Old Media Isn’t Dead; They’ve Just Lost Control

Old media is dying.  Old media is dead.  Old media this, and old media that.  If there’s one thing for certain, the whole media world is changing.  The old media giants (newspapers, television, et. al.) are continually trying to play catch up with the new media blogs and websites.  Burdened by their offline world payrolls and overhead, they just can’t compete with the abundance of free sites that have little to no overhead.  Which has lead many to posit that they are dead or dying.

They aren’t.  They’ve just lost control.

Almost all of the gateways to legitimate news creation have been opened up.  No longer is a degree in journalism, or a great reference necessary to write and publish your side of a story, or a commentary on the latest news.  No longer do you need to depend on the subscription model to make your income, and you surely don’t need to have a network of paperboys and newsstands to depend on for distribution.  You simply have to turn the lights on your site and start reporting.

If you’re old media, those things were the cornerstones for their business model.  It was difficult, both monetarily and professionally to start a new competitor.  It took money to buy the presses or the cameras.  And it took some sort of professional background to be considered reputable.

They’ve lost control.  And they’re frantically trying to find a way to make the old model work in the new model world.  What they will soon need to realize is that the new model is only distantly related to the old model that they’ve been using.  The old model can’t be modified, twisted, and reused to adapt to the new model world.

We may see a few of the old giants fall before it all gets sorted out, but many will eventually figure it out.  Already, we’re seeing some of the old model companies purchasing the new model companies.  They’re trying to regain control and maintain their dominance on the field.  And it just might work.  After all, if you buy up all the biggest new model competitors, you’ll get a step in the right direction.  The only problem is that every time that one of the larger new model competitors gets gobbled up, there are hundreds more scrambling to fill any void left behind.

Better Blogging According to Jake

My friend Jake has been getting back on the horse with his blogging.  He’s made some changes to his workflow (which I might have him convinced to share with us here) and has done a really good job of becoming a regular poster.

Jake wrote an article entitled Better Blogging today and I thought that it was worth sharing.  Here’s a few snippets.

There are a number of sites that can help people blog better and make more of their blogs.  One of the best ways to improving my own blogs has been watching other bloggers and learning from their suggestions.  ProBlogger and CopyBlogger are must reads if you are trying to develop your blog.  Also, if there is a particular niche you decide to blog about, make sure to subscribe and follow what they are writing about.  Not only will you occasionally get ideas  on what to write about, but you will be able to interact with those existing communities.

Excellent advice.  There’s a nice subscribe button just at the top of the right sidebar here.  😉

Last tip on blogging I have for this post is – keep trying.  If you are trying to develop a blog and something isn’t working for you, try something else.  Just keep trying.  Ask other bloggers for advice.  It might not work for you, but it very well might give you an idea of what will.

Exactly.  This site in particular has gone through several evolutions (and is always ripe for another) and so is a perfect example of why you should keep trying.  Thatedeguy.com might not be a success on the order of some of the big guys, but it makes me money and gives me an outlet for my writings.  That is enough to keep me trying for a while longer.

One thing that I would add, that while not necessarily missing from Jake’s post isn’t made obvious, is to be passionate about your blogging.  Not every blog or website you do has to be on a topic that you’re passionate about, but I think you’ll find that the ones that are do much better in the long run than those that are on topics that you aren’t passionate about.

Another that I would add is to not be afraid to make money with your blog or because of your blog.  There’s nothing spammy or shameful about making money from what you do.  Some of the best bloggers around are making money from or because of their blogs.

There’s plenty more to Jake’s post, so you should go and read the rest.

7 Blogs You Should be Reading

In the course of writing a blog, you’ve likely discovered that it helps to have a nice list of fellow bloggers in your niche to read.  You read them to keep up to date on what they are up to (spying) and also as a way to participate in the community (sucking up).  My reading list is a lot longer than 7 blogs, but these seven are an essential 7.  If you aren’t reading them already, you should be.  In no apparent order:

  • 45n5.com – Mark has really risen through the ranks to become one of the better online entrepreneur bloggers around.  He works hard to produce great content, and even though I don’t watch video, he still has plenty of stuff for me to read.  He also seems to be in a very similar place as I am and so it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who isn’t carrying around a 6 figure check.
  • Blogging Experiment – This blog was up in the air not too long ago when it’s founder, Ben Cook, decided to sell it.  The new owner, Max, has exceeded expectations and really has added a whole new dimension to the blog.  Well worth the time to read.
  • CopyBlogger – If you’re going to be successful as a blogger, you’ll most likely have to know how to write good copy.  That’s where Brian comes in.  He’s quickly become a go-to expert on copywriting.  Read CopyBlogger, you’ll learn something.
  • Graywolf’s SEO Blog – Michael Gray might not be a name you’re too familiar with.  He’s a top tier SEO blogger with a great eye for ways to improve your SEO practices.  He doesn’t hold any punches and likes to tell it like it is.  I like that.
  • Problogger – If you aren’t reading Darren, there may not be any hope for you.  Problogger is the resource for anyone who wants to become the best blogger they can be.  You’ll find lots of imitators, but there is no one that I’ve found that comes close to the expertise that Darren has.
  • ShoeMoney – Jeremy is one of the premier affiliate bloggers.  He’s earned his chops as an affiliate webmaster and is kind enough to share with us on his blog.  He’s another blogger that isn’t going to hold any punches.  At the same time, he comes across as a pretty decent guy.
  • The Net Fool – Jim is new to the scene, but already is making big waves.  He’s got a great writing style and is another blogger to keep an eye one.  He’s also another that I see as being close to the same tier as I am, so I read for that purpose as well.

That’s the list.  I’m sure that someone will find a few that they think should be on the list.  I’m always open to suggestions.  As you can see, some of the bloggers are experts and others are getting there.  I read each for a little bit different reason.

Subscribe to their feeds.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Posting on Weekends and Holidays

It seems we see this meme float around about every 6 months or so. “Should you post on the weekends and on holidays?”

Well, here’s the answer. Yes and no. And, it depends.

How’s that for a vague answer?

The problem is that, just like the people writing them, each and every website and blog is different. Some blogs will require posting on a more regular basis. Blogs with topics like news, politics, and sports will need to post much more regularly than those with topics in the Make money online (MMO), tech, relationships, and mommy/daddy realms. That doesn’t mean that the first set needs to write daily or that the second set shouldn’t. What it means is that, on average, their posting needs will be somewhat different.

Some will say that your topic is a pretty weak way to define your writing schedule. I agree somewhat. If you’re passionate about a topic, you might find ways to write about it each and every day. Maybe multiple times.

You might remember that I maintained a post-a-day schedule back in March. You might also have noticed that I don’t do that anymore. I have a few reasons for that.

  • I’d rather not make myself come up with content.  When I do that, I get crap about 50% of the time.  I’d rather you had 100% good content to read 2-3 times a week instead of 50% good content every day.
  • It’s a hectic schedule.  I have other sites and other obligations to attend to.  Sometimes I don’t have the 30 minutes or more that a quality post can take.
  • I need a break.  I have a regular job and I’m not considered a bad employee, or less ambitious, or less productive, if I don’t come in on the weekends and holidays.  I understand that there are times when I will have to, but I’m not expected to every time.  The same should be true of my blog if I really am going to treat it as a job.

Of course, your reasons for posting every day (or not) will most likely be different.  That’s ok.  I won’t look down on you. 😉