Give Me Money, Give It Now: A Considered Treatise on Supporting Mixed Martial Artish

You have money, I have Gordon Ryan poop jokes. Let’s come to an accord.

No comments

Hey, folks, so I’m pushing the Patreon now. While it’s existed for a couple years, being rather uncomfortable with accepting my work has value and having an obsession with having perfect examples of what I’d love to do here have continually pushed back my efforts to put real focus on it. Now, on the other side of a two week (and two post) vacation I feel rejuvenated. When using that time off to do some admin to organize the various and sundry evergreen jokes and article ideas in the drafts I found so many that cracked me up and sparked real excitement to get back to making them and I can’t wait to write and publish them.

When I started Mixed Martial Artish it was the realization of over a decade of hemming-and-hawing over it before some lovely new online lefty martial artist friends gave me the push I needed. The idea was one article per day, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I assumed I’d last a month or two before it died out from lack of reader interest. A poor-performing post today gets more likes than I thought the whole blog would get before I ended it. Against all assumptions and self-pessimism I have found a wonderful community of people who also feel underrepresented in these silly sports we love and who enjoy what I do and that makes it so enjoyable to do it.

That said, when you start posting three articles a week to an audience of dozens and transform that into ten articles per week with multiple formats and an audience of thousands while handling all the ideating, research, writing, editing, graphics, social media formatting, social media moderating, etc. for every single thing you post, suffice it to say it’s also more of a time and energy commitment than I ever thought it capable of reaching. While I still very much love doing this I also live under, you know, capitalism, and so I just can’t afford to spend 15-20 hours a week while bringing in single-digits more dollars per month than the hosting costs for the web version nobody reads, and so I had to accept the options were to push the Patreon or cut back, and I really don’t want to cut back.

If you’re worried this means MMAish might be going away, you don’t have to. I like this and I love the people I’ve met through it too much to just stop anytime soon. More directly, I have no plans to cut back in the next couple months even if the Patreon draws little interest. What it might mean, however, is if I don’t succeed in growing the backing then I may have to cut back on the frequency of posts and forego some of my more ambitious aspirations for it in the future. Alternatively, I may make enough to keep the train trudging along on its own. Or it can grow more. I have so much I’d love to do, some of it serious some of it comedic but all in the same spirit I launched with MMAish of creating a place for the underserved in these sports to feel seen and to find the wonderful community that often gets pushed to the margins by the chud-ass powers that be. All of it in service of my larger goal of using what “power” I have to make the thing I love better for those who deserve it to be as great to them as it is to others.

So, in the coming weeks I’m going to be mentioning it more with the intention of building to a formal launch of the Patreon with plans for what content will be available at different backer levels, and what that means for the broader public posting, in September. Prior to this I will also be posting a survey to see what you all want to see. If you feel comfortable and financially capable of supporting MMAish and this new endeavor right now I’m infinitely grateful and even some movement this week would fill my sails immensely. If you want to wait to see how the Patreon structure shakes out in the weeks ahead, no worries. If you can’t or simply don’t want to back financially and just want to enjoy what’s free, that’s fine too! I don’t want you giving me money you would ever possibly need for something that actually matters, but if you have a few bucks a month of spending cash you can afford then know that it will be thoroughly appreciated and that I will do everything I can to earn it.

Why should I support Mixed Martial Artish?

If you’re a fan of what I’ve done here and can afford it (options start at just a $1 a month if you want to help but money is tight) then you may be wondering what reasons I have for you to give me your money instead of blowing it on sex, drugs and board games. Some of the reasons to consider support include:

You like MMAish: Mixed Martial Artish is pretty neat and I’ve done some neat stuff with it. Some patrons choose to back just to support a thing they like and they think the creator deserves it. As a serial Patreon-backer for creators I love I can confirm you are allowed to back a Patreon just because you love the work they do and want to thank them for it and it feels great, even if you never actually visit the Patreon itself after signing up!

