Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Made a Hard Choice

I made a painful decision at the beginning of March. I decided to let my blog go. Not this one - my Expat Women in Thailand blog.

It had been giving me troubles since the beginning - for nearly two years you could not find it in Google at all. As it turns out, I think I had made a selection in WordPress options that it not be found in search engines! Whoa, exactly what I DON'T want!

Then I only updated the blog once a month. Used to be bi-weekly, and before that weekly. I just didn't have the time to keep it up, nor was I in the proper environment rich with topics to write about (actually LIVING there!)

The entire reason I started the blog was that I had written an e-book and built the blog around the e-book to support it and market it. However, since I haven't actually LIVED in Thailand for going on six years now, it no longer felt authentic. Things change quickly in Bangkok. We visited for three weeks in Nov. 2008 and my how it had changed since we left in late 2005! I can't write like I know what I'm talking about if I'm not actually THERE, as I'm sure you'd agree.

Golf and I didn't expect we'd be back here in the States this long, either, but this Great Recession has kicked our butts and we've basically been in survival mode for years now, just paying our monthly bills and getting by. The good news is that within a year it is our goal to return for a couple of years for Aidan's schooling, we should be ready by then.

I hope to make my living outside of teaching and make my income purely online for the greatest flexibility. Ideally, maybe I'd teach part time, like an English reading and writing extracurricular class to improve English literacy for those students who show interest or who excel in English - it will also ensure that Aidan stay current with his English while living there. I've given that some thought, as you can tell!  It will also get me out into the community, which is important to me when living in Thailand.

Will I keep my Expat blog going then? Not likely. There are so many resources online right now and the niche for expat women in Thailand is still so small that I cannot make any money with it.

I sold one copy of my e-Book once every three months or so. That's just under $15 USD or about $5 per month. I need to update my guide once every six months because I use active URLs as resources. Companies and restaurants change or go out of business - MANY of them - and new ones come onto the scene. It takes me a full WEEK to update and change all the information in my eBook to keep it current. One week for an average of $5 per month - or less? I don't think so.

I've been working, instead, on my Stroller Envy site and it's coming along quite well. Traffic is increasing 50% every month. A few months ago it was a 100% increase. I'm already making decent money from it and I only get a couple hundred visitors a day - average for a new site.

Thailand is not a profitable niche to get into if you want to make any money. Unless you write about the tourism aspect or meeting Thai women aspect, neither of which interests me at all and both are oversaturated anyway.

So that's it. I'm not deleting my blog, just not updating it. The articles currently on there are still good and provide value, but it's simply an unprofitable endeavor that I cannot afford to continue any longer. It is sad but that's life!

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