Homesick Texan subscriptions

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The morning after Thanksgiving, as I was preparing to leave my grandma’s and head to Love Field to fly back to New York, I looked into my purse and saw my house keys were missing. At first, I figured they were in my suitcase, but after searching through all my bags and my rental car, I realized I’d left them at my mom’s place in Houston, where we’d been earlier in the week.

My brilliant plan was to cancel my flight and drive all the way from McKinney to Houston to pick them up, but my mom had a different idea. She offered to have a friend go to her house, get my keys, and send them to me in New York. Meanwhile, I could call on my building’s superintendent to let me into my apartment. I didn’t want to give up control, so I said, “I hate asking people for help.” Mom nodded and said, “I get it. But everyone needs assistance sometimes and it’s always okay to ask for help when you need it.”

I mention this now because I’ve reached a point that my current financial model of running Homesick Texan is no longer sustainable. To continue, I need your help. If you are a regular reader and would like to offer support, please consider purchasing an annual subscription to Homesick Texan.

Here’s the situation. Homesick Texan is funded by ad revenue. Unfortunately, ad spend has been on a steep decline for some time. For the past couple of years, I’ve made up the difference by supplementing my income with savings but that is not a longterm, workable solution.

The main costs of running the site are from hosting, software subscriptions, newsletter services, ingredients, equipment, and research. Other costs include rent, utilities, equipment, travel, and insurance. I pay for all this myself with no reimbursement or outside backing, besides ad revenue. This is what keeps me independent but at the same time, the costs accumulate.

Likewise, if another publication uses one of my recipes, while I get exposure I don’t see any revenue. If I am hired to write for another publication, most of the time I no longer own that content (unless I can negotiate ownership but many big media companies don’t allow you to do this). So even if I make $300 for the article in the short term, to use that content again I’ll have to get permission from the media company and may even have to pay them a fee to use something that I created! To me, it makes sense to keep my content under my ownership on this site, but that does cost money.

Here’s my solution. At first, I considered erecting a paywall, but I don’t wish to do that. Another option would be to load even more ads up on the site and do sponsored posts, but I’m loathe to do that as well since a profusion of ads would take away from both the efficiency and aesthetics of the site. Indeed, increasing the advertising would take away from the site’s autonomy and independence.

Here’s the thing. I love researching, cooking, writing, and photographing recipes to share with you, and I love that as an independent publisher, I am free to share what I wish. I answer only to myself and you, my readers. If Homesick Texan remains independent, I can focus on topics that others may not find marketable, but I know y’all will enjoy. This freedom makes creating Homesick Texan my greatest joy.

For those readers who wish to make a financial commitment to what I’m doing on the site, I’m now offering annual subscriptions to Homesick Texan. There’s an adage that if one has 1,000 devoted fans buy what they’re selling, an independent content creator can make a living. Would you like to be one of my 1,000?

While I’m not going to take anything away from the blog, subscribers will have access to extra, exclusive content. There will also be opportunities for subscriber-only chats, if there is interest. I may even mail you a hand-written card with an original photo.

Subscriptions start as low as $25 a year, which is a bit over $2 a month, the price of a coffee. There are higher-priced options based on what you’d like to pay, and there’s even a family subscription where five people can gain access for the price of four.

If you enjoy using the site and cooking the recipes, please consider subscribing. To purchase a subscription, you can go here and choose your level. I would love your patronage and be very grateful.

This is an experiment, but I’m willing to give it a try. I adore sharing recipes with you, and while that passion will never stop, I need to figure out a way to make it sustainable so I can continue. I appreciate your consideration and thank you for reading!

  1. Erica Gibson

    As a homesick Texan in Norway I’m happy to help support this website!

  2. As a Homesick Texan in North Carolina I too am happy to support everything you have done and will do! I have your book and will buy the next one!! Your stories of going back to Texas always make me smile because they mirror my own travels back – chicken fried steak, tex-mex, BBQ, etc.!

    • Lisa Fain

      Delonda–Thank you for the kind words and your support! I’m so glad the stories make you smile.

  3. Matthew Fricke

    Just signed up!

  4. How I love your recipes and your stories even more! So happy to be a part of this!

    • Lisa Fain

      A. Dill–I’m delighted you love the stores and recipes. Thank you so much for your support! I look forward to sharing more with you.

  5. Mary DeSandro

    I love your cookbooks and photography! As a misplaced Texan, I would love to support a fellow Texan!