This takes a lot of work: If you’ve noticed vacations being more common around here of late (in that I’ve taken two in the last year and only broke to write during them a few times) it’s because they are. The reality is that while this is something I love doing, it’s also a lot of hard work. There are some days my brain doesn’t want to funny, but I’ve committed to keeping broadly on a schedule anyhow and worked through it. Backing the Patreon is a nice way to say “hey, I see how much effort you put in here and since, being residents of a capitalist hellscape like we are, some portion of effort must be monetized, I want to help you monetize yours!”

You want it to continue: Increased posting frequency and more engagement with each multiplies how much work this blog takes spectacularly and it has reached a point that I can’t continue cutting back on as much paying freelance work as it requires indefinitely without something in place to counteract the lost money. While I am capable of opening myself up to more freelance work from clients, that would come at the expense of time I currently spend here, so reaching a point I can at least avoid the need for that keeps MMAish moving along as you know it.

You want more, better content: While I will continue making silly posts here, in some form, no matter how this goes, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about opportunities to do even more in service of that same community-growing goal. Patreon support would allow me to take more risks on larger projects that will take a lot of work but be worth it in the end. If you’re interested in seeing things like videos; podcasts; a “textbook” about the sport in the MMAish voice; journalism and research on Creonte and other neat stuff, backing the Patreon is the way to see that come to fruition.

You want special content: While I still broadly believe in putting as much of my work here outside of a paywall as possible, that doesn’t mean there won’t be benefits for backers. Smaller items like a weekly round-up or newsletter will be available as Patron only-bonuses, as will some special perks like Discord benefits. Larger projects like video essays will also have early release for backers. Don’t you want to feel arbitrarily superior to others on these posts?

To let more talented people join: My first instinct on this bullet was to lean into self-deprecation, but fuck that. I’m good at this. It’s probably the thing I’ve best-applied my talents to in my whole life. And the friends I’ve had reach out to ask about writing or to offer ideas for it? They’re better than me, and I want to be able to publish them, but as a freelance writer for almost two decades I am strongly averse to accepting their work for free and I can’t exactly afford to pay them for a site still casting yearning glances at its recent ex, The Red. Give me money so I can give them money so they can give you better articles than I can give you.

How can I help support Mixed Martial Artish

Maybe you find yourself wanting to help grow this project but don’t know how. The good news is you’re reading a post that will tell you that right now, and nearly all of them don’t cost a penny!

Interact with posts: The simplest way to help out for free is to simply do the little things that will make Instagram show posts to more people. Click like, obviously, because you liked it. You did, trust me. Also, save it, because that helps somehow, too, I think. As my commitment to “Real sports as MMA” posts shows, I don’t really let the algorithm control content here, so boosts to articles that don’t fit the Instagram-mold of “worthwhile content” can at least help counteract that a bit.

Share the word: If you think an article is worth it, give it a share. Shy of financial support this is (I think) the best way to help MMAish flourish and grow. While most people won’t click through on any shared story post, some will, and that helps spread the word! If you alert someone who goes on to back the Patreon it’s kind of like you’re also backing if you think about it. Another great option is Reddit! Early articles occasionally did comparatively-great numbers when I shared them on r/BJJ, but new rules there mean, like r/MMA, a self-post is always susceptible to getting whacked so I don’t waste their unpaid moderators’ time anymore. If you liked an article and use Reddit, consider seeing if anyone has sent it to relative subreddits and upvoting if so and sharing it there yourself if not.

Join the Community: The biggest thing I was searching for on here was others like me and the lovely folks who inspired me to start it. To that end, I want to build spaces for us to all hang out for everything from martial arts discussion to simply shooting the shit or playing games online with other friendly people who love the things we love. Consider popping into the Discord or joining the Mixed Martial Artish subreddit through the links in our bio.

