How to Read Our Expense Report
Unfortunately it is not free to produce and distribute FBL awesomeness. This page captures all of the expenses incurred by FBL. It's divided into two categories:
- Sunk Costs
- Monthly Expenses
Sunk costs are any one time fees or bills in the history of FBL. Monthly expenses includes recurring costs that FBL incurs on a regular basis.
Below is a list of money spent on various things during the existence of Full Belly Laughs.
|Social Media Advertising||$ (1,849.77)|
|Overdraft Charges||$ (50.00)|
|Social Media Management||$ (401.00)|
|Podcast Network Membership||$ (90.00)|
|Professional Development||$ (561.35)|
|Office Supplies||$ (74.12)|
|Legal Fees||$ (322.00)|
|Craft Services for Recordings||$ (926.99)|
|Prizes for Live Shows||$ (148.28)|
|Podcast Equipment||$ (403.89)|
|Board Games||$ (46.38)|
|Blubrry Hosting and Stats||$ (720.00)|
|Total|| $ (5,637.75)|
*Note: these sunk costs were at the time of originally publishing this page on 01/13/2019. They are not dynamic, and do not reflect the total lifetime costs of Full Belly Laughs to date. They only capture how much it cost to maintain and run the site and podcast up until that date.
Curious how these numbers came to be? Learn more about each of these sunk cost areas.
Social Media Advertising
Brian Durkin launched Full Belly Laughs when he was still an open mic comic. That means he didn't have the benefit of a TV credit or some other type of fame lean on. This means the initial batch of listeners and fans came from social media. Although a good portion found FBL organically, many followers and fans came to Full Belly Laughs social media platforms through advertising. Unfortunately social media advertising did not convert as well as we had hoped, so there is less of an emphasis on this area going forward.
FBL does not sell ad space, and to learn why read out our About Page. In the first several years of Full Belly Laughs the entire operation was financed out of Brian's pocket. At times he just didn't have the cash to cover, and ate some extra bank charges.
Social Media Management
Spoiler alert: social media posts do not appear because Brian decided to write a post in that moment and send it. In order to manage the shear volume of posts on all platforms, FBL needs a social media management platform. This cost category includes fees related to retired management systems.
Podcast Network Membership
There was a brief time that Full Belly Laughs belonged to a podcast network that included membership fees. This category captures the fees related to the brief stint at that network. FBL left this network because it was unclear that it actually provided a better experience for fans, and bring new fans to the FBL family.
FBL values educational growth. Not only do we believe that this is just important to living a fulfilling life, but it's important to stay on top of your game. This sunk cost category includes classes and conferences related to podcasting to ensure that Brian could actually make great podcast episodes. The good audio quality, distribution methods like Amazon Alexa, and other web features found on this site would not have been possible without this training.
Sometimes you need to white board and idea or write something down. Paper, pens, dry erase markers, and other random supplies all cost money. This is a small category of costs simply because so much of FBL is digital. That said it's still necessary to draw it out.
In 2016 FBL paid for advertising space at a Philadelphia comedy theater. Unfortunately this business decided to not fulfill their end of the contract, and also refused to refund the amount that FBL paid. This resulted in a legal dispute where FBL had to sue the theater. The case went as far as FBL being on the verge to hold a sheriff sale on all of the theater's assets. Luckily the theater paid FBL a large enough portion of the amount owed for FBL to drop the case. But legal battles aren't free. So even though FBL received about 90% of the original money spent on ads, about a third of that money had to be spent to cover the outstanding legal fees. To learn more about the case, you can search for FBL Entertainment Co in the Philadelphia Small Claims Court.
Craft Services for Recordings
Early iterations of the Full Belly Laughs Podcast included cooking a meal for a panel of guests. This food was not donated by a sponsor, and was purchased by FBL. The podcast show format has moved away from this format in part because it was a bit too expensive. Full Belly Laughs might still incur similar costs in the future, but it will not be on the scale it occurred in the past.
Prizes for Live Shows
Every live performance of the Full Belly Laughs Podcast included prizes for random audience members. As a way to promote the FBL brand and increase live performance attendance, Full Belly Laughs gave away some great prizes. This included Amazon Echo Dots, Color Printers, Google Chromecasts, and plenty of other cool things. These prizes were purchased by FBL as opposed to a sponsored donation.
The hardware necessary to record a great podcast can start to add up. There are cheap ways to lay down an episode, but FBL values great audio. This means we couldn't settle for the cheapest options available. The current cost in this category is the outstanding balance for equipment. Over the years Full Belly Laughs has changed its set up, and the current total reflects any money gains from salvaging old equipment.
The Full Belly Laughs has featured a variety of board games over the years. This category includes the costs of those games. A pretty nominal fee considering the usage of some of the games.
Blubrry Hosting and Stats
The original Full Belly Laughs website was hosted on WordPress, and Blubrry was an obvious partner for hosting the podcast. They have fantastic integration with the WP. Once Full Belly Laughs moved to a new CMS, the advantages of Blubrry could no longer be realized. This category reflects all of the money spent in the first several years to host the podcast and track listenership.
