My Blog Still Sucks – Should I Start a New Site?

I recently wrote a post talking about all the deficiencies of this JetSetCitizen website. People are telling me that the name JetSetCitizen and the website structure itself, don’t really represent what I’m about. I’m now debating whether or not to start a new blog and start over with something that I feel will be more compelling to readers. I would love to hear your feedback about what would provide the most value for you.

Are Digital Nomad Interviews What you Want?

JetSetCitizen.com is primarily focused on digital nomad interviews. Most people don’t seem to like reading or watching long interviews. Those posts continually get the least amount of shares and comments. My most popular posts have been on more personal topics highlighting my own journey and challenges.  Last year’s blog redesign have helped increase the number of daily subscribers, but compared to many of my peers, my message and content is still not resonating with most people.

Many people have told me that the name ‘jetsetcitizen’ doesn’t really represent my real focuses of anti-consumerism, doing good in the world and trying to create a substantial difference. I know I need a better story and should try to be more inspiring, but I’m stuck.

I personally love the interviews because they allow me to meet and develop connections with other like mined people. I’ve met dozens of  other long-term travellers all over the world. Also, this site was instrumental in my own journey to location independence. Without those early connections I made with people like Cody McKibben of ThrillingHeroics.com and my One Year Plan to A New Country and Career, I don’t think I would have ever left my safe lifestyle in Japan.

I certainly value the opportunities JetSetCitizen.com has given me, but I’m starting to feel that I need to move on to something bigger and better.

My Passion for Social Good in the Idea Economy

With my volunteer and social good projects like the Unconference for Social Good, I’m trying to focus my attention on creating more social impact in the world. So many people and businesses seemed pre-occupied with socially useless, or destructive activities. I would like to help encourage entrepreneurs to shift their attention to solving some of the pressing problems in the world. It costs $20 to provide a permanent clean water supply in the third world, yet still close to a billion people don’t have safe drinking water. That’s $20 billion dollars, what Canadians spend on alcohol every year.

I also feel that we are entering a new economic era of great abundance. I’ve been calling this the IdeaEconomy. I believe we are already witnessing mass economic and social change and this is only the beginning.  Seth Godin writes about it in the Icarus Deception. Chris Brogan and Julien Smith talk about it in The Impact Equation. Dan Pink also covers it in To Sell is Human. These are amazing times and I want to focus on the people discovering the high leverage activities to do big, good things in the world and how they are doing it.

The problem is whether or not all of these ideas fit under the JetSetCitizen brand? If they don’t, what should I do?

Should I start a new blog and try to run yet another site?

One option is to keep  JetSetCitizen for digital nomad interviews and travel related content, while create a new and separate site. However, starting a new blog will mean starting from near zero. I’m very reluctant to spread my resources on yet another project. I would like to have one big thing in my work life if possible. I’m tentatively playing with the theme or tagline “Dare Big, Do Good.”

The second option would be to keep JetSetCitizen, but change the tagline to “Dare Big, Do Good”, and start writing more about how to leverage creative ideas to make a meaningful difference in the world.

What do you think? Can you please take a few moments and let me know in the comments or feel free to email me directly. John@ (This site’s URL)

  • Do you enjoy the digital nomad interviews?
  • What do you think would make my site more compelling to readers?
  • What do you think of a new “Dare Big, Do Good” focus? (The site would concentrate on how to maximize the impact you make on the world.)
  • Is it a good idea to just redirect the focus of JetSetCitizen to Dare Big, Do Good?
  • What else could make the site better?

I look forward to your feedback.

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My name is John Bardos. My wife and I gave up our business, house and possessions in Japan to search for more meaning and fulfillment in our lives. We've discovered that a satisfying life is about rich experiences, quality relationships and meaningful contribution, NOT consumption.

57 Responses to My Blog Still Sucks – Should I Start a New Site?

  1. Pascal says:

    Hey John!

    That’s a lot of questions!!! It is hard to say. The only thing I can think of, is maybe you want to formulate maybe 10 questions & go for a poll (sites like doodle let you easily created poll).

    With that you may have a better pictures of what brings current traffic & maybe what could interest people more.

  2. lisa says:

    I suggest further redesign and focusing on the direction you want to go forward with. The interviews are great for people that have an interest in creating that lifestyle but not so much maybe for others. Why can’t both coexist on the site? Starting over would be hell, from zero. You already have so much effort and time involved, rework it. The advice is right, jetsetcitizen doesn’t describe what you’re trying to do. Good luck!

  3. Guy says:

    John, I do read a few of your interviews in their entirety. I can get excited about the idea of making a living with the internet while traveling–until I really imagine myself obsessing with hardware and software while working in sub-optimal conditions. Then I say no thanks. But I like hearing how others do it, especially those who aren’t skilled at the programmer-level. My current interests are barter and regional currency. I’d like to see ways for local businesses that are doing good to break the hold of central currencies (dollars, yen, euro) which at this point simply extract from communities. Also interested in everything small scale–food, housing, energy, etc.

