14 November 2012

In my Studio and a Survey with a Reward

Last week was my 35th birthday. Just a day before it was the 4th anniversary of my grandfather's death. It so happened that the loss of this incredibly intelligent and kind human being will forever be intertwined with my birthday. Life is sometimes way too harsh.

For 4 years now I have been having mixed feelings to the celebration of my birth. But that juxtaposition of life and death made me think about the direction I want to develop my online presence. Those thoughts, combined with a few extremely fruitful talks with close blog friends, added up to the initial push of yet another change on Kanelstrand.

I am constantly searching, researching; doing, redoing; reading and writing... My grandfather taught me that I should never be satisfied with my methods. Because there always is a better way. "Even after you think you have reached your best", he used to say, "don't stop, keep on developing and you will see how much more there is to it."

The Kanelstrand blog headers from its beginning to now

But you see, this whole journey through the land of graphics, blog-making and followers-gathering led me back to the basics of simplicity. I have a vision for the Kanelstrand blog. I see it as a place for quiet contemplation and reconnection with your creativity and subconscious abilities, yes I mean the ones you don't suspect you possess. I see it growing into a hub for simple living ideas involving not only DIYs and repurposing tutorials but also digging deeper behind everyday actions and into the psychology of it all.

One step towards achieving this dream is going totally ad-free. And this is a big step. I'll tell you why.

At the time being, I invest about 300 hours a month (yup, that's about 10 hours every day of the month, no days off) in researching, writing, editing and networking. The ads on the blog provide just a tiny fraction of my monthly financial support. To give you a better view of the situation, the amount of money I make through my generous advertisers is enough for what my family of three spends for 1 week of groceries. 

And here comes a question to you: if I offer you a simplified, less cluttered, ad-free experience that will surely not be affected by any financial partialities, would you be interested in supporting my hard work by paying a modest monthly donation of a sum of your choosing?

For example, if just 2% of all you, who daily enjoy the information on Kanelstrand award my writing efforts with a monthly sum of only $5 it will equal the amount I am now receiving through my advertisers and will set my mind free of financial dependencies and ready for even more rigorous research that will, of course result in more interesting content for you.

Eunique raises a great question in the comments, which I would like to address here. Here is what she says:

I wanted to comment on your survey. I actually had said no about the contributions, but wanted to explain why. It's not that I don't support and applaud you blog. You are amazing. But I also follow about 20 other amazing blogs. And read countless other blogs. If I were to donate to read them all, how would I choose? I couldn't possibly support them all. I know you work hard (300 hours!!!) and well deserve all the support you can get. 

I understand your fear, Eunique. I, myself read about 50 blogs daily and some of them ask for support. The truth is that I cannot afford supporting them all but I DO support the most amazing ones of all, those that speak to me, teach me and expand my creativity, because I really appreciate what they bring to my life. 

Take for example real life. There are so many exquisite shops, and even more are springing up, but I can't buy from them all, right? I do buy from my most favorite though, the ones that give me better service and higher quality, those that cater to human rights, or keep the environment clean, you see where I'm going.

You can answer this question, as well as a few others yourself in the survey. Yes, I compiled a short survey for you because blogging is about you and me together, and I count on your opinion. Your answers will help me determine the direction we are heading. (Hush, don't tell anyone but taking the survey will give you the chance to get a one-time 95% discount to the Kanelstrand etsy shop.)

Please, take a minute to fill out the survey here. This will help me create an even more enjoyable place for all of us. The results of the survey, as well as the winner of the 95% discount to my esty shop will be announced in a week back here.

Thank you!