Support the Patreon: Both the one I’m least excited about and low-key the most important, direct financial support. Turning this into something that can meaningfully pass for a part-time job would be the access code to keep building off what has been established in the prior three years and I cannot overstate how appreciative I am to anyone who can and does support. Alternative options for one-off contributions can and have been arranged, too, so feel free to reach out for accommodations if needed.

Sponsorship & Ads?: When first planning out the ideas for MMAish/Creonte “no ads” was a big part of planning. While I still broadly am a bit ick about it, I have in the interim seen some responsible sponsorship/advertising applications from creators I like and respect immensely that I didn’t feel compromised their art in any way. While I am not intending to put much effort into seeking out any deals, and that includes not having thought too much about what a specific arrangement is or would entail, I am conceptually open to the idea of working with partners I actually believe in and figuring out together if there’s something that makes sense for me, you and the readers.

What would support for Mixed Martial Artish mean?

So, you’re considering whether to spend your hard-earned income each month on a guy making jokes about Gordon Ryan’s very bad poops and you find yourself wondering what’s in it for you. Turns out a lot!

More Mixed Martial Artish: On a very basic level, more money means more content and better content. The ability to focus on the site would allow me to tell more jokes in more ways to provide you with more entertainment. As the Patreon grows, so too will grow what is provided in return.

Videos: The first area I want to expand is into videos. I am an obsessive YouTube watcher while I work and the video format and video essays are so appealing to me. I would love to be able to create the kind of highly-researched and well-written content I’m capable of for a medium that can reach so many people. If you want to hear about big moments in MMA history, stupid tales from the early days of the sport and deep dives on inscrutable topics, stay tuned and help how you can.

Women’s BJJ/WMMA: While disparities between men’s and women’s sports are pretty common due to how societal structures impact the latter in unique and shitty ways, combat sports feels particularly stark. On the one hand, they appear on the same cards as the men, even (very) occasionally in main events. On the other hand, everything else. As a trained journalist with almost two decades of writing experience who also finds the less-ghoulish competitors and overall vibe in women’s divisions infinitely more compelling as a sports-obsessed fellow, I want to invest time into making Creonte a source for the kind of coverage that respects its subjects in a way that women’s MMA and women’s BJJ often struggle to find. I would also, ideally, love to be able to pay some of the more talented women I’m friends with to do this in my place, should backing reach the point I could.

Gym features: Another Creonte special focused on building a better martial arts community, I want to start writing more about the good and safe places in this sport that often get less sunshine than the toxic cesspools gobbling up headlines. It’s easy to tell people where not to go in martial arts, but places getting full-throated endorsements as genuinely safe and inclusive spaces are rarer. I can write the shit out of a feature or two, and would love to spend time visiting these awesome gyms to put together stories, videos and more to help them promote themselves and introduce more people to the sport how we’d like them to meet it, not how they will at a lot of name brand schools.

Athlete safety resources: Much of what I’ve hoped to do with Creonte was put on pause in recent months primarily due to it being extremely time- and emotionally-intensive for minimal clickability. That said, a lot of it is also things I passionately believe are useful, such as safe/dangerous gym lists, red/green flags to watch for, advice to new students and reporting on some of the shittier people in the community and the folks who protect them. Having more time to devote to my MMA writing would allow me to give these goals the focus they deserve.

An inclusive combat sports community: I’ve said it a lot across this post, but for me the core of MMAish and what I hope to do with it isn’t the chuckles at chuds, it’s the connections with non-chuds. I’ve made so many awesome friends who send me so many pictures of their pets through this account’s posts or the other awesome and considerate MMA/BJJ projects I’ve found on here. Let’s keep building together to make the martial arts community what it should be, not what it is.

Silly and fun little stretch goals: While my expectations for this project remain low and pessimistic, as is my nature, my aspirations for what it could be doing are sky high. I love me some me, when I’m at the right height, and some of you do seem to, too. While I don’t know how people would want to spend more time having fun together, I’m wide open to things like streaming, community projects and other fun stuff if people are down for it, so let’s see where this all goes together.

Support on Patreon today!

Leave a Reply