I’m making a few changes to the funding of Math ∩ Programming. First and foremost, I’m launching a Patreon campaign.
The way Patreon works is that you, dear reader, sign up for a monthly donation of any amount you please (as little as $1/month). There are at least three benefits for you doing this:
- You show your support of mathematics and programming. You provide documented evidence that you’re a good person. You help to ensure that Math ∩ Programming stays a high quality resource for everyone. You feel good.
- There are aggregate milestone goals that make Math ∩ Programming a better place. The first, for example, is that when Math ∩ Programming reaches $200/month I will permanently remove ads. See below for a detailed description of how ads currently support the blog (spoiler: it’s not much).
- There are individual benefits if you decide to pledge $5 or more per month. This includes a monthly Google hangout I’ll host, and a sneak peek for every new post and private discussion with me. I’m still thinking about how exactly I’ll implement the member preview, but my current plan is to have a private subreddit. But even if you don’t use reddit there’ll be another way to get access. The highest tier of rewards involves physical merchandise.
I’m excited about Patreon because it seems like an excellent platform. For example, the popular Numberphile YouTube channel makes almost $3k USD per month from patrons. To put that into perspective it’s $36k per year, and my graduate student stipend is only about $17k per year. Assuming Math ∩ Programming could get even half the success of numberphile, I could have potentially funded my entire graduate work just from blogging!
And channels like Numberphile are purely for entertainment’s sake. Math ∩ Programming has the additional benefit of providing working code for algorithms that are directly applicable to business. So if you have ever used the code at Math ∩ Programming as the start of a project or feature, or even if you just have fun reading about math and seeing cool applications, consider becoming a patron to say thank you!
Here are some other minor funding changes.
- One-time donations are now preferred through Square, due to the lower (1.9%) transaction fee. Square requires a debit card, so if you don’t have one or don’t want to use one you can still use PayPal to donate.
- People rarely buy merchandise. I made a total of $147 on merchandise since 2013. So I’m going to stop doing that for now. Maybe I just have to come up with better merchandise (comments are welcome).
- When I link to textbooks on Amazon I’m going to use Amazon Affiliate. Amazon pays me a little bit of money if you use the link and then end up buying something.
Funding so far
As of August 1, 2015 I have made a total of exactly $2,847.55 USD from ads and donations. About $320 of that is from 2015. It works out to about $70 per month since I first asked for money in 2013 and set up ads. It’s a nice little chunk of change, but nothing to get too excited about. Here is a chart of my ad income:
Donations have provided the rest of the funding, but donations appear to follow a Poisson distribution and the median monthly revenue is zero. By far most of the donations were in the few months after I first asked for donations.
I started my blog with pretty low expectations: I learned a lot of cool things and I wanted to share them, while understanding them better by writing code and filling in proof details. That’s still the core dream, and it will always be the core of Math ∩ Programming. So while it’s pretty cool that I can make any money at all from my blog, and I’m interested to see if I can grow it into a viable side business, you can rest assured that Math ∩ Programming will stay true to its core.
It is interesting to know how much money can you get with your blog. I find the comments to your posts add value. Perhaps you should add some exercises or some way for people to engage actively on the content. For example you could design a math and programming competition with donation and give a price (say 80% of money collected) and you get the remaining 20%. I also find that machine learning and economics for marketing are hot topics. Deep math not so much, since people pursuing a Ph. D. or getting a job don’t have so much time available for tinkering with many topics. Another interesting thing would be to discuss trends in society and data, how the new tools are going to change the landscape.
Good luck and thank you for the great content.