    • John says:

      Greetings Guy,

      It’s not that difficult to work and travel. With everything in the cloud, all you really need is a MacBook Air. It’s nice to have a home base, but it’s also great to experience other cultures.

      I’m big on downsizing to a human scale as well. The west has a lot to learn from the developing world.

  4. Hey John,

    Interesting questions your asking, and it really seems like you have enough for a second blog about entirely different subject matter. On this blog I love the interviews.. but would love to see a lot more how to’s. I just came back from a week in the Philippines, and it was eye opening to say the least. I would love to get some more in-depth information about how to set myself up in another country, to work and do the digital nomad thing.

    But your other blog idea about save the world by doing good… well that’s a entirely different thing…. Maybe you could include a forum for like minded people, blog about ideas of how to make a difference in the world. e.t.c

    but what ever you do… keep up the good work…

    • John says:

      Thanks Darren,

      It seems like many people are asking for the practical how-to type of content. I’ll have to think of that some more. After living abroad for so long, I don’t really think about those issues anymore.

  5. Gerald Sweitzer says:

    John:
    I’m retired but interested in sharing with others how to afford retirement (maybe overseas travel that allows one to earn some $ on the side), With the Boomers now retiring, I’d try to write more about their adventures be it volunteering, travel, and earning $ on the side.
    Also, I am on Google+ and find it is really pulling in more interesting people, topics, and great content. With over 500,000,000 users, now, I think it far surpasses FaceBook.
    Consider adding something on Google+

  6. Peter says:

    John:

    Great questions; great exercise.
    You’re clearly plugged into authors and data about the evolving marketplace and you’ve demonstrated that you have the courage and instincts of a global traveler. My advice is: stay the path and morph. Don’t trash all the good work you’ve done but broaden the horizon; open to the larger universe of people who want to press edges and push envelopes. Use the interview as an occasional tool versus your only go-to avenue.
    Share, comment, use lists, connect and challenge. And when that starts to feel “boxy” morph again. Just remember, your readers can feel your juice when you’re amped on a person or topic, so crank it up; spread out and keep making us all think and wonder. Thanks.

  7. lucy says:

    I like your blog as is. Of course adding new content is a good idea.

  8. Jeanne says:

    John – my advice is to keep the JetsetCitizen site name and domain if you have a good number of readers and a distribution list. The readers and the email list are assets you took time to create over time. I suggest you change the tag line and content of the site going forward to the topics that resonate with you and your readers going forward. If you’re getting comments and feedback on a particular type of post, then you should write more often on that level. If you are inspired by social entrepreneurship and social innovation, then you should write about it. People will respond by commenting or sharing. Authenticity is what matters to most people. As you switch gears on the site to new topics you will find that some readers drop out, but others will find you and over fime you will build a new brand identity as a social entrepreneur.

    • John says:

      Thanks Jeanne,

      Changing the tagline and content are definitely good ideas. I think I’ll slowly try to incorporate more social good projects.

  9. Liz says:

    John,

    I have a great deal of respect for you and all the hard work you have put into this blog for years.

    The name JetSetCitizen doesn’t bother me. I think it’s fine like Thrilling Heroics or Location 180.

    I personally think that the best thing anyone can do for the human race is to live their best life and reach their true potential.

    People like you, and Cody inspire me to do more and be more, within the realm of my own possibilities and limitations.

    If you want to donate money to those less fortunate that’s fine but you don’t necessarily have to create an entire blog about that. Maybe just add a “Giving & Meaning” tab to your existing blog.

    You are a husband, a blogger, a teacher, a caring human being, a traveler, etc. All those things combined together are what make you, John Bardos.

    I like the idea of taking a poll among your readers. To get a better idea. Just my two cents.

    • John says:

      Thanks Liz,

      Good advice. I’d like to write more authentic and unique content, but I’m still trying to decide on my primary focus.

      I’ll have to think about the poll some more. I don’t want to keep asking everyone for advice. 🙂

  10. William Shattuck says:

    John

    1) I would suggest more photos added to your editorials, folks like photos of far away places, that they can’t visit. Pinterest proves that idea, all the way to the bank.

    2) I have been hearing a lot, about two separate organizations with positive universal appeal from the public, they are: Kickstarter and Kiva. Check them out.

    3) Find a cause that you believe in and and reach out to your readers for assistance. Ask for interactive comments from them. Get your readers involved with project donations, that will make a difference, to someone or some community project that your readers will feel compelled to follow, especially if they have made a financial commitment.

