This took a while. My Patreon page is setup, take a look here.
Every time I cried about not getting anything from brands, and being a broke ass hair licker, someone would always suggest that I should start accepting donations from the people who read this blog or watch videos on the Youtube channel. There were a number of reasons why I didn’t do it before.
1. I wanted to be completely independent
I tried living a life solely on the ad revenue from Google Adsense. It hasn’t gone well. In the last 2 years, I’ve made roughly 20,000 bucks in ad revenue. In that period, I’ve spent more than that amount on tires alone.
Ad revenue is great, it helps you to work absolutely independent of the universe. The money that you make has no strings attached, it doesn’t come from any manufacturer, and you are answerable to nobody. Even if I could make 30,000 bucks a month, I wouldn’t have been too sad, but that never happened.
The amount of money you make per month via Google Adsense varies wildly. Sometimes it goes really well, and sometimes it sucks balls, the income is completely unpredictable. If, for example, on some day I get a lot of US traffic, the money simply doubles. If it’s all India, things are rather sad.
Adsense is a great source of supplementary income, but not a good one of primary.
2. It felt weird to take people’s money
At some point during the course of the 3 years of RiderZone, I’ve pissed everyone off. I seem to have quite a sense of superiority about myself, and don’t really mind telling people off on minor things to please my OCD plagued brain. The entire point of my existence seems to be that I’m nobody’s friend, which means that by definition, whatever I say is unbiased.
I don’t claim to be a journalist, my imagination is too wild to be tamed by big words and courteous criticisms. However, my final aim is to be the complete source of information about motorcycles, and in that way I do have some connection with the reporting world. Here’s an interesting article about why real journalism is dying a slow death, and I’m facing similar issues.
It’d probably take a while for my ego to get used to taking help from others, but at this point there’s not much option.
3. I thought I could change the way things worked
Here’s a brilliant insight into how the world of “press cars” works, how the entire concept of giving vehicles to journalists for reviews is flawed from the ground up. I’ve always hated test bikes, they never give you any idea of what the thing is really capable of, for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is time.
My plan was to rent bikes to make sure I’m able to spend enough time with them, but that has proved to be hilariously costly. I’ve spent more than 20,000 bucks on 2 bikes to ride them for 4 days. That’s 5000 a day, plus fuel. On top of that, some rentals are completely fucked up, and it’s hard to judge them in a good light when the clutch cable snaps in the middle of nowhere.
My plan now is to involve the owners, go to them, give them my bike, take theirs, and ride till I know it all. This would be cheaper than renting, and would help me get genuine user feedback, but it’d still be something I can’t afford to do right now.
I can continue doing what I’m doing, but it feels childish to keep writing the same shit everyday. Sarcasm is fun, pants on fire reviews are great, flinging crap at people’s faces is awesome, but it’s been 3 years of this, I need to grow up, at least a little bit.
This is an experiment to see how people will take me as a more serious source of 2-wheeled gyaan, and also how well I can manage this change in direction. If this experiment goes through, I have even bigger plans that should be tonnes of fun.We shall wait and see.
The Patreon payment system is simple, you can contribute what you can on a monthly basis, or you can pick from one of the many monthly plans that I’ve setup there with rewards and stuff. Let me know if you have any questions.