For those not familiar Ghost is a blogging platform that is organised and run by a small, Non-Profit Organisation called the Ghost Foundation.
It is an open source platform application that is completely free to use. At the end of April there was a blog post by John O’Nolan that detailed the two year anniversary. It is a very interesting read as it shows anyone interested in running a Kickstarter program all the fees and hoops you jump through to complete funding.
Ghost raised $300,000, O’Nolan says, “On April 29th, 2013 – Ghost launched on Kickstarter with an idea for a brand new blogging platform. Just 29 days later it had blown away its fundraising goal by more than 800% and raised $300,000 in the process.
Today we’re back to tell you exactly where all that money went and what we’ve been working on ever since. Strap yourself in!”
The first thing that stood out to me was 15% in fees, something Ghost did not know was going to be that high. (Tip of the cap to Default User for the story link)
As you can see, we actually paid about 15% of what we raised on Kickstarter straight away to fees, dropped pledges and taxes. This is a monumental amount. We weren’t prepared for just how high this would be by any stretch of the imagination. This was a tough lesson which was only offset by the fact that we did an extra round of private sponsorships which made up the difference.
One of the best decisions we made was not to have any physical rewards. There are too many stories of projects who spend 3 months and 50% of their funding making tshirts and dealing with shipping problems instead of working on their project. Avoiding this pitfall was important.
The most interesting part of the post for me was obviously the domain name. Ghost.org was owned by someone asking $100,000, O’Nolan writes that they were able to get him down to $33,300. It is also interesting to note that they did not believe ghost.org vs tryghost.org would increase their revenue, and if they did not get extra sponsorship they would not have spent the money on the domain. It does seem they are happy with their decision now by what O’Nolan writes below:
The Ghost.org domain was a far more contentious matter. Owning ghost.org vs tryghost.org wouldn’t increase our income at all. If we had only received income from Kickstarter backers, who expected us to spend their hard-earned money on what we’d promised to deliver, we would have let this one go. Fortunately for us, we had additional sponsorship capital to work with following the Kickstarter campaign which gave us some added flexibility. So we decided to go for it.
Originally, the gentleman who owned Ghost.org wanted close to $100,000 for it. After a long negotiation we managed to get him down to $33,300 and we felt that price was only ever going to go up as Ghost became bigger and more well-known.
It was a really hard decision to let go of such a large sum at such an early stage, but we felt that the long term investment in the brand was ultimately worth it. Looking back now and imagining what the price might be if we tried to get the domain 2 years later, we’re very, very happy we did this back then.
Read the full blog post and try Ghost for yourself it is a sleek publishing platform.
Ghost.net was sold for $9,900 back in 2007 on Snap Names according to Namebio.