Here's a really interesting case-study in "Why Facebook is Terrible" and "Why Large Facebook Groups Are Killing The Planet" and "Why Digital Advertising Will Ruin You":
Real talk: I'm seriously contemplating shutting down this group. This is not a threat, just the reality of my free labor situation. I will continue my daily reporting of dining information on my website and I will keep all social media related to <Removed>, except for this endeavor, this Facebook group that sucks so much of my time, it's unreal. It's become an unwieldy labor burden I don't know that I want to continue.
I started a dining website in 2019 called <Removed>. This Facebook group is an extension of my website, of course.
I spend 15 hours a week writing and reporting stories for my website and managing my other <Removed> social media. I spend 15 hours a week managing and moderating this group, which has become a major time suck.
When this group was smaller, I had a much higher click-through rate. That gave me tangible rewards that made the labor I put into this group worth my labor.
THIS GROUP GOT TOO BIG, AND NOT ENOUGH OF YOU READ MY CONTENT
With 14,000 members, you'd think I'd have a big click-through to my website? Well, you'd be wrong. That number has plummeted to 1 percent. I do A-B testing in the group. I'll post a story here, and only here, to measure the click-through rate to my website. The results have been disappointing to me considering the amount of time I spend moderating and upkeep in this group.
MY READERSHIP OUTSIDE THIS GROUP
I get so much readership outside this group. My click through from my other social media, which I spend almost no time managing, is amazing and is carrying my website and my efforts at this point. But this group? You are not giving me enough support.
WHY NOT GET ADMIN HELP FOR THIS GROUP?
The legal entanglements of my website and social media brand mean I will not be handing off this group to anyone or having admins help in the group. I cannot, for legal and branding reasons, have anybody else manage anything related to my website unless they are an employee. And, welp, I can't even afford to pay myself, let alone an employee.
HOW YOU CAN ENSURE I KEEP THIS GROUP GOING
I'm giving myself 90 days to see if this turns around. January 2021, I'll be making some decisions.
I want to be clear that there are ways you can help me and my mission of broadcasting the good news about dining in <Removed> that will make my labor here worthwhile. Two are free. One is a donation. They are:
1. Click on all my stories at <Removed>. There's real value to my website in that. The more people who read my stuff, the higher Google pushes my site on search results, and more people will see the good news about dining in <Removed>. Then, I'll feel I get something tangible from 15 hours of labor a week in this group. My labor outside this group has paid off because my readership stats right now are where I was at in year eight of running my last dining blog for the local newspaper. But the people who are doing all the work to help me broadcast my devotion to dining in <Removed>? They're not in this group.
2. Share my stories. Social shares by YOU improve my ranking for social media distribution and will result in higher readership. Facebook's algorithm favors content creators who get more shares. You can't share from a private group (Facebook's rules, not mine), so if you want this group to continue, go to my other Facebook page, <Removed>, and share my stories from there.
3. Put your money where your mouth is. Like my content? Then send some cash my way to keep my operation going. Patreon is where you can contribute. Between income taxes and platform fees, I make about 50 percent of earnings through your pledge, but it's better than nothing and I like that Patreon handles the transactions and taxing so I don't have to. Patreon pays for my hosting, web, platform and design software fees, my licensing and business fees. I don't accept advertising on my website because it violates the ethics codes all journalists follow, so Patreon is the only way I earn money for my labor. <Removed>
This has been a PSA. Carry on. I am turning off commenting because this isn't a debate, a call-to-action for arguments, or anybody needing to wax my ego, or an invitation for trolling. This is REAL TALK about whether or not this group continues and what you can do to help ensure this group is worth the labor I invest in it.