Earlier this year, I shared a few of the goals I had for 2017. Some of those include the changes I want to make is to do a whole blog overhaul (versus the other one).

But I’ve yet to talk about some of the changes I want to make, so I thought rather than just drop a bunch of changes at once, I’d talk a bit about some of the changes I’m looking to make and the rationale behind each of them.

An Impeding Blog Overhaul

And unlike many of the posts I’ve published as of late, I’m leaving the comments open on this post for any comments, questions, or whatever you may have related to any of this. After all, you ladies and gentlemen are the ones who read this (and I’m exceptionally thankful for that) so a blog overhaul impacts all of us.

Some of what I’m sharing and what I’m doing is coming from feedback; others are meant to help increase the utility this blog offers to those looking to get into more professional WordPress development or simply learn ways of doing things.

But more on that later in this post.

A New Design

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, then you’ve likely noticed some of the readability problems especially as it relates to block quotes (which someone pointed out the irony of this when talking about accessibility).

But when I began to get more serious about daily blogging, I wanted to have a theme, presentation, and a simple theme for doing just that. And I think that’s what this particular theme has done (and it’s free now!). I still recommend it, to be clear.

Blog Overhaul: From one theme to another.

It’s time, as part of this whole blog overhaul, to change themes. So I’ve picked one, but it’s going to take a bit of time to make sure I get everything in place. I’m hoping to do it sooner rather than later, but it should be relatively easy migration.

And yes, it’ll be another one from Array. Expect nothing else (and no other recommendations, for that matter).

Premium Content

For some time now, I’ve been able to support this site through the use of advertisements. I have some strict rules around them, too (like no animations) because I want to make them as unintrusive as possible while still providing links to resources to readers.

But it’s not something I want to stick with in the long-term. It’s going to be a long transition, but the first pass I have in place to begin moving away from this is offering premium content.

Specifically, I’ll be decreasing the number of posts I make per week where, say, at least one is premium which will require payment to access. All of the information about the post will explain the content before purchasing so you can make the wisest financial decision possible. And, for those who are curious, all of this will be managed with Restrict Content Pro.

Blog Overhaul: Premium Content is likely on its way.

I’ve been asked about doing site memberships, and that’s not something that I don’t know how to integrate yet (or if I want to do it). This isn’t to say I don’t know how to do it from a technical perspective, but I’m not I want to do it from a perspective of asking others to join this site.

I view this site as one way that I try to give back to the open-source and WordPress economy in a way that’s outside of code, so to place that behind a paywall for the majority of the content seems to be against that goal.

And that’s where I sit with that right now.

Sponsored Content

Periodically, I’m asked if I’ll share content that others have provided. Given that this domain is, you know, my name, I’ve always had mixed feelings about doing sponsored posts.

Sometimes they come off as disingenuous, sometimes they come off as too “marketing,” and sometimes they come off as utterly irrelevant and of no benefit to those of you who read this blog.

This is one thing that’s still very much in the “I don’t know” category.

Thoughts?

Here’s the thing: A blog is only as successful as the number of people who read it. You could argue that some different ways, but I’ve found this to be the case with this blog.

It’s introduced me to some incredibly smart people, given me the desire to speak at conferences and events, and even allowed me to share things I’m doing both with my business and other projects.

All that to say, thank you for reading (and I welcome anything you have to offer up in the comments!).

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Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. I don’t think you should be afraid to do clearly marked sponsored content. I think CSS Tricks is an example of it done well. As long as it’s on topic, it should be good.

  2. Hey Tom,

    I bet we can do some cool stuff with RCP and Postmatic.. like still sending restricted posts/excerpts with some built-in marketing language right in the email to drive upgrades. I’m happy to talk about it if you would like.

    It could be a cool model – users would still subscribe because of the majority free and valuable content, but that one time per week something even better would come along prompting them to upgrade…

    • I bet we can do some cool stuff with RCP and Postmatic.. like still sending restricted posts/excerpts with some built-in marketing language right in the email to drive upgrades. I’m happy to talk about it if you would like.

      Actually in the process of drafting an email to you now about some of this and Replyable, too.

  3. I am right there with you. I have thought long and hard about this sponsored content thingie and have decided against it on the primary domain. I am however working towards a sub domain that could fulfill the purpose.

    Looking forward to what you end up deciding.

    • Looking forward to what you end up deciding.

      It’s going to be a bit of a process so, if things as I’m planning right now, it’ll be integrated over the course of the year (though I may change my opinion — we’ll see :).

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