It has been a little less than 10 months since I added membership to this site. There are now 760 active paid members as of today and the total income to-date is 86,835 USD. The monthly income has been averaging around $10000 since the last 3 months. These are not spectacular numbers by any means, but a year ago I did not certainly imagine this would be possible.
I still remember the day when I when I was working at SAP Labs Bangalore, India in the Pre-Sales team as UI Designer. I used to wonder whether I would continue doing what I was doing then for the rest of my life. The turning point was the day I purchased developer licenses for StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme Package, iThemes Builder, Headway and Catalyst (now Dynamik). I tried all the frameworks and decided to stick with using Builder for client work. It was the most intuitive and easiest framework for me at the time.
After getting noticed for my replies to fellow users’ questions in the Builder forum where I was spending time voluntarily, I was offered a part-time job as iThemes support moderator. After about 6 months that became a full-time gig when I resigned from SAP and started working from home completely. My tenure at iThemes lasted for two and half years. Salary was $3500/month initially and was raised to $3650/month towards the end. I have solved over 22,000 questions during that time. Unfortunately there were no promised salary hikes and finally we parted ways due to some misunderstanding – which in the hindsight, was a good thing for me.
There I was out of the regular job market for more than a year and not knowing what to do online for a living. I knocked the doors of Automattic, WooThemes, HumanMade, many other WordPress agencies and even hosting companies asking for a job. Apparently I was not a good fit for any or no one was ready to offer the salary I wanted – $5000 per month. I then decided to embrace another theme framework, become good at it with the hope that opportunities will come my way. WooExplorer.com was born with tutorials on how to customize WooThemes themes. But soon I realized how small their themes’ user base is and how ridiculous their themes’ CSS is. One had to look in 3 or 4 different CSS files to make a single change. This gif perfectly describes them.
So Woo was out. I finally gave Genesis a second chance and tried to understand how it worked. The entire concept of using hooks and filters for making most customizations was not easy to grasp at first especially being a non-coder. I have not even heard the word “priority” in the context of code. I went through a lot of tutorials and articles on how Genesis works and slowly but surely it started to make sense. Also started hanging around in StudioPress forum, re-creating user’s questions in my test site, researching, coming up with solutions and providing them. The thing with Genesis is that when you look at it from outside you dismiss it as hype but once you get deep into it, you will realise how elegant, beautiful and structured everything is. That is the moment you say “Man! this is just great. I can’t believe I haven’t used it all this while.”. Looking back at Builder I realised the degree to which it was lagging behind both in terms of presentation (child theme’s design) and the succintness of generated HTML markup.
For the next 2 years I took up several theme customizations and PSD > WP projects – all in Genesis. I shared everything I was learning about Genesis during this time in this site as tutorials and code snippets. But soon the burden of having to answer a number of people that were asking for help in the comments was too much. The only escape, I thought, was to put everything behind a paywall to filter and reduce the amount of support pressure I was feeling.
The reaction to seeing something go paid which was freely available till then would naturally not be a welcome one to most. Imagine having to pay Google a certain amount every month to do internet searches! But I told myself that I am just a single person with other things to take care of in life like my family. So whatever happens will happen. I was not making any money out of my tutorials and I have nothing to lose and only gain (whatever little it would fetch) anyway.
There are 614 tutorials in the ‘Premium Content’ category and 81 in the ‘Free Content’ category as of today. I spend a lot of time on some of these, even as long as a week on a few. It takes considerable effort to research, test, perfect and publish. I shared my personal code snippets collection, created a comprehensive set of Genesis snippets for Sublime Text, started Genesis chat on Slack and troubleshooted many users’ queries during this journey.
I would like to thank the paid members of this site for supporting me. Also shoutout to Bill Erickson for indirectly helping so many with his plugins and code snippets, Gary Jones for his direct help in Slack, Brian Gardener for starting the ‘Revolution’ and Peter Shilling for occasionally keeping me busy with work. I will not be where I am without all your help. The StudioPress community is huge, talented, friendly and supportive.
Living in Australia has been wonderful for me and my family. We are in the process of purchasing our first house and shall move into it when we are back from our India trip in the last week of January.
Looking ahead, come February and I will be busy putting my PSD > WP video series plan into action. I hope members will find that tremendously useful. I do not bother with SEO, ads, affiliates, paid promotion, partnerships etc. Publishing meaningful and practically applicable content for my site’s members is all that matters.
To infinity and beyond!
Thank you, Sir.
Your success is well deserved. Your hard work is inspirational. I can’t think of many people as prolific as you are in the WordPress space and your contributions to the Genesis community are immense.
I hope 2016 is a stellar year for you and your family.
I would like to thank YOU! You have been a rock star in my little world of wp design. I worked as a graphic designer for 30+ years and decided I needed to learn website design. I have struggled and muddled my way through it for the past 3 1/2 years… at my age, (who can imagine their mother learning web design at 60 something :)) learning this technical stuff is challenging – but I can’t tell you how grateful I am to you and the genesis community for all the tutorials. I love what I do and even love the challenges and feel that I am getting better and better because of you. So THANK YOU Sridhar! Best wishes to you and your family for continued success!
