Maybe by definition, but not in spirit.
I've been thinking a lot about BTYB / LN over the past couple weeks, which lead to the survey from yesterday (please take a minute to fill it out if you haven't already). Tonight I had a conversation about all this with Carl Zetterlund, a long time reader who is doing a segment of LN with me right now.
So, I think it's time to make some changes. Here are the problems, as I see them:
I don't post frequently enough for two reasons. One, despite having far more (and more engaged) readers here, Life Nomadic is my priority. So every week I make sure that I have my posts in for Gadling, but BTYB gets written for if a) I happen to have an idea for a post at a time when it's convenient to write for it or b) if I've gone too long without writing and feel guilty.
Two, most of my life is traveling right now, and I feel like putting travel information on BTYB is blurring the line too much between the two sites.
The layer of formality stems from this problem a bit. When I write so infrequently I feel like I have to make my entries more polished. I know people look forward to the posts, so I try not to "waste" them by writing shorter blurbs about some quick interesting thought I had that day, or something funny that happened.
So... what to do about all this?
Here are some thoughts:
Combine all of my sites into one
Better Than Your Boyfriend, Life Nomadic, and Best in the Land, all under one roof. Probably an entirely new domain, either Tynan.net or ReallyAwesome.com.
Over the last year I've really started to get some clarity on what my passion is and what really makes me unique. I haven't quite gotten the wording down, but it's something along the lines of living life outside the box and inspiring and helping other people do the same.
When you think about it, EVERYTHING I do and write about fits into that definition. The new site will be focused around that idea. I think that this will also help build a sense of community and common purpose, which is one aspect I think we're missing now.
My attention shifts between LN and BTYB now. If I'm visiting a lot of countries rapid fire I have tons of travel stuff to write. If I'm hanging out in Panama for two months, I have less.
So instead of having two sites that alternate between getting enough attention, I'll have one that is consistent. I even have things I want to write for Best in the Land, but I don't because I'm not willing to commit to focusing on it.
Promise and Deliver Consistency
I'm going to publicly announce and stick to a fixed schedule of posting. To make sure I do this I'm going to pre-write a bunch of posts and have my assistant publish one if I don't have a new one ready by the deadline.
Carl was saying today that there are certain sites he checks because he knows there will be new posts. When he checks mine he expects that there won't be. That's sad.
I will also set a personal goal of writing at least 1000 words every day.
Have Feature Posts and Blog Posts
I'm thinking about writing two feature posts per week (the kind of stuff that gets posted now), and also writing shorter daily update style posts more frequently. Casual posts that probably won't change your life, but will keep the conversation going.
I just got a video camera yesterday, so you can also expect video posts.
Buy You an Awesome Pony
Write Short Ebooks / Guides for Niche Topics
I was inspired by Chris Guillebeau, who makes his living writing a blog with a very similar theme to mine. He has a few 30-50 page ebooks that he sells through his site. I like his approach because they're all high quality and he doesn't push them.
Some ideas for things I would write about are:
Obviously most people wouldn't buy most of the ebooks, but readers who are really interested in a topic would find the books valuable. Hopefully by now you trust that I do very serious research into everything I do, do it as excellently as possible, and produce very high quality work.
Earning money from BTYB is an excellent thing for you and for me. It means that I can focus more time on it, which is good for people who buy the books and those who don't.
And just in case you're worried that the books will take away from the free content, here is my rule:
If I don't write the posts I said I would in a month, on time, I will find a hilarious way to give the money away to strangers and will video and post it.
My one nagging concern is that this can somehow be considered giving up on LN, which I have committed to focusing on. In reality I consider Life Nomadic to be a major subset of what I do and what I'm about, not the superset. I will be posting more LN related content (first on my agenda is a constantly updated 2009 gear list).
After all, I'm still going to be LIVING Life Nomadic,.
How does this all sit with you?
Does this sound better than what we have going now? I think that most people read both sites anyway, so I have the feeling people will be behind it.
