An exciting direction – let me know what you think

I’ve been writing this blog for nearly ten years – posting, typically, two or three times a week. I’ve kept it as the ‘free’ WordPress site (with advertisements they serve up) because I’ve been putting any money for online presence into my website.

In those almost-ten years I’ve written on everything from writing to the Land Speed Record, physics, politics and history. I’ve poked into dictionaries and discovered some really obscure English words to share. And I’ve made contact with some really wonderful people around the world through the blog. Some of my regular readers, indeed, arrived soon after I started and are still here. Hi, friends!

After a decade, though, I’m wondering about switching to a paid WordPress site, with my own URL. It’d get rid of the WordPress ads – but I’d have to figure a way of recouping the costs. So I’m contemplating a subscription to give readers access to premium content. The blog posts will stay free, of course.

By ‘premium content’ I’m contemplating something totally new – podcasts, among other possibilities. I may as well put my voice training to work. Possibly I could do an e-magazine. And there’s the potential for an email newsletter, wallpaper downloads via my photography, and that sort of thing.

What do you want? What would work for you, my friends? Let me know in the comments.

Copyright ยฉ Matthew Wright 2019


11 thoughts on “An exciting direction – let me know what you think

  1. Iโ€™m not sure about a subscription, Matthew โ€“ Amazon used to offer that to bloggers (and may still do), but it wouldnโ€™t hurt to give it a go to see how it works out.
    Sponsored Affiliate programs for Amazon, Smashwords, etc, ads, etc, would also bring in some earnings.
    Personally, I just pay USD 18 to 26 pa (I think itโ€™s $ to ยฃ exchange rate related) for my .com domain name and use a free WP theme, with WP word ads (which cover my domain name costs and more โ€“ for more books ๐Ÿ˜ƒ)

    1. Thanks – I’ll look into that further. WordPress have just launched a subscription service with various ‘levels’ to it, which is what got me thinking. And there’s patreon, etc, out there. I am also wondering about using the blog as part of a wider online presence. I’m pondering podcasts – likely easier for me just now than videos – and other stuff to add value (including adding value to my books). And I want to put the returns back into improving that presence – I have access to programmers, designers etc for custom logo, branding and so forth here in NZ, but it’s not cheap. Maybe I should start a line of T-shirts… ๐Ÿ™‚ Plenty to think about!

  2. I can see changing to a self-hosted WP site (that’s what you’re contemplating, isn’t it?) in order to offer features you can’t from the basic WP setup. I’ve heard mixed reviews on self-hosting and am not tempted to go there myself. On the other hand, I got tired of seeing ads, including some rather offensive ones (cures for “fungal nails” and offers of vast earnings without having to work featuring scantily-clad women). So I recently upgraded to one of the paid plans that eliminates the ads and gives me more space to upload and store images. I also pay a small sum every year for redirecting to my own url. Whatever you decide, I’m glad your posts will still be available for free!

    1. I’m keen not to have adverts for similar reasons – I think readers get annoyed by them existing at all, quite apart from dodgy content. That said, I’ll need to look at how this is all to work. I do want to keep my posts free for sure.

  3. Hi Matthew,

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on your intention to move to a paid WordPress site.

    I like the idea of your blog posts remaining free.

    I am not a great listener to podcasts but I wouldn’t let that put you off charging for them as there are, I know many others who listen to them regularly. Having said that (if you do start charging for content), you may find that hits on paid content is much less than that on free material.

    I must confess that ads on sites (including my own blog) sometimes drive me potty. However I am not particularly technical and don’t think I could (without help) manage a wordpress.org site, so will stick to wordpress.com.

    As regards the newsletter, if you go for this maybe its worth including material not featured on your blog (as if its on your website those who subscribe to both will be seeing nothing they have not already seen).

    Good luck.

    Kevin

  4. One thing that’s kept me on wordpress.com is the fear that if I moved to a self-hosted site I’d ‘lose’ all the visibility I’ve gained and have to start again. No idea if the SEO would follow me across or even whether /people/ would.
    If you enjoy creating the podcasts then by all means make them. I know they’ve become a very big thing, especially amongst the younger crowd. The important thing, imho, is to enjoy whatever you decide to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I do intend keeping the blog itself free – one question is whether I could (or should) have premium content for subscription – and if so, what does that consist of? Don’t know yet. I am quite keen to try out podcasts.

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