We continue to find ourselves living in extraordinary times as we juggle the ongoing dual realities of both COVID-19 and economic disruptions, and I was hoping to avoid writing this post.
Typically toward the end of the year, I put out a reminder or two that this site—and our related social media work—all run on direct financial reader support. We do not accept advertising and despite mulling it over from time to time, I have elected to not put our work behind a paywall. Which increasingly seems to leave me in the minority as many bloggers/writers and publications do put their work behind paywalls (partially or totally).
Instead, we offer our work freely and trust that if people appreciate the work, they will make a contribution. Here at Black Girl in Maine Media, our writers are paid, and given the current climate for writers, our rates are competitive (in some cases, significantly higher than larger and more established publications).
In addition to the cost of paying our writers, we pay to maintain our platform as well as the security costs of keeping the site safe from hackers. In addition, we carry a vast array of subscriptions to publications which help inform our writing and our daily social media postings. In addition to the direct costs, we have indirect costs such as taxes, an accountant, etc.
In short, while this is a sole proprietorship, it is also still a business.
This year has seen a steep increase in the number of monthly supporters who had to cancel their support due to changes in their own financial circumstances; at the same time, though, readership has continued to increase. While I am grateful for all who read the work of both myself and the other writers, I have had to make adjustments to keep things running. That includes things like not bringing on additional writers and cutting back on back-end help, which given my day job and political work has meant stretching myself.
I am writing this because if you have the means and feel that our work has been beneficial to you, we need your support. Ideally you can become a monthly patron, but if that is not possible, consider a one-time gift. If you are already a supporter and can increase your support, even if only by a few bucks, it would truly be helpful.
In some ways, putting our work behind a paywall would simplify many things, but given the times we are living in, I believe access to anti-racism readings is imperative. Capitalism creates scarcity mindsets that are limiting to all, and anti-racism work has to be anti-capitalist. Hence, as long as readers can cover the bulk of our expenses, our work will be freely available to all.
These are extraordinary times as more people realize just how deeply embedded white supremacy is in our society, and since 2008, I have written boldly and plainly about racism. While the name of the site is Black Girl in Maine Media, the fact is our readership spans across the United States and even into other parts of the world. Right now, we need our readers who have the means to step up to ensure that we can continue our offerings in 2022. Thank you.
In love and solidarity,
Shay, aka BGIM
If this piece or this blog resonates with you, please consider a one-time “tip” or become a monthly “patron”…this space runs on love and reader support. Want more BGIM? Consider booking me to speak with your group or organization.
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