    4) As far as changing the name from ‘jetsetcitizen’ to something else, that may be a good idea. It does have a ‘Privileged’ ring to it. You strike me as a down to earth, helping individual, not an elitist jet setter. A more humbling name, such as…Travels With John, Bardos In Town, Help Me Help Them…You get the idea.

    That’s it for now, if I think of any more positive criticisms I’ll let you know.

    Cheers
    Bill

    • John says:

      Thanks Bill.

      Great advice.

      I love photos as well, but this is not really a travel blog. Maybe if I start a new site, JSC can be more travel focused.

      Kickstarter and Kiva are both great platforms.

      I would like to get readers more involved in social good projects but I also don’t want to bombard people with requests. I think I’ll need to experiment with this.

      Yes, I’ve come to realize that the name was not the best choice. It’ll be difficult to change. 🙁

  11. Ana says:

    John, I’m still a fan of the site. I signed up because I’m attracted by anything having to do with the expat life. Being a serial expat, it’s my first love. 🙂

    But I don’t read all interviews. I read maybe once every 2 or 3 times you post, depending on where the person is and how they’re making a living. That’s my priority, and I’m guessing a priority for lots of people these days.

    I like your focus on doing good. For me … that’ll come in time, the quicker the better. My immediate task is finding a way to make an independent living.

    • John says:

      Thanks Ana,

      Making a living seems to be what people want to most read. However, I don’t think I want to turn it into a ‘make money online’ blog. I personally enjoy the interviews, so I will continue them, but I think I need a better primary focus.

  12. Joe says:

    I really like the interviews. Keep them for sure!

  13. Sofie says:

    John, I’m going to be completely blunt and honest here. Hope you appreciate it. I’m subscribed to your site and I’ve come to this post because you so kindly asked for our help.
    I didn’t read the entire article though.
    Why not?
    Well, because there simply isn’t anything in it for me. It’s all about you.
    You ask me to answer questions, but if I really want to asnwer them all I have to type the answers here and then scroll back up each time to read the next question.
    Not cool, not efficient, not practical.
    Why not post a survey and mail it to your subscribers?

    Good luck!

    • John says:

      Thanks for the comment Sofie,

      Yes, there are probably more efficient ways to get feedback. Sorry.

      I did a survey in the past, however I though it might be helpful if everyone could see all the responses.

  14. Brad West says:

    When I read your work it feels like there is more there. More lurking beneath the surface and, for whatever reason, you’re not going deep. With or without the “Dare Big, Do Good” tagline, I’d love to read more of your thoughts. And I don’t care if it’s here at jetsetcitizen.com or anywhere else. I read this site becasue of you, not the URL.

    As for the interviews, while I like them, I wouldn’t stop reading if you stopped doing them.

    • John says:

      Thanks Brad! You made my day. I’d love to write more introspective posts. Sometimes I feel it doesn’t fit in with the ‘digital nomad’ focus.

  15. Dave says:

    I think people will always take from your site what they need. I never really associate you with the digital nomad interviews actually. For me, the site is more about the making a difference articles and your manifesto I think about especially.

    tbh you have been a massive inspiration for us. In a blogosphere full of ‘how to..’ posts, I love reading inspiring stuff to push us to do exceptional things for people. There is far too much info online about making money and travelling cheaply. This is entry level stuff and I don’t know how people can continue to write such basic info over and over.

    You could write more ‘how to..’ posts for the mass, but I don’t see how that would be really adding value to the world. “Dare Big, Do Good” is definitely a good thing, but I don’t think creating a fresh site would be a good idea. I think it would fit this website perfectly.

    You’re a good egg and are continuing to inspire a lot of people, keep it up man!

    • John says:

      Thanks Dave.

      I don’t think I’ve been called a ‘good egg’ before. Is that because of the shape of my bald head? 🙂

      I think the problem is that I’m trying to appeal to everyone. Some people want more beginner’s content, some want travel advice, some want more inspiration.

      I need to choose a single focus and stick with it.

      I appreciate the kind words!

  16. Johnny R says:

    John,

    Interesting questions. First off, I’m a big fan. Was hoping to meet you in Bangkok, but you never got back to me. Merely got a lot of Google Plus stuff in my inbox. Anyway, no worries.

    To tell the truth, I think your recent site redesign did not improve things. I think your site was better when it went straight to the blog (ie, the blog was the landing page).

    As for the name, I think that it needs to go. You’re right: It doesn’t reflect you or what you’re about and it was a poor choice to start with. Jetset is about the 1% flying to pricey destinations in business, first or private planes; it’s not about what you’re doing.

    I hate to say it, but if you really like blogging, I’d consider starting from scratch, but trying to bring along your subscribers and contacts.

