End-Of-Year Promotion Recap; Big News; and Why I Killed the Discord Server

— Never Standing Still

The year 2023 was a pivotal one for me, especially in terms of growing this blog. My aim was to expand it substantially through subscriptions, building on the foundation established in early 2021 as a membership blog. Initially, I garnered a few hundred members, predominantly due to my influencer status within the Paleo diet community. However, my focus wasn’t solely on dieting; I aimed to transition the blog into a platform where people might be interested in a variety of topics beyond diets and workouts, among other things.

To be brutally honest, nothing could be more torturous for me than to be confined to writing about the same goddamn diet every single time or to promote a specific style of workout as the ultimate solution. Sure, there are some great diet and workout formulas out there, and while I might have to claim that my content is the best, that kind of narrow-mindedness is just not for me. So, much of 2023 was spent figuring out how to market this thing without compromising my integrity or becoming a fucking liar. My brand is about being brash, not giving a fuck, and telling people to go fuck themselves if they don’t like it. And believe it or not, that actually resonates with a lot of people. If you hate it, I don’t fucking care—see how easy that is?

The problem I’ve faced, even after consulting with marketing experts with decades of experience in direct response, is that my blog isn’t an easy sell. It’s not niche-specific, which goes against the first rule of marketing: find a niche. I’ve settled on a half a dozen niches, treating each as a quasi separate entity, while allowing for cross-pollination.

Despite not having huge success so far, I decided to run the end-of-year promotion, mirroring the one from last year. The offer was simple: an incentive with the caveat that prices would double at the start of the new year. It worked well last year, particularly because I sold more lifetime memberships than anything else. However, most of those were upgrades from existing monthly or annual subscribers, and at that time, there was no quarterly option. The downside was the loss of recurring revenue, but it wasn’t a big deal.

This year, though, things were different. Here are the numbers: I sold a total of 40 memberships, with only four being upgrades, which means 36 were new members. That breakdown includes five monthly, nine quarterly (a new option this year), 11 annual, and a whopping 15 lifetime memberships. All four upgrades opted for the lifetime membership, resulting in 11 new lifetime subscribers.

So, yes, I outperformed last year’s results, entering 2024 with approximately $2,000 more in revenue than in 2023. It’s a small victory, and I know I’ve got to do much better in 2024. My primary strategy will be to emphasize the lifetime memberships. There are plenty of reasons why it’s a great deal for people, even at the current price of $1,000. If you missed the chance to get in at $350, that’s just how it goes…and…I don’t fucking care <wink>.

… I have two significant updates to share with you today. Let’s dive into the first one: I’m implementing a new strategy to enhance the blog’s growth, centered around lifetime memberships. I’m brewing a couple of initiatives, and I’ll give you a sneak peek into one of them. It’s a sort of rent-to-own or lease-to-own mechanism. You’re familiar with how you can lease a house when purchasing is out of reach, with a portion of your lease payments contributing to a future down payment? I’m considering a similar approach for lifetime memberships. At any point, you’d be able to check your account and see that a percentage of all your payments—whether monthly, quarterly, or annually—accumulates as a discount towards a lifetime membership. When I run promotions, this will be particularly enticing, as you can convert what you’ve already paid into a more significant benefit. This strategy is excellent for retention because it gives value to your ongoing investment and builds up over time.

Now, I want to ensure that lifetime membership offers greater value than regular membership without taking away from what everyone already enjoys. It’s crucial that current offerings remain unchanged; otherwise, it would feel like a betrayal. For instance, I recently had a frustrating experience that I’ll share as an example. I’m taking some flights tomorrow—that’s the second piece of news, but I’ll keep you hanging for now. Unbeknownst to me, the airline industry now requires you to purchase an assigned seat. If you don’t, you’re stuck with whatever they give you at check-in. For flights longer than an hour, I refuse to settle for anything but an aisle seat, which means buying the ticket and then paying extra for the seat selection. It’s infuriating.

