Wearing your heart on your sleeve
Jun 19, 2021 12:04 am
There's a right way and a wrong way to lay it all out there...don't do it wrong.
Hello Content Creators!
First of all, Happy Summer!
It's been a couple weeks since my last newsletter, and I'm beginning to think this might be an every-other-week(ish) thing for a while.
Partially, it's because I have a new side project that I'll share with you later. It's a bit of a sandbox for me to practice a lot of the very same strategies I'm promoting here.
Like any good project, it takes time, and I need to devote the necessary resources to it. I look forward to sharing that journey with you soon.
Which brings me to...
This newsletter has been going for quite a while now, and I really appreciate your continued readership, but I realized something:
I've never explicitly said what this newsletter is about.
Perhaps because I was kinda figuring it out as I went along. But now...
I have a pretty clear mission statement:
1. I help Brands & Marketers create better content and NOT piss off the media so they get more exposure in the press.
2. I help Publishers, Bloggers, Content Creators & Media grow their revenue by creating better sponsored content opportunities for brands.
I'm not the world's foremost expert on content marketing. But I've lived and breathed it from the publishers' side and helped brands for almost 15 years now, and seen first hand how the media landscape has changed.
There are a LOT of very smart marketing strategists out there. But I haven't met a single one coming at it from the publisher's point of view.
Here's why that matters.
I'm willing to explain how we, the creators and publishers, feel about branded content, PR, review products, affiliate programs, and all the other ways brands and marketers try to get us to tell their story to our audience.
So, if you're struggling to get the attention you think your brand (or your client) deserves, or wondering how to move beyond ads and affiliate for your portal, please stay tuned in to this newsletter,
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A Recent Content Project
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In the spirit of "laying it all out there" I'd like to share a story about a brand that's doing it wrong.
I'm anonymizing all of this, but you'll get the point.
There's a brand that makes a product. It's a very small company, with a founder who's probably leveraged everything to launch a product that they, to their very core, believe is the best product in its category, bar none.
They are beyond passionate about this.
But, it turns out, they're passionate to a fault.
Their brand name trademark is basically a popular colloquialism used by the media All. The. Time. Yet this founder has threatened legal action against some media that use that term.
Guess what? Those media will no longer talk to him, and they're some of the biggest players in the space.
This founder has questioned the integrity and dedication of staff writers because reviews and stories weren't published on his ideal timeline. That didn't go over well, either. (Other brands have questioned editorial integrity when they didn't like the outcome of a review...also doesn't go over well).
I get it, though.
He's probably mortgaged his future to launch this product. He's beyond passionate, he's literally living and dying by the success (or lack of) of this product.
But it comes off as gasping-for-air frantic. Long and sometimes angry emails and text messages.
But still, I get it.
I've been there. I've launched products and companies and been down to my last dollar. More than once. Literally had to make a sale to afford the gas to drive home. Relied on the generosity of family to feed myself.
But I didn't bite the hand that feeds me. No matter how close I was to my own projects, I understood that the parties we relied on to grow didn't care about my needs.
They had their own priorities. Their own needs.
My job, as a brand or product, was to figure out how I could help them achieve their needs.
That's a bigger topic for later. The takeaway for this week is this:
Be aware of how you're communicating with the very people you need. Put yourself in their position, and think about how they're going to view your outreach. Basically, don't piss off the media.
There's so much more to this than just poor communication style. More examples to come...
(PS - sometimes, it helps to have another set of eyes look over your communications... Let's talk, I've seen a lot of good, bad, and ugly press releases over the years, and I can help you send pure gold)
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Cool Stuff I've Found
You know that side project I mentioned? I built it on the MH Magazine Theme, and am really happy with how easy it was to get the blog-style layout I wanted...which is surprisingly hard to find in a Wordpress theme!
The basic version is free, but it's only $49 for the Pro version, which gives me complete control over fonts, colors, widgets, and more.
If you're building a "news" site and want a simple, clean, responsive layout, MH Magazine is literally the only one I found that delivered the simple thumbnail-on-left, caption-on-right layout that makes it super user friendly for readers.
And trust me, based on Bikerumor's success, simple and easy to read are two of the top goals you should aim for with any website.
Lay it all out there,
PS - If you've been enjoying these newsletters and wanna take our relationship to the next level, email me to see how I can help your brand. Or just buy me a coffee.
*Any items, services, or products mentioned in these emails are provided solely because I think you'll like them. Some links might be affiliate links, which earn me a small commission and helps support all the free content. Thanks!