Web content is often a race to the bottom. Every day, I teach people to build an audience using content — so this is of particular interest to me. But in talking about content marketing and getting found via SEO, you’ll never hear me talking about using cheap tactics that go for the cheap click.
But they keep asking.
A simple Web search will unveil a large volume of material I’ve written that talks about how respectful, soft-touch marketing is not just more pleasant for both sides — but also more effective, too. Yet, still, I get prospective clients who asks for tricks and hacks and shortcuts.
Why? Because they work.
Pop-ups work. Listicles work. Trick-to-click works. If they didn’t, these tactics wouldn’t persist.
That doesn’t mean that we have to debase ourselves in seeking short-term gains. What does awareness get you, without trust behind it? Nothing sustainable. This is why Ev Williams’ piece inspired me this week, and the language that he used around it.
For better or worse, with Twitter and Medium, Ev Williams has stayed pretty close to his ideals. It might not work in the long run, but I sure do love rooting for someone like that. If he wins, we all win.