I’m sure you’ve seen the ads. You know, the ones promising you 7 easy to use templates that will make blogging a breeze, the 101 subject lines to skyrocket your open rates, and of course, that one foolproof method for generating a zillion blog post ideas FAST!
And while I’m all for processes, systems, and methodologies, I loathe this stuff because it plays into the big, dirty fairytale that is the quickie content myth.
You know, the one that says that with the right template, the right stock phrases, and just the right sprinkling of buzzwords, anyone can crank out good copy and content.
Can I? Can I really write the perfect blog post without writing a word, Ryan Deiss?
I can’t stand this stuff — and here’s why.
(1) It’s predicated on an idea that forces you to take responsibility for the failings of the system,
(2) It probably won’t work for you, and
(3) It assumes that your readers are mouth-breathing click monkeys.
Here’s the deal. You’re not an idiot if you’re not good at writing copy and content. But if you buy into this schlock, (“Anybody can do it with this foolproof template!”) and then you don’t get the results that “anyone” can get using this system, then what does that say about you?
That you really suck at this … that you didn’t want it hard enough … that you didn’t follow the template closely enough … hell, whatever it is, the fault lies on you.
These types of things set you up to fail and to take responsibility for that failure — and that’s really damn manipulative.
And if you’re not getting the results you want with the freebee (but you still want the results and you still believe in the person touting them), then you just might sign up for a webinar or a course or some pricey coaching from them because hey, they clearly know what they’re doing. You’re just not cottoning on with the free stuff, so clearly you need to upgrade!
“But Rachel … they can’t just pull this stuff out of their asses! A lot of them have charts and stuff showing how it works. So it’s worth the value, right?”
First of all, people do make stuff up for freebees all the time. (Welcome to the Internet!) And secondly … it’s tricky. Because you’re right, a lot of times the things that they’re saying work have worked for one person or maybe even several people.
But here’s the thing: just because something worked for one person’s business at one point in their business journey doesn’t mean that it’s right for you and your business right now.
Everybody’s business is different, and that means that you’re going to need different types of content and different content strategies depending on who you are, what your business is, and what’s going on in it right now.
Now let’s talk readers.
When you try to use a system that’s based on the assumption that you can do one thing that’s going to knock everybody’s socks off, you’re assuming two things. First, you’re assuming that all these people are the same — that they all are going to be affected in the same way by the same stuff.
Second, you’re assuming that they’re all a bit stupid. Because c’mon, would you be swayed by come cobbled together buzzwords and reposted content?
Of course not. But “they” are different. “They” (aka your audience) aren’t like real people, they’re a target market. They’re subscribers. They’re end users who can be encouraged (manipulated) to buy things using cruel to be kind copywriting.
Except of course that’s not true. People are people, messy and three dimensional and human, just like you are.
So how about we ditch the “foolproof” templates and write like actual humans, to actual humans, not cash piñatas that you hit with sales copy until the dollars fall out.
Look, the truth is, this kind of shit is never going to go away. But that doesn’t mean that you have to buy into it. It’s time to be better businesspeople, to be better writers, hell, to be better people in this space.
It’s time to write like you mean it. It’s time to work like you mean it. And it’s damn sure time to live like you mean it.
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