    As for your comment about entering a new age of abundance, I think you should really do some reading about peak oil. Check out anything by Dmitry Orlov or read this blog: http://22billionenergyslaves.blogspot.com/ or this blog: Gregor.us

    The idea of a new age of abundance happening when easily available fossil fuels are running out and the competition for what remains is becoming more intense is a pipe dream. Sure, in some sectors and for some people, wealth will be created, but the general trend will be toward less complexity, more instability, and less abundance, especially when you factor in global warming.

    Sorry to be a downer, but it’s important to get both sides to the story. If you spend all your time with online entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get the impression that this new “idea economy” is going to suddenly result in endless riches. One only has to look at what’s happening in Europe, the United States and Japan to see what’s in store for the rest of the world.

    Again, sorry to be a downer. I am a fan and I do support your efforts to free people from the rut and to encourage people to do good.

    • John says:

      Hey Johnny,

      Sorry I never got back to you. I’m not sure what happened to our communications. However, I didn’t go to Bangkok this time. We flew directly in and out of Chiang Mai.

      Many people are telling me “JetSet” doesn’t work. I just hate to lose all the search engine traffic I’m getting. Starting over is not really starting from zero , but it is A LOT of work.

      I agree that there is a scarcity of natural resources, but there is certainly an abundance of opportunities to do anything we want, anywhere we want. My grandmother lived in a one room, home-made mud house with 8 sisters. Compared to 100 years ago, our life is pretty damn great and that is not going away any time soon.

      Every time I turn on my computer or think about the life I have, I’m thankful to be alive in these amazing times. A century ago, I likely would have been a poor farmer or factory worker doing back breaking work rarely venturing more than 10 miles from my homemade house. I wouldn’t have had electricity or running water. I would have had to grow almost all of my food myself. My average lifespan would have been 30 years less.

      I’m not saying that we are moving into ‘endless riches’ but access to entertainment, knowledge, career opportunities, travel, and virtually anything else we can imagine is practically endless.

      These are amazing times!

  17. Forest Parks says:

    It’s a really tough choice but I think you may benefit from keeping this site and changing the direction.

    I really hope when I can steady my finances a bit more and be more comfortable that I can take a direction similar to yours.

    My travel blog is new (launched on Jan 1st) but it’s a very saturated area and I find it pretty hard to get anyone to read my stuff! I think the angle you want to pursue is fairly unique and I would certainly be interested and inspired by it.

    • John says:

      Greetings Forest,

      Thanks for reading.

      Travel blogging is a tough slog. If your goal is to make money, there are better ways to do it. Feel free to email me if you want some ideas.

  18. Krista says:

    Johnny,

    Here is my two cents…you already know what to do! The longest journey anybody will ever take is the journey inward. Once you take the time to jetset on your inward journey, everything will become clear. If you continue to look for outward opinions, viewpoints and perspectives you will never be content with what you are doing. This is your art and art is subjective. You will never appeal to all of the people, all of the time. But, you will appeal to some of the people, some of the time.

    I love what you do and am continually inspired.

    • John says:

      Thanks Krista,

      I know what I’d like to do, but I also want to maximize my impact. Often those two are in conflict. On this site, I want to create the content that is of the biggest benefit to the most amount of people.

      If I wrote what I want all the time, no one would read. 🙂

  19. Johnny R says:

    John,

    Thanks for the reply.

    The case of your grandmother and your hypothetical case about what you would have been doing 100 years ago are both instances of life lived before the age of easy oil changed everything. Right now, we live at the tail end of the age of easy oil. Liquid oil extraction basically peaked in 2005 (why do you think the Global Financial Crisis happened in 2007?). If you compare the situation now in the US, Japan and Western Europe between before 2005 and after, the situation is drastically different. What’s all this talk about “austerity” really mean? Look at youth unemployment figures in these countries. Look at the food shortages behind the Arab Spring etc. Don’t be taken in by this talking fracking, shale oil or tar sands as being the savior. The net energy gained is FAR less than that gained from traditional oil wells.

    Sure, we’ve got all kinds of cool toys and distractions on our smartphones and tablets, but read the news more closely: there are food shortages, medicine shortages, and many more terminally unemployed people. Even China’s great boom is coming to an end. And it’s only a matter of time before this starts to have an impact in the great bubble of froth at the top of the developed economy: the digital world and the lives of people who manage to hustle a living from the top of it.

    I agree with you: We live in amazing times. But, I think you might be amazed about the true nature of what is happening before our very eyes if you look closely enough. One hint: Why do you think democracy is on the ropes everywhere and governments are beefing up surveillance and security forces? My answer: Because they’re getting ready to protect the wealth of the 1% as the industrial world inevitably gears down. Add increasing fuel costs to more frequent disastrous weather and you’ve got crop failures and some very unhappy masses of people. So, if we talk about a new age of prosperity, we can only do so by qualifying that to me small pockets of people, many of whom make their money in an environment of economic decline and limited resources.

