The community there has been able to support and help other members achieve some of their blogging goals as well ask candid questions they have about blogging and seek solutions about anything from content to technology.
But it’s slowed a bit and I wanted to reevaluate and reassess the forums before it goes any farther.
Half of me honestly wants to say that it was a “failure” – that’s the negative response as I look at my larger-than-life goals (all my goals are somewhat this way, by the way).
The other half says that it was a definite worth while experiment and it’s time to simply take a look at what worked, what didn’t and decide what needs to change or how it needs to pivot to continue it’s growth.
But whatever which one is ultimately more right doesn’t really matter – what does matter is that you always have to review what you’re doing to see if it’s the most effective. Heck, I just talked about this yesterday!
We’ve had a great number of registrations with over 3,000 posts. There was definitely some activity happening!
Knowing myself well enough and knowing that I have to constantly be on the alert to strip extraneous things off my long list of To-Dos and projects in an effort to ever simplify my life, the forums were an obvious spot to consider.
So what have I learned from the last year? Here are a few nuggets:
- Invest for a Return – The more time I spent in the forums the more active they became. Being the founder of the forums and first point of culture development it was imperative that I did. Blocking out time daily to engage was part of my strategy. But when I was busy and my time became limited in terms of my engagement the traffic dipped as well. A simple reminder that energy begets energy.
- Delegation – I made it a point to see if I could find passionate individuals to help build the forums and provide energy. I didn’t do as good of a job here and it showed. I wanted to tightly control the experience but didn’t give enough of it away. This was my fault.
- Reviews – I should have had quarterly reviews of the forums, like I do with many other things in my life. I let this one just cruise (because it was doing well enough) and let my review period slip into a year! Not good. I should have reviewed and pivoted earlier.
- Time and Attention – At the time I launched I had time to invest. Things (and life) changes and I didn’t keep this as a senior and top priority. I won’t necessarily apologize for that but I’m sad that I couldn’t keep it near the top. It’s just another reminder that the things that you give time and attention get priority in life. That’s just the way it is.
- Not About Money – As you can see with registrations, the forums were in fact making money. I did a number of giveaways and gave a lot of the net margin back into the group but it as an independent property made money. My decision is not motivated by money but rather of value. It’s always been that way. I want to provide the most value to my readers and community. If it’s not then I’ll stop it even if it’s cash-flow positive.
I’ll be doing some more internal calculations and planning in the next few months as I reconsider the forums but I wanted to put in front of you and see where your heads are (were) at.
Let me know your experience and what you think we should do. How could we make it better? Should we just close it down now? Give it to me straight!
Also, for those that are paying members there is a refund that is available for you – and if you decide to discontinue the membership please feel free to do so! Thanks for your support as I enjoyed it (and continue to enjoy it) immensely. It was for you guys anyway!