As my abortive effort a couple of weeks ago hinted, I am actively trying to earn a bit of revenue here at Beervana. For ten years, this site has been mostly ad-free, an experience I appreciate when I visit other sites without ads. But I’m also a working writer, and I’m going to have to start getting a bit of revenue for the words I write here.
Toward that effort, I am now looking for some sponsors for the website. I am thinking of these folks as “sponsors” because I’m asking a little bit more of them than I would random advertisers. The most important thing a blogger has is his independence and the trust of his readers. I’ve built up, I hope, that trust over the decade I’ve been blogging here. I don’t do anything like objective journalism, but I hope you believe that I’ve been transparent in my likes, dislikes, and opinions, and that they come exclusively from my brainpan, not some hidden influence behind the scenes.
For this blog to have any value at all, that transparency and trust will have to continue, so I’ll ask my sponsors to agree to advertise with the knowledge that there’s absolutely no quid pro quo–they won’t receive any special considerations, additional coverage, or favorable content. If there’s any value in advertising here at all, it’s because people come to read honest opinions.
I firmly believe, however, that that honesty is also good for breweries. Not every beer they release is going to be a winner; not every press release is going to hit the mark. I may mention failures along the way. But that transparency means that, when I do praise a beer or person or brewery, you know it’s real praise. Sponsors may not be delighted by every post I write, but if they’ve followed my content, I think they’ll realize the value of having honest brokers out there discussing them and their beer. The internet is choked with social media buzz marketing, lame listicles, and clickbait. Sites with good, informative content are rare and they are a value not just to readers but the businesses they cover.
I’ve written up some sponsor guidelines to describe my approach. I’ve also created a media kit so you can see the value of the site and advertising here; it includes information about my traffic and the pricing scheme.
If you are interested in being one of these sponsors, shoot me an email at the_beerax @ yahoo.com. I’ll be happy to send you all the information I have.
To all the folks who’ve read this blog for years, I ask you to be vigilant during this new experiment, to give feedback about how it’s going, and to absolutely tell me if you’re losing confidence in my independence. I have also learned in these ten years to trust you to call me on mistakes of fact, judgment, and bias. Please continue.
Thanks and cheers–
Update. I forgot to mention: we’d also love a sponsor for the Beervana Podcast. Everything I said above applies, but of course the medium is different. Give a holler.