First off, I should be honest right up front: I lied. I’m definitely NOT going to give you 37 blog posts to stop writing. Instead, stop writing list posts just because you read somewhere that they’re good.
We are TRASHING the opportunity to create great content marketing
Attention gimmicks are just that. They earn us attention. Briefly. And then what? If you’ve got no “next,” then you’ve just wasted it. Your “71 productivity tips” post is like Stewie (and all children):
17 years. That’s how long I’ve been blogging (as of the moment I’m writing this post). I started in 1998, before there was blogging software, back when it was called “journaling.” A lot has changed in my life since then (two major relationships, 4 companies, the birth of my children), and obviously even more has changed with the world.
Has Blogging Changed Much Over the Last 17 Years?
The short answer is yes. The tools have changed immensely. My first “blogging” was really using a WYSIWYG software called Trellix (I’m stunned that they still have a basic web page up). I then dabbled with lots of tools, some of which included Blogger when that came out, a few short forays onto less successful platforms that later died (and ate my posts) until finally landing on WordPress in one form or another. I regret that the Wayback machine really only captures a few iterations of my site starting in 2001, because of course, I changed URLs at the drop of a hat and can’t really even remember some of the others (remember Angelfire? Livejournal?).
With well over a billion users, Facebook must easily rank as most people’s “where I see interesting stories and click” tool of choice. Sure, us nerds might point to Feedly or Flipboard, but that’s not “most people.” That’s the enlightened. Some of us get our favorite sites to our inbox. But that’s more rare than not.
What seems most true, however, is that hardly anyone stops by someone’s actual blog any more (or say “site” in case you bristle at the word “blog.”) If people aren’t visiting blogs directly any more, what do we do? How do we earn that attention? And what matters most in the equation.
I can count on one hand the number of times that something I’ve tried to sell has been well-received by the people I serve. You know how some kids are a late bloomer? That’s me with most of the things I sell. People buy them years later sometimes. But this time, I really struck gold.
How We Write Our Sales Letter Sequence
I learned a lot while putting together the now-defunct webinar version of Online Course Maker. (Let me reiterate: the WEBINAR VERSION IS GONE). First, I learned that there’s such a thing as too much information for a format. I tried to cram way too much information into a one-hour webinar, which led to me rushing, skipping over important details, and more. I basically had to take down the webinar after giving it to people who registered and paid for it because it just wasn’t the right tool for the job. Instead, I had to break it into a course-style product so that I could give more breath and air to what needed talking about.
Unless it’s a prank or a hacked account, writer Mathew Ingram reports that GigaOm, a popular blog launched in 2006, is shutting down, evidently having run out of money and/or the will to keep on pushing. Again, it’s early, so maybe this is a hacked account. If so, I’ll gladly (and with a sigh of relief) pull this post.
UPDATE: Om Malik confirms the story.