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How you can Support Blendernation

107

If you enjoy BlenderNation and you think it’s a valuable resource to the Blender community, then please take a moment to read how you can support me financially and ensure I can keep publishing Blender news.

Current options are:

You'll find extensive information on the Supporting BlenderNation page - a link to this information is always available at the bottom of each page BlenderNation.

Your support would make me happy and proud!

Thanks :)

(Image: Growing Money by Aaron Patterson, under a CC BY 2.0 License)

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

107 Comments

  1. Does it generate extra money for you if I actively click on those advertismements ? If yes I know what I can do as daily/hourly routine :)

    And yes, you are one of the very few sites where I have ads enabled too.

  2. So if I replace my browser's Amazon boomark / favourite with the one you provide, you'll get cash every time I use the shortcut? Or is it only when I click on the link in the BlenderNation page?

  3. Giorgio Martini on

    Totally agree with you, but maybe it would be a good thing for you to change your bussines model with BN, you could have a shop, where u sell stuff related to 3d/blender or one thing isee it work fantastically is making a weekly podcast with interviews or so and being sponsored by partners.. for example, the podcast thisweekinstartups makes around 3000 dollars a week for every sponsor they have... joe rogan also doesthesame thing.. of course their podcast are seen by looots of people but BN has also looots of users...

    And there must be other ways to profit from your big audience.

    All the best , and thanks so much for BN!

    • The podcast thing is a good idea, I can't get enough of blender related podcasts.. Andrew price only has his once a week, Thomas and campbell only have one every couple of months so there is a void there which could be marketable.. More interviews with blender developers, hobby artists, and studio artists/managers would be really great to hear.

      • Giorgio Martini on

        I totally forgot the important part, a podcast with video, that engages the user 200% more! and only like that can u be sponsored...

        • Hey guys,

          the idea of a podcast is great, but it's super intensive to produce - especially if you add video. In that time I can easily write content for BlenderNation for a week! So at this time, it's simply not an option for me. I firmly believe in the formula I have and of course I'm thinking of other ways to make some money with it. But I don't think that such a radical switch is a healthy move :)

          • Giorgio Martini on

            you dont have to start with a holliwood quality nor you have to edit it... check joe rogan experioence podcsats , although they have been doing podcasting for many yearsnow and slowly adding better cameras and stuff... you just need one camera and a bit more ( setup to switch to your computer screen to pull stuff up and add the sponsors at the beggining)

            There is so much demand for podcasts i think.. and getting sponsored that way seems to cash in very well.. would be nice... why dont you give it a tryjust once with a minimal viable product aka the most cheap and basic setup and see the feedback? shapeways,cgcoockie,cgsociety,blender guru and others might be interested in beingsponsors... ( you add a small commercial at the beggining or the middle of the podcast )... anyway good luck!

          • Giorgio Martini on

            but dont add the comertials with youtube they are inside the video, and you make the deal direclty with your sponsors..

    • You do realise those examples are backed by multimillion dollar enterprises, right? It's highly likely that if Bart & BN were similarly backed (instead of a shoestring so short he cannot trip over an untied shoe no matter how hard he tries) there wouldn't be a need to ask for help ;)

      • Giorgio Martini on

        whick examples ? jor rogan ? nope... this week in startups..could be as jason calacanis is rich but that doenst take away the podcasting/sponsoring formula... all you need is hunderds of thousands of followers (which BN has.. )and good content..

        • Both Rogan and Calacanis are worth in the region of $20+ Million Dollars US (source depending). It takes a lot more than just having numbers and "good content".

          • Giorgio Martini on

            ok.. but just because of that it doesnt mean BN can start a succesfull podcast without milions of dollars .. anyway if you think that way.. cool.. peace...

  4. I always make sure BlenderNation is whitelisted on every machine I use, no doubt.

    You should try throwing in as many reviews as possible for good Blender books and such from Amazon, and leaving in your affiliate link in those articles. You have a lot of trust built up so I certainly would buy from those links.

    I recall seeing book announcements and such here, but maybe more personalized reviews.

    Also try a page of popular Blender books on Amazon. I know on some blogs that can look greedy, but we know the deal here and I think your level of honesty will lead people to want to help.

    • Yep, that surely helps. Still, it feels a bit like I'd be plugging books just for the revenue. I feel a bit better being honest and just pointing out the affiliate links. What do you think?