  6. Peggy Benjamin

    Done! As a fellow homesick Texan, living in Ohio, I’m happy to support your work. I love your stories and recipes, and thoroughly enjoy “traveling” back home with you. Here’s to many more years of successful sharing!

    • Lisa Fain

      Peggy–Thank you! I look forward to sharing more stories and recipes with you!

  7. Jim White

    I’ve been reading you, both on the blog and by owning all your books, for at least 10 years. Your content is interesting and useful. It helps that you have a voice that stands out from many of the other food bloggers. Of late I had been noticing an alarming sameness to the style and content of several of the blogs I follow. After reading your thoughtfully veiled reference to how accepting advertising can shape content, I now understand what seems to be one of the sources of that problem. I’m a professional cook, interested in a number of cuisines and styles, and I’ve worked both ends of the food service industry. I read about food every day, and because time is valuable, I like to optimize the information flow. Your blog has always helped me to do that. I get paid for my knowledge and skill, I know I’ll never know it all, and that makes it interesting. I’m supporting you because your knowledge and entertaining manner are worth it. We get what we pay for, right? You’re one of the ones worth paying for.

    • Lisa Fain

      Jim–Thank you for the feedback and kind words! I’m super pleased that this blog has enhanced your professional life. Your support over the years means so much to me, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the future!

  8. Jenifer Kelley

    As a fellow New Yorker (ok suburbanite), Cy-Fair HS grad and Amelia’s fan, I would love to support you. I am the epitome of a “homesick Texan.” Btw, they recently opened a Dinosaur BBQ up in my neck of the woods (Stamford which is 15 minutes from Rye) and that is feeding my BBQ cravings quite nicely for the moment! Now if only we had a great Tex Mex place up here!!

    • Lisa Fain

      Jenifer–Bobcat fight never dies! Isn’t it strange how difficult it is to find good Tex-Mex outside Texas? No matter, glad you have a Dinosaur BBQ near you and thank you for your support!

  9. I read your blog and I cook your recipes. There is no excuse for not supporting you and I’m happy to do just that.

  10. Done! I cook your recipes all the time and thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and books (All the way up in Northwest Territories, Canada!) Can’t imagine not having your site to vist and I hope more people donate. I love what you are doing with Homesick Texan, you have my continued support, Lisa.

    • Lisa Fain

      Brayden–Thank you for the kind words and support! It’s fun knowing my recipes are being prepared all the way up in the Canadian Northwest Territories!

  11. Kathryn Fridberg

    Just signed up to be a supporter! I found your blog around a decade or more ago after I moved to the Midwest from my hometown of Houston (west side!) Learning how to make Texan and Tex-Mex from you when I was so far away from home was a life saver and I’ve gifted your first book to others who moved away from TX. Looking forward to reading more of your writing in the future.

    • Lisa Fain

      Kathryn–Thank you for your support! I look forward to sharing more recipes with you!

  12. Jim Gomes

    Lisa, im excited to be one of your 1,000! You’ve made living in Los Angeles just a little better since I left Texas over a decade ago. I look forward to reading more of your stories and trying to duplicate your recipes. Have you given any thought to writing a “Texas Thanksgiving” cookbook?

    • Lisa Fain

      Jim–Thank you for your support! And that’s an excellent idea about focusing on Thanksgiving,. I love it!

  13. James Sutherland

    I bought a copy of Queso for my brother (Clear Lake HS) a while ago, happy to help keep these lovely recipes coming! How much is the hosting all costing you now by the way? (That’s what I do for the day job – an old friend in the business moved to Austin recently too.)

    • Lisa Fain

      James–Thank you for sharing the queso love with your brother! I use Flywheel for hosting and have been extremely pleased with them and their service. Who do you work for?

  14. Amy in Hunting Valley OH

    I have no connection to Texas but Lisa, this is pretty much my favorite blog. You have a uniquely honest voice in your writing and through the blog you’ve taken me on many enjoyable journeys through your home state. Plus I’ve never once made a recipe you’ve shared that wasn’t truly outstanding. I’d be glad to help support the site. Thank you for asking.

    • Lisa Fain

      Amy–It always surprises and delights me to discover readers who aren’t even Texan. Thank you for your support–your comment has made my day!

  15. Kate Nolan

    Count me in as another non-Texan who is happy to support! (I mean, how can you not support someone who has a queso cookbook?!) Best of luck to you, Lisa!

    • Lisa Fain

      Kate–Thank you for your support! Writing the queso cookbook was definitely a blast!

