First: I would like to thank everyone for their comments / emails / support. I greatly appreciate them all.
I have been running this site for almost a year now. During that time, I have had several popular posts, I made a fairly complete flow chart outlining the whole medical school admissions process and I have had several thousand readers. However, I believe this site is not sustainable without some changes and further personal incentive.
I’m not trying to be greedy. There is a cost to run this site, it’s approximately $80 a year for the server, domain name, etc. Additionally, the time needed to run this site, maintain it, and create more content can be quite a burden. For all the time (and time is precious) I put in, I don’t get any money out of it. And lately, less and less satisfaction. If only this site could be more sustainable…
I believe if there was a reward system (Either personal satisfaction or monetary) in place, I would be more inclined to create content. I know this is the internet, information should be for free! But considering my knowledge and experience, I think I could go out and easily charge $50 / hour doing medical school admission consulting. I don’t want to charge money for this site. For my qualifications: I got into medical school early, I did well in my undergrad studies, and I believe I did fairly well on my interview. Furthermore, I have helped out with the admissions process, reviewed essays and references, been an interviewer and have successfully helped more than 10 people I know successful get admitted.
So I’m asking readers, What should I do? Should I switch to advertising, a subscription, sponsorship or a donation model to keep this site running. Each will have its own pros and benefits. It sucks that I have to even consider this, but I have to consider my own needs too and as a medical student with doing well in my studies as a priority and growing debt, I don’t want to have to worry about this site.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for posting comments, I appreciate all of them. Some of them are very helpful, encouraging and thought provoking.
EDIT: The main purpose of running this site is NOT for the money. A commenter posted out that there are a lot of free services out there I could use to. After reading that, I think what I actually want is a connection between the effort and work I put into this site and a reward or personal satisfaction. (I posted in the comments about this). I am not planning to shut down my site, just perhaps find some motivation and reevaluate my reasons for running this site.
It feels like I’m writing to an empty audience sometimes, a monoquily if you will. The main purpose of this blog is not to journal my day, write about my feelings and thoughts (although I do that now and then). It want to help people understand the medical admissions process, help them become better students and make them more informed about health issues.
Perhaps it’s a writer’s block or burnout, but there are days when I log-on and I just don’t want to do anything. Somewhere along the way, I lost a bit of the joy I had in the beginning. It’s partly due to doing the same thing over and over again – helping people with their “What are my Chances” questions or the should I take Organic Chemistry in the summer? – but another aspect is it’s hard to get satisfaction out of helping an anonymous person you have never met and who’s only purpose in contacting you is to get something out of it.
I help out people all the time in person, giving them strategy and tips on how to do better in school, what medical school is like, etc. And although that’s the same thing, I get some personal satisfaction. I can see my results. I will hear back from them if they get into medical school and that makes it worth it. There is a connection between my efforts and a final reward, whether that is personal satisfaction or gratitude.