This article is a follow on from my recent article on content marketing versus funnels.
As you probably know, I’m a big fan of content marketing. I don’t hate funnels, they have their place. I’ve started building some. And to be honest, everyone uses a mix of both. Nobody is 100% content and 0% funnels or the other way around.
Same with free versus paid traffic. Everyone uses a mix of both. You’re crazy not to. It’s about what your proportion is.
But I spend most of my time and energy (not money, it’s free, if you write your content yourself, which I obviously do) on content marketing.
And that’s because content marketing, when it’s done right, has a particular and underrated power that few people talk about: its permanence.
A lot of people spend a lot of time on social media marketing. I actually do some time on it, but not much. That’s because it has low permanence.
People talk about the “half-life” of content. That is a number that reflects how long until half the people who will ever see it, have seen it. If you do a Facebook post, someone will be the first person to see it, and then some more people will see it, and then eventually someone will be the last person to see it.
Then it will be flushed down the digital toilet and never seen again (because it is ranking too low in EdgeGraph, the Facebook algorithm, to make it into anyone’s news feed, no matter how good a friend they are).
So if you take the halfway point of the time from when the first person saw it to when the last person saw it, that’s the half-life of that content. Every social media or content channel has it.
The half-life of a Facebook post is a few days. The half-life of an Instagram photo or a tweet is a little under one day.
This is pretty grim stuff. If you are putting content on these platforms, it gets free traffic, but it is continually getting slaughtered by these merciless algorithms. It has to, because otherwise these platforms would be giant useless spamfests, covered in old mass-produced garbage content.
There are only two social media platforms with a decent half-life. The first is Pinterest. It is a bit more like a search engine than a social newsfeed. The half-life of a Pinterest pin is about three and a half months – not bad!
This is one of the reasons why Pinterest is a traffic source I actually focus on and learnt how to generate traffic from. At the time of writing, about half of the traffic on this blog is from Pinterest! Madness.
The other one is Youtube. I don’t think people even consider what the half-life on Youtube, because it is much more like a search engine than a newsfeed. Even more so than Pinterest.
Things live there for a very long time. Years probably. A bit like articles on your website. If you do your SEO right, those can rank for years and years. In fact, the average age of an article in the #1 spot on a Google SERP is about three years old.
So there are two platforms where content lives for a really long time. Youtube, and the web (your own website, with traffic from organic search). Everything else is a flash in the pan.
I rate web over Youtube though. That’s because your website is your turf – you own it. Nobody can mess with it your take it away from you. Youtube is someone else’s traffic, someone else’s platform, someone else’s rules. They can block you, ban you, shut you down. De-rank and de-list you.
Google can change their search algorithm whenever they want, I will admit. But if you’re a good kid and are doing white hat SEO, you don’t have much to fear. In fact, algorithm changes will benefit you, because 90% of them are about pushing the bad black-hat kids down the ranks, which pushes everyone else up.
The reason I have this website, the reason I blog, the reason I write articles is simple. I am building digital assets. I am creating powerful content that will generate free traffic today, and tomorrow, and the day after, for literally years to come.
Each article is an investment – like buying shares in the stock market. Initially it costs you (time or energy, maybe money, but not me because I write my own articles). But later on, they start paying dividends, over and over.
Marketing on Instagram or Facebook is the opposite. It’s like the day traders, jumping in and out of positions on risky assets. You do some hustling, you make a few wins, a few losses, and at the end of the week, hopefully you walk away in the black. With some money in your pocket.
But just like those day traders, you have no assets. You might make some money here or there, but you’ve built nothing of permanence. If you stop hustling on Facebook or whatever, you stop getting anything. Just like if the day traders stop trading, they make nothing.
The really smart successful investors, people like Warren Buffet, buy and build up slow safe long-term assets. They don’t go chasing a few dollars here and there – they put in the effort over time, forsaking quick wins, and create big income machines that gradually snowball over time.
And once those machines are set up, you can keep working on them (and make even more), or not. You can stop working – you can sleep in, go to the beach, do whatever you want. And still make money.
CPA marketers are an interesting counterpoint to this. I will say, nobody makes crazy money like the CPA super affiliates. Those guys don’t brag about 50K months, they brag about 50K days. People like Charles Ngo. I’m not joking.
And I’m sure some of them are even bigger than that. The biggest of them all are probably ones you’ve never heard of. They don’t brag about their winnings in public, they sit silently in the background and just focus on their business. Who knows how much they are making.
But again, these guys have built up no online assets. Hopefully they’re smart and are putting their winnings from the CPA slot machines into shares and real estate, not Ferraris and champagne. But who knows.
What I know is, I’m not playing that game right now. I’m actually interested from a curiosity point of view. One day if I get the time I might learn CPA marketing properly and have a play. But for now, I’m creating powerful content. Real content that will last and generate traffic and earnings for years to come.
I’m building digital assets. This is one of them.