A New Day at Becoming Minimalist

A New Day at Becoming Minimalist


My writing career at Becoming Minimalist has fallen into two different stages: 2008—2013 and 2013—2024.

Today, begins a new one and I want to tell you about it.

2008 – 2013

For the first five years of Becoming Minimalist, I held a full-time job as pastor at a local church (one in VT, the other in AZ). The church paid my salary and writing was my hobby.

I carried no responsibility to create an income through my writing. It was a beautiful season in my life where I was free to write without worry.

However, as Becoming Minimalist grew and opportunities and time commitments expanded, it became clear I was unable to do both jobs. Because my passion to help others discover minimalism was continuing to grow, I felt dishonest collecting a full-time paycheck from a church while my mental energies were directed elsewhere.

So, in October 2013, earning just $2,000/month from this blog, I became a full-time writer. My wife took a job, we made changes in our family budget, and a new career began.

And that began the second stage of Becoming Minimalist.

2013—2024

For the last twelve years, thanks to this community and the grace of God, we have been provided for—with even enough financial excess to found a nonprofit organization, The Hope Effect, making a difference around the world because of your support.

But sitting down to write on October 01, 2013 felt different than before.

Writing was no longer a hobby or mere passion project. Starting that day, my writing would need to provide my income. Writing had become a business.

I have never regretted that decision and still do not today. Becoming a full-time writer has freed me to reach more people and create valuable resources that have changed the lives for millions of people and families around the world.

Many of the accomplishments here at Becoming Minimalist were possible only because I was freed full-time to work on them: My Books, The Uncluttered Course, Digital Magazines, the Clutterfree App, Becker Method Certification, even Speaking.

However, the change also came with a mental price tag. For five years, I was able to write with no concerns on potential income. But for the last ten years, I have had to consistently ask the question, “How can my writing pay the bills?”

And as the years have passed, and the resources have expanded, so have the costs of doing business. Becoming Minimalist LLC now consists of 8 full or part-time team members who receive a paycheck from Becoming Minimalist. Most of them with families of their own. In addition, the cost of doing business online has increased. Not counting payroll, the business/online expenses for Becoming Minimalist, just to keep doing everything we do, now exceeds $5,000/month.

Despite the rising costs, I have never wanted to create resources or programs that were inaccessible to people who would benefit from them. So I have worked hard to keep expenses low, writing articles available for free, and providing lifetime access to most resources for minimal expense.

Because of that, over the last four years, more and more of my mental energy and focus has been directed toward two questions:

  1. What can I create next to meet the financial needs of Becoming Minimalist?
  2. How can I get members of this community to buy it?

And to be honest, I’m tired of living in that world. I don’t want to constantly be creating resources that I have to charge for. And I don’t want to constantly be sending Marketing emails to this community.

Just the opposite. I want to get back to the first stage of Becoming Minimalist—where I wasn’t having to write always focused on making ends meet for the team and the business. I want to be freed up to just write.

So, starting today, you will notice a change on Becoming Minimalist: Web-Based Ads.

2024—?

I have consulted with a reputable web-based advertising company called Raptive to begin serving ads on older posts of the Becoming Minimalist website. It is my intention to keep ads on the site into the future. But for now, I am testing them out on old posts for the months of July and August.

The reason I am making this change is because I’m tired of constantly feeling the pressure to create paid resources and sending out marketing messages to this community.

I just want to write again.

I long to be freed up from the stress of pricing and product launches and marketing emails.

I’m tired of losing sleep during launches of Uncluttered hoping enough people will sign up to fund the company for another 4 months.

And I don’t want to waste more time holding meetings and brainstorming sessions with the Becoming Minimalist Team to strategize new products that we can develop and sell.

I just want to write again.

Will advertisements on Becoming Minimalist’s old posts earn enough revenue to alleviate that need? We’ll see.

Will I never create another resource (paid or free) to help people? Certainly not. I hope I’ll be able to create even more.

If I can spend less time focusing on product launches and revenue goals—and more time just writing articles that are inspirational and helpful—then that is what I want for this next season of my life.

What This Means For You

For many of you, this change will not affect your reading experience on Becoming Minimalist.

In fact, if you are a consistent reader of this website, you will notice very little change. The homepage of Becoming Minimalist, where my newest article lives, will only contain a small ad across the bottom of the screen.

And if you sign up to receive my articles via email, you will see no ads at all in the message. If you don’t currently receive my blog posts via email, you can sign-up here for free.

People will only see ads when they choose to read older articles on Becoming Minimalist (which are really good by the way).

This change will also not affect any of the current resources available through Becoming Minimalist—this is a change only on the Becoming Minimalist website.

I have worked hard for the last 16+ years to keep Becoming Minimalist an ad-free website. And I am proud of the work we accomplished during that time. I wouldn’t change a thing.

But I long for the days when I could just write without concern of product launches and revenue. And I hope this change will accomplish that.

Thank you for your understanding,
Joshua



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