Requesting Donations

50 Responses

  1. Faisal says:

    I donated $20… you’ve helped me lose 47 pounds, and you’re a lot cheaper than any other diet lol!

    Really, thanks for everything you do!

  2. Mel Edwards says:

    This blog and forum are much, much less expensive than any other “weight loss plan” and here you’ve got more support than you can imagine. Here you have honest conversations about the journey. In my past, I’ve never had someone come up to me and say, “I’m having a tough week, but I’ve lost 95 lbs already and I want to get to one hundred. Then on to Onederland, and I know I can do it.”
    Thanks to Tyler, and the great people he surrounds himself with on the forum, I’m firmly back in Onederland and aiming for my first big goal. I not only gave for each pound lost, but the first goal of loss that I have ($50 for 50 lbs). If you can give, please do, because I’d be crushed if Tyler had to be otherwise occupied making money elsewhere to support his blog and forum.

  3. Tara says:

    It’s hard to make the decision to ask for donations. You begin to wonder if people will stop coming here or if people will think you have other motives for the donations. I know this was something you thought about for a long time Tyler. I donated because even though we’ve never met in real life you get me and you get this journey of a lifetime. So many people think it’s about just losing weight. I know differently know thanks to the honesty of this blog. If I take anything away from reading your daily struggles and triumphs its this: This is about life and life is about living through it all.

  4. Drew says:

    We will be ok Tyler. I have even called in a few favors for ya so hopefully you won’t have to worry about this sort of thing ever again.

  5. Vinny says:

    Count me in man. I can’t give much (laid off and all) but I will give what I can to help you out. You started me on this journey and it’s the least I can do to thank you for that.

  6. Matt says:

    It would seem like with the growing popularity, assorted media appearances, and an upcoming book, that advertisers would provide a more steady source of income than donations.

    How did you arrive at the idea for donations instead?

  7. Brandon says:

    With the numbers this blog brings in, you can probably find enough sponsors that you could vet them and make sure that only the products/services you support end up as ads, then they don’t feel so much like ads.

  8. Mike says:

    This might be of interest to you. It’s new, but I love the concept.

    https://flattr.com/

  9. Drew says:

    He didn’t want an outside influence. He wants this website to be about people who have succeeded and our tell of the tape. Not some advertisement that may or may not work, but to be for the people by the people.

  10. Tyler says:

    I have plenty of sponsors. I can go to my inbox right now and have a few checks in the mail this week. But, I don’t want sponsors. I don’t want third party ads.

    I just want you.

  11. Tyler says:

    Exactly.

    And, let me tell you something — writing a book, going on the news, all not profitable. It takes writers a very long time to make a dime (and I have no current book deal), and I’ve only given up time and money to travel for my media interviews.

    With that said, as I’ll say again below, I have no shortage of advertisers lined up. But I don’t want them, I want you.

  12. Tyler says:

    That sounds strange, man, what’s in store?

  13. Drew says:

    Free web-hosting, editing and fixing for as long as you’d like.

  14. Brandon says:

    Advertisers have much bigger wallets. I’m not against donations, especially with how prevalent ad-blockers are today (hell, I use one), and I appreciate your sentiment for the site to be strictly between its users and creator.

    No one is being forced to give, so it’s understandable. It’s just a hard sell to give something away for free for years and then start asking for money for it. Maybe I’ll give some skills or services at some point, who knows.

  15. Going For 96 says:

    Having such a great following will bring in an initial donation, but what happens when it dries up? Will there be a ‘hey guys, I need more money” post?

    I think taking ad revenue is something worth doing when you’ve already established a great following that understands that the ads help keep things flowing. Since there are blogging rules in place that indicate you have to inform your readers if you’re receiving free samples or being paid for a review, you’re already protected in the sense that nobody will think you’re selling out.

    I say fill the sidebar with ads. I think you’ll be hard-pressed to sustain a website funded by its readers, long-term. Seems like one commenter has offered free webhosting, so maybe that resolves the whole problem?

  16. tofudork says:

    I am not able to give now (hope to be able to soon), but I have never found the ads on here to be obnoxious or as obtrusive as other blogs. Why not a combination of both? The “not wanting any other outside influences” confuses me as a non-blogger. Maybe there is more to it than I realize behind the scenes, but one of the main reasons I like this blog is because you don’t wax poetically about every product/service that is offered to you which makes me feel like I am reading an infomercial. The ads on the sides aren’t distracting and you don’t have pop-ups.

