A few days ago I wrote a post asking for feedback about what I should be writing about. In hinsight, it was the best thing I could have ever done.
In all, I heard from over 50 different individuals; some posted a comment, most sent me an email, a few even pick-up the phone and called me. The entire experience was both eye-opening and very rewarding – to know that people are actually reading and value what I have been doing over the last three years here on Smith On VoIP is beyond what I imagined.
Where to go from here…
I took some time to compile all of the feedback I recieved from everyone and below is what YOU suggested as the what this site should be about.
- In-depth analysis of industry news, events and happenings – Don’t just report the news, show why is it important.
- How-to’s and guides- Continue to produce guides on how to buy, configure and or install VoIP product and services.
- Product and service reviews – Have the most comprehensive collection of VoIP product and service reviews
- Reseller centric posts – There aren’t a lot of resources available for VoIP VARs.
- Industry direction – Where is the industry heading? Who is taking it there, etc?
- Interviews – Get the insights from prominent people within the industry.
- More interactive features – Thoughts on this include a forum, job board and other tool
Business Versus a Hobby…
This site has always been a hobby – something I did because I had an opinion and wanted to help others. It has never been about money or traffic or fame. At the end of the day I lose money ever time I spend time on this site. There is little direct revenues and very little in-direct revenues generated since I am not a consultant or own a firm that could sell services back to the readership (I would get paid the same at my job with or without this site).
Yes, my “status” has risen within the industry and I have met a lot of people because of this site, but at the end of the day it has yet to make my wallet any fatter – and it takes away free time from my family, friends and my day job duties. As recently as two weeks ago, I was on the verge of shutting down Smith On VoIP because the value of the site was disproportionately distributed – the readers were getting more value out of the site then I was by a substantial margin.
This was something that was very apparent from your feedback.
So, faced with a decision to shutting this site down or continuing on with a new focus on the premium content you want, I had to find a way to increase the value I recieved from this site. One reader had an idea…
Make the site subscription based.
If readers were consistently talking about the value they recieved and where asking for more premium content (which is going to take even more of my time to create), make them pay for it…
…and that is what is probably going to happen.
The site would no longer be a hobby for me – it would be run like a business.
Right now, I don’t have a ton solidified, but I do know that within the next sixty days, I am going to try and move the site to a monthly/yearly subscription model (parts of the site will remain free, but the majority will require a subscription) and work will begin on delivering to you more of all seven of the things you want from me. It estimated that the cost for a subscription will be $5/m or $50/year. Look for more on this as progress is being made.
What do you think? Would you pay? If not, why? If so, is the price too high, too low? What are your thoughts on the below?
This is now a business – you are my customer. Let me know how I can provide more value to you.