Improvements To FreeTheAnimal.com That May Tickle Your Fancy

I have a longtime friend, where, our relationship began as business associates. 1993; nearly 30 years ago. Today, we still exchange emails and he’s a paid subscriber to this blog.

Way back, he was in the business opportunity business. I bought his basic book on debt negotiation for $89 out of the $200 I had to my name at the time. And I turned that initial knowledge—simple enough to execute immediately—into a company that eventually reached 30 employees and $3 million in annual revenue. I got the book on a Friday, read it and created my forms and agreements over the weekend, and landed my first client with a $300 retainer on Monday. I was under survival pressure.

I would go on to make more than $20,000 working for that 1st client over the ensuing 2-3 years.

…Along the way in the early years, my friend held annual business conferences and I attended them all. In one speech he gave at one of those conferences, he referenced a phrase that clicked with me and I’ve regarded it as the way I do business ever since.

Continuous Improvement Process

I always knew you had to think, plan, and execute…basically. But, putting a more formalized process name to it is really helpful. It condenses everything down to identifiable essentials. And you can apply your own style. For example, for me, “identify” is “think.” A lot. I’m always thinking. Then I have my own step between think and plan: procrastinate. Or, think: A LOT! And for a long time.

I once gave a talk at a business conference I called “The Virtue of Procrastination.” Essentially, you don’t go off half-cocked planning and executing every hair-brained business idea that crosses your mind. Rather, you filter, refine, and discard stupid shit over time; such that, by the time you do concretely plan and execute, you’re more likely to be efficient, cost controlled, effective, and successful.

My approach to this blog has always been the same. That is, to write about whatever grips me at any given time. I get gripped a lot. It bears repeating: 19 years, 5,073 posts, an average rate of a post every 1.4 days. I’ve always regarded this as my ad copy, SEO, analytics, and marketing all in one.

That is to say, I believed and still believe that content creation is King. Early and often. Nothing makes my eyes glaze over more than thinking about, reading about, watching videos about, or having discussions about all the elements of marketing. I have not a disdain, but a loathing for all instances of sales, special deals, discounts, and the biggest bullshit of all: synthetic DEADLINES…ONLY TWO HOURS LEFT!!! for digital products. That these marketing techniques work so well is testament to the sad state of general human intelligence. It’s not that I don’t like a good deal myself. Just don’t bullshit me.

I seek the Holy Grail: it sells itself. The price is the price. Always available anytime.

…For the most part over the many years, there was no thought of monetization. When I became “popular” and an “influencer” during the Paleo Daze from about 2009 to 2013 and perhaps beyond somewhat, money just came to me: primarily via the Amazon Associates program…some months upwards of $4,000. It’s ridiculous how much money I made off 7% of the price of a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch….

But it was still people’s time and attention that made the gig for me, not the money. I kind of have a disdain for the sort of business marketing that focuses on the sale and not the customer relationship. Blogging has customer relations built right in, even if there’s no monetary transactions. Time and attention. Influence. Change the world sort of stuff.

…But everyone needs money and when Covidiocy put my primary source of income (vacation rentals in Cabo) in the shitter for 2 years—and it still has not rebounded close to what it was—I had to do something, so I turned this into a Membership Blog. Man was I ever trepidatious about that move. I procrastinated it beyond all measure of virtue.

What if I kicked that off and nobody—or close to nobody—signed up as a paying member? What would I do then…switch is back, trumpeting an obvious failure? Transition from a measure of cachet to slightly pathetic in the least?

Fortunately, it only took an hour of so and subscriptions began trickling in and at that, even though there was a problem with the CC form I was alerted to and quickly fixed. So, it worked and I could relax. Frankly, I was surprised that it worked enough to give me the assuredness to keep at it.

…The problem was, now it’s like a real job with clients who’re paying me so I have to deliver and execution on that was spotty at times. The boozing didn’t help, though I always manage to create content frequently and consistently. But too often it seemed—to me at least—as excessive self indulgence and not effort driven towards quality. Yep, you need frequent new content, but it must be of a decent quality and not crap.

I knew within days of dumping the alcohol that it was bound to pay big dividends. Here I am in one of the most desirable places on earth—with all the tropical elements, good food, and beautiful girls one could desire—only to discover that total sobriety is the hidden gem of a secret to maximize enjoyment and well-being. Go figure…and where literally everything revolves around boozing it up.