    In case this does not come across right, realize I am a big fan of the blog and your success and hope to be able to say I have lost weight soon myself!

  17. Tyler says:

    Good point of view, I’ll take it under consideration. I’m glad you’re a fan, and I’m glad you posted a comment!

  18. Tyler says:

    Hosting isn’t very expensive. I’m not quite sure you grasp the contractors that I pay, the forum that cost money to buy (vBulletin cost I believe $175 off the top of my head), Thesis, the software suite the runs under WordPress, was $80 I believe.

    It’s so much more than hosting. And you also don’t understand that I’m not looking for donations to sustain the site, I won’t receive enough. I have another job, a happy job, and I just wanted a little bit of financial contribution from others who loved the site just as much as I do.

    I’m not going to retire with donations, it’s simply going to help me keep going. And as I said, many people are on board and will donate $1 for every pound they lose, which will keep a small, but respectable stream of money coming.

    Again, this isn’t to sustain a site. If I wanted ad revenue today, I could have it, but I don’t.

  19. Tyler says:

    I’m not selling anything. And it’s kind of ironic that you’re asking me to put ads up on the site to help support it, yet you have an ad blocker.

    People who want to support the site (and are able to) will in their own ways. There will always be people though who don’t want to contribute anything, regardless if it’s time or money, and that’s fine too. They can keep reading and doing nothing as always.

  20. Kara says:

    I love your blog. I’ve read it for months and it inspired me to create my own. I think it’s helped keep me on track with losing 30 lbs so far. Thank you so much. I donated – not much, but it will hopefully help! Good luck!

  21. Nick says:

    sidebar ads alone will keep this site running. As a journalist, I understand the costs of blogging and trying to turn a profit, it is impossible without the readers. What are your stats, how many visitors per month do you get? if the number is high enough it allows you to dictate the terms. Do this and see where it takes you. Say I will allow advertising on this site under the following conditions. do that and see what happens, you may get a few advertisers that are willing to have near exclusive, non-obtrusive ads on a site that averages 10,000 visitors a month. I’m sure there will be at least a handful willing to advertise under your conditions. I’ve come across this site just three weeks ago, i have stayed here and been reading your past entries. i feel were similar, I’m 26 and started at 354, so i feel i could relate to your journey stopping this would be a shame.

  22. miriad says:

    I love the idea of donations vs. sponsorship. It can be hard to tell if a blogger talks about or supports a product because they really liked it or if it was because they were paid to say that they liked it.

    I know that I have made some pretty serious life changed based on my experience with this blog and I would prefer to give my money to Tyler directly to run the blog than spend money on an outside source that pays Tyler for pulling in my business. I want to support TYLER not someone else because it was Tyler who helped me figure out the changes that I need to make in my own life.

    Think about it- Tyler could get sponsers but the reason that they are willing to sponser his site is because they think that YOU will spend money on their products and services. If you DON’T, then they will stop their sponsorship. In the end, it all comes down to us, the readers, being asked to spend money on something to make this effort more financially feasible for Tyler.

    Again, I say that I would rather give my money directly to Tyler than to a third party who could pull sponsorship at any time.

  23. Sean says:

    I not so sure about your plan. I would go the advertisement route. Just pick sponsors that you believe in. Papaya Head was a cool sponsor and I still use their site for recipes. I could do a one time donation – but wouldn’t be willing to support on a regular basis. Not sure how the forum is doing – but I know for myself the site has lost some steam w/o the weekly weigh-ins.

  24. Have sent you something 🙂 …

    I never seem to get the time to comment here but I always read and have found a lot of worthwhile posts here that have helped me .. hope you are having a good week! xx

  25. Trinity says:

    Love you, love the site and forum and will definitely donate…on Friday. 🙂 And periodically if you want to instate some type of fee system, etc.

