Open Season on Turd

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 - 4:40pm

Every once in a while, someone will stop by to declare that all I ever do is "beg for donations". Up until today, that simply wasn't true. Unfortunately, now I'm left with no other choice.

This "Turd" stuff is a lot of fun and I have certainly benefited from it, both financially and personally. However it has, over time, turned into a business and to stay afloat, businesses have to bring in more money than they spend. To that end, I've undertaken four initiatives this year:

  1. Affiliation with a bullion, coin and storage service.
  2. Marketing of homepage advertisements.
  3. "Turd's Army" partnership with Andrew Maguire and Coghlan Capital.
  4. Development of TurdTalksMetals.

It was my hope that these initiatives, when combined with Google Adsense revenue growth, would allow TFMR to not only be profitable but grow and expand. Unfortunately, this hasn't gone according to plan (hopes).

  1. The affiliation with HardAssetsAlliance only just began last Friday.
  2. I've been able to "sell" just two homepage ads. These ads currently generate $650/month in revenue but are, of course, subject to cancellation and renewal.
  3. General lack of interest in trading has led to only a handful of Turdites joining "The Army".
  4. Delays, technical issues and merchant provider/processing problems have left TTM with less than 200 subscribers so far.

And, after 15 months of a brutal silver market and 12 months of pain in gold, overall site traffic is down quite a bit. From a peak of 30,000+ unique visitors per day last summer, traffic has been nearly cut in half. Because of that, Google ad revenue has been cut by more than 50%, too.

But expenses for running such a popular site continue unabated. Each month, I pay almost $1000 for servers that allow all of us to post nearly anything we feel is relevant. I also pay nearly $2000/month for tech and moderation support.

And then there are issues like the bot/DDOS attack last February that exposed holes in our platform and brought down the entire site for 36 hours. To fix this and to implement changes that would prevent a recurrence cost me $3675. Other unforeseen issues invariably spring up each month, adding $500-$1000 in additional expenses.

Anyway, my point in sharing this with you is this:

TFMR, in its current form, isn't working. The plus side of the ledger only includes the Google and direct ads as well as the affiliation revenue. The minus side includes all of the server and tech costs as well as anything else that might crop up. In total, this site is either losing money or barely scraping by so, from a personal standpoint, I have to make some decisions.

  • First, I need some more donations. The TFMR bank account only has about $1,500 in it and I am past due with Ron to the tune of about $8,000. My plan/hope is to pay this down with TTM revenue but, with only 200 subscribers at about $7/month profit, it's going to take a while. Therefore, I'm asking for some help.
  • The last time I asked (begged) for donations, a number of folks signed up for $5 or $10 recurring monthly donations. This was very nice and much appreciated. Unfortunately, once TTM went live, many of these same folks apparently decided that TFMR must not need cash anymore because they subsequently discontinued their payments.
  • IF you feel that this is a beneficial site and worthwhile endeavor, please help support it. Contrary to myth and legend, The Turd is not some kind of independently wealthy, semi-retired ex-trader. If TFMR and TTM cannot be made into profitable enterprises, I will be forced to make some hard choices.

Possibilities going forward include:

  1. My plan was, and still is, to keep TFMR as a completely free-of-charge, educational and community-oriented website. If site traffic can get back to where it was (a hot, explosive and historic summer would certainly help), ad revenue will increase sequentially. Perhaps the assorted affiliations will grow, too. And, if I can make TTM grow, the revenue there will help to compensate for the shortfalls of revenue here at TFMR.
  2. But I have to consider whether, perhaps, this entire TFMR idea was a mistake. One possible solution would be to migrate back to blogspot where there are no server or tech fees each month. In theory this sounds nice but we'd also lose all of the things that we've come to take for granted here such as podcasts, forums and moderation.
  3. Unfortunately, I also have to consider shuttering TFMR and the blogspot sites entirely and moving everything to the subscription-only platform at TTM. This is the advice I consistently receive from folks who only see all of this as a business. Look at all of the newsletter and subscription sites that are out there...from Prechter, to Ackerman, to Maund, to Butler...I could go on and on. They all make money. Lots of it. And none of them have to deal with the day-to-day issues that we have here.

So, anyway, I've got a lot of thinking to do. First and foremost, though, I need some help. Every donation I've ever received has been met with a sincere and personal thank you and this shall be no different. Please help if you can.

I suppose I could post this as "read only" so that I don't have to see all of the "Turd is a greedy SOB" comments that will most assuredly follow. I'm not going to, though. As always, the comments section is yours to say and post whatever you'd like (as long as it's civil). Call me what you want, post your condolences and/or subject me to scorn and ridicule, I don't care. I'm fair game and it's open season. Have at it.

Thanks to everyone who has made this possible for the past 2 years. We'll see where we go from here and, as always, I'll keep you posted.


About the Author

turd [at] tfmetalsreport [dot] com ()


Aug 13, 2012 - 4:44pm

Virtually first


Short Stack
Aug 13, 2012 - 4:52pm


Close but not First.

Aug 13, 2012 - 4:52pm

Hey Turd

Sorry your having hell making the bills. Personally I would go back to blogspot, setup for ad revenue and essentially just go back to the old platform. That's your call of course, but that is the direction I hope you go.

I will see what I can come up with on my end.

Barth Vader
Aug 13, 2012 - 4:56pm


hey Turd are paypal and checks the only methods of payment possible?

i cannot send checks and i have trust issues with paypal.

Do you also have an IBAN bank account number perhaps?

Kevin C
Aug 13, 2012 - 4:57pm

Thanks for telling us.  I'm

Thanks for telling us. I'm with you. Will send a donation your way.

Aug 13, 2012 - 4:58pm

Sad to hear news like this

Best of luck making it work, I as well will see what I can do on this end.

S Roche
Aug 13, 2012 - 5:00pm


Do what Yves Smith does (Naked Capitalism)...have a fund-raiser with a target. Announce it, reach it and then donation season is over until next time.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see now whether all the vocal pay-your-own-way crowd pony up pronto when you need help.

Aug 13, 2012 - 5:00pm

Trying to be polite but direct and realistic at the same time.


I value your site as a user for the following reasons:

1) The ability to post whatever and whenever we want and have engaging conversation.

2) The fact that like-minded people assemble here.

3) Users bring breaking news to the table, as more heads are better than one.

So, in actuality, it is the blogspot style reporting in real-time that is most valuable I think to most here.

What isn't working in my opinion:

1) The TA. Its junk. Specialized form of it or not, the markets are 100% manipulated therefore is does not work. Don't bother wasting your or our time.

2) Your predictions. Junk. Again, not your fault, but in a manipulated markets, sources or not (I have many as well), it just doesn't matter. Although its fun to speculate, keep it at that. No need for false assurances.

3) Your content/spacing/features are quite rich. Simplify them and streamline the site to make it more basic, slicing all of your costs in half. We would still be very happy and hopefully you would too. ;-)

I hope this helps. I am certainly not trying to be a know-it-all when it comes to what you want out of life or this site. Only trying to honestly help your situation. Just remember that honesty is usually harsh, but not meant to hurt.

All the best in figuring things out,


Aug 13, 2012 - 5:01pm


can you spare a quarter? pre-1965 please.

nope, sorry, I just fed the turd.

I Run Bartertown
Aug 13, 2012 - 5:04pm


Done via snailmail (bankrupt Post Office) sent from an insolvent bank that has backed their risk with my deposits. Good Luck.

Wish it could be more, TF. You've taken a lot of initiative and responsibility. It's been a pleasure seeing it grow.

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