By Chuck Woodbury
We don’t rely on paid advertising to fund our website and daily newsletters. It helps, but it’s not our main source of income. The Google ads that you see on our site are far more important, as are the commissions from products we promote on Amazon.com.
Fully a third of our support now comes from our voluntary subscribers, who we call our members. Without their pledges, I would be very worried right now about paying all our bills.
We signed up another advertiser to begin on March 1. It was a modest campaign, and not a huge boost to our income. But all our income, no matter where it comes from, goes into a pot, and we use that to pay our salaries, our freelance writers and all our operating expenses (our server rent and technical support alone costs about $2,000 a month). Most months, we come out with a modest profit.
But like most businesses we are concerned now about the economy. Will the coronavirus (COVID-19), either through the people it infects, or through fear of it, send the economy into a serious decline?
Our new advertiser was excited about exposing his product to our readers. It’s manufactured in China. Friday morning, he received an email from the manufacturer there saying the company had cut back on production because of the virus. He said he could no longer supply our new advertiser in a timely basis. It was not, then, a good time for him to begin advertising. And so he cancelled, which makes perfect sense. We would not expect otherwise.
Already, RV manufacturers are talking about difficulty getting parts for RVs they are building or replacement parts for RVs in use. That, many people expect, will get worse. As is, the average time to repair an RV when brought into a service center (most often an RV dealer) is 21 days. Without available spare parts that repair time frame will almost certainly stretch a lot longer.
We will keep you informed of what’s happening and how it relates to you and your RV. In the meantime, if you read this newsletter on a regular basis and have not yet voluntarily subscribed, we would certainly appreciate your support at any level. Learn more here.