      • That's why I'd suggest building a library of reviews. Maybe a page with the books, then a link to the original review for each one. So it's not like you are just dropping links with no content. Adding a little blurb at the top of the page with wording similar to your other messages about how this helps the site to continue will be all you need.

        Then that page is always there for people looking for ways to help, plus they could always click back to the original post for the review and see your review AND the comments of the users. There's a lot of value there, at least in my opinion.

        You've been honest and this site helps people, so I think everyone here would understand you're not going to take the money and retire to an island somewhere..well, hopefully you could someday - hard work SHOULD pay off after all :)

      • I think a page of affiliate book links is a good idea.
        I am always happy to see any training or books you promote on the site. I trust anything that is up on blender nation is going to be quality, as such, a page of affiliate titles chosen by you would be a useful service for the readers.

  5. I clicked on the donation button and ended up at the dutch paypal site. You might want to change it so by default one ends up at an english speaking paypal site.

    Keep up this site!

  6. Whitelisted BN since I come here several times a day and also checking out the ads... no way in hell would I do this for anyone else :)

    • It's *especially* nice if the ads are about Autodesk - that means THEY are paying for BlenderNation %^) But yeah I'm working hard on weeding out irrelevant things. Autodesk is still largely relevant I think. Fruit blenders, morgages and used car parts, not so much ;-)

  7. i enable ads and sadly i have no money to donate/buy from amazon, but i have a question: how much does it need for a domain name and the bandwidth? and how much bandwidth you have each month? i'm preparing for a website and i want to have an idea

  8. First and Foremost, I'd like to thank Bart for hosting this website so awesomely (if thats a word lol). I am only 12, so donating to sources is almost impossible. Another thing to: because I am 12, the ads on the website seem innapropriate, so I keep adblock on. But still, thank you for posting all these helpful tutorials, fun artwork, and great news! Cheers!
    Caleb Huizenga

  9. SchwanzusLongus on

    Hey Bart,
    sometimes some things needs time, you know?!
    So today about 30 seconds ago your website is the first one I allowed in Ghostery AND Adblock+.
    Your're welcome! :)

  10. I've noticed a few webcomics have recently started using Patreon (http://www.patreon.com/), would that be worth looking at or setting up a recurring donation on Paypal?

    I've been reading BN for ages now and its one of the very few sites I've got whitelisted for ads but to be honest I'd far rather set up a regular donation then put up with ads. I'd prefer to automate the donation partly because I've got a memory like a sieve but also so that I can time it to come out on my pay-day (always easier to be generous when you're flush!).

      • Personally, I'd say a recurring Paypal would be better.

        Patreon seems to be more designed as a two-way incentive; so say with a webcomic the incentive to the donors is that as each monthly goal is reached more content can be created while the incentive to the webcomic is that the better they do, the more people might be willing to sponsor them. There's a sort of social contract thing going on.

        For BN, especially as a news site, I don't think that dynamic is there so what you really need is a way for forgetful sods like me not to have to remember every month and if you can do that without me having to open yet another account on yet another service (not that I'd really mind), that'd be a bonus :)

        • The advantage with Patreon is that its already designed for exactly this kind of thing, so it should be easy to get everything setup and should (hopefully!) give you easy reporting on how you're doing.

          Edit: Sorry; meant to include this in my first response above.

        • William Armstrong on

          Patreon is designed specifically for set it and forget it payments. It allows you to set a monthly amount or an amount per item created, such as a podcast, video or comic. It allows for those giving to donate set amounts, or custom amounts, and allows for crowdfunding, think kickstarter, goals for such things as you choose to do.

          Some of the common rewards are a dedicated spot that is visible for all to see the patronage level or higher, a behind the scenes q&a from those that have contributed a certain level or higher, or anything your imagination can think of.

          The goal they give in the docs is for you to give your vision of what your project could be, and figure what it would take to reach that level.

          • How is this 'set it and forget it' different from a PayPal recurring payment then? I don't think the donation per item created is very relevant here, do you?

          • William Armstrong on

            The donation per item wouldn't be relevant for you, at least not now.

            The set it and forget it is set up differently from PayPal. PayPal is essentially a bank style interface, focusing on transactions that have already occurred. Your supporters signup, then it is up to them to remember that they have that monthly obligation. Its up to them to figure what their total spending will be the next month, afaik PayPal does not have an overview page for that.

