Reality check: Why am I blogging and where am I going?
Let me start with some simple facts about my situation.
1. I teach in higher education in Japan. I have been teaching for the past 5 years. For the most part, I enjoy it. One of the best things about it are the moments when I am able to create a real connection with students and help them progress with their learning. If you’ve ever taught anyone anything, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
2. While I like the job, it has become more and more draining over the past year. My workload has been increasing annually and I have begun to feel stressed out and tired. So much so, that for the first time in a long time I have begun to think about building an alternative future for myself.
3. I have been a WordPress user since late 2004. In fact I started out with b2/cafelog, the forerunner of WordPress. Through early experiments with the platform, I taught myself how to code and how to blog. Both of these skills have proved valuable over the years.
4. In 2008, I remember stumbling across a keynote speech on YouTube. The speaker was entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk and the conference was Web 2.0 Expo keynote speech. At the time, Gary had not long since stopped working at his father’s liquor store, which he had helped build into a multi-million dollar business. He was setting up a new media marketing agency in NYC called VaynerMedia.
In the keynote, he talks about changing course in life and the idea of “positioning yourself to win.” The premise is simple: work your day job to pay the bills, and focus on your passion after hours. Transition to working full time at your passion once you have put in the time and built a solid business plan.
5. That message resonated with me and in 2012 I started Wpliving as a place to write about my passion for WordPress. My hope was that others might find it useful. I never thought about money. Sure, I ran the occasional affiliate link on the blog, but only to products I really wanted to share and talk about. Truth be told, I rarely made any conversions.
6. So now we come to the present. I’ve been thinking about trying to revive this blog. Really try to make a go of it this time. It’s funny that the blog is called “Wpliving” and yet I’ve never thought of it as a possible income stream. The “living” part of the title, was always in reference to using WordPress in everyday life.
7. I want to take this blog in a new direction. I want to use it as an experiment in making money. Wait a minute! Before you call me a sell out, let me explain. I’ve never learnt how to monetize a blog and I want to use this blog as a laboratory to do just that. I’m under no illusions that it is going to be a long and slow process and will only really work if I actually provide people with some value. There is no quick fix, but I’m hoping the process will be of interest to other people. I’m also hoping that some readers may chime in with suggestions and ideas about any mistakes I make along the way.
8. So finally then, my aim is to share this learning curve with anyone in a similar position to me: anyone thinking about changing directions in their life, looking to build an alternative revenue stream online, and anyone with a passion for WordPress.
In my next post, I will outline the main changes to this blog and my strategy for the next 6 months.