I Have A Decision To Make

I’ve been thinking about something the past few days and I’m not sure if I am going to pull the trigger or not. I make a decent amount of income by producing content for others but it’s generally confined to writing about Blogging. Writing about Blogging and watching the space from a distance is fun at times but doing it all the time is not. My passion does not revolve around blogging, it revolves around WordPress. I can write about WordPress and related projects all day long, something I can’t do with other topics. The problem though is that, I can’t write purely about WordPress and make a decent level of income and it’s not fair if I write specifically about WordPress but across multiple sites.

There happens to be a pretty cool domain name that is available in WPTavern.com. I love the sound of that domain name. Taverns in the U.S. provide a somewhat social atmosphere and in this case, social about WordPress. I envision a forum being attached to the site as I write countless numbers of articles throughout the week on the domain. I seem to have a knack for reporting on WordPress and related items so I’m wondering, do I have what it takes to do things on my own. WPTavern would be my project, my chance to foster a community, and would allow me to pursue my passion in writing about WordPress all day long.

While it all sounds good to me on paper, I have to wonder if doing something like this would be smart for me to do at this current time. If I drop other sites I write for to put all of my concentration and effort into WPTavern, will I be able to develop a loyal fanbase/following in less than one year to the point where the site makes as much money as writing for others. Other things I have to consider is the existence of WPCandy, WPHacks, of course WeblogToolsCollection.com, would I be able to produce content that is on par with those and other WordPress centric sites? I have a competitive nature inside of me but one thing I have learned while writing for Performancing is to not view sites in the same niche as enemies but rather, collaborators. It’s better to link and build relationships with those who are in the same niche as you rather than burning bridges.

I also have to consider that I cut myself down from work to do weekends only as that provides more time for me to do freelancing. I figure that if I were to cut out 3 of my paid writing gigs, that would slice a good chunk of pay from my monthly income.

I have 7 days to make a decision on whether or not I will purchase the domain and go through with the project. I’m just sitting here wondering if I’ve made a deep enough impact to where I can do things on my own, if I have developed any sort of loyal following which would serve as a great base to start from, if I have what it takes to rise above the noise, if I can provide any points of difference regarding coverage of WordPress and related projects, or if I should just continue doing what I’m doing and let Lorelle handle everything as she is the GO TO person as it relates to anything WordPress.org or WordPress.com.

Hmm, and the clock starts ticking!

19 thoughts on “I Have A Decision To Make

  1. I guess the question you really need to ask is what it is about WordPress that are going to write but which isn’t already covered ,or isn’t covered as well as you can do it.

    You clearly have a knack for bringing people together, and, because you are not a coder, you have a great perspective as a user of products that I could never replicate.

    I think it is something you could do, and do well, but it ain’t gonna be easy.

    Andrew’s last blog post..The Fair Dinkum Licence

  2. The question I have is … will this actually cost you a lot more money than just the domain? If you are busy creating content for your own site, then you run the risk of running out of content to post on blogs which are guaranteed to pay you for your content.

    Having said that, I’m a huge fan of the concept of anyone competent actually running a proper WordPress forum. There is a definite demand out there for one. I’ve seen a few pop up here and there, but they all sucked due to poor management/implementation. If you can pull off a quality forum, then I think it could draw in quite a lot of traffic.

    If you need any help from a technical standpoint, then let me know as I’m more than happy to help with the coding side of things wherever needed.

    Oh, and if you haven’t bought the domain, then you had better do it quick or some prat will probably buy it out from underneath you.

    Ryan’s last blog post..Template Generator Update

  3. I say do it! In my opinion you are becoming the voice of WordPress and this will only help you achieve that title quicker. WordPress is obviously your passion so why not really put your time and effort in to building a community around it?

    Have you given any thought to launching with WordPress MU to help build the community? I know you had issues installing it last time, but might be worth revisiting as it sounds like it might be a better solution for what are you looking to achieve?

    Brad’s last blog post..Merry Christmas from Scotland

  4. Hi,

    I don’t think I will comment on making such a major move as this. My only suggestion is to pick up the domain for now.

    You can always decide what to do with it, even at a later stage.

    Having only a forum will mean you don’t really need to produce content for the site. What you can do is make focused posts of interesting topics in the forum.

  5. Thank you all for your ideas and your support. I’m starting to wonder if now would be a good opportunity to not even have a website but to go ahead with a full blown forum. I think the domain name fits perfectly with a forum as it all just seems to make sense. Just having a forum would cut back on managing an actual website but I’ve always heard of forums being much more difficult to monetize. Also, I wouldn’t necessarily be stepping on the toes of the other WordPress centric sites out their.

    The thing is, I won’t be able to do this forum on my own, I’ll need the help of a few dedicated individuals during the first few months. What does everyone think of just doing a forum?

    By the way, I’ve also been offered a domain WPPub.com. What do you guys and gals think of that? It’s shorter than Tavern but conveys the same meaning.

  6. Can you do it? Yes. I have no doubts about that at all. You just need determination and patience.

    I spent an entire year building up my reputation before taking the plunge into working full time with WordPress. But, I have several revenue streams paying the bills that aren’t directly from Theme Hybrid’s user signups.