  26. Tammy Smith says:

    Our relationship has changed. It’s not you, it’s me. Well, no, actually, it’s you! You’ve changed and I expected that to happen with the journey you are on but your recent post was disheartening. First, let me give you our history. I read about you in a newspaper article at the beginning of this year. You were one of many signs that I needed to heed to motivate me to get on a healthy path in life. I wrote down your website address that was mentioned in the article. A couple of months later when my husband and I made a commitment to change our lifestyle and to start living the life we dreamed about living, we naturally peeked in on your journey and was inspired by your progress. We have never commented before now. I have thought about emailing you but never took the time to stop to do so. I never ever thought of our relationship as a take, take, take and go about our day, unfortunately. You gave inspiration and the readers gave you accountability. It was always a give and take in my eyes. Even without commenting, I knew you could see the hits to your website and you would know that your thoughts were being read. That alone is inspiration, to know you are making a difference. Let me ask you this question, Has anything anyone ever commented or has anyone sent an email that ever encouraged, inspired, or motivated you? If so, do you now feel the need to personally send them a few bucks to compensate them for their time and help pay for their internet service? I am not trying to be snarky and I don’t think you’re a bad guy for asking for money or that you’re planning to buy a flat screen television with the money but I do want you to step back and think about it further before you go down that path. If my memory serves me correctly, you posted once that hosting this site cost less than $10 a month and it was money well spent. Now I do know that recently you mentioned you added a forum, which you commented cost a couple of hundred of dollars. Why not charge a membership fee to the forum aspect of your website, instead of a blanket request for donations to your blog readers? This way they are paying for a service that is costing you money to run and you won’t have to sell out to advertisers and OUR relationship stays real.

  27. Dave says:

    If you want folks to contribute, then I suggest that you consider giving those that do donate some additional value beyond what you already offer in the way of inspiration and motivation.
    Have you thought of perhaps a podcast or videocast for those that send in money on a regular basis.
    A motivational pod or vieocast is something that could be watched or listened to time and time again and used to reinforce your message.

  28. Tyler says:

    The costs are much more than hosting and a forum. And, I’m flabbergasted that you can compare your contributions to this journey to mine. You are a “hit” in millions, never contributing a thing (not money, but no comment, post, encouraging e-mail, etc) and just come and take whenever you want, and you think your effort equates to the several thousand hours I’ve spent on this blog and forum and making it what it is?

    Unbelievable.

  29. Tyler says:

    I’m sorry that the site isn’t up to your standards anymore and is not worthy of your contributions.

  30. Brent says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and I have even watched your TV interviews. You come across pretty set in your ways. You mentioned you would like to keep this blog between you and the readers. I commend you on that, but, you threw a monkey wrench into the equation, you mentioned money. By asking for donations, negates the blogger to reader relationship. Now when I read your blog, I have in the back of my mind, will he be asking for another donation today? I say that to say this, have system in place that charges people, maybe on your forum, or have Ads for goodness sake. Asking for money may help short term, but what about next year and the year after?

  31. Tyler says:

    I do know what you mean though by the site losing some steam without the weekly weigh-ins.

  32. jeff levine says:

    Tyler – I believe that if you want to monetize your blog, the approach you took by stating “Requesting Donations” turned a lot of people off. It certainly did for me. Then your indignant responses to anyone who questioned what you were doing has essentially undone any goodwill that you had built over the life of this blog.
    I am going to be blunt with you and I hope you don’t merely steam off in anger – but all that you have done is lose a bunch of weight. It doesn’t make you an expert; in fact, your approach is fraught with medical risk. I, too, have lost about 150 pounds in a little over a year without any gimmicks AND under close supervision of my doctor. As long as you’ve had merely a personal blog you were on safe ground. When you start charging $$, you are then in a different realm and you should be much more careful.

    I certainly wish you well and I sincerely hope you are able to sustain your weight loss in a healthy and permanent manner. If you write a book, I’ll buy it. I have even clicked through to your advertisers but I won’t be making any personal $$ contributions to your website. I personally find the solicitation offensive.

  33. Tyler says:

    Appreciate your comment, Jeff. I wish you well.

  34. triple-e says:

    Tyler, I like coming here. I remember thinking when you mentioned your first sponsor, “He’s sold out”. I still like coming here, and haven’t noticed any difference since the sponsors, save for a few mentions of their products. I LOVE the public radio model, and already support another blog through an almost annual contribution. He only asks for donations when his public radio station asks for them too. I am surprised by the reaction of a few people, especially when you aren’t installing a pay wall, but just putting out a tip jar. Keep up the great work. Thanks for sharing!

  35. Tyler says:

    I know that sounds tough, but you have to understand that you’re coming onto my blog (and this is your FIRST comment!) only to complain about something I’ve done. It’s your FIRST comment, you haven’t even said anything before this.

  36. Going For 96 says:

    I understand where you’re coming from, but I’m surprised by your tone with the folks who don’t support the idea. The biggest problem with weight loss blogs is survival. After losing all that weight, where’s the incentive to keep going? At a year and a half, your blog is just a pup compared to some others.

