Why are recipes behind a payment wall?
I wrestled with this decision for quite some time before starting this project. As you can imagine, running a website costs money – host costs, web developer costs, maintenance, etc. Additionally, there are significant costs associated with simply putting content on to the site. So in order to offset these costs and earn a small profit, I had to think about ways to generate income. Most people default to advertising, which means the entire business plan is geared toward generating website traffic. This path didn’t sit well with my philosophy of helping people because I felt the business would be built on a foundation of having customers solve our problems…instead of the other way around. Advertising also has a way of compromising my overall integrity and the trust I have with my customers – something I work hard to develop – imagine this site filled with advertisements that contradict my core values and philosophy…ouch, that thought even hurts while I’m typing it. Then there’s the whole clickbait game – you know, me constantly putting up whatever I can on social media just to drive traffic to my site. It’s a game of numbers and one that is mostly won when the developer starts to sell your private information to 3rd party marketers. I don’t want to play that game.
I also considered a sort of ‘Kickstarter’ approach that would ask people to invest directly in what I am trying to achieve. After a lot of deliberation with others and some personal reflection, I felt my message and direction would become diluted by trying to appeal to a number of investors – people that were only interested in getting a return on their investment rather than encouraging me to solve customer issues and problems.
Free? Well…nothing credible in this world is really free and I don’t have enough money to keep the site running without generating some kind of revenue. I do recognize there are a lot of sites out there in the internet world offering free vegan recipes. There may even be a few that are credible and trustworthy…but, as a professional, I know many of the recipes flooding the internet are untested, rely on techniques that won’t work and in some cases, actually stolen from published cookbooks. That’s not who I am or want to be.
I finally decided to put our recipes and techniques behind a paywall because they represent the highest cost. Let me explain… When I develop a recipe, I invest anywhere from 4-6 hours of research, make the recipe at least a half dozen times – sometimes more, write the recipe, photograph it and publish it. I calculate roughly 40 hours per recipe just to publish it…and that doesn’t include the money I invest in the ingredients. This may sound like a lot to you, but for me it is really important because I want to make sure I am putting out information you can trust and use.
I recognize some people will not be interested in paying for a recipe when they feel comfortable getting something off the internet for free. That’s fine – I wish you the best and hope you have a tasty and successful journey. I believe there are those, however, who are looking for trusted sources when it comes to cooking…I hope you have found your source in supporting this site!
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