Booze is an insane money-maker for any and all establishments that offer it (which are all of them).

And so it comes to pass that a large portion of the past month of total sobriety has been dominated by thinking about the blog, the videos, and the moves and changes I could make to bolster memberships.

A few have already been made.

  1. Almost none of the posts are public access anymore, unless it’s a call to action of some sort, such as becoming a free member at the least
  2. I’ve ceased doing posts for each video I do, as already explained
  3. I’ve increased the number of videos that display at the bottom of the home page from about 12, to 50. Why not?

…And one new thing derailed getting this post finished this morning instead of me still pounding away at 19.30 tonight. I recalled that a number of people asked about an audio or podcast version of my Tubes so they could listen idly rather than focus on a screen. Well, your prayers have been answered. Just some googling and I had the solution.

It turns out that Spotify has a gig called Anchor, where there is no cost for hosting, as they’re rolling out subscription models as well as advertising models with monetization. So I jumped on it.

It will also be on Apple, Google, Amazon, and perhaps one or two other sites. In the works. You’ll be covered if you want to usually consume audio only.

I got it set up and immediately uploaded audio-only versions of all 8 of my no-alcohol videos. This involved using a tool to extract the audio from the YouTube videos, which took time—as did downloading, then uploading. It wasn’t until after all this that I found something truly cool and wonderful. I could upload the video file itself to Anchor, wherein it extracts the audio for the audio-only podcast, and then spotify publishes it as a video as well.

Still getting the hang of it and I’ll backfill a lot of the videos I’ve done the last two months and of course, all new stuff that’s appropriate for audio only will go up as well.

So what’s next? It’s the big section with all my past and present serial-series of posts.

  1. A Gut Microbiome, Probiotic, and Prebiotic Resistant Starch Primer
  2. Leaving The Inuit Behind: Hormesis For The Rest Of Us
  3. Paleogate: Loren Cordain’s Honey Coverup
  4. Gut Bugs, Probiotics, Prebiotics…And how our microbes make us who we are
  5. Iron, Food Enrichment and The Theory of Everything
  6. How Wheat Went From Superfood To Liability
  7. Permanent Crisis Is The New Normal — Prosper Anyway #1
  8. Natural Immunity, Gut Biome, and its Importance in COVID-19 #1 — Introduction
  9. What Caused My 40% Testosterone Increase?
  10. International Living By Geoarbitrage

All the older ones (1-6) are being worked on to corale all the relevant posts. The basic thing is that the 1st post is public, an intro, light pitch, table of contents, and summaries. Then all subsequent posts are for paying members.

Numbers 7-10 are the current, in progress ones. And three more are in the works:

  1. Achieve Freedom Through Debt Relief (a DIY thing for obliterating your unsecured debt through negotiation and settlement…this book is already written for a long time…I’m just updating and editing to release chapter by chapter…it will be published as a book, too)
  2. My Story Achieving Freedom From Alcohol The Easy Way (or something like that…and no prescriptions, proscriptions, guilt, original sin, the stupid word “alcoholic,” or the ridiculous notion that once you love it, it’s love everlasting that’s always begging you to come back…it’s just my story…use what fits if you like, ignore the rest…also to be published as a book)
  3. The Story Of My 40-Year Obsession With Sexy Asian Girls (or something like that…if I told every story we’re talking Biblical length…or War and Peace…might have to break it up into countries…also to be published as a book)

The bigger change implied here is that my whole approach is going to morph into quality, serious new content on a near daily basis and the vast preponderance will be for the paying members. Yes, I’ll still throw some bones to the free members, just fewer of them and as for the public, everything will be a pitch for becoming a free or paid member.

OK, so that’s about it. Now to do a video summary of it for those who find me via the Tuber…

So. OK, that all pretty much lays it out there and the rest is up to you.

Monthly

The price for membership is $10.00 per Month.

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$10 billed monthly.

 

Quarterly

The price for membership is $20.00 every 3 Months.

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$6.66 per month, billed quarterly.

Annual

The price for membership is $65.00 per Year.

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$5.42 per month, billed annually.

Lifetime

The price for membership is $350.00 now.

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Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. The cost of two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance the travel to write, photo, and film from interesting places and share the experiences with you.

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