When we started Ancient World Magazine, back in 2017, it was intended to be a side project where a group of us got together to write about the ancient world in an accessible, yet academically grounded way. Over the past few years, the website has grown to become one of the most popular sites on the internet that deal with the ancient world.
I have devoted a lot of time to Ancient World Magazine, building the website, writing articles, creating a limited number of simple videos, and editing most of the episodes of the podcasts. Every article passes through my hands, though the editorial duties are lightened quite a bit thanks to my team of Contributing Editors, without whom I would be lost.
But so far, the website has been mostly a hobby, even as we garnered some support on Patreon and are now able to pay some of our contributors for their work. I still find it both surprising and heartening that there are people around who don’t mind giving some of their money to what are essentially strangers to help them realize their projects.
At the end of October, I’ll be moving away from the Netherlands to live in Vienna. This means quitting my day job (I work at a small publisher). Changing countries means that I am currently waist-deep in boxes and this also means that I don’t have a lot of time to write; please bear with us as October may be a little barren as far as output is concerned!
While I may continue to do some freelance work from 1 November onwards, thanks to the support of my amazing wife, I will be in the very fortunate position to focus my efforts on the things that I am truly passionate about without needing to worry about money – at least not immediately. First and foremost, that means Ancient World Magazine.
From 1 November, I will be focusing my efforts on ramping up our output. I will be preparing lots of stuff in November and December for the new year. The aim is to increase our “content” – a ghastly term, but it will suffice for now – and thereby get more eyeballs on the website and, hopefully, attract more patrons. More patrons means more money, and the more money flows in, the better I can justify my devoting so much time to AWM.
Yes, this means that I will be trying to turn AWM into a job that actually pays enough for me to live on (ah, the dream!) and pay the editorial team for their efforts and continue to pay other folks who want to write for the website. Our Patreon goal of getting €500 to be able to – theoretically – pay for one article a week and cover the basic costs for the website (hosting, podcast costs) remains intact. If/when we cross that €500 threshold, part of the money will be used to pay myself, and part will be shared with my Contributing Editors.
So what can you expect from AWM from at least 1 January onwards? Articles are great and are the main source of attracting people to the website (thanks, Google!), but I realize that it’s the 21st century and text alone doesn’t cut it. So I will focus on doing more podcasts – including solo podcasts, as organizing people to get together is sometimes hard! – and more videos. The videos will cover original topics; some of them will be based on articles, including articles that are on Bad Ancient.
I have also had an idea for a long time to start offering lectures and courses online that deal with a variety of subjects. These will not be offered for free, but the money goes towards paying the speakers (including myself) and, of course, toward supporting Ancient World Magazine (and, by extension, Bad Ancient). You can look forward to more news about that stuff towards the end of the year.
Furthermore, this also means that I will be sharing more stuff exclusively on Patreon as I work on podcasts and videos. For example, I might share the script for a video to solicit comments, or share some behind-the-scenes stuff (e.g. when I go to a museum to take pictures). Hopefully, you’ll find that stuff interesting or fun enough to consider supporting us.
As always, if you have any suggestions or recommendations, feel free to let me know in either a comment or by sending me an e-mail. For example, if there’s a particular topic you’d love to see a video or a podcast about: name it and I’ll see what I can do.
The future looks exciting! I hope you’ll join me on this journey.