    Again, sorry to be a downer. But, don’t take it from me, read some of the blogs I’ve recommended. Or take a hard look at actual (not cooked) unemployment figures from Western Europe, USA and Japan (among others).

    • John says:

      Thanks for continuing the conversation Johnny. However, you’re argument is not convincing. Asking me to read more implies that I’m ignorant and don’t fully understand the issue just because I haven’t read the right blogs.

  20. Eugene says:

    Hi John,

    I’m the furthest thing from an authority on effective web design or content that converts but here’s my $0.02 (overvalued?):

    JetSetCitizen – Wikipedia says “In journalism, jet set was a term for an international social group of wealthy people, organizing and participating all around the world in social activities unreachable to ordinary people.”
    John, that’s you to a T. The only difference is that you’re part of a growing group of people who define “wealthy” without a benchmark of how much cash you have in the bank. The way you live your life is anything but ordinary and your audience either aspires to this lifestyle or is already living it. I think you should keep the url but add a tag line that reflects your definition of “jet set” and wealth.

    I love the interviews although the audio is a bit sketchy in some of them. You’ve got a long list of them so maybe a one liner briefly describing what I’m going to get out of reading a specific interview would pull in more clicks.

    Your subscribe opt-in could maybe do with a rework. Maybe play a bit on the FOMO with something like “Good things come to those who wait. Awesome things come to those that subscribe.”

    I can’t help but subscribe to blogs when they’re giving something awesome. Why not collate the best of the best from some of your interviews into something you could offer or maybe something else as a giveaway. There’s probably a bunch of people that read your blog because it’s bookmarked but haven’t decided to subscribe yet.

    Does anyone actually use the “search” function?

    I agree with the sentiment expressed in some of the other comments regarding the “how to” content. It’s great having some of the inspirational stories but it would be cool if you had some more step by step stuff from the people you’re speaking to.

    Cheers,
    Eugene

    • John says:

      Thanks Eugene.

      Great feedback. I love actionable advice like this.

      It definitely makes SEO sense to keep the URL and change the tagline. That’s what I’ll do to start.

      I think I have a good idea on the new direction. I’m working on the next post now.

      Sorry for the sound on the interviews. I don’t travel with a good mic so it can be hard to get quality recordings, but I’m starting to invest in some equipment.

      I have been thinking of an interview ebook, although that is not high on the priority list now. Maybe that’s a good project for a VA.

      I sometimes use that search function to find my old content, so it’s valuable for me. 🙂

      I’m not sure about the step by step, how to content. It is my feeling that it is so easy to learn anything online, that people who don’t take action, will always not take action. The world is not lacking in quality content. What is lacking is the desire to do something meaningful with our lives. I would like to focus on getting more people off the sofa and out of the shopping malls.

      However, I have been working on a very simple how to program to walk absolute beginners through all key learning areas online. If there is interest, I will make it a higher priority.

      Very helpful advice.

  21. Jannell says:

    Hey John,

    First, I’d like to say that I have a immense amount of respect for you. When I started reading your blog in 2010, I was stuck in a life I didn’t want. You gave me the inspiration I needed to change my life. I understand what you are trying to do now and agree that you need to change the focus of your blog in order to achieve the new identity for it.

    I think you should keep your existing blog (don’t start from scratch). Just change the primary focus (e.g. take out ‘Nomad Interviews’ in the subcribe box). I like your idea of adding the ‘Dare Big, Do Good’ tagline. I’m not sure of SEO ramifications, but how about keeping the ‘JetSetCitizen’ domain name and just adding to the title ‘JetSetCitizen – turned ____’ or ‘Jetset Citizen’s Doing Social Good’ ?? Sure, the domain name will still show in search engine results, but so does the meta description – and that can be changed.

    I still enjoy reading the ‘digital nomad’ interviews and I think you should keep doing them. However, change the focus to interviews with those doing social good (whether they are digital nomads or not). Or course, I still love any posts where you talk about your ‘slow travel’ life.

    While your blog is my ‘go to’ for location independent living and community, I’m very interested to read your thoughts on ways to give back. Since I am fairly new and uneducated about the opportunities for doing social good, I’m going to add to Darren’s comment about including more ‘how to’ posts. It would be helpful for me to understand where to get quality information, how to craft a life centered on doing social good, things I can do to get involved – both financially or not (since money can be tight at times).

    I would recommend a site redesign showing more organization to the different categories of social good that you’d like to highlight. It isn’t very clear on the home page and I think it should be well-defined at a glance (does that make sense?)

    I appreciate that you wrote a post and asked for feedback in the comments section (instead of a poll), because it helped me fine tune my thoughts by reading other comments. Yes, it did take more time – but you’re worth it.