Some questions to consider:
@PeaceOut: Good point. It is high up on the list, though. I've made the video and I'm working on a cool way to organize the list.
04.18.09: "first on my agenda is a constantly updated 2009 gear list"
04.19.09: VIDEO: The 2009 Passport Crisis
04.24.09: Dealing with the Minutia
04.27.09: How Cruise Lines Get Free Employees
04.30.09: Standard Dishonesty
05.04.09: The Best Banks and Credit Cards: American Express Platinum
05.08.09: Understanding How Cameras Work to Improve Your Shots
Apparently not the FIRST item on your agenda...
It's a shame you're leaving this one behind. I still think the name is hilarious. My phone keeps track of the feed for me. So when I'm bored I can just read on the tube. I can understand the challenge in maintaining multiple blogs/websites. It's hard just maintaining my one. But hey...I'll follow you onto Tynan.net for sure!
I think that you should leave them separate, or like HAWT said, leave them separate and then have them automatically post to reallyawesome.com (luv it). I subscribe on google reader, so I never have problems waiting for your next post. The posts come to me. I think more people will catch on to the trend of subscribing to blogs.
I think combining is a great idea, and I believe it is time that the BTYB domain is left behind. You are no longer involved in the pickup scene (and if that is what this blog is, I would not have it bookmarked and visit, as that is of no interest to me).
Glad to see you settled on tynan.net. I definitely agree that was the domain to go with. To me, it seemed no contest.
I also had not realized you were keeping up to date with Gadling. I just read some of your entries over there.
Anyway, I think that this was a good decision to make. Best of luck with the switchover!
And here comes the point where Tynan blows up the work he's done so far.
I quote Drew in almost all he writes.
Monetizing from ebooks seems hard to me. Have you ever thought of selling the stuff you review on Best in Land? You could even rebrand it with Life Nomadic.
As I perceive it, that stuff helps people living 'more nomadic' and you are the living awesome advertiser of it.
Alas, this is one of those cases where one is selling away his self to make money. Maybe.
Thanks a lot for the feedback. I'm going to go with Tynan.net. I like/love the name better than your boyfriend but I think it's associated too much with pickup for some reason. Lots of people get it, lots of people don't. Tynan.net gives me a blank slate to define the site.
I'm in the process of combining the sites now and will probably have it done within the next few days.
I'm going to disagree with the post above, because its a point I should have made and forget to...not to be conflicting for no reason, and say that I think betterthanyourboyfriend is a great name. If I saw it on a flyer or around the net I would have to go there. Tynan is a cool name, but its not a URL that would really grab my attention
Better Than Your Boyfriend is attention grabbing and almost controversial...and you back it up. You live an extraordinary life and were a famous pick-up artist...so anyone that might think its classless or bragging would see that its a tongue cheek reference to your life both past and preference.
On the second day that I was visiting her in Toronto, Annie brought back a pile of books from the library. On the top was a tiny book with a cover so simple that it looked like it might be a children's book about potty training.
"A little book that teaches you when to quit (and when to stick)"
It seemed like a fluffy bit of entertainment. Something like "The Tipping Point" which is fun to read but not exactly a life changer. I was wrong, though. Dead wrong.
I was reading a really interesting post on another blog that struck a few nerves with me. Made me feel all tingly, in a not so warm kind of way. So that made me want to do some writing. And here I am, writing about why my blog sucks.
It was a post on various methods needed to make a great blog, and how without engaging in these methods, your blog is likely to suck. I decided to write about my own blog in the same format.
Long, descriptive, valuable content that readers want to bookmark and share. I certainly don't have that, and I never really have. I'm still trying to work out what knowledge I have that others might find of value, and present it in ways that others might think is amazing and want to share it with everyone they know.
To be honest, I'm not good with epic posts. I always think that most people don't have a lot of time to read something 'epic', so I try to write short articles or posts that will fit into their available time for my material. If they like it, I hope they'll stick around a bit longer and read some other short pieces as well.