You are a rockstar, Sridhar. Keep it up. And thank YOU for all you’ve contributed.
I’m very glad your business is working for you.
The value of your tutorials is incredible! I know that when I follow one of your tutorials, the code will be clean and I know it will WORK. And you’ve been very responsive to inquiries, which is another plus.
Thank you for doing what you do. All the best to you and your family!
Sri, I want to thank you for the valuable content that you deliver to the Genesis community all these years. You may not see it, but your tutorials save a lot of time for many of us. Looking forward for all the good stuff that you plan for us 🙂
Sridhar congratulations on your present success! Your hard work, helpful attitude and prompt responses are always appreciated. Thank YOU for the many times you have offered the necessary help for me and others in the community and for sharing your knowledge along the way! Folks like you are what make the #genesiswp community as valuable as it is! Warmly, Stephanie
Best wishes to continued success for you and your family, Sridhar.
And when you purchase your house, have a vegemite sandwich as a celebration.
I remember all those tutorials, and help you used to provide myself and so many others provide over at Ithemes. I had no idea their pay was so low, for the incredible value you were giving not just their customers, but increasing the value of their product. Glad I also left them for Genesis 😉
Much continued success to you Sridhar, and blessings to you and your entire family. Your gifts to this world are many.
KEEP ROCKING >>>>
Thank your for all of your work, and congratulations on the house.
I have found your posts very helpful, and look forward to more.
Happy New Year!
Thank you Sridhar! This is first place I come to look for solutions knowing that your tutorials will be well written, easy to follow and correct. Your site was one of my primary tools before you added the paywall and as soon as you did, it was a no-brainer to subscribe. The value of your work far outweighed the price. Best wishes to you and your family!
My deepest gratitude to you, Shridhar. Your work helps me to enjoy as a blogger.
This made me so happy to read! $10 is a miniscule price to pay for the quality and quantity of help you provide everyone. Thank you for all you do! Enjoy your much deserved vacation, friend! 🙂 Lindsey
What a great post! You have been such a helpful part of my WordPress/Genesis journey Sridhar, it’s nice to hear more of your background story. I am so glad to have been a member of your site, the Slack Group, Genesiscamp, etc. and I look forward to the new video tutotials! Thanks for all you do!
It is great to read a story of a person making a success from what they love to do. Your site was always a “go to” resource when I was learning Genesis and need extra help to borrow features from one them to another. I signed up without thinking twice. Best money spent since buying The entire StudioPress Pro Pack 5 years ago.
Sridhar, congratulations on your success!
You provide a LOT of value to us subscribers and I hope you will make much more money with this site as you certainly deserve it.
Keep bringing great tutorials!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS!
Thank you Sridhar, you are a very generous man and I’m glad to return a small part of what you share with us.
Thank you for everything you do. Membership to your site is easily the best investment I’ve made since entering the murky waters of web development. “What would Sridhar do” is always the first thought that arises whenever I hit a wall. I learn so much from your tutorials, even the ones I wouldn’t need to use, as they all give insight into how the system can work.
All the best to you and your family.
I missed the initial sign up for us Skype users, and since I don’t use Genesis (yet)… just couldn’t justify joining. (yet)… I loved your letter and so happy for you… you helped me many times and I appreciated it more than you could ever know. Good luck to you Sri… you are on a roll! You are successful because you put so much of your heart and soul into this.
This was such a joy to read! Congratulations on your success. I love my membership!
Super big congratulations Sridhar, and I’m so glad you are settling well into your new home 🙂
Congratulations on your success, Sri! Thanks for all you do for the Genesis Community!!!
It’s always great to hear the backstory, thanks for sharing. I too live in Australia, so hello from a fellow Aussie 🙂
I’ve been following your blog for a while as I’m learning the Genesis framework and you keep knocking out the content, and it’s good stuff, thanks.
I’ll have to become a member in the new year.
Congrats mate, it’s been great to watch your journey and all the success so far (and more to come) is very well deserved. Thank you!
Someone needs to make this a Hollywood movie!!
Congrats Sridhar!! You are an inspiration and truly deserve all the success you have coming your way!
Thank you and congratulations on your success, well desreved! Your tutorials are invaluable and save us a lot of time. I’m so grateful you stepped up to fill this need. Looking forward to your video tutorials. Long live the Genesis community.
You’ve worked tirelessly to get here. I’m so glad to see the success you’re enjoying.
Can’t wait to see what you do next 🙂
Your letter is another example of who you are as a person: one with integrity and appreciation. You have given the Genesis community so much. Your tutorials are written with amazing clarity and I, along with the entire Genesis community, have benefitted from your words and generosity. Thank YOU, and best to you in the future.
Thank YOU Sridhar!
I can’t tell you enough how much your tutorials have helped me understand coding and advance my Genesis knowledge! I’m so happy things have been going well for you and you’ve been so successful…you deserve it!
