I run The Black and Blue because I have a passion for filmmaking that I want to share.
That’s the most important thing I want you to get out of this: I never started this website because I wanted to get rich from it.
Instead, this blog started as a personal outlet for me. It wasn’t until I realized there was a lack of information on the web about camera assisting that I decided to fill the gap.
For the first three years of running the site, it made just enough money to pay for the servers and other associated costs. And each time The Black and Blue earned more money, it was almost always invested back into the site to make it faster, more reliable, or more capable.
Almost four years later, it started to generate enough revenue that it made sense to found The Black and Blue, LLC to keep the finances separate from my personal income.
If one day The Black and Blue makes me filthy rich, I’ll be pleased. If one day all the money I make from it were to disappear, I’ll be updating it regardless. Making oodles of money has never been the endgame — sharing knowledge and the passion of filmmaking has been, and always will be, the goal.
With that said, in the interest of disclosure, listed below are the ways in which the site makes money.
How Do I Make Money?
This is the most obvious monetization method on the site. Currently I run multiple banner ads through Buy Sell Ads — a direct ad sales platform. To purchase an ad, an advertiser finds my site on Buy Sell Ads and purchases whatever slots I’ve made open. I am then able to approve the ad and it runs for a predetermined period of time at a price I set.
I generally have no relationship with the advertisers on this site beyond Buy Sell Ads. Any type of collaboration with them is purely coincidental unless expressly stated otherwise on the site.
If I feel there is a potential conflict of interest with an advertiser in relation to a post, I will make that conflict clear within the article. Realistically, though, this has never been an issue.
Affiliate and associate programs are opportunities for me to make money when other sites make money. The way this typically works is by linking to a specific product or page; if someone clicks that link and purchases something, I get a small commission (usually somewhere from 4% – 6%).
My biggest source of affiliate income is Amazon Associates.
It all sounds shady, I know, but I promise I will never recommend anything to you that I wouldn’t genuinely recommend to you in real life. Further, most of the recommendations I do make through Amazon are for products that I already own or have tried.
This is one part of my site that will never change. Your trust is important to me and the success of the site — I wouldn’t throw that trust away for a tiny commission.
Similarly, I recommend products and services whether or not I stand to make money from doing so. If it’s useful and of interest to you as a reader, I want you to know about it.
Digital products, such as the Digital Cinema Pocket Guides, are a fairly new source of income for The Black and Blue. In the future, I plan to release more of these offerings as they allow me to dive deep into subjects and give more comprehensive advice.
I also view digital products as a win-win: you receive something of value in exchange for money. These digital products also come with generous, no-questions-asked refund policies to make sure you are truly pleased with it.
Occasionally, I am approached by an individual or a company who wants me to review, test, or check out their product. In most of these cases, they will provide their product to me for free. I make sure they understand that I do not accept nor publish sponsored posts on The Black and Blue and — though generous — their free product does not equal free publicity in any form.
When these situations do arise, I make sure to point them out to you in the articles affected by them.
In Exchange, You Receive Tremendous Value
At least, I hope.
What I want to establish with The Black and Blue is an invaluable resource for camera assistants, cinematographers, and film professionals. That is my mission.
Because I spend a lot of time writing content, maintaining the site, and designing all the elements, I like to think whatever money I squeeze out of it is a fair deal for both of us. I don’t make oodles of cash and most of the money gets put back into the site to grow it bigger or expand services that benefit you.
This website is about filmmaking and happens to make some money, not the other way around. I am passionate about filmmaking and I really do want to help others become better at it.
I hope you understand.
I am more than willing to discuss this with anyone who has questions, comments, or is unclear about how this site is monetized. Feel free to contact me.