10 Things You Didn’t Know About Blogging
Did you know that the very first blog post was published way earlier than previously thought?
And did you know that all major blogs have something in common?
How about the fact that we are about to enter an unprecedented shift in the way blogs are monetized that will change EVERYTHING?
These and other nuggets are presented here for your edutainment.
1. The First Blog
We get so hung up on the details. Like, which platform is best? Is it WordPress? Blogspot? Something else?
And we get hung up on the best format to communicate in. Should I publish my knowledge as text, audio, video, infographic? Which one is best?
We often forget that the only thing that matters is the expression.
Humans have this impulse to communicate, and our voice will do everything it can to find a pair of ears willing to listen. Everything else is secondary.
2. Everything is Blogging
As far as I’m concerned, every form of expression is Blogging. I would exclude direct person-to-person communication, but every other form of expression is just that. A form of expression. These days, we just call it blogging.
I think this is a great way to approach blogging.
Many businesses have no idea how to blog. They are paralyzed with fear to even start, and for a good reason. They are being asked to enter a brand new arena. The publishing arena.
Imagine a Carpenter from 50 years ago starting his own magazine. It would require a whole different skill-set, wouldn’t it?
However, I think approaching a company blog as if you’re about to publish an old timey magazine is a really good way to think about blogging.
Pick your favorite mag and model your company blog after it. And if you still need help, contact me.
3. Blogging will Save the World
Now that everyone can broadcast their voice, all we have to do is give the individual author the distribution power of large media sites, and this will equalize the world.
I know it sounds like a tall order, but once upon a time, having access to knowledge was reserved only for the privileged. And then the printing press changed all that.
The next big change will liberate individual authors from dehumanizing distribution channels (Google, Amazon, iTunes, HuffPo, old publishing houses) and give each and every author the control over their own distribution.
Why not? The Creatives already own the publishing, and payment processing. The only thing left is the distribution.
Watch the video for a more in depth explanation.
4. The Next Big Problem
When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1436, he solved the biggest problem facing humanity since the first blog post in El Castillo, Spain, some 40,000 years earlier.
The problem Gutenberg solved? Access to knowledge was only available to the privileged. Mainly the clergy and the rich. Gutenberg changed all that. He made knowledge (books) easily duplicated and portable.
However, as Gutenberg solved one problem, he revealed another. Between 1436 and 1999, publishing your knowledge was available only to those who could afford to buy a newspaper, magazine, TV, or radio. In other words. the privileged.
And then, in 1999, this 563 year old problem was solved by a blogging platform that enabled anyone to publish their knowledge. Blogger.com. Other platforms followed soon.
And just like Gutenberg, who solved one problem only to reveal another, so did Blogger.com solve one problem, only to reveal another.
Now that everyone can publish their knowledge, Attention has become available only to the privileged. And Attention = money.
The time is right for the next big problem to be solved. The time is right for Attention to become available to everyone.
Democratizing Attention is the next big problem, and Triberr is solving it. But, here’s the thing. Whether Triberr succeeds or not, is not important.
Whats important is that this problem gets solved. And if Triberr paves the way for those that do, then it has done its job.
5. Timing is King
Content is king my ass.
Look at those sites. All of them have 2 things in common. Their content blows monkey balls, and they are all top 100 sites. What gives?
All of the sites in the above image were born in the early to mid 2000s. That’s it. Thats the secret of their success. Not content. Not utility. Not branding. Not clever marketing.
And if more convincing is what you need, then enjoy this video.
6. Traffic is a Cost Center
You own a bakery? Great. Tell you what. I’ll send 1000 people to your store tomorrow.
Oh no…they won’t buy anything. They’ll just dirty up the store, create a mob, probably break a thing or two, but hey! You’ll be able to say you had 1000 people in your store. BLAH!
Traffic is a cost center. It’s only useful because it brings Attention to you and your content. But if that’s the case, then why is everyone talking about traffic?
