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A new MD site is born: DestinationMind.com

Maikel

MD customer
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Awesome to hear! Took some time and work and effort from your part, but you made it happen. Goodluck with your website. :)
 
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Some French Dude

SomeFrenchDude
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Now, I have an hesitation for my next step and I am sharing this half-privately with you guys (@Ray , @Maikel , @Alex , @gauravtiwari - for you are the ones I know should really understand what I'm trying to do).

This is what I am trying to achieve: Sharing my experience in content creation, productivity and mindest in the shortest time possible in creating value-added articles.

My core idea is to use MICRO-posts. I have been thinking about this for a long time and I have seen @Ray implementing something not so far from what I had in mind with https://library66.com/archive/

I am wondering about 3 main aspects:
  1. What publishing format?
  2. Plus and minus of that format?
  3. Acquisition stsrategy?
1 - My first enigma is: Should I use The Stream or just regular blog posts?
I won't copy and paste extracts from the Bible, and weriting those posts will be a real challenge. Why that?
Reason #1: Not my mother tongue.
Reason #2: Writing short is the hardest thing to do.
Reason #3: My nature is to do extensive research and go into long writing form. That'ss also part of the personal challenge I put into this project.

So I guess my post will be longer than those on @Ray 's site. Is the Stream still a reasonable tool for that then?

2 - My second wonder: Be it The Stream or Regular Posts, what about SEO?
Say my post will be between 150 and 600 words. Is there a point hoping about having some SEO results someday when the norm seems to be 3,000 to 5,000 posts today.
So, what would be the advantage of micro-posting and how can I compete against long-form posts with them?

3 - Acquisition
Best way to gain new subscribers to my email list with such micro content? I aimed at sharing this content by email, then published to my web site the day after or so.
Just published them on Facebook?

May be you guys can share your thoughts about podcasts? Are they really popular in the US? Can I do without YouTube?

DestinationMind just opened his mind to you.
 
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Ray

MD advocate
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Los Angeles
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library66.com
Congrats @SomeFrenchDude!
Onward and upwards with DM!!!

My core idea is to use MICRO-posts.
As with any content strategy — it's best to go with what fits your overall business strategy.

Publish micro-content IF that's the best way to communicate to your audience. Can you clearly express your message with a 100-word post? Will your readers feel cheated if you give them anything less than 2000-words?

Reason #3: My nature is to do extensive research and go into long writing form. That'ss also part of the personal challenge I put into this project.
My nature is to hire a developer to create a minimalist mobile app, but publishing a daily email was the smarter/better approach for my niche and target audience. It's my belief (and experience) that your content creation/publishing/marketing strategies should reflect the needs of your target audience.

IF you're okay with potentially not building an audience, then you can ignore the market and do what feels right.

So I guess my post will be longer than those on @Ray 's site. Is the Stream still a reasonable tool for that then?
This really depends on your end goal(s). If you want/need search engines to index your content, you're better served using the standard blog post type.

Say my post will be between 150 and 600 words. Is there a point hoping about having some SEO results someday when the norm seems to be 3,000 to 5,000 posts today.
Comparing a 400-word post to a 4,000-word post is a little tricky. If your post is on a topic like "Caching", you're probably going to lean towards 4,000+ words, but if you write about boiling an egg, you can get your message across in 400 words or less.

So, what would be the advantage of micro-posting and how can I compete against long-form posts with them?
It's not about micro vs. long-form, for the most part, it's about quality.

Best way to gain new subscribers to my email list with such micro content? I aimed at sharing this content by email, then published to my web site the day after or so.
Just published them on Facebook?
You have to get out there and find out what works for your business and audience. I've found great success with email-only content. With an email list of 980 subs, I've managed to generate a tremendous amount of revenue for my consulting business. The newsletter is somewhat unfocused, and largely a diary of my work week, but it works, for that list.

I have another newsletter (Library66) that's been successful using an email-first approach. I simultaneously publish every email to The Stream, but 99.999% of my readers ONLY consume the email newsletter.

However, I've worked with several content/media companies that are finding success (even in 2020) by publishing to their blog.

Long-form, quick 1-minute reads, etc...it really depends on the niche and audience. The tone of the content also matters.
Humor (for example) tends to work for short-form posts.

May be you guys can share your thoughts about podcasts? Are they really popular in the US? Can I do without YouTube?
Podcasts are great if you have something of substance to talk about AND an audience that wants to listen to your podcast.

Podcasts are very popular in the US, but two years ago video was all the rage, and it has (like most trends) fallen out of favor. You can do without YouTube, but if that's where your audience consumes content, you should be there in a big way.
 
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Some French Dude

SomeFrenchDude
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Bro' @Ray , thanks for the detailed reply.

2 things:

1 - The info I miss in reading your reply is: HOW did you create your 2 lists?
An emailing strategy only works once you have subscribers to read you. I have seen people being attracted like bees on flowers when it comes to religion: They just click and subscribes when seeing the word Bible or Coran, etc.

Still, what was your strategy to get people on your Library66's list? How many of them and how much time did it take? using what methods, steps?

2 - Do not forget about Buddha.
If your post is on a topic like "Caching", you're probably going to lean towards 4,000+ words, but if you write about boiling an egg, you can get your message across in 400 words or less.

I have to disagree with that and people have proven it before you and I: Zen masters can summarize the complexity of life in one single sentence. This tour de force should be feasible fore any topic. Western philosophers were a bit more prolific :) Scientists can do it their own way: E=mc2.

My nature is western and my path is zen. That's what makes my personal challenge and approach interesting. Knowing your true self and adjusting this with respect to the constraints of daily life. That's what I aim at sharing in my DestinationMind project. Hopefully, it will inspire others.
 
