After receiving a number of questions re: my involvement in the Worm Farming Secrets (WFS) membership site, I decided it was high time I write a post and share ALL the sordid details here!
I’ve actually been meaning to write a post about WFS for quite some time now, but you know how it goes sometimes. In an effort to make this as clear and easy-to-follow as possible, I’m going to organize this in the form of a basic Q&A. This way you will get the key info quickly and avoid having to plow through my typically longer rambling explanations. [UPDATE: It seems I was unable to avoid including some long, rambling answers! haha]
1) What Is Worm Farming Secrets?
Worm Farming Secrets is a private online membership site created to provide guidance for those interested in starting their own vermicomposting businesses, and for worm farmers interested in taking their current worm business to the next level.
2) Are You The Owner of, or a Partner in WFS?
NO. (see next response for further details)
3) What Exactly IS Your Involvement in WFS?
I was hired by the owner to write the content for the weekly newsletter (in the form of two long responses to reader questions) as well as the Worm Farming manual, included with the membership. I am also (obviously) a full member myself. I try to participate in the forum as much as possible, but it’s been challenging at times with so much on the go (definitely more time for it now that I’m able to focus on worm stuff full time though).
4) How Did You Get Involved in the First Place?
A little over a year ago I joined the (then free) Worm Farming Secrets membership forum to see what exactly it was all about. In all honesty, given the name (which has a certain ‘hypey-sales-pitch’ feel about it), I really wasn’t expecting much at all! I should mention that I also decided to sign up for the WFS newsletter at the same time.
As it turned out, I actually ended up being very impressed with what the creator (Duncan Carver) had done with it – especially given the fact that he is not a worm farming (or vermicomposting) expert at all. Based on the thriving forum community and the excellent newsletter content alone, it was abundantly clear that Duncan had put a great deal of time and effort into getting the project off the ground. As such, I decided to send him a friendly msg letting him congratulating him on a job well done.
When Duncan realized that I had my own vermicomposting website (you’re lookin at it), and was hugely passionate about the topic, he asked if I might be interested in writing for him. Up till that point he had been doing all his own research and writing, but his plan had always been to hire someone with more vermicomposting experience to be his ‘content person’.
For me it was a no-brainer really – having the opportunity to earn some (albeit part-time) income in my spare time, focusing on the (rather obscure) topic I’m most passionate about was pretty exciting!
Writing the manual certainly wasn’t the easiest task I’ve ever faced however – it involved a LOT of research and writing hours, not to mention a lot of stress. Looking back, I’m definitely proud of the accomplishment and really glad I agreed to do it, but there were certainly some trying moments along the way that had me wondering what on earth I had gotten myself into.
Apart from the side income WFS has provided – even more importantly, I can honestly say it was my association with WFS last spring that ended up breathing new life into my own online and offline vermicomposting efforts. It made me realize that there are in fact a lot of people keenly interested in the topic (it is way easier to justify spending time on something when you know there are people who will actually appreciate your efforts!). As such, I am very grateful to Duncan for the opportunity!
Just as an aside…
I have to say, one thing that REALLY made all the time spent on the manual worthwhile was having people respond positively. Here, for example, is a testimonial that completely knocked my socks off!
“WOW!!! In my opinion, this is the best worm manual that I’ve seen, and I have several, going back to the 1970’s. It is concise and well-constructed, authoritative, yet readable, and very comprihensive. It is well worth the wait.”
~ George W. – Helena MT
5) Is WFS Worth Joining?
That definitely depends on your vermicomposting interests and goals. If you are simply a vermicomposting hobbyist with no interest in ever starting your own worm farming or related business (most people who read this site, I would imagine), then NO – I’d recommend simply signing up for the free WFS newsletter and taking advantage of all the other quality free content out there (like on this site for example – wink wink). If, on the other hand, you have a worm business or are interested in starting one, then I’d say that it is worth it. I admit, I’m a little biased – but really, it just comes down to me knowing what is in the manual (which will continue to be improved upon over time) and feeling good about the potential to help people out.
Just so you know, I’m a fairly cautious, careful person myself, and happen to care a great deal about the best interests of others – so be assured, there is NO ploy to get members involved in any sort of ‘worm growing contracts’ or propositioning for ‘turn-key business investments’, or anything like that. The goal is simply to educate people about the field, and hopefully get them pointed in the right direction. If anything, I probably tried a little too hard to keep things ‘real’, thus potentially discouraging some people from even attempting to start a vermicomposting business.
Aside from vermicomposting itself, my big passion is the Web, so one of the areas I put a fair bit of emphasis on is web marketing and promotion. From what I can tell, there are a lot of worm farmers (and people in general) who just aren’t all that familiar with the online world, and thus tend to shy away from it. Having been immersed in the web for the last three years professionally, I’ve witnessed (firsthand) the incredible potential it has for allowing literally anyone to share their message with the world. The importance of having a solid online presence is only going to increase over time, there is no way around it – so now is definitely the time to get up to speed!
Now that I’m actually involved the worm business myself, I will also be able to provide even more insights (in future editions of the manual and on the forum) about the industry – now based on firsthand experience, rather than the information shared by others.
6) What Does It Cost and What Do You Get?
The cost is $67 per year (recurring unless canceled before renewal date). What you get is access to the members forum (which in all honesty has been pretty quiet as of late), the manual (and all future editions released while you are a member), all the current and back issues of the newsletter, plus a boatloat of other valuable information resources.
7) Why Does It Cost Money?
As mentioned, Duncan himself has put a LOT of hours into the set-up and promotion of the membership, and has also paid for assistance (mine and others’) as well.
Obviously, it’s no secret that there is plenty of fantastic free information online about worm composting – but the aim of this membership is to provide specialized information for those interested in the business side of vermicomposting. Apart from the valuable information provided, it is also a great opportunity to connect with others in the industry.
OK that pretty much sums it up – hopefully this has helped to answer some of the questions people have had about WFS.
If after reading all that you think that Worm Farming Secrets might be something you are potentially interested signing up for, please let me know – I may be able to hook you up with a sweetened deal (wink wink).
[tags]worm farming, worm farming business, worm business, vermicomposting business, worm farm, starting a worm farm, selling worms[/tags]