Websites Should Sell Stuff

We’ve seen sites we love sell.. shirts, sure. But I mean, there’s sooo much to be sold out there.

Apparently New York Magazine opened a shop, which seems odd, right? A music site could sell music (like Bandcamp’s store in Oakland, CA), but what’s a magazine sell?

In the beginning of 2018 I envisioned opening a shop for Skull Toaster based around classic metal magazines, like a museum of sorts, which then of course would have merch to buy to keep the lights on.

And heck, existing store can do it backwards! They already have the store, now start a site! I think of the countless record shops and music equipment stores and metal-themed restaurants that could use their brand to pull in artist and bands and designers, interview them, then put all those assets on the website for people to see for years to come (rather than disappear in the river of social media posts that are gone in 3.2 minutes).

Do websites still matter? That’s pretty much where you buy tickets, and do your banking, and emailing.. yeah, websites still matter. Make sure you got one in 2019!

Podcasts and Blog Posts

I wish more podcasts had blogs, and vice versa.

It doesn’t have to be a site with 14 updates a day, but it’d so nice to read some of the highlights of an episode before diving in.

I’m thinking beyond “show notes,” too. Podcasts are hidden and out of sight. It’s hard to stumble into an episode, whereas social media makes it easy to randomly find interesting ideas, or stories.

It would make sense, too, for weekly shows to post daily, because that just builds the brand. What news items do you cover? Maybe reviews, or instructional posts? Blogs get sticky, and when you have repeat visitors, whammo, you have a new episode up, and people click play (especially people who aren’t quite into podcasts, yet, and that’s a lot of people).

And how many quotable items are inside a podcast? The stories and insider information are just tucked away in an audio file, and maybe the episode gets one post of like, “hey, here’s our new episode.”

Pull out two items, that’s two more posts, that’s two more items to post to socials, and include in your email newsletter. One podcast could practically get you five posts that you can spread out over 2-3 weeks.

Weekly Recap for March 18th

Another week of trying to capture the “likes” and “watch history” from my social channels and put ’em in a place where I can actually see them five months from now.

ListeningThe Unsubscribe Podcast, with great ideas and thoughts on work / wife balance, toxic masculinity, relationships, and so much more. Doing my best to find and share more podcasts that aren’t just two dudes talking.

Watching: ‘5 things to start making electronic music at home‘ by bad snacks, which I thought was pretty neato since I’m still trying to learn music making with my computer.

Thinking: From a protected Twitter account, so no link, but this: “Kind of great when you’re wondering, ‘How would they react to me putting my pronouns in my signature or asking if I can at this government job?’ only to discover you won’t even need to ask because your office manager includes theirs.” 

Audience of One

Your “audience” starts with you. Make the thing you wanna see first. In my latest episode of LATER, I talk about how your creative endeavors need to satisfy that audience of one; YOU. No clicks, or likes, or whatever. But you have to be stoked when doing it.

I did Skull Toaster for seven years and quit it because it wasn’t serving the audience of one anymore. Never-mind that it built up a $200/mo Patreon / Memberful support network, or that 30+ people a day replied to metal trivia, and a solid nightly email newsletter that I produced and sent every night.

Wasn’t enough. The audience of one – me – wasn’t loving it anymore. Shut it down.

But also, life and work and relationships and all that – guess what? You’re still the audience, and last I checked you get to walk out of bad movies.

That doesn’t mean you just tell your boss off, or leave your family, or burn down the farm. No, it was tiny decisions made over decades that landed us where we are. Now it takes a series of tiny decisions over the next decade or two to course correct.

It’s not black and white. It doesn’t go from misery to utopia in a day.

Seek to entertain that audience of one in all that you do.