            With Patreon, your supporters have just such a view, and will be able to finely tune how they support those they patronize. If they patronize three different projects, all of it is accounted for, it is all donated as one statement, and they can set limits on how much they can spend, then prioritize so their favorites will get first dibs.

            From your perspective, you will have an overview page that figures all of that out for all of those that patronize you through Patreon, and shows you exactly the amount pledged, and the amount you should expect to receive.

            There is a lot more to Patreon, and I encourage you to view some of those already using it. Some of the ones that are very successful have 10,000 a month income from Patreon alone. Someone unknown like I am will have to work to get to that level, but you actually have an audience, one that does value what you are currently doing, and trust you not to just take the money and run.

            Also, you would simply receive the money in a lump sum once a month at your paypal address. They don't charge you to sign up, they take out the card transaction fees plus 5%, and you keep the rest.

            Hope that answers some of your questions.

      • As far as PayPal - I don't have a paypal account because I don't like how they do business. I do have a Patreon account though. because I can support many artists for one simple single donation. This model allows me to make micro-payments of $1/month to various people, and they end up with $0.92 of that, whereas for paypal, if I tried to give you $1/month, you'd get $0.70.

        And I would totally add $1/month if you set up a patreon. I know it doesn't sound like much, but if 10,000 blenderheads gave you that each month...

        I don't think it hurts to have more than one payment method...

  11. William Armstrong on

    Have you thought of using patreon.com? It was created by the male portion of the pomplamoose moose team for people that make things, such as videos, music, and comics to be sponsored by their fans. It wouldn't hurt to look into it, at least.

  12. Hey Bart, I've thought about two additional alternative ways we might could try:

    • BlenderNation TurboSquid account

    You could open a TurboSquid account as "BlenderNation" (which is free), link your PayPal account to it, and allowing fellow Blender artists to gratuitously contribute high-quality models to you to sell on that account.

    I'm sure I'm not the only artist who is willing to contribute a model or two towards such means, just out of gratitude for your work with BlenderNation. You freely showcase our submitted works here on BlenderNation, so maybe now we could showcase a market for BlenderNation on TurboSquid.

    The content should be ready for prompt submission, along with proper descriptions, so that it's a straightforward process for you submitting content to TurboSquid. To ensure that only quality-grade content makes the cut, our artists would ensure their models meet their CheckMate™ standards. http://www.turbosquid.com/CheckMate

    This could do two things: It'll help you as proprietor of BlenderNation maintain the site, and it'll showcase professional industry-ready work done in Blender. This would be a nice way to prove prowess among our community.

    • BlenderNation Unity Asset Store account

    This would be similar to the efforts with TurboSquid, though, a few things could be done differently.

    The bar of content quality isn't nearly as strict a standard as TurboSquid's CheckMate™ standards, but we would want to keep a high quality about the content.

    The content should be ready for prompt submission, along with proper descriptions, so that all you'd simply have to do is submit the content to the Unity Asset Store.

    It's up to the artist what they create, but they'll want to check the BlenderNation Unity Asset Store page to better ensure they're not just duplicating the same assets (such as tons of generic rock sets).

    Game assets are a bit easier to create than animation-ready assets, though the quality of content should be high and professional.

    What do you think, Bart? And does this seem like a viable idea, BlenderNation?

    • Addendum

      Content creation for marketplaces don't have to be heavy investments of time for artists--a decent asset can be created in one's spare time or during the weekends, if they wish. Sometimes we also have finished assets from past projects lying around, which one could freely contribute.

      We could use a forum topic on BlenderArtists, so that content creators can share and discuss with other creators. BlenderNation could have a dedicated section for showcasing new assets available (to show game developers visiting BlenderNation who might be interested).

      We wouldn't want to overcrowd these accounts with tons of submissions, so maybe we could keep a reasonable limit and a reasonable standard of quality.

      We could also have monthly deadlines for each month's set of contributions, so that we can submit ready content at once. The only work you (Bart) would have to do is simply upload content to the accounts once a month.

      BlenderNation would keep all the revenue. Perhaps it wouldn't garner super-high success, but I think it could generate moderate success, all as support your time/effort in maintaining BlenderNation.

