Sunday, January 04, 2009

From Hobby to Business, PART 1

Seven years ago I built my first website. Before blogs & wikis - before Web 2.0 - were mainstream, I was looking for a way to publish my students' work online. It was a lot of work having them compose their work, email it to me so that I could copy it to an HTML file on Dreamweaver, and then upload that file to the web server space I had purchased.

During that time I experimented a great deal and ended up creating some pretty cool resources--complete with Flash movies and interactive features--that I've used for instruction over the years. In 2004, I switched to using blogs and in the process saved myself considerable time getting my students' work online. I did, however, keep the original website and continued to make resources for my students.

It was about that time that I noticed my site started to get a little traffic; not much by any means, but obviously more than what my students were giving it. I didn't pay much notice until last year when the numbers starting doubling and even tripling over the course of the year. Seeing an opportunity, I stuck a few Google Ads on the site and a few months later received my first paycheck. I've gotten a few more of those checks since then--the amounts have been nothing substantial--it's made me decide that I would like to make an effort to turn my fledgling website,, into a small business that offers resources to teachers and their students.

I've spent countless hours over the past few months adding content and other resources to the site. It has nowhere near the amount of resources or content as many other websites for teachers, but I hope to change that in the months in ahead. The best part about all of this for teachers is that I PLAN TO KEEP EVERYTHING FREE! All the websites, printables, WebQuests...everything. If you come across something you like, you don't have to worry about paying any kind of fee to get it or use it.

I plan to post about the changes throughout this week. Each day I'd like to write about one of the new resources and I even plan to work in a post that describes the business model I've chosen. Stay tuned if you'd like to hear about some incredible new teaching resources in the days ahead.

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