The time has come. For a while I have felt like I had outgrown my blog, and I have decided to do something about it.
First of all, you probably noticed that I have changed The Jaguar and Allies’ theme. For those who do not know, the way WordPress works is that authors can select different themes that act as templates for their blogs. For the past three-ish years, I had been using Gateway: a clean theme that allowed me to design a striking homepage. I have now purchased a paid WordPress subscription, which gives me access to more themes.
After staying up far too late the past few nights testing different designs, I have settled on a theme called Perennial. I wanted to make The Jaguar and Allies even cleaner and more elegant than it was before, and Perennial fit the bill.
Perrenial’s minimalistic design, slide-out menu and sidebar, and typography options also make it a great theme for a text-heavy blog, such as this one.
Updated “About” Page
In addition to switching themes, I have updated The Jaguar and Allies’ About page. It more clearly explains what this blog is about, and better reflects how my life has changed since 2015. Click here to view the updated page.
Expanded Blog Focus
My interests are more varied than they were in 2015. I am still mesmerized by big cats, and they will remain a dominant focus of this blog. But this is an unimaginably fascinating world, and there is much more to learn about. I would like The Jaguar and its Allies to become an internet hub for all sorts of knowledge pertaining to the natural world – and of how to live within it.
Most importantly, I want this site to become a platform for promoting the individuals and groups who are working towards for a better future.
Along those lines, I have added a new Request to be Featured page for those who would like to be featured in Q&A, interview, or guest posts. Please forward the page to any social scientists, natural scientists, artists, naturalists, or other nature enthusiasts who deserve recognition for their work.
The above updates raise a problem: how will I turn this blog into the type of site I envision without starving to death? I do not see how I can finish my master’s thesis, work, and keep growing this blog at the same time. One possible and very tentative solution is to monetize this blog.
I approach this topic with extreme caution. Making money was never my goal. In fact, I have actively resisted doing so – even though I have had people offer to pay me to place links on this site. I also hate ads; one of the reasons I bought a paid subscription was so I could turn off the ads WordPress was forcing on me. It is hard for a website to make money without ads.
Still, I have created a basic poll to assess what you think. In your opinion, would it be acceptable for me to monetize The Jaguar and its Allies?
Of course, what I would most like to do is make enough money from freelance writing that I only have to work part time. I would also be able to share my articles on this site, giving me additional content. But this is a long-term goal, and I have no idea how one gets into freelancing.
Another way to deal with the aforementioned conundrum would be to recruit a volunteer coauthor. This person would have to be a (very) strong writer, and would need to be passionate about the natural world and learning. I would also feel much more comfortable if a prospective coauthor lived close enough for me to meet in person. This is not a hard requirement, however.
If you or someone you know fits the above description, and ideally lives in northeast Ohio, please email me.
Please let me know what you think about the changes to this blog, and what I have said in this post. I would greatly appreciate your feedback!
Hi Josh! Have you heard of ko-fi.com? It might be a good option for you regarding ad-free monetization. You can create a button so that fans of your blog can send small donations that you receive via a linked PayPal account.
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Thanks Nikki! I hadn’t heard of that, but it does seem like a good idea! Also, I haven’t forgotten about our Q&A article. Questions will likely be ready within 1-2 weeks.
My only word of warning when I hear other bloggers talking about allowing ads on their blog is that it can be overdone. A guy I followed about four years ago got laid off and thought loading his blog up with every ad that could maybe make him a few cents would be a nice way to bring in some extra income. What it did was make his blog become so bogged down with flashing garbage, that my browser usually crashed when I visited him and he soon became an ex-follower for that sole reason. I think the only people who kept following him were people who already have ad blockers (Which I use now). I’d look into non-ad ways of trying to monetize your blog before going that route…
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Thanks Squirrel! Ads are out of the question as far as I’m concerned: I can’t stand them. In fact, the thought of making any money from this blog makes me uncomfortable. I think I just have to get used to the fact that I’m not going to be sleeping this summer.
Hi Josh – bravo on your new blog look, feel and goals! I really enjoy reading your articles and look forward to more on conservation!
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Thank you! I’m glad you like my posts, and the new design!