Blogging is Not Dead. Neither is Art, Writing or Creative Expression…
Is your post serious? Because, maybe it’s some type of humor or satire or sarcasm that I don’t understand. (Like, at all. Obviously) I’m not sure.
I’m pretending it’s serious, but hoping it’s not. But some people will think it’s serious. Some people might even believe it. That would be sad.
There is something that doesn’t work, but it’s not creative expression. I’ll tell you what it is in a minute…
But first, this…
Amanda Palmer makes $36,520.14 every time she creates a piece of art. I know, she’s Amanda F*cking Palmer. Right? Married to Neil Gaiman.
Gum paste tutorials. Blows my mind a little bit. And yet, it doesn’t. It’s a big world. Lots of people willing to pay for what they’re interested in.
Google “podcast 48 Steve Scott ebooks” — because he’s making around 10K/month with ebooks. His best month was 40K. Not in the past. Now.
I could go on. But you get my point. Yes, people make money with creative pursuits. Lots of people don’t — but lots do. Not just famous people.
The worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves.
Here’s what doesn’t work anymore.
1Trying to sell anything without building an audience.
Farmers know this instinctively. You can’t harvest without planting seeds first. If you don’t build an audience that’s interested, who IS going to buy it? The people who ARE making money on creative expression have an audience. The ones who don’t make money didn’t built an audience first. They thought the thing they created would build their audience. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. The Internet is too big for that.
2Weak Branding. Did you know the average bounce rate for commercial sites is 69%? We work our buns off to get traffic, but then 69 out of every 100 leave instantly. Most of that is related to aesthetics and first impression. Branding and unique message is a huge part of that. If you don’t follow David Brier, go read his posts… right here on Medium. Watch his video. Here’s another one — it’s called how to outshine your competition.
3Hawking instead of marketing. Too many people create something, whether it’s a book or soap or art or whatever… and then they don’t know how to market or engage people — so the hawking commences. Buy my stuff, buy my stuff. And that doesn’t work. Engagement comes first, buying comes second. Maybe you’re not doing that. But a lot of people are, and they don’t know why it’s not working.
4Not doing anything to promote at all. That’s the most common one. I’ve worked with small business owners, entrepreneurs, big corporations and Hollywood celebrities and I’ve seen the same thing for 20 years. People who are hurting for sales, but have no idea HOW to promote. So they don’t. They just want more “traffic” thinking that’s going to be a solution. It’s not.
5Headtrash. Maybe the biggest one of all. Believing things that simply are not universally true. Books don’t sell? That’s not the world I live in — I see lots of people doing really well with books. Same with art, music, videos, soap, coffee, tea, whatever. But, it’s way easier to say “they’re just not buying” than to ask what am I doing wrong here? What can I do better here?
A client once told me “The Internet doesn’t work” in their industry.
They’d hired 2 different webmasters, spend a ton of money on Google ads and SEO and still hadn’t made any money worth writing home about. They believed the Internet and their website was just a fat money suck.
In 18 months, they were making over a million a year.
3 Billion People Online…
Today, 3 billion people are online. Surely with 3 billion people online, anyone can find enough followers to make a living. Doesn’t much matter where you find an audience, whether it’s Medium, Amazon, or Patreon — but success starts with building an audience.
The world needs more people doing what they love, not less.