Everyone is publishing their year in review posts and at the begging, I thought that in case of TestingCatalog it will be a big list of failures. After 2 minutes of thinking I managed to come up with at list 5 small but good things that happened to us this year.
2019 definitely wasn't a year of TestingCatalog.
- Google+ shut down, dropped our traffic and revenue by 10 times.
- Affiliate programs which we bet on at the beginning of the year didn't work out at all.
- Some other experimental initiatives like "testing courses" didn't work out too.
- I had a lot of doubts about the project in general (actually, I always do, and it is a good thing).
- SEO improvements didn't bring expected results.
That doesn't sound like a good year to me 🤢
But well, we still managed to do something good!
- We helped at least 3 - 5 devs to find some early adopters for their apps.
- We redesigned a homepage to support AMP Html to let you browse TestingCatalog reports faster.
Apart from these two, I have a couple of personal points to list here.
- I realised that I love being a content publisher and aggregator. I literally can keep going without expecting anything in return.
- I realised that I like Twitter a lot especially as it is a very good network for publishers. I can confirm that I like it as much as Google Plus on early days. And of course, I like Telegram as a platform too!
This was also a year when I actually understood what I am trying to do and why. I was doing content aggregation since the beginning of the project but I realised that only 6 months ago. This is why I look more into news publishing and aggregation at this moment.
I don't have the necessary expertise in building a publishing brand but I am willing to get it no matter what. If you know a good mentor from the news publishing business, feel free to drop me a message 😎
What are my plans for 2020? I still have a couple of tricks left.
First of all, I will be experimenting with different niches like I am doing with our new channel on Telegram - @SocialApps
I am trying to make our content as useful as possible first of all and operating with niche audiences can help me to understand their needs better.
One of my goals is to bootstrap a sustainable business model that can keep our authors working. Eray helped me a ton on this project and I want to help him in return as well. Right now, our revenue is not predictable and depends on things we don't control. As a result, I will have to experiment a lot with different monetisation models and other ideas.
The subscription model is one of the experiments I want to play with during the next quarter. Many other publishers are experimenting with these models as well, some of them offer a monthly subscription, some of them use micropayments when you only pay a fee for reading. And none of these seems to be working super well (except if it is already a huge business like New Yor Times for example).
I also want to try an auction model instead when readers bid on different topics in advance and writers produce the content based on bids amount. This model is also tricky because it will require readers to think about what kind of read is worth their money. Despite that, I think that there are ways to make this process interesting and straight forward.
Let's make some examples here from a reader perspective.
- As a reader "I am choosing a new phone and I have a couple of devices in mind so I want to read a post with a comparison between them".
- As a reader "I want to know about new apps to make good stories for my Instagram".
- As a reader "I want to subscribe to all news about Telegram and receive up-to-date feature reviews".
Then the reader can bid 5$ on that topic and the writer (or writers) will pick it up for work to do a deep dive into that topic. As soon as it ready, the reader can buy out a post with a given deposit.
This is still just an idea and it definitely will change but if you find it interesting, I will appreciate your support in filling this form over here.
Cheers and have a good 2020! 🎄
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