Hi everyone, here is my obligatory – and characteristically late – New Year’s update. This one’s different though, because this might be the last New Year for The Jaguar and Allies.
Now that I’m no longer confronting constant emergencies, I’ve been able to put more thought towards next steps. Some of those steps are quite drastic, such as phasing out this blog.
Long-time followers will know that I’ve been trying to reconcile the demands of this blog with “real life.” The problem is that the time I spend on this blog is essentially lost time.
In The Jaguar’s heyday I committed at least two hours a day to reading and commenting on other people’s posts, and roughly 15 hours per week generating my own content.
In other words, I was working a part-time job – for free.
In years past that didn’t bother me, because I considered the time I spent on this blog to be a donation to conservation. However, following my experiences last year, I’m no longer willing to work for free unless I feel like I’m benefitting from it.
Furthermore, after considering many options, I’ve decided that there’s no way to monetize this blog that would have a sufficient payoff in terms of time spent vs. money earned.
Thus, when my WordPress plan expires in May, I’m not going to renew it.
This is a shame. Since I launched this blog in July of 2015, it’s been viewed 126,736 times (as of January 11, 2022); and, while many of those views are from repeat visitors, that still amounts to a lot of people being exposed to information that they otherwise may not have.
What’s truly remarkable is that The Jaguar’s performance actually improved during my misadventures in Montana – when you consider effort invested vs. views earned.
To give you an idea of what I mean, I’m going to use some very problematic, mathematics. This blog’s best ‘normal’ year was in 2018, when it earned 24,374 views with 129 new posts. That amounts to roughly 189 views per post.
Conversely, in 2021 The Jaguar logged 20,630 views, even though I only published six posts. That’s approximately 3,438 views per post: a massive increase.
There are (significant) issues with the numbers I entered above, but they demonstrate that this blog is gaining popularity despite my time away from it. Some of that growth is due to the fact that universities seem to be using some of my posts for coursework, judging by traffic patterns I’ve observed, which brings up a problem…
Even though I’m not going to renew my WordPress plan, I’m also not going to immediately remove this site. Apparently people are finding some of my content useful, since I’ve been receiving considerable traffic from university-affiliated websites.
As such, I’m going to switch to a cheaper WordPress plan in May, and make a horrible, rushed conversion to a free layout for The Jaguar and Allies. I’ll then leave the site up in this broken form for at least a year, so that people using it professionally have time to find other sources.
I’m not sure if I’ll start a new site or not, but if I do I’ll transfer my most popular posts from The Jaguar and Allies to my new platform.
This means that this might be the last year that most of you hear from me. I appreciate the fact that so many of you have followed The Jaguar and Allies for so long, but it’s time to move on.