by Kara-Leah Grant
I need your help.
I’m struggling to keep up with the work load of The Yoga Lunchbox – mainly because as a single parent with limited childcare hours, I just don’t have the time I’d like to devote to the website.
I have an excellent assistant handling all the event listings plus a few other admin tasks, but it’s all I can do to keep up with the guest posts, advertising and other correspondance coming in.
My own writing is suffering as a result.
Plus, due to my time constraints I’m doing a lousy job of editing The Yoga Lunchbox.
It needs more love right now than I’m able to give it, and I hate neglecting it like this.
So I’ve been musing.
How can I best support The Yoga Lunchbox? What steps do I need to take?
What I would really like to do is hire an awesome editor to do some of the work I’m doing right now, including:
- liaising with guest authors
- editing submitted articles
- formatting articles for publication
- handling social media
- managing the RSS Feed Newsletter
- managing The Monthly Digest
- liaising with advertisers
- handling website admin including backing up the websites and keeping plug-ins up to date
- keeping an eye on the website and improving it’s over-all functioning
- identifying and developing additional revenue streams and opportunities
Such a person, an Editor of a yoga magazine on a WordPress website, would need the following skills:
- excellent editorial skills and a nose for a story
- great networking, relationship and people skills
- great knowledge of the yoga community, industry and business
- excellent WordPress skills, including the nouse to trouble-shoot plug-in issues
- excellent Mailchimp skills
- keen web and magazine vision and the ability to grow and develop the website
If I was able to hand over this portion of my workload to someone else, that would free me up to focus on editorial direction and developing great content – working on the business instead of in the business.
With this in mind, I went and pulled up the revenue and expenditure for the website from May 2011 – May 2013 – the last two years.
Could I afford to hire an editor?
Over the last two years, the website took in $9000 in revenue – approximately $100/wk.
Running costs are approximately $100/wk.
That includes paying Lucinda for about three hours a week, URLs, hosting and mailchimp. It doesn’t include paying me or any of my costs like providing a compter, internet, somewhere to work etc.
On the surface, it appears there is no money to hire an editor. This is the dilemma. And this is where I need your help.
It’s likely there’s another way to approach this dilemma and I can’t see it. Plus, as the community, you’ve got an invested interest in contributing to this discussion. How would you like to see the website develop?
In order to hire an editor, even at say four hours a week, assuming $30/hr or $120/wk, The Yoga Lunchbox needs to double it’s revenue intake. (I’ve been doing all of the above work in about four – six hours a week.)
Right now income comes from two sources:
- Event Listings
- Sidebar Advertising
I don’t actively chase down any advertising, as I don’t have time. All the advertising that arrives is passive – people contact me. So it’s possible that the right Editor could actively chase down enough extra advertising to pay for their salary – say an extra $150 a week. But that might take them at least an hour every week, meaning they’re only spending three hours on editing work.
The other option is to develop another income stream – which will also take extra time, money and effort. For example:
Do I turn The Yoga Lunchbox into a membership website in order to raise the money to pay for an editor to keep the site functioning well?
Let’s assume something like $24/yr gets you unlimited access. (There’s also the option of only charging for premium content, but then you have to put all the time into developing that premium content and hoping it’s what people want to pay for.)
$24/yr is $0.50 a week – I’d need 300 people to commit to memberships to pay the editor.
Plus setting up that system is going to take time, money and maintenance. It’s another layer of complexity. Would 300 people stump up $24/year to keep the site running? What if I go to the time, effort and money to introduce the scheme and people don’t like it? Do I even like the idea?
Another option. What if I don’t pay the editor? After all, I do all my work on the website for free, could there be someone out there willing to work for free?
I don’t like that option a whole lot.
Sure, I’m working for free, but I still own the website and there’s the possibility of realising something financial down the line. Plus I’ve used the platform to launch my book, Forty Days of Yoga. While that’s another project that’s only paying for itself rather than my time, it may also bring financial reward down the line.
If someone is offering their skills and time, I want to pay them, no question.
Ok, so I want to pay the editor. But what if I don’t pay in money? Could I do some kind of trade?
It’s likely the editor is going to be in the yoga business, so may have something of their own to promote. Any one who took on the Editor role would have full access to The Yoga Lunchbox platform. That’s worth something. Potentially a lot of something to someone with an eye for product development.
There’s also the possibility of the Editor developing other revenue streams, beyond advertising or products.
The final option is that I could keep doing what I’ve been doing, which is handling all the inflow of correspondance, advertising and guest articles, but that feels like a disservice to the website because it means I’m not writing, or helping it grow. That’s where I need to be putting my energy and that’s what’s going to serve the website the best. High quality, authentic, can’t-get-it-anywhere-else kind of content.
That’s the dilemma in a nutshell. My time is limited. The website’s needs are not. I need help. There’s not enough money right now to pay someone.
And maybe that’s not even the right solution. Maybe there’s something other than hiring an editor that I could do, or not do. I don’t know. I love this website and want to see it flourish. But maybe it doesn’t need to. I don’t know.
Editor’s Update June 24:
Great comments, great emails, great discussion with my friends and it’s all helped me to see that I already have the most awesome editor available.
Given what it would take to train and manage someone, it’s more efficient and cost-effective to do the work myself. And I want to.. I want to be an awesome editor and deliver a great website. I also want to get paid for what I’m doing… it’s like I’m hiring me for the job. So income creation is top of list too. Stay tuned on that one.
In the meantime, I’ve decided to make more time so I can be editor. I’m getting up at 6am every morning to get in an hour or so of work before my child wakes up. And I’m contemplating moving to town so I can access childcare.
Big thanks to everyone that offered to help out – it was wonderful to read all the emails coming through.
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