Hey there gentlemen,
Chase Amante here. It's the start of a new year - 2013; and new things are afoot.
We'll be introducing some new, (relatively) major changes to the website that are going to both massively up the value the site's bringing to you over the course of the year, and change the way you use it for the better.
(the new Girls Chase logo)
What we have here right now is a content business - an article-based site - where the site isn't all that well-designed for finding the kinds of articles you most want. It's a blog setup, which is usable, but far from optimal.
We also have a business model that's centered on product sales, for a website that's all about the content. It's what you'd call a mismatch between what the reader comes to the site for, and what the business side of things wants to achieve (i.e., enough revenues to properly maintain and grow the site and company).
So, sometime between late-January and mid-February most likely, we'll be premiering two new things:
A totally new, newspaper-influenced website design that's cleaner, more navigable, more readable, and yet retains enough of the old style of things that it should feel like a pretty natural transition to old hands around here (you can see a development snapshot of one of the new category pages here; obviously, nothing's complete yet, though); and
A new, New York Times-style content subscription model, where you'll be able to access 10 articles on the main site for free per month, and you'll be asked to pay about 20 dollars per month to subscribe and keep reading if you'd like to read more than 10 articles per month
I expect there's probably a fairly wide opinion here among the regular readers about this; both about the site redesign and, likely more so, about the new content subscriptions.
Before you jump to any conclusions though, I'd like to ask you to take a walk with me (metaphorically speaking) as I discuss with you why we're making the changes we are, and what you can expect out of Girls Chase in this new year.
Yes, This IS a Business
I get a lot of guys writing, commenting, sharing tales on the forum, and even meeting me in person (on occasion) to report with effusive praise that this website's changed their lives. I'm very grateful for that; compared to what I used to do, sitting in a cubicle putting together spreadsheets for federal accounting teams and military logistics departments, running a business that touches close to three quarters of a million individuals a month is pretty fulfilling work.
To me though, this isn't nearly enough yet.
The majority of men out there still have no clue what they're doing women. The majority of women out there rarely ever meet anything but clueless, unattractive men. And there are too many people tip-toeing around one another's emotions, hiding things from each other, pretending to be people they're not, because they don't have any idea what to do on a date, what to do when they first meet each other, and what to do 10 months or even 10 years after they've gotten married.
That I feel a need to reach these people may be a little hard for most people to understand. Most people seem to have the attitude that if they just help themselves, and maybe a few people around them, that ought to be enough.
Pat on the back, good chap; you've done your community service for this life; now, you may go relax and while away the rest of your days in peace and merry contentment.
When I look at that though, it's just so discouraging; it's great to help people one at a time, but if you're always operating at too small a scale, you're only throwing fistfuls of sand into the ocean.
My aim is to be dumping continents in.
To do that, we need a functioning business system; to make a real impact not just in a few people's lives, but in many people's the world over, we need to really build up the team here, get more writers on staff, and more talent contributing. I can do it on my own for a while - with the odd help here and there from other folks (and, many thanks everyone who's been helping out and contributing, for sure) - but ultimately, at some point, as things stand where they are right now, I'm going to burn out, break down, get really sick, or otherwise not be able to be here for a while, and at that point, the business is done.
This business, if it's to survive and really wants to have half the impact in the world that I think it can have, needs to be more than a one-man-show-with-help; it needs something that maybe half the world understands, and the other half shudders in horror and fear and anger over the very notion of. What it needs is this:
It needs a sustainable business model.
Why Content Subscriptions?
A few months back, with steadily rising traffic but stagnant revenues, I found myself faced with a bit of a conundrum: do I want to abandon article-writing and focus on just cranking out and marketing products, or is there something more in line with the business the way it is now that I can do?
It didn't make any intuitive sense to me to drop article-writing and become an information products guru; I'm neither a product-creation expert, nor a marketing pro. What I'm good at is explaining social and seductive dynamics to men in ways that are relatively easy to understand and implement, and relatively difficult to find elsewhere, and I'm also not bad at writing (when I'm not making heaps of grammar errors and running afoul of the ghosts of English teachers past, that is).
Because, for sure, while the products here aren't bad, they're not what people come to Girls Chase for; people come to Girls Chase for the articles.
I realized by moving to a content subscription model, I could keep the focus on articles, and actually tie traffic and revenues to the same thing.
By moving us to content subscriptions instead of products, I wasn't going to have to stop writing articles and start cranking out products; with content subscriptions, the more and better the articles, the more people read and the more they want to read... and the better the business does, and the more I'm able to keep growing it and bringing in better and better guys, and the more we're able to keep cramming more value in.
Instead of there being a tension between the models - products or articles? - there becomes a positive feedback loop; a virtuous cycle. The more and better the content, the more and greater the readers and subscribers, the higher and stronger the revenues, the more talented people can be brought in to really blow this thing up, and the more and better the content.
I've discussed this change with a couple of the guys on the forum who've been contributing to the site already, and a few others folks around, and the staff, of course, and everyone's supportive and seems to think going to content subscriptions and moving away from trying to split focus between content and products is a smart move, and one that's been some time in coming.
