Do It Yourself

The suits saw blogs as a cheap and easy means to display ads. Every site started looking the same, to keep things cheap, and the writing had to get quicker, because ad rates kept falling.

All that to say – do it yourself.

Buy a domain name, start a site on WordPress.com, and now you’ve got a site. The site is the same as any Deadspin or Gawker or any other beloved site you used to enjoy but was destroyed by the dudes in sport coats. It’s the same in that there’s a URL that anyone on the planet can access using a browser, and there’s words on a screen for them to read.

Sure, the economics have changed, but the demand has not gone away. The trick is to make something that people are willing to support with their dollars. That means “same old same old” won’t cut it.

Niche the fuck down and find an audience that lusts for what you do. Find other creative people who crave the same thing and ask them to write for your site.

HOW WILL IT MAKE MONEY is putting the cart before the horse. Make something today, when no one is looking, when you only get 35 visits a day. Do it over and over again, for a year, or two. Build a brand, gain trust.

The reason we’re in this mess is because the entire publishing platform was built on display ads that people ignore (or blog), and inflated job titles like VP OF SECONDARY DESIGN METRICS.

Remove the garbage ads (be nice to your readers), and the dead weight, and suddenly a website doesn’t need to make $45,000/minute to keep the checks from bouncing.

Build it yourself, on an independent platform (like WordPress), and own your work.

Are Websites Even Relevant Anymore?

You buy your concert tickets through a website, and just about every article you read via social media lives on a website, so yes. Yes you do.

Don’t let the lack of LIKES or COMMENTS or even traffic sway you.

“Facebook, Twitter and other companies use methods similar to the gambling industry to keep users on their sites,” said Natasha Schüll, the author of Addiction by Designwhich reported how slot machines and other systems are designed to lock users into a cycle of addiction. “In the online economy, revenue is a function of continuous consumer attention – which is measured in clicks and time spent.”

Social media copies gambling methods ‘to create psychological cravings’

We have been conditioned since we abandoned our blogs that ENGAGEMENT is key. That public, viewable metrics are king!

Fuck that.

Like any good practice, it takes time to see results. If you’re running, taking photos, anything – it might take years. Even a decade.

Sure, you can get the quick jolt by writing something witty on social media and it gets 35 likes. Or, head down, write, create, craft on your own space (like this website), and five years later you have a giant body of work on display.

Name Your Thing

One thing that worked for me over the years was jamming two words together; Buzz Grinder, Noise Creep, Skull Toaster, Close Mondays.

Any name you dream up is void of a brand, it’s up to you to fill it with every ounce of creativity and awesomeness. Not just the logo and the site design, but how you reply to emails, and handle yourself around other people.