On Not Becoming a Commodity

Contrary to popular opinion, information has not been commoditised.

Only dull, “me-too” information has been.

The Past & the old gatekeepers

Weren’t things better when people had to pay to read anything? As long as you got a job working for a publication, or were connected enough to get a one-off article in there, you would get money and exposure.

If you wrote something that people read, you were a somebody, even if what you wrote was on the side of a bathroom stall.

Now it’s all ruined. These entitled millennials want everything for free, there’s so much content out there that you’ll never be heard!

Right?

The Present & the new gatekeeper

When the barrier to entry was dropped to the floor, the barrier to having any success was raised to the roof by the most ruthless gatekeeper in the world — the free market.

The truth is, your words can be heard again.

They just need to be true.

They need to be honest, even vulnerable.

They need to have integrity.

Uniqueness — no longer optional

I’ve popped out “me-too” articles before. I was young and needed food.

I was also foolish, because writing things that had already been written is no way to eat better.

It’s a little scary to be unique.

It’s also mandatory.

If you or your business has a blog, and it’s readers often feel like they’ve read what you’ve got there somewhere else, you’ve lost. I regularly come across articles like that.

My goal is to never let myself slip into that again.

If you want an article that will act like an asset to you, then you must read what Google serves you on the topic, and find something that they don’t cover. Is there any piece of you that’s unsatisfied after reading through them? That’s where an article that matters might come from.

Integrity — mandatory

You have to do thorough fact checking.

When you read an article that makes a claim, and you click through the citation link, and you find yourself on some other article making the same claims, that links to other articles making the same claims……

…how do you feel about that?

People used to trust you if your name was in print.

Now, people only trust you if you are trustworthy.

We are more discerning now than ever before, as are your readers. As we mature into the internet era, it will become increasingly mandatory that you are trustworthy. With so many other options for information, people will leave you at the slightest flicker of their bullshit radar.

You won’t see it happen. If you’re upping ad-spend, your numbers will keep going up…but if the people you reach don’t subsequently feel that they can trust you implicitly, your traffic is impotent.


Invest money, time, and tears into the one thing will never be a commodity, that will always be highly valued by all those walking wallets out there.

Trust.

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