  16. Celeste Lipp

    Done! I’m so excited for this new chapter in your life, and I especially can’t wait for a podcast. I love them, and I will enjoy listening to one with a Lone Star state of mind. Merry Christmas, Lisa!

  17. First of all: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    Quick question: do the various levels offer access to a different scope of exclusive content or is it the same level / amount of exclusive content for all levels?

    • Lisa Fain

      Dirk–Merry Christmas to you and yours!! As for the subscription levels, for now, all offer the same access to content, though the Family plan is a good deal if you have five people who want to go in together as it’s five subscriptions for the price of four at the Friend level. When I was evaluating how best to do this, other sites that offer subscriptions are also priced in this manner, mainly to give those who wish to pay more a means to do so. I’ve had people over the years ask if they could make donations, so this seemed the best way to give people options. I hope that helps and please feel free to holler if you have any other questions. Thank you for your interest!

      • Dirk von Diringshofen

        Thanks for the additional information. The updated wording on the description page is also really helpful. And yes, I just subscribed as I’m really enjoying your site and love trying a new recipe or two from your collection regularly – even if it can be a struggle to find some of the ingredients occasionally here in Germany?

        • Lisa Fain

          Dirk–Thank you for your support and best wishes to you in finding all the ingredients!

  18. I’m not homesick, as I am lucky enough to live in Austin, but your site is great for finding the recipes I want to cook. When searching for a peanut butter pie recipe with a cooked filling-I finally found the perfect one here. As much as I access your site, a small contribution is the least I could do! Will continue to buy the oks, as well.
    I would also love a podcast or two.

    • Lisa Fain

      Mary–Thank you so much for the kind words! I’m delighted that the site has been useful for you and I look forward to sharing many more recipes in the years to come. Thank you for your support!

  19. Mary Amber

    Lisa – your writing is as delectable as your recipes. As Texas born and raised and Alaskan by love, I am so thankful for your hard work and your diligence. So many people I meet wonder what there is to love about Texas. Your recipes are a wonderful and creative introduction to the heart of Texas culture. Mega respect from Alaska.

    • Lisa Fain

      Mary Amber–Thank you for the kind words and the support! It’s good to know I’ve got a fan in Alaska!

  20. Laura Dowler

    Your recipes are some of my favorites with all that cheese ball and church cookbook love! So happy to be able to help support this labor of love.

    • Lisa Fain

      Laura–Thank you so much for the kind words–I appreciate your support! Here’s to cheese balls and church cookbooks!

  21. Bruce Nivens

    Not from Texas, live in Florida, but every couple of weeks we make your Homesick Texan Carnitas… fantastic! Always loved carnitas but had never tried cooking them at home until I saw the recipe on your site… who knew how easy it was! Now we have the Queso cookbook also, and am working our way through it. And I just signed up as a subscriber!

    • Lisa Fain

      Hi Bruce, Thank you for the kind words and your support! Here’s to many more recipes!

  22. Well, not sure how to respond to this. I have your first book, which is awesome BTW. Though with so many sites, food and especially news sites, going subscription or so many views per month it is tough to decide those to support. There are so many these days.

    Have you considered augmenting the blog with YT videos and subs/likes from there? I see there is already someone who has virtually nothing under “Homesick Texan”, but you could create a site with a “near name” as I would call it and start posting videos of you cooking your recipes. A side thing might be how to do it in a tiny NY-like kitchen (many of us have small kitchens/culinary space). Then you can get some ad revenue along with Patreon and perhaps some ingredient kits through Amazon affiliates.

    Just some random thoughts.

    • Lisa Fain

      Scott–Thanks for the feedback. I considered Patreon but decided that the subscription model was superior since Patreon keeps a percentage of the revenue.

  23. Lisa, I am honored to be your friend. Please continue inspiring us to cook like a true Texan. I miss living in Uvalde but your recipes continue to remind me of those wonderful times. I also love your books! Stay safe and be strong.

    • Lisa Fain

      Ruby–And I’m honored to be yours! Thank you so much for your support! I look forward to sharing more recipes with you!

  24. Patrick Kopplin

    Just subscribed. Have always loved your books and blog. And I still brag about bumping into you in the MFA Houston bookstore and you trying to shame me into buying your second book😉. Which we did. Good luck and stay healthy.

    • Lisa Fain

      Patrick–Thank you so much for your support! It’s funny, that may have been the first time I’d ever pointed out one of my books to anyone in a store, but I’m glad that I did, as I enjoyed talking to you and your wife. I hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy as well.

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