Marketing + Blogging — The Crux of the Matter for Creatives in Technology
I’m trying to make a full time income from blogging. Perhaps you’re in the same boat. You might’ve even made a little quiche through Amazon associates, Google Adsense or through some other affiliate platform.
I’ve done this, but it’s not nearly enough to support the cost of living in San Francisco, CA. It’s the land where every remedial task has an app assigned to it, where steamed milk and turmeric cost as much as a glass of Napa’s finest and where the well to do visit silent retreats and fork over big bucks to shut the fuck up. My sarcastic undertone isn’t geared to hate on any these enterprises. I’m just bitching because SF is expensive, but I love this city and intend to live here for a long time.
Whatever the case, if you’re a blogger you will find value in my 1500+ words. (when I say blogger, I’m including vloggers and anyone that is trying to make an independent living online)
Being a Creative Artist is not enough — 1980’s vs. NOW
Let’s say your a comedian in the 1980’s and you get your big break and land a few minutes of stage time on the Johnny Carson Show (The Letterman and Fallon of yesteryear for you younger folks). There are only two possible outcomes. Either you make it big, become and overnight sensation, sell comedy albums, play huge venues and live a life of fame or you bomb so hard that you have no choice but to quit your comedic craft forever , begrudgingly take a job at the local market in town where you will eventually marry the former high school quarterbacks ex-girlfriend, Big Bertha.
Today there are more comedians popping up, but the Late Show or any other show on a syndicated television network holds less value then they did from the days of Carson. Now there are a multitude of channels to get your name out. So many bloggers are trying to create relevancy that It’s also okay if you suck while you are starting. I use to be a crappy writer. I’m less crappier now.
The more you practice whatever your craft is, the better you will naturally become and their will be a fresh new audience so you can re-invent yourself. People mess up all the time..it’s okay homie and not that many people give a fuck, so “GAME ON BUD.”
Today bloggers have the option of leveraging SEO, social media, and working with other influential leaders (also bloggers) with huge followings to get their product or service out.
Being able to leverage these outlets are becoming just as important if not more than honing in on your craft. The days of romanticizing your artistry with hopes of a big break are quickly fading away. The great thing about today is that we have the ability of untapped potential for many Small Breaks.
To be successful as a creative these days you have to leverage all technology to your advantage. Essentially you need to create your own audience. What will make you stand tall amongst a world of others is creating VALUE and not being a blogger chasing the proverbial Facebook Like, Instagram Heart, etc?
Social Media — 7 simple Lessons so you don’t SUCK
In the land of cyberspace their are many social media outlets. Pick a few that is relevant to your industry and become an expert at them. For me it’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You don’t have to leverage all of them because the popular social media outlets have millions in their respective audiences.
- Make sure whatever you post is something of Value. Before I post anything I ask myself, “If I were a reader/consumer could this be a benefit to my life?” Become an authority in the field you love.
- Consistency — I struggle with this and am becoming better. It’s important to post often. Gym metaphor — If you go to the gym once a week, how long will it take you to get in shape? What if you went 3–4 times a week? Your expertise and notoriety will grow the more often you post.
- Get involved, inspired and engaged with others in your area of expertise. Spend 30 minutes a day to read and comment on what others have brought to social media. Share their stuff on your outlets. Subscribe to blogs that you find value in and reach out to them to show your appreciation with no hidden agenda. Become UNSELFISH in a world where narcissisism and selfish behavior is becoming a predominant pedestal for the unguided, misinformed, and value-less folk.
- Don’t seek followers, seek relationships — For example, with Instagram there are many services that will like, write generic comments and follow others in the hopes of getting you more likes. This way of creating an audience is complete garbage because it’s vanity driven and most of the followers are fake. I know because I’ve tried it. Most of these services create fake profiles with the illusion that more follows = sales. It’s like throwing a party with friends you purchased. They don’t really give a fuck about you. It only took me once to learn this lesson. Quality shines over quantity any day. In a world of instant gratification become deferred. It simply takes time to build strong bonds.
- Post short videos — If you’re an introvert like me, then posting a selfie is the anthesis of anything good, but videos are beneficial. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook Live, and YouTube are great avenues to make 1–2 minute videos in an effort to drive value to your website. Get creative and let what you love shine for the public. You have nothing to lose. In world of more information, the internet quickly forgets. It’s beautiful so don’t be “scured” to put yourself out there. I’m doing it and I’m so shy, sometimes I won’t stare at myself in the mirror.
- Every Social Media outlet deserves it’s own pizazz (always wanted to use that word). Social Media companies are like vegetables. You wouldn’t cook a tomato like you would a potato. This is the only logical way to explain this. For example, with twitter I try to use a witty line and a few hashtags so others will read my articles and for Instagram I know it’s more visual, so I will take time and take a proper picture or make a quick video.
- Use social media to create a mailing list. For me, the goal is for a reader to come to my website. The ultimate goal is for the reader to become a subscriber. When someone gives you their name and e-mail they’ve just bestowed a huge amount of trust in you. Don’t take it for granted. The people on your mailing list are your tribe and the life-blood of your business.
Leverage social media to your advantage. Let go of the need to create happiness based on likes and deliver timeless value. I write a lot, but will only post evergreen content on my blog. I want content that can be read now and will still be relevant in 10 years.
Should I Create my Artistry or focus my Energy on Marketing?
The simple answer is both!
Most bloggers (like me) don’t have the funds to hire a marketing agency, but this is a good thing because I wholeheartedly believe that learning internet marketing is an indispensable skill for creatives and something that will be an asset as the internet grows.
Below I list 5 reasons why I think It’s important for us to Market our own shit!
- People gravitate towards people they trust. It’s simple advice and unchanged since the beginning of time. No one knows you like you, so put forth the time and effort to be out there.
- Privacy is dead — It can be daunting to get personal and show our vulnerabilities to the public, but privacy is dying so don’t worry too much. You don’t need a 24/7 camera filming your life (although an interesting idea), but in a world of fake it’s nice to be real and show others who you truly are. People love when I share my fuck ups. I have so many I could write for eons.
- No one will market your work like you. You have to become the best salesperson of your one person company, which isn’t so hard because you have no competition. I once dated a girl who said she was the number 1 sales rep in her company. She was the only rep. I laughed a little because she was serious.
- You start to understand the internet and buying patterns of consumers and are quick to adjust to what’s happening at the time. For example big companies are shifting their energy to popular bloggers to sell products now. If you start early and develop the knowledge to market effectively, then you are poised to change with the demands of the market. If it rains we use umbrellas, if it snows we use snow tires, and if it’s Streaking Sunday’s then you walk around in your Birthday suit like me. Even if we aren’t readily thinking about it, we are changing as the market calls for it.
- Marketing is an art that we can all fall in love with. Building an audience can become just as fun as developing and fine tuning your artistry. Make it a consistent practice. This is the only way to see real traction.
I have a lot more things to learn as my blogs are fairly new, but the core of my intent will stay unchanged, To Deliver Value.
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