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Going Full-Time on Scotch.io After 5 Years!

Going Full-Time on Scotch.io After 5 Years!

This post will be short and sweet. No, I'm not going full-time on drinking some alcohol (part-time on that definitely).

After 5 years of being a side project, Scotch.io will be my full-time job!

I'm super excited. Can't even put into words excited. We started Scotch 5 years ago and have been humbled and overwhelmed daily by the support we've gotten from you, the awesome readers.

Fear of making the jump to full-time

Last year we found ourselves in an interesting position. Scotch was losing traffic and I found it harder and harder to focus on it as a side project.

There's always a fear of making your side-project your full-time thing. There was bigger fear because Scotch just wasn't growing how it was in the earlier years.

We released our version 8 redesign, but have been pressed for time with creating content. We've got an amazing pool of guest authors and I can't thank each and every one of them enough for being amazing.

Scotch can still work

Would this be the end for the side project we loved so much? I decided in November 2018 to revitalize my focus on the site and on the content. We're back to only accepting 10% of guest author applications and have tried to keep the quality at its highest possible.

I'm happy to say that the focus on quality has raised us in both traffic and Alexa rank.

The sharp upshoot since last November was a great sign for me and a big factor in refocusing on Scotch instead of letting it fizzle.

The market is different from when we first started. There's platforms like Medium and StackOverflow is bigger than ever. It has been interesting to see Medium shoot themselves in the foot; with those actions, it's great to see other sites pop up and let users post their thoughts.

There are countless great personal blogs, and it's amazing to see more and more people build out their own personal sites with tools like Gatsby. Dev.to and CodePen both have great articles.

Sat down in November and got back to what made us great. The highest quality articles with the best breakdown of code and concepts. Happy to say it's been working. We still have a place as a tutorial site!

Forget chasing Numbers. Focus on the People

When Scotch started, it was all about the teaching. Somewhere along the way, it turned into a "chasing numbers" game. How much traffic are we getting? How much are we growing? Are our videos getting watch time?

Focusing on the numbers and not the people made this less fun.

When we started, it was the mentality of:

If an article can help 1 person, then it's worth it.

I feel reenergized and back in that mindset. Our new Twitch streams have that same mentality. We're building things and having fun.

Being able to see personal feedback from people has been a big part of why full-time makes sense. There are many people out there that Scotch as a platform can help. It would be irresponsible to let it fizzle out. (Thinking of this as a good Samaritan perspective, not as an "oh our website is so amazing.")

If you have a chance to help people, then make that your duty. That will propel you forward and keep you motivated.

Things like this are what keep me grounded and on the right path.

Thank You

To our readers, I want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading, visiting, commenting, and sharing the things we've done. You are truly the reason why building Scotch has been so fun. Get ready for a buttload more content.

To our authors, thank you for sharing your knowledge with everyone. We're all better for it, especially myself. Thank you for being patient these past years while we've been slow with responding and publishing. Expect much faster response times and a better author experience.

What to expect next

Content. Lots more content. Especially from me. Over the years my role has turned more editor than content creator. We've got an amazing team of guest authors. I'll be getting back to being a content machine and you can expect new stuff written by me daily.

Here's a list of the upcoming content pieces we're doing:

  • Code challenges (21 Days of React / 21 Days of Vue / 21 Days of JavaScript)
  • More Twitch streams! (See the 10 things we built in March)
  • Courses courses courses (More videos)
  • Starters. I'm very excited for this and we've already started releasing our React Starter

Thanks for reading and have a great week! Happy coding!

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