Let me tell you about my highlight of 2018.
I had the opportunity to interview the truly amazing Amanda Palmer. She's the musician, artist and author that used crowd-funding to finance her best projects. In fact, she did it so well that she did one of the most-viewed TED Talks of all time called "The Art of Asking" - which eventually became a best-selling book.
We had about an hour together, and while I asked her about motherhood and music and all sorts of things, we really focused on the idea that we should really be okay to ask people to support our endeavors. You can watch the whole interview here:
(I'm super proud of this, by the way. she was a great guest and totally helped me calm down after the first minute)
After we ended the interview, I told her about AfroDaddy and all the big plans I have for this platform, and how I even though I couldn't actually do any of those big plans because I wouldn't have the finances for it, I could never ask my audience to pay for all this content they should get for free.
"Well, keep the content free, and ask your audience to help you keep it that way" was her advice.
Amanda Palmer is a wise person, so here I am taking that advice.
I truly think AfroDaddy's mission of encouraging engaged fatherhood is an important one, so I would never want someone who needs this community to not have access to it because of finances.
Here's the problem though: blogging actually costs money. So does making videos. And podcasting too.
And I do all of that.
For the last four years I've managed to keep this going using my own salary and the occasional bit of branded content. I'm grateful to those sponsors, but doing that work really takes attention away from what I think AfroDaddy should be doing.
Essentially, I think this platform should be doing more, with more people. I think the videos and podcasts need to be of a MUCH higher quality, I think we need to pay dads to write about their experiences, I think we need experts to help us advise parents. I think the website could be better. I think we need less of my family and more of yours. I think we need to make this a space where we can help parents in general and dads in particular.
(I feel quite passionate about this...as you can probably tell).
ALL of that is going to cost way more than I could afford solo, and if I had to spend all my available time chasing brand deals, I wouldn't have capacity to actually push for those goals.
So, how do we practically fix this? Luckily there is a really simple and safe platform designed exactly for this. It's callled Patreon (it's what Amanda uses, so you know it works).
Basically, you sign up to a monthly subscription and, depending on the tier you choose, you get some rewards. Here are what the tiers are:
My favourite people ($1 or more per month)
This is a great way for you to help me spread the word about the importance (and awesomeness!) of engaged fathers...but beside that, you'll get:
- Access to the Patron Only Activity Feed
- You can help me decide on a topic for an upcoming video
- Your questions get answered first on the #AskAfroDaddy Podcast
- I will answer any parenting-related question as best as a I can (these can be sent via social media or email)
- We get to be friends
- You will get a warm and fuzzy feeling
My More Favouriter People ($5 or more per month)
Now you're just showing off...and I love it.
You'll get everything in Tier One and Two, plus:
- A credit at the end of each AfroDaddy video
My Most Favouriter People ($10 or more per month)
You really believe in encouraging engaged fatherhood, and you want to partner with me!
You'll get everything in the previous tiers, plus:
- A limited-edition AfroDaddy T-shirt (in white or black)
My Most Favouritest People ($20 or more per month )
Wow! I'm not sure I can match your generosity...but here goes.
You will get everything from the previous tiers, plus:
- I will make an AfroDaddy video based on a topic of your choosing
And that's it - more and more of AfroDaddy daily content will move away from Facebook and go on to Patreon. You'll always be able to access it, whether you pay for it or not, but I need your help to make this the platform it needs to be to help dads across the world!