I've been running this website since 1996 and it has been a lot of fun. I love the challenge of finding new places to swim and sharing that information with you. I like learning how to do searches in new languages and interpreting machine-garbled translations. I enjoy corresponding with swimmers who are helpful in sending updated information and new listings, and those who write just to say “Thank you”.
Nobody’s ever going to describe the SwimmersGuide.com site as a “unicorn”; we’ll never see millions of page-views per day (or per month, for that matter); I don’t automatically think “SoftBank” whenever the telephone rings. We serve a niche market and we understand that. A few years ago, the site was generating a positive cash flow; income generated by those annoying ads was enough to cover the site’s ongoing expenses and a deal with an app developer raised some bucks to pay for programming upgrades.
Unfortunately for us, the pay-per-click advertising model has matured – advertisers aren’t paying as much as they used to and users aren’t clicking on the ads as often as they used to, either. The app developer’s money has been more than spent on software upgrades – don’t you just love the map-based search? And last year, out of the blue, Google started charging me more for using its map service. And the map charges were more than it was paying for the ads!
So, to be brief, I need a new source of income to cover my costs and, with some luck, generate a little more to cover the value of my time. So here’s what I’m asking:
If you’re a regular traveler and regular user of Swimmers Guide, click the button near the bottom of the page and select “Make this a monthly donation” to make a regular, recurring donation to support the site. The contribution doesn’t have to be a big one, a couple of bucks, $5, or $10, automatically paid through PayPal, once a month. You figure out what the site’s worth to you and that’s what you pay.
You travel less often, but find you use the site whenever you do go on a trip? We understand that a “subscription” may not be the best idea for you, so make a one-time donation by clicking on the link and leaving the monthly donation selection unchecked.
We have never asked any of the facilities listed on Swimmers Guide to pay for their listings, but if you’re the owner or operator of a listed facility, please consider either of the above ways to express your gratitude for all the free promotion.
By way of full disclosure: Swimmers Guide is not a charitable entity and amounts paid pursuant to this request are not deductible as charitable contributions.
Here's the button to click on:
Whatever you decide to give – Thank you!
Bill Haverland/Swimmers Guide