“The Internet: EPICCCCCC CONTENNNNNTTTTTTTT!”
– Ash Ambirge, on her latest post “An Ode to the Internet’s Worst Business Advice”
Translation? Just go read it.
Fucking. Epic. Content.
If I see those two words together on one more piece of advice on how to gain an online following, I’m going to poke my eyes out with this green straw in my iced coffee (no, not Starbucks, it’s a local small business, thank you).
If you’ve ever been in my shoes, trying to learn about online business or blogging, you might have rolled your eyes a few hundred times at seeing the same strings of words pop up on “guru” after “guru”’s blog or podcast…amiright?
I get it. If it’s valuable advice, it makes sense that it would be repeated across the industry, right? And I’m not saying it’s not. Sure, creating EPIC CONTENT to dangle in front of a group of prospective followers to get them to OPT-IN to your email list, and become forever loyal customers (yeah, right), might work in many cases. Enough cases that it’s the go-to method for list building.
But…in an industry that’s supposed to be all about refreshingly different approaches to business and careers and LIFE (I got into this to get AWAY from the status quo), can’t we have a little variety in the guidance out there for newbie online entrepreneurs?
In case I’ve lost you, here’s the deal.
The biggest struggle for a new online business is finding followers.
People who will read your content, buy your books, take your courses, whatever.
One of the most common pieces of advice you will see is to create something free and “relentlessly helpful” for the people you want to attract. By providing EPIC CONTENT, your readers will automatically trust you with their lives and buy everything you ever sell, if your content is epic enough.
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, and maybe it’s out of a bit of frustration. For me, it’s a chicken/egg problem. You’re trying to find people to follow you to read your awesome stuff….and they’re telling you the way to get followers is by providing awesome stuff….um, to who? You don’t have a following yet.
The other problem for a newbie, such as myself, is that it’s assumed this epic content is an offering of your expertise on something. For a career-changer, that’s not exactly helpful. I’m not going to write a blog about how to design and execute a comprehensive wildlife inventory…but that’s the only expertise gained in my past life.
The problem for me in listening to a lot of these advice-givers is that I don’t see them using their own tactics in a manner outside of whatever their online platform is.
There’s many writers who write about writing, bloggers who blog about blogging, online course offerers who teach online courses on offering online courses, passive-income earners who earn their passive income by talking about earning passive income…get where I’m going with this?
And those are subjects which have a lot of interest, so of course it’s easy for those guys.
A lot of them claim that their methods will work for multi-billion dollar corporations as well as for small freelancers. But I haven’t found a whole lot of advice that truly does help the person just starting out. It just doesn’t translate.
But all is not lost.
There IS still fresh and new stuff out there. There are people who offer advice about a topic, who actually use that expertise themselves in their business in other ways. These are the ones I look to for advice.
There’s people like the wonderful Ash, who freely offers up all her expertise on business and copywriting, and USES all that stuff in her own copywriting business! Amazing, right?! Someone who walks the walk! And her CONTENT truly is EPICCCC!!!!! (Judging by her last post she would probably hate that I just said that!).
I guess my epic content includes epic rants like this one, epic fails and embarrassing mistakes trying to make it in the online realm, and epic naïveté.
Epic rant over.
Full Transparency: the links above to The Middle Finger Project are affiliate links, and I’ll earn a commission on anything you purchase from Ash (which, affiliate or not, I highly recommend you do!).