In the end, launching a paid membership program is maybe the
smartest thing I’ve done: 2019 was the most productive and
creatively engaged year of my life. And I owe the brunt of
that to the Explorers Club. A rapturous THANK YOU to everyone who
joined. It has not been “easy,” or effortless. […]
Everyone’s needs are different. I can’t explicitly recommend every
writer or photographer or YouTuber to start their own membership
program. What I can do is tell you about my experience, and hope
that it’s instructive to those readers out there who might, too,
Memberships — often driven by members-only email newsletters — have been the lifeboat for indie publishing and creative arts in a market where ad spending has largely been guzzled up by Facebook, Google, and Amazon. The term “win-win” applies: income for creators; great writing/photography/videos/music for consumers, from their favorite creators.
I am tremendously grateful to everyone who has joined. I realize
not everyone can afford to join, and I realize we’re all a bit
bombarded by “memberships” and “subscriptions” these days. But
ultimately — this is a good thing! A scant ten years ago this
ecosystem barely existed. Now it’s ever-more normalized. This
feels healthy. Directly supporting writers, artists, musicians,
software developers, et cetera, feels like the final remaining
puzzle piece of the last 30 years of independent creation.
Computers democratized design in the ’80s/’90s, the web
democratized publishing in the ’00s, and now proper payments
infrastructure is democratizing creative sustainability.
Bingo. Mod’s Explorer’s Club is just sublime, by the way. Highly recommended.
★ Monday, 3 February 2020