A little over a year ago, I started an experiment—I began offering memberships on Per Square Mile. All of the content on Per Square Mile is just as free and accessible as it ever was, but members receive a few perks that make Per Square Mile that much more accessible. Perhaps more importantly, they also know they’re supporting quality, thoughtful writing. In my first year of offering memberships, I broke even.
Per Square Mile is one of my passions, though I’m fortunate in that it isn’t my lifeblood—thankfully I have a full-time job that I very much enjoy—so I don’t feel the need to turn a profit. But as a journalist and editor, I believe that quality writing should be recognized, and the currency of our time is, well, currency. With that in mind, it’s time for a new membership drive, though this year it has new twist.
I’ll be donating 25 percent of membership proceeds to the Children and Nature Network, a nonprofit that works to expose more kids to the wonders of the great outdoors. And once my bills are paid, I’ll donate 100 percent of membership proceeds to the organization.
In the interests of transparency, here’s how much Per Square Mile costs me to run for one year.
- $480 for hosting the site
- $24 for hosting images
- $10 in domain name registration
- $514 total
Those numbers do not include the time I dedicate to writing, maintaining, and upgrading the site. Since the last membership drive, I’ve written 32 original articles, added hundreds of link posts, and thoroughly reworked the site to look great on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. The time I’ve invested is considerable—anywhere from 5-10 hours in an average week, sometimes more—but I’m not asking to be paid for that. Instead, consider that effort my contribution, just as marathon runners do when they train, raise funds, and compete in charity races.
As before, there are two ways you can become a Per Square Mile member—buy a stylish T-shirt (all new for this year) for $29 or contribute $19 or more. Both are great ways to support a site—and a cause—that I sincerely believe in. I hope you agree.