What We’re Up To Right Now

Hey everyone!

We wanted to take a moment and update you on what we’re up to these days and how we got here.

How We Got Here

William and Jennifer

William and Jennifer on a bro / sis trip in Hawaii just before launching Codependency No More.

We (my sister Jennifer and I) launched Codependency No More in April of 2011 with no idea what we were doing or what to expect. We wanted to help people who were struggling with codependency since we ourselves had been through some pretty tough times. At the beginning, it was slow moving – we had only five short blog posts and our 8-part email mini-course. Jennifer focused on most of the writing and resources since she had been through a lot of recovery in the years prior; I focused on the technical stuff, like getting a domain name, launching the blog, and hooking up our email course so you could opt-in. Within a few weeks we had the site up and running but realized we needed something important – visitors!

I did a little research and we decided to create a codependency quiz. A lot of people were searching for a quiz in Google, but there wasn’t anything decent out there, so we created one. Then I went into forums and places like Yahoo Answers to let people know about it, and in the process we eventually got ranked high in the search engines, and people started to find us easily.

It was really hard during those early years though – life got in the way and we didn’t seem to make much progress. After her recovery, Jennifer started dating again, eventually getting married and becoming a full-time mom. I was busy with an extremely demanding corporate job that took lots of my time. There was intermittent progress made for the next few years. An occasional new blog post when we could muster up the gumption.

A Taste of Inspiration

Around the end of 2012, we realized that something magical was happening – that quiz we created was actually ranked #1 in Google – that meant LOTS of people were finding our site every month. I started to analyze it, and realized that around 100 people per day were landing on our codependency quiz. And at least 5 people per day were opting in to our email list to get the mini-course. That’s when we got rejuvenated. We decided it was time to do something new, make something more substantial available. So in early 2013, we redesigned the site with a new look and feel, published several more posts, and got to work on our ebook.

Now, writing a book is A LOT OF WORK. We both had fairly busy lives and not much spare time. Jennifer would spend precious time writing while her infant son was napping, and I would get up at 5 or 6:00am to make additions and edits before work. But after several months and dozens of iterations, we finally launched Codependency 101: Basics of Addiction, Grief, and Recovery. It wasn’t a college level text or even a full length book (it was 16,000 words and you could read it in a few hours), but to us it felt like a big triumph to complete and make it available. Since launching the book, we’ve sold about 200 copies. It’s not a ton, but considering that the only place we’ve promoted it is on our mini-course, we’re proud of the result.

What’s most important is that through all the positive response we learned something, something extremely inspiring. What we’re doing with Codependency No More matters to people, and it matters huge. With over 5,000 email subscribers in a few short years, and 200 book sales without being in Amazon or any book stores, we’ve been convicted that lots of people are struggling with codependency and we can make a difference in their lives.

We get emails just about every week from our audience; they tell us about themselves and their struggles, they ask questions, or they tell us how helpful our material has been for them. We LOVE hearing from people. It’s extraordinarily validating to get feedback, positive or negative, because we know that means you’re paying attention to our work and it’s causing you to think. It has taught us that the topic of codependency is widespread (way more than we ever imagined) and that many out there are struggling, hurting, confused, and in pain.It’s for these reasons that we’ve decided to yet again “up the ante”, and get creative.

But this time we’re doing it a little differently…

Where We Are Right Now…

Up until recently, we’ve spent a lot of time and energy “guessing” what we need create for you. In 2011, we ASSUMED you would want our mini-course. In 2013, we ASSUMED you would want to know all about the topics we chose to write about in Codependency 101. And all along the way, we’ve ASSUMED you would enjoy the blog posts we’ve created. But the problem with that is we were essentially operating in a vacuum. Yes, we would get some positive feedback, but we weren’t really soliciting or engaging with that feedback. We needed to make an effort to proactively connect with you and get you to tell us exactly what you need in order to grow and heal.

So…

There are several initiatives on the horizon:

  1. Re-initiating Podcasting – Podcast is now in iTunes. We’ll be publishing more regular episodes, including expert interviews, guest stories, and our own insights.
  2. Regular Blog Posting – Good content is central to our work. We want to give you great and helpful material. We are two ordinary people who have struggled with codependency in our lives, and we invite you to look over our shoulder as we go out and learn as much as we can about the topic. Blogs will involve guest posts like this personal story of codependency from one of our readers, research on codependency-related topics, findings from our own conversations and surveys, interviews with experts, resources for recovery, and anything else we think will be helpful to you.
  3. Website Redesign – With technology changing quickly, more than 60% of you are finding us on your smartphones or devices other than a computer. That means we need a “responsive” website that will perform well and look good on any device.
  4. One-on-One Discovery Calls – We’re looking to connect directly with you to understand your specific wants regarding resources for recovery. Literature? Courses? Group / Live Support? Accountability? Apps? We have horsepower to create what you need, but we need you to tell us. By the way, click here to schedule a call with me. When an idea is validated by several people and feasible to create, we will move forward with it. Hence, Number 5.
  5. Full Length Codependency eCourse – Through surveys and one on one conversations, you’ve told us you’d like access to a course all about codependency, specifically with information directly from experts, and exercises & homework toward recovery. We’re getting ready to roll up our sleeves and create this resource, and will be doing so in conjunction with feedback from some readers. We’ll be using live webinars to connect directly with you and determine which course topics will be most important, and then we’ll work with a small group of individuals to help shape the course content and delivery.

 


The train is moving. We’re not entirely sure where the tracks will lead, but we’re going to keep shoveling coal into the engine.

Cheers and we’re glad you found us!

~William Heart