So, How’s the Membership Thing Going So Far?



It’s been two weeks since I announced that I’m taking shawnblanc.net full time and kicked off the membership drive. With just under two weeks to go it seems time for a half-time report.

Thank Yous

The first week of the announcement was an adrenaline rush. Especially those first two days. More than half of all the current members signed up in the first 48 hours of the announcement.

The response from all of you has been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you so much to all of you who have emailed me or @replied to me on Twitter with your words of encouragement. Thank you to everyone who has been helping to spread the word via Twitter, your blog, or other channels. And especially thank you to all who have signed up to become subscribing members. I cannot say enough how grateful and honored I am to have your support.

My Writing Schedule

It has been a peculiar situation this month. At the same time I am making this announcement about going full-time here, I am also transitioning out of my role as Marketing Director for the International House of Prayer.

Monday, April 4 will be my first day on the job here at shawnblanc.net. But in the meantime, as Marketing Director, I am right at the beginning of budget season for the upcoming fiscal year as well as preparing for my transition out of this role. In short, it means I am struggling to find the time to write at my normal pace, let alone to increase that writing pace leading up to April.

I suppose I could have waited until April to make the announcement and simply go full time on the same day as I launched the membership drive. But I wanted to have the build up. I think that first week in April will be fun for everyone who has been walking this journey along side me for these weeks leading up to my official first day as an indie writer.

Another option would be to take the time I do have for writing and spend it on the core focus of this site instead of writing these membership updates. But the way I see it this membership drive and launch to go full-time is a one-time event. There is a vast future to come in which I will be able to write about technology and design and coffee. But you only go full-time once. And there is only this single opportunity to come out from behind the scenes to tell the storyline of going full-time.

I have opted to bring you guys along for this journey as much as I can. And then, come April, I plan to totally rock it.

Current Membership Numbers

Before I launched the membership I did a lot of research of other websites, writers, or online businesses that offer paid subscriptions memberships. And though everyone had their own way of doing things, there seemed to be one very common thread: less people signed up than expected but those who signed up were willing to have paid more. And this has been my experience as well.

There are two goals set for the shawnblanc.net membership numbers: a minimum number of members and an ideal number. As of this afternoon I am more than two-thirds of the way to my need of a minimum membership base and am half-way to the goal for an ideal membership base.

Things are on pace with what I expected them to be, but they are not quite what I had hoped them to be. However, with the membership drive only half-way through, things are looking bright. This whole thing just might work out after all.

As it relates to potential subscribing members, I figure there are three groups of people reading this site:

  • Those who would gladly sign up for a membership.
  • Those who would never sign up for a membership.
  • Those on the fence.

And it’s those on the fence — those of you who are not yet sure if you want to become a member and fork over a measly 3 bucks a month for what you’re mostly already getting for free — that have the potential to make this whole venture a success.

Long before I actually launched the membership drive I knew this moment would come. It’s the moment where I try to convince those of you who have not yet signed up to please do so and become a member. Because the success of this venture rests in the hands of the fence sitters. And, to be honest, I don’t really know what to say that will convince you guys to become members.

I’ve tried to sum up why you should become a member with the answer that you’ve found value and delight here and that you’d like to see this site grow.

I’ve also tried to bribe you with prizes, brag about how popular the members-only perks are, and worked to convince you that it is a good thing for writers and creators to get paid for their work. But if you’ve been paying attention for the past two weeks you have already seen these enticements.

And so, at the end of the day, perhaps the best reason I have for why you should become a member is that your individual membership really does make a huge difference.

You may think that your 3 bucks a month won’t make much of a difference and so you don’t see the need to become a member. And, in a way, you are right — an individual person’s $3 does not make a difference. But many people’s $3 does; your $3 does.

Your individual membership plays a big part in the success of this website. For those of you sitting on the fence I’m hoping you will come over to the member’s side.