Developing a website and future business from scratch is hard work. After two years and thousands of page views and hundreds of comments I want to answer some questions and provide an update as to the progress of the site.
First, I want to thank readers and experts who were kind enough to offer their insight. The personal history community was especially gracious.
Most suggested that I shorten the main articles on the site; I reduced verbiage considerably. I was told that if people want more information, they will ask.
The second most frequent comment was that I should not market to any particular demographic. I envisioned telling the histories of older people. Readers told me not to limit the site’s potential; I should reach out to anyone who wanted to share.
Some suggested that I place more generic photographs on the site (with less of an emphasis on older people). That was done.
A storytelling expert stated that there are thousands of websites that allow people to tell their own stories for free. My answer is that there are people who want a guided interview by an expert “and” there are people who want their own websites.
If I’m good enough to do interviews with top officials from the White House plus many other agencies, hopefully I’m good enough for potential customers. I don’t use my government shows as examples because I want clear separation between this site and my work life.
When asked why I started the site before I was ready to give it my full attention (when retired) I explained that it takes years for websites to become and create the traffic necessary to build a web-related business.
I always said that I envy people who made their living solely based on their drive and creativity and their willingness to take risks. I discovered that it’s a lot harder than I thought.
I have no idea what the magic combination of creativity and words are. Does the site work? Will people “get it” or will they tell me that I’m being foolish? Are my suggested prices too much or not enough?
Thus far it’s a work-in-progress “but” it’s been a fun learning experience and I’ve met a ton of nice people along the way. Thanks to everyone who offered their ideas.
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