Have a wonderful holiday,
So, so happy for you, and so happy for me, for having the brains to sign up for your site! Go Sridhar, and thank you!
Thank you for your help on the occasions when I reached out to you through the forum, and for sharing your story. You deserve your success!
P.S. I may be reaching out with another question or two very soon! 🙂
Has been worth every penny. Really looking forward to your PSD series!
Congratulations, Sridhar! You’ve always been helpful and very kind.
Your tutorial on book custom post types was the one that helped me to understand CPT templates; it was the key.
Thanks for all the work you do and share!
What an amazing story! You’ve helped so many, including me, and you deserve all the success you’re getting. Best wishes for the future, I’m sure it holds a lot more happy surprises!
Excellent journey. You are helping society and that is more important. Many people are benifited from your services.
Keep it up.
I’m so happy for you and you are definitely an inspiration to all. I too believe that Genesis is the best out there and am so glad I gave it a second chance as well. CAN NOT wait for the PSD to WP tutorials! Thanks for all of your hard work.
Awesome story Sri! Good things come to those who deserve it and you definitely deserve your success. All the best and catch up again with you soon.
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*. Thanks for writing, Sridhar!
Well done! You deserve it. You have some many and very useful tutorials that helps me many times.
Congratulations on your success…and thank YOU for all the great tutorials you have provided 🙂
Although I am not a member these days, when I was I found the tutorials great and easy to understand. It was easy to put the code into action. Thanks for the hard work you do on here. Perhaps I’ll join as a member again when I am in the mood to customize my blog again.
Thank YOU for doing all that you do. You inspire me to continue on my journey.
I was one of those who had a “what the hell?!” moment when you put your tutorials behind a paywall. But now I see the error of my ways.
At the end of the day, your hard-earned expertise is making me a better developer, and giving my clients a better product. Paying for your services is like paying for a high quality plugin or theme framework.
I’m in the middle of reading Tim Ferriss’ Four-Hour Work Week. I’m going to guess you’ve read it to. Your business model is superb, and so long as you continue delivering quality content, or even offering what’s already there as a Genesis resource, your success is guaranteed and well deserved.
Hearing that you learnt Genesis from scratch gives me hope that one day I might learn the framework as comprehensively as you.
I recently took the plunge and signed up to your service. It already feels worth it. I can’t help but be a better developer as a result.
May your success and happiness continue, Sridhar, and thanks again for your help and for this excellent resource.
Congratulations for your success, It was not easy to reach this level without your determination, dedication and your hard work. Your technical, productivity and communication skills are really way above the standard. Am happy to see your progress and your achievement in WordPress field.
Initially the path you took was not clear but believed yourself and more important the family was behind you for every step. Wish you have happy and successful life in Australia.
You are always great inspiration to me and follow you for going extra step in my life. Thanks for your wonderful guidance and support whenever i have requested you.
Megharaj S H
You are a good inspiration for aspiring web developers and your blog has become my go-to place for excellent Genesis based tutorials. Keep up the great work.
I actually visited iThemes around the time that you began commenting, and actually began using Builder for the same reasons. When I began to see your appearing in the Genesis community I knew you’d found a new home. Thank you for getting me out of a few coding jams over the years. I believe that your presence in the Genesis community has been a blessing to a great number of individuals. I sincerely wish the best for you and your family for 2016. Keep pushing forward and from Builder to Genesis, thanks again for all the you’ve done and continue to do.
Great story based learning by doing and then make the membership tutorials.
Congrats!!!!! Sridhar and Thanks for all your tutorials……
Thanks for sharing your journey, Sridhar! Your success and hard work will inspire many to pursue their own path. Like many others, I’ve benefited from your free resources. Congrats on acquiring your new home and have loads of fun in your journey ahead!
Congratulations, Sridhar! Wishing you continued success. You deserve it!
Thank YOU for all your help and congratulations on your success! It’s well deserved. Am looking forward to the new tutorials!
Very inspiring! Well done and much appreciated Sri!!
Congratulations Sridhar. You deserve all the success. Your help and tutorials have been a huge help to me on many occasions. Thank you.
The value of your knowledge and your willingness to find solutions is inestimable, Sridhar. Even now when I am no longer building sites, I still have my monthly subscription going so I can remain aware of what is possible. Kudos to you for creating a business model that fits your style and is obviously financially supportive. Enjoy your new home! Best wishes!
Oh.. what can i say? Nothing more than “well done!” and “thank you”! Your work here is really helpfull for all of us. I am sure you will be even more impressed at your next “thank you” message. Well done man.
Thank you Sridhar! This is first place I come to look for solutions and I actually take pride in supporting a quality developer in the little way that I can. All the best!
This is a very great news and effort from your end. Congrats for your success of making good money. Your articles and tutorials are really awesome to follow.
Just now seeing this as I havent logged in here for a while. This is very inspirational and I’m so glad for your success – its well deserved. Thank you for sharing your journey – your tutorials have been very helpful to me over the years and I appreciate all that you do!
Good to read, Chrissy!