    If there’s a financial obligation that seems like a lot, why aren’t you on a free website w/ WordPress or Blogspot in the name and using one of the dozens of free online forums? You can blog and have a forum for absolutely free. You’re choosing to have the bells and whistles. People will come, no matter where your blog resides.

  37. sarah says:

    How about charging people to advertise their own blogs… most readers probably have a blog and given how popular your blog is you could probably send some new readers their way just by having a little ad on your site – you could charge a weekly/monthly fee for this…just an idea 🙂

  38. Tyler says:

    That’s wrong. I don’t have a tone with folks who don’t support the idea, I have a tone with people who have never commented before deciding to contribute for the first time to bash an idea. With the exception of 2 people, the majority of the complaints are from those who have never given anything before, not a comment, not an e-mail, nothing, and they show up thinking they know what’s best.

    It’s pretty ridiculous.

  39. Matt says:

    You could also use this as a perfect example of why a donation model won’t be sustainable, though. Many readers will come once, maybe twice and never return. They certainly won’t donate. But there’s money to be made via advertisers who pay by the hit. And if they happen to click-thru an ad for a health club, papaya head, etc, they generate revenue for you.

    Even better, they may have a great experience from something like Papaya Head, remember you referred them, and become a regular reader.

    You mention that the complainers are the ones who never post, email, etc. That they are just a faceless “hit”. I’d flip that around and say that by running this idea past 4 long-time readers you got a biased answer. Of course they are going to support you without lending a critical eye.

    The 4 you specifically mentioned, for example, account for .92% of your forum membership, yet have posted 25% of the messages there.

    Think about that. You have them “sold” on anything you want to do. They love it here, spend a lot of time here, so obviously they are willing to pay to do it. As you saw with your post about donations, though, you have a lot if regular visitors who come here without posting who do feel alienated.

  40. beej says:

    Gotta love the people who come out of nowhere to criticize, huh? More power to you on this one, Tyler.

    Question, if I agree to donate $1 for every pound I’ve lost so far because of you (almost 150), will you send me $1 for every pound I gain back? Haha!

    Actually, it should be $1 for every pound I lose and $2 for every pound I gain, huh? Maybe that would keep me on track. 😉

    I love this idea, BTW!

  41. beej says:

    I think that’s just because it’s exciting to see the losses, but when that ends, it’s more about life, you know?

    I still love to hear what you have to say, and am really excited to see where things go from here!

  42. beej says:

    That is a good idea! (Sorry for all the comments, just responding as I go through the list…)

  43. beej says:

    Wow, Sarah, I think this is a fun idea!

  44. Susan says:

    Oh my goodness. If people don’t want to give – don’t! You can still read and enjoy the website completely free. BUT, if everyone gave just one dollar, it would be cheaper than anything else you do today and support a good cause. Tyler didn’t say he is converting the site to a paid membership or anything, yet some people’s comments act as if “donations” is somehow a dirty word. It’s really not a big deal at all. He is just putting it out there, and many blogs accept donations.

    Don’t have it? Don’t give. But please, don’t complain either.

  45. sara says:

    Was sorry to read all the negative comments. Except for the few, you should know that there are tons of other readers who like your blog and will continue reading it. I was especially sad to read one comment where the person said, “but all that you have done is lose a bunch of weight.” That is BS and I hope you know it Sean. You have changed your life and have inspired many others to start on a similar journey. All the best to you.

    Sara

  46. Molly says:

    I got your back tyler, I donated today. You have been one of the biggest inspirations in my life. You made me believe it was possible. I’m so glad I have come to known you on a more personal level and I am really proud to be apart of your page and the Forum. Thanks for being an awesome role model.

  47. Kylie says:

    I have visited this blog a few times since January when I started my weight loss journey. I revisited it this morning as I weighed in and realized that I have gotten a little off track. I will be making a donation, because it is the right thing to do. Furthermore… to all of those who have taken time to write elaborate dissertations explaining WHY they won’t give… Just don’t give. It is a personal decision, much like giving an offering in church. The plate is passed and you either do or you don’t. No one is going to ask you to leave if you make a personal decision not to contribute. However, I would hope that as you sit in a lit building, flush a toilet and enjoy the temperature controlled environment (while you intake inspirational singers and speakers) that you realize that it takes finances to sustain any organization.

  48. Vanessa says:

    Yes…but what if “newby’s” need a service? It would be cool to know what outside “stuff” helped you on your journey. Someone new…may not have a clue! (yeah…I’m the rhyme-meister!)

  49. Vanessa says:

    Are you in marketing? Your thoughts are brilliant!

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