  13. I will be happy to support. thanks Bart. Blendernation is the best place to go to keep up with blender development.

  14. Scott Rinehart on

    Hey Bart,

    Have you ever thought about hosting a 50/50 contest? The first time formatting might be difficult but it would serve as the backbone for other contests.

    Format ideas:

    1. Have a 50/50 contest. Entry fees pay out half to the website and half to the winner. The winner gets 50% of the prize pool and the website gets the other 50%. Or you can do it 25%/75% but the winner gets to help on something with the next open movie project or even a chance to work on the entire project. If they defer it goes to the runner up 1. If they defer it keeps getting passed down the line. Could be something like "Are you the next Blender star?"

    Special mentions and DVD content from blender.org can go to the runners-up 1 and 2 since there is no real loss of profits (you aren't expending much extra money by letting 2 people have free DVD content or web tutorials.)

    There could be a special, separate section for doubles or whole studios wanting to participate. These studios could compete for a week's free advertising space and not money or whatever is affordable. A day maybe.

    2. Users tag their favorites much like Reddit tags users so that they can come back to them. Maybe even develop a "compare" feature so a user can compare their favorites and toss the ones they don't like.

    3. Voting does not start until a specific date. All entries are in before voting. Entry positions are selected at random. Not sure if there should be preliminary design postings or not.

    4. Either each entry costs X amount of Dollars/BTC/whatever currency you accept or 1 entry fee costs so much money but the user can put in as many entries as they like. I personally like the 1st option better. It will force the community to really prepare 1 or 2 really great pieces instead of spamming mediocre entries that get more votes due to recognition than talent. Entry fees are paid at the beginning of the competition and not the end. If the participant does not enter a final render in the correct format on the last day, the fee is taken no matter what; at this point it counts as a donation.

    5. The winner has to post a decent tutorial that follows certain guidelines: Certain tutorial length, model flow, texture flow, body positioning (if there is any), facial expressions, render nodes (a short explanation of maybe the most complex node), composite nodes (same as render nodes). I mean, if you raise $1000 and the winner already has old file progressions, they basically make a tutorial for $500. Obviously, I would hope it would be more than that ;).

    6. Make it a 3 month project every year that everyone gets psyched about. Studios get bragging rights/advertising space and some blender head's pocket money increases.

    7. Voting can only be done by registration and captcha. I realize how difficult it is to keep internet voting fraud to happen but I know that CG Society has one or two of these big contests every year. I'm sure someone would be willing to put in some time making the voting system secure.

    It's just a thought. It's a lot of work to do once but subsequent years should be a breeze. Winning money really entices people to enter and then you don't have to beg for donations. If the contest gets big enough, hardware companies will sometimes donate the prizes so that you don't have to do a 50/50. Also, people designing add-ons that want more exposure can donate their product to a certain percent of all entries or even just anyone that donates during that time.

    It could also help usher people who use programs other than Blender into the community because there is something there enticing them to learn. I know it doesn't have the "open source" vibe to it but things like this do work for the better.

  15. I do all I can too help support you, Shop threw Amazon/Allow Ads. I owe it to you! You've helped my channel out tremendously!

  16. Timo Schwarzer on

    BlenderNation is worth allowing ads. It's a great site, and Bart placed the ads at the best position available! Thanks for your work, Bart!

  17. Divine Providence on

    Do you have a blender guru affiliate link? Does that exist? I'm looking at some products there, and it would be cool if I could support Blender Nation from there too :)

  18. David Eduardo on

    "Allowing advertisements on BlenderNation"... you can bet on that !!!! quality content deserve good payment :-)
    Thanks for BN!

  19. hi. even though i added an adblock exception for blendernation, i still dont get any ads. probably because noscript blocks google-analythics.com and googlesyndication.com and there doesnt seem to be a way to allow them only for this site. so sorry about that, but i'll try to use your referral links.

  20. Thank you Bart for this great website!
    Everytime I set up my omputer from scratch snd visiting BlenderNation which tells me I've enabled an ad blocker, it's clear what I forgot to do... ;-)

  21. BN is always white-listed. I sent you $50 too. Thanks for the great content and hope for great things in the future!

  22. Robert Simic on

    Hi, one of your referral links in the text under "new" sends me to a "CG poker online market" page.

    Should this be ok?

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