In the previous article (Part One) it was all about, what's going to happen going forward? What do we do when things start moving back to some frame of normal?
The thing about this time is it's always a good time to reflect. It's a good opportunity to start examining where you are and where do you want to go with things. That's something I've been doing with this website as well, and I just wanted to share some of my thoughts, ideas, and questions. And I'd love to hear back from you.
Coming to a turning point
I started this website with the idea that I could spend a year or so focusing on just providing useful content. It was all about providing value. I put it out there not expecting anything in return. That is my goal, to continue to do that. I've also been following the advice that I've picked up from a number of people, to just focus on content, build the audience, and let the audience guide you on where to go next.
I've been a little surprised at how much the website has grown, or how many people are coming to it. It's been fun to watch it grow. I hope that means that I've been doing exactly what I hoped to: provide useful information.
And, I'm starting to see some things. I see the different kinds of articles that are getting attention, and I see the kind of links that people are following. So that's starting to give me some direction. And part of what I want to, part of why I'm talking about this, is I'd like to get some more direction from you.
You may have noticed a drop in content lately.
The past week has had almost no content. In fact, I missed a weekend for the first time ever on the Podcast. Now part of that was I wanted to move that up to the front of the week. I put out a weekly newsletter early in the week, and I just want to keep that all together.
Part of it has been putting some time into some other projects, but also putting time into some things related to where I want to go with this. So it's been more of a building mode and less creative. A couple times I sat down to see if I could come up with something to put out, and I realized it would be just putting out stuff to put stuff out. I didn't want to get to that here.
And also, I'm just putting thought into where this is going. Where should it go? What is good, what needs work, so let me just throw out a couple topics and get your thoughts on them.
Building a community
One thing I've really enjoyed about doing this website is the engagement. I love when I get emails and comments and thoughts.
I've thought about if I should be getting intentional about building a community. It's a great way for me to listen, to know more about where I can be helpful, and to get more interaction between people. But I'm hesitant, to be totally honest.
One of the most popular ways to build community is to create a Facebook group. It's easy and it's free. I've seen a number of people do it. I've also seen it backfire on some. I'll be honest – something about Facebook groups just seems to bring out the worst in people. If you've been to any of the groups for Doordash or Grubhub or any other driver groups, you know what I mean. It just brings down your faith in humanity, you know? The trolls… the trolls…. what is it about these groups that bring out the most miserable in people. And that includes me – I know I can get pretty snarky myself when I get into discussions.
I don't want to create that. But is there a way to create a community where people can build each other up without all the snark and the nastiness and the trolls? And I don't want to pour the time into it that it takes to monitor something like that. But is there a way to do better if I do it somewhere else? What if I hosted a forum on the site? What if it was on LinkedIn – we are business owners, maybe that's a good place. Or what if it's a community somewhere that isn't tied to these major platforms? What would you think?
Where should the podcast go?
I'm even asking this question: SHOULD the podcast go?
I get some wonderful comments on the podcast. I haven't had the trolls show up yet. So maybe I'm doing something right. But I gotta say, it's not really going anywhere. The number of listens or downloads has been pretty steady across the board. I get the sense I've got a handful of loyal listeners, and a few stragglers that come in here and there, but not really any growth.
So I have to be honest, I wonder if it's bringing that much value? I'm putting just about everything in the website that is on the podcast. Some of those posts have thousands of views and definitely not thousands of listens. Is my time better spent on the website?
So let me ask this question: What would you rather hear more of? More interviews? More practical advice, tips and information? More industry news and commentary? What would bring you the most value and help you the most?
What else can I add to the website?
I'll tell you one thing: I'd like to have more time to work on the website. I'm driving pretty close to full time, doing this on the side, and also wanting to get my other projects off the ground. Something has to give as far as time.
That's one reason I've added some affiliate links. It's kind of like advertising but I don't want to be overwhelming like that. The idea is if you buy from Amazon or any other affiliates from these links, it provides some money for me to operate this site. So far it's about enough to cover the cost, which for the past year has been entirely out of my pocket, so that helps. But yeah, I'm looking for some ways that I can add some revenue that can allow more time to work on this site. At the same time, I want to do it in a way that doesn't leave you feeling it's just about hte money. I've felt that way on some sites, you know? I don't want to be that guy
Here are some thoughts on where the site can grow.
- Sell delivery bags. I have a LOT of people clicking off links to different products, partucularly delivery bags. Some are affiliate, there are a lot that aren't. But I find a lot of people interested in finding good bags. One thing I'm looking to do is maybe introduce an entry level bag, maybe stamp something like “Independent Delivery Professional” on the bag. It would be a lot like the bags Doodash and Postmates give out for starters, mainly I start with that because it's affordable to start that way. And then maybe add larger bags to the arsenal. Would you be interested in something like that?
- Other gear – shirts, hats, cell phone holders, things like that. Would you be interested in a shirt that identifies you simply as a delivery professional without the logo for Grubhub or Doordash or anything like that? Or maybe ball caps (or even Fedoras).
- Coaching or training. I've wondered about introducing some group coaching or training. Maybe a beginner course to help people systematically get started running their delivery business. Would anyone be interested in anything that helps improve their earnings? Maybe webinars on things like taxes or delivery methods?
These are things that I'm thinking about. If I add them, I want to do it in a way that is useful, and at the same time doesn't put pressure on people to buy. I still want this to always be a place that first and foremost provides useful and helpful information without any expectation in return.
That's where the new logo came in.
You may have seen my article where I was looking for help choosing a new logo. I did it all through 99designs.com – I just decided I needed something a little more professional looking. After an interesting process, I finally came down to my new choice.
It wasn't an easy choice, there were a lot of great options. In the end, I felt this captured some of the essence of this site but with a much cleaner look. The character stands alone nicely or it fits together well with the name. I just thought it would look better on merchandise or for branding any offerings.
What do you think?
Could you help me out with this? I put together a survey – I'd love to hear from you what you think about some of the things I talked about. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how helpful this site is or the podcast – and any ideas you can think of for where you could get more value out of it.
You can fill in the survey below, or scroll further down and simply leave your comments.