to do to fix it. You literally cannot get through to a human at Google to discuss such issues. They are completely opaque; all you get from them is form letters directing you to their utterly unhelpful “help” pages.

          Mind, this is a business relationship. An utterly one-sided one. Imagine going to work for a company that arbitrarily changed the terms and conditions of your employment, then fired you without giving any specific reason.

          We’re looking at another, non-Google alternative.

          But if that doesn’t pan out… and reader support doesn’t increase… well, something’s got to give.

          • Hey Eric;

            I think you’d do quite well with ad revenue if you just stuck to writing a nice little saccharin, industry friendly blog about cars and trucks that didn’t make any waves. It’s when you start going on about clovers and bad cops and seat belt laws and insurance companies and freedom and injustice that you get the attention of the Adsense Nazis, who I’m guessing probably jumped when one of their sponsors took exception to something you said or wrote about.

            Of course, if you did change the site in the manner I just described your current clique of dedicated readers would probably drop away like the autumn leaves. EP Autos would be just another content poor blog with lots of slick, annoying flash ads and clickbait that brought in good revenue for its owners but did little or nothing to make a difference or to enrich the lives of its readers, or even provided them with much in the way of useful information.

            Here’s to keeping up the good fight, Eric. I just tossed a couple of bucks your way, and I promise to do my best to make it a regular thing. Thanks for all you do.

            • Thanks, Dan!

              EPAutos often seems like an automotive-journalistic Battlestar Galactica … fleeing from the Cylons, trying to find a home. Only lately, the FTL drive seems to be broken!

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