So what’s it going to be like around here?
One thing my career in Procurement has taught me is that customer service is the most important element of building relationships, whether with co-workers, suppliers, or managment. I will apply that to this site as well. And part of that means being predictable. Thus, establishing a schedule for Advice and Beans is as important as getting to work on time and being professional and courteous once there. I’ve read hundreds of blogs, and you can usually tell very quickly whether it is a passion or a chore for the owner.
The original Survival Blog is an example of a site where the owner loves what he does. The site is updated every day like clockwork, and has been for years. For those who have moved beyond the basics or simply wants to browse the most extensive survival and prepping archives anywhere, go there and enjoy. James Wesley, Rawles (yes, the comma is supposed to be there, but you’ll have to read his site to find out why) is one of the reasons I began prepping, and his site is one of the reasons for mine. It is full of so much information that sometimes I wish someone would break it all down for me into bite-size pieces that I can apply immediately. I hope you’ll find that one of the themes of my life and this blog is ‘Put your money where your mouth is.’ Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, and Advice and Beans will be a bridge between the advanced staged prepping you’ll find elsewhere and the foundation you need to get you there.
On the other hand, the last prepping blog I read had some good information, but the author posted eratically, sometimes once a month, sometimes once every three. It seems it would be hard to develop a community with such a sporadic schedule. As you, the reader, are the most important part of Advice and Beans, I hope the dialog will be much more frequent!
So what’s the plan?
My current plan is to have a new original post up Monday, Wednesday and Friday of every week. For the first several months, these will be the ‘fundamentals’ posts discussed earlier, the baby steps of prepping or the discussing of why we do it.
Every other Saturday there will be a special column ‘Boys with Toys’, where I review one of my favorite pieces of gear, a book, or something a reader requests.
Once or twice a week I’ll be doing a little bit called ‘What Can I Do Today?’. This will be something that you and I can and should do, well, today. It is something easy and usually won’t take more than 15-20 minutes. Also, my commitment to you is anything I suggest in ‘What can I do today?’, I will be doing myself!
Plus, every time I come across what I consider a useful, pertinent or interesting article or video I will link to it as well, so you’ll find something new here almost every day!
And while I won’t commit to it quite yet, once a month I plan to post a podcast (basically, a video blog post). These may range from showing you how I have my preps set up, doing a video version of Boys with Toys, or demonstrating actual techniques, such as starting a fire with one of those cool magnesium things or showing you how to vacuum-pack your own food. If I get better at video editing and such, I may try to do more of these as time goes on.
So what’s the long-term plan for Advice and Beans?
Very few people make a living doing exactly what they want, and I am no exception. While I love my current job, Advice and Beans is a baby step toward the goal of having a small business that is exactly what I want to do with my life, supports my family, or at least supports itself. More ‘putting my money where my mouth is.’ If the site and store paid for the hosting costs and bandwidth of the site, I would consider it a success. Any more would be a blessing.
However, that said, I will not turn this site into a giant page full of flashing advertisements. I do plan to have a couple of ads that I pray will help defray the cost of the site, but they will be tasteful and useful or they will be removed. Additionally, within some posts I will have an Amazon Affiliate advertisement, but only to products I would (or have) bought myself. Each advertisement through Amazon where someone buys something, I get a very small commission. So, if you like the site, I hope every once in a while you’ll click through to Amazon and make a purchase! (You can even just use the search feature on the right hand side of the page, it doesn’t have to be an actual linked product!)
Finally, at the Advice and Beans store, I will be selling a small selection of items such as mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and other basic prepping items. Being in Procurement and realizing that I want to develop a community here and not just a business, any item I put up in the store will be at or around the lowest price I can find it on the net. I for one check prices on darn near everything, and I expect many of you do the same. Thus, I won’t try to sell you overpriced junk you don’t need. Additionally, each item I sell that needs it will come with an instruction sheet, so you’ll never have to guess how to use it (as I did with some of my very early purchases). All items will also have a 30-day, no questions asked, money back guarantee (though if the product is not defective, you’ll have to cover return shipping). I would much rather have a reader than a sale, so if you’re not happy with something, I will make it right!
Well, that’s about it in the way of introduction. Next post bright and early Monday morning we’ll define what we mean when we say ‘prepping’ to make sure we’re all on the same page!