52 Comments
Feb 17, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

I’ve really had this point driven home several times this past year and now you’re warning about it too. Sooo—my website build is nearing the end. I’ll be driving everyone there. And I’m offering a multi-tier membership as well and using my own page (not Patreon or Ko-fi) to sell it. It’s taken a lot of thinking to figure out how NOT to use the ready made platforms because, as you said, they’re easy. Ready made. Yes, I’ll continue to connect with others and promote myself across a lot of several platforms as a way to drive people to my site. But I’m collecting email addresses like mad and finding ways to make those who visit my client not TikTok’s, Instagram’s, or Facebook’s. Thanks for the kick in the pants. I really needed it.

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Oh you're so welcome Kerry. Make sure you have a kick butt opt in. That's the real key. God, I could write an entire post about opt ins that work vs. those that don't. I'm excited to see your new site!

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I'd find that post rather interesting.

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I am also interested in learning what you have to say on opt ins. ;)

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How will you sell it without Patreon or Ko-fi? (Asks the non-techie) I have so much to learn...

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Feb 17, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

I'll be creating an opt-in page on my website. Then direct everyone from my social media pages to learn more. The membership fee will be collected via ThriveCart every month. Once they subscribe, they will receive an automated letter from me with an introduction and how-to-join instructions. All the benefits and perks on a private Discord Server. I'm imitating how Social Bluebook does it. Here's a link to Social Bluebook: https://socialbluebook.com/welcome?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=12067514326&utm_keyword=social%20bluebook&content=124791511148&gclid=Cj0KCQiA6LyfBhC3ARIsAG4gkF-GgwGwA2wCWqsgclaGub3q7UBfDZqgB7Qq7titICPLPOV6f_kpRmMaAgsWEALw_wcB

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Your usual "on the money" advice is outstanding, and valuable. Just because you have offered it up for free does not mean it should be ignored.

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I read that 90% of people who sign up for courses don't finish them. So it would seem that advice is often ignored even if it's paid for. Often I suspect we can't listen until we're ready. It requires a headspace that maybe we're just not in yet.

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Oops - guilty on that front myself. But ignoring your words does have a cost, in that the longer you put off building your own space on the web, the more painful it will be when reality smacks you upside the head!

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I have a pitch at the end of all my Medium pieces asking fellow writers to visit my substack newsletter and subscribe. It’s been very effective and I own those contacts. It’s my way of leveraging my Medium following.

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Yup, that's the smart way to do it for sure Martin. :)

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I fell into that same trap. Like you (and 1000s of others), it was too easy not too, even though on some level I knew better. Worse, I'd just taken a college class where they'd LITERALLY warned against doing just that. But a low barrier to entry, making friends quickly, and seeing dollar signs is quite the temptation.

(sigh)

I keep hoping one of these weeks we'll get to talk about how Medium has turned a corner, but right now, I'm not seeing it- either for me, the pub I run, or other writers in my circle.

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Even if they do ever turn a corner, I'll never be able to see it through the same eyes again. Because having 18K followers I can't take with me means I don't have 18K followers. It's a vanity metric. No changes can ever change that. You know?

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Feb 17, 2023·edited Feb 17, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

Oh, 100%. I can't unsee a lot of it, either. It's really killed my motivation to write there. Tony got my attention (and hopes up) with his "we're going to pay editors" comments, but more and more, I see what looks like him trying to walk that back.

Tbh, I'm not sure I would at all if it weren't for the pub I run and the friends I've made as part of that.

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This is so true but it's hard to switch. I'm doing it slowly. BTW, what do you think of the medium change where members can now save articles to "read later" offline?

Can't see how the reads can be tracked.

Xo

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I asked the question and Medium answered. They said read time is logged on the downloads and the next time the person logs back into Medium, the read time gets recorded. So then I asked if it's logged in a cookie, because my thought is that people who have tracking cookies turned off may not have read times recorded. But still waiting for an answer on the second part.

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Feb 18, 2023·edited Feb 18, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

Some months ago, I told someone who is working to build a following on a Twitter to organize a certain group of people that setting up a parallel email list could server as a backup in case the Twitter following disappeared or something. Since Musk was about to take over Twitter it was easy to make the case that Twitter wasn't stable, but someone else said there was no point in setting up an email list because 'nobody reads emails anymore.' Well, I warned them.

EDIT: Another anecdote, a local tea shop collected customers' email addresses for years (basically, whenever a new customer bought something, they asked for their email address). When the pandemic hit, they had to close their storefront, but they got an online shop up and running fast and sent an email with a coupon to everyone on their list. They said that without the flood of orders they got in response to that email with the coupon code, they would've gone out-of-business.

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Yup, that tea shop is exactly it. People do still read email if it interests them. My top clients do more than half their sales via email. If not for email, they'd be doing half the sales they are.

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"Don’t build your house on someone else’s land"

What a perfect way to say it.

