Better Humans and the Death of Content Marketing
Behind the scenes of the world’s the most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement.
Today’s newsletter from Better Humans is a bit different.
Usually we curate some great reads for you to enjoy over the weekend on a particular theme — and don’t worry, I’m including some of those below!
But I also wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what we do to bring you Better Humans.
You’re used to quality content from us; after all, our mission is to bring you the world’s most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement. That’s not just hype.
Better Humans began as a way for Coach.me coaches to highlight their expertise. As we grew, we expanded beyond coaches and opened the doors to any writer who had deep experience with their own self improvement and positive change.
You know how the web is: published “content” is often seen as nothing more than a marketing vehicle, designed to get your clicks, your eyeballs, your attention, and ultimately your wallet. We didn’t want that to happen with Better Humans.
We began curating content so that egregious “listicles” and fluff pieces were banned. Most importantly, we tried to kill a category of articles that was essentially “made up advice.” You’d call that snake oil.
Then we went all-in on the Medium Members program, which included banning calls-to-action in articles, so you wouldn’t read an article only to find a plea to join some program at the end. (Not that the programs advertised were bad…but the articles had to be valuable in and of themselves. We trust you to be able to connect with an author if you want to deepen that relationship.)
We began commissioning articles to pay authors a guaranteed rate for high-quality articles. (Interested in writing for us yourself? Get all the details here.) We work with those authors to help them bring outstanding information to life for you.
Along the way, we’ve found some shocking things.
We discovered plagiarism — usually more in the form of lazy writing than purposeful copying — and kicked off the authors who engaged in it.
In one case, we tried to verify some interesting data from a study cited by the author. We found that the “data” was actually from a book published by a company which lobbies for the fast food, meat, alcohol and tobacco industries, and killed the related assertion in the article.
We found made-up references — in one case, an author mentioned some research findings third-hand. Because we prefer primary sources, we went deeper and investigated to find the primary source. Then we found that it didn’t exist…and that the “respected” publication where it was originally mentioned probably hadn’t even checked to see if it existed!
We’ve talked to academics, asking them, “do you know the source of the data in this graph that appears in all these articles” and heard, “I have no idea!” and — you guessed it — whacked it.
In Better Humans, we plan to follow interesting threads and bring you the most exciting, compelling, and cutting-edge personal development we can. Some of it might even be controversial.
But none of that works if we aren’t trustworthy.
We’re bringing you world’s the most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement. That’s job one.
Below are four articles you might like that exemplify our approach. I hope you enjoy them.
Depression can start with a leaky gut — here’s how to make it end there
Make Your iPhone Last Again
The real data behind weight loss research points to a radically different approach to healthy living
Trusting your gut isn’t woo-woo — it’s a science-backed skill that you can develop. Here’s how.