Lots of Money Spent in the Past
It's surprising when you look at the total. In full disclosure we didn't even fully realize all the money spent over the years. But that's okay. It's what got FBL here today. We include this data simply to tell the full Full Belly Laughs story. It shows the money it takes to build something like FBL (if you're considering starting a site like this at home).
The past is the past, but in the present FBL still spends money to make things happen. Below is a list of expenses incurred every month at FBL.
|Adobe Creative Suite
|Adobe Stock Photos
|Arcustech Web Hosting
|Biteable Video Creation
|Business Bank Account
|Buzzsprout Podcast Hosting
|ConvertKit Email Automation
|Google Business Email
|Google Web Storage
|MeetEdgar Social Media Management
|| $ (236.25)
Want to know why Full Belly Laughs spends this money every month? Learn more with each section below.
Adobe Creative Suite
When you make something you need a great tool to make that thing. Adobe offers a large selection of high end tools to make all things FBL possible. The podcast is recorded in and edited in Adobe Audition. All the images and graphics are generated through Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator. Videos and clips are made possible thanks to Adobe Premiere and After Effects. Meme creation at scale is made possible with Adobe InDesign. The price point may seem expensive to some, but this is probably one of the best values on the Monthly Expense Report.
Adobe Stock Photos
Images are not free. Photographers and designers create images, and to just download random ones off the internet is actually stealing someone's intellectual or creative property. FBL respects creators and wants to compensate them, which is why we pay for Adobe Stock Photos. The license makes it possible to include images in daily posts.
Arcustech Web Hosting
Web hosting is a thing we all know about. The Full Belly Laughs website is built on Craft CMS, and its hosted with Arcustech. They provide all the necessary technical stuff to build a Craft site, as well as lots of other great features to make FBL run smoothly.
Biteable Video Creation
With a wide variety of stock video and a simple video editor, this is the tool that FBL leverages to create daily video content. If you explore our Food Holiday posts, then you will have experienced a video created with Biteable. This tool saves a significant amount of time, and saves money on stock video, when it comes to creating videos.
Business Bank Account
Banks let you have a regular checking account for free, but they like to nickle and dime businesses. Every month it costs FBL a nominal amount of money to actually manage its money.
Buzzsprout Podcast Hosting
Buzzsprout not only clocks in cheaper than Blubrry, but offers a lot of great features. They make it easy to generate clips for social media, and provide deeper analytics. The FBL podcasts would not exist without this monthly expense.
ConvertKit Email Automation
All businesses leverage an email marketing tool to handle a lot of the necessary email tasks. Scheduling a monthly newsletter, notifying fans when new posts happen, and operational emails are all made possible with this tool. ConvertKit also makes it easy to map out user journeys and organize subscribers. Best of all they make it easy for FBL fans to subscribe to specific interests. This means you can sign up for the newsletter, but not receive notifications about daily content.
Google Business Email
Having a Gmail account with the fullbellylaughs domain, it's not an free endeavor. Google hits up FBL for a few bucks a month in order to have the normal Gmail experience but with a custom domain.
Google Web Storage
FBL leverages the cloud to do all the things it needs to do, including storage. Backing up sound files, leveraging Google docs and sheets for business needs, and so many more applications includes paying for additional storage.
MeetEdgar Social Media Management
Full Belly Laughs manages most of its social media posts through MeetEdgar (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). The beauty of this tool is that it reduces the work necessary to upload new content on a consistent basis. This frees up time for FBL content creators (hint, hint Brian Durkin) to focus on other areas.
(Paused) Canva Infographic Creation
We started to make infographics, but capacity got the best of us. We will turn this service back on when we are ready to release this content daily. Right now we're focused on other areas. This costs $12.95 a month.
Similar to Biteable, Canva makes the workflow for graphics a lot easier. Each Food Holiday post includes a compendium Infographic post. These infographics are generated at a scalable pace thanks to this SaaS. Canva provides several templates and a fantastic editor to ensure the graphic feels like a Full Belly Laughs image.
(Retired) Soundcloud Hosting
Originally used as a way to reach more listeners and increase our domain authority, it eventually did not pan out. Ultimately not worth the cost, plus the upgrade to the new website helped in a lot of the areas Soundcloud was trying to fix. This used to cost $15.00 a month, and ran for several months after the 01/13/2019 date.
In order to make Full Belly Laughs appear on Soundcloud, they charge Full Belly Laughs a monthly fee. This fee includes the bandwidth necessary to unload the audio files, as well as comprehensive statistics about listeners. This allows FBL to see which cities have the most listeners, which helps us plan for future live performances.
Total Monthly Expenses
It costs just over $240 a month for Full Belly Laughs to keep things happening. That's not bad considering the amount of content the site puts out; however, it's still about a car insurance payment every month.
Help Cover These Costs
The generosity of fans can mitigate these costs. Any expense not covered by donations comes out of Brian's pocket.
If you would like to be a supporter of Full Belly Laughs, head over to the donations page and pledge. Money isn't the only way to help Full Belly Laughs. Drop us a message if you would like to contribute you time to making the site happen.