Recently we launched a Patreon campaign to give users the chance to support Medievalists.net. Here are the reasons why we are asking for your support.
When Medievalists.net was launched in 2008 we wanted to be a site to make it easier for people to access resources about the Middle Ages. We wanted to fill a niche in the online world, and show what were learning about the past, and how people are making use of that past in the present. So we covered a wide range of topics – from the latest academic research to Game of Thrones. Along the way we found that people really enjoyed the site and became fans. It’s been an amazing experience for us to see that our site has influenced a lot of people and is something that provides interesting and good content.
Medievalists.net is supported through online ads, which is the usual business practice for most websites. However, we want to move away from this system for a few reasons:
- Online advertising is notoriously unstable, with revenues jumping and falling from month to month. It makes it hard to plan for the long term.
- Having ads – and you need a lot of them – often makes it for an unsightly and disruptive reading experience.
- Lots of our users don’t want ads and make use of various ad-blockers.
The most important reason is that we think a community-driven model is a better way to go. We want to be able to create content for our readers, and if they really like it and want to see more of it, this is how they can support it. Moreover, it also allows us to have a better way of communicating with these supporters – to learn what they want to read and see. American readers will know of how PBS works, where they ask their viewers to pledge their support. That is the basic idea of what we want to do, and we’re going through Patreon to do so.
We believe that we have many fans of Medievalists.net who really enjoy our site and like the way we write about the Middle Ages. If we can get enough of your support, we can really expand what we do. Here are our basic goals:
1. In 2019 we started The Medieval Podcast, which has been delivering great shows each week. Our host Danièle Cybulskie interviews guests each week and covers a number of diverse topics. Once we reach $1500 a month in support, that podcast would be fully funded and we would be able to make it ad-free.
2. The point where we could make the website nearly ad-free is $5000 a month. That would be enough revenue that it would cover our current costs and increase what we pay our team of writers.
3. If we reached $10000 a month then the site could truly offer new content each day with a much larger team of writers. Basically, the revenue we get is going to be put into supporting more and more writers and content makers. As we do this, we can find out from our supporters what kind of topics they want to learn more about, and what issues we should cover.
So we are asking for you support, for as little as $1 a month. Of course, there are bonuses you get for higher donations – at $5 and $10 a month you would get ongoing subscriptions to Medieval Warfare magazine. We are also planning additional tiers where we offer other digital and physical rewards, like books.
So if Medievalists.net is something that you like and value, and if you are in position to support us, please do so by going to our Patreon page.
Editor and owner of Medievalists.net