How Much Money Can You Make For Others, Rather Than Yourself?

from the it's-not-all-about-me dept

Andrew Dubber points us to an interesting post by musician Steve Lawson, where he talks about how he usually uses his blog and other social media accounts to write about others’ music rather than always talking about his own, noting that he can probably help others make more money than he can make for himself. And there’s a reason for that: if you’re posting about something you love that you think is awesome, people take it seriously. If you’re posting about yourself as being awesome, people think you’re an egomaniac.

This is a really good way of thinking about things — and highlights an issue that goes way beyond just music. It’s why so many corporate blogs suck. Because they just talk about their own company, and appear to be propaganda. But it also highlights another important point: the value of passed links. We’ve noted in the past that when people pass around links (or music or books or whatever) it’s the person who’s doing the passing whose reputation is at stake. And, because of that, we tend to trust people passing links to others much more than people just promoting their own stuff. And this doesn’t need to be reciprocal. Steve notes that he just blogs about music he likes — and sometimes he hears from the musicians saying it resulted in a spike in earnings somehow, and that’s great.

To some extent, this also explains some of our position on things like ad blockers. Sites telling visitors who use ad blockers that they’re not welcome are shoving aside visitors who very well may pass on a link that has tremendous value. The viewpoint held by sites like that seems to undervalue passed links, believing the only true value is in the immediate and direct ad impression. But when you focus on just letting people experience whatever cool stuff you’re creating, some of them will pass it on to others, and that “vote” in your favor may be incredibly valuable.

So, while Steve focuses on the point of helping others make more money, if you’re doing cool stuff, it’s worth remembering that a lot of that stuff comes back around (in even more valuable ways). One of the problems we see with so many anti-consumer businesses is that they feel the need to directly monetize every user/visitor/listener, rather than recognizing that the mislabeled “freeloaders” can pay it back in ways that greatly outweigh any sort of direct payment opportunity.

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Comments on “How Much Money Can You Make For Others, Rather Than Yourself?”

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sehlat (profile) says:

Mixed approach may be better

John Scalzi’s incomprable “Whatever” ( blog seems to work very well for him and for others. He regularly has a “Big Idea” feature to publicize new books coming out, and comments/essays by the authors on just where this stuff came from. Also mentions of music, and, of course, movies he likes, his AMC columns, his wife, daughter, etc. etc.

But he does also do what he calls “self-pimping”, but does so with much style and gusto, and has a very devoted readership.

I think it’s called “connecting with fans”, last I looked.


User based billing and CAPS and throttling

until we have better offerings from ISPS aka unlimited OR they reimburse me for every add tossed at me,then i would say a short lil bit

TOO BAD so SAD. IM NOT paying my money to get an ad i dont want and i don’t want any PERIOD.
it is spam to me and akin to bleeding me dry of my cash by the ISPS/there buddies and so on.

enrolled agent (user link) says:

Marketing Strategy?

This is great if you’re not up to selling your website yourself. If you’re a well-known, respected personality doing this for a virtual unknown, this could mean good business. IMO, Steve Lawson is possibly getting paid to promote the people he mentions on his blogs. 🙂 No violent reactions please! Just a possible Conspiracy Theory… Hehehe!

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