Hope you're having a great week. Here are a few things I've been writing, reading and pondering lately. Enjoy!
1. We Need a Slower, More Thoughtful Approach to Content Marketing
Content marketing is getting expensive because we make too d*mn much of it. Here are just a few of the problems with over-producing content:
- The more posts on a site, the harder it is for readers to find the good ones.
- It reduces the potency of good links, whose PageRank is spread across more pages than necessary.
- Readers find it easier to tune you out. When you do publish something great, they assume you’re the “boy who cried wolf.”
- Content marketers spend too much time writing and not enough time promoting.
- Most articles don’t get traffic, leaving writers frustrated and stakeholders wondering if content is the right channel.
2. [Podcast] Getting Smart About Growth with Casey Winters and Andrew Chen
I thought this was a really intelligent and useful discussion on growth. These two are both very experienced-I listened twice to soak it all in.
3. A Crazy Idea for Funding Local News: Charge People for It
Inspired by people like Stratechery’s Ben Thompson, Farhad Manjoo ( one of the best out there) makes the case for charging for news. It’s an insightful take on what’s wrong with digital media and how we can fix it.
This plan may sound simplistic, almost like a joke. Wait, Sherlock, your big idea is to create a really good product and charge people money for it? Haven’t people tried this before?
Less than you might think. The short history of digital media is lousy with advertising, which promotes all the wrong incentives for online news — volume over curation, aggregation over original coverage, speed over accuracy.
4. Why Project Planning Fails
Good advice on tempering your irrational optimism and planning for reality.
When people plan projects advance, they usually fail to take into account 90% of the issues that will pop up along the way. In reality, the majority of projects are highly uncertain endeavors.
5. Random Links
- Here’s the inside scoop on Facebook’s very reasonable dating policy.
- A great but painful read: They Were Super Bowl Heroes. And Then, in a Blink, They Weren’t.
- Here’s a helpful video for understanding how Bitcoin works.
- Twindr: Clean up your twitter feed by swiping left or right.
- We’re hiring a content promotion specialist. Details here.
Have a great weekend!
PS - I'm looking to partner with a few great businesses to sponsor this newsletter. It reaches a bunch of smart folks from places like Google, Apple, Spotify, New York Times, Marriott and Harvard. Shoot me an email if you're interested in working together.
PPS - I created an email course called 5 Days to Better Content Marketing. More than 300 people have already taken it. You should check it out too.