Ethical Inbound Marketing and Selling To Readers
Value — Worth in usefulness or importance to the possessor
I thank uxdesign.cc for publishing the piece below. You brought out so much emotion from me with regards to the topic of Ux writing, Selling and Inbound Marketing that I had to package my views in a separate piece.
A view into the current state of publishing in UX — its importance, its biases — and how to identify when the content…uxdesign.cc
Current State of Web Publishing
Of course…. Someone is trying to sell you something on the web. It happens when they influencing your perception about an issue through their content, via direct marketing where they blatantly put the product in a banner and make it obvious or even in content marketing where a publisher is paid to promote a product by refactoring their corpus to reflect the beauty of the promoter(and in some cases lie about their flaws with half truths).
Why I write
The reason I write about UX design isn’t primarily to sell myself. However, if in the process of publishing authentic and unbiased writing, a reputation is built and trust earned, then I don’t see why I shouldn’t politely monetise that for the purposes of creating even better content.
A case for Selling
Assuming you have an interest in user interfaces, layouts, wireframing and prototyping tools, right? You begin to express your passion for the same by creating long form explanatory articles that explain your thought process about the same.
As you promote the article and you discover there are other like minded human beings who support your sentiments and share the same views. If they end up following you, it won’t be out of manipulation, but because you speak the language of their tribe.
Your content touched them in a deep emotional or intellectual space that made them FEEL something. If it was a practical tip you offered which they tried and it worked, even better, you LEAD them to a place they’ve never been — helped them navigate a path they never thought possible before they came across your content.
You realise this and think to yourself, “Hey, I could really create much deeper stuff and offer it at a premium.” The content works and there’s some validation from the members of your tribe in their comments and shares, so off you go into launching a series of publications to promote the premium material.
It gets the tribes approval and a number of the villagers opt into your email list or even pull out their credit cards and make a purchase. You get the funds you desire to support a lifestyle that; enables you create at a deeper level of comfort and produce more refined and quality free content for your members of the tribe.
All the above involves research into the tribes liking(keywords, search history, trends), their preferences(share behaviour and purchase preference), knowing where to find them(groups, pages, social networks, forums), learning their habits(what time they are most likely to view, word of mouth influences), so that you deliver this content to them at the right place and at a convenient time. That’s the price you may have to pay so that you are easily discovered(great content UX if you ask me).
Whether we like it or not, content will remain an integral part of the sales funnel for a long time. As an author however, it should not be at the expense of quality, independence and freedom of writing.
Remember this: Your tribe fell in love with your content for a reason, don’t dilute that secret ingredient as you grow, Scale It.
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