This practice is part of a broader issue. The global corporate machine is relentless in increasing revenue and profits for shareholders, with complete disregard for customer satisfaction. It’s a despicable way to do business. These companies, driven by greed, are willing to sacrifice customer loyalty, trapping consumers in a cycle of dissatisfaction. I yearn to see this model collapse, not just the companies going under but their investors losing billions. Hedge funds and other institutional investors wield enormous power, caring only about their profits. Look at the pharmaceutical industry: they may have compromised countless lives with a particular experimental drug, but as long as it’s profitable, they turn a blind eye.

So, for all existing lifetime members—I haven’t totaled the exact number yet, but I think we’re around 60 or 70—I’ll be reaching out. I’m crafting a program that enhances the value of your lifetime membership without undermining the blog’s current operations. I’m seeking your input on creating something truly worthwhile for those who check in regularly.

Which brings me to my final point—I’ve shut down the Discord server. Only about 30 or 40 of you knew of it, and it’s symptomatic of a broader issue. Initially, I created a members’ forum directly on the blog, but it didn’t take off. After killing it and revisiting the idea a year later, it still failed to gain traction, attracting only one member who has since left. When Discord, a platform offering real-time interaction, was integrated with our membership site, I thought it might work. Despite initial activity, it fizzled out to the point of embarrassment. A new member looking at an inactive server would wonder what the hell was going on. So, after three attempts, I’m done. There will be no more attempts at a community forum or anything of the sort. Perhaps it’s just the nature of our membership—like herding cats. Many are content to simply read, watch, and reflect without commenting or engaging further. They don’t want to be fanboys or to have this blog consume their daily lives. Sometimes, I wonder if I’m more effective than I intend to be, and that’s a double-edged sword—a bittersweet reality.

… So that’s about it for today. I may be offline for the next couple of days…

Richard Nikoley

I started writing Free The Animal in late 2003 as just a little thing to try. 20 years later, turns out I've written over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from diet, health, lifestyle...to philosophy, politics, social antagonism, adventure travel, expat living, location and time independent—while you sleep— income by geoarbitrage, and food pics. I intended to travel the world "homeless," but the Covidiocy Panicdemic squashed that. I became an American expat living in Thailand. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. ... I leave the toilet seat up. Read More

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

I Raised My Testosterone By 40% In A Year With No Drugs Or Special Supplements

— And I Wasn’t Even Trying Notice to FreeTheAnimal Members: Paid Downloads are included in…

More...

How The Globalists Screwed The Pooch But Also Paved The Way

So it’s Not All Bad News…Just Bad For The Ones Who Deserve It Notice to…

More...

Paleo Perfection: How to Lose Weight and Feel Great

Notice to FreeTheAnimal Members: Paid Downloads are included in Membership ($500 value) and can be…

More...

Human Action and Social/Cultural Interaction Distributed by IQ

Notice to FreeTheAnimal Members: Paid Downloads are included in Membership ($500 value) and can be…

More...

The Ultimate Sports Energy Drink That Doubles as Both Pre- and Post-Workout Meals

Uncover the ancient elixir that’s been hiding in plain sight, powering both mind and muscles…

More...

Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Human Growth Hormone For Old Men

— Tales from the trenches of the gym and the bedroom of a 63-yr-old American…

More...

How to Overpower ChatGPT Wokeness and Political Bias

— By Understanding The First Thing Notice to FreeTheAnimal Members: Paid Downloads are included in…

More...

Transform Your Fitness Journey with The Full-Body High-Frequency Gym-Training Matrix

The goal of this manual is ambitious. Notice to FreeTheAnimal Members: Paid Downloads are included…

More...

Adding Resistant Starch to Your Meal Plan for Weight Management

Notice to FreeTheAnimal Members: Paid Downloads are included in Membership ($500 value) and can be…

More...

The 100% Every Time Heartburn Cure You Never Heard About

No drugs, no supplements, no natural remedies. You just stop doing 1 simple thing. Behavior…

More...