A lot has happened in the 2 and a half years since WPTavern began. In fact, a lot has happened since I started my first paid writing gig for WeblogToolsCollection.com back in December of 2007. Back then, I was infected with the WordPress fascination bug. I wanted to write, read, and learn what I could concerning the publishing system. My enthusiasm showed up in my posts and I was not afraid to write about what was on my mind versus towing any line. Unlike most of the people within the WordPress ecosystem who are developer centric, I had the ability to write well about WordPress as an end user with little to no development experience. Over the course of time, I think my ideas, criticisms and suggestions have helped in one way or another either the WordPress platform or a theme or plugin author. However, since my biggest contributions to the project have really only been words, maybe I haven’t done anything to improve the CMS as it relies on code. Regardless of my contributions or lack thereof, my goal was to always try and tell the stories of those making things happen which is a gift I don’t have. I’m a user, not a creator.
Thanks to this thing called WordPress and my enthusiasm for not only the platform, but for the people and community that surrounds it, I was able to travel to various parts of the country to attend WordCamps, local events dedicated to bring WordPress users together. I was able to meet and talk face to face with many of the people that have online celebrity status attached to them and found out most of them are down to earth people. I was able to transform myself from a nobody blogger in Northern Ohio to someone who actually could write a thing or two about WordPress. One of my biggest accomplishments though was being able to turn WPTavern into a respected community within the grander ecosystem that is WordPress. Those who registered to the forum and have spent hours on it responding to or creating threads of their own are the ones to thank for that.
One of my other goals for this site that sort have happened, at least for one year was to generate an income that would allow me to do this full-time. I was on a roll before my fiances father passed away, creating a mudslide of responsibilities and problems that fell into our laps. One year, I was able to generate $10,000 of additional income but to get there, I had to spend 7-9 hours in front of the computer interacting with the community, writing content such as extensive reviews with affiliate links, produce the WordPress weekly podcast on a regular basis on the week-end, essentially be everywhere the news was happening. Once life got in the way of me being able to sit in front of the PC all day, everything started to crumble apart.
The bottom line is, writing about WordPress, being a user and not a creator is not something that is going to put food on the table and is definitely not going to pay for things such as a new roof, driveway, windows, etc. It could certainly be used for supplemental income but I just don’t have the energy or will power to keep trudging through the waste deep mud. I need to be thinking about what I can do to get a career in something that will help pay for this stuff that exists in the real world, not the WordPress world. A job or education to get a job that will help sustain my way of life. Recently, I’ve been thinking about taking a general tradesman certificate course at a local college to see what that’s all about.
So what that all means is that my time with WPTavern and everything that I’ve done in the WordPress world is coming to an end. However, it’s not the end of WPTavern or the things attached to it. You’ll find out what’s happening when the time is right but the future is still bright for this domain and everything attached to it.
If you’re interested in keep tabs on me, you can follow me at http://jeffc.me/