The ability to bring in fresh, talented writers with new ideas and
and to expand and grow the business is something everyone's been eager
get behind; not to mention, as one the folks I've been talking to put
it, I myself "can't keep
going at this pace writing this much forever."
In case anyone's counting, I've been putting up the articles
equivalent of a
nonfiction book (~70,000 words) on the site every
2 to 3 weeks for the past few months. Only over the holidays has the
pace slowed as I've tried to recover from some burnout and moderate
Nevertheless, I realize some people are going to be miffed at the move to content subscriptions.
Some won't like it a bit.
Some will say it isn't fair.
Some will say they aren't coming back.
I'd honestly prefer not to lose ANYONE. I will lose some. The 10 free articles a month limit means that the people who are just passing by and reading the odd article here and there won't be affected.
If you've already gorged yourself on all the Girls Chase articles you can handle, and you're never going to read more than 10 a month ever again, you'll be immune.
If you think 20 bucks a month is a steep asking price for the material on this site, I admittedly can't really say anything else to change your mind; that's about 5 large hot chocolates at Starbuck's a month. If you don't feel this site benefits your life more than 5 large hot chocolates at Starbuck's a month though, then you shouldn't pay.
I do recognize there's a segment of readers who really, honestly, can't afford 20 dollars a month. Not the guys who spend $10 at McDonald's for lunch every day and then complain they don't have enough money to pay for extra channels on cable TV so that's why they had to get a cable box; I mean the guys in India and Bangladesh and the Philippines and all those who think finding the equivalent of 50 cents on the roadside is like stumbling upon manna from heaven.
For those guys, you'll still have 10 articles free a month; and you'll still have the forum. And I guarantee, those 10 articles a month and the new Girls Chase forum will always be completely free.
For the guys who are indignant, and refuse to pay because they think it's ethically wrong to pay for the material on this site, or morally repugnant to be asked to pay for something that they previously had for free, what can I say but, "That's life?"
I spent plenty of time in my youth getting upset at formerly free services that started asking for my money; some of them I quit forever, to "show them" or "teach them a lesson;" some of them I quit but went back to later when I realized the service was worth the coin; some of them I never quit and looked at right away and said, "You know what, they give me something valuable, and it's worth paying for to me."
Only with age and the gradual quelling of the passions have I been able to take a less-gut reaction and more even-tempered outlook on people asking for money on things they didn't used to; even then, I'm still a little temperamental.
So, if you decide that Girls Chase at 20 bucks a month really isn't
for you, I have been there,
countless times; I still keep
ending up there, from time to time; and, I do understand. It's okay.
What Can I Expect from Girls
Chase Down the Line?
I play things pretty close to the chest.
I'm a big believer in giving goals, objectives, and dreams a little
jealously-guarded secrecy at the outset to let them germinate from
sprouts. Just like direct sunlight on a seed that hasn't sprouted can
kill the seed, the full spotlight of others' opinions, thoughts, and
beliefs on an idea that has yet to stick its shoots up out of the earth
can lead to a dead, mangled, or crippled development before it ever
carves a place for itself in the world.
In addition to that approach on ideas, I'm a big believer in the Steve Jobs approach to market research prior to major changes:
“Our job is to figure out what they're going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, 'If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, "A faster horse!"' People don't know what they want until you show it to them. That's why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
When I started Girls Chase in 2008, if you asked guys what they wanted back then, it probably would've been:
- More routines
- More stuff on M/W complex
- In-field videos of pickups
- More boot camps in more cities
- More stuff on "inner game"
Nobody would've told you anyone wanted a 400-page ebook on a complete
pickup process; who in his right mind is going to sit down and READ
something like that? All the products back then were flashy big picture
books with a lot of acronyms thrown about like AMOG and AFC, LMR and
ASD, C&F and pAImAI.
And no one would've told you that an approach to picking up that centered on getting girls talking and thinking about effort and getting women invested and moving quickly and being direct was going to get anywhere; everyone knew you had to DHV and be impressive and obey the 7 hour rule and the 3 second rule and be funny and witty and be interesting over text.
Certainly no one would've told you a site like this would gain any great traction, with regular, lengthy and detailed forays into how-tos, details, and minutiae of the mechanics of socializing and seduction, and explorations of the inner workings of psychology and cognition and the female mind (and the male one, too); the biggest article-based websites at the time were opinion-heavy blogs, where guys ranted on and on about the flaws of women and taught men to win at seduction like some kind of pickup combat sport.
So what's next? I've got some ideas, but I'm not ready to talk about them just yet. I will say that, assuming the new business model kicks off as I think / hope / expect that it will, you can anticipate seeing a lot more talented writers on here over the coming months - in addition to (of course) plenty more content by me.
I may even be able to hire a proofreader and get rid of all those nasty grammar mistakes.
So, have I betrayed you by moving us to content subscriptions?
Some of you may think so, but I hope you'll soon find not - because what I want to bring you with the next upgrade of Girls Chase is, and I think and hope and expect you'll agree with me when you see it fully realized a few months out, worth a lot more than 20 bucks a month.