The madness needs to stop. There has to be a better way.
Getting free stuff from you is great but in very few cases what I’ve received as free stuff has actually been helpful.
There’s a lot of great authors I've found over time, but I can’t keep subscribing to email lists to “stay in touch” or “learn something (insert your favorite string of adjectives)”.
The Armageddon in my inbox just has to stop.
I never know anymore when I’m going to get an email that contains a link to your latest blog post or article or whether or not it’s a message that contains another affiliate link.
It’s driving me nuts and there has to be a better way.
The Money is in the List
For those that have made it so they are able to have a residual income from their writing — it’s because of this: the almighty email list.
When done properly, the email list method does work. You can’t count on any one platform or one company to keep promoting your work anymore.
Even awesome platforms, like Medium. Hence, you build your email list so you can take your readers with you.
To not have an email list (especially if you’re actually making money) is nearly equal to blasphemy.
The point of the email list, however, is to build relationships with the end goal that those relationships give you money for something — otherwise, you probably wouldn’t have invested the money to build one or keeping spending the money to maintain one — no?
I wouldn’t. I’m honest enough with myself to admit it.
Every time I think, “I need to start building that email list or I’m missing out on future $$$…” I feel a very strong and consistent inward resistance.
I Don’t Build My Relationship with You through Your Automated Email List
I only subscribed because I wanted the free thing you were offering that I thought could help solve a problem I was having in that moment.
Like I said, in very few of the cases of me doing this, was the thing that I got actually helpful.
For the items that were helpful, I had to extract the key bits of problem solving information and place them into notes I can keep for “later” because there just isn’t time to implement the suggestions.
I can’t even save your “important” emails. There’s too many.
Then eventually, the affiliate offers come.
In the last five years or so, I’ve only ever purchased one thing from an additional affiliate offer found in my email box.
Having to sort through your email list to find your latest content is irritating and a serious waste of my time.
I eventually unsubscribe because of this.
And if I approach email lists this way, it stands to reason that many others do the same.
This might work for others (and for those of who you have no issue with it, I’m partly envious of you). I’m honest enough to admit though, that’s not a marketing method that really resonates with me.
Or, maybe I’m just a financial prude.
I Followed You because of Your Unique Points of View, the Strong Stance You Took, or Your Voice
That’s what I want more of.
That’s what’s providing me value. The thoughts, the discussions, the points of view that help challenge and shape my thinking.
Yes, for a couple of you, I did take your free webinars. Again, I thought it might help me solve a problem. In the last two cases, those free webinars did help in small ways.
I got a key piece of information I was previously missing to my personal puzzle.
It took 45 minutes to find the one piece of information I was missing and I left those webinars at the end when you began upselling.
I know you have to do it to make money (after all, that’s part of your motivation for doing so, otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it all), but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
From a personal standpoint, I don’t know how to reconcile it. I never have. Maybe, that is just truly my very own personal problem that I get to deal with.
I Don’t Want to Have to Sign up to Five Different Platforms to Keep Track of Your Work
Part of the reason I enjoy platforms like Medium, is because I can follow many of new found authors in one place.
But Medium, as of this writing, doesn’t let me filter out my 5–10 top most enjoyable authors so I can read their stuff first. As a reader, I should be able to do that.
I don’t do typical “social media” for a variety of reasons. I have a hard enough time filtering out digital noise as is.
RSS Feeders Don’t Always Work
Years ago, I tried a RSS feeder service to solve this problem.
But not all of the authors I was following at the time enabled this on their blogs. Not every platform even offers this. That meant I had to still visit each of those blogs/websites individually, further sucking my time.
Can’t we submit our work to a place where things can be syndicated without the noise, without the endless call-to-actions, without having to sign up for five or more different platforms to be read?
Please Stop Shoving Things in My Face to Buy
I just want your columns, your blog posts, and the content. I don’t mind on occasional affiliate link embedded in your article or post content if it’s highly relevant — but stop sending me random affiliate offers in my email.
Really, all I want is your columns, the blog posts and the content.
When I read your stuff and you consistently provide through that content what I trust you to provide — that is how I build trust and relationship with you.
Only then am I truly interested in the rest of what you might have to offer: and you know what? I’m a big girl. I know how to navigate to your website, all by myself to learn more.
If you have more of what I need, then I consider purchasing something because I now trust you.
For me, this is exactly how I want to build my audience, find my tribe and build my readership.
Platforms Go Away, Maybe the Email Lists Will Too
Platforms evolve, get sold, alienate their writers and their readers in favor of making money. History bears this out.
Email lists, however, have been around as long as personal email accounts have been available to the general public.
But what if we didn’t have to have them?
- What if we didn’t have to keep paying continually increasing monthly fees to have an email provider service to get around spam laws?
- What if your readers, your tribe, your true fans could just simply get your content in one place without all the extra noise?
- What if we could just trust those people to exercise their personal agency to visit our websites on their own when they were ready to learn more?
I don’t want to have deal with five different platforms to find your latest content. I don’t want subscribe to another email list to sort through things you share with me that I might buy. I don’t want you to have to keep paying those monthly fees just so you can keep in touch with your reader base.
I don’t know exactly what the solution is, but I know what I’m looking for.
- Something to syndicate your work and where readers can read that syndicated work in one place without the noise regardless of what platform you originally published the piece on.
- It can’t be dependent on RSS because not every platform enables it or offers it.
- The reader has to be in control of what appears in their feed and when, not the company providing the service and not a “recommended reading” logarithm.
This is what I’m now on the hunt for. That’s what I want for my work, my tribe and my readers.
I really hope I find it.