Last week I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep DW going. The site kept crashing over and over, and I was told a server upgrade would solve that problem but that it would cost $12,000 a year, which was way out of my budget (a full $9,500 more than I spent on server fees last year). At the same time I was seemingly the target of click-bombing on my ad accounts (look it up if you don’t know what that means) and I worried my account would get suspended indefinitely and I would lose my biggest source of income. (I’m still worried about that, but after some research it looks like it’s a somewhat wide-spread problem, so I’m hopeful I am not being singled out). In the last week, I was able to get the price of a new server down to $8,000 a year, which is still out of my budget, but two readers who are in the IT business are helping me find the best deal for my needs, and as a stopgap measure in the meantime I purchased additional memory for my current server, and, thankfully, that has solved the problem, at least in the short-term.
While all of this has been going on, I started a donation drive, and in one week we have raised nearly $6,400 for the next six months. (To the 70+ people who signed up for monthly donations, I am counting your designated contributions for the next six months. Obviously, if people cancel their donations, the amount will change). Over 220 people have contributed! I am just blown away and so grateful for your help and for your investment in the site. Your contributions mean that I can keep DW going for at least six more months and likely another year (at least). Beyond that, your donations and kind words have been so heartening at a time when I was feeling pretty defeated. To not have to worry about whether I’ll be able to afford the overhead costs associated with running a site this size is huge. To think I could even have a small profit after fees and childcare coverage is paid for makes me … giddy. I even asked our babysitter to work a few extra hours over the next three weeks so I can make some headway on the book I’ve been talking about for many months. None of that would be possible without your help, so I hope you know how thankful I am.
I’m going to end the donation drive at this point, but you are more than welcome to continue donating. I’ll keep the fundraising thermometer up on the right-hand corner through the end of the week and we’ll see how much closer we can get to the $7,500 goal. I can’t believe we’ve raised as much as we already have, and I promise that I’ll continue working hard to create the content and maintain a site so many of you love visiting. Thank you for everything!
P.S. Everyone who donated/donates gets a fortune cookie message from me (I’ve been known to be psychic!), as well as your name mentioned on the Thank You page (if you want). If you’d like your name to link to something — like your business’s website, for example — please let me know and I can easily do that. Additionally, I’d like to start sending hand-written thank you notes through snail mail (a few at a time — it’s going to take a while!), so eventually you may get an email from me asking if that would be ok and verifying your address. Some donors will even get special packages with DW swag inside, ooh la la. Maybe by the time I do another donation drive, I’ll be able to share a preview chapter or two of the book I’ve been working on as a thank you gesture — we’ll see!