It’s been a few months since I last had a look at kraptalk to see what was going on. So I thought I’d have a look in to see if there’s still life. I came across this pathetic begging from Dunk. It’s obvious he can’t get in new members these days so he’ll have to squeeze out more from those who already have been sucked in years ago and still haven’t woken up to the fact that it’s all a scam.
For some time KOPTALK has been struggling to advance due a lack of revenue that we can invest in to the website and the things that we try to offer. I have spoken about this openly on here and tried different things to generate revenue while fighting back increasing the 10p-a-day membership fee that I think we’ve had in place for more than a decade.
The problem is that over that time period, our costs have grown significantly and we now have to pay VAT and increased income tax which we have absorbed. For example, the VAT fee that we have to pay on memberships, we pay this, we don’t add it on top of the £36.50 annual fee as we should. We do this so you don’t have to pay more. With VAT and taxes come additional accountancy and admin fees. With popularity becomes more problems.
Our position is for the first time in almost 20 years now under threat and we really need to find a solution.
We find ourselves having to run promotions more frequently which gives us a quick cash injection at any one time but long term we lose that renewing revenue. Without the promotion we ran in the summer, we could never have invested in the new office that I’m working from. It’s not flash, it’s just a few desks and more space, it’s not even finished, but it was needed to provide a better experience for you or that is my intentions anyway. We also ran a Crowdfunder that enabled me to purchase a new computer, my first in 8 years. We have done a couple of things and are still finalising them.
Nobody that works on the site, me included, receives a wage and never has (other than our accountant and former VIP columnists i.e. former Reds, who were paid). This doesn’t mean that there are no benefits. The site covers my household bills but that is it. In winter it doesn’t even stretch that far which is why you saw a Black Friday promotion which was not successful, hence this post. Yesterday for example the site made £8.75 in revenue. In the summer it could be ten times that which is why you see investment over the summer usually. However, over the course of the year, we do break even but it does not generate enough revenue to improve anything. Truth be told I’d be better off doing other things but I love what we have here.
Here’s an example of what needs addressing. The following is required and/or held up:
* iPhone app – broken … never updated since first version, no longer compatible, we need a new app
* Android app – no revenue to build
* KopTalk.co.uk non-members website – broken, we need a new site, Google now applying penalties i.e. decreasing ad revenue, dropping down search results
* KopTalk.com members website – needs updating, developer been waiting for go ahead but we don’t have the revenue
* KopTalk.co.uk/forums (free forums) – broken, haven’t been able to accept new registrations for several years – no funds for the developer
We just can never find the revenue to proceed. We are stuck in a vicious circle. We need revenue to improve these things which will then generate more revenue. Does that make sense?
We’ve raked up debts close to £10,000. 40% to 50% of that we will try to reduce between June and September 2016.
I launched DKB.TV to try and create another revenue stream and that has helped but only in terms of covering internet access each month and a couple of very small purchases have been made e.g. HTC Re Camera for Melwood Raw videos.
The members’ website obviously has zero advertising and we want it to remain that way.
Pride takes a hit when being open like this but you are our family and it’s important that you know what’s happening.
We have been looking at various options but we have struggled to agree on what to do. If we start selling ourself out on the non-members website then we lose our independence. We want to keep our membership fee at 10p-a-day to help you guys.
We could run monthly Crowdfunders but we think people would get tired of this and we hate having to promote such. One a year is maybe acceptable but no more. We also considered a newsletter delivered by post but this would take up more time and we’re not sure people would jump to have that due to today’s online world.
There is no way that the members’ website will go under so your membership will always be safe here but we have to plan ahead. We need our own 5 year plan that we often hear managers talking of!
I am happy getting by personally. I have a nice home and a nice car. I’m not really bothered about fancy holidays and even when I’ve been away, I work on KopTalk daily anyway. KopTalk is my life. I’m here every day of my life from dawn until dusk, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t want or need much. I just want to get on with it.
However, I have to find a way of raising revenue to cover the investment of fixing the broken things listed above and to take the site forward. As I don’t have a partner or any other help, it’s a huge struggle for me personally.
Having held talks here this morning, we don’t think seeking donations will help. People rightfully want something back but we want to avoid a monthly Crowdfunder for example.
We think we need to raise a minimum of £500-a-month purely for investment in to the site. This means nobody benefits personally but the people who support it.
I should point out that we do not remove any member who falls on hard times. We pay their membership and in some cases other members do. We try to help where we can. We don’t just take and many can vouch for this.
One thing we considered was launching a 100 Club (KopTalk 100 Legends Club). This would be for 100 members donating £50 a year on top of their sub. In return we would run a monthly prize draw for the 100 club (e.g. £25 Amazon vouchers, free memberships etc) and a weekly Lotto syndicate based on the UK lottery. We thought of creating a KopTalk 100 Legends Club forum and listing the supporting members across the site. Nothing will of course be taken from the members’ website ever. We would still fall short of our £500-a-month target but I’m not even convinced that many people will help us. I know they would if they could frown
If that idea failed then we will have no choice but to increase the membership fee. The downside to that is way me lose people. If people desert us then we’ll plod on until we have to turn the lights off when everyone’s subs eventually expire. Problem solved. I can finally kick back and be a grandad.
