Exciting news about the future of Speaking Bipolar and a membership community.
Life is hard for most of us. There are more demands than ever on our time, money, and attention.
I get it. I struggle every week to find enough money to survive, and there’s never enough time to do all I want.
My number one goal with starting the Speaking Bipolar blog was to create a free resource to help others understand and thrive with bipolar disorder. That goal has not changed.
However, maintaining a blog and producing online content takes a lot of time and includes some expense.
While I’ve been happy to operate at a loss since the blog began in 2018, I cannot continue to do so indefinitely.
Free Content Here to Stay
Before I go on, please understand that the free content is not going away. The weekly Sunday Speaking Bipolar newsletter will continue to be free. I will continue to post regular content here on the Speaking Bipolar blog and also on Medium and Vocal Media. There will always be an abundance of free information to help you live your best life with mental illness.
Now, before I tell you more about what’s coming, let me tell you my reasons for doing it.
Reason number one is the expense. The Speaking Bipolar blog has been live since 2018. During that time, it has never made a profit. Since it was a labor of love, I never really stressed a lot about it. But 2021 taught me what’s possible.
I want the Speaking Bipolar blog to become my business—my primary source of income. I want to dedicate 100% of my working time to creating content for you, and the only way I can do that is to make an income from the content.
To be upfront and honest, the image above is a summary of my income and expenses for the last four years. Overall, I’m at a four-year loss of $5,506.06. Obviously, this is unsustainable.
In 2021, I invested in consulting and education classes to help me grow the blog. While it was a sizable investment, the knowledge is helping me get on the right track. Of the income earned in 2021, over half of it (62%) came from the last three months of the year.
Reason number two is the time involved. Until now, I’ve worked full time as a bookkeeper and tax preparer. I enjoy my job, but living with mental and chronic illness, working every day leaves me little time to do the things that I love.
Another problem is that I’m a tax preparer, and for me, tax season begins January 2. As much as I hate it, most of my life will be taxes from now until the middle of April.
In 2020, I spent 553 hours working on creating online content. In 2021, I spent 723 hours. As you can see, that’s a lot of time.
Unfortunately, it’s not always my best time. After working for the week, there’s rarely a lot left to put into creating content. Since my biggest goal is to help you live your best life, I want to make sure I have the most energy I can so I can continue to create valuable materials.
Reason number three is my goals. I’ve always dreamed of being a full-time writer. By creating paid content for Speaking Bipolar, I’ll be one step closer to that goal.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working on putting together the first Speaking Bipolar book. I’m hoping to put out two to three new books a year. Writing, editing, formatting, and doing all the other things required to publish a book takes a tremendous amount of time.
In addition, I want to help more people. However, to learn the things I need to know to be of more value to you, I have to eliminate something else for my already busy schedule. The only task that can go is my day job. By adding paid content, I’ll get one step closer to being able to leave it behind.30 Days of Positivity
You’re probably wondering, what’s coming next? I’m excited to tell you about a few things.
First, as I mentioned above, the first Speaking Bipolar book will be available soon. All the content is written, so I’m working steadily on trying to get it all formatted and edited properly. My goal was to have it done in the next few weeks, but it might take a little longer to get it posted. Nothing ever seems to go like I plan it.
Second, is a continuation of the 30 Days of Positivity Email Course. When I look back on 2021, the 30 Days course is my proudest achievement. It started as an idea that flashed into my brain while sitting at work one day. I knew I was facing end-of-the-year depression, and I was sure I wasn’t alone.
In the past, it’s always helped me to make a list of reasons to be positive and then focus on that list during the hardest days. I created the free email course to share my positivity list with others to help them remain positive during December.
Building on the 30 Days Course
The email course has been a tremendous success. I imagine maybe 5-10 people would sign up, but I hit 10 subscribers the first day. Since then, new subscribers continue to sign up every day.
I’m overjoyed to see that of all the people who have signed up so far, only two people have dropped out, and both of them dropped out before reading the first email. I imagine maybe had a subscription problem.
The most important thing I learned from launching the 30 Days course is that this is the type of content you want. The first few emails in the course have an 80% open rate. At email four, the stats drop a bit but stay above 50% through the rest of the course.
If you’re not an online content creator, those numbers may not mean much to you. To put it into perspective, the average open rate for the weekly Speaking Bipolar newsletter hangs around 25%. Believe it or not, experts consider anything above 20% a successful newsletter.
When 80% of course subscribers started opening every email, I knew I was on to something.
Unfortunately, in entered another time constraint. Each lesson of the 30 Days course is relatively short, but took me about two hours to create. Each day’s lesson requires writing content, editing, creating graphics, and then formatting to put the lesson into my email service provider. I launched the course with only five days’ worth of content and then had to work feverishly to stay ahead of the first subscribers.
I don’t regret a single moment. Your appreciative comments and the high open rate tell me everything I need to know. Creating the content also helped me stay positive through what is often the worst month of my year.
Introducing the Club
To continue this path of positivity, I am launching the Speaking Bipolar Positivity Club. The Club is currently in beta launch, so some of the following information may change as it grows into the final product.
The Speaking Bipolar Positivity Club will ultimately have five membership levels. Here is the rundown. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom. There’s a special club membership option only available for a limited time.
Please note, the Speaking Bipolar Positivity Club will build on everything taught in the 30 Days of Positivity Course. I recommend completing the entire 30 Day course before signing up for the club.
I say this for two reasons. One, the 30 Days Course is free. Consider it an extended test drive to see how it handles.
Two, the 30 Days course will show you exactly what to expect in the club so you can see how much you’ll love it before you sign up. The club is not for everyone, so the 30 Days course will help you know if it’s a good fit for you.
As of today, only The Curious tier is open. Additional tiers will open soon.
The Curious | Free
The Curious, or free-level members, will receive the Wednesday Positivity Email and the Sunday Speaking Bipolar Newsletter. In addition, The Curious members can view the Bipolar, Chronic Illness, Positivity, Writing, and Poetry topics inside the club. Each topic features the latest content on the subject.
All existing free content on the Speaking Bipolar Store is moving into this membership tier. All future free content will only be available here.
Deciding to create paid content for Speaking Bipolar was a hard decision. However, I feel like it’s the direction I meant to go.
Every step I’ve taken along this path has pointed me to do more. Your kind encouragement helps me keep going, and I want you to know that I appreciate each and every one of you.
I want to continue to help you live your best life with mental illness, and by offering paid content, it will allow me to create more for you.
If you have questions about the new content coming, please reach out to me. You can reply to any of the newsletters, leave a comment on any post, or contact me through the chat feature on the Speaking Bipolar Store.
Until next time, keep fighting.