Two things are no secrets about Be Your Own Birder – first, that we all have lives beyond birding and occasionally those lives must take priority over the birds we love and the birding we love to do, and that’s perfectly fine. Second, I’m a one-woman show with respect to this blog, along with my professional freelance writing and editing work, home life, family, social obligations, volunteering, and more. In the past few weeks, I’ve seen some shifts in my own personal balance (or imbalance, as it happens to be) of different obligations, and I’ve had to make the difficult decision to scale back on Be Your Own Birder slightly.
This blog is not stopping, I’m not going away, and I’m most definitely not stopping being a birder. But whereas I’ve been doing 3-4 blog posts each week, plus Facebook posts and identification challenges, Pinterest updates, additions to the Field Guide Directory, and offering identification assistance, I can no longer keep up that hectic pace.
At this time, work does have to take a higher priority as I’ve secured new clients in recent weeks, as well as new projects from familiar clients and requests for increased commitment from my very best clients. In the grand imbalance that is my life, I no longer have room for everything, and it is clients that pay the bills, pay down the mortgage, build up the savings, and offer financial security.
Yes, I do make money from this website, but pennies only – a grand total of less than $15 in more than 18 months, which doesn’t come close to even paying for the domain registration and site hosting fees, never mind paying for the hours I spend working on it. I don’t mind, and this site is much more a labor of love, passion, and enjoyment rather than a business proposition. That love, passion, and enjoyment is not going away.
But it does have to change. And what’s going to change is…
- No more Weekly Birds, but a featured monthly bird instead, with multiple posts about to learn even more about all the amazing birds of the world.
- Fewer Smile posts, perhaps not every week but at least 1-2 per month. Whenever a smile is needed there will always be something birdy we can laugh about.
- Fewer regular posts, but still at least 1-2 per week instead of the 3-4 I’ve been been managing before the schedule got so crowded.
- Different identification challenges on Facebook, with more puzzling options and extra hints instead of a weekly feature that isn’t always quick or easy to manage.
All the other features of the site, including posts about conservation, the Bird Bath Project, bird name pronunciations, and more will continue, though I hope you’ll forgive the change in pace. As my schedule settles down, the site will continue to grow, and I hope you’ll grow with it – happy birding!
Melissa, I am personally in awe of your productivity, knowing that you also work full time as a freelancer and that this blog is a labor of love and part of your overall CV. I feel lucky if I can get a blog post out per month, let alone multiple times per week! I also appreciate your transparency on what you make via affiliate sales. Your forthrightness and generosity to readers needs no defense, and you deserve a break (and to make money!). I’ll look forward to whatever comes next.
Best wishes to you, and you must take care of your own business. We will be here when times are better for you.
Thank you so much, Jnona! I will still be around, just at a bit of a slower pace. And of course the birds are always here to enjoy!