I've recently started taking steps to remove myself from Medium. It makes no financial sense to throw my money at a corporation that barely knows I exist, doesn't support me and bends over backwards to show my readers someone else's content, instead of showing them more of what they're reading. Me.

Don't even get me started on how much $ I've lost. For nothing.

I've been here on Substack for a year. I like it. It feels good. They do a lot to support writers and readers. Now it's time to get serious about building a community around the topics I, and many others, are passionate about and are going to need a lot more in the very near future.

Medium won't even notice the loss of my $5 a month.

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I hear you. I won't be leaving Medium, but I can't justify spending the amount of time there I used to. I guess if they whack my earnings 80% it makes sense that I can't give them the same amount of time I used to.

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Feb 17, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

I can see the appeal, because even your own site cam get hacked, etc. But, thinking as the reader here, how many times do I have to give my email address away, and how many emails do I have to ignore or delete every day because it's either someone selling stuff or building his brand so he could sell stuff?

I only subscribe to people I care about their writing and enjoy it.

Plus, the monetization model is tough. if I'm a reader I'd rather pay 5 dollars to read lots of good writers rather than paying 5 dollars to each writer I want to read!

Most people would just pay (if they pay at all, I dont) to subscribe to 1 or 2 writers max.

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Your thoughts as a reader are very valid. They are also things creators need to think about. Lots of people are happy to pay Medium $5 to read unlimited content. The problem is that those people just want something good to read. They don't care if it's me or someone else. As a creator, writers need to ask themselves how to stand out enough that readers want to follow a specific creator, not just an endless stream of any. P.S. I hope that instead of deleting or ignoring the non stop pitch emails, you might unsubscribe instead. It sends a stronger message. :)

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I began at Medium by paying $5 to read lots of good stuff, and there WAS a lot of useful, intelligent, educational and entertaining stuff there. But now all the platform seems to want to show me, despite my repeated adjusting of my preferences and parameter's is listicles, lies about how much an illiterate writer has made and videos of a writer's boyfriend screaming obscenities at her while their dog cowers in a corner. THIS is what I pay for? No thank you.

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Feb 17, 2023·edited Feb 17, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

Thanks as always Linda. I'm stuck on the title for Substack. I'm working on being a better Substack student these days. ;)

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I'm stuck on name, too. I want to rename both of mine and just can't settle on something I like. Makes me laugh, I have no trouble thinking of names for other people, but for myself it's harder.

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This is the main reason I bit the bullet to leave Medium. It was painful but necessary nonetheless. If I have to leave my eggs in the nest, I make very sure my nest is sitting on my land.

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I hear you. I won't leave Medium, but I will be putting more focus in building something that sits on my turf.

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I'm guilty. I started on Medium like so many others hoping to improve my writing. Along yhr way I started to gather some followers, not many. I know I screwed up but like many things in life you have learn from experience. Thank you Linda your advice is always well received.

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It's so true, Jerry -- experience is the way we learn. :)

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I just can't get past" we did get him featured o Oprah."

'Im interested, Linda.

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lol Philip. It really wasn't that hard. First step was building a site that wasn't an embarrassment. because if one is hoping to get major media coverage, they have to look professional. Just no room for anything but. After that, it was just finding a contact point.

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Feb 17, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

More food for thought, thank you, Linda. Mulling what my niche would be via Substack...It changes more often than I change shoes!

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Sometimes I think it's that it's hard to look at ourselves accurately. If I could paste all my writing into a tool that arranged words by the ones used most frequently, I bet it would be easier to spot the niche. I suspect that would work for you, too. :)

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Yes you’ve advised that before! Light and love — the winners. So the question is how best to promote them and/or put them to work

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Feb 17, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

Yeah I’m interviewing copy writers/ funnel writers to see how I can improve the opt-in. The best thing about what I do and that I spend hours every day in direct contact with my audience. They dm, email, write comments, and interact on my lives. They share where they’re struggling and what’s not working. I have so much data: the language they use, their biggest pain points, and where they believe they need help. Now just to use it effectively—

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Exactly, right? Best suggestion I can make it keep it short. When people give an ebook or long report as their opt in, often the subscriber saves it in their download folder and forgets about it. An unconsumed freebie fails to win cred votes. You know?

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Feb 18, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

excellent point! Thank you for that. I hate reading through a tome of material.

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1. Buy the 'land'. (domain name)

2. Build your 'house' (website) on that land.

3. Fill your house with your stuff (your writing etc.)

4. Insure your house and stuff. (back up/download)

5. Start selling (advertising/marketing) your stuff

6. When in doubt, ask the neighbour (Linda)

:)

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Thank you. I see this advice over and over. I signed up for an email list builder, Convertkit, but the cost of $30 a month didn't seem worth it to me right now. I only have a dozen or so email subscribers, so it's hard to justify the monthly rate. I keep saying as my followers grow, I'll get the email list going. I am on Substack but I haven't found the same engagement/followers as I get on Medium.

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