I just came back from vacation, and as you do on vacation, I spent a bunch of time catching up on my reading. Now, mostly when I’m on vacay, I like to read a nice novel, and I did (The Signature of All Things and Wild, for those of you keeping track at home), but I also cracked the spine on a book I recently purchased after hearing a lot about.
How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup is now on my reading list for my blogging class. I will likely write a review about it someday soon, but I wanted to share with you a passage that almost made me fall off my deck chair.
In a section called “Building Your Email List,” Soukup says:
Their main goal is to grow an email list so that they can then convert into a sales funnel from which to sell their products, which often tend to be expensive courses or membership sites on some aspect of platform building, such as how to grow an email list, how to create a Pinterest or Facebook marketing plan, how to get published, or how to build an online business. For the product they are selling, and the audience they are trying to reach–other online marketers–this model is extremely effective.
The problem with this particular model is that it tends to be somewhat circular. While it works very, very well for marketers who are marketing to other marketers and selling expensive–albeit valuable–products or services to other online business owners who don’t mind investing in order to be successful, it doesn’t work quite as well for someone whose main audience might look very different.
Many of us in this social media industry are attempting to make money by selling products and services. You’ve seen them all–they promise a 6-figure income if you just take their course/read their book, etc. I’m not putting these folks down, they are running legitimate businesses. But I question if these businesses are, in the end, sustainable. What we have is a small group of people selling to another small group of people, who, in turn, want to sell to more people!
Maybe I’m totally off-base here. Maybe there are enough people to buy all the things. But I worry that at some point, this snake is going to swallow its tail.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please comment below.