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An Open Letter To Anyone Who Creates Content For 2018

So, the content game is changing. And people are scared.

“Help! Facebook changed the algo. What can I do?”

“My email open rates are declining and I don’t know what to do”

“My website traffic is the lowest it’s ever been. Help!”

It hit everyone like a ton of bricks.

And you know what?

It will get worse.

I’ll explain…

People are blaming the algo, but here’s a fun fact:

Facebook doesn’t hate your content. Your fans hate your content. Stop blaming the algorithm.

I know this is controversial.

Especially now.

(You might see people complaining about the Instagram / Facebook algo on Facebook right now).

But this is what happens.

Things change.

Algorithms change.

I’ve been running an online business since 2005 – 12 years. There are plenty of new people on the block that just started their business in the last couple of years and that’s why these changes blindsided them. They never saw it happen before.

But talk to anyone who’s been doing this for a decade and they’ll tell you: this is part of business.

For years I’ve preached about the importance of building an email list… because you control your email list.

For years I told you to never rely on any platform you don’t control (like social media, search engine rankings, or anything like that).

And now people are seeing their worst nightmare come to life.

It gets worse.

Worse than any social media or search engine slap.

You see, the barrier to entry for content creation does not exist. Anyone can pick up a video camera and record videos.

Anyone with a brain can become your replacement in 2018.

It’s scary to think.

It’s scary to write.

But it’s 100% true.

Your customer gets bombarded by different content creators and they don’t know who to listen to.. they don’t know who to trust… they don’t know who to buy from.

I mean, look at TV.

There used to be like 10 channels. Now there are hundreds, if not thousands. No one channel has the same viewership that they used to have…

This is happening to online business owners, and there’s no hint that it will ever stop.

Ebooks don’t get conversions like they used to.

Product launches?

BORING.

Our customers are bored and it’s up to us to give them something they genuinely want. It’s up to us to create more engaging, helpful, and entertaining content.

What stands out gets remembered… what blends in gets ignored… and this is true today… and it will become even more true in 2018.

What can you do?

Well…

I can’t say I have all the answers, but what I can say is this:

Now is the time up level your content.

Now is the time to learn how to tell more engaging stories.

Now is the time to experiment with new forms of content that you previously turned your back on.

I mean, I just launched my new YouTube show. It’s reality tv meets helpful content.

I’m also finally doing things like Instagram. And heck, I’ve even been experimenting with things like push notification and Facebook messenger subscriptions.

I’m not doing all this new stuff because I like new. No one likes new. But as Chris Rock wrote on the wall of his most recent special, “Comfort is the poison.” And he’s right.

Even though things may seem bleak, I know that the people who address this head one will come out ahead.

The way we used to do business will no longer work in 2018 and the people who adapt will be the wants who advance.

Here’s to you.

Here’s to me.

Here’s to us.

Let’s do something great in 2018. Who’s with me?

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12 comments Leave a comment
Tomas Teixeira

Real hustle.

Adam

Awesome content Derek! Short, straight to the point and somehow motivating (on your own, twisted way :D)

All the best for 2018,
Adam

Cedric

Totally agree. Right now I’m working hard on thinking of new ways how I can use the principles of copy”writing” and persuasion and distilling them into the medium of images without words. It’s my challenge for 2018.

Prithvi

Thanks

Manish Sharma

I am with you Because in 2018 I start own digital marketing agency and help users with my content, videos, ebooks etc. And I love one quote “Comfort is the poison”. Thanks to inspired us!!

Marc

I agree – times are a changin’. I’ve put together my content calendar for 2018, which will be my first full year of blogging. I have no idea if it will attract enough readers. All the advice of asking your readers for what they want as content doesn’t work when you only have a handful of visitors a day.

I think we as bloggers need to support each other more. And in the new year I will be reaching out to bloggers in my niche to hopefully collaborate and work together for the benefit of our readers.

Rachael

I’m definitely paying attention. Creating narratives, stories, rituals and experiences is incredibly challenging but it’s amazing to get creative and push at the imaginary lines that have been drawn.

Kevin

Well said, Derek!

I’m fortunate because I dicked around and didn’t launch my course in 2016 like I was supposed to, so I get to go into 2018 with fresh eyes and a chance to over awesome content, no douchebaggery, and hopefully successful engagement!

Ken

Finally. Someone speaks the truth. Well said, Derek. Because…

It’s always been about your content. Useful, quality content reaches customers. Crappy content will not.

With 20 years in the non-profit sector fundraising in the interweb trenches, I can tell you that settling for good enough, for less-than-your-best, does not work. Ever.

And start creating and using your email list. Today.

Mark

So right on! Thanks for the reality check. “Comfort is the poison” – LOVE it!!!

Renae

You’re right on. There’s too much crappy content out there. Readers are tired of lazy business owners who publish crapoy content that makes you work too hard to consume it. People are smart, but busy. They will give their attention to publishers who understand that and who work hard to deliver easy-to-digest content that makes them smarter.

Diana

This. Right. Here!

Less comfort and more original, different, weird, and entertaining.

I’ve been enjoying your new videos Derek. It’s great to see YOU back on camera. You’ve been missed.

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