Some random guy I met at a party once told me to not bother with building websites. They said websites require a fuck-ton of writing and that I might not have what it takes to write that much. They said to focus on social media instead because I’d have an easier time.
That was all I said.
That was several years ago. I haven’t heard from this person since. I couldn’t even remember his name or what he looked like or why I was talking to him in the first place, considering I’m a shy girl who prefers to sit in the corner at parties.
But I’ve heard through the grapevine that this guy may be looking for someone to write content for them.
The moral of the story? It’s not that building websites is a better marketing strategy than social media. It’s not even that guys should learn to man the hell up and stop mansplaining what is pretty much our entire fucking lives for us, even though some of them really need to.
It’s that there is no best way to sell your wares and make more money except the way you have always known to be true for you.
I, for instance, have always been a writer. I have written a lot of things over the course of my life, from ghostwritten books to newspaper stories to long Facebook rants. This is what I have always known to be true for me. This is my gift, and I have been given this gift to use it to uplift my life and yours.
Writing is what was meant for me. Writing is how I make a living. The way it’s done has changed over time. I’ve gone from learning a whole desktop publishing system on my own as editor-in-chief of my high school paper to a shameful past of writing essays for college kids who can’t be bothered to do their homework (in my defense, I was a college kid as well) to picking up the ins and outs of digital marketing along the way as I made writing web content my main source of income.
But the writing remains the same. It’s the same cutting your heart open for all the world to feast on. It’s the same bleeding into the pages, hoping people will be kind enough not to make it worse. And it’s the same sense of wonder when you find yourself sprawled on those pages, realizing, “Hey, that’s me. I’m full of fucked up ideas I might get stoned to death for but I’m beautiful at the same time. I love that about myself.”
And even though this gift is wrapped up in this newfangled thing called digital marketing, it’s always been the same. I’ve learned enough of digital marketing and marketing in general to be able to make this conclusion: The best way to make money online or otherwise? Sell from the heart. Make a connection, offer your goods, overdeliver – because you want to, because you love what you do, because there’s nothing else in the world you’d be doing but what you already do. That’s it. There’s nothing else you need to learn. It’s the same thing as the best way to write is to write from the heart.
You don’t have to buy into any hot, new moneymaking scheme some sleazy salesman is shoving down your throat. You don’t have to “adapt to the times or be left behind.” The times haven’t changed. It’s always been the same.
And you already know what to do.In fact, you’ve already been doing it your entire life. You just didn’t know it yet because it’s so easy to fall into the trap that digital marketers sell about their glamorous laptop lives, working at the beach, sipping a margarita while sending off an email to their assistant before they dive into the water.
That’s all bullshit, I tell you now. Not the laptop life dream – that can be yours, that’s for sure. What’s bullshit is the idea that if you do what they do, you’re going to have what they now have too. Because, first of all, it’s not them living your life, it’s you. You’re the one who’s making the decisions. You’re the one in the driver’s seat. And, more importantly, they don’t know batshit about you – none, zero, nada. They can’t be making claims for what you need to think, say, and do because they are not in a position to do so.
What about the rules of marketing, you say? What about SEO and social media and email marketing and influencer marketing and video marketing and live streaming and all the fancy new ideas we’ve come up with in the last few years? Yeah, sure, it doesn’t hurt to learn the basics of them. In fact, I can tell you the gist of it right now.
Create for people.
Connect with people.
Yeah, that’s all there is to it, really. And in terms of what you actually need to do? You already know the answer to that. You’ve already been doing it your entire life, maybe even making a good living and name for yourself doing that thing you already know is for you. Or you may not yet be making money off that thing because you’re too distracted by everyone else doing their thing.
Either way, YOU ALREADY KNOW. It’s already been given to you. And though you may stray from using your gift from time to time, you will ALWAYS be called back to it every time you attempt to do things for the money and not because you’re meant to.
Don’t go ignoring your gift, my friend. Stop looking elsewhere when you know you only have to look inside. The best way to go is that which your heart already knows.