This site has grown from very small seeds over five years ago to becoming one of the most visited sites in the industry. I never really meant for that to happen. But through regular posts, a fair bit of feather ruffling and some amazing support from a growing readership, it has grown way beyond what I thought it would.
But I’m not the sort of person to stand still and let things be. Over the last few months I have been having some thoughts about the future of DGB. I have contemplated over what I want the site to become, how I want it to grow, who subjects it is going to cover, if it will ever have a higher number of advertisers etc. So this is a post to share some of those ideas with you. Of course all feedback on those ideas are very much welcome!
Future DGB Content
So far, the content on here has been mostly my thoughts, opinions, major breaking issues and some sponsored content too. This is fine, and I could quite happily continue this content plan for a while longer yet. But I have been looking at other kinds of websites out there, namely tech websites and the sorts of things they cover and how they go about doing it.
I’ll give you a couple of examples. Firstly, go check out tech website Engadget. They cover all aspects of the tech world, from gaming, devices, software, tech stock, TV, internet, and everything else in between. Now go check out a site called The Verge. Again, they cover all aspects of the tech world. But the difference with these sites is that they cover their content in their own way, giving their own views, reviews and opinions on whatever it is they might be covering. It could be a new phone from Samsung, a new tablet from Apple, the launch of a new online streaming service. Those sorts of sites report on all aspects of the industry they operate in, in their own way. I want DGB in the future to expand to be able to cover our industry in that sort of way.
In order to do this though, I am going to need a lot more time, a lot more resources and a few more people. But I’ll get on to that a bit later on…
Aims And Targets
I never really set myself any targets numerically on DGB. I just aim to ensure the site grows in readership every year. So far this has happened every year for 5 years. This year is also set to be the site’s best year so far. However, as I have seen the site grow, I can see it’s potential much more clearly now. So I think the odd target here and there might help me keep on track and allow me something to aim for.
The target I have set myself is that I want the site to hit a million page views in a year. Currently I am set to surpass the 250k page view mark for the first time this year, and it looks as though I’ll get beyond 300k next year. However I have plans to expand the site and what it covers in order to attract more visitors, more than just the industry visitors but homeowners as well.
A million might seem rather large, and some might think it’s not possible. But, after year after year of constant growth and continuous ideas, I really hope I can break that barrier. It won’t be done overnight, I understand that. I haven’t set a strict time limit on that target. But I would like to get to that point by the time the site is ten years old. Any quicker and that would be a massive bonus.
I have written a post a day for longer than I can remember. But occasionally even I know you lot get bored of reading what I have to say. So, in the future, I hope that the site can take on at least one, possibly more, regular guest columnists. Having someone from outside the site writing about various subjects can present readers with a different take on that subject than I would have presented. And it’s that which I want to show on the site.
It would be great to have a mix of guest columnists on here. A younger person giving his or her views on the industry. A more senior member of the industry whose experience and deeper knowledge can impart some wisdom on us younger guys. Having a regular lady write on here would be awesome too. In all honesty, having the support of some other writers would help take a bit of pressure off myself too.
The thought of selling DGB is something which causes me great internal struggles. Not that I’m actively looking to sell the site. But it’s a question that comes up once or twice and it’s something that gets me thinking. Would I?
Having built this from scratch with no cash and on Google’s primitive Blogger platform, to something much more mature and established, I have developed a rather personal connection with this website. At first this might sound ridiculous to some. But it’s just like building up any other business from the ground up. You go along for the ride, experience the highs and lows, triumphs and failures. You watch it grow like it’s a piece of you that develops as you do. This is why I doubt that I would be ever able to let someone else run and own this site.
However, and this is a big however, if someone or a company was to ever approach me with the idea to buy the site, at the right price, I think I honestly would consider it. I would have to engage my brain and ignore what my heart says. If I was offered an amount that could change the way I live, that could offer me new opportunities, I might be tempted to take the offer.
But, to be clear, I am not looking to sell DGB, I am just merely exploring in my own mind what I might do if someone ever did offering to buy the site.
Back To Those Expansion Plans
At the start of this post I talked about the sort of content I would want to host on DGB in the future. If I was to run it like the tech sites like Engadget or The Verge, I would need a full team in order to do so. There’s not a chance in hell I could do that on my own. Those sites publish new content about 10 times daily. I produce just one piece of new content per day!
So, in the future, I would like to be able to put DGB in a position where it could take on a team of writers, researchers, media and video guys etc. I want to really turn DGB from a well visited industry opinions blog into a little powerhouse of an industry media outlet. But crucially, the content produced for it would be subjective. If you looked at those two tech sites, all the reviews, columns, feature articles etc are all written from their point of view. They are not paid to say what they say and write what they write, unless it is the sponsored content specifically. I would want the bigger DGB to produce subjective articles, videos, reviews in the same way I have presented my own posts for the last five years. DGB has become what it is because it is not like any other industry site, in that it is based on opinion, active reader engagement and challenging what we believe to be right and wrong.
To do this, I would need help. I’d need industry experts, I’d need tech experts, I’d need equipment, I’d need investors for sure and I’d probably need an office! In the end, what I want to achieve with DGB would see it shift from an online platform into one of those funky startup companies you see operating out of a disused warehouse with slides, a pool table and funky art on the wall!
That is all way off in the future I think. For now, I have plenty to be getting on with. Namely, the creation of a consumer section on here which is running way later than I wanted it to. However I can say in advance that the very nice people at Gardinia (@GardiniaWindows) and Mike Bygrave from Roseview Windows (@RoseviewWindows) have provided some quite excellent content to go towards that consumer section, so I want to say thanks to them both for their help.
The consumer section will be up on here as soon as I can. Once I return from my break, it is the next on a long list of things to do!
Anyway, these are just my plans at the moment. Getting them to be more than plans is going to be the hard bit. Lets see how I get on!