Having to sell off some of my LFC memorabilia on eBay recently is a sign that I can’t continue to ignore this and just plod on. We have to fix the things that are broken. I’ve considered selling my car and even moving to a smaller home but I think that’s starting to take this passion a bit too far then. When you are feeling it that much, it’s time for change.
I’m told our membership numbers stay around the same so we’re not losing people. We just don’t seem to progress. We’ve plateaued. A quick look at the non-members website and you can see why.
I guarantee that the members website will continue to operate while I’m breathing. Some of you probably don’t care about these issues, but I know that we have a very, very loyal bunch who love KopTalk due to the comments I receive every daily via support and to myself. I know they’d be wounded if we packed up shop one day.
I’m not going to sell a chunk of the website because people want to exploit you with their products and harvest your data. This is my baby and she will tick over until I kick the bucket. Then, well I hope Rob will take over it, if not, it will be handed over to our members, this is something that I plan to discuss with some of you in due course as to how that could work.
OK SO WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
1) Stay with the members’ website! Without you we’re stuffed. So many people rely on your presence, especially the non-members, our fans all over the world. You make a difference trust me!
2) Find me someone who is stinking rich!
3) Can we promote your business to our members? We have never had sponsors, maybe we need to look at that?
4) Email sensible ideas or words of encouragement to dunk @ koptalk.com because I feel a bit stupid right now
5) Join our KopTalk 100 Legends Club and see if we can make that work. If it bombs, we will honour those who take part and then we’ll have to increase the membership sub at a later date and see what happens then. If we got 100 signed up, we would be safe until the summer and then the revenue picks up. Everyone can track the progress via the thread at the bottom of the page.
You can join using the PayPal button below or by emailing support @ koptalk.com
A separate post has been added (see link below) which will list the KopTalk Legends and their allocated number for the monthly draws etc. We will also find a way of having some kind of badge or title assigned to your membership profile / avatar when we upgrade this site. I think we can already assign ‘KopTalk Legend’ on this current set-up so people will see your status and importance to the future development of the site.
Just throwing the dice guys … we have no idea how you will react. Don’t forget your support helps members and non-members. We are one family.
I’ve also added a video below about this.
Yesterday it was followed-up by this:
Ok well we haven’t reached 100, or even 50, but we have got 36 of you on board and I want to thank you guys for that. Everyone is important here but the 36 ‘KopTalk Legends’ enabled the members website to be upgraded, the non-members forums to be fixed and upgraded and the non-members website to be re-launched. All of that would have been impossible without those 36 members.
Without the non-members content we will never be able to add new blood to the members website and I think that would be damaging. There is a possibility that the non-members website may be shut down at the end of the year but I will do everything I can to keep her going.
In the summer we will be running a lifetime promo for existing members again. This generates an injection of one-off revenue but also means long term we lose revenue i.e. renewals but it’s satisfying rewarding our die-hard members and at the same time it does help.
That promo will be limited to a set amount and it maybe our last of that kind as long term they don’t help. If all slots are taken up, the site will have dug itself out of a hole without the need of increasing the membership contribution or locking out a number of members who have fallen on bad times who we are covering.
If we fail to meet our revenue target in the summer, the non-members website will close for good. The members website will of course remain until I kick the bucket
Jokes aside … I also need to start to think about life after me. If I keel over today, the site would die too. I’m thinking of forming a group of some kind that would be able to make decisions and manage the site without me so that at the very least you guys could remain together. I’d like my son Rob (16) to be involved but he’s more focused on his own path and I think that’s the best for now. If we had this informal group / board (maybe the 100 Club Members?), KopTalk would never die. How it would be run then would be down to that group and all of you. I’m not sure if this will definitely happen but I’d be saddened to think that KopTalk would die if I died. Miserable stuff (for me, anyway LOL) but it’s important to me. Sorry.
The site remains in the red following improvements, investment and ongoing costs but the members website is perfectly safe as it pays for itself. If the promo in the summer is a success, then 2017 should be perfect. If we can add to the numbers on the 100 Club then eventually I will be able to relaunch the iPhone app, introduce an Android app and have new work friendly skins made for here.
You can learn about the 100 Club below but please note that the post needs updating. I will address that next week when I’m back in my office:
These are the KopTalk legends who have pledged their ongoing additional support for everyone:
I’ll keep you posted on the summer promo which will help you, me and everyone else associated to the site.
Thanks for your valuable and ongoing support. I’m very excited about the forthcoming transfer window and what I’m hoping to see
PS: A couple of you have previously emailed me with suggestions and feedback. I will reply as soon as I can. I receive a lot of email and I don’t like rushing a reply with a dismissive sentence or two, so please bear with me so that I can reply properly with the time you deserve. Several people have suggested revenue generating schemes etc but I’ve always pledged to keep the members website ad-free. I also don’t want to sell things