For the past several days I’ve been testing out Medium, digging into the platform to see what it offers to creators, and perusing many great writers and their stories.
Some people have done an amazing job of writing while building thousands of followers and getting reader engagement. Blogging is not dead!
Yet as I read through so many business articles, it’s clear the focus is on getting quick conversions over providing real substance.
I get it.
The “experts” tell us we should spend hours on catchy headlines then write compelling content for our lead in. We’re supposed to grab attention with some sort of incredible promise then deliver on it. And then hopefully we sell you on following, subscribing, or buying our product. That is the way.
While the proposed formula works for turning heads, most of what is being said is absolute bullshit.
There are no Five Quick Steps to Absolute Greatness or Seven Easy Ways to Make Six Figures with Your Side Hustle. You won’t Build a Sexy Body by Doing This One Thing or Get Laid Tonight by Following This Proven Checklist. I’m sorry but most of what you read will never work in reality (except to get you to the landing page and a call to action).
How can I make such a bold statement?
Because I’ve followed and used most of those tricks of the trade myself. Hell, I’ve even taught these lessons to thousands of freelancers and solopreneurs over the years in various formats. And while some of the information is valuable and certainly works, it doesn’t always mean it will work for you and your situation. There are way too many variables for a simple formula to be effective.
Additionally it’s just really hard to believe SO MANY people in their 20s and early 30s have experienced such divine circumstances to find that level of financial (or other) success in such a short time. I’m not saying it’s impossible just not probable. Many of these writers are likely faking it until they make it by regurgitating other’s work. I say show me your bank statements and prove your words.
OK, now that I’ve burst some of your bubbles …
Why My Approach to Writing is Different.
My goal for writing has nothing to do with page views or popularity. I spent decades chasing these useless goals only to discover that moving the needle didn’t bring in a lot of money and it certainly didn’t make me any happier.
First, freelancers usually don’t have the money to invest in their professional development, even though it could change their lives.
Just look at all the content creators who developed awesome resources years ago but who have largely abandoned these projects. Paul Jarvis, Brennan Dunn, Nathan Barry, and a dozen other thought leaders in this space have all gone on to create other platforms. Teaching freelancers is not a sustainable and profitable business model long-term. I know this for a fact.
Second, follower counts and likes are great for your ego, but not necessarily for your bank account or mental health.
People spend an incredible amount of time trying to impress others by growing a large audience that generally only consumes, never contributes. Maybe these followers will support you initially but it can quickly become like a dog chasing its tail – a maddening process without much value.
Finally, in my experience as a coach and mentor, you benefit more by learning to draw your own conclusions instead of a step by step plan.
This doesn’t mean a paint by numbers approach is bad. Rather your pathway to an awesome life will be entirely different than mine. You can learn from my failures and successes, but it’s better to share these experiences then encourage you find your own way. Often the best lessons are what you discover by doing the hard work instead of being told what to do.
That all being said, my purpose is simply to put things in perspective.
I would rather spend more time writing about the challenges of being a creative solopreneur and freelancer (substance) over trying to get approval or likes from wonderfully crafted bullshit (conversions) that helps no one.
Choose to follow the lofty dreams or start by doing the hard work.
Maybe you’ll achieve that six figure income or six pack of abs but it definitely isn’t gonna play out like most of those articles I’ve read. There is no magic bean or formula for reaching your destination. So why even try to sell it? I’d rather be real.
One thing you can expect from me whether it’s on my Medium platform or this personal website, is you’ll never get any hype because you deserve better!
So I’m writing for people not for pageviews. It’s just my way of giving back.
If you prefer that type of advice and information, feel free to connect with me or follow my work. If you’d rather get the magic pill there are plenty of others who will serve it to you.