communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.


Writing professionally - for others

Publishing online is a constant, if not hefty, source of revenue from advertising. The plan is simple: you start a website, you generate loads of pages and then sell ads on those pages. The bigger the inventory - number of pages - the more ads you can sell (in theory, of course. In practice, recent events have shown that most publishers are facing dire problems because they can only sell their front pages and are mostly unable to market any of the secondary ones, unless for dumping prices like the famed 0,05 cents :)).

But let us not talk about that but rather about something that revolves around content creation. There's a couple of ways for you to get content for pages:
- you make it yourself
- you steal it (Zoso has plenty on this one)
- you flatter it out of suckers
The first option is the path least taken because making it yourself requires time invested, paying people, etc etc. When you have expenses, well, your revenue goes down.
The second option is the easiest one, but eventually you get caught, and people call you names on their blogs and you feel like shit (in theory).
The third option is the funnest one and it works like this: you start a webpage and then you start calling the most important people in the industry related to that webpage. You tell them you want their expertise spread on the newest and hottest publishing site around. Can they write a couple of articles for your readers? Can they become honarary editors of your site? It would be much exposure to them and much help to the readers who are just dying to read their precious advice. At no point do you offer money because that would be demeaning. Obviously these people are just longing to spend their time writing for you for free in exchange for the love and glory this will bring.

Let me make it clear to everyone wanting to do this: IF YOU WANT GOOD CONTENT FROM GOOD PEOPLE YOU SHOULD PAY FOR IT. NOTHING GOOD IS FREE EXCEPT LOVE (and that not all the time)

People who write articles do it for two things: fame or an innate desire to educate the industry they're in. The former ones usually write bland, generic type articles, with lots of personal opinion, no insight and no research. The latter ones do research, do think out what they write, do make a difference. These ones contribute to a growing corpus of knowledge which is useful and meaningul. They work hard, they spend time doing it, they care. Using these people to make your inventory and not even trying to comenpsate them is callous. I don't think NYT editors write for free for that thing. Neither do GSP blogger for that matter. So, please people, stop pitching free writing opprtunities when you're trying to make content. The only thing you'll get is bad content.

1 comment:

Harry said...

Unfortunately, the second option you mentioned is one the most used strategies in the internet industry. They don't even care about the fact that bloggers showed the original articles stoled by them ; they continue their work as if nothing happened.

I personally think that the online publishing market will hardly change its ways in the following years.