    • Ha! I should’ve refreshed the page before I posted Janell. Made many of the same points I made. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t have said anything if I’d seen your comment.

      Much better said than I did 🙂

      -Rich Polanco

    • John says:

      Thanks as always Jannell. It’s great to have connected with you.

      I definitely need to put more focus on social good. I think travel and digital nomads are a distraction keeping me from doing my most important projects.

      A site redesign is a major pain, but it needs to be done.

  22. Hi John,

    Interesting conversation. I’ll keep comments brief.

    I don’t think you need to start a new website. A reboot is fine based on what you’re attempting to do. Lord know I’ve rebooted a few times and it’s no big deal unless people are really raving about what you provide right now.

    Someone commented about the name “Jetset Citizen” conveying the wrong message about you. Funny enough I was thinking the same thing a few days ago. But in the end, this is not a big hurdle, so no need to worry about that. If anything, turn it around and emphasize the “Citizen” part.

    While I do know you for you nomad interviews, the truth is some of them do become boring. I don’t have any interest in hearing about yet another guy/gal who has books on Amazon ghostwritten that are so crappy they can’t even bring themselves to name them on the interview. Same goes for guys building crappy AdSense websites. Anyone can brute-force their way into a paycheck that allows them to live in a low-cost location in Thailand. This is not new.

    But I think you’ve hit on something with animations. I’ve shared a lot of your content, but I remember your animation (and message) as the one I got really excited about sharing and put it up on my FB page, Tweeted it, G+, etc because I thought the message was really important. Maybe you need to streamline your animation process (storyboard it & outsource) because it’s an effective message delivery channel which is very underutilized.

    As far as you being the “Something guy”, I’ve got you pegged as the “Digital nomad interview + socially conscious guy”. That last part is important. A lot of the lifestyle design crowd seems to have as their ultimate goal a beach party lifestyle and “do as little work as possible, it’s all about me and what I’m eating next” kinda thing.

    From what I’ve seen from you, you’re way beyond that. It gnaws at me that I should be doing more with what I have and where I am rather than take advantage of the cheaper lifestyle. I’d like to have a positive impact beyond putting up a “donate” link or a “X” amount of proceeds go to charity “X” as sort of a marketing gimmick. Which is fine, because at least someone else benefits from the gimmick. But we can do so much more.

    I see you as the “Socially Conscious Digital Nomad” guy. Maybe steer your focus towards interviews with nomads who make a difference to the world other than the local bar tab? Or create a community of like-minded nomads? Or provide tools & resources to those who want to do something locally but don’t know where to start?

    I know many of us out there who travel who have stopped navel-gazing enough to look at the world around us and see that things are not right. Maybe a nudge on how to get started making a difference or how others did in their new place would be a subtle but important shift.

    Looking forward to seeing where your renewed efforts may lead 🙂

    -Rich Polanco

    • John says:

      Hi Rich,

      You are the first person to mention the animations. No one seems to care about them.

      I love interviewing digital nomads because it helps me meet more people around the world, however, it’s not my real passion.

      I’m starting to think I’m going to write more about the projects I’m working on. Most of you don’t really know what I do.

      I’m not an expert on any of this stuff, but I find that once you get started it’s not hard to figure out what to do next.

  23. Johnny R says:

    Thanks for the reply John.

    I find your comment sort of odd. You’re basically saying: “Asking me to get more evidence and information on the topic is calling me ignorant.” If you held that attitude with everything, you’d never learn anything. I mean, what if I had raised my hand in class in university and said to my professor: “Asking me to read this book is calling me ignorant, because I already know all there is to know about this subject.”

    Look, I can understand why you wouldn’t want to learn more about the realities of peak oil and the ongoing energy/capital crunch. In fact, you’re displaying the typical attitude. Very few people want to really hear about it, because it’s very troubling.

    But to simply announce that we are at the dawn of a new age of abundance in spite of the fact that easily available energy and increasing competition sort of puts the onus on you to show how this age of abundance will be “financed” in an age of decreasing energy.

    The thing that most people, including most high-level economists, seem to assume is that economies exist within the context of endless resources, and all it takes to bring about prosperity is the correct economic decisions. But that’s like saying we can have a campfire any size we want, as long as we build it right, ignoring the fact that the supply of wood is very limited. Finite resources are the real limit on any economy and we’ve passed the peak of easily-extracted energy resources.

    You don’t have to read the blogs I’ve recommended. But if your next project rests on the idea that we are about to enter a new age of prosperity, if I were you, I’d certainly want to examine the underlying economic assumptions and fundamentals of such a claim. To take any suggestion that you educate yourself about this topic or that topic seems to be a mental stance that practically guarantees the ignorance of which you speak.