    Something that isn’t really addressed much is money. Determination and followers are one thing, but you have to be good with money. Is this a financially sound decision? That’s only something you can answer by taking a good look at where you’re currently at and how long that will last if your business isn’t doing so well. Always have a backup plan and be working on alternate revenue streams.

    I know no one really likes to talk about the monetary risks, but that’s what it ultimately comes down to. I feel a bit like my parents now because this is the main advice they give me, constantly. I consider my parents fairly smart folks though.

    You’re a leader in the community now. You can be successful if you want to be successful.

    I would be more than happy to help you out with anything you may need.

    Justin Tadlock’s last blog post..Why I created a WordPress theme framework

  7. Your personal branding has definitely been heading along the route of wordpress expert. I’ve often thought you should try to target that audience more.

    I’d create a forum, but also a site that is seperate from jeffro2pt0 to brand yourself better as a wordpress expert and leave yourself open to future monetization options like consulting or other freelancing.

    I’d create a forum and work hard to create a thriving community. I would then create another site to attract people to your work – sort of a professional resume. Even if it just links to your freelance work, with the occasional commentary.

    Your in a really good position right now. I’d keep freelancing, but focus on how your branding yourself and your work.

  8. One thing I wonder about is the cost of the domain. Domains are cheap and there must be loads of wp related names that are not registered. The are some which seem obvious to me that are not registered, why go for something that already exists?

    Andrew’s last blog post..The Fair Dinkum Licence

  9. @Jeffro -

    I’m starting to wonder if now would be a good opportunity to not even have a website but to go ahead with a full blown forum.

    If you do, I recommend at least having a landing page and placing the forum into a sub folder. Otherwise you will need to mess around with 301 redirecting everything if you move it to a sub folder later.

    The thing is, I won’t be able to do this forum on my own, I’ll need the help of a few dedicated individuals during the first few months. What does everyone think of just doing a forum?

    Forum for a start sounds great. Count me in as one of your intial posters :)

    By the way, I’ve also been offered a domain WPPub.com. What do you guys and gals think of that? It’s shorter than Tavern but conveys the same meaning.

    The shorter domain is better IMO.

    Ryan’s last blog post..Template Generator Update

  10. PJ says:

    I think it’s a great idea. I agree that you’ve established yourself as a passionate voice in the WordPress community, and I think that you have the knowledge, profile, contacts and resources to establish a fantastic site for the WP community, whether a blog and/or forum.

    You needn’t drop the paid gigs straight away until you feel the site can cover your expenses.

    PJ’s last blog post..Flexx Theme Billboard Plugin and Style Variants

  11. I very much like the idea of creating a forum based on WordPress. I think it is definitely needed because people can only have a discussion on ‘official’ on the wordpress .org forums. Wptavern is also a way better name because it fits. Wppub seems strange to me.

    The thing is, I won’t be able to do this forum on my own, I’ll need the help of a few dedicated individuals during the first few months. What does everyone think of just doing a forum?

    I would be happy to help whenever I can. I know I’m nothing special with wordpress but I would love to help in some way- Im available everyday.

    Conorp

  12. I think you should go for it! I would recommend getting wptavern.com rather than wppub.com for the domain – for me, wppub makes me think of “publications” or “publishing” rather than a “gathering place”.

    As far as your paid writing jobs, I would recommend cutting back on them slowly rather than just stopping cold – you still need a revenue stream while you are building the new site.

    I’d also recommend keeping this blog going as well, even if it’s more of a “personal” blog than WordPress-related once you launch the new site. Think of it as a place that you can just “hang out” and write rather than feeling the need to write an attention-grabbing blog post.

    If there’s anything that I can do to help, just give me a shout!

  13. Ed says:

    Jeff, freelancers are in the odd position of knowing the trends, but being writers first, entrepreneurs a (distant) second. If we had a head for business, we wouldn’t be in the content business, to start out. That said, I add myself to those who say ‘go for it!’ Every day, we see an employee becoming a boss and using the WordPress platform to monetize his (or her) dreams.

    Realistically, don’t look at this as an either-or decision. Trim back on writing for others and start building content for yourself. Look for partnerships that can help you in the beginning. Let your readers (and potential advertisers) of your plans. When readership, advertising grow to the point where you feel comfortable, cut your ties and sail your own ship.

    Ed’s last blog post..Blogs in 2009: Go Big, Or Go Home?

  14. This is a huge decision…and ultimately, only you can answer it.

    But obviously, people are willing to help. Add me to the list. I’ve run two phpBB forums and I’ve just started tinkering in BBPress, so I’ll offer whatever help I can.

    Good luck, dude.

    Patrick D.’s last blog post..Is That Comment Spam?

  15. Yeah.. WPTavern is just a so so name. . there are tons of better names out there.

    Even if you develop the site to be a great wordpress community site, somehow the domain name will hinder its success. If you really want to create a wp site, first you need a better domain.

    Good luck.

  16. As you know, I’m a fan of your blogging posts across the web and although you started blogging for my blog BloggingTips recently too, my advise to you is to go for it.

    If you would like to create your own community and have full control over what happens then I think you should. You definately know enough about the industry and have plenty of good contacts to help you get it launched. In the medium to long term you should make more money too.

    Feel free to email me if you are still unsure about it.

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