Website Update: Subscriptions, Policies, and Upcoming Content
As part of my ongoing effort to continue expanding my site and to make it as useful as possible for readers, I'm excited to announce a major new feature of my site and some upcoming content that I hope to add soon. Going forward, I will be very open to reader input about any changes I make to the site, so please read and let me know your feedback!
In a couple of places throughout my site (on my blog page, and potentially at the end of some blog posts), you'll see a button to subscribe to my website. By clicking that button, you'll be brought to a page where you can sign up to receive weekly emails from me with a summary of all new posts from the week.
To offer this service, I've setup MailChimp, which is a terrific service but will take some time to master. Right now the newsletter is set to only show links for new blog posts in the past week, and I haven't quite gotten images working yet (there's apparently a bug with MailChimp and Squarespace that causes the images to be huge, so I've removed them for now). But over time I hope to improve the appearance and to make the content both more visual and more helpful. For example, I'd like to include older posts that subscribers may find relevant, but I'll need to figure out if that's possible.
The RSS feed is still an option for those (like me) who prefer to subscribe via RSS, but I know some people prefer emails.
My intention is for this to be helpful, so I have no intentions of getting overly pushy to subscribe to the email list. Likewise, I plan to keep the emails focused on helpful content, and I'm open to any suggestions for how to improve them over time! If you want to be one of my first subscribers, you can use the button here:
More Recommended Resources
As we approach the end of the year, I plan to have a few posts that will focus on reviews of different resources/content that I found helpful throughout the year of 2015. This will include apps and podcasts, and potentially other categories as I think about them. I'll create posts that list each recommended resource and why I recommend them, and then I'll also add sections to my resources page that make them easy to access at any time.
As you can imagine, grad school is highly demanding and requires a lot of time. My hope is to continue growing this site and producing more and more useful content for readers, but my time to devote to the site is limited by other commitments. Right now my time is prioritized to tasks that are required for my graduate program and tasks that result in an income. If I'm able to find a way to get more of a return for the effort I put into this site, then it will be easier for me to commit more time to it, and that will mean more and better content.
The ads that I have on the site were a stepping stone in that direction, but the site is still small enough that there is very little revenue to be made from ads. I also don't want to make the ads too prevalent throughout the site, as I want the focus to be on content and information.
One possibility is for me to open up a marketplace on the site where I can have some paid content. My plan is to keep a lot my resources openly available, and the paid content would just be a nice bonus that people could pay for if they want to help support my efforts with the site.
For example, one possibility is for me to put together a resource pack for parents, which could include helpful information in a sort of ebook format, along with some helpful templates for things like sticker charts. It's just an initial thought, so I'm not making any promises yet.
If you have suggestions for what content you think would be really useful, and wouldn't mind paying a few dollars for (I'll most likely aim for the $5-10 range), please let me know!
The more I listen to podcasts, the more I enjoy the more personal feeling they have because of actually hearing a person. I've also found them to be a great way to take in content at times when it's difficult to read, like during a commute. It's been tempting to test making my own podcast for these reasons, plus there are some things that may actually be faster for me to speak about than write about.
I don't have any podcasting equipment, and I know there is a lot of work that goes into editing and things like that to make them sound great. In the end, it may be too much work for me to commit to doing consistently, but I may at least try a couple of episodes to learn about the process and get everything setup in case I decide to do something more consistently in the future. Again, the time priority will need to be the requirements for my graduate program.
If you have any ideas of topics you'd like to potentially hear me speak about, please let me know!
Over time there will hopefully be increasing engagement in the comment sections of my blog posts. As I've stated previously, my plan is to continue allowing for anonymous comments so people can feel free to comment if they don't want their identity known. This can be very empowering for commenters, but there's also the chance that it will lead to harsh comments. I intend to keep the comment sections of my posts a place that is safe and free from unnecessarily harsh comments, and I've detailed my intentions in my new policy.
This is something that I don't really anticipate being a problem, but just in case any readers thought it would be helpful I wanted to clarify my position on how the content from this site can/cannot be used. If you go to my copyright policy page, you'll see that I'm using a creative commons license. This means that content, which has been created by me, is free for re-use (with proper attribution) except for commercial purposes. There are additional details (especially regarding things like presentations on my research page), so if you're curious you can use the link at the bottom of the page to read more.
Hopefully these updates, and plans, make my website more useful to anyone who visits and reads my content. If you have any feedback from this post, please let me know in the comments or by sending me a message using the Contact Me button at the bottom of the page! Both allow anonymous input, and it will be highly valued and could help shape the future of this site.