I think people who wear suits and sit in boredrooms would feel silly talking about seeking Attention. So traffic become a proxy for what they really want. Which is Attention.
Point is, traffic is useless. Attention is the name of the game.
I love to use Oprah as an example of this.
She syndicated her content across 100s of TV stations world wide. Those TV stations got traffic, but Oprah got Attention.
Oprah, the content creator, only cares about Attention. She could care less about traffic.
7. Ads are Murder
In hundreds of years, as technology evolved, the monetization strategy for content DID NOT CHANGE!
It blows my mind.
- Google is making money the same way newspapers and magazines made money 100s of years ago. Ads.
- Facebook is making money the same way newspapers and magazines made money 100s of years ago. Ads.
- Twitter is making money the same way newspapers and magazines made money 100s of years ago. Ads.
Has everyone gone insane?
How can technology evolve so much, and yet our thinking about monetizing content remains the same?
8. Attention is the New Currency
Ever wonder what Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton types make? They make Attention.
Attention is their product, and they make a living making Attention. You can see how this translates directly into the online world.
Big sites are able to make a living with ads because we pay Attention to these big sites. I’m talking about Facebook, Google, Twitter, HuffPo, and the like. All of these are nothing more than Attention sucking, ad feeding machines.
The greatest trick the Devil even pulled is to lull us into a false sense of choice.
These big sites have found a way to gently suck us into their world so they can do what TV, Radio, Newspapers and magazines have been doing for 100s of years. Feed us ads. #lame
We can fight them in 2 ways:
- By installing ad blockers in our browsers (or blocking all ads across all browsers), and,
- By being more discerning what we pay Attention to.
I practice what I preach.
I had coffee with a friend 3 days ago. You might know him, he is the amazing Kenn Bell of The Dog Files, the maker of Hero Dogs of 9/11. Anyway…
He was getting really frustrated with me because he kept referencing all these news items about which I knew absolutely nothing. I don’t watch the news.
I pay no Attention to the news because I know how the news works.
- If it bleeds it leads.
- There’s always an angle.
- The “investigative” reporter will bust up a crooked mom and pop operation, but they will leave big corps alone. Why? Mom and pop shops don’t buy ads on TV.
Their job is to suck up our Attention, and my Attention is better spent elsewhere.
I will NOT pay them my Attention.
Attention is currency. And I am grateful you chose to spend yours here.
9. Influence is the New Money
The fragmentation of mass media into billions of small channels has destroyed the ad industry, and paved the way for humans to do what humans naturally do. Talk to each other.
Today, a Blogger with little bit a technical know-how, and a lot of credibility which can only come from direct, high-touch interaction with an audience, can influence actions of those who trust him to lead them.
You can be that Blogger.
Watch the video for a quick explanation of different types of influencers and to see which one will dominate the marketplace over the next few years.
10. Tribe is the Way
Does influence marketing work? Does a bear shit in the woods?
Brands have been hiring celebrities as their spokesperson for a long time. Celebrity endorsements are a huge business. The problem?
There are several issues in hiring a celebrity to represent your brand:
- Not all celebrities have a powerful online presence
- Brand to celebrity mismatch (lack of relevance, or natural affinity)
- Access to celebrity
- Celebrities are cost-prohibitive for most companies
I could go on.
Bloggers, on the other hand, ARE the celebrities online. On a smaller scale, sure, but celebrities none the less.
Just watch Dan Cristo explain it.
Since bloggers have an intense, but smaller sphere of influence, this creates another set of problems for brands.
For example, hiring one blogger, or even 5, is simply not enough to move the needle for a company like Nike.
However, being able to hire 100s of bloggers under the same endorsement deal, and have those Bloggers move the needle collaboratively, as a tribe, is very interesting to a company like Nike.
At last, Bloggers will have a way of making a living that’s not affiliate marketing, or other nonsense that leaves me feeling like a need a shower.
This is the vision for the blogging future I see in my mind, and it’s closer than you might think.