I was done with 2018 a while ago and wrote my thoughts about it for my birthday. I’ve spent the past month treating it like a new year and actually prepping for the new year.
I like to tell people I’m not big on resolutions and that I prefer to constantly be improving myself and adjusting as the situations change but let’s be honest, just me and you, I actually have started setting resolutions in recent years. Part of my resolution for 2018 was to write more. It was prompted by saying goodbye to Marley at the end of 2017. I wrote a long post about her and it was very therapeutic. That catharsis was something I wanted to chase the rest of the year. I wanted to get things off my chest. I wanted to toot my own horn because I was tired of waiting for someone else to notice what was bothering or what I was proud of. I wanted to organize my thoughts on a weekly basis so I could look back at the year and see that I said my peace, at least as much as I could. That’s how I came to publish a new post every week in January, almost always on Wednesdays at 11:00 AM.
So, in this past month of prepping, I’ve thought about how things have gone with writing weekly and how I want to improve it for the future. What I decided on was to lose the schedule. I don’t want to be held to writing 1500 words every week in time for it to be released on the same day at the same time. No one was holding me to this either, other than myself, so the need of a schedule made less and less sense the more time went on. That being said, I won’t be writing every week. Or maybe I will. I’ll write when I have something to write about like I used to.
Early in the year I listened to a podcast and it helped spur me along in my writing. While I cannot recommend the podcast because it’s a guy selling hopes and dreams less than he’s offering solid advice, it did help me organize my thoughts. It gave me a goal to grow my blog into something more than just a hobby. As a result, I set myself a goal of increasing my blog followers over the course of the year from the one hundred or so all the way up to 500 by the years’ end. You know what I learned trying to do that? No one wants to subscribe to some thirty-year-old’s blog about the things he does. The subscribers I got were just spam accounts and that was eye opening. I wasn’t offering anything to the world that the world actually needed. Okay, not that eye opening.
In the course of this realization, I hatched a plan to actually build a website that could offer something. I thought about what I like and I thought about what was lacking for what I like in terms of a website, and I thought about how I could make some money off of what’s lacking in what I like. I like woodworking. I find there’s a lack of a good resource of woodworking plans in the world. There are hundreds of sites where one man shops churn out new woodworking plans a few times a month. You need to know where these are when you’re looking for something to build and hope you find the one that has what you’re planning to make. My thought, what if there was one place where people could go that had everyone’s plans in one place? That would make life a whole lot easier.
And so, The Woodworker Shop was born. This is a site I put together. It’s a multi-vendor marketplace specifically for woodworking plans. It does its job quite well. I registered the domain back in April and launched the first version of the site shortly after that. I’ve slowly been populating it with public domain woodworking plans (which can be had for free but also have the option to chip in some money for my time and effort) as well as the woodworking plans I’ve put together myself. And that’s where I am today.
Then one day, I screamed a bit. I looked down at my phone and saw that someone had made a purchase on the site. Six months in and I finally made $5. It was a feeling like nothing else I had experienced before. For once, I felt like I made money. I wasn’t being paid, I was making money for something that I had made. It was a good feeling and I lived off the high of it for over a week. But then it fell silent. And then another sale came through and then silence again before one final sale before the end of the year. By the end of the year, nine months into this endeavor, I had pulled in $14.22. It feels good.
So that $14.22, that hardly made up the cost of the domain and didn’t come close to paying for the experimental advertising I ran on Google and Bing. But it gave me some traction and some direction to take to go forward. In 2019, I’m going to go forward with the website that has pulled in more money than this blog has ever made. I’m blogging less here, so I can really build something over there.
I want 2019 to be about things that make me happy and move me forward. 2018 wasn’t my year so I’m leaving it in the past. I’ll still blog when I have something to blog about, but you spam accounts are going to have to get used to the irregular posts from here on out.