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Ray

MD advocate
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Location
Los Angeles
Website
library66.com
1 - The info I miss in reading your reply is: HOW did you create your 2 lists?
I have seen people being attracted like bees on flowers when it comes to religion: They just click and subscribes when seeing the word Bible or Coran, etc.
Ha!! I wish this were true, but this has not been my experience. Also, I really don't care about gaining subs for the sake of having a high sub count. I'd rather have 5k engaged subs, than 100k subs with a 5% open rate, but that's just me.

Still, what was your strategy to get people on your Library66's list? How many of them and how much time did it take? using what methods, steps?

1. Three days before "the launch" I emailed 10 people in my personal "network" that I thought would be interested in my newsletter.

In the email, I told them what I was doing and invited them to subscribe. I asked them NOT to subscribe if they weren't interested in the topic, and explained that subscribing for the sake of "supporting me" is NOT real support. Anyway, all 10 of them subscribed — 4 of them actually engage.

I no longer do this.

. . . . .

2. One week after starting the newsletter, I began sending cold emails to Churches.

Instead of asking one person to subscribe, I figured it would make more sense to invite an entire congregation to subscribe. So every weekday, I email a church and invite the church secretary or whoever opens the email to browse the archive. If he/she responds to my email, I invite them to include a link to my newsletter on their website, in their church literature, or wherever they see fit. This approach has yielded 100-200 subs.

I still reach out to one new church/week. I write a personal/unique email each time and it takes 15 minutes to compose and edit each email.

. . . . .

3. Five or six weeks after launching, I began reaching out to the HR departments of U.S. companies that have publicly facing Christian values.

In those conversations (usually via phone) I invited them to offer my newsletter to their employees as a free employee benefit via their employee portal. This has yielded 400+ subs courtesy of Marriott and Jet Blue.

I still reach out to ten companies/week. I write a personal/unique email each time and it takes 15 minutes to compose and edit each email.

. . . . .

4. Paid campaign via Ad.fly

I created a week-long campaign targeting anyone/everyone in the English speaking world. I specifically targetted Windows OS users.

Cost: $15
Yield: 69 subs (3 have unsubscribed)

I no longer do this.

. . . . .

5. Whenever people ask me what I'm working on, I briefly talk about Library66. So far I've had 12+ conversations like that, and they have led to about 3 subs.

I will continue to do this.

. . . . .

6. I offered a consulting session to a former client in exchange for press release distribution from their company. I've received 20-30 subs for my efforts.

I will no longer do this.

. . . . .

7. Random website visitors have yielded 200-300 subs.

The site is simple, clean, and straight to the point, so for now, I will not change anything and continue to benefit from this. I will, however, create a long-form sales page at some point, but until I find the time to do this, the current home page will do just fine.

. . . . .

8. A "Pay what you want" Reference Guide on Gumroad has led to 3 subs.

The PDF was created 9 months ago and will remain on Gumroad for the foreseeable future.

. . . . .

9. Library66 branded activity books on Amazon.com have led to 600+ subs. This is one of my favorite ways to gain subs because they've already purchased a book (which generates a royalty) and then they choose to subscribe to the newsletter.

Those books will remain on Amazon for the foreseeable future and any sales/subs I get from them are passive so I will continue to do this.

. . . . .

10. I ran a listing on Craigslist back in January.

I received 10 subs.

It took 20 minutes to create the listing, but I no longer do this.

. . . . .

11. I created an ETSY page, and it proved to be a complete waste of time. I tried selling digital prints with niche related messages on them. The listings were free because I used a referral link from an existing ETSY store owner, but after creating 60 listings and getting 17 sales and zero subs, I decided to close the shop and move on.

I no longer do this, but I have an idea on how to use ETSY in the future.

. . . . .

12. I talked about my newsletter during a ConvertKit networking event in October 2019. This led to zero subs.

. . . . .

13. The strategy that has yielded the best ROI has been asking (and not asking) existing subs to forward the newsletter to their friends and family.

It's hard to quantify the actual numbers with this method, but based on the few metrics I have at my disposal, this has led to 2500+ subs.

. . . . .

As you can see, I'm trying a few different things. These are not sexy internet marketing strategies, but I want to exhaust every low/no budget option before using resource-intensive strategies.

So there you have it. I hope that helps.
 
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Alex

MD developer
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@Ray your insights are GOLD.

I want to step in really quick with a design note. In MD > Site Design > Fonts & Typography hit the "G" icon where you use the Montserrat font. Right now your text is not coming out right.

With this site it looks like you have finally come to an understanding of what you are doing online. You made a cool brand but what else can you write to help your site backup its claims and further convince me to join your email list? That's where the "Articles" link comes in handy but it's empty now, so I see that as your next target to expand upon.

  1. What publishing format?
  2. Plus and minus of that format?
  3. Acquisition stsrategy?

Get a little more inspiration from Ray's list of ideas here. The stream is a raw way of communicating with your readers. if your ideas are interesting enough people will come back.

Think of it like a social media stream if it helps you get your thoughts out and realize you don't need to publish anything perfect, just engaging.

Apart from the HTML markup the stream was not built with SEO in mind. There are all kinds of good things that happen when you provide entertaining and valuable content, including better trust metrics and higher traffic.

Reason #1: Not my mother tongue.

The best Stream I have seen is not in English (see System Trader), so the only barrier to entry is your mind to the keyboard.
 
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Jake O'Callaghan

MD writer
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Ray and Alex have both provided some great insight.

Tough love from me is that I would really focus on taking action. It's great that you are detail-oriented and truly care about getting things right, but, in my experience, most questions answer themselves when you really put "the boots on the ground."

As someone that definitely can relate to "hesitating for my next step" my humble advice would be to forget some of the details for the time being and proceed boldly forward.
 
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