So What’s Changed?
Some years ago, I added the capacity to identify insects to SimpleGiftsFarm and aided by the incredible Moni, (heck, she did all the real work identifying and writing about the insects) 🙂 about 1500 insects were identified for readers.
I put a link up on the site to Moni’s insect control book and a small number – less than the fingers on one hand – went on to thank her by purchasing the ebook.
I have to say this annoyed me. I was less than impressed with the gratitude shown by those who had their insects identified, as well as the thousands of visitors who also learned an incredible amount from Moni’s work.
But with the insects ranking ahead of the gardening content, the site was no longer a garden site in Google’s eyes, it was an insect identification site.
- There were some other things going on in my life so I killed the website. I deleted all the insects.
- The factors that led me to kill the site have changed so I’m now slowly rebuilding the original content. I won’t bore you with the details but I’ll be bringing an aggressive, advertising network on board.
- And I’m doing it at speed because I have all the old gardening content in my files.
- Plus I have the copyright on over a thousand gardening columns that can all be modified for the Net.
- And we won’t be identifying insects.
But I Got Asking Myself, “How Do People Show Gratitude Online Now?”
Many people think a “like” on Facebook somehow translates to meaningful appreciation.
For the record, I do not know of any place in our area that trades a “like” for anything I can use. Certainly, the grocery stores don’t accept them.
I Had My Own Moni-Moment With the Newsletter
In the last six months I ran the newsletter, I tracked all links to my ebooks.
Let me cut to the chase.
With over 140,000 emails going out, the ebook sales were less than a half-dozen.
- So the message to me was that people didn’t think I was doing something that was worth a few bucks.
- Or, that every person on the list had purchased every one of my ebooks. Really?
- Or, that most people wanted things for free and didn’t want to pay for them.
I shut down the newsletter.
I didn’t see paying $100/month to give away free gardening advice when readers only seemed to want the freebies. If it couldn’t at least break-even, why do it?
Note there are so many free resources online now (Including Facebook) that I can’t say I blame folks.
I wasn’t able to produce something they deemed worthy of supporting with their money. Doesn’t lessen the sting, but at least I understand.
And then there was the response to the Premium membership – which was slightly more encouraging.
I lost track of the excuses folks sent but it still boils down to me not being able to produce something readers would value (at the cost of a cup of coffee a month)
So if the bulk of the readership didn’t think I was worth a cup of coffee a month (and I’ve heard every excuse you can imagine for that) I decided my time was better spent doing other projects. (And it is)
Current Writing Projects
- I’m posting four Premium articles a week on DougGreensGarden.com
- I’m rebuilding SimpleGiftsFarm.com (without insects) to run on a very aggressive advertising model once the traffic picks up.
- I have two gardening ebooks underway but slowly, very slowly. More like a snail taking a nap speed if truth be told.
- I’m working on another major project in a fiction genre where I’m getting a ton of great feedback.
I’ll have more to say about what I’m learning – hopefully in a more positive vein – as I work my way through the projects.