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Why we are (not) taking site ads

Jon Ralston
Jon Ralston
Ralston Reports

UPDATE, 4/12/20: 

Two weeks later, I am declaring this a failed experiment, and we have removed the ads from the site. Why? Frankly, they looked awful, and the only way to make a significant amount of money was to have multiple ads appear in every story. It was not worth it — literally and figuratively.

I was willing to think outside my comfort level during these difficult times. And I will continue to do so. But this particular endeavor did not pan out.

We still need donations to keep going in the long run, and we will continue to sell ads in our daily newsletter. (Please email Stasy Shipman ([email protected]) if you are interested.)

And we would especially appreciate direct, preferably recurring donations to The Indy, which you can set up here.

Thanks for the support.


As many of you know, The Indy has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis — as have many businesses.

I have had to cut our budget in half and slash staff salaries. It has been painful, but we will persevere.

We are doing everything we can to keep this ship afloat, and the outpouring of community support has been overwhelming. You like us; you really like us!

But we are nowhere near out of the woods, and we need to try whatever we can to make sure this remarkable staff continues to get paid. I never want to do layoffs.

To that end, and in the spirit of transparency that has governed us from Day One, I wanted to let you know that starting today, we will begin taking Google ads on the site. It’s not game-changing money, but cobbling together revenue from a variety of sources is how we will survive this crisis and become sustainable.

I never wanted to take ads. I love how clean the site is, and I know many of you do, too. (We take ads for our newsletters and our podcast is available for sponsorship.) But I think it’s worth seeing what revenue this may bring without too much aesthetic damage.

I don’t plan on this being a permanent change. We are going to do it on a trial basis, and we will constantly re-evaluate.

As always, I am interested in reader feedback. Please let me know what you think.

And if you have not already, please consider making a recurring monthly donation to make this ad trial as short as possible. Thanks for reading The Indy.

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