  24. Cathy says:

    I just discovered your blog and agree that you seem to be the “socially conscious digital nomad guy.” I’m a nomad too and interested in the ethical side effects of expatriation in general and the subculture of the nomadic types in particular.

    For example, how does our understanding of problems in the world deepen when we live for a time in a “developing” nation? How does that understanding affect what we do? Those could be interesting questions to pose to readers and to include in your interviews of other nomads (which I like). For example, in my own experience, I’ve noticed that another digital nomad friend and I have sometimes substantially different perspectives than some more “traditional” expats I’ve met, who can act like colonists and view the locals as just poor-but-happy servants.

    And from a more practical perspective, you might consider asking questions like, What are some concrete ideas of things I can do to have a more beneficial effect on my host country besides just buying food and paying rent? For example, I’m looking for a local organization in my current base in Mexico to give a percentage of my income to. How can I evaluate the organizations that I visit? What types of charities tend to have the greatest impact? For example, I’ve read that micro-grants are more effective than micro-loans, and that it’s better for the family to give the money to women rather than to men. Is this correct? and so forth.

    From a marketing perspective, you could keep the site where it is so you continue to benefit from all the inbound links and the ranking you’ve built. I think that if you end up changing the URL, you can forward the current domain to the new one with htaccess forwarding, which if I remember right means all those existing links out there and Google results for the existing content will magically transport people to the new URL.

    • John says:

      Thanks Cathy,

      In my view, the people who are most successful online have a single and unique story that resonates with a large audience. Yes, I’m a digital nomad, but I’m also a runner, guitarist, marketing consultant, entrepreneur, etc. I’m many things, but I don’t quite know what I most stand for.

      I think the biggest problem is that I don’t think I want ‘digital nomad’ to be my primary identity. Also, ‘digital nomad’ in itself is not a compelling story that gets people interested. I want to encourage people to do good in the world, not just quit their jobs to travel.

      Hopefully, my next blog posts will show a shift in direction on this site.

  25. Kevin says:

    Hi John,

    long time no contact… First, your blog doesn’t “suck”. You just have some misgivings about it, as you mentioned. But overall it’s very good. Judging by your social stats and comments you have lots of interested followers, which means that what you are doing is of value to people.

    I was in a similar kind of situation with my own “personal” blog http://www.BreakingOut.NET. The name isn’t ideal, and i built it on a .net instead of a .com. No matter.

    It started out as a personal progress accountability blog. That kind of blog is two a penny, plus it wasn’t really what I wanted to blog about. So I refocussed it on helping other people quit the 9-5 and do more and do what they really want to do in their lives, especially becoming more entrepreneurial.

    I changed the tagline, got a new logo, threw out some of the content, restructured the subject categories. It now has much greater readership and the number of subscriber optins is rising fast. But it’s still basically the same blog and domain.

    Looking at your site, I don’t actually see any tagline at all at the moment unless I havent been looking properly.

    Put your tagline up there NOW: “Dare Big, Do Good”. Don’t dither about it.

    I don’t really like the extremely minimal menu categories. The New Here is excellent, but then you just have About and Blog and thats just boring and tells me nothing.

    Actually I don’t like “Blog” as a category, except as an add on for corporate or product sites. Surely the whole site is a blog, also it sounds boring. How about “News” or “What’s New” – more interesting sounding than Blog. People are always interested in news or what’s new.

    I’d also put up 2,3 or maybe even 4 specific subject categories to open up your site content much more and lead people in. At present I find it difficult to access the content you have on your site. Your site looks kind of “closed for business today – come back later”.. Open it up!

    See my Breakingout.NET site for how I did this. Also I renamed my categories to make them relevant to the readers, rather than using “standard” type category titles. Matter of opinion, but I think it’s better.

    Re your other points… yes, you can activate the focus in the way you are pondering. Do it now.

    Yes, Jetsetcitizen.com isn’t the ideal domain name for your site. But unless you register another one you are stuck with it. I agree starting a whole new blog would be too much of a project. Why do that – just because you dont like the name or the tagline or the focus of your present one? Overkill and no need.

    What you could do is to register a more theme relevant domain name, then point it to jetset, header and publicize it and gradually move everything over to the new domain name and then switch off (or sell) the jetsetcitizen.com name. You’d also make some money from the sale of the old asset as well.

    Seems like you want to especially focus on social entrepreneurship.. is the tag best for this, maybe… But you need to make it more evident on the site about what your goal and focus is, eg through the actions above.

    The interviews: these are excellent, I always enjoy reading them. Didnt you also do some video/audio ones as well, if so publicize them, get them out and on display.

    Part of the problem is the way these wordpress blogs are structured, but you can still do a lot to get round this.

    Finally I think you are ondering and nitpicking too much about your site, on the whole its fine, just make the changes such as I suggested above, just in my humble opinion.

    What ultimately matters is the content, and you already have that, all the rest is icing on the cake.

    Good Luck John!

    • John says:

      Thanks for all the great, specific feedback Kevin.

      The new site layout is much simpler in order to encourage email signups. There are less links and less distractions to direct visitors to a single call to action. It has worked, email sign ups have more than doubled, but I know I can improve on this a lot.

      I need to get a new tag line up, but I think I’ll also need to explain it. Right now, I’m not sure if “Dare Big, Do Good” would make sense to readers. I need this to be a manifesto, or a call to arms.

      I still like the word ‘blog’. I’m not sure that ‘news’ or ‘what’s new’ accurately reflects the type of content I post.

      My categories are terrible. I agree they need to be changed. That is something, I wish I understood better when I started my site. The next site will definitely be better.

      With regards to the JetSetCitizen URL, if it’s not the right name, then I think it should be changed. Many people have told me that it doesn’t represent what I’m about. If that’s the case, then I should consider something better. Otherwise, it will always be holding me back.

      Again, I know there are many small things that I could improve on the site, but that’s not my focus. I want to articulate a good, compelling story to get readers behind what I’m trying to accomplish. Once I articulate a good story, all the other things will likely become trivial. Part of that will require me to do bolder and more interesting things. I’m working on it, but over the long term, I still sense that I’ll need a different website URL to really convey that message effectively.

      Great, great advice Kevin. Thanks for your support.

  26. Kevin says:

    just a couple more points John,

    re the categories.. what I meant was to feature 3 or 4 general categories from the point of view of the readers, without getting too detailed, and to put these on the top menu bar. ie not just repeating the ones in the sidebar category list, they are too specific.

    eg, something like, maybe “Making a Difference”, “Becoming a Social Entrepreneur” “Going Location Independent” or whatever.. this is the approach I now use.

    if there is one single thing that “sucks” with your site…. I’d say it’s your header…

    bland, boring, tells me nothing. What is JSC.. ok, you have a logo, but it tells me nothing about the theme and mission of your site. It could be an attorneys office, some international pressure group or a manufacturer of industrial widgets.

    Likewise the rest of the menu New Here, Blog, About – it doesnt give anything away, lost opportunity. Plus no tagline.

    The header again: no graphic, no photo image… didnt you have something more colourful one time before… right now it looks kind of in limbo. the header is an advertisement for your site – if you had to pay Google (!), ICANN, your internet provider or whoever for the space, would you use it as you are now? Probably not.

  27. Johnny R says:

    John,

    Sorry to get all negative on you. The main point I want to make is that you’re doing great and inspiring work and the information you provide is super useful and actionable (not just airy platitudes).

    Please keep up the great work!

  28. Kevin says:

    Sorry John, I didnt notice your “splash page” on the home URL, thats pretty good. But I still think you need to make some changes to the header, menu, etc.

  29. I believe in the adage that if people can’t figure out what your site is about within two seconds of landing on it, they’re probably going to hit the back button. To me “Jet Set” means luxury. The Jet Set crowd usually refers to wealthy travelers with lots of time on their hands (and maybe don’t have to work very hard for their money).

    Running more than one blog shouldn’t be all that taxing for anyone. Keep this one so you don’t lose what you’ve built, but start anew with a different focus for another. Yes, it’ll take time to build, but they all do.

    • John says:

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, “JetSet” was the wrong choice. I couldn’t find anything close to ‘global’ so I settled on JetSet. 🙁

      I’ve tried to run more than one site, but something always gets neglected. I think I want to focus on improving the quality of a single site.

  30. Like others have said here, I think going niche and really focusing on your interests and what you are passionate about sharing is key. As far as rebranding, consider if you go with a new name keeping all the rich content on this site, but redirecting it all to a new site/name that better fits with the message you want to convey and the values by which you live your life. I think running two sites would be folly, but keeping the elements that work from Jetsetcitizen going forward (and all the content) and shifting could be positive and help you want to stay motivated sharing your ideas and life with people.

    Also, consider with the interviews incorporating some more questions that align with your core values perhaps as you have with some. Ask them about minimalism, social good, big ideas of the shifting global roles we play alongside the hows of their online work.

    I look forward to seeing some of the shifts you make 🙂

    • John says:

      Greetings Shannon,

      Long time no talk. Good advice.

      Travel is always going to be a big part of my life, I just don’t want to focus on travel blogging. That is the dilemma in finding a new focus. All the content on JSC is heavily travel or digital nomad focused. The new direction I want to go, doesn’t seem so aligned. Won’t that content be out of place on a new site? Also, I think most people know me as ‘jetsetcitizen’. I’m afraid of losing that brand